Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The crud from the previous few weeks has mutated into different crud (metaphorically speaking - at least my literal sinus crud has subsided).  Feeling overwhelmed in general.  The new Facebook has overwhelmed me, causing me to retreat. I'm tired.  How do people have lots of kids AND work full-time AND have hobbies AND have a social life AND exercise?   Hmmm....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bathing Suit Challenge

Before this week, the last bathing suit I bought was in 1991.  Back in 1991, there were neon flowers involved. There were tears involved.  It was bad all around.  I was sad, dejected and possibly emotionally scarred after the experience.

Flash forward 20 - yes, 20 - years, and I finally replaced the 1991 era bathing suit.  Lest you think I've been wearing the 1991 bathing suit for the past 20 years, let me clarify.  I wore the circa 1991 bathing suit a few times and retired it when I turned 16 or 17.  It hasn't seen the light of day since.  I merely haven't worn a bathing suit AT ALL.   Lest you think I've become a skinny dipper, let's say that hasn't the foreseeable past, at least.  ;) 

If you combine a clearance sale with an impulse decision, I am now the proud owner of a two piece bathing suit circa 2011.  I probably need to lose 15 lbs if I even want to wear the bathing suit in public (probably 40 lbs would be preferable, but let's get at least semi realistic...).  So that's my mission.  I'm forcing myself to wear the new bathing suit in public in 2012, and the threat of looking like a beached whale will hopefully scare me into putting down those Rolos.  Mmmmm....Rolos.  Well, maybe I'll start with something more innocuous, like liver and work my way toward the Rolos.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is a credit balance bad?

Humans are not rational.  I think back to economics class when they talk about consumers being cool, calm, rational robot-like decision makers.  That's a complete fallacy because, let's face it, humans are completely irrational.

Let's take my Puget Sound Energy compulsion as today's example. 

Facts: Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is our natural gas company.  We have forced air gas heat. We do not have air conditioning in our house.  Our house is 4,600 square feet.  The temperature in this area is fairly cool for the vast majority of the year. Thus, our gas bills are tiny in the summer and FREAKING HUGE in the fall, winter and spring.

Rational Person:  A rational person would go on the budget billing plan and let the gas company figure out how much you should pay each month to break even at the end of the year.

Irrational Person (me): An irrational person would give PSE a large amount of money to ensure that there is absolutely no possibility that a bill will come due in the next 3 months.  Right now I have a -$930 balance with PSE.  That's a negative sign, meaning that I have a credit balance of $930 with them.  In other words, dummo me has given them $930 interest-free so that we can squirrel away some nuts (i.e., heat) when the weather starts to get cold.

Husband says I'm crazy to give PSE so much money in advance.

I say, "What if we both lose our jobs?  Isn't it comforting to know that we can turn on the heat since we have a credit balance and don't have to freeze to death?"

Husband says, "A NINE HUNDRED DOLLAR CREDIT BALANCE is insane.We could put that in the bank and earn interest."

I then keep muttering about being able to have heat, and if he loses his job and can choose to live in a box in the front lawn in 20 degree weather or can instead be inside where it's a balmy 55 degrees due to my pre-planning, he has ME to thank.  And since savings accounts are paying 0.001% interest, we're only forgoing $1 in interest anyway.

He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The trajectory of 4 years ago

Today I went to the Fair.  It's kind of a tradition that I started with a friend back in September of 2007.  She and I both love rides, it's our "thang."  This year was fun as usual, but there were a few ugh factors.

Ugh factor 1:  A school district is on strike nearby, which means that there were far more people.

Ugh factor 2:  The weather was nicer/hotter than usual, which again means more people.

Ugh factor 3:  One may not want to eat a full meal (Mexican) right before riding the teacups with two strangers who kept rotating the heck out of our teacup.  Puke crisis averted, but the next hour was kind of tenuous. It didn't help that I saw a pile of puke right before getting on the ride. 

Ugh factor 4:  All the above extra people increased the amount of claustrophobia and the length of lines; thus, we were only able to go on 12 rides, and I was ready to leave far earlier than normal.

For some strange reason, fair food really doesn't have an appeal to me.  As I understand fair food, it's typically fried food (elephant ears, funnel cakes, deep fried everything, etc.).  I'm just not tantalized by fried food.  You know what I am tantalized by?  Mexican food and cookies and ice cream.  My menu of the day was tacos, a chocolate chip cookie, and a berry sundae.  Not that it was great food by any means, but it wasn't downright awful.  Tacos right before the teacup ride is not advised however. 


The fair in September of 2007 was a special time for me.  It's coming up on the 4 year anniversary.  See, 4 years ago my friend and I went to the fair, and I was blissfully unaware that I was pregnant.  I saw all those "do not ride this if you're pregnant" signs everywhere, and I didn't even register any suspicion that the signs were talking to me.  I had no symptoms, and it was still too early to tell (or so I thought).  I blissfully rode every ride possible and was happy as could be. 

That exact September we had just decided to try to get pregnant.  "Try" = kind of weak attempt that I was convinced wouldn't work.  Every month thereafter we could step up the attempt level, and in a year I would be to the point where there was some sort of concerted effort.  You might say I had a 1 year and nine month plan. 1 year and nine month plan became an 8 month and 1 week plan starting the next day.  Had my husband not inquired about the possibility of success (thereby prompting me to buy 4 pregnancy tests just in case I got the hankering to take a test), I probably wouldn't have gotten suspicious for far longer.  I was that convinced that nothing was going on.

Then there was the fact that I did take a test, didn't see anything noteworthy, threw away the test, later decided to re-look at the test, again disregarded it, waited an hour and showed my husband how non-pregnant I was, then he google imaged the test results, and then him telling me that I was pregnant.  Cuz I'm smart like that and can't discern a simple pregnancy test and need someone else to read it for me (in my defense, it was a really faint line).

And then my life changed forever.  It didn't change in a bad way.  Life just forever changed in such a way that it will be impossible to ever go back to how it used to be.  A new trajectory, a new journey that started off with quite a bit of denial on my part.

I suppose that day at the fair in 2007 will forever be memorialized to me as the last day of my journey in life without a child. After that day, everything changed.  I suddenly became fixated on things like folic acid, sleeping positions, and debating the meaning behind monkey backpacks/kid leashes. (My fully developed thought on kid leashes is that I personally don't like them and will not use them, but I can see that some kids may need some physical restraints due to their ability to get themselves in harm's way.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have become obsessed with figuring something out.

If you have a toddler, then you've heard of Blue's Clues. Even if you don't have a toddler, you might have heard about Blue's Clues. It's basically a 2D cartoon with one human actor in it who interacts with a cartoon Blue (the blue dog) and Magenta (a magenta dog), and they figure out preschool age puzzles together.  It started in the late 1990s, and the first human actor was Steve.  This is a picture of Steve.

Then Steve wanted to shed his wholesome image and start a rock band or something like that. So they had to replace Steve. Enter Joe.  This is a picture of Joe, and I think he looks like a young Jay Leno. 

Apparently Joe replaced Steve back in 2002.  I could have sworn it happened far more recently than that, but alas my memory is going and it really has been almost a decade that Joe's been at the helm.

Julia has been watching Blue's Clues through Netflix.  We started from the first season back when it was Steve.  So she watched 4-5 seasons of Steve, Steve, Steve.  Then we transitioned to Joe.  I would have laid money that she would HATE the switch from Steve to Joe. After all, she's my kid, and change of any kind hasn't gone so well with her in the past 3 years.

But something unexpected happened.  She kicked Steve to the curb in two seconds flat and wants nothing to do with him.  It's all Joe-Joe-Joe.  She only wants to watch Joe episodes, and she won't even tolerate a Steve episode now.

What's with all this Steve animosity? Or what's with all this Joe love?  I can't discern whether we're dealing with Steve hate, Joe love, or a combination.  I've been trying to figure it out for a month now by asking (hopefully) innocuous questions of my daughter. 

Me: "Why do you like Joe so much?"
Her: "Because"
Me: "Because why?"
Her (getting irritated): "BECAUSE"

Well, that got nowhere, multiplied by the 10 different ways I asked it. 

So I'm left to wonder WHY.  Has my daughter already figured out what type of guy she's attracted to? Does she just think Steve's a dweeb (ummm, maybe I'm interjecting my own thoughts there)? Does she like Joe's hair better? 


Monday, September 19, 2011

The company we keep

I was tired after last week.  Emotionally drained, physically exhausted, sinus infection, blah blah blah.  This past weekend I was useless except for fetching some groceries.  Even still, I had "begales" on my list (my husband wrote that), and I forgot to get them to Miss J's disdain.  I contend that if it was written as "bagels" as was intended, I probably wouldn't have forgotten them.  But I in my sleep deprived state saw beagles or something like that, and I had no idea that you could get them at Safeway. 

Def Leppard was good.  I was in the cheap seats, which meant I was surrounded by chain smoking meth addicts.  Just kidding...only kinda.  At least 75% of the people around me were smoking, and quite a number had serious teeth erosion for being 30-40ish years old.  And quite a number of adults were making out in the middle of the concert.  Hey, to each their own, but I was kind of lusting after the expensive seats to get away from the smoke and the potential diseases from merely touching anything. I've become quite spoiled in the past decade, surrounding myself with people who bathe regularly, pursue higher education, use utensils properly in public, and at least have some sense of self-restraint in public.  I'm a snob.  Pretty soon I'll be reciting Proust and wearing an apron as I cook Martha Stewart apple muffins. 

I took videos from my phone at the concert.  Since I was so far away and the quality of the phone camera isn't the best, it would mainly be for the audio.  I'll try to post soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Home Room

Home Room is a great film.  It's available to stream on Netflix.

That is all today. Tomorrow we could make CNN.  Tomorrow will be angst.  But the silver lining is that tomorrow night is the Def Leppard concert! 

Just a short one

I feel icky.  It's the coughing up stuff, sore throat, sinus pressure symptoms.  Blah, I hope it gets better on its own because I don't want to see the doctor just for an antibiotics prescription. 

I'm tired. I'm stressed. I'm mad. 

BUT it's all good in the grand scheme of things. 

Sorry for a short one.  I'm not feeling well.  And if I would rant, I would end up talking about things I'm not allowed to talk about.  Thus --> nothing. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mean Girls

Tonight was the parent open house at Julia's school. I'm one of those people who loves, loves, loves open houses. I love to ask the teacher questions, talk about how Julia's doing, watch her play in the environment she's used to, meet the other parents, etc.

For the past few years they have grouped the kids like this: 0 - 12 months, 12 - 18 months, 18 months - 2.5 years, 2.5-3.5 years, and then 3.5-5 years. They're starting to transition to a new way to group the older kids: 2.5 - 3 years, 3 - 4 years and 4 - 5 years.

Her teacher in the 2.5-3.5 year room has been seriously sick from May - August. She was in ICU for a month, had IVs for the next 2 months. She had some really serious case of meningitis where she practically died. It was scary. But she's doing better and has been back part-time for a few weeks. The teacher told me tonight that she is waiting to transition Julia to the next class because she thinks Julia is being bullied by another little girl and thinks it's best if she gains confidence by being separated from her - the plan is to move the other girl up (who is 2 months older) and then not move up Julia for another month.

The two girls have been close for the last year. In my observations, Julia has seemed to be kind of snooty and dismissive to the other girl, at least in front of us. Husband has observed the same thing. Julia and her have been on a playdate recently, and I observed Julia and the other girl switch off who was in the lead. Julia ended up leading the girl further out of sight distance than the other mother was ever used to the other girl going, per the other mother's nervous comments. The other girl did suggest some activities, but Julia suggested some too. For example, Julia wanted to go on the zipline, the other girl didn't want to go and wanted to do something else.  Julia went to get in line anyway, and within a minute or two the other girl came over and got in line. For the most part, for that 2 hour playdate I didn't see anything that concerned me (but what do I know).

The teacher cited one incident where the other girl basically said, "Julia, come here or I won't invite you to my birthday party" in a 3-year old Mean Girl kind of way, and then Julia acquiesced. The teacher didn't cite any other examples, but she's only been back for 2-3 hours a day for 2-3 weeks.

Of course I was concerned when I heard that, and it kind of conflicted with my personal assessment, so I talked with the teacher who Julia has spent far more time with over the summer. I asked her to be honest, and she said that they have a back and forth relationship. The other girl is more vocal, but Julia gets her point across in her own way (perhaps like when she got in line for the zipline even though the other girl wanted to do some other activity - there wasn't any protest on Julia's part, she just went to get in line).  The other teacher also said that Julia takes the lead as well. So basically what I've observed. So, I'm conflicted about it all. I don't want to disregard the one teacher's viewpoint because I'm sure it was true in that moment, but I'm not sure she can extrapolate from one incident to generalize their whole relationship. Still, I'm fine with Julia hanging out in the room for another month because they teach pretty much the same thing as they do in the next room. I mean, come on, she's learning her freaking letters and numbers and how to spell anyway.  I don't think she's in any way disadvantaged although the reason why behind it kind of irks me.

There will always be Mean Girls. There are definitely Mean Girls in junior high and high school and college. Unfortunately, there are Mean Girls in the workplace. And, even more unfortunately, there are Mean Girls in preschool.

This is precisely, exactly why I always liked to hang out with the boys. Boys are not mean (well, from my perspective as a girl). A boy cannot cut you to the core like that with one threatening statement. Perhaps I shouldn't generalize. Perhaps it's just me who can't be cut to the core like that by a boy, or maybe I've just never experienced it. Not that I want to.

I can't even come up with one example of a threatening statement I've ever received from a guy.  None. Of course, I've been asked by a whole slew (okay, maybe 15) of guys for sex, which I turned down.  But those were always phrased as questions, and there really wasn't even an implied threat behind it.  I said, "No thanks" in a polite way, and - well - that ends the discussion.  Sure, I never heard from some of them again, but if sex is a dealbreaker then I don't want him in my life.  Others were like, "Well, okay, just had to ask" and then we went back to normal. 

Girls, on the other hand, are a whole different story.  When I hear, "If you don't come here, I won't invite you to my birthday party," my heart sinks and I feel so vulnerable. 

Bitchy, passive aggressive me would glare at the girl and walk the other way.  Screw you, I didn't want to go to your stupid birthday party anyway. That's what I would DO. 

But what would I THINK?  All the cool girls are going to that party.  I want to belong. I want them to like me. Now that I've pissed her off, she's going to rally all her friends against me, then no one's ever going to talk to me again. Everyone else will go to that party, and I'll be all alone. I could do something with someone else, but let's face it - only the loser girls won't be going to her party. So I have to choose between hanging out with the losers (and being labeled as a loser) or stay home by myself. 

After being in a similar situation myself, I came to the realization that the best solution to that dilemma is hanging out with a nice, interesting guy while the girls are having their elitist party where they talk about boys they think are cute and paint each other's nails and contemplate who stuffs their bras versus who has real boobs.  The girls can't say my alternative plan is engaging in loser activity...after all, I'm in the company of a guy while they are merely talking about him.  I'm having a far better time than if I was engaging in gag-inducing activties with the girls. AND I'm not home alone on a Friday or Saturday night.  Win - win - win. 

However, this does not solve my immediate problem (although I did ask a mom tonight if her son and Julia could have a playdate, so perhaps I am reverting to my old ways).  I think it's time for some discussions that start setting the tone with Julia.  "Mommy and Daddy will always be your friends, no matter what.  Good friends are always your friends. When you're a friend to someone, it's the nicest thing you can do for someone.  Taking that away from your friend really hurts your friend's feelings. If someone wants you to do something to stay their friend, how does that make you feel?" And see how the conversation goes. 

Seriously, I didn't think I'd be having to deal with Mean Girls in preschool.  I really thought I'd have the don't get in a car with strangers talk before a Mean Girls talk.  (I would give her the strangers talk if she already wasn't completely paranoid about strangers and didn't already scream her head off if anyone but a few select people pick her up. I don't want her paranoia to increase even more.)

Mean Girls.  (sigh)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Principle on Principal

You miss my rants, don't you?  Last week was a nervewracking week, so that's why I copped out with a food journal. It kept my real-life angst from being inflicted on here.

This week I'm back to being snarky and back with all of my bottled up rage.  Be prepared.

I called up our mortgage company to talk about refinancing today.  For what it's worth, I'm a refinancing whore.  If we do indeed refinance, this would be our THIRD refinance in less than 2 years.  Whore whore whore, at least I admit it.

The mortgage banker sent me an e-mail somewhat addressing what I needed. 

He spelled the loan principal amount as "principle."  As we all know, principles deal with ethics. Principals are administrators at schools, and "principal" is also the spelling of the amount outstanding on your loan.  You can make arguments using a principle, not so much with mortgage principal. For some reason, his misspelling of a common industry word in his profession completely irritates me.  This would be like if I owned a paper goods store and said I owned a "stationary" store instead of a stationery store. 

I know I have issues. You know I have issues. We concur. That's good.

Then he couldn't answer one of my questions, which was a perfectly reasonable question, at least in my estimation.  We would be getting cash back at closing due to negative discount points (having a voluntary higher interest rate than the going rate). I asked if we could lower our mortgage principal amount by the refund amount.  He had no idea and said he'd get back to me soon.  He's been a mortgage banker for at least a year (I dealt with him during the last refinance), and he cannot answer that question?   And he cannot get back to me with the answer within 6 hours?

Now I'm rethinking the refinance thing completely, purely because I don't want to deal with him.  I could try a different bank, but do I have any reasonable assurance that I'll be dealing with someone more competent?

You are probably wondering how I even got married with my clearly unrealistic expectations about how people are supposed to operate in their daily roles. I recently asked my husband how he evades my wrath because one might think he would be in the doghouse quite frequently in his husband role.  He's not really in trouble much, if ever. Exasperating occasionally? Yes. Outright incompetent? No. He said that he never overpromises anything to me because when people tell me they'll do something and end up NOT doing it - that's when I get mad.  And spell check. I think he uses spell check when he writes me.   

He's completely correct.  As long as you 1) do what you say you're going to do, 2) don't resign from a WwF game while I'm ahead, and 3) spell reasonably well, I will tolerate you.  Maybe.  Be aware that I can add more qualifiers to this list at any time because it's a woman's right to change her mind.  :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

End of summer?

Wouldn't you know it?  Summer is pretty much over, and now...NOW the weather is supposed to get up to the 90s.  I think the weather here has surpassed 80 about 3 days this year before now.  I mean, as far as sno cones go, I've had only 3-4 this "summer," and most of those were eaten under the quilt as I shivered.  Kind of pathetic even by my standards.

For some reason, even on the few days that the temperature has hit 80 degrees, I've been cold.  I've been muttering around the house, "Close that window. I'm cold.  It doesn't feel like 80 outside.  Why do you keep opening that window? Are you trying to freeze me out?" I sound old and frail, and I have no idea why I'm so cold all the time.  It certainly hasn't been the case even a year ago when I moaned about how HOT it was.  It's not like I lost 100 pounds or anything.  Maybe if I did have a dramatic weight loss, I would legitimately be cold.  Not the case though.

Another sure sign of the end of summer: working 7.5 hour workdays instead of 7 hour workdays. During the summer, we have to work half an hour less per day.  I know, you're heartbroken for me when I go back to my normal school year schedule. In my defense, going from 7 -> 7.5 hours per day is kind of rough during the first week. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 7

Today is the last day of the experiment.  Yay!

corn tortilla
serving of chicken tortilla soup
a few servings of potato chips
Heath bits
2 small bags of dehydrated fruit
2 nectarines
more soup

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 6

12 oz of green beans
turkey patty (35g protein according to the package)
little bit of cheddar on top
no bun

deli turkey, 2 slices of cheese, no condiments, on wheat sandwich bread
2 servings potato chips
1/4 cup mashed up Heath bits (bought for a recipe and of course snacked on)

2 corn tortillas
2 bowls chicken tortilla soup with some sour cream on top

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 5

How about a sort of mid-week review of sorts?

Exercise: I've been omitting this in my logs for this experiment since the focus is on food. However, I've been doing my typical amount of exercise of walking 2-4 miles a day during lunch or in the evening. I'm not doing anything that requires more exertion than that because I tend to get REALLY hungry at that point and could eat small children.

Fruits and veggies:  I think I do quite well in this area. No one has pointed out that I'm weak here, so I'm going with the theory that this aspect is on target.

Food intolerances: Not supposed to eat gluten or dairy or a few other things but gluten and dairy are hard enough.  I do decently with the gluten aspect (I am quite proud how I've cut back over the past 2 years).  Dairy is a lot more difficult. Don't like milk, but I LOVE cheese and ice cream.  Should have had a sno cone last night for dessert instead of ice cream, but the sno cone maker is loud and she was near bedtime, and that would have made a hullaboo, she would have wanted a sno cone too, blah blah blah.  Still, need to work on the dairy more.

Protein: Need to increase. Not a fan of red meat.  Do like poultry and fish. Not that much of a fan of eggs. Really not a fan of tofu.  I do like those "fake" burgers - bean burgers, Morningstar, even some boca.  Like Luna bars. Like certain nuts. Really like beans.

Sweets: Have to replace, ideally with protein.

Haven't learned anything earth shaking yet - i.e., need to eat less crap, more protein. I already knew that, especially the eat less crap part. My diet is mainly fruits, veggies, a little bit of protein in the form of chicken & fish, I actually do stay away from a lot of processed lunch/dinner food (i.e. Hamburger Helper sorts of things, frozen dinners, etc.), but I can eat the entire junk food aisles of the grocery store. It's a weird dichotomy.

Okay, here we go for Friday.

I tried really hard to get protein in for breakfast.  Actually, I'm kind of nauseous after eating my breakfast, which means I'm. Not. Hungry.  Mission accomplished.

10 oz of OJ mixed with 1 serving of brown rice protein powder (what an awful way to ruin OJ, but I'm not supposed to mix protein powder with milk or yogurt)
2 slices of swiss (cheese is just fat and protein, my other breakfast items didn't have much - if any - fat)
a lot of that egg white crap in a carton, mixed with mango peach salsa

As I said, feeling kind of nauseous.  Not hungry though.  I estimate I ate 600-650 calories for breakfast, which is far more than I typically eat for breakfast. About 40 grams of protein in the breakfast, which is again far more than I typically eat - definitely for breakfast, that may even exceed what I would normally eat throughout a regular day.

2 pears
5 gobstoppers

Hot chocolate
3 more pieces of candy

2 corn tortillas
ample amount of leftover soup with cheese

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 4

I'm hungry.  The painful type of hungry where it feels like your stomach is turning inside out. I hate that painful feeling. I feel like my body is eating itself, which it probably is in a way. 

Oh, fair reader, you may be looking at my food diaries and saying, "Wow, you eat a lot of crap!"  Yes, fair reader, I do.  However, the amount of crap I've eaten in the past 3 days and the sheer volume of food has gone way down.  WAY. DOWN.  Further evidence of that is that I think I might rob a Girl Scout for some freaking thin mints, jail sentence be damned.

liquid egg white with salsa (protein protein protein, hate eggs, but I'm trying to suffer through)
green tea

An hour after eating breakfast the painful, hungry, rob a Girl Scout feeling is back. Drown it out with more tea.  Not working.

8 pieces of candy.  What is weird is how I felt an instant calm come over me as the sugar was entering my bloodstream. Whoosh, not ready to rob a Girl Scout, maybe even chill enough to not even scope out the Girl Scout for her potential thin mints.  Could sugar be my version of heroin?

2 plums
1 nectarine
2 pears

Dinner and beyond:
4 corn tortillas (50 cal each)
3/4 of a HUGE zucchini with a bit of olive oil on it
chicken tortilla soup (an ample amount) with cheese (an ample amount) on top

small bowl of ice cream with caramel sauce - should have had a sno cone, but it was rather late and a certain 3 year old would have wanted a sno cone too and that would have delayed bed time even more.