Friday, December 30, 2011

Lots of stuff, but more importantly...cake. And pictures of cake.

I got stuff done today. Hooray!

Robert and I moved some extra dressers downstairs and sold them on a yard sale website. So that helps with de-cluttering. I actually went through most of the paperwork downstairs and sorted it. Don't tell Robert, but I actually filed some as well. Go me!

I went to the commissary, got some cleaning done, went to a good bye lunch for one of my favorite YMCA workers, then came home and baked Robert's birthday cake. Since he won't be here for his birthday, we celebrated early. I got to use my new Pampered Chef pans (sooooo awesome) and cranked out a red velvet cake and some killer cream cheese icing.

What's that? You'd like to see pictures as proof? I'd be delighted to share!

Love this picture. The kids could hardly stand it. 

Last year for Robert's birthday celebration, we all ended up with the stomach flu, which is why Robert wanted red velvet instead of his normal chocolate. Works for me!

So we had a yummy dinner of lean steak cooked to perfection on the grill, veggies, and red velvet cake. Not too shabby. 

Six more months of this (productivity, not red velvet cake) and I may actually be ahead of the game. 

Hey, it could happen.

The day of nothing.

Today? We really did nothing. I think it was mostly because we were all tired of being in a car and possibly we were even tired of being together in close quarters.

The kids have been delighted to play with all the toys they got for Christmas and Robert and I have been delighted to let and watch them.

Now that the year is ending, I realize that my New Year's resolution needs some re-visiting. Over the last year, we made serious progress with our de-cluttering. Unfortunately, it (and by 'it' I mean crap) comes in faster than we can process it.

Well, okay, that's not entirely true. I hate to file, so that's piled up. I'm making memory books for the kids with their school work. I kinda sorta failed on the baby book thing, so I'm trying to keep some work from each school year for them so they'll have something to look through when they're older. At least, that's my current attempted project. But for every piece of paper I keep, I need to get rid of about 20. Add Sara's tendency to be a pack rat and the tendency of all of us to just pile stuff up where ever, the house is looking pretty cluttered again, although all the closets have been cleaned out and look pretty darn awesome.

I'm going to get this all done. If it's to the point that it's irritating Robert, then it's absolutely time to start sorting and streamlining.

So I'm all over this.

Starting tomorrow.

Because today? Is the day of nothing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Elf on a shelf? Psh! Santa on a stand!

We made it home safely. How we got everything in the car is still pretty doggone amazing. Because, believe you me, there was a lot of stuff to be packed.

One of the things I was really hoping to bring back with us was a Santa I made back in 2005. My cousin Debbie is wicked talented and crafty and went through a phase where she was making Santas. When I say making, I mean sculpting their faces out of clay and building them from the ground up. My cousin Marci and I begged relentlessly convinced her to help us make one and she finally gave in.

Here were our results (with more than just a little help from Debbie):

Somehow, someway, we made room for my Santa in the car. Even though we are taking down all our Christmas decorations, I think I'll leave Santa out for a while. He's spent too much time in a closet since 2005!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas Eve!

Tonight Robert, the kids, and I went to our family Christmas Eve gathering.

It hit me tonight how much smaller my side of the family has gotten. My grandfather was one of 13, so holiday events were always crowded. Tonight there was room to spare, but no less love.

I wish all of you a wonderful, joyous Christmas filled with love, laughter, and happiness.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Traveling makes me tired. So does going to bed late and then getting up early. Yeah, yeah, I'm a wuss. I'm okay with that.

After getting up early to go and have my hair done, Robert picked me up and we went to get the kids from Mom's house. Then it was off to the grocery store, the assisted living place to drop something off for my grandmother, and then to the Fansler's who are friends of mine from high school.   

My plan was to make red velvet cupcakes using MaryBeth's mixer. I'm a mixer miser. Muaahahaaaa. 

In between lots of talking, a quick tour of the updates they'd made to their house, and watching their son Josh complete an amazing cake he was making for their Christmas celebration, I somehow got the cupcakes made in between munching on homemade Chex mix (so much better than the store bought kind) and losing count of what I was measuring. No matter, the cupcakes turned out amazingly well and it was quite flattering to see kids converge out of nowhere to try them (and also to have improved an opinion or two about red velvet cake). 

After we finished and cleaned up, we just sat around talking and looking through yearbooks. Reading what I wrote in Donovan's yearbooks was both hilarious and embarrassing. Good to see I had a lock on saying a lot without actually saying anything that early. Also? I do not - at all - miss high school. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. But I do miss good friends, just like these...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh yes you DO need color!

Whenever I'm in town, I try my very best to see my former hair dude.

This is the guy that cut my hair short (when I was convinced I'd look awful with short hair) and made it work.

This is the guy that convinced me to color my hair a deep reddish brown (when I swore I'd never voluntarily color my hair any version of red) and love it.

This is the guy that can get my thinning, fine hair to look ten times it's volume.

This is the guy that will fit me in when I'm in town, has fixed my hair from some pretty serious disasters (South Dakota mullet maker I'm talking to YOU), and always told it to me straight.

For example on my first visit to him he said, "Babe! This (with a grand gesture to my hair) is terrible! Never, ever perm your hair again. Never." And I haven't, but I'm not sure if it's because he said so or because that perm was so hideous I'd pretty much already decided not to get another one. Evah.

In short, he's a total rock star and other than Jennifer Temple (who I cannot ever imagine being pushed out of my all time #1 spot), I've never, ever loved a hair stylist more.

This morning I called him and discovered the announcement on his voice mail that he would be out of town until Monday.

Well, that's not what I wanted to hear. Fudge!

Imagine my surprise when he called back a couple hours later! (Huge!)

Me: Hello?
W: BROOOOOOOKE DAHL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's Wayne, baby.
Me: Wayne! What are doing calling me back before Monday?
W: I'm working my ass off. Are you here?
Me: Yep. I thought you were out of town.
W: Not me, I'm working like crazy until Friday.
Me: Sweet!
W: You need to see me?
Me: Uh, yes. Yes I do!
W: What do you need?
Me: I really need color, but I'd love color and a cut.
W: When do you want to come in? How long will you be here?
Me: We're leaving Monday.
W: When do you want to come in?
Me: Whatcha got and I'll make it work?
W: Um.....Tomorrow at 3?
Me: YES!
W: See you then!

As I was doing my little happy dance, reality hit - we have plans tomorrow with some friends. I've missed them the last couple times I've been in town, so I really, really am looking forward to seeing them.

Since we were fairly close to his studio anyway, Robert and I just dropped by. I also intended to bribe him with some cookies, cause I'm all smooth like that. I explained that I wasn't thinking in days of the week as in tomorrow is Friday and on Friday I have plans at 3 already.

Instead of kicking my hiney out the door, he looks at me and just rolls his eyes.

W: When ya wanna come in?
Me: When can you fit me in?
W: (walks me over to his receptionist/salon manager) Hey - book her for whenever she can come in. She's been coming to me forever and let's make something work.  (Discussion between him and the size zero supermodel that runs his salon ensues about his schedule for the rest of today and tomorrow.)

Me: Well, I don't have to have color, you can just cut it.
W:  (laughing loudly) Baby, you NEED color.  (to the supermodel) Book her for 8:30 tomorrow. I'll come in early and do her.
Me: Are you sure?
W: Baby, I cannot let you walk around looking like (gesturing at my hair again) that.

No argument here. Look for before and after pics on my blog tomorrow.

Never a dull moment

The family and I headed out earlier this week to North Carolina. It's quite warm here considering that it's almost the end of December. This time last year it was freezing and over four inches of snow fell at Dad's on Christmas day. Great for photos, not so much for driving.

Today, the kids slept in and hooo boy - we let them! Once we were all awake (and I still say it was our radiating giddiness about their sleeping in that woke them) and ready to go, we headed over to Mom's for most of the day. After lunch, we went to visit my grandmother in her assisted living facility. Tucker and Sara were excited about going, more for the ice cream machine in the parlor (do people even use that word anymore?) than for visiting purposes but hey, it got them there voluntarily and in a good mood.

My grandmother has Alzheimer's so she has good days and bad days. Two things are guaranteed to perk her up - kids and men. And that's really as far into that as I care to delve. So when she saw my kids, she perked up a little but still refused to walk with us from the common room to her room or the parlor. Mom, trying really hard to be patient after repeated attempts to get her to budge, asked one of the nurses to help us convince her to move.  I tried first and had no luck. The first nurse tried and had no luck. I tried again. No luck. Richard suggested we walk away for a few minutes and then try again. Works for me. At that point, the second nurse walked over to try and darned if she didn't get right up and come along.


We visited with her for a while and then tried to get her to walk back to the common room with us. She was as reluctant to return as she was to leave. Not willing to push the issue any further, we got ready to leave. I picked up Sara and walked over to say goodbye. I'm not sure what about that got to my grandmother, probably nothing, but she perked right up and wanted to hold Sara.

Sweet, right? But the thing about Sara is that she marches to the beat of her own drummer and at that point, she'd been mostly ignored by my grandmother. Not with any ill intent, but Sara is firmly of the "I will not be ignored" school circa Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. After trying to get attention and not getting it, she was a bit averse to getting what at that point was unwanted attention. And we all know Sara can be a bit stubborn. ::Snort::

So when my grandmother suggested that Sara sit in her lap, Sara buried her head in my shoulder and tightened her arms and legs around me.

That just made my grandmother repeat her request for Sara to sit in her lap. I tried explaining that Sara was heavier than she looked (which is true). But aside from that, my grandmother doesn't do too much moving around these days and I was worried that Sara sitting on her would hurt her in some way. Plus, Sara just wasn't interested.

We went back and forth for a bit over this - my grandmother would ask to hold Sara, Sara would shake her head no and clutch me tighter, I'd try to explain that we were concerned Sara would be too heavy.

Finally, Grandmother got tired of this and decided she wanted to go to the common room. You know, the one she had just insisted she didn't want to relocate to. So we walked her in and when my grandmother sat down in the common room, she started asking again for Sara to sit on her lap. This time, though, she asked Sara directly. It went a little like this:

G: Come sit in my lap.
S: No. I'll sit right here.
G: Come on and sit in my lap.
S: No. I'm too heavy. I might hurt you.
G: Come sit with me.
S: I'm sitting right here.
G: Come and let me hold you.
S: No thank you.
G: Come and sit in my lap.
S: That's okay.
G: Sit right here, honey. ::pats her legs::
S: ::sighs loudly:: o-kay.
Gets down and climbs up into Grandmother's lap.


G: UNH! You weigh a ton!
S: I told you.
G: Oh! My legs!
S hops off and looks at me. Can we go now?
G: (loudly) She's heavy!
S: ::rolls eyes::

So, uh, yeah. Time to go.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Motivation Monday

The six week Free* program ended yesterday. Thanks to double workouts and some extra volunteering, I was able to reach my 3500 point goal early last week.

It felt pretty darn good.

So what have I learned in the last six weeks? A lot, actually.

It's easy to get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the overall picture. I've switched my focus from numbers on the scale to my actual health - both physical and mental.

I mean, let's be real for a second. I'm going to battle with my weight no matter what the number on the scale reflects. I battle to lose weight, I battle to keep it off. Lots of battles with no end to the war in sight. That's just the way it works for me.

But what I can be, what I am going to be, is healthy. I honestly could care less about the number at the moment. I think that's a pretty good start to the rest of my life and a great ending to Free* because I do, in fact, feel free.

But I realized that I need to keep myself challenged. Starting January 1, I'm entering a fitness challenge through I have to submit before pictures and then pictures each 30 days. I can't tell you how excited I am about having to post pictures of myself online. ::eye roll::

With Robert deploying soon, I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to participate in the mini triathlon, but I'm going to keep training for it anyway. Worst case scenario, I'll find someone to time me on the sections when the child care center is open. Robert and I can run it together next year. I really kind of want to wait and do it with him anyway. We'll see.

We ran sprints yesterday. Today, my body thanked me with sore feet and tight leg muscles. It's a little sick to admit this, but I'm loving it. You know what else I'm loving? Being able to go to Zumba six times a week. I'll have to cut the number down next month, but for now I'm living the dream.

What was your favorite workout this week?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Who needs an elf on a shelf when I have so many elf turds?

Today was one of those days when I would have been better off staying in bed.

Well, if I didn't have kids and two million things to do.

I started baking this morning before 8 am and wow! It did not go well.  I have a scoop that I use to make all the cookies the same size. Today, they never melted down, which means that somewhere along the line I put  in too much flour. But they look like little elf turds or something. Which should be funny...trays full of elf turds - happy holidays, everyone!...but really was just frustrating and annoying.

I took the brownies out of the oven too early and had to pop them back in for a few minutes, which messes with the texture somehow.

I couldn't find the recipe I had bookmarked for pumpkin muffins when I got ready to make them. (I ended up finding a copy of it, but by then had lost all motivation.)

And can we talk about the tantrums? Oh em gee.

I get that Sara is higher maintenance and needs more attention than Tucker. With Robert deploying soon, it's going to be an adjustment. I've already backed way, way off on my volunteer stuff. I don't want them to ever think I'm not available for them - whether Robert is here or not.

But the resident diva? She's having a really hard time with the upcoming deployment. Unfortunately, she's showing it by frequent meltdowns and tears and an attitude that would make Mariah Carey go, "whoa!".  And I'm just tired of dealing with it. So this afternoon, when I got smacked in the head with something (still not clear on what it was) hard enough that I saw spots, I needed a break.

Fortunately, Robert was home from work so I had the luxury of going into our bedroom and crawling back into bed for about an hour.

It wasn't enough time, but I sucked it up and made it through the rest of the evening anyway despite the complaints about dinner (Tucker basically said I needed to manage my time better..LOL!), the synchronized meltdowns over not getting to eat unlimited elf turds, cookie samples, and the HORROR of having to brush their teeth with....toothpaste.

I can't make this stuff up.

Elf turd and milk, anyone?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Strong arm-ing it.

In high school I dated a guy who constantly made me laugh (and roll my eyes) when he would tell me what diseases he picked up during the course of the day. (He never did.)  And I seriously doubt you can get hepatitis from having a drop of water splash up into your face when you wash your hands after going to the bathroom at school, even if you cut yourself shaving that morning. Unless, of course, you washed your hands in a vat of hepatitis, which I don't even think is possible.

After we parted ways, we stayed friends for a pretty good while. I knew he had met the girl of his dreams when she turned out to have the same "I have (insert disease here), wanna know why?" affliction that he did.

I never really understood that until I had my first health scare earlier this year. Since then, every once in a while, I worry about what may be.

My most recent bout with the "I may haves" is a concern over a pain in my neckshoulder area. I'm fairly sure it's a combination of a crick in my neck, an over-enthusiastic free weights workout, and the fact that I'm a little stressed right now. Oh, and a routine or two in Zumba that is apparently supposed to make your arms fall off.

But every now and then I wonder if its a blood clot or a torn muscle or an artery about to burst open. You know, shiny happy thoughts.

Which it isn't, of course. But I think for a while at least I'm going to stop looking things up on WebMD. And maybe skipping the arm routine in Zumba.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Motivation Monday - Free* Week 6, Day 1

This is the last week of the Free* program at the Y. I'll make my 3500 point goal around Friday, I hope.

I can honestly say motivation is mostly back. I think I'll back down my exercise to a hour or two a day versus my 2 and 3 hour sessions. I'm a little tired.

I'm disappointed that I haven't lost more weight, but my clothes are all looser, so I'm okay with that. Progress is progress and I'll take it in just about any form.

We'll be traveling next week and over Christmas. It's nice to know that I have a bit of a break in between the Free* program and the fitness challenge I've committed to begin on January 1. I'm going to do my best to workout every day when we are on the road, but I'm not going to stress if I can't or don't feel like it. In all honesty, it probably wouldn't hurt to take three or four days off.

I've strained a muscle in my neck/shoulder and I'm hoping that some rest and relaxation next week will help that out too. I can't even type that without laughing....not sure how much relaxing is even possible since we'll be running around like crazy people.

So! For the January fitness challenge I've teamed up with the incredible Vicky Denny, and I am excited to start kicking some fitness butt and to get a chance to win money while in doing it. If you are interested in this program for your own weight loss/fitness goals or just to follow my progress, go to and look up Vicky, who is a coach. Consider joining her team. There are free and paid programs. (With the paid programs you at least get a fitness video series of your choice - P90X? Slim in 6? Hip Hop Abs? Alllllll there!) There are five or six of us at the moment who are going to be doing this together. Join in officially if you like or create your own program and do it at home. Please consider posting your updates in the comments section of the Motivation Monday posts. I'd love to be able to cheer you on! And hopefully give out some prizes or something.

Have a great Monday everyone! Get out there and be healthy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bring out your dead...

You know what would be just awesome to watch tonight? Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 

As a matter of fact, I'm going to go see if it's on iTunes right now. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I was gonna do a bunch of stuff, but I got high...

Now wait a's not what you think.

Getting out of the shower this morning, I was hit with a sudden, staggering, overwhelming pain in my chest.

That can't be good.

I tried to remain calm, breathe deeply, and objectively assess the situation.

I needed to get Tucker off to school, I was supposed to attend a board meeting first thing, and my list grew from there. But it hurt, especially when I would breathe, and when I took my blood pressure it was higher than it should have been. My heart rate was strong and regular, which was good, but still...

I ended up calling Robert and asking him to come home and drive me to the ER. Tucker was able to go to a neighbors house until it was time to catch the bus and Sara came with us.

We got to the ER and they took me back immediately. My EKG's were normal so they moved me into a room and continued to try and figure out what was going on.

But the pain...oh my goodness! The pain. It would not go away, it would not ease up, and on top of that, my head started to pound which just made everything worse.

The nurse put in an IV, took a bunch of blood, and dosed me with some sort of pain killer and an anti-nausea medication. I also had to chew two baby aspirin which tasted absolutely no better that I remembered from my childhood. You'd think with all the improvements in medicine and technology that baby aspirin would taste better by now..especially since you aren't allowed to actually give aspirin to babies anymore.

I don't know if I was unknowingly participating in some sort of medication study in which some patients receive a placebo, but whatever pain medication she gave me didn't do a thing for my pain level. If anything, it got worse. After about an hour, the nurse gave me a Vicodin pill.

When that didn't help, they nurse finally gave me a shot of something. I think she said it was dolophine. But I don't really remember because about two seconds after she pushed that plunger into my IV, I was floating. I was flying. I was...high. And I mean, never having been a drug user, I never understood what people were talking about when they talked about the rush.

I get it now.

I had to get a chest x-ray almost immediately after getting high the dolophine, so all I remember is the pain easing up significantly by the time Walter wheeled me into the x-ray room about 45 seconds later.

It took all my restraint not to shout WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! as Walter, the x-ray guy, rolled me back to the room.

And let me just tell you, it was fun to color when I was high. Even with Sara, who is notoriously controlling and obnoxious about sharing crayons.

About 30 minutes later, the doctor came in and said that by process of elimination the problem was most likely that the the lining of my lungs was swollen and/or inflamed and causing the pain.According to Dr. G, my lungs were clear on the x-ray and my heart health was excellent. I was sent home with an anti-inflammatory to take for three days and a prescription for Vicodin that was so strong that the base pharmacy doesn't even stock it.

I have a follow up with my cardiologist on Thursday and until then I can't do anything strenuous. Which sucks because I missed Zumba tonight.

But I'm going to bed early....because I got high.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Motivation Monday - Free* Week 5, Day 1

Heeeeeeey! Hoooooooooooo! It's Monday again.

I worked out six days last week, most days I worked out twice a day. I went to five Zumba classes and honestly? I've never been happier or felt more fit. And that's saying a lot because parts of last week were really crappy.

I jogged up three flights of stairs to an appointment last Monday and expected to be out of breath at the top. I was not. I would have jumped up and down for joy, but I wasn't in the sort of place where that would have been the best idea. Inside I was doing the Balkian Dance of Joy, though.

Then, last week a former manager of mine posted on Facebook that she's starting a fitness challenge on January 1st and is looking for five people to join her.

I. am. in!

I am now all registered and ready to go as soon and Robert takes my 'before' pictures. Entering this challenge/contest gives me the chance to win up to $100, I'm going to do everything I can to increase my chances. I also think I will find it easier to stay on track since I'll be accountable to my team.

Even without the fitness challenge, I'm now entering week five of Free*. I've had several people comment that I look smaller. And while that's great, feeling better has been a much better reward. Much, much better. Maybe even better than Cheesecake Factory red velvet cheesecake.

No, not maybe. Definitely. Def-def-def-def-definitely.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's all about the Kool-Aid.

Christmas card time, since we've had kids, has traditionally included a photo card. The easy part is sending out the cards. The hard part is getting the kids into cooperative picture mode.

For day-to-day pictures, they are generally pretty cooperative. Of course, with day-to-day pictures I'm not ordering them about like a drill sergeant or being particular on where they stand or what they wear.

For a potential Christmas card picture, sometimes the best way to show off our festive holiday spirit is to declare a tiny little war.

Well, okay, maybe not war...maybe just the smallest, tiniest of standoffs about something random and surprising.

In today's case it was over changing his shirt. When Tucker got dressed this morning (we hadn't sprung the whole picture thing on the kids yet because we decided it really late last night) he put on navy sweatpants, a red Mario Bros. shirt, and a black Wake Forest sweatshirt.

I should have left well enough alone, but noooooooooooo..........

I asked him to change into dark grey pants and a cream colored top. He changed his pants with no problem, but apparently the shirt I asked him to wear was made of bumblebees because he freaked out and refused. Robert was upstairs with him during most of the hoopla, so all I heard was Robert raising his voice, and Tucker's stomping around and yelling, "NO!" and then the crying.

Good Lord, the crying. Sigh.

I hear Robert tell Tucker that he can't be in the picture if he didn't stop it. It, of course, being acting like a maniac about putting on a beige shirt. I stifled a giggle because if Tucker was throwing a fit about changing clothes, the LAST thing he cared about was whether or not he was in the picture.

I finally called upstairs and told Robert it was okay if Tucker didn't want to be in the pictures. No point in forcing the issue when he was so upset. Worst case scenario, I'd just use a picture I already had of Tucker.

Within 20 minutes of Robert, Sara, and I taking pictures, Tucker came thumping down the stairs, intent on being a big ol' spoilsport.

Turns out the entire problem was that he wanted to wear his purple Kool-Aid shirt. In the scheme of things, I could care less what he wears for the most part. If he had said he wanted to wear that particular shirt to begin with, we could have negotiated...most of the pics in his clothing choices and hopefully some of the pics in ours. Not that big of a deal. Instead, there was a whole lot of this:
Some of this:

And finally a wardrobe change and this:
All's well that ends well, right? I'll scan and post the Christmas card I created when we get them.

Good times, people. Good times.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time's a Wastin'

Robert got deployment orders about two weeks ago.Time is in a flat out sprint towards d-day and I'm not ready for him to go.

He on the other hand has probably been too busy to think about it too much. Plus dwelling on such things isn't really his style.  It's one of the things I admire about him - that ability to just accept and deal with news.

Last week he came home and told me that several people in his area are getting PCS orders for short tours to Korea, and some of them have been here for less time than we've been here.

I have no desire to go to Korea, and even if I wanted to go, we'd have to request an extended tour there which would mean two years instead of one. Worst case scenario, Robert will deploy and then end up in Korea for a year after his deployment ends, which means he'll be gone for close to two years.

Obviously, I'm not a big fan of this possibility. But if it happens, then it happens and we'll make the best of it. I am confident in our marriage and we've been apart for extended periods off and on since we've been together. My main concern is about the kids and how they'll handle it.

We've talked to the kids about it, but Sara is already showing some stress over the changes to come. Between the dependable friends I've made here and the school being very aware and in tune to deployments and associated effects on kids, I know that there will be a lot of support available.

I signed up for this life knowing the possibilities, so I'm actually doing okay with this. Of course it helps me that both kids are older, potty trained, and we live in an English speaking country where I can get to family if I have to.

Therefore, my focus is on the kids. Tucker had a really, really hard time with Robert's last deployment, and while he seems okay so far, Robert's still here and any effect on Tucker won't show up until after he's gone. My plan is to keep the kids (and myself) busy. I'm grateful this is beginning during the school year. I think it would be more difficult in the summer. Hopefully by the time summer rolls around, we'll all be in the groove and the transition will be smooth.

We'll see.

Meanwhile, the click is ticking and I'm trying not to obsess over it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Give an inch and be pushed a mile

I may have to re-think this whole niceness thing.

And by re-think it, I mean it may have to be earned rather than freely given.

Here's why.

On Tuesday, I had volunteered for an actual shift at the Y in the child care room. The difference (to me) in offering to volunteer versus volunteer for a shift is simple. If I'm working an actual shift, I need to go in at a certain time and stay until a certain time. When I just volunteer, I show up and stay if they need me and leave when they don't.

I was supposed to work 4 - 8, but a friend of mine wanted to go to Zumba at a different Y that night. I told her that I'd try to get someone to take over that last hour for me, but I couldn't guarantee it.

Because I really, really wanted to go to Zumba as well, I offered a co-worker some money to work for me. I've heard her talking about how much she needs money lately and I thought it would be a win-win situation. She'd earn some extra money, I'd have my shift covered, and I'd get to go to Zumba. I guess in that way it was a win-win-win.

She wanted to think about it, which is understandable and agreed to do it at the last minute. I went to call my friend to tell her we were clear to Zumba, only to find out she had texted me earlier to cancel. She constantly cancels on me, so I wasn't surprised.

So then I wavered a bit about whether or not to go. My co-worker in all honesty obviously wanted the money but didn't really want to work that extra hour. By this point it was about 10 after 7, and I needed to book it if I was going to make it, so I asked her to make a final decision. She said she'd do it.

I left and booked it to Zumba.

The next morning, I went in to workout and to give her the money I owed her. The manager asked me about it because she heard me offer money to complete my shift the night before and I told her that yes, I'd offered the money and that my offer had been accepted. Her comment? I shouldn't feel obligated to pay her because she got paid for staying anyway.

Perhaps, but I offered and I was going to follow through. The co-worker heard this conversation and said she didn't want the money because we were friends and she didn't feel right about it.  I asked if she was sure and offered again. Her reply? She didn't want to take my money and she didn't want to get in trouble.

Alrighty then. Works for me.

Today, I went to the Y to workout, as usual. The childcare center was busy, so I helped out for a bit before I worked out. When I finished my workout, Sara was helping decorate the Christmas tree in the lobby so we hung around for a little while longer.

When I got in my car, I checked my phone since I rarely take it into the Y with me. I had a voicemail and a text from the co-worker.

She asked me for the money and wanted me to put in her bank account for her because she'd written a check that was going to bounce if I didn't.



I took umbrage over this.

1) I don't want to know anything about her bank account, especially the account number. That's just foolish and asking for trouble.
2) I showed up, money in hand, and offered it to her. Twice. She said no. Twice. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
3) I am not, now or ever, going to run errands for her. I have plenty of my own stuff that's not getting done because of my volunteer commitments right now.
4) On general principle? Girrrrrrrl, please! Do not EVEN try to make me feel guilty because that's just going to backfire. I may be too nice sometimes, but I'm generally not too stupid.
5) Don't write checks your account can't cover and especially don't tell me you only have $124 in your bank account, agree to work for me for a specific amount of money, then refuse the money (twice!!), then call and ask for the money and sing me a sad little tune about the possibility of a bounced check if I don't go put money in your account for you. I pay way more attention than you obviously think I do.

Hello. Good morning and welcome to the Judgemental Show. I'll be your host today. Whee!

I went home and got Sara sent off to pre-K. During which, I thought and thought and thought about this. Then I called Robert and expressed my irritation over this whole ordeal. I do realize that I had quite the hand in creating this, so I'm just as much to blame as anyone else. Lesson learned.

So here's what I decided.  I needed to go to the post office and do a few other things so I could easily swing by and leave the money for her at the Y. After all, I did offer her the money and was absolutely prepared to follow through. However, I'd be subtracting the $5 she borrowed from the amount I offered her because I'm pretty doggone sure I'll never get it back otherwise. And yes, she did ask for the whole amount. I'd then text her and let her know where (and how much) the money was and everything else was up to her.

I dropped off the money at the Y, went back to my car to text her, saw that she had phoned and left me another message. Since I hadn't listened to the first one yet, I listened to both of them.

To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman..."Big mistake. Big. Huge." listening to the messages, that's when I realized she wasn't asking me to go to the bank for her, she was EXPECTING it. By 4pm.

As if.

I wisely tried to busy myself because I was really, really, really irritated.  After I ran a few errands, I texted her letting her know that I left her the money minus the five she already borrowed at the Y and that I wasn't comfortable having her bank account number, I wish she had just accepted the money the day before, and that I didn't have time to go to the bank for her today.

And that was as nice as I could manage to be about it.

She texted back a few minutes later, but there's no need to go there. This post is long enough already.

And when she calls me next week and asks me to work for her? I'll be politely saying no.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Free* - Week 4, Day 3 (and other stuff)

My entire body is achy. Given my grueling workouts for the last three or four weeks, I'm not too surprised.

My legs ache. I've developed calluses on the ends of most of my toes, and cracked one of my toenails (no idea how that happened, but man was it painful!). My lower back is a mess. My abs make themselves known whenever I breathe or move.

I love it. Not the pain, but the evidence of my hard work.

I love that my body is responding more quickly now when I want it to do something and that I can see improvement every week in my cardiovascular fitness. My resting pulse rate at the moment is 62. Two months ago it was 85, although some of that was from extremely low iron levels.

Today on the elliptical, I made it 2.5 miles in 21:50. I was thrilled. Then I hit the bike and finished my 10K in 29:02. Then I did 100 sit ups.

A former boss of mine issued a challenge on Facebook to join her on January 1 as part of her team on I'm in!

With Robert leaving soon, I want to get it in high gear so that when he comes back, I'll be on the same level of fitness that he is (or at least close) and we can continue to set good examples for the kids and to keep ourselves healthy and happy.

I'm excited to join Vicky's team and to have some excellent support and guidance along the way.

If you'd like more information, let me know. If not, prepare to be wowed by next October because that's when I reveal the new, improved, healthier me. However, and I'm counting on you for this, if I ever say I want to run a marathon, smack some sense into me. Walk a marathon? Sure. But not run. Doctor's orders.

Paper avalanche

This house?

This house is over run with paperwork. It's astounding.

Between the mail we receive, Sara's coloring habit, and Tucker's bring-a-tree's-worth-of-papers-home-every-day, piles and piles of it stack up. Everywhere.

I try to keep a handle on it, really I do, but some days I just feel buried. Today was one of those days. Yesterday, I did the initial sort - keep versus recycle or shred. Today I re-sorted into more manageable piles and even got some filing done.

Then I came home from volunteering at the Y and then going to Zumba to a kitchen table full of more paper.

It never seems to end. Even though I keep it fairly organized, I feel overwhelmed at times with how much paper we seem to need. Medical records, military records, tax records, school records, bills, bank and credit card statements...even when it's completely organized, it just seems like the papers multiply in the folders when we aren't looking.

If the house ever catches on fire and the room with filing cabinet goes up in flames, the fire department may as well put down the hose, and make some s'mores or something, because that will be pretty doggone close to a lost cause. Or one heck of a weenie roast. Either way.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Motivation Monday - Free* - Week Four, Day 1

I had another doctor's appointment today and was pleased that my weight over Thanksgiving stayed pretty much the same. I was up less than a pound, and I am absolutely okay with that!

Last week I kicked butt with workouts. My 10K bike time is just under 30 minutes, my 8 lap swim so far is just around 20 minutes. If I were able to use the elliptical instead of the treadmill, I could ring in a 2.5 mile time at around 23:20. On the treadmill, my best 2.5 mile time has been about 43 minutes, but I have until almost the end of February to improve that - and all my times. I can work with that. I'm doing back to back workouts - swim and bike, swim and treadmill, or bike and treadmill. I want to get used to the distances and having to switch between the pool, the bike, and the treadmill.

I'm also diving back into P90X weight lifting. I only have one word for that - ouch! But in a good way.

On top of all that training, I'm doing Zumba as many times a week as I can - averaging about four. I'm not sure I'll be able to continue 7:30 Zumba once Robert deploys, so I want to get in as much of it as possible right now.

I was stressed last week about not getting in enough workout time, but I managed to work out Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Not bad for a holiday week and a trip out of town over the weekend. I was actually even grumpy on Wednesday thinking I might not get a chance to workout Friday through Sunday, but we made it work.

Which, really, is what you do when something is important enough to you. You make it work.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The one where I remember I have a blog and actually post something

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mom and Richard came up from North Carolina. We passed on the cooking this year, the kids don't care too much for the big Thanksgiving feast as of yet and I didn't want to deal with more leftovers than we could eat. So we hauled ourselves to the Club on base.

It was beyond good. The traditional feast foods were there, but there were also lots of healthy choices as well. Sara, who woke up around 4 am throwing up, was okay by the time we ate. She nibbled on some fruit and pasta and was fine afterwards. Robert and I really think she may have a serious case of acid reflux. Getting the doctor to take us seriously is going to be a challenge. But what's new or different about that?

I braved Black Friday by standing outside in some wicked wind in front of Target and managed to get everything I went there for without buying stuff I didn't plan to buy. Kudos to Target for having a sensible plan for dealing with crowd control. I also thanked the employees I saw profusely for working at that unseemly hour. I know it probably didn't help, but I wanted them to know that they were appreciated.

Friday morning, Robert and I took turns working out, then we headed down to Clarksville to see his Mom and Dad. Saturday was an incredibly beautiful day. We took the kids to Chuck E Cheese for a bit and then hung out with Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle George. The kids behaved for the most part and the we made it back home today in time for me to make Zumba...only Zumba was cancelled. I consoled myself with a jaunt on the infernal treadmill (now walking comfortably at 3.6 mph wooooooooo), shoulder and arms P90X workout, and 100 sit-ups.

Then we put up the Christmas tree. Before we left Germany, we bought a pre-lit tree. I love that tree because I intensely dislike dealing with Christmas lights. When we (and by we I mean Robert since I was upstairs overseeing Sara's bath) put up the tree, the top section of lights wasn't working. Robert, God bless him, tried hard to figure out why those lights weren't working. I offered to take off the lights and wind a new strand around that section of tree.

Guess what? Pre-lit trees have the lights alternately zip tied and clipped to the branches. That was a bit of a bummer to discover. And a challenge to undo. But I eventually prevailed and now our tree is evenly lit and beautiful. The kids did most of the decorating, which was hilarious because, bless their little OCD hearts, they put all the bells on one branch, all the stars on one section, all the Santas in one get the idea. It was pretty awesome, truth be told. We just evened it out a little so the tree wouldn't tip over.

Tomorrow will be the first full week of school for the kids since the beginning of November. Christmas is in less than a month. We've been here for two years now. It's a crazy paced life these days.

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful Anyway

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People need help but will attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
*Kent Keith originated this poem in 1968, and Mother Teresa placed it on her children's home in Calcutta in a slightly different version. As a result, many have attributed it to Mother Teresa.

Sara came into our bedroom around 4 am this morning complaining that her neck hurt. I settled her into bed with us and was drifting off to sleep when I heard it....the cough that I can't describe but know even in a dead sleep means she's going to be throwing up in less than three seconds. 

I jump out of bed and fling the covers back and away from both of us. The thing about Sara needing to vomit is that she doesn't care to do it in the bathroom and will fight you when you try to get her anywhere that doesn't have carpet, a bedspread, some other type of absorbent material. 

Robert, hearing me jump at the sound of her cough, jumps up too - likely because I've scared him half to death what with the flinging of the blankets and sudden movements. He picks Sara up, carries her into the bathroom where she starts screaming bloody murder, and stays with her while she empties her stomach. The bathroom is barely big enough for the two of them, so I lurk in the doorway trying not to breathe too deeply. 

We get her cleaned up, changed, and settled on the floor of our bedroom where she falls asleep almost immediately. 

Interestingly enough, if one eats ice cream with blue sprinkles on it at dinner and then succumbs to a stomach virus, everything you throw up will be bright blue. 

I'm not cooking Thanksgiving this year, Mom and Richard are here and we are going to the Club for lunch. Since Sara was all in my face yesterday, I'm curious how long it will be before I'm sick and whether or not Robert and Tucker will be sick too. 

Do we dare eat at the club knowing that we might all be sick later?  Luckily we have a few hours to decide.  


But today, especially today, I'm thankful anyway. 

My family will be together this Thanksgiving. 
For the most part, we are all happy and healthy. 
We can decide whether or not we want to make and/or eat Thanksgiving dinner. 
Either way, we will have the luxury of full stomachs, clean drinking water, reliable transportation, and the freedom to announce our opinion about any or all of it. We have a roof over our heads, heat or air conditioning at will, beds to sleep in, clothes to wear, shoes for our feet, coats if it's cold, access to health care 24 hours a day. 

Thanksgiving or not, there is so much to be thankful for. 
Even if there weren't, I could happily be thankful anyway because I am surrounded by people that I love and who love me. 

I guess what I really am is thankful and grateful. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It was a stressful day.

We got off to a late start. The child care room at the Y was packed, so I stayed and helped for a while instead of working out right away. When things calmed down, I went to work out. I had been on the treadmill less than 10 minutes before one of the employees from the child care room came to talk to me.

There was a dispute between Tucker and her son about a DS game. It was a passionate and tearful thing, that dispute, and we still aren't sure which kid the game really belongs to. But we'll figure all that out later. Somehow.

My morning workout and the 11:30 Zumba class I was hoping to make got shelved.


Came home, fixed lunch, started on laundry. We create SO much laundry.

Mom and Richard were hanging at our house, then Robert got to come home from work early. (Which was awesome!) I suggested he and I go workout, which was okay with everyone, but I needed to run to the commissary first.  I SO did not want to go to the commissary today because it was going to be a madhouse. But we really, really needed milk so off I went.

It was less crowded than I expected. Hooray! I found coupons for lots of the stuff I went there to buy. Double hooray!

I go to the checkout line and handed over my coupons.

And that's where I learned that I apparently cannot read.

The spreadable cheese Mom likes (the kids and I love it too) that had a coupon for $1.00 off? Was for two containers. How many did I pick up? One. Neither me or my thighs wanted two containers of spreadable cheese. Especially since I have that huge box of delicious crackers left over from Tucker's birthday.

The coupon for cream cheese for buy two get one free had me drooling thinking about making pumpkin muffins with cream cheese icing.  Except that it was buy two cream cheese and get a COOKING creme free.


Now, had the cashier pointed any of that out before she rang me up - and she could have since I saw her sorting the coupons - I would have turned six shades of embarrassment red, and not purchased the spreadable cheddar or the cream cheese. Normally I would have dashed back to get the correct items and numbers, but it was busy and not fair to make the people in line behind me wait because of my error.

However, the cashier didn't enlighten me on any of this until after she rang me up and was asking for payment. So while I guess I should have asked her to void the items that seemed like good ideas with coupons, I was too frazzled to think that clearly at the time. It didn't really help that she used a tone of voice that suggested that I did this on purpose. Sorry, Grump-a-lina, I'm just in a hurry, not trying to dupe you or steal anything.

Besides, I had all of 19 items total. Five of which were yogurt. If I were trying to get something by her, I sure was being foolish about it.

Know what I mean, Vern?!?

At this point, I just wanted out of there. I swiped my card while apologizing profusely for not reading the coupons more carefully. She just arched an eyebrow and gave me the Cameron Diaz "uh-huh, whatEVER" look. So it wasn't until she was handing me the receipt that I realized I had no cash to tip the bagger.


I felt horrible, but I wasn't about to take on Grump-a-lina again, nor was I going back through the store and/or line to buy anything else in order to get cash.

I made the best decision I could under the circumstances. I told the bagger I'd take the bags out myself. I mean, she still ended up getting gypped  for bagging all 19 items, but at least I didn't make her walk all the way out to the car and THEN not tip her. I even explained that I forgot to get cash back, at which point the cashier snorted and I wished very hard for a black hole to open in the floor and swallow me up.

The bagger was unimpressed and said loudly, "SO YOU WANT ME TO PUT THE BAGS BACK IN YOUR CART SO YOU CAN TAKE THEM OUT YOURSELF?!?"

"Yes, please" was all I could think of to say.  And I snagged a few to help her. Then I bolted.

When I got to the car, I started to put the bags in when I noticed for the first time that to only have 19 items, the bagger sure had used a lot of bags. Then I combined the seven bags she thought I needed into three.


I read on CinCHouse a few years ago that the suggested tip for baggers is $1 per bag. I tend to tip a percentage of what I purchase and give a little more if I have bulky stuff or lots of little stuff. Methinks a certain bagger read that little tidbit too and was taking advantage of the situation.

Not my best commissary experience.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm on Twitter now, but I don't think that means anything

I finally signed up for a twitter account.


I'm sure I'll grow to love it just like Facebook, but right now that big old "0" under followers is mocking me. I mean, I'm already used to the fact that no one really listens to me. It might help if I didn't talk, blog, or over analyze so doggone much.

But I'm there. If I can get it to work on my phone, which apparently does NOT think I should be twitter-ing, then I'll update way more often than I do now and way more often than I update Facebook because isn't that what Twitter is for?

I'm hoping if I tweet my awesome blog ideas, I'll actually 1) remember them later and write about them and 2) and....I forget the other reason. Yeah. This is going to go well.

A huge bonus? Henry Rollins is on Twitter, but he doesn't seem to tweet much. E Online, on the other hand seems to have a tweet every 30 minutes. C'est la vie, non?

Anywho... please consider following me on Twitter @dailydoseofdahl. And if you can figure out how to convince my phone that I do indeed have a Twitter account, lemme know!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Motivation Monday - Free* - Week 3, Day 1

Down three more pounds for a total loss of 15!

I am beyond excited!

I worked out six days last week for at least an hour and a half. Went to four Zumba classes as well. I feel better than I've felt in a really long time. I jogged a quarter of a mile on the treadmill three days in a row and was still able to breathe when I slowed down. I'm walking comfortably at a pace of 3.5 mph. I took the fit test on the elliptical and my score was above average. ABOVE AVERAGE people. This time last year, I was thrilled to get a poor because it meant I hadn't failed.

Then Dad told me on Thursday that he's lost 100 pounds. If none of the stuff in the above paragraph motivated me, that excellent news from my dad sure did.

I can do this. I am going to do this. Sunday I started training for the mini triathlon in February. It's an eight lap swim, 2.5 mile run, and a 10K bike ride. My goal for this year is to finish. My goal for next year is to post competitive times with the other participants.

After that, who knows? The sky's the limit!

I'm behind. What else is new?

So! Thursday was my birthday and it started off really well. Sara came into the bedroom and wished me Happy Birthday first thing that morning. Then she proceed to tell everyone we saw that it was my birthday: the people at the Y, her teacher at the parent teacher conference, the staff at the eye doctor's really was cute.

The deal in our house is that the birthday person gets to choose the kind of cake they want and what they want for dinner. I really wanted Jersey Mike's, but the kids aren't really sub kinds of people. It's more important to me that we spend (hopefully peaceful) time as family over where we eat. So I threw out some suggestions to Robert that the kids just so happened to overhear.

I'm not sure what happened next, exactly, but I can tell you it involved BOTH kids throwing teary fits over not being able to make the choice of where we ate for dinner.

It hurt my feelings.

It also made me question my parenting skills. I'm raising these ungrateful, unkind little creatures? Yikes!

Robert made them apologize and I had to rub a little salt in everyone's wound by asking the kids if they were apologizing so that I'd say they could have cake. They had to rub a little salt in everyone's wounds by saying yes and then both collapsing into piles of pitiful, angry, weeping child-like lumps on my floor because I wouldn't give the okay to have birthday cake.

So I went to Zumba instead. And I immediately felt better.

But I haven't felt like blogging much since then.

So now I'm behind.

What else is new?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free* - Week 2, Day 3

On Sunday, Robert and I had a row-off at the gym.

A row-off, just in case you were wondering, is where you race each other on rowing machines that are connected wirelessly.

I lost. By about 45 meters in a one thousand meter race.

But really, considering how fit Robert is, I think I did pretty well. Especially since that was after we hit the treadmill.

I had done a 2,000 meter rowing workout on Saturday, so when I woke up on Monday my back was stiff. I worked out anyway and then went to Zumba that afternoon. So I was really, really sore on Tuesday.

I finally gave in and took some Tylenol on Tuesday night before bed.

Best. Night's. Sleep. Ever.

I didn't make it to the gym today and I really missed going. My back, however. was eternally grateful.

Here's how you play THIS game

Hey! Fellow parents of students at my kids' school - a word or two of advice:

The drop off/pick up lane is actually for dropping off or picking up. Shocking, I know.

It is not for parking, exiting your vehicle, and opening the door for your child (who, frankly, is more than old enough to unbuckle their seat belt, open the door, and climb out of the car all. by. themselves.).

That's what the parking spaces are for.

Yes, Ms. Tahoe and Ms. Element, I'm talking to you.

Free* - Week 2, Day 2

Let's talk about truth.

It seems so absolute. Either you are telling the truth, or you aren't. Black or white, right?

Then the gray rolls in...because my truth may not be the same as your truth, and that I believe is known as perspective. It doesn't make my truth (or yours) any less true, either.

So here are my truths at the moment:

I've been actively trying to get off this extra weight for a little over two years now.

It sucks just as much today as it did two years ago.

Deep down, I'm afraid to succeed with this. I've never really been thin. On the overweight side of average, sure. But that brought me quite a bit of unwanted attention. Long story.

I know who I am within a certain weight range, but I have no idea who I'll be as a thin person. What if I totally suck?

I don't think that the me I see in the mirror is the me other people see when they look at me. I don't know how to fix that.

Food has been a much better friend to me than people over the years. That, as it turns out, is going to be next to impossible to let go.

You know that saying, 'Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." Anyone that says that has never had 1) my husband's steak 2) red velvet cheesecake from the cheesecake factory 3) Dad's spicy cheese dip.
For real, people.

That other saying, "you have to do it for you" is probably the truest thing (at least from my perspective) I've ever heard, no matter what the subject.

I'm seriously considering applying for The Biggest Loser. If Bob Harper can't kick this weight off my tushie, then it's not meant to leave.

At least once a day I wish that someone would develop a pill I could take that would provide my complete nutritional requirements so that as a food addict I would not constantly have to face the source of my addictions.

What are your truths?


When I was much younger and well before I had kids, I would get upset with my mom and say, "When I have kids...." followed by some dramatic declaration such as "....I'm going to let them stay up as late as they want!"

Clearly, my obvious lack of knowledge and experience is what kept her from laughing until she cried. Clearly.

This morning as we were leaving for school, Sara got upset because I wouldn't put her shoes on for her.

Because I'm in the running again for Mom of the Year, I calmly and logically pointed out that when she was a baby, I would put her shoes on and then she would take them off. I would put her shoes on and she would take them off. The way I figure it, I put her shoes on (if we are basing this on a once a day table) for the equivalent of six and a half years. Since she's been able to put on shoes since she was two, there's no reason that a normal fully functional four year old can't put on her own shoes, even if she needs help tying them.

It made sense to me. To Sara, not so much.

It was a rough morning until she got to school, and then she forgot all about my refusal to be her shoe butler.

When I picked her up, her teacher told me that they made dough in class today and that Sara was a pro at it. Why, she didn't need any help at all.

Hmmm. ::stroking my chin:: Interesting. Very interesting.

On the way to the car, her shoe came untied. She told me to tie her shoe. (Uh, as if!)

We had the ask versus demand talk. Again.

Then she asked me to tie her shoe. I asked her to wait until I got to the car so I could put down all of her stuff I was carrying and then I would tie her shoe.

It made sense to me. To Sara, not so much.

In a fit of anger, she kicked out her foot, her shoe flew off and struck the side of my car leaving a nice little imprint that I don't have the heart to check out and see if it's an actual scratch.

"When I have kids, they'll never have temper tantrums because they'll know I'm awesome!"

Stop laughing, Mom.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Motivation Monday/Free* - Week 2, Day 1

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

I feel better than I've felt in months, maybe even in years. I worked out hard last week. I ate well. I got a decent amount of sleep. I drank mostly water. I worked really hard on letting things go. Especially those things that just don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

It's amazing how many of those there are.

Oh yeah, and I lost 12 pounds as of Saturday morning. ::Happy dance!::

When I weighed this morning, I was up two pounds from Saturday. I'll still take it!

I'm happy with any weight loss, but weight loss that combines with noticeable cardiovascular improvement? Well, that's like winning the healthy living lottery.

Today on the treadmill I trotted/jogged a quarter of a mile. Without stopping or slowing down. This is huge for me. Especially since two months ago, I was having trouble walking on the treadmill at 2.5 mph.

I am definitely motivated and on my way to shedding the rest of this weight.

Free* - Week 1, Day 7

My last trip to the library, I checked out 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life.

I haven't finished it yet.

I love the idea of it, but in all likelihood I should just buy the book. It's just not the kind of book I can just breeze right through, which is one of the things I like most about it so far.

Sara came home from bible study a few weeks ago having been introduced to the term compassion. She'll say, "Com-pash-ion. Cooooooooom-passsssssshhhhhhh-ion. Mommy, is that a big word?"

Bigger than she has any idea about, even though she hasn't asked me what it means yet.

I want to live a compassionate life.

I'm going to need some help with that, especially in crowded parking lots were all compassion deserts me.

One of the things I need to work on most is forgiveness. I think compassion and forgiveness make excellent partners, but they are a tough combination to practice. It's way too easy to get wrapped up in the 'me' or 'I' of things: how that makes me feel, what I want, how that affects me..

I tried doing random acts of kindness for a while. The first couple weeks I was really into it, and then I started to run out of ideas and then I just lost steam altogether. But random acts of kindness aren't necessarily compassionate.

It's something to think about over the next six weeks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Free* - Week 1, Day 6

Today was one of those Saturdays that felt like a Sunday.

I made cupcakes this morning for a bake sale, dropped them off, then headed to the Y to work out.

While I was sweating and panting on the arc trainer, I was reading a Self magazine from last year. My attention was captured by an article about how to lose weight like a guy. Apparently, men are single minded and reward themselves for the small successes, and that's what women need to do instead of berating themselves for every little slip or worrying about every single calorie.

Which I guess is true, but I don't think congratulating myself every time I don't eat a cupcake is going to get me very far, mainly because then I'll be thinking about cupcakes even more than usual.

The article also mentioned that all the grunting men do in gyms is indicative of their hard work and that by adding strength training, especially the kind that makes you grunt with exertion you make the most of your workout and rev up your metabolism.

Now, I love me some weight training. I'm way better at it than cardio and it gives me more energy than anything else I do in the gym. But I'm positive that I can lift weights, even really heavy ones, without grunting or shouting. I'm pretty sure my metabolism will forgive me for that.  I'm positive my fellow gym goers will.

What the article did not mention is that lots of these grunting, weight lifting men are often lifting incorrectly - probably because the weight is too heavy. And if you are sacrificing form for pounds lifted, then I will not feel sorry for you when you drop a weight on  your toe or you injure yourself.

So perhaps working out like a guy will cause me to lose weight a little faster, but I'm totally fine with slower, safer, correct form, injury free girly workouts.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mission impossible

I started seeing a cardiologist around March of this year. The initial referral from Tricare gave me six visits.

Fair enough.

I had a follow up appointment in June. The doctors office called to reschedule me three times, so it was July by the time I actually got in to see him. The visit went fine, but it was my fifth visit. I was counting because I've learned that it's best to stay on top of such things. Especially since any error will likely be at our expense.

When Dr. V told me he wanted to see me in four months, I asked his receptionist if I needed to get another referral from Tricare before my next visit. She assured me three times I didn't. Three. Uno, dos, tres.

I had to run by his office and get a new prescription written this week. I did this on Wednesday.

Today I get a call confirming my appointment for next week. Almost as an afterthought, the receptionist tells me that, oh yeah, I'm going to need another referral from Tricare before I can keep my appointment.

Uh, really? Because when I asked about that FOUR MONTHS ago, there was an entirely different opinion.

I should mention that this call was on speaker in my car and the kids were in the back seat, listening intently because I was using my 'mommy voice' with someone other than them.

There was a bit of snippy back and forth and I rescheduled my appointment for next week because there is NO. WAY. that Tricare is going to get me a referral letter by Tuesday (nor should they have to).

Tricare is closed today by the way. Just to make things more fun.

Way to try and give me a heart attack, cardiologist's office.

Free* - Week 1, Day 5

Sometimes, you need to listen to your body and just do what it's telling you.

For me at the moment, that's to rest.

Happy Veterans Day, everyone.

Free* - week 1, day 4

Whoops. It will be past midnight when I post this, but it's been a busy day. I volunteered at the Y tonight and didn't get home until around 9. The hours between 9 and now somehow magically slipped away, as they often do.

So here I sit, trying to come up with something, anything to say in this post that I haven't said at some point before.

So I'm going to talk about volunteering.

Tonight someone asked me why I 'work for free'. I don't really see it that way. I've mentioned before that I do not want my kids to grow up with a misplaced sense of entitlement. It's a battle. The problem is that I'm both the cause and the solution.

I want to give my kids a good life. But what defines good? I've seen how giving a kid everything they want can backfire. Lucky for you, I'm not planning to go into details. You're welcome. :)

I want my kids to realize how lucky they are. We don't have to worry about a roof over our head, food to put in our belly, or how to pay for a doctor if we get sick. We have so many extras. So many, in fact, I'm not sure the kids even recognize any of it as extras.

Lately, the kids have developed a habit of asking, "Do I get something special?" whenever they've done well at something and Robert and I are praising them. While I firmly believe that my kids are wonderful kids and I want them to know that I think so, I don't want them to think that entitles them to stuff or dessert or whatever. But they wouldn't think so in the first place if I hadn't somehow planted the idea.

See my dilemma?

Which leads me back to volunteering. I hope that by being around all different types of kids - some well off, some not, and lots in between - that my kids will develop empathy and a sense of equality and the idea that everyone deserves to be treated as such. No matter what the differences in people, everyone deserves to be treated with respect, empathy, and kindness.

I hope that's what I'm showing them.

So no, I'm not 'working for free'. I hope what I'm doing is showing my kids that you can contribute and make a difference simply by being involved. And often, what you give is automatically paid back (times 1,000) in how it makes you feel and how it changes your own outlook.

At least, that's how volunteering has worked for me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You like me! You really like me!

Imagine my surprise when I checked my email this morning and saw that I'd been given an award! Rachel at Lala musings made at least my month and possibly even my year by sending me the Liebster Award.  Check out her blog at  and tell her I sent you!

I understand the Liebster is meant for newer blogs with fewer than 200 followers. Its intent is to give exposure to interesting up and coming bloggers, and there are rules:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Free* - Week 1, Day 3

I didn't get to work out today. I probably could have fit it in if I had pushed it, but honestly? I needed to take it slower today.

Interestingly enough, I felt guilty about not working out. I ate more than I should have today, but I have been hungry almost all day, and that's pretty unusual for me.  I didn't jump off the diet wagon even though the kids keep offering me candy from their Halloween baskets. I think I can smell the candy through the wrappers from 15 feet these days.

For dinner, I made chicken fajitas and made mine into a salad on a bed of baby spinach. I've never tried that before, but it was delish. And, since I have an entire bin of baby spinach to eat since my trip to the grocery store, I'm going to experiment with more dinner salads that way.

Can you tell I'm just a little fixated on food? It's not helping that every other commercial is about food. Thanks a lot Steak and Shake. Thanks a lot.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Free* - Week One, Day 2

I was thinking about what to write about today. Here's what I came up with...

Being healthy is about more than working out and eating right, although that's a huge part of it. For me, being truly healthy is going to involve developing a healthy relationship with food. A task that seems, at times, damn near impossible. 

Bad day? Have a cookie. Baking cupcakes? Gotta try at least one. Stressed out? Time for comfort food. And let's be honest, whose comfort food is tofu and a lettuce mix?

I've been telling myself for a year now that tomorrow I'll start a healthier eating plan and that I'll stop over eating.  And for over a year, I've failed myself on that. And then I feel guilty. And then I want to (and often do) turn to food to comfort me. 

It's sheer gluttony, really. So many people in the world dying of hunger or malnutrition and I throw out enough food in a year to feed quite a few of them well. 

So how to stop the cycle? 

Best guess? One day at a time. 

It's day two of both the Free* program at the Y and my new improved eating habits, attempt 47. At least. 

So far so good. I've stuck to the eating plan and I'm working out like a maniac. Which, truth be told, is helping me manage my urges to overeat, even though I think it's mostly because I'm too tired.

And that's gotta be at least a little more healthy than before, right?!?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Motivation Monday - Free*

On the workout front, I kicked booty last week, working out five of seven days. 

However, on the weight loss front, I did not kick booty. I was up three pounds from last week. Then again, I was eating everything in sight and then some. So it kind of figures. 

The YMCA's in this area just rolled out a new program called Free*. You earn points for working out, volunteering, etc. One of the ways to earn points is to journal about your journey. I'll be blogging about it for the next six weeks. I mean, hey, it's worth 30 points a day if I read the point grid correctly. I hope that by doing this, I can head back down the path I'm supposed to be traveling and getting myself back on track.  

For today, I've done a really good job. I'm doing a modified version of the Fat Smash Detox, allowing myself some protein every day and only following it for a week versus 10 days. After that, I switch back to the eating plan that always works for me (when I follow it) and I should have no trouble meeting my 20 pound weight loss goal by the end of the year. Well, 23 now. 

I also did an intense interval workout with Robert this morning (jogging and mountain climbers included, yo) and then I went to Zumba this afternoon. The indoor triathalon is in Feburary and I really want to be in good enough shape to finish it and post decent times. I was planning on going to a Zumba certification class in December, but when I went to register today, it was sold out. Bummer! So, I'll just have to catch the next one.