Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quick and Easy Questions

Quick and Easy Questions
1.  What time did you go to bed last night?  11pm
2.  What is the last thing that made you smile?  My goofy kid
3.  What is the last movie you watched?  Ummm, I can't remember. I know I watched a standup special on Netflix a few days ago, but that's not a movie. I've been mostly bingeing on TV series on Netflix.
4. What did you have for breakfast today?  Chicken quinoa bean and kale soup. Healthy, but a bit odd for breakfast.
5. Would you rather mop all of your floors or do laundry?  Haha, mop because we mostly have carpet and hardwood, which you can't mop!
6. Do you drink coffee?  Nope
7.  Will you watch the Superbowl?  Since Seattle's in it, I suppose so. ;)
8. How often do you shop for groceries?  Once or twice a week. I usually go to several stores each week, just not all on the same day.
9.  What kind of workout will you do today?  I did elliptical (30 minutes) and weights.
10.  Do  you use a fitness tracker?, not right now.


One of the areas that I have a lot of discipline is money. I make an annual and monthly budget, and part of the challenge is to come under budget, which I almost always do. Partly because it's a very generous budget and partly because I'm not a good shopper/spender.

Where I struggle with discipline is eating. Over the years, I've learned what I can get away with food as long as I exercise. "What I can get away with" isn't discipline.

For the past two weeks, I've been keeping track of everything I eat and trying to stay within a reasonable calorie budget (not super low, but low enough to lose a reasonable 2 pounds per month). The first week was really hard. I was going above my budgeted calories, and at the end of the day I'd try to fit in a lot of exercise to burn enough to get down to my calorie goal. The second week has been a little bit easier. I'm starting to feel when my stomach has hit the calorie goal and then trying to stop for the day. I'm not feeling as satiated as I am used to. So there's a lingering emptiness at the end of the day, which is both a psychological and physical obstacle.

The funny thing is that I'm not doing this to actually lose weight, which of course IS a great side benefit. The real reason I'm doing this is trying to create more discipline in myself and being mindful of the decisions I make and the repercussions of them.

 We'll see how things go.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Super Bowl

The Seattle Seahawks are in the Super Bowl. Now isn't that just super?! :)

January is usually a weird month. The post-Christmas high is gone. Work heats up. The winter slog continues. My birthday...full of yummy treats that derail a week of healthy eating.

My dear daughter got a stomach virus on Wednesday. It wasn't just a little thing. It was Pukepalooza - I think she vomited all over the whole school (outside, her classroom, down the hall). She couldn't even make it from the nurse's office to my car. Memo to self: only give your kid plastic bags to puke in that don't have holes at the bottom. That was a nasty, nasty day. Thank goodness it only lasted about 7 hours. I am a bit weak-kneed around illness.

I've been a reading fiend so far in January. I've read something like 12 books.

This is not a scintillating post. Not that I'm normally scintillating, but I do realize that pure update posts, particularly about vomit, are not exciting.

Super Bowl! Super Bowl! Super Bowl!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

But I want you

I wasn't one of those little girls who played with dolls and pretended that there was a mommy, daddy and baby living together in a pink dollhouse. I did have a few Barbies, but I used them to practice braiding hair, cutting hair, and primitive amputations of limbs. I wasn't that type of kid who played house. I read. I sewed badly. I played computer games. I think I'm the first generation who grew up with computer games, and I loved them. I have had a computer since I was 6 years old (holla TI-99 and the Atari and the Intellivison!).
But I have a kid now. I never thought I would have one. In none of my childhood fantasies was I ever a mommy. Plus, I'm weird. Not in a "OMG, lock her up!" kind of way, but more of a "hmmm should Amy Farrah Fowler really have a child?" kind of way. I might think of my daughter like a science experiment sometimes. There are some good parts to that. I can think of how I'm going to parent in a more analytical way. "What kind of behavior am I trying to get out of her? What can I positively reinforce behavior in that direction?"

Yet, (shocking!) there are drawbacks to being a weirdo with a child. There are many, but I'll mention one from when my daughter was a toddler and one now.

1) Weirdo with a toddler: My daughter fell on the playground. She came up to me crying. I look at her knee. It looks fine; there's no blood--there's not even a scrape. I say, "You're fine. Go back and play." She just stands there. I turn her around and show her the playground like she's deaf. "Go play."

My husband told me that I needed to kiss her owie. "But she didn't even scrape her knee!" He looks at me and tells me, "Just kiss her knee." So I did. And she happily turned around and went back to play (Neither of my parents kissed my real or imagined bruises.)

2) Weirdo with a kindergartener: My daughter was invited to a boy's drop-off birthday party last month. She had her first and only drop-off party previously back when she was 3, so it had been a while. She was fine in theory about last month's drop-off party until the day of. Then she wanted to back out because she was scared that there would be people she didn't know, and we wouldn't be there. My response, "You've got to learn to meet new people, and we're not always going to be around."

She sniffled, "But what if I'm scared and need a hug?"

What do I say???

"Ask ________'s mom for a hug." I'm a pretty bad hugger anyway, and a hug is a hug. Right?!

And then she blubbered, "But I want YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!"  

This little person wants me. Why? I have no idea. I don't even want me most of the time. Does she only want me because I'm familiar to her like that teddy bear she sleeps with every night? Am I like that wire rhesus monkey that they put something soft over in that experiment? Or does she want me for other reasons?

Regardless, she wants me.

It's only now after being a parent for over 5 years that I realize why people psychologically want children. Because, let's be honest, if you do the cost/benefit analysis of having a child, the costs FAR outweigh the benefits from the time and money perspective. Then there's the:


How do you graph that?  And if you have more than one child, you have your own personal fan club.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The true economics of life

I love business. Back in college, I loved taking business classes with only two exceptions--business law (BORRRR-ING) and the application of human resources (like firing people). Other than that, I was so jazzed about all of my classes. I found it all so fascinating and intuitive. Make revenue, account for expenses, count the cash. If you're negative at the end, play with the variables to see how you can increase revenue and/or decrease expenses. For instance, conduct a marketing campaign and see how that it affects the numbers or hire a new CFO.

I truly enjoy it.

Alas, I know business isn't necessarily the noblest of professions, so I don't work in business directly right now. (And I'm too lazy to commute to Seattle, let's be honest.)

One premise that I remember from all of my economics classes is that people are rational decision-makers. They will analyze the price and utility of a good, and then they will come to a rational decision about whether to buy it.

I contend that people are not rational, myself included. There are so many irrational decision-makers in the world that make cost-benefit decisions based on emotion. I don't even know how the premise of economics can be true. Back then I accepted the premise to be true because I was the type to take whatever a professor said as fact. And then I keep observing real life, and it does not operate like those pretty graphs I made in economics.

I liked those pretty graphs that made sense. When reality can't be so graphed so easily, it befuddles me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 and December 2013 By the Numbers

Ah 2014, here you are. I don't have any recaps of 2013. I don't have any New Year's Resolutions. I

We went to Arizona for the holidays. It was 70ish degrees every day. Not sure if I even saw a cloud while I was there. Spent the night in Vegas. May I digress?

I used to live in Las Vegas. I spent my tween years there, which desensitized me to a lot at an early age: public drunkenness, nudity, gambling, flashing neon lights, etc. Since I've left, new casinos have been built (back in my day, the Mirage and Excalibur were the "new" hotels). Over the years, Treasure Island changed its show from one similar to Pirates of the Caribbean to some almost naked woman show (blasphemy) and now it's under construction probably to make an even splashier presence. New shops and boutiques have emerged (Prada, anyone?). And it all leaves me so empty. I can enjoy the lights and sites for a few hours, but then it becomes so meaningless. It's a temporary reprieve, one street where you can visit New York, Paris, Venice and any sin your heart desires before you go back to your reality...unless your reality is working on that street, and then I feel sorry for you.

2014. A year I don't have any hopes and dreams for. Maybe my 2014 motto will be, "Keep plodding along." It's not like my calendar is devoid of happenings this year. There will be fun stuff. We're going to be taking a vacation by ourselves in June. I hope to cook and host more. I hope to blog more. 2013 was my crappiest blogging year ever. You can see there has been a nosedive in my number of posts each year. BUT...I hope to reverse that trend this year!

I didn't do a December By the Numbers written out. I'll type it instead.

Lost 1.4 lbs compared to December 1st.
550 minutes of exercise:
  • 110 minutes of weights
  • 370 minutes of walking
  • 25 minutes dancing
  • 45 minutes jogging
I read 10 books.
I had 3 clean days.

Over the course of 2013, I read 126 books. I lost 2.6 pounds in the past year. Certainly not stellar, but I didn't gain and I am sure I kept things in check because of the accountability I had here in terms of exercise and scale check-ins.

What I'd like to do this year is be super diligent about recording my food. I'm not talking about necessarily here since I have an app for that. But I do like the accountability piece of tying it into here. And I do have to be in a fancy dress at the end of March, so there's some motivation about being good in the first quarter of 2014 in particular. And then there's the lure of being in a swim suit for the summer to keep me good into the second and possibly the third quarters of 2014.

That was a big step in 2013 for me. I was in a bathing suit in public for the first time since I was 13 years old! Maybe in 2014 I can wear a bathing suit twice.

Here's to a fabulous 2014 to everyone!