Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 3

Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch (i.e., all day grazing):
2 slices swiss cheese
pear x 2
nectarine x 2
2 servings of carrots
green tea

Really getting hungry...
I had two cookies.  That's why it's bad when I get really hungry - I become weak, and then I eat crap.

green beans in olive oil
tater tots
lemon pepper chicken

NO DESSERT!  Woot! Woot!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 2

I had today off, which means...well, an interesting day.  (Please don't judge. Okay, judge if you must.)

4 slices of swiss cheese
1 serving of ice cream

Yeah yeah, I know I'm supposed to be dairy free.

cup of grapes
easy mac

soft taco
bean burrito

2 servings of ice cream

Not really a banner day. This I know.  BUT, overall calories weren't that bad.  So I kept it together in that respect.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 1

I was going to do a one-week experiment on this blog. Every day I was going to post my food and food thoughts for the day. After being essentially stuck weight-wise for 2 years, I realize that I'm either going to have to make radical changes that I can be consistent with for the rest of my life, or I'm just going to have to accept myself and where I'm at weight-wise. Whining about it but not doing anything about it aren't getting me anywhere.

Why do it here? Hmm...maybe if I have to write it down publicly, I'll "behave" more.  Maybe.  And maybe you or I will see some themes/triggers and point them out to me.

Today I packed 3/4 of a cucumber and two plums for food at work. I didn't eat before I left my house. I didn't pack any protein. As one might imagine, I was hungry when I got to work. I tried to stave off hunger by immediately drinking a cup of green tea when I got to work. That worked for about an hour. Then I got another cup. That worked for another two hours. I ate my cucumber, which - due to the water content - filled me for quite a bit. Then I ate the two plums. 

Somehow I managed to not eat a real meal until I got home. 

For dinner I had:
4 slices of swiss cheese
1 can of black beans
2 tablespoons of salsa
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup (2 "servings") ice cream

Separation of Church and HOAs

I've watched the minutes tick by on my computer for over 10 minutes now.

Here you go, a very abbreviated post:

There was an HOA party today at a nearby church. Last year it was at the same church. We didn't go last year or this year, mostly due to the church location.  I just find it weird that they have it at a church, and even more so that the event is open to members of the church. To me it sounds more like it's a church recruitment party.

I firmly believe in the separation of church and HOAs unless someone can convince me why God would care what color I paint my front door.

Due to my *passion* around this issue, I really didn't think I was in the right mindset to go and potentially be cornered by a churchgoer into converting religions.  And they were serving cruddy food anyway - hot dogs and pulled pork (ick).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Berry Lesson

What is the goal when you're a parent?  For me, I want to raise a child that is a successful and productive adult. Now, that leads me to define "successful." I define it as achieving what you want to achieve. My daughter will outline the achievement milestone, whether it be a carpenter, play major league soccer, be an architect, be a police officer, etc. I add the "productive" qualifier just so that she can't say that she wants to lay around MY house when she's 30 years old playing video games all day. Or a drug addict. Or a felon.  Well, you get the picture.  Outside of those instances that I would get all judgmental and say that she's living an unproductive life, I think she should be able to pursue whatever she wants to achieve.

My job is to help her get the skills/work ethic/faith/generosity/confidence that she can tap to get to whatever she wants to achieve.  Is my job to live the life I had wanted to live (but didn't get the opportunity to) through my child? No. Are my child's achievements my achievements? No.

I think in parenting situations it's easy to lose sight of the long-term goal and focus on the short-term crisis at hand.  Sometimes just getting through the day makes you want to strangle your kid or shoot yourself (or maybe it's just me).  We've all had those rough days.  So I have to constantly ask myself -> What is the end goal here?

The end goal is for my daughter to have the tools to live a successful and productive life in the path that she chooses.  How I live my life and the experiences I show her and model for her are going to be the ones she remembers.  Reflecting as a child, I remember how my mother handled situations she was presented. I find that after so many years of seeing that being modeled, I tend to gravitate to those same initial reactions. Then I have to take a step back and see if that's how I want to model my behavior.  I want to act how I would aspire Julia to act. She can choose to act in a similar way to me, or she can choose a different way. It's her choice. But if I model the way I want her to act, then I can tip the scales in my favor.

After you get over the initial shock of parenting (there's this little lump that lays there or screams, what do I do with it?), you start finding a groove.  You start knowing what your kid can handle, and then you incrementally start pushing the kid out of his/her comfort zone.  I mean, isn't that the goal? Within the span of 18-21 years, the goal is to get that little lump to be a decent problem-solver and critical thinker with a decent personality so that he/she can be successful and productive?  That's how I see it.

As part of the incremental steps toward getting the kid(s) out of the nest, sometimes you manufacture certain experiences. Parents take their kids on vacations, take them to museums, take them to the beach, put them in SAT prep classes, etc.

This week I came up with the idea that Julia and I could pick berries together, make berry cobbler, and then take it to grandma.  Why?  Honestly I've never picked berries, I do like to bake but not really berry cobbler, and I am personally quite tired of mother's depressed nature since she's been off her feet for a month now due to her foot surgery.  But if you look at it from a modeling perspective, the experience is teaching Julia about sustainable living (picking the food you eat and then using it in a recipe), communing with nature, cooking (a practical task), sharing things we have, and visiting family.  It's a freaking Mister Rogers episode with all the good messages.

But I wasn't really in the best mindframe to do it.  I'm cranky, am not that crunchy (i.e., not thrilled to spend an hour getting splinters picking blackberries off bushes), and really wasn't into sacrificing that many hours of my week to see the project/lesson from beginning to end.  When you have a kid with you, everything takes so much longer.

Anyway, I sucked it up and tried to model having a good attitude. And, you know what, while we were picking berries at an exhaustively slow rate together, I was having fun. Mixing the ingredients ending up being hilarious because when I said to put one bowl into another (both had ingredients in them), she literally put one bowl with the ingredients physically into the other bowl.  She was so darn happy about the whole project and anticipating the next step. She was excited to share what she picked and then made with grandma.

The project was good all around. Sucking up my whiny/cranky attitude and doing what's the best for the end goal was the way to go.  I can look in the mirror and say that I modeled behavior that I would be proud to see her exhibit when she's an adult and can make those decisions on her own.

If you'll excuse me, I have a toddler having a tantrum in the other room.  Life isn't always rainbows and unicorns - it may only be a minute here or there of rainbows and unicorns, and then you're dropped right back into the jungle.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thought Process

This is how my thoughts went yesterday.

"Will and Jada broke up?! Wow! My #1 is back on the market ... oh, but I'm married and not famous."
Pause, daydream involving Will Smith for a long time...

"I wonder who he's cheating on her with."
"I think Jada would be difficult to deal with as an ex-wife." 
"What celebutante is the other woman? Hey, maybe he's bi."
"I feel bad for the kids."
"I wonder how much she's going to get."
"I wonder if any smarmy details are going to be released. They don't seem the types to do that, but I'd really like to know if smarm was involved."
"Will is perfect, why would you divorce him?"
"They had such a huge height difference."

In all seriousness, it is sad to see a couple who was together that long get divorced.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's like a solo sleepover

Long time, no blog. I’ve been thinking of blogging many times in the past week, but… I don’t know. It kind of impedes the blogging process when I don’t have a cohesive paragraph. Heck, I haven’t even had a cohesive sentence to put on Facebook. 

My husband left me for this woman named San Antonio. I bet her butt is bigger than mine. Regardless, it’s a temporary situation until he decides everything is indeed bigger in Texas (and hotter) and decides to come back to me. So I sit in wait with a 3 year old who is taking a stuffed airplane to school because she knows that her dad is on an airplane. 

3 days left. 72 hours. I remember when Little J was first born, only a few months old, and he left me for Texas.  I seriously counted down minutes until he came back.  Did the subtraction and then the hour-to-minute conversion as I was bouncing our discontent infant on a yoga ball.  It kept my mind occupied somewhat.  There was always excitement when we broke another 100 minute mark. “Only 3,899 minutes left!”  This time it isn’t nearly so bad. I’m not even doing the hour-to-minute conversion. I only did the day-to-hour conversion because if you’re anything like me, you’re not quite sure if the person means 2.50 days, 3.49 days or something in between.  

I’m going to miss sleeping next to him.  It will be very weird to sleep by myself after not doing so for so long.  After my college roommate kicked me out of the room for my awful proclivity of staying out past 10pm, I realized how much I liked sleeping next to people. I don’t like sleeping alone. I will do nearly everything else alone, and I actually prefer doing most things alone, except for sleeping. I don’t do well sleeping alone. In college I even had a bed buddy. We were just friends but would sleep in the same bed together quite often because we didn’t like to sleep alone. Just sleep – really, it is possible to do that with boys.  And talk. Talking, sleeping, it was like a slumber party without the ice cubes down your shirt and adding in some Playstation.  If you total the number of times I’ve slept alone since I was 17, well, it’s a pathetically low number because of my ability to crash at guys' places.

I have no idea why I hate sleeping alone so much. Maybe my mother abandoned me in my crib for hours on end or something. (Actually, that theory has some merit.) Even so, there are indeed advantages of sleeping next to someone:

1.      1. If a burglar decides to shoot while he’s in your room, your odds of being picked move from 100% to 50%. 
2.     2. If there are any strange noises or even kid noises, you can slap your bed partner awake while you go back to sleep. 
3.    3.  If you are prone to bad dreams, having someone with you reduces the likelihood of them appearing and/or the severity.

They are stupid reasons. I get that (although I am very fond of 2 and use it quite extensively).  So it really must just be a comfort thing.

Tally ho on my first night sleeping alone in quite a while.  I will try to repress the fact that there are 18 ways to break into my house, and we don’t have a security system. I’ll sleep with my phone under my pillow and a mag light within arm’s reach. If I learned anything from my days working in college security, it’s how to wield a mag light. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Togas Infiltrate the Stepfords

I live very close to the Stepford Wives neighborhood.  Note that I don't live in the Stepford Wives neighborhood because I wouldn't pass the admittance test, which likely includes a barrage of questions about your Bunco hosting abilities, a prerequisite Lexus SUV, a weight limit of 100 pounds for women, and at least 2 kids with bonus points for each kid above 2.  Alas, I would fail, so I had to move into the apathetic neighborhood down the street whose only requirement is that you pay the homeowner dues. 

The neighborhood I live in is on a hill.  A large hill.  If I want to walk through my neighborhood, it's a lot of scaling the hill - steep inclines and declines.  It's not ideal for running, especially for beginners. Oh, who am I kidding, I don't run.  If I am feeling lazy, which I am a lot of the time, I choose to walk in the Stepford Wives neighborhood because it is flat.  Hey, at least I walk. 

In my estimation, the Stepford Wives neighborhood is modeled after some 1950s Norman Rockwell neighborhood despite being built in the 2000s.  The center of the neighborhood is a basketball court, a field, a playground, and a covered picnic area.  There is a road that circles the common area, and there are 5 cul-de-sacs that connect to the common area.  I'd guess there's about 150 houses.

The houses all have big porches and tend to have a mini Southern plantation feel.  They range from 1,900 sq ft - 2,700 sq ft.  Instead of street lights, they have lanterns along the side of the road.  It's rather cute - except they don't give a lot of light.  Eh, it's cute.

I have a love/hate relationship with the neighborhood.  My instinct is to hate it and everything it stands for just on principle.  On what principle?  The I'm Trying To Be Norman Rockwell on the Outside Even If I'm Amy Winehouse on the Inside Principle.  Or something like that.  But part of me likes walking through the neighborhood.  The steady stream of Lexus SUVs arriving home when I walk in the evenings, the suburban men washing their Lexus SUV windows with Windex in their khakis, the kids riding their bikes, the normalcy and steadiness that the neighborhood displays. 

The whole point of this post is that tonight I took a walk through the Stepford Wives neighborhood, and I encountered an interesting sight.  One of the houses was having a party - strobe lights, loud music (country, sigh), lots of little kids.  It might have been a block party or who really knows.  So, anyway, I see this guy walking away from the party dressed in 1) a cowboy hat and 2) a bright orange toga.  He was carrying a red plastic cup holding a likely alcoholic beverage, at least I presume.  No one in the front yard of the party house seemed to be wearing anything atypical. 

The cowboy hat and orange toga combination eludes me.  What kind of look was he going for? Bam Bam meets cowboy?  Was it a suburban dad fraternity initiation?  Male fashion rarely surprises me, but this outfit really threw me for a loop.  Had I been more brazen, I would have approached him and inquired.  Or snuck a picture because he was a sight to behold, even if it was a vodka-induced fashion decision. 

Friday, August 12, 2011


I just finished watching the entire Friday Night Lights series - 5 seasons, 76 episodes of 45 minutes each.  I think it took about 3-4 weeks. 

I have heard about the series from numerous people.  Fellow bloggers, fellow friends, I got a lot of encouragement to watch it.  "But I don't like football.  I lived in the town that the show was based on during the 80s as a kid, and I have no desire to relive it."  Still, people urged me to watch.

It helped that it was on Netflix streaming, at least Seasons 1-4.  I had to get a free week trial to Hulu Plus to watch the 5th and final season. 

It's a really good show - one of the best I've seen.  There are so many things that this show does right - too many to list.  Even though it technically is about football, it's really about what is at the heart of football: teamwork. 

If you haven't watched it, it is worth a viewing. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to normalcy

In-law visit is over.  Whew, sigh of relief.  I love them, they did a great job raising their son, they are excellent grandparents, but it's good to get back to normalcy around here.  I'm sure they want to get back to their normalcy too.

Here is the highlight reel from the past 11 days:

* Every time they went out they bought Julia at least one thing - more often than not, multiple things. More often than not, Disney princess stuff.  (I am one of THOSE moms who doesn't like characters on stuff.)  Julia is now the owner of a Disney princess puzzle, a Disney princess pool, Disney princess shoes (light-up shoes to even more of my disdain), Disney princess shirts, Disney princess pajamas, and I'm sure I'm forgetting more Disney princess crap. 

* Julia can put together a 48 piece puzzle by herself.  She didn't get MY spatial ability obviously. 

* We were asked where Julia was going to go to school.  We said the public school up the road.  WRONG ANSWER.  S's mother said, "You can't put her in public school!  She needs to be around superior people."  I was too shocked to say anything.  S said something about her being an elitist.  As you can see, we have a different world view than S's parents.

* When we said that S's job isn't looking too stable, we were told to move in with them in their Arizona house.  Ah, nice offer???? But... admittedly Arizona has a crappy economy, living with parents while in our 30s sounds oh so attractive, and of course I appreciate the immediate disregard of my job.  As if my current earnings just pay the electric bill or something since the man is always the breadwinner...

* The really funny thing is that THEY are more likely to end up living with US due to them being extremely underwater on their house combined with their huge spending problem.

* S and his dad replaced the lighting in the kitchen.  It was a great project although having construction/demolition occur when other people are staying with you is not so much fun.

* I can't wait for people to not go through my stuff.  Seriously, I hate people going through my stuff - especially when it's in my private area (my personal bedroom/bathroom).  Even I, the snoopiest person alive, don't go into people's master bedroom when they're not there.

* I cannot believe their consumerism and wastefulness.  Lights left on (the evidence of her going through my stuff since I've never left a light on all day while I was gone in the past 1.5 years, and I came home to find my bathroom lights left on 3x in the past week).  Make more food than possibly can be eaten, leftovers expire, which means lots of food thrown away.  If you don't have an ingredient for something you're making (let's say onion), do you go out on a special trip to get an onion or do you just omit it? I'm lazy, I just omit it.  They say they're going to pick up just 1 thing at the store (aforementioned onion), and they spend at least $50 on random crap.  

* I want my kitchen back, as in, being able to cook what I want when I want and put in the containers I want.

* I'm already sighing about the visit in December.  Things are going to be wonky, and we're told to "stay flexible" as things will change 100x.  Oh yeah, and we're hosting Christmas at our house for everyone else (which I had to acquiesce on), which then means S's mother will then invite people to stay at our house for several days since she's so prone to thinking our house is HER house (that will be impromptu coercion come December). The way they handle all that is seriously a bone of contention between my husband and me.  It's getting so bad that I want to move into a studio so that NO ONE can stay with us ever again.  

* The four course meals put 5 lbs on me in a week although this morning I saw a 2 lb dip, so right now I'm "only" up 3 lbs.  I suppose the positive is that I think Julia is up some weight as well.

* Have I said how much I appreciate getting my house and personal space back?

* I was under the assumption that after heart surgery your diet had to be low fat/low cal.  Apparently not.  Apparently you're allowed to eat non-stop crap.  Had it been S who had heart surgery, he would be on a fruit/veggie/lean meat diet with very little fat. It wouldn't even be me who would have to institute it; he would impose it on himself. 

* I'm sure Julia will ask about her grandparents for weeks; she enjoyed being spoiled. Let's hope she will go back to her previous pattern of not expecting things at the store.

* At least it wasn't 8 people this year; it only ended up being 2 people.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

It is what it is

I'm tired. 

I've eaten more gluten and dairy in the past week than I have in the previous six weeks.  Not feeling so great. 

It's hard to get things done when you have in-laws in your house. You're expected to spend all your free time with them; thus, reading books and watching my favorite new show (Friday Night Lights) are on the backburner.

S's mother talks a lot about nothing in particular. Tells the same story numerous times.  S's father is loud.  And they say the most inappropriate things.  I'm still reeling from the doozy of a comment from Wednesday. 

It was good to see them come visit, it will be good to see them leave. 

It is what it is.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Playful - Immature

I'm kind of ashamed how much resentment I'm holding onto toward that ex that friended me.  Serious resentment from a long time ago.  He still never replied to my "how's it going" message.  Other than accepting his friend request, we have had no interaction.  It's one thing if it's someone you knew from work that you don't really interact with; it's just weird to do that with someone you have a history with and that did not end well (at least in my opinion).  I thought when I posted pictures from the wedding he would say something since he was the roommate of the one that got married.  Again, radio silence.  Of course I'm presuming he looked at them. I know him - and he would. 

So then I finally attempted to communicate and commented on something he posted last week. I tend to be on the playful side, especially when I don't know where I stand.  He did reply to me, but it was in a serious way and came across kind of snippy. Of course, I could be reading into it. 

It all comes back to the two of us being completely dysfunctional in all of our interactions.  I am playful to a certain extent. He really wasn't.  He always called me immature when I was playful.  Of all the adjectives used to describe me, "immature" isn't high on the list.  Actually, I think he's the only one who has ever described me that way.  Most of the time I'm serious, Type A, anxious, a people pleaser, and good at getting things done.  Back then I was resentful of his "immature" comments toward me. I attributed it to him being 4 years older than me - I was only 17 while he thought he was a much more worldly 21.  And he was more serious than I, which is saying a lot.  He didn't have a good sense of self, so he probably thought my playfulness was making fun of him when it wasn't.  I dunno.  All I know is our interactions involved me trying to get him to laugh, he calling me "immature," me getting resentful and mopey, him putting his hands on me, repeat the pattern. 

Now the same stupid pattern is emerging.  I try to get him to laugh, he shuts down (or I interpret it that way), I get mopey and resentful about it, and... well, I don't know what comes next. He basically still sees me as an immature 17 year old. I still see him as way too serious and not even good-looking anymore. 

I'll give him one more chance. I'll respond to something else, and I won't even be playful. I'll treat him like I treat Pompous Ass and see if I get a different reaction. If he responds in the way I interpret as "You're so immature," I'll just delete him.  The irritation and continuing our dysfunctional pattern aren't worth it.  I tried; we just don't mesh in any way, shape, or form.  We can't even be civil to each other.

To be continued with our possibly final interaction.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The one saving grace

Yesterday I had the pleasure/horror of watching Hall Pass.  I didn't get a good start with it because it seriously had 20 minutes of previews that you couldn't fast forward through or skip.  20 wasted minutes of my life = starting out cranky. 

It starred Owen Wilson, who I cannot stand.  I know KOT loves him - why? I do not know.  I don't think he's attractive. I don't think he's talented. I don't think he's smart. His voice grates on me. 

Tangent: I love men's voices. If he has a nice voice, I don't care what he says. Just talk.  Seth Rogen, Kevin James, Kevin Smith, Will Smith, LL Cool J, Joshua Jackson, Tupac, etc. I think I dated at least one guy because he had that smooth voice that I could listen to all day.  Owen Wilson?  No thanks. He's irritating to listen to. He's not attractive. I do not want to hear him or see him, thank you very much.

So why did I watch a movie starring my least favorite actor? I have no idea.

The plot wasn't original. Due to the Owen thing, I didn't even find it funny. 

However, there was one saving grace of the movie.  Full frontal male nudity...for about 10 seconds.  As a bonus, it wasn't Owen Wilson full frontal nudity. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

An extra 35 minutes is nice

It's nice to have S's parents here.  On work days when they're here, we don't have to worry about getting Miss J up, getting her ready, taking her to daycare, picking her up from daycare, etc. Before having a child, I used to wake up at 7am to get to work at 8am. Shower, get dressed, pack breakfast and lunch, drive to work in an hour.  Yes, I am efficient.  Since she's been here, I get up at 6:10am.  Blah, lose 50 minutes of sleep (or more, if she wakes up in the middle of the night).  Today I woke up at 6:45am, and tomorrow I could probably stretch that to 7am, but I like the extra cushion just in case.

And they tire her out so much and don't give her a nap.  That means she goes to sleep within 5 minutes of putting her to bed, and that means we don't have to deal with the 2 hour ritual of her needing to pee 12x and getting 4 glasses of water and needing a monster exorcism and the list of her excuses is extremely long.  The kid really doesn't need a lot of sleep, so the nap at school cuts into her at home sleep time.  

I don't really have much to blog about tonight, or rather I don't have the mental energy and I'm not upset about anything.  Probably should go to bed a little early and then sleep in those precious 35 minutes tomorrow morning.