I couldn't resist.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Happy Halloween! This is our pumpkin. My husband did a good job carving. I, of course, had to clean the whole thing out. I did make toasted pumpkin seeds though and they are pretty tasty.
The Lady as a fairy. She forgot her wand at my husband's office so this isn't the full picture. I decided to forgo the crown, due to the fact that it would last a good three seconds on her head.
The Wild Man as a puppy.
If anybody wants to send some photos of their kids (or themselves) in their Halloween outfits, I would love to post them.
Just e-mail me the attachment at firstname.lastname@example.org, please provide a pseudonym for privacy or I will be forced to make one up.
However, I made a list of goals at the beginning of the year to try and accomplish. When I started this blog, the only thing crossed off that list was a new car for my husband. But since I have started I have been able to work towards at least three of those things, including getting off the baby pounds, building up my portfolio, and budgeting better. I figure if I am held accountable to myself (and to my readers) that I will kind of just have to make the time to write more. Will I blog as much this month? Maybe not, (or maybe I will try every distraction known to man to avoid the behemoth that is 50,000 words.) Will this be a good novel? No. It will be the bare bones of the novel I am working on. The novel that has about 75 pages and no direction, the novel that needs to be written from a different perspective and with a more defined plot. Will I finish this? I hope so. Rewriting for me is the easy part, so even if I have 45,000 words that stink hopefully I can build off that 5,000 that work and finally, finally, finally get this crossed off my list.
NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. Anybody out there game?
On Wednesday the Lady had her second flu shot. We sat happily in the waiting room for almost fifteen minutes for a fifteen second shot, followed by five full minutes of big fat tears. We usually go to story time on Wednesday to break up the day a bit, but we blew it off. I am kind of regretting that decision because the Lady only ended up taking a little over an hour nap for the entire day, threw baking and cooking utensils in the bathtub and to top it off ate pasta out of the garbage. The pasta thing was my bad. I had taken the garbage bag out of the pail and left it on the kitchen floor. I will tell you that the pasta was on the very top and had been made that day, so at least it wasn't old dirty pasta from the bottom of the bag.
I am worried about winter. If we are stuck in this house all day I don't think it will be good for either of us. Since, the money saving mom has opted out of her daily Dunkies run we don't even get that twenty minutes out in the morning anymore. Mom's Group--here we come.
Today is Halloween. The costume is finished and we are planning on getting the picture taken this afternoon. I will post photos later today. My husband and I are going to a little get together this evening sans the Lady. We have no idea what we are going to be. For the last three nights we have stayed up entirely too late talking about this. As of yesterday evening, we were going as the Super Mario Brothers. Yeah--I know. Apparently two guys at the hubby's office were going as that and he thought it would be easy. He was right it would be super easy if either one of us had overalls, white gloves, or mustaches.
I got a call from him from Party City this morning. They are out of overalls and hands. We may be going as the Spartan Cheerleaders from SNL. I will post those photos too.
I am just waiting for this morning to end. The Lady got up a full hour early and proceeded to crank pants her way through the day. Granted, one of her molars just poked through so she is probably uncomfortable, but that is no reason for her to pull a poo diaper out from underneath her while I am trying to change her and toss it backwards over her head, then in my attempt to gather all the goods, toddle out of her room nudie and pee on the living room floor.
Oh, the daily disasters.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Speaking of Heba, all I can say is SHUT YOUR MOUTH! The drama that follows that girl around is ridiculous and Phil was right, she tries to mug it up for the camera. Did you see her run up on the stage when Brady dropped that 13lbs? Stop being a camera whore and stop talking. When she confronted Phil in the dining room and started saying that he was saying hateful things about her, which she would never say about him, and then called him a sneaky snake in the grass, I thought that was a little hypocritical. She also tries to profess that the show is about being healthy and losing weight, when she has clearly aligned herself with a couple intent on playing the game to their best ability. Oh, I can't wait until she gets kicked off or confronted.
Phil--you screwed yourself. You should have opened your mouth the week of the temptation challenge and you never would have been separated from your beloved Amy. Then, you should have closed your mouth before saying anything to Brady. Also, you might try growing a pair, because even though I am still routing for you and Amy, you seem a bit weak. I will admit you do look 10 years younger with your head shaved and your super trendy goatee. Good luck to you.
Stay tuned, next week looks good.
Also, Oprah is doing a show on the Biggest Loser tomorrow--set your DVR/Tivo and we will see how past contestants look today.
I fell hard off the food journal wagon this weekend, but pizza and beers are so yummy! I am still trying to get to 25-30 minutes of running in a row by the end of this week. I got to 18 yesterday and am hoping to add 2-3 minutes per day so by November 1st I will be able to run at a consistant pace for at least three miles. Race day is fast approaching and I just want to be prepared.
Here is the link to his blog http://nocynicsallowed.wordpress.com/
Check it out if you get a chance. I also linked to it in the "Things I Like" section of my blog for easy access.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Just wanted to post the link to the Consumer Product Safety Commision for those of you who don't already have it. You can sign up for e-mail updates for anything related to baby products or toys. It is a good mom resource. I am also posting a link to a product liability blog--just in case you have nothing else to do with your day.
We have a busy weekend planned. The Lady and I are on our way up to New London for a weekend with my favorite girls and their assorted brood. We are waiting to hear about the sex of the baby in Bunny's Mom's belly. Think pink everyone!
I am then leaving the Lady with the Wild Man and coming back down for a wedding on Saturday night. I scoured my closet for something to wear that not only fit but was fall wedding appropriate and found nothing. However, a few pairs of old pants now fit, which is good because I can now wear more then just sweatpants and my stretch jeans. I didn't want to go out and buy something new for the wedding because I am trying to be the money saving mom and because in all actuality I will probably not wear the dress again this year. It soon became apparent that I needed something so I headed out to the mall. I hit Ann Taylor Loft and found a dress that ended up being $12.65. It isn't super fancy but I am going to dress it up with some pearls and a nice shoe.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The rain cover I have fits my regular stroller, we walk with the jogger because there are bumpy sidewalks and it is fully assembled and waiting for us in the garage. I figured I would just wing it and make do with what we had. The minute I put that thing over the stroller the Lady lost it. She was scared and started crying those big tears that just roll down her face and stop in the middle of her cheeks and stay there for like ten minutes after she has stopped crying. I made some faces at her through the baby bubble, wrapped her tight in a blanket and we took off.
The bubble baby and I made it to Barnes and Noble and this week the place was packed. There had to be at least twenty kids. The Lady stayed in the stroller at first, to avoid knocking down smaller children while pretending she was a pachyderm. The girl reading this week was much better than the woman last week, although I was highly distracted by her boob salad. I mean this woman works in the kids section and to say it was sloppy would be an understatement. Anyway, she read a wide variety of Halloween books and when it was done the Lady and I stayed around and read some books and guess what? A mom talked to me.
I was super surprised. Granted she was European so maybe she has better mom manners then some of the other ladies I saw today. She introduced me to her son (but like in other situations we never introduced ourselves to each other) and even though she was very nice I think she kind of insulted me when I told her how old the Lady was. Like most people she said something like "oh wow, she is so big" then I said something like my husband is tall blah, blah, blah. Then she asked if she was my first because according to her, most first born kids are usually much smaller then those down the line. I mean what do you say to that? I have to disagree. She is my first born but look at her, it is so obvious she is a giant baby and all the rest of them will be, according to you, even more ginourmous. Why genetics? Why? Or you could just smile and nod, which is what I usually do.
I will admit that the Lady is tall. There was a little girl who was saying sentences who was about the same size the Lady was at eight months. But I am not going to worry about it, she is who she is.
So we finally leave B&N. I even made a concerted effort to stop and say goodbye to the European momma before we left. On the way home the wind picked up and whipped off my rain cover. It blew into the busy road we were walking along and I watched helplessly as three cars ran it over. I wasn't sure what to do. I tried to chase it into the street but I didn't want to leave the Lady (who had already pulled off her hat), or get hit by a car. A woman walking by feigned interest but really had nothing for me. The Lady just sat in her stroller getting wind whipped while I darted cautiously into oncoming traffic.
Luckily, the cover made its way close to the sidewalk but it was still about 15 yards away. Thankfully, a very nice man ran across traffic, picked it up, handed it back to me and told me to have a nice day. I reattached as well as I could, keeping one piece in my hand and headed home. The Lady seemed non-plussed and eventually passed out protected from the wind. Oh, the things you have to go through just to get out of the house.
Vicky you're a huge bitch
huge bitch, huge bitch
Vicky you're a huge bitch
I hate you.
The second is a new verse to that song. It goes a little something like this:
Heba shut your fat mouth
fat mouth, fat mouth
Heba shut your fat mouth
I hate you.
I try not to be a negative person, but Vicky your scrunchy, smarmy, snarky face makes me hate you with a venomous passion that might only be diminished by your exit from the show.
I could not believe that she said she didn't care about seeing her kids on video. She basically said, I am a huge selfish bitch who is only after the money, the weight loss is secondary and so is my family.
Vicky, I hope Brady wins the biggest loser, divorces you and takes all that money, then marries a fitness trainer with a sick bod, who is not only beautiful on the outside--she is something you will never be--beautiful on the inside. Oh, and I hope you gain back all the weight you lose and spend the rest of your days in a shame spiral full of fried chicken and the dollar menu from Micky D's.
Well I feel better.
I was sad to see Amy P. go but it was pretty obvious she was on the chopping block. Hopefully Phil works it out and makes it to the final.
I am running for a longer period of time and hope to not only increase my time but my distance as well. My goal is to get to three miles (non-stop) by the end of this month and then just add distance from there.
It got really cold here this week and I haven't run outside since the weather changed. I definitely need a couple of new workout pants because mine just keep falling down and it is kind of hard to run while hitching up your pants for three miles. My goal is to get back outside tomorrow and see how it goes.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I never realized that without a vigilant eye on these rubber ducks that a mold problem could occur. I would also recommend, and this might fall under the heading of a mommy mind melt, that when trying to clean these rubber ducks, you don't actually squirt it in the general direction of your face. This would avoid not only a wet visage and having to change your shirt, but also would avoid having to wipe a piece of this slick slime off your upper lip.
The Money Saving Mom Makes Coffee
We went to Costco the other day. I would recommend not showing up at four o'clock on a Sunday, the place is packed! Granted we would have gone earlier, but the Giants were on and even I wasn't going to miss that for 20 pound bags of frozen chicken.
It was so crowded that I didn't even get any samples and at one of the stations they were giving away Halloween candy! Anyway, we got in and out fairly quickly and didn't get anything that wasn't on our list. This of course included a 2.5lb bag of Dunkies coffee that makes 135 cups.
The reason I pay $2.45 for an iced coffee is because it is delightfully delicious and it tastes the same every time. I have come to the realization that sometimes convenience is worth the money because I cannot make a good cup of coffee, there is entirely too much math involved. The instructions say one rounded tablespoon for every 6 oz of water, but the water is measured in 8 oz and the Dunkies bag recommends upping the scoopage to 1 1/2 scoops. Needless to say, I was thrown off by the complicated counting and just poured in 8 scoops of coffee and 10 cups of water. What I ended up with was the darkest, strongest coffee ever. I get my coffee with x-tra, x-tra skim, so I like it light anyway, but I had to use like a cup and a half of milk in order to make this drinkable. However, in the spirit of being the money saving mom, I took the rest of the coffee threw it in the fridge poured it over ice this morning, diluted it with as much milk as possible and am slowly sipping it as we speak. Sometimes any coffee is good coffee.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Here is a photo of the Lady reading US Weekly. It was late again this week. I think she is just looking at the pictures like her dad does!
I wanted you all to see a photo of a barrette that I bought for the Lady. I am always looking for a good clip to keep the bangs out of her eyes (see photo above). When my husband and I were out in California I popped into a very cute and trendy store. I saw a slew of barrettes under the counter and asked the sales girl about which barrettes work best for babies. She recommended the one in the photo below.
I should have put a ruler next to this photo so you could accurately judge how tiny it is. Since I cannot locate a ruler I will tell you that it is almost as big as two smallish peanut m&m's stacked on top of each other or in other words---not very big at all. To top it off, I am totally embarrassed to say, I paid $9 for it. No? Yes. I paid nine dollars for a tiny choking hazard that the Lady pulls out of her hair in about six seconds.
To make up for that bad parenting and economic choice I am letting you all know about a website that my girlfriend mentioned to me. It is called Pigtails and Ponies by Tara http://www.pigtailsandponiesbytara.com/. It is run by a friend of her family. The clips and bows are really cute and totally reasonably priced. I haven't tried them out on the Lady yet so I don't know if they will actually stay any longer in her hair, but I am always happy to help promote hard working ladies in all their business and crafty endeavors.
Let us know about any sites you love in the comments section below.
In later years (pre-Lady and Wild Man), my sister would have a Halloween party where we would celebrate like adults and dress up like characters from our favorite 80's TV and movie days. I have to say my husband made an incredibly handsome Magnum P.I.. Oh Tom Selleck, I know you are part of the NRA but your mustache and overall bravado warms me on cold nights.
Me as a homemade pumpkin (nice felt pumpkin top huh?)
So this year I thought I would make a costume for the Lady. I decided that she would be a fairy princess because it is pretty, seemed easy to make and nobody would mistake her for a boy. She does have a name that is given to more boys than girls and the tailor who altered my stretch jeans told me she looked like a boy, although she was clearly wearing a purple shirt with a plaid horse on it that said "Best Friends" and purple shoes, so he must not have taken in the overall picture. Anyway, I decided that with the pink shirt and leggings that she already has, it would be pretty easy to just make a tutu and a headpiece and maybe some wings and a wand. . .
My mother-in-law had a pair of green wings that were never used so I graciously accepted them and decided that the Lady wouldn't just be a pink fairy princess, she would be more of a woodland fairy, something straight out of a Midsummer Night's Dream.
I want the Lady to have her own memories of Halloween. I want to be able to make costumes with her, to be crafty and creative. I want to share a bit of what I love with her and to make her memories as meaningful as mine. I know there might be a time where all she wants is the Dora the Explorer costume from Toys R' US (and yes, they are charging 29.99 for what looks like everyday clothing and a backpack from your closet), but I also want her to know that with a smart black wig and a monkey sidekick that I can totally make a kick ass Dora for her as well.
My mom is coming over this week to help me with the tutu. I know it can't be that complicated but I want to make sure I am doing it right. I will post the photos when my little monkey dresses like a woodland fairy princess and hopefully keeps the crown on long enough for me to get a good shot.
I am also taking the Lady to the photographer who did my wedding. He takes photos of kids in their costumes for free if you donate a new toy to Toys for Tots. It is a good charity and the photos are always fun to have.
What is everyone dressing as or dressing their kids as this year? I am always looking for creative Halloween ideas. Seriously, it isn't that hard to make a comment on this blog and I am always looking for feedback.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I have been signed up for over a year now and I only have like seven books on there. Five of them are by Stephenie Meyer who wrote the YA Series Twilight, so it isn't really an accurate list of my literary taste. It is helpful though to check out what others are reading so you don't have to walk aimlessly around the bookstore or call Oprah for help in deciding what to read.
I am always looking for a good book and I am leaning towards trying to fit in a classic or two I might have missed during my educational years. Don Quixote anyone? I mean I can just re-read Pride and Prejudice for the seventh time (I ardently love and admire you too, Mr. Darcy) but I am often embarrassed that as an English major I didn't read some pretty hefty members of the literary canon.
If anybody signs up please link to me as a friend. I would love to get some updates and work in a little reading here and there.
Congrats to my Loyola Lady and super momma on the birth of baby number three. I am looking forward to seeing some photos of the little lady and her older siblings. I hope all is well with you and that you are feeling good.
Also a belated congrats to another Jersey Girl (soon to be back in Pitt). Little CB is super fuzzy and super cute and I want to thank her mom for reading and officially welcome her to motherhood!
The Lady is an honorary Jersey Girl today because she has been performing as her alter-ego Bruce Screamsteen all morning. She is now napping and I hope that helps.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I am still waiting for the welcome package to arrive in the mail for my mom's group, so in the meantime I am trying to take advantage of some other options. We arrived a few minutes late to a reading of Llama, Llama, Mad at Mama, a very cute book but not really dynamic enough to hold the attention of the seven or so kids under age two. At first I kept the Lady in the stroller but she soon made herself known and I let her out. We sat on the very little bench and listened to the woman drone on about the llama. That was going pretty well until she saw the photo of the llama and made a loud raspberry sound. This is the sound she makes when you ask her "What does an elephant say?" She has now adapted it to any large zoo or wild animals. She has another sound that she uses especially for domestic animals and seagulls.
Now, I don't get bent out of shape about these things. She was interacting with the story and she made a sound she makes about fourteen times a day. What I do get bent out of shape about is how utterly humorless some of these other mothers are. I understand that nobody wants their kid to be that kid, but all the children were walking around and exploring their environment. I don't care if your kid touches mine or if, like the Lady, they try to climb up on the stage area where the kindly (and clueless) Barnes and Noble woman is reading and touch the book. Yes, I stopped her when she tried to touch another kid in the eye, but she is learning her body parts and gets excited when she sees other kids.
I mean, I know that I am not the most outgoing person when it comes to meeting people and I don't really do well with small talk and initiating conversation, but aren't we all there for the same purpose and aren't we all basically going through the same thing? Most of these kids were around the same age and that common element should be enough to at least warrant a smile out of these ladies when the Lady made the elephant sound. I mean had it not been my kid I would have thought it was funny. When did we all get so uptight about the way a one year old reacts to a story? The only people talking to each other were the nannies and that was because they knew each other and came together.
I love the Lady and I don't want her tackling smaller children in a bookstore or poking them in the eye, but I can't and I won't hold her back from exploring the things around her, even if other moms turn to me with a stone face and the stink eye.
I mean last week alone the Lady pulled all the tp off the roll, peed (twice) in the thirty seconds she was diaperless, opened a drawer and pulled out all of my colorful placemats, tried to put her pj's in the diaper genie, pantsed me twice (another reason to wear pants that button) while I was making dinner, and screamed her way through a car trip because she didn't want her shoes on. I know these things happen to other mothers, why as women can't we just have a sense of humor about it? I mean one day my kid might run naked outside wearing just snow boots, or pick their nose in public and wipe it on my face, these things happen. We should embrace the commonality of our experiences instead of trying to save face and make it seem like we have it all under control. Because, please, if you can show me one mom who hasn't had a kid melt down in public, or cry, kick and scream as you try to peel them off the playground equipment, I will post a photo of me Biggest Loser style in just my sports bra and a pair of bicycle pants.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
However, on the advice of a runner friend of mine (who came in 2nd place in his age group last weekend at a triathlon--a triathlon? That is swimming, biking and running everybody!) I decided that I should get outside. Luckily the weather is still nice and I am not running that far so I don't have to worry about layering, rubbing Vaseline on my body to stop the chafe or putting band-aids on my nipples.
I have decided though that I am not going to run after I eat dinner or in the dark through the city. I did start out on a hill, which is good considering the first two miles of the Turkey Trot is described as "rolling hills," and I felt pretty good once I got to the top. It wasn't that hard to run up it considering I was dodging the random people on the street. One guy spit on the ground just as I was passing him and then I had to dodge a few solitary older gentlemen as they made their way, brown bag in hand, out of the BevMax liquor store around the corner. I think that was the fastest I have run in a long while.
I didn't run the whole way, but I ran longer then I had on the treadmill. The fact that I wasn't tethered to the treadmill and constantly looking at the clock helped a lot. I also tried to mentally work through the run. I picked out landmarks and streets ahead of me and tried to reach them without stopping. That seemed to work well. I even started to stop thinking about how much I hate running and tried to just find some peace. Or as much peace as you can find running on a service road alongside I-95. I am still waiting for that runners high. In fact, I am desperately trying to find it!
In addition to the exercise I have been trying really hard to be conscious of my eating. I have been diligent about the food journal even when things get bad. On Saturday they got pretty bad.
Here is the list of food from my journal.
Breakfast: 1 cup oatmeal (So far so good)
Worked out walk/run for 35 minutes (Also good)
Here is where it takes a turn.
2 beers (cool deliciousness in a bottle)
2 handfuls peanut M&M's (my love for you will never waiver)
2 mini crunch bars (an impulse buy and not really worth it)
6-9 candy corn (these taste a little like wax, but I still eat them)
2 handfuls of Doritos (My husband's best friend and a constant presence in our home)
1 handful of Tostito Gold (bite size--as if that makes any difference) and assorted dips including salsa, guacamole and sour cream (I love Mexico and all things associated with it)
2 Taquitos (Oh Taquitos, your magic never fails to seduce me)
1 cup milk (This was later in the day not alongside any of the things above because Taquitos and milk just don't mix)
1 cup Aunt Annie's Organic Mac & Cheese (I needed something of substance--and yes this was made for the Lady)
Just in case anybody out there feels bad about their own eating habits, I want to let you know that you are not alone and that even though I ate all of this on Saturday I tried to awaken from my sugar coma and get right back on schedule on Sunday.
Heba how self-sacrificing of you to volunteer to eat a doughnut and keep the teams the same. I am sure the sweet glazed deliciousness had nothing to do with it, that and the fact that you are a huge (and I mean that in every sense of the word) control freak.
When Phil said that everything was going fine until Heba "opened her mouth," I wanted to embrace that big bald beautiful man and tenderly reassure him that he wasn't the only one who wanted her gone. But the best part was when he went for "Operation Silent Peanut Butter Cup," the vision of him groping aimlessly in the dark for nature's perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate while not disturbing its crinkly paper was amazing to watch. His small, careful grabs only netted him two peanut butter cups and in the end kind of screwed him. If he had just said he was eating then I don't think Heba would have tried to split the teams. However, I like Phil's excuse. "I can't answer you Heba, my mouth is full of peanut butter." Sage words my fat fighting friend, sage words.
I also loved it when Amy P. talked to Bob after the teams split. That sweet, southern, mild mannered mom who said (and excuse her language), "that bitch isn't going to take me down." Kudos Amy P. Kudos.
Now I know that the thought of walking up and down a mountain for 14 hours in a hundred degree heat probably isn't anyone's idea of a good time, however, this is a weight loss show correct? Was this the Grand Canyon episode all over again? Did these people actually agree to take a break? And not only like an hour break--they agreed to a four hour break and then they all crawled back into their beds like they were on some sort of vacay. If I were the trainers I would have be pissed. And poor Brady, that guy ran like 20 miles. Where was Vicky you ask? She was in the way back slow as molasses. Was he holding you back then too Vicky? Huh?
Too Many Tears
I don't know who cries more this season Amy C. or Michelle? Enough ladies. I know it is emotional and that the fat you have been carrying around is covering up some hefty issues, but the waterworks every single episode are just getting tiresome. I mean last season was bad enough with Mark crying every single day. I swear to you he cried approximately 67 times more than the Lady in that same time period and she was a tiny infant. Suck it up ladies.
I so wanted blue to lose. I love Bob but blue just has too many players that I dislike. Black pulled big numbers and having Phil on their team definitely helped but in the end, much to my chagrin, it was Heba who won it for blue. I thought a nice two pounds would have been a good number for her this week, but no she had to go and pull another eight. I will have to say her reaction was priceless. I should have Tivo'd this episode just so I could watch that slow motion jump and shake over and over again. The only way this could have been any better is if she accidentally pooped her pants or fell face first onto the scale. I mean the fat on my arms looks like a punching bag, but she just looked like a giant bat swooping down from the night sky. My husband couldn't watch. He threw up a little bit in his mouth.
Oh Shellay, I will miss your Minnesota accent and your vacant stare. What I won't miss is your tendency to wear your shirt tucked into your sports bra. I will have to say that even though it made me uncomfortable to watch you and your husband kiss while walking hand in hand--you look amazing. Keep up the good work.
Can't wait until next week.
BTW did anybody else notice Allison's little baby bump? I am liking a lot of the dresses she has been wearing.
Also, I know that I don't blog about Project Runway but I love that show as well. Tonight is the Runway show at Bryant Park. Check it out.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I Tivo'd her show last week on money saving tips and finally got around to watching it over the weekend. I like Oprah because even though she has no idea how the rest of us live our lives, she recognized that we are the ones who watch her show and instead of cramming some self-help book down our throats again, perhaps she should tackle the issues most pressing to us right now.
The guests on her show were America's most frugal family and the coupon mom.
The most important thing I took away from it was that we have to live within our means. This isn't always possible when we don't account for what we spend. So I have decided to try out some of the tips from the coupon mom to see if I can cut down on our grocery bill. I have decided to start unplugging any electronics that we aren't using, throwing all receipts in a basket and figuring out where any excess spending goes (I know, I know--Dunkin Donuts is going to have to see less of me and the Lady) and selling some of our crap on eBay. All small steps that I hope will lead to big savings.
Any hints or tips out there? Let me know how you are trying to save.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Yesterday we decided to go apple picking. We drove over to my parents and hung out with the little sis on her weekend home from College. We waited for the Wild Man and his parents to arrive and we set off caravan style for the boundless orchards of Dr. Davies Farm.
As soon as we turned the corner to the farm. I knew we were in for trouble. Cars lined both sides of the street, and this is not some small dirt road in the country, this is a double lined highway road. The mass of humanity was everywhere. We drove by some spaces on the shoulder but my husband decided to go all the way to where the cars stopped and then he turned around. Again, I know sometimes I don't give him the benefit of the doubt, but his idea to drop us off at the actual entrance was a great one--considering that there were two spaces in the actual parking lot.
The Lady and the Wild Man: 1
Mass of Humanity: 0
The Lady and The Wild Man Go to Town
Friday, October 10, 2008
I have been waiting for a husband/wife team to be under the yellow line. My husband and I decided that in the parent/child scenario, in most cases the parent would sacrifice for the child. As a parent you want the best for your child and you want them to learn from your own mistakes and bad habits. In the husband/wife scenario that isn't so clear cut. My husband thought that the husband would always sacrifice for the wife. I thought that was really nice considering that my whole life is a sacrifice for that guy. Can I just go to the bathroom with the door closed? Can I just get dressed by myself? Please give me eight minutes alone and then I will get back to making sure everything in your life is running smooth. But I wasn't surprised when Ed let Heba stay. She definitely needed it and Ed looks amazing now.
Vicky. Vicky. Vicky. I want to change my opinion about you but your husband is holding you back? Really? Sounds like an excuse to me. The worst part about it is that I actually like Brady. I think it is his Louisiana accent that reminds me of my boyfriend and Yankee Pitcher Andrew Eugene Pettitte. Oh--Andy Pettitte, so what if I googled the directions to your home in Westchester? I never went. . . yet.
Anyway it looks like they are going to change the elimination rules again next week. We will see what happens.
I have been working pretty hard at getting to the gym and I have registered for a 5 mile run on Thanksgiving morning. This might be a little bit of a challenge considering that I am only running for three minutes in a row right now. It is getting easier and I am feeling much more motivated. My neighbor actually told me that I looked really good and that she could tell in my face that I had lost some weight. I wanted to kiss this woman on the mouth. In my family instead of saying "cheese" in photos we say "chins" any face fat that has fallen off is a good thing. I will admit that my neighbor is also nine months pregnant and perhaps I just look smaller in comparison.
I have been trying to get motivated in the job department as well. The Bean and The Bear Photography had its first paying client last week and she was pretty enthusiastic about our work so I am hoping we can get some more clients via word of mouth. I am also hoping to pick up some freelance work and have signed up with a temp agency for some proofreading work. I am hoping that I can work part time for now and still spend some time with the Lady.
I am not a big debate watcher, but I thought in this economy with everything that is going on in the world today, perhaps I should check in. What a waste of time. First of all, this was nothing like a town meeting. Second of all, I learned nothing about what the candidates are actually planning on doing, because all I heard about was what they had done in the past. I think it is important to get a sense of each candidates record and how they have approached certain situations but my friends, I am not looking for a scorecard. I am just looking for some honest answers that will give me some indication that one of these guys will actually be able to do some good come January.
I just got my 401K info today in the mail. Yikes.
Okay, off my political soap box for now. Ugh. I would have rather listened to Heba talk for three straight hours then have to sit through something like that again!
Monday, October 6, 2008
I am also eagerly awaiting news of a certain Jersey baby that is due this week as well. Momma hang in there!! Can't wait to meet the newest member of your family as well.
There are more new babies coming in the late winter/early spring between family and friends. Always looking forward to that and hoping that all my preggo ladies are feeling fine.
I met a girl there who is active in a Mom's Group in the area. Now, I am not looking for a new best friend and I have my own built in mom's group between my cousins, my sister and my five girlfriends. I don't feel like I need to make new friends, and frankly I don't feel like I have the time, but it might be nice for the Lady to be introduced to some new people.
I e-mailed the contact in my Chapter and am waiting to hear back. For $30 a year you can go out and get involved in mommy things like play dates and cooking classes. They even have a dinner night for when the hubby is out of town. Since my husband travels fairly often (one more night and he is back) it at least gives me some options. I am worried about being stuck in the house in the middle of winter with just the Lady. I think I am starting to bore her. Plus, it would be nice to get some info on what I can do in the area considering I don't know anybody here except people who are related to me.
The thing is, I hate meeting people. I hate talking to people I don't know. I don't enjoy calling anyone or taking any sort of initiative. I don't want to be one of those moms with a effing business card that says "The Lady's Mom" on it followed by my name, telephone number and e-mail, but I would like someone to walk with at the park or to meet at the playground. I guess I have to get over my own insecurities and realize that this will probably be good for both the Lady and me.
I just hope it doesn't turn into some weird cult like scenario, where I am going to play dates and Mommy's Night Out and just talking about snotty noses, how often the Lady poops and how I am going to get her prepped for pre-school. I am afraid of a mommy sorority, chock full of creepy initiation rights but without the alcohol abuse, GHB and the long, long, walk of shame.
I am also afraid that if I don't put myself out there that the Lady will miss out. She deserves to have opportunities opened to her and she deserves me to be standing by her side showing her that trying new things is a risk that often reaps the most rewards.
I will let you know how it goes.
Friday, October 3, 2008
I hate running. I do. I hate the treadmill, the clock and all that breathing. I think there is nothing worse then running except of course, running in the wrong underwear wearing a five year old sports bra that isn't holding anything up. Ugh. The good news is that I got through the first week of the 5k plan. The bad news is that starting tomorrow I will have to move on to week two. Yup, more running.
I have roped in my brother and my sister-in-law to help me train. I always think it is better to work out with someone else. You have a sense of responsibility to actually get up and do it. Also, they have a gym at their apartment complex. My legs hurt. My ankles hurt. My stomach hurts. I do feel a gazillion times better though after I walk (or hobble) out of that gym. It is enough for now to keep me going back.
Can't a girl get her coffee?
The Lady and I made our usual Dunkies run this morning. We took the car because we had other errands to run first. This was a mistake. After going to the bank, the dry cleaner (to get my stretch jeans tailored), and dropping off stuff at Goodwill we made it to my oasis. I had to wait for a woman to get into her car with a giant bag of donuts (being carried by a Dunkies worker) and her cardboard container of coffee, before I could get the Lady out. Had she not delayed me, perhaps my story would have ended as a comedy rather then a coffee tragedy.
I will say that the Lady did not get any munchkins today. I distracted her with the car keys so she couldn't do the more sign, but all in all she seemed perfectly content.
Here is where I lost my way. While pulling into my driveway, I saw my downstairs neighbor pulling out. She is super nice, assures me she doesn't hear us clomping around up here (although, she admits to wanting to yell at my husband sometimes when he is screaming at the TV) and has a very unfortunate last name that prompted us to start calling her "The Vag." The Vag is the president of the Condo Board and I am the Secretary. We had some business to discuss, which led to her returning to her garage and giving me some paperwork.
I stepped out of the car with my purse, my coffee, the bag of shoes I took to the tailor for proper measurement and of course my Lady. We walk by our other neighbor who is packing up his car. We exchange pleasantry's, but I am immediately distracted by a dried snot hanging from his nose. I cannot look at it! This is the worst position to be in. Had he been my husband I would have just said "you have a huge dried snot attached to the area beneath your nose--wipe it away please!" However, he is not my husband and I am awkward in these situations. What would you do?
We make our way to the porch steps. The Lady weighs 24.6 lbs. I have two bags, a cup of coffee and The Vag is handing me paperwork. I put the Lady down, I put the bags down, I put the coffee down. Why did I put the coffee down?
The Lady had started to climb the stairs, I grab her by the hand and walk her over to the door to unlock it. As I am turning back to gather my possessions, strewn around the porch, the dried snot neighbor walks up the stairs. We are in mid-conversation and I am trying to avoid eye contact so my gaze is directed towards his feet. My mind is faster then my mouth and I am unable to get out the most important of words---WATCH OUT FOR MY COFFEE!
I briefly contemplate slurping it up from the dirty porch. Instead, I apologize for leaving it out, put the Lady screaming in her crib so I can wipe it up with a paper towel and go inside to contemplate when I will be able to get my fix.
This may have been avoided by walking to all our errands. Had the woman at Dunkin Donuts taken less time or more, I might never have passed The Vag this day. Had the Lady not started to crawl up the stairs or had I put the coffee down closer to my door all of this might have been avoided. To top it off, I have been waiting for three months for a replacement coffee machine part for my fancy Italian coffee machine. This is part of the reason why I have to make a daily run to Dunkies. It would certainly be in my best interest to brew some at home, but with a broken machine there isn't much I can do. So what shows up at my door this morning, not a half hour after I drag my caffeine deprived body into the house? That's right. The coffee machine part. Oh--irony--why do you mock me? This would have been perfect, had I not taken all the coffee over to my parents for the Lady's b-day party.
The Lady is napping. As soon as she wakes up we are making another run for it.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Facebook has truly become my own personal US Magazine. It is a daily update of the lives of not only the cool crowd but every other person in your High School who decided that if you graduated within a two to three year period of each other that they should friend you. This is the real life good stuff. Forget celebrities with their nanny's, drivers, and hangers-on--give me the guy I haven't spoken to or seen in fourteen years and then show me a picture of his new tattoo, photos from his latest vacation and an up to the minute report on what he is doing right now.
I have admitted to using Facebook to silently stalk. I love to see how people have chosen to live their lives. I love the photos, the updates, the quizzes. I will friend somebody I haven't seen in months or years and then never even contact them on their wall. All the while I have checked out their page. I know where they live, work and play. I have seen photos of their kids' birthday parties, and memorable shots of late nights out. US Magazine doesn't even come close to this type of exposure. I can poke you, send you a bumper sticker, invite you to join my favorite cause, quiz you or send you a challah, but I never have to actually speak to you at all. It is the ultimate High School reunion. Everyone is on display.
I recently had a real life encounter with a guy from High School. He is perfectly nice and I have seen him a few times here and there over the years. Here we were in a social setting, a night out and this is what the conversation consisted of:
Him: Hey you have a baby now?
Me: Yeah, she is however many months she was at the time.
Him: That's great.
Me: How was your vacation to Aruba?
Him: We had a great time.
Me: The pictures were really nice. We have been there a few times.
Me and Him: See you on Facebook.
I mean that might not be totally verbatim, but you get the gist. We had an opportunity to actually catch up, to engage in conversation. Facebook allows you to skip the awkward public exposure and just pry and spy in the privacy of your own home. Voyeurism at its best.
US Magazine runs a page called "Stars-They're Just Like US!" On it they show pictures of celebrities buying coffee, going grocery shopping, walking their dogs and playing with their kids. I know it always makes me feel better that Jake Gyllenhaal cleans up after his dog. With Facebook it is more like "Random People from Your Past--They're Just Like Me." I think it is actually humbling to see the successes and choices that people have made in their lives. I mean who really cares if some star carries a reusable shopping bag--isn't it infinitely more interesting to see how the class clown became a dad of four and works in finance?
There are so many opportunities out there for people to reinvent themselves, to project themselves as different from their past. There is also that need to connect. At one point in my life, I walked down the same halls as these people, sat in the same classrooms and listened to the same lectures. I saw them at football games, homecoming, in the woods behind the school, at parties and awards ceremonies and just passing by in my car. It amazes me how easy it is to just fall back into a casual friendship, like the last fourteen years almost didn't exist.
Those High School hallways have made their way online. I walk in and interact on a daily basis. We have all grown up, some of us have changed, and some of us haven't. But we choose to connect with each other. Even if it is just to silently stalk, to gloat in the weight gain of Miss Popularity or to be amazed by the utter transformation of one of your peers, Facebook gives us what US Magazine never could. Connection to the bits of our past in many cases we thought we left behind, connection to people and experiences that helped shape the way we live our lives today. Is it a real connection? I don’t know. If given the opportunity to meet face to face with someone, like I did, things can sometimes feel forced and awkward. Facebook gives you that locker door to stand behind or a seat at the cafeteria table two over from the conversation. But it does give you the opportunity to take advantage of including someone with a shared past back into your present life.
I doubt I will give up my US Magazine. I think I will continue to subscribe until I don't recognize any of the faces anymore or can't lose myself in the fantasy. As for Facebook, who knows where it will take me. Will I still be writing on the walls when I am 40? 50? I don’t know, but I know that I am always going to want to see what everyone else is doing. I am always going to want to keep viewing those photos, catching up on the everyday issues of people's lives. I am always going to want to connect.
We live in --lets call it an up and coming neighborhood. It is a very nice little condo complex tucked behind a Spanish market--where they all too often block my driveway and make me crazy--and wedged up against the highway embankment. The Dunkin Donuts is down the block and around the corner. We use to drive there in the winter months last year, but once the weather started getting nicer we started to walk. We make our way out past the stacked boxes of produce along side the market, along side the Volvo dealership and across the street from both a Funeral home and a pet crematorium. We then make the right at the sausage factory and walk the extra thirty five yards to Heaven.
Now, I like a Starbucks frappachino and their Tazo tea is very tasty, what I don't like is their coffee and their attempt to create a faux atmosphere with world music Cd's and lounge chairs. If you want to see the world reflected back at you--stop at my Dunkin Donuts. On the way in you will pass day laborers, what I can only best describe as the Russian mafia hanging out in front, and a parking lot full of trucks belonging to landscapers, tree trimmers, plumbers and construction workers. Once you get inside you find yourself surrounded by the DOT workers from the train maintenance facility across the street. The bus workers from the depot around the corner, professionals from the nicer part of town driving through to downtown, and the very varied mix of Dunkin Donut workers who are at any one time speaking Spanish, Indian, some sort of Eastern European and English.
What I love the most about this place though is that they have my coffee ready when I get to the counter. How awesome is that? I am officially a regular. I have been frequenting that Dunkies since it opened. I remember the day I drove by and realized they were turning the old abandoned repair shop into a Dunkin Donuts. Euphoria! Amazement! Love surged through me-- my coffee addiction would be fed.
I now know the workers by name. Last year I gave Danny the number for an Adult Ed ESL program. Sandra and I talk about our little girls and she just loves the Lady. And the Lady, well she smiles at everyone and waves. She is like the little mayor in there. She also knows that there is the possibility for munchkins. I am not big on giving her sweets, but the workers in there will give me a handful (for free!) for her. I usually give her a couple pieces from one munchkin and then stare longingly at the rest of them on my kitchen table until I gather up enough will power to actually throw them away. The Lady though, has learned.
We began teaching her some sign language around three or four months old. We started really simple with bottle and all done. And although she didn't sign back, she began to understand. Once she started eating real food we taught her the sign for more and please. She soon was able to do all the signs we taught her. When she is hungry or wants something to eat she does the sign for more. Today, as soon as we walked through the door to Dunkies she gave the sign for more. I think we are done with the munchkins. How did she get so smart?
To top it off I put the uneaten munchkin and a half on the table on top of her very cute monkey placemat that she got for her birthday. The next thing I knew she was walking around with an entire munchkin in her mouth after pulling it off the table when I wasn't looking. This is a girl who knows what she wants in life. Little Miss Independence and her munchkin addiction.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
huge bitch, huge bitch.
Vicky you're a huge bitch
I hate you.
That is my song for Vicky on the Brown team. Did you see her smirk when she realized that Yellow had fallen below the yellow line? I mean really, try to have a little respect you lost a mere 3lbs this week. And then she had the audacity to say that if Brown fell below the yellow line that Brady would go home because it was her "idea to come on the show."
Repeat refrain above.
I was so sad to see Jerry go. That guy was in need of some serious help. I was unaware you could pull a hamstring by sleeping in a tent at the Grand Canyon and doing no exercise at all but. . . he is a big guy. The after shots of him did give me hope and I wish nothing for the best for him.
Was anyone else wondering why the rules changed though? I mean all of a sudden only one person goes home? It seems a bit contrived. It was pretty obvious that Jerry wasn't losing any weight this week, did they come up with a plan so that Coleen, who my husband says "looks like she swallowed Reese Witherspoon," could stay?
We will see what happens next week. Still routing for Red. Still hoping they stop asking Heba to speak and still singing my Vicky is a bitch song.
So I have been pretty good about the food journal. I am basically keeping to a Weight Watcher's type point system. This is something that has worked for me in the past and I don't feel like I am limiting myself or denying myself. In fact last night I ate some peanut M&M's and they were delicious. This was after I went to the gym. I have started to train for a 5k. I figure JLo did a triathlon and then flew across the country to party with her husband for his b-day. Granted she has trainers, cooks and I am assuming nannies for her twins, but she is still a mom and if she can do something like that, I am pretty sure I can run a little over 3 miles. Did I mention I hate running?
The first week isn't really that hard. It is a combination walk/run where you only run for like 8 minutes but it isn't even in a row. I have done this twice this week and I feel a little stronger. I am not sure how it will go when I actually have to run multiple minutes one after another, but hopefully if I follow the plan I will reach my goals. I do feel a lot of jiggling coming from my backside. Also my pooch in front needs to be treated with spandex. I will keep you updated. . .