Saturday, July 28, 2012

Need Resolution

What a crazy few days!

Seriously, there are things that could be happening. Or not. It will probably be next week before the chips fall into place...or not.

I don't want to jinx it by talking about it because the "or not" could is a possibility, and then I'd be super sad if the "or not" became a reality. Right now I'm trying not to get too optimistic. I'm trying to be a realist. The realist in me says that only half might work out. If half works out, it will be GOOD, don't get me wrong. But if the whole thing works out, then it will be AWESOME.

I will describe the whole thing after there's some sort of resolution.

My head is still spinning.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Honey, let's sing along with Christian pop

Sometimes I can be...overcritical. You're thinking, "Duh." I do know I can be overcritical, but sometimes I like to think I merely have high standards.

I had to go to the dentist last week. I don't mind the dentist in theory. Of all of my orifices, my mouth is the orifice that I'm least reticent about being prodded with metal.  :-)  You're supposed to chuckle. Thank you, even if the chuckle was delayed.

I have had many dentist woes in the past few years. Not as in the procedures, but the people. I just can't find a place that I want to be my mouth-prodding place of choice.

My old dentist retired, and I chose that time to switch dentists.

1. First dentist was a pushy just-out-of-dental-school dentist who didn't speak English well. She talked really fast, and I had not a clue what she was saying. The hygienist, the one who does the cleanings, seemed good, but the dentist gave me a headache.

2. Second dentist had the TVs and massage chairs while you got a cleaning. Sweet. The hygienist was good. But the dentist didn't seem all that competent. Maybe I've read too much true crime, but I kind of got the impression that something wasn't quite right with him. Too slick...cross a marketing major with a used car salesman and give him a dental degree. He didn't catch the things that the first dentist saw (some old fillings needed to be replaced). I decided to try out a new dentist.

3. I'm on my third dentist. He does seem competent. Very competent. BUT... it's the hygienist and the environment that I don't like. I can't stand the religious music station playing. A dentist office is a public place; don't play religious music in public places. Play all the religious music you want in your home, not your work (unless you work at a church). Employees at the dentist office hum and sing along with the religious music, which drives me batty. Unless you are a professional singer, do not sing in my ear, especially to religious music that sounds like a cross between country music and Christian pop. The dentist, while competent, calls everyone "honey." Drives. Me. Batty. After the tenth time, I want to scream. However, this is usually after an hour of someone singing along to Christian country/pop music, which has already made me a tad homicidal.

I don't like the hygienists there. 1) Singing along to Christian music in your ear. 2) They do things in the wrong order. Everyone knows (right?) that the tartar scraping is supposed to happen before the polishing. Polishing before the tartar scraping means that you don't leave all freshly polished; it means you leave freshly scraped (i.e., kind of bloody-tasting). Because the hygienist did it again this time, I asked why. She basically said there's less scraping to do if you do polishing first. So you're...lazy....thanks for letting me know. 3) They ask me which church I go to.  4) This time was a really lackluster dental cleaning. They were running behind and the hygienist was trying to make up some time, so I ended up with a 20 minute cleaning (time-saving polish first just like last time, a very lackluster scraping, and a quick fluoride treatment).

I was dreading this dental experience because last time was so religion-laden and patronizing with the "honey." My husband recommended taking along headphones to avoid the religious talk, religious music, and honey" this time. Since I didn't want to subject anyone to my awful rap and 80s music, I didn't have the volume on that high and could still hear the annoying singing and "honeys." And of course they chatter at you even if you have headphones in. I realized that I'm going to change dentists...again. I want a non-lazy dental hygienist; I don't want to be subjected to religious music in a public place, and I detest being called "honey" repeatedly.

Plus I put all of this on the comment card last time, and they didn't change any of it. Call me overcritical.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Too close to home

After a reprieve from true crime for a few months, I've started to watch it again.

I've been watching the "Disappeared" series, which is actually quite anticlimactic because most of the cases remain unsolved. As you might imagine from the title, people disappeared for unknown reasons and, well, still haven't been found. If the show was called "Found Dead," "Lost and Found," or something that indicated some resolution, then perhaps I'd say there was false advertising involved if no one was ever found.

Last night was a little too creepy. One of the cases literally happened a few minutes from my house and where I drive by every day.  I had a friend in high school who lived within spitting distance of this guy's house. I had no idea this case had been open. It happened back in 2005, but one might have thought it would have made the news. It did make two national shows, including the one I watched last night, but I couldn't find anything in the local news archives.

One of the reasons might be because it's a guy. It seems like guys who have gone missing don't get as much media attention. But without any local media attention?

The case is rather shady. The guy who went missing had been going unglued in the weeks/months prior. His relationship with his girlfriend was rocky. He was in a band, and his relationship with his bandmates was rocky; he had recently quit the band. He had just seen a mental health counselor. Suicide was a possibility. Walking away from his life and starting anew was a possibility. Murder was a possibility. So many unknowns.

The local police department (not the city where I technically live) seemed like idiots in the interviews. Maybe I'm harder on the police department nearby than, say, a police department in rural Oklahoma. I felt embarrassed FOR them. One of the officers was a little kooky. She said she had a "vibe that something happened there." (They didn't find any evidence of anything happening there.) Police work goes off of vibes*??? At the end, she said that she thinks he was murdered. Again, no evidence. If she legitimately thinks he was murdered, then get your ass out there and get the evidence to put the perpetrator behind bars. Otherwise, shut up or be diplomatic and say that you couldn't find evidence. You look idiotic talking about your personal theories when you can't back it up! There was another officer interviewed, but he was completely stiff and then was talking about going back to the apartment months later (without a warrant) to look for evidence in the apartment. Ummm...shouldn't you have done that originally and why didn't you get a warrant?

All that aside, it's really creepy to think an unsolved crime could have happened just a few miles away. I suppose it's easier to think the "bad" things happen in different places, but once I realize that it could happen such a short distance away, it makes me kind of afraid to go to sleep at night.

* The rest of us non-police officers can talk about our vibes as a personal opinion. But police officers? Um, let's stick with the facts.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How much do I want it?

In February 2007 I got back in touch with an old friend. We were buddies in college. Back in college, we did the typical things that 2 college girls do: eat, talk about boys, play games, go to the mall. Then we lost touch for several years, and then we were baaaaack!

During the several-year intermission, she went and got healthy. I didn't quite get the whole story, but it seemed like her boyfriend was in a position to take care of all expenses, so she had a lot of free time (more free time than the average person has). She chose to get serious about running initially, and then she got really into cycling, and then she got really into weights. By the time we reconnected, she had lost 50 or so pounds and was in great shape because she would literally exercise 3-4 hours a day.

Like a lot of people who really get into fitness and want to convert everyone else they know into a fitness lifestyle, she told me that I could do this too. Which I suppose I could have, but I worked for 40 hours a week, at the time I volunteered, and my zeal for exercising didn't quite approach her zeal.

Even back then, I typically walked 2 miles at least 5 times a week. Not too shabby, but let's just say it really wasn't intense exercise. It was about 3 hours a week of moderate exercise.

I told my friend at the time that I'd like to lose 10 pounds. She gave me an exercise regimen of 6 workouts a week (with weights/cardio) and then gave me a food regimen that limited me to something like 1,300 calories a day.

I was better at keeping with the exercise than the food. I could do an hour per day of more strenuous exercise pretty easily. Even eating really healthy, I'd get through the 1,300 calories by 3pm and then be starving, so I'd eat bad stuff when I got home while I was waiting for my dinner to cook. Plus I was exercising more, which increased my appetite. I was easily at 2,000 calories a day, but probably more like 2,300.

She would check in on me, and I'd feel bad that I wasn't keeping to the regimen that she gave me.

When all was said and done, after five months I ended up losing about 8 pounds (mostly through the increased exercise).

Then I got pregnant a month later. Gained 45 pounds over my new (low) weight. Lost 30 pounds within 3 weeks of having the baby. Gained 10-15 pounds due to having a colicky, cranky baby and being home all day and stress eating.

Lost 15 pounds after I went back to work pretty quickly. Then I lost lost another 5-10 pounds. If you're keeping up with the math, I'm now 5-9 pounds (depending on the day) up over what I was the second I got pregnant. But at the time I got pregnant I was down 8 pounds compared to what I had been for years, so now I'm essentially what I was at before I got all fitness-ified for those five months back in 2007.

This is a long-winded way of saying that if I really want it, I can probably lose those 8 pounds again. I just have to have a plan and stick to the said plan.

As I sit here and think about making a plan to do just that, I realize that I don't really want it that bad. I know I should want it. I want it enough that I'll get rid of the frozen fruit bars and Oreo cookies that are hanging out at our house. BUT... I want to keep lollipops as my chosen sweet. They take longer to eat. They are like 60 calories each and take 10 minutes to eat vs. a piece of cheesecake that's something like 800 calories and takes the same amount of time to eat. I found some lollipops on Amazon that don't have high fructose corn syrup, plus they don't have dairy in them (my current ones do have dairy in them). I can't wait til they arrive!

As for fitness, I want to keep it up. It's important to be fit and enjoy the exercise you're doing. But I don't have any desire to run a marathon or become a power builder. I just want to have fun and be healthy.

So here is my promise:
  • My chosen sweet will be naturally flavored fruit lollipops without HFCS. I can also do fruit smoothies with no added sugar. (Try not to keep ice cream, other candy, cakes, cookies, etc. in the house. Once in a while something delectable as a treat is okay in a small portion if other people are having some.)
  • 2 hours of exercise per week, whatever I want. I basically do this now, and even more than that because it's probably more like 3 hours, but I should really focus on varying my exercise and trying to incorporate more into my workouts.
That's what I feel comfortable with. I think I can keep to it. Will it make a difference? Who knows, time will tell. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I just finished reading a book that was so emotionally hard to read, especially for fiction. It was about a man who couldn't find work and found himself in a desperate situation in order to keep himself and his 4-year old daughter fed and with a roof over their heads.

I find the responsibility of being a parent so daunting. There are those happy-go-lucky parent types who are so incredibly chill about everything...and then there's me. I worry about the 1,287 ways I'm going to screw up my daughter. (Cue hyperventilation into a paper bag)

My daughter had her 4-year check-up last week. She's not quite 30 lbs without her clothes on. 10th percentile for weight. Then the doctor hit me with the news that her height ... sucks. She should be tall. My husband's taller than average. I'm slightly taller than average. Tall + slightly tall should equal more than 20th percentile for height. He doesn't think she's getting enough nutrients. As I've said her whole life, she doesn't eat much. We offer food; she just doesn't eat it. Now I am obsessed that I'm stunting my child's growth because I can't get her to eat. When other parents list the 20 things their kid ate that day and my kid has eaten 400 calories total, I get even more discouraged. I suck as a mother; I can't even feed my kid enough to keep her healthy. (Cue even more hyperventilation)

I can't believe this book even gave more angst on top of the angst I already have, as described above. The new angst is about myself as a provider. I sat back and thought more about this. As I've said on here before, I couldn't be a stay-at-home mom. It's just not me. My domestic skills are rather lackluster, I'm not very patient, I need more of an identity than the identity I have as a mother for my own sanity. BUT, upon reflection, these might be excuses for the bigger issue. The bigger issue might be that I would feel so vulnerable as a stay-at-home parent. I wouldn't have up-to-date job skills and would fall further behind the rest of the workforce in skills. I would be relying on my husband for so, so much. He would bring home ALL the money. I wouldn't bring home any. If he wanted to leave the marriage, he would have ALL of the money, and I wouldn't have much in the way of resources. I would feel that the only thing I brought to the table would be my domestic skills, which as I said are lacking. I would be incredibly vulnerable.

I need to feel like I bring something to the table. I need to feel like I could be self-sufficient and take care of my daughter. Right now I feel that way. The thought of NOT having self-sufficiency makes me want to hyperventilate. I don't like feeling vulnerable. I don't like feeling weak.

Why? This troubles me because the psychology major in me thinks it's because I feel exactly that: vulnerable and weak.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thoughts from my picture food diary

This week I did a picture blog of the food I ate throughout the day. I didn't get any big epiphanies since I kind of already knew what I ate. I eat healthy stuff intermixed with junk: frozen fruit bars, lollipops, cookies, etc.

One thing that did become more clear was that when you *need* to eat something, it's more calorie efficient to eat something that takes longer to eat (like a lollipop) than shoving a handful of cookies in your mouth.

Thus, it probably makes sense to severely limit the sweets in the house to lollipops or something like that. It's amazing how quickly I can eat 10 cookies.

This past week I had off from work for a paid mandatory, week-long vacation. When I started at the organization 11.5 years ago, I loved my first paid mandatory vacation in the summer. Back then it was 2 weeks. I was a newlywed, had a newly built house with not much work to do, no child. It was basically 2 weeks of complete freedom, which meant staying up until all hours of the night watching movies or Nick at Nite, sleeping in until noon, eating popsicles, and reading. It was ultimate laziness, and I loved it!

Now the vacation has a much different feel. It's shorter. There are more responsibilities, I suppose. My schedule can't get too haywire since I have a perky 4-year old who is going to wake me up by 6:30am whether I go to bed at 9pm or 4am. On this vacation I woke up to a to-do list each day. Friday was nice because I took Miss J to the amusement park (she likes roller coasters!), but it was taxing at the same time.

Times change, and I suppose people need to change with them.

Saturday food

Turkey burger and piece of salmon
Frozen fruit bars
At least I remembered to take the picture before it was completely gone! ;-)
Taco salad
Not pictured are 2 more frozen fruit bars and 3 butterscotch lollipops.

Friday food

Half the bag of snap peas (1 lb) and a cucumber
Teriyaki salmon and turkey burger
Frozen fruit bars - I ate about 4 more that aren't pictured
2 small baked potatoes plus a bit of garlic butter
1.5 oz serving of Sun Chips

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday Fail

I forgot to take pictures of my food today. (And I had a few cookies.) Ugh, I suck.

Back on the saddle on Friday.

Wednesday food

Black bean burger (no bun or cheese) and cherries
Frozen fruit bars
Snap peas, carrots, turkey burger (no bun or cheese)
More frozen fruit bars
caesar salad with 1.5 pieces of teriyaki chicken

Tuesday food

Caesar salad
sweet potato fries
1.5 pieces of teriyaki chicken, corn, green beans, 2 lollipops
tater tots and a frozen fruit bar

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday food, part 2

Not a duplicate, more salad for dinner
2 pieces of chicken

Monday food, part 1

Caesar salad with scant amount of dressing
My favorite lollipops ever
Leftover tortellini soup (no cheese on top)
Bowl of cherries
Frozen fruit bars

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday food, part 2

Tortellini soup with ground turkey, topped with cheese

Sunday food, part 1

I can only email 5 pictures at a time from my phone, so it's going to be 2 entries.

Breakfast: black beans and brown rice with tomatoes.