Saturday, March 31, 2007

If I don't look at the calories, it's all good.



Five of the things I regularly keep in my house and munch on.

"OF the things", I said...there are more and they will get their own day (after I buy more because I ate them all and they weren't available for a photo shoot.


I know - deep down in the logical part of my brain - that even though these things carry healthy claims such as "Fat-Free," "1/2 the fat and 1/3 the calories!" "ORGANIC!" and "Calci-YUM!" (There is just no excuse for the creamer) - that they are not, in fact, GOOD for me. They are relatively healthy things as compared to other foods - but my diet should not CONSIST of them.


So these things (except the creamer - why O WHY did I include you? I'm so sorry! SO! SORRY!), are now going on the Restricted List. Not completely off-limits, but no longer a staple in my diet. No more bringing bags of pretzels to munch on at work. No more going into the kitchen for handfuls of bunny grahams. No more ice cream every night. And NO MORE making pudding pie once a week.


If you'll excuse me, I need a little *time* now.


What are your favorite "bad" foods? What's masquerading in your pantry as "health food"? What are you NOT willing to give up?



Friday, March 30, 2007

Don’t Hate The Playa…Hate The Game!

Or, DON’T hate the game, because it’s kinda fun!!

The Rules (Directly copied from Sugar Kane cuz I’m lazy like that.): Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me.” I respond by asking you five personal questions (I will leave these questions for you in my comments) so I can get to know you better. If I already know you well, expect the questions may be a little more intimate! You WILL update your journal/bloggy thing/whatever with the answers to the questions (please don't leave your answers in my comments unless you don't have a blog). You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


So, these are my questions from Ms. Sugar Kane…(Btw, she’s far more creative than I, so don’t be expecting “good” ones like this from me! Cuz I’m lazy like that, remember??)

1. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
Being a Heroes fan, it’s kind of hard to choose because I see the downside to a lot of “super powers.” I think it would be reading minds, though. I know Matt Parker is kind of a loser and doesn’t use his powers the best (how about some discretion, man? And please work on the faces you make while you’re using your power - if you survive). Or super strength because that would be pretty cool too…or can I just pick Peter, because he can do anything!? I think we’ve established that I’m very indecisive.

2. How did you become involved in the various charities you support and the green movement?
Guilt and loneliness. Not what you’d expect, huh? After what happened with Isabella, I was pretty sure I was paying my dues for some of the rotten things I’d done in my life. The life I’d been planning for almost a year was suddenly gone and I felt very empty. I talked about getting into Walk America before. That just made me realize that I really did have the ways and means of helping other people. I’ve always wanted to help the less fortunate, but before that considered myself in their group. It’s an odd thing - when you lose what’s most important to you - after a while, (if you’re lucky) you realize all the blessings you have in life and become very grateful for them.

3. Which would you choose, fame or immortality?
I’m not so sure I’d want either. I wouldn’t want to be immortal because I’d have to watch everyone I love die. (Geez, this is getting really sad!). I guess I’d pick fame, because that comes with money (usually - I don‘t want to be famous for being a psycho or anything!). I REALLY dislike the paparazzi, though.

4. What has been your biggest challenge in raising children that are 'not yours'.
Connecting with Ninja Boy. Sunshine was still a baby when I met The Man, so she didn’t see anything really weird about having three parents (until she went to daycare anyway). But NB was five. His mom was a SAHM (only because she couldn’t keep a job, but this isn’t about her - though I would LOVE to pin all my problems on her). Anyway, he was so used to having her around and then after a few really rough months and some traumatic experiences, he was living with his dad and, as his mom taught him, “The Amy my dad is sleeping with” (His aunt has the same name and I was pretty much homeless from 17-20). So, he’s had a really tough time connecting with me because for so long he thought of me as trying to replace his mom. I’ve had a really tough time connecting with him because I don’t understand him and his emotions. It creates fights daily, but I still love them both more than I ever could have imagined.

5. What is your dream job?
Don’t go into shock now…but I’d start a non-profit. I’m not exactly sure WHAT it would be for, but I’ve always wanted to win the Powerball so I could. My long-time dream was a secure neighborhood for abused families. But now I’m into the whole “save babies” thing…so…I’ll let you know for sure after that windfall.

Future MILF Update



I’m still really pissed off at the pounds that seem to be multiplying despite my attempts to get rid of them. I’m so frustrated that I really do feel like giving up. But I won’t. Because I know I can’t give up and still get to where I want to be. And I’m not going to complain anymore about it because Silly Chick reminded me that while we’re here to support each other, bitching about everything isn’t going to accomplish my goal for me.

SO! You should totally check out the ticker I got from TickerFactory.com (at the bottom of the page). If you’re not too keen on putting your actual weight on it (which I might as well be honest about and tell you that’s NOT my current weight, but I refuse to make it go back up), you can choose to do just BMI or go by the pounds you are trying to lose. They also have tickers for pretty much everything else, too!

I also added SparkPeople’s Quote of the Day below it.

Speaking of SparkPeople, they sent me an email today with a ‘quiz’ in it. Check it out…

The Weight Loss Expectations Quiz
By Dean Anderson
To find out whether your expectations about weight loss may be increasing your stress levels, take the following brief quiz. Indicate whether you think the following statements are true or false. To benefit from this exercise, your answer should reflect how you honestly feel most of the time, NOT what you think the “correct” response might be.

1. I have taken a careful look at my eating and exercise habits, and I have a good idea of what I need to change and how I want to do it.
FALSE
No, actually I haven’t. I assumed I was doing well, but then I read Tessa’s blog and realized that I really need to look at WHAT I’m eating (and how much). And I need to make a real plan for exercise instead of “I’m going to get up early and work out tomorrow.”

2. I have accepted the idea that I need to make permanent changes in my lifestyle to lose weight and keep it off permanently.
TRUE, mostly
I know that I need to, but I’m not entirely convinced that I’m going to.


3. I will feel successful only if reach my weight loss goal.
FALSE
I’d feel successful if I lost anything right now.


4. I know that it took time to gain weight, and I believe it is best to try to lose the weight slowly.
TRUE
Wholeheartedly. In reality, it only took me about five months to gain it, but I hung on to it for a while and I know that makes it harder to lose


5. I am working on weight loss now because I really want to, not because someone else thinks I should.
TRUE
Everyone in my life is pretty supportive of me being me. If anything, they prevent me from changing.


6. If I can manage to lose the weight, I think many other problems in my life will be solved.
TRUE
Because I haven’t looked at the answers yet, I don’t know if I’m “right” or “wrong” about this, but I DO believe it. I will be less tired, I should have less stress, my self esteem would come back…those few things would change my world.


7. I am willing and able to do a significant amount of physical activity on a daily basis, including planned exercise.
HALF TRUE
Able, but not very willing. Again, I need to make a real plan for exercise and write it down. Once I get my plan, I’ll post it.


8. I can lose weight successfully with no slip-ups.
FALSE
Who doesn’t have a slip-up now and then?


9. I am ready, willing, and able to spend enough time each day planning and tracking my food intake and exercise activities.
AGAIN, PARTLY TRUE
I’m probably ABLE if I set aside time to do it, but I’m not willing and not ready.


10. If my weight loss slows down or stalls out, I usually lose my motivation and stop my program.
NOT REALLY
Gaining is very disheartening, but as long as I’m not gaining, I’m pretty happy – though I’m sure I’d get discouraged if I stalled for a long time.


11. When I am having problems sticking to my plan, I usually get on the message boards or the phone and talk about it with other people.
FALSE
I take issue with asking for help.


12. I have many stressful situations in my life right now, but I’m determined to be successful at weight loss.
SOMETIMES
Throughout the day, I go through a lot of different feelings about this. Sometimes, I’m strong and keep going, sometimes I just want to give in.

Click here to read the article and see the answers.

I scored a 7.5 ("kind of" answers got half a point)


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Do ya think it's the aliens??


So, I am going to try this *work* thing out today, seeings how they're *paying* me and all.

But, I would sure love to hear what you all think about this.

Ca-Ray-ZY!!!!




Disclaimer: I don't actually believe in aliens...at least, I *hope* there are none, because they would make me very scared. Did you see "Signs?" Wouldn't go outside at night for A LONG TIME.

*

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Green Challenge #2

With meditation, the goal is not to relax. It is to become aware. You become aware of your breaths, sensations, thoughts and surroundings. Because what good is trying to change something you have no awareness of?

Similarly, the Buddhist percepts are studied by first becoming aware. Before you can say, “I will not lie” you have to know all the ways you lie in life. You have to study yourself and become aware of these things, only then you may decide how to change them.

When habits are changed by first becoming aware, then mindfully changing every aspect of that habit, they are bound to stick around.

This week, I challenge you to become aware of how much water you consume and how much is wasted. Bring awareness to the activities in which you waste water (mine is while doing dishes and wiping counters). Write it down if you have to. At the end of the week, take a look at all you observed. If you found that five minutes of your shower time is spent just standing there, or that you leave the water running while you wipe down the table, take that information and use it to mold your habits. Remind yourself every time to turn the water off when you aren’t directly using it.



I’ve been practicing this the past few weeks (it’s hard!) and I’m constantly catching myself letting it run and immediately turning it off. When I’m lingering in the shower ‘just because,’ I tell myself to get going with the day. It’s probably going to take a long time before I actually change my ways, but every little bit helps. Right now, I’m probably using about half to three-quarters of the water I (personally) was using before. I’ll let you know when I get my next water bill.

Other things you can do to save water:

~Use Gray Water. ~Read Ideal Bite’s shower tips. ~Check out these tips.

~As a bonus to the challenge, I also hope you will consider environmentally friendly cleaners the next time you are shopping for them. An apparent “Good Buy”? Method Cleaners.* I totally thought this was just the Target brand. I had NO IDEA that they were *special*. I am definitely going to try their all-purpose spray when I replace my Lysol next week!~

* Thank-you, Wanderer, for the recommendation and I’ll take all the tips you’ve got!



(Source)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Label Me

Some of you may know how much I like to keep the politics outta my little garden here. I think some things are just better left not talked about in certain places. I just see way too much bashing of both sides and I don’t like that kind of stuff going on under my watch.

I know (from your own blogs and profiles and such) that many…okay, I think ALL…of my readers fall on the more Democratic side of the political spectrum.

Me? **Waiting for the backlash** I’m Republican.

PLEASE! Before you assume that I have a Bush shrine in my garage, HEAR ME OUT.

Growing up, I had one good role model: My grandpa. My grandpa served many years in the US Navy. My grandpa is a smart, articulate and kind man. He’s worked hard his whole life and taken every opportunity to better himself. He has a great pride in his heritage. He has a great pride for our country. It’s because of him that I sit in complete awe on the fourth night of every July, eternally grateful for the sacrifices our forefathers made to make this country what it is. It’s because of him that I will always stand tall with my hand over my heart at the presentation of Old Glory. It’s because of him that the national anthem can move me to tears. I guess it’s like CCR says, “Some folks inherit star spangled eyes”…I did.

Curious about my parents? Both the democratic type – but neither gave much of a fight for the “Role Model” title in my impressionable years. Now that I’m an adult and can see things for myself, I realize my grandpa is VERY Republican. A “those bleeding liberal dipsticks” type. I’m not. Not even close. I appreciate that there are different “groups” that are out pushing their own issues. If it weren’t for the balance of differing opinions, our world would really stop turning. It’s the labels of the groups that have gotten to me. I guess because I’m “growing up” during a time with so much political strife, it’s much worse, but I don’t like the assumptions that come with the labels. I don’t like telling people my political stance because I’m scared of what they will assume. That I’m some Bible-toting, evangelizing, blood-thirsty war-monger. I’m not. Just like I’m sure all Democrats aren’t sign-wielding, pot-smoking hippies out to spread communism. There are a lot of things I agree on with the conservatives. And there are a lot of things that send me running for some Liberal shelter.

I like to say that my political stance is Purple. But people don’t get that. (I’ve tried.)



Are you all still here??

That super-long defensive rant was really only the lead-in for me to ask:

How the hell can you DENY global warming, Republican Party? Straight-up DENY it??? Really?? All of you?? Are you the types who don’t believe in the Holocaust, too??

Who can honestly look at our planet and think everything is OKAY?

Where are all the Christian Conservatives that want to take care of the Earth that our Lord created for US?

Really, if there is ANYONE out there reading this that doesn’t “believe in” global warming, DO TELL…what DO you believe??

Try to convince me FAST, because this seems really absurd to me. And if labeling myself “Republican” means that I’ll be expected DENY the needs of our Mother Planet…then you can just call me Purple.


And that’s your random “Where the hell did THAT come from??” Rant of the week! Thanks for sticking through it. And be sure to tune in tomorrow for Green Challenge #2.

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's Been A Long Week!


* I found out about Parents Magazine’s new blog, GoodyBlog. Highly suggested!


* FMILF Updates:


*Here’s some math I just can’t figure out:
2 x Elliptical (last week) + 2 x Elliptical (this week), + short hike at lunch Thursday = + 3 pounds – WTF, Fat, can’t you take a HINT???

*I (re)defined MILF on MySpace.


* Fans of Suburban Turmoil welcomed her new (big) baby boy!!

* Lena introduced us to Motherhood Uncensored’s Real Mom Truths. It’s like a mommyblog buffet!

* FitSugar has me itching to go golfing – no, HIKING! – no, playing TENNIS! – hell, I just want to go outside!!


* I finally got around to playing the Stop Disasters game that ThinkBigg showed us - it was actually pretty fun and now I'm nearly qualified to be a FEMA employee.


* I signed up for the Stop Global Warming Virtual March.

* I want you all to have a lovely weekend. It’s supposed to be gorgeous here, so hopefully that will keep my bum out of the desk chair!



Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Green Challenge #1


In my head, the title goes along with the "Da-da-duh - GREEN GIANT" tune. I've spent entirely too much time in front of the TV. :)


When The Man and I were living together for the first time, we were very naïve. Our rent was half of what our mortgage now is. We worked 10-20 minutes away. We spent every waking moment spending money on something and complained about how broke we were. We smoked. We didn’t save money. We didn’t recycle.

Well, that’s not entirely true. We recycled paper. I had a grocery bag propped next to the garbage can that we put paper in. When it was overstuffed, it made its way outside. Where it sat, usually until it started to decompose. Also, after a while, we started throwing our soda cans in a big box outside for my step-grandpa to take for the boy scouts. My reasoning for not recycling anything else was that we didn’t use much of it. A couple glass jars here, some steel cans there. What did it really matter, anyway?

The true reason? My garbage company made me rinse everything out. (Who wants to wash garbage??) And sort them out. (Who wants to organize garbage??) And carry the little plastic tote they gave me down my long-assed driveway on the *special* garbage day. Really, who has that much time?


Between the sale of that house and the purchase of this one, we stayed in a duplex in a different city. There, our recycling can looked exactly like our garbage can. Both large carts on wheels. And we didn’t have to sort anything.


I don’t know if it was because I was pregnant (pregnancy overwhelmed me with this feeling that I had to save the world - or at least make it a little better) or what, but I decided to try it. I set up one bag for paper and one for all the other recyclables next to the garbage. The rinsing still got to me. It felt like a lot of work just to get rid of something. But soon, I noticed that our recycling cart was full before the garbage one. [Insert immense feeling of guilt here.] I had been throwing all of that into the same bin, to be taken to the same landfill, dumped in the same heap - and all the while, I could have saved over half of that stuff. And not only saved that space at the landfill, but also saved the precious natural resources it used, the production costs – both economically and environmentally - that it took to make that one can or jar or bottle.

I was something short of devastated to find they didn’t have such a wonderful recycling program in my new town. In fact, the friend I had living out here already told me they didn’t recycle AT ALL. I called my new garbage company determined to change their ways - and they offered me the standard tote for an $8 deposit. I really wanted to use all the same excuses I did in the first house. Sorting, lugging that stupid thing to the curb… But I just couldn’t. I couldn’t throw ALL THAT stuff into the garbage can knowing the impact. So we bought some sorters for the garage and I stuck with it until last summer when they introduced the new carts.


Since I made that change, I’ve started noticing a lot of other things I do that aren’t really the best choices for the environment…or even for my family. I look for ways to improve what I do and make small changes to become … well … better than I was at protecting the environment.
With Earth Day approaching, I really wanted to organize some kind of thing in my neighborhood to get my neighbors more interested in recycling. However, with the Walk, Easter, and several birthdays coming up, I’m pretty sure I would go crazy trying to plan something else. So I got the idea to start here. Every Tuesday for X amount of weeks (I’m cRaZy like that), I’ll post a Green Challenge. Some tips for living a greener life, resourceful websites and, of course, a challenge.




This week’s is to confess your environmental crimes. “Crimes” too harsh? How about “bad habits”?



My top three environmental crimes:


1. I use A LOT of water. I try not to let it run, but I often do. I never understood why it was so freakin’ bad to let water run. It COMES from the river…it goes BACK to the river, right? It’s not like it disappears into space because it goes down the drain!! But, with age comes wisdom. And that “Oh, DUH!” thing you get once in a while. Yes, people, it takes ENERGY to PRODUCE the water, huh?? And guess what? Money doesn’t grow on trees, either!! Who knew?



2. I use chemical cleaners. Like, Lysol Kitchen Cleaner. Again…never thought about the impact they might have on the environment. I do (because I’m cheap) dilute it with water a couple times and then recycle the bottle, so this only makes it half a crime, right? I plan on researching more earth-friendly cleaners soon.



3. I’m addicted to bottled water. Again, I recycle every bottle. However, it would be MUCH friendlier to the Earth if I were to … say … umm … refill the bottle. My office did recently get a filtered water system, so I’m sure since it’s filtered that even though it still smells like swamp water, it’s cool to drink … right? … This one may take a while.


Alright, it’s on YOU…Confess!



Monday, March 19, 2007

Website Review: Endless.com

My SIL is a pretty savvy chick. She finds The Coolest Stuff Ever on this here Internet. So when she sends me a link, I know I have to check it out. Especially when she says it's to a place with cheap shoes.

Within five minutes of receiving said link, I had a hot pair of peep-toes picked out. But then Rational Me stepped in and said "Hey, remember you just bought some peep-toed heels? And just how many times have you worn them?" Frivolous Me muttered, "Once ... Cheap Bitch."

So I waited until I got home and bought THESE:


I really like them. They're comfy. They remind me of the1920’s a little bit. I have nothing to go with them.

I need a pair of flats really bad and had hoped these would do the trick, but they just don't go with the three pair of dress slacks that I have NO SHOES for.

**BIG SIGH**

I'm worried I might have to send them back. Though they were only $19.79, I'm really not supposed to be buying shoes but saving for something else.

Endless.com seems to have a good return policy, though, so I might just have to try it out.

The site was a breeze to get through. They have just about every way to search you can think of...by brand, style, color, even HEEL HEIGHT. They have a huge selection of shoes (I didn't get to look into the handbags yet). My only problem with the search was that after I got a good chunk into my search results, I accidentally clicked a link and lost the search.

Cute shoes, low prices and groovy searches aside...let me talk about their little offer that I couldn't refuse: -$5.00 shipping. (So, my shoes ended up being under $15.00) Yeah...they pay YOU to ship it OVERNIGHT. But only for a limited time.


Overall Rating: My New Favorite Shoe Store!!



Friday, March 16, 2007

FMILF Update




Dear Hair,

First, let me start this off by telling you how much I appreciate you. You keep my head so warm I almost never wear hats in the winter. You are also very pretty. Very.

Now…that said…I'm gonna need to be spending less time with you now. I've found something else to do in the morning, something that’s going to take your styling time away.



It's not that I want it more...I need it. Pretty hair looks so much better on a hot bod. You know that.

Please don't be sad. You will still be very pretty...people just won't be able to see how pretty most days. We're going to have to go back to the "wash and wear", up-in-a-clip, foofed out days like back when I was walking every day. I need you to work with me, Hair. We've always made a great team.

I promise that if The Man ever takes me out, we'll getcha all glammed up again. But I don't get my hopes up about that, so neither should you. And after I've lost this last 15-20 pounds, we'll go get a good cut from Simonson’s and we'll rock that hot bod together.

Thanks for understanding.

Love Always,

~Me

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Good, Wholesome Randomness

Sometimes the world is dark,
And I just can't see.
With these demons surround all around,
To bring me down to negativity.
But I believe yes I believe,
I'll say that I believe.
I'll stand on my own two feet,
Won't be brought down on one knee.
I'll fight with all of my might,
To get these demons to flee.


~Matisyahu, King Without a Crown


I had this great idea: We'll find something we all have in common. Then we'll spend all day scouring the internet, looking for people who feel differently. We can invade their comments and fill them with "Boo-Hoo for Us" and "You're all idiots" comments (remember, the more hate we spew, the more they'll understand us!). Then, meet back here and discuss just how much we hate them. Umm, is anyone good at graphics, because we're going to need some good, hateful ones - you know, as a joke??

What do you mean that's childish? Well, yeah, I do have better things to do. Hmm, I suppose that would make us look a little crazy. Yeah, insecure is a good word, too.

Thanks, Girl! I know I can always count on you to catch me before I shove my head up my ass. I wonder what people do who don't have friends like you! Oohhhh......Yeah.....riiiight.

(Just in case ya'll were wondering where I've been. If the couple CF'ers that have been coming here every day since have something to say, save it for your forum because I'll just delete it.)


In other news...

I've added some features to the sidebar! (I wanted to use Rock The Sidebar, but that damn Lena already used that!)

* * If you think that airlines should be showing family-friendly movies on flights...I've linked a petition from Kid Safe Films. (jsyk, in the comments, I actually SUGGESTED an entire family friendly flight, so anyone "opposed" to children don't have to be put out by the fact that we can't send them to cargo.)

* * In "Confessions of an iTunes Junkie," I've listed my favorite podcasts.

* * Under "Green Links" I put up buttons with great resources. Like, did you know that you can RECYCLE OLD SHOES? One I definitely suggest you check out is Think Bigg. This isn't necessarily a "Green" blog, but Tabetha has great ideas on ways you can get involved in all kinds of stuff. It's kind of like my blog, only worldly and not mostly about me. :) I plan on setting up a "Do Good" box for her button to live in sometime, but need just that: Some Time. In That Time, I will also devise my plan for The Green Challenge… (Ooh, the suspense is just killing ya, isn’t it???)

* * If you haven't already, click the Magical Kingdom picture and give me some advice on this trip to Disney World that I'm hoping to plan. (How's THAT for indecisive??)

* * Also, I've been interviewed! Well, actually I filled out a form, but if they call it an interview, so do I!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Have You Any Dreams You'd Like To Sell?

The other night I had a disturbing dream. I'm not normally a dreamer - or don't remember them, anyway.

I was at work, talking to my mom on the phone, trying to whisper to her that I thought I might be pregnant. The next thing I remember was an ultrasound being scheduled and then immediately performed in my cubicle. The ultrasound (because they are so accurate at, what, two weeks?) said something (in text even) about it being a boy. I feigned happiness in my dream, but mentioned to someone that they could never be sure at that far along.

Then in walks my boss, asking me "How long is this going to take?" "When will you be back at work?" "What's your plan, here?"

I was scared, confused...I just found out, I DON'T KNOW!!

I don't remember where it went from here, because really, it just got weird. But that feeling at the end of Office Scene 1 struck me through my whole body. I woke still feeling it. It was a crushing, confusing, debilitating, unknowing feeling. A feeling like I had to make a choice between two impossible solutions. Two very different paths that would each have a profound impact on my life. But I didn't know what to choose. I just sat there, with that feeling, wondering what to do.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

FMILF Update



When did you realize that you needed to lose weight?


For me, it was in March of 2006. It had been six months since I’d had Bella. My weight had stabilized at 180 – and there is sat. Wasn’t all this fat supposed to just melt off? I was halfway through my “year” – the time they say it takes for your body to get back to ‘normal’ – and I still felt like my body was a swollen version of what I’d remembered.





Prior to my pregnancy, I weighed about 145. This wasn’t a great weight to be at for me – I had put on about ten pounds from being lazy, being attached and sitting at a desk all day.

Thanks to Cold Stone Creamery, Burger King shakes (the one down the street used SYRUP!) and boneless wings from BW3’s, I gained A LOT of weight during the ordeal. My 37-week OB appointment surely would have told me I’d gone over 200 pounds. However, as most of you know, I never made that appointment. From the last day I weighed myself that week until March of last year, I had no idea how much I weighed. All I knew is that I was unhappy. I was unhappy with my life, my looks, my feelings. I was sick of grunting every time I bent over – sick of my coat not zipping. But I kept my good buddy Fattening Junk Food by my side to console me.



Something changed for me, though. I’d like to credit WalkAmerica for getting me off my keister. It was a goal – all set up and ready for me. All I had to do was show up.

Then I started eating healthier. I started figuring out conversions – creating worksheets – meticulously tracking my calories.

I bought a yoga DVD – and actually woke up some mornings to DO it.

I started walking during my lunch break. I brought a whole set of clothes to change into, grabbed my iPod and a bottle of water and set off. The time outside in the fresh air was invigorating. I hated doing this, though. I was embarrassed. I felt like people were talking about me. Everyone in the office knew about my lunch plans and commented about them regularly. But I stuck with it, because I saw the pounds dropping off. I was surprised that I was actually making changes – I was making real progress.

I had the support of The Man – the kids – the rest of my family. We started doing healthy things like after dinner walks with the kids, hiking in Taylor’s Falls, and walking downtown to eat on the weekends.



By June I was down to 150 pounds. Thirty pounds lost. I knew in my heart that I could say “No” to treats and I’d be just fine. I regularly made choices that I would have considered sacrifices before – but then I looked at it as doing what was good for me.

I don’t know what happened to all that wonderful motivation I had before.

Mid-June, my co-worker went on a two-week vacation. I lost my breaks trying to keep up with all the extra work. By the time she came back, I’d taken my walking clothes home. Aside from a couple walks taken on especially nice days, I haven’t made an active move to lose weight since.

I have maintained my (mostly) healthy eating habits. Aside from my normal Holiday Season Gluttony, I’ve kept most of my meals lean. I haven’t gone back to my fast-food grubbin’ days (Thanks, Poor House!). But eating healthy doesn’t burn fat.

I feel like I’m waiting for something. Like something is just going to click on inside me and I’ll go back to being the Ms. Fit (Haha, I’m always a Misfit!) I was last year.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m getting awfully sick of waiting.



So tell me Future MILF’s, what motivates you? What drives you to get out of bed in the morning? What’s different THIS time?

Ode to My Sanity

I accept
That I don't know everything
I believe
That our family can do anything - if we work together
I realize
This will take time
I promise
To do my best
I will
Change my attitude
I hope
This works.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Magic, Dreams…blah blah blah

I plan to post a lot more about this later…but I am soliciting advice about Disney World.



Any advice at all.
I can tell you this:
*I want to stay a week.
*We are driving down.
*My kids will be seven and ten when we go.
*We are also hoping to have my parents, my brother and SIL, two preteens and MX – who will be five.

***A burning question for me is where did you stay and how much did you like it??



Let the advice giving begin. I know ya’ll have something to share!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Ultimate Blog Party 2007


Hello, all! Welcome to The Garden.

I’m Amy and I’ll be your hostess this week! Can I start you off with a beverage?
No? That’s fine, I hate paying shipping.

Go ahead and take a look around. While you’re here, you should introduce yourself a bit and throw in a link back to your blog.

I’ll start!
I am an almost-step-mom to two school-age kids. I am also mother to angel Isabella Grace, who has inspired me to get involved with organizations such as The March of Dimes and October15th.com. I commute to my full-time job in the city - which leaves me a bit dreary and worn-out at times, but I get over that pretty fast on the weekends.

I mainly use my blog to rant about my several annoyances and keep my friends updated on the mundane details they are just dying to hear, but also like to have fun with blog groups. Last holiday season, we had a Virtual Cookie Exchange and I got some great recipes to widen my load. Which was okay, because I soon found Mom-O-Matic’s Future MILF Club, where we are losing our collective bigass together.” The title is misleading...We aren't looking for anyone who would LF us...we're just moms who are sick of not feeling sexy...moms who are going to work to earn that title, silly as it may sound!!

The greatest thing I could think to use my site for was to promote children’s charities. You will find a list of charities on the side bar that all create miracles for children. Also, along with several others, I participate in the monthly Small Change challenges from Beth at Diary of a Playgroup Dropout.


Your turn...

PS ~ If you’re not coming here via 5 minutes for mom, make sure you head over there and sign the Mr. Linky with your url to register for PRIZES. If you don’t have your own blog, head over there anyway, because they have HUNDREDS of great blogs to see!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Socially Retarded

It’s not even nine o’clock on our only Snow Day of the year and the kids are already in their rooms for fighting (all morning). The Man is out clearing the driveway of our freshly fallen 14 inches of snow. I’ve got my coffee and my ‘puter. If it weren’t for this damn cold and sinus headache, I’d be feeling a little bit of heaven right now.




My number of fallen inches was just a guess - based on what The Man is facing with the snow blower. Not sure if I’d share that number with the folks at work for fear of being called a LIAR.


When we left for work yesterday morning, there were cars all up in the ditch. The roads were slick and slushy. Half an hour later, I hit the more urbanized area and it was a decent drive. Both The Man and I got “Mmm, hmmm” looks from people when we said we had already gotten snow. What-ever! I don’t make this stuff up!


We both left work at one yesterday to get home before it got really bad. Lucky me, got home first and got to shovel out the bottom of the driveway! About three, he said “Well, that was just dumb to leave work, it’s not bad at all out there - it’s NOT EVEN SNOWING. I’m going to play video games!” I swear - I turned around and saw a blizzard start out of nowhere through the window. Hmph. Don't call all me dumb...I'm just ahead of the game!




Last week when got our first round, we were missing some kind of pin to get our snow blower working. So we had to shovel out the WHOLE THING. Some neighbors were helping my next-door neighbor shovel out hers because her husband was sick. Once they were done, they made their way over to ours. “I’ll just help ya put a dent in this plow crap,” the guy says. So he, his wife, and their NDN (a female cop), start in at the bottom of our driveway. One minute later, a van stops in the road and the guy goes to talk to them. Then his wife joined him…leaving this cop, whom I’ve never met, shoveling the “plow crap” from the bottom of my driveway with her dog running around. I asked what her dog’s name was and I guess she didn’t hear me, so I kept shoveling. What was I really supposed to do, go talk to her? “Hey, thanks so much for helping…oh, you missed some there…Yeah, heck of storm, wasn’t it? Is it bothering you that I’m just sitting here talking while you shovel my driveway???” It didn’t take long before she awkwardly joined the couple at the van.

Really, I have NO idea how I was supposed to treat that situation. It made me think of a term my SIL introduced to me…Socially Retarded. Urban Dictionary had only one definition of this condition:

“This is when someone lacks the social skills that normal people developed in high school. They missed out on normal socialization because they were outcasts, more than likely because they were physically unattractive, but that is not always the case. Attractive people can be affected by this when they are only liked BECAUSE of their looks and nothing else. Usually occurs in males. Excessive internet use is also a dominant cause.

Sorry to disappoint, but I’m neither male NOR unattractive...and my personality has always been fairly likable. I was also pretty ‘normal’ for years. Meaning: I had REAL LIVE friends, social events to attend, and was really outgoing.


I just lack something now when it comes to making friends. I have no interest in introducing myself to people. I H.A.T.E. going places where I don’t know anyone. Especially now that I live in such a small town. Like Sunshine’s first birthday party with new friends from school - TORTURE. “Hi, I’ll just stand here looking like a dumbass while you go talk to your friends about me. No, nothing to drink, thanks!” (For the record, I left - like the anxious little geek that I am.)

Even when people try to be friends with me, I usually think they’re weird for even talking to me. Like the new girl at my work. She’s in her twenties, fairly fashionable - not too trendy and not a horrible dresser like the other new girl. She's really nice and goes out of her way to be friendly to me. But she’s single. There’s something odd about that to me, because single people think SO differently than non-single people…especially when the non-single people have kids. It's hard to explain to people in their situation that you like to be home at eight o'clock because you LIKE tucking your kids in at night and they try to stay up if BOTH parents don't.

But I don’t limit my indifference to just single people. My neighbor is my age - and married - and goes to church with my realtor (who also happens to be a good friend’s mom). Her daughter is great friends with Sunshine. I got to know them at Sunshine’s last birthday party and they seem REALLY nice. One afternoon this fall, The Man was outside mowing the lawn and I was on my way to the store to pick up groceries for an outing at my mom’s. Neighbor came over to get her daughter - who didn’t want to leave - but Neighbor had to get to the store. The Man offered to let her stay as he would be done soon. That’s when she said, “Oh, well, do you want to go to the store together?”

TOGETHER?? Why would we go to the store TOGETHER? What if she takes a long time? What if I take too long? What if it’s uncomfortable?

“…That’s…okay…” I said, obviously completely offending her. “Alright, well, I’ll be back soon!” I suppose it didn’t help that I sat and argued with my mom on the phone while she was there. Hindsight, always being 20/20, showed me I could been more tactful. I just couldn’t think of a better way to react. I haven’t really talked to her since. And she was one of those who only VIEWED the invitation to my Cheerful Givers party…never replying…or showing up. Payback's a bitch, I guess.


I worry about myself. What if there is a Great Internet Crash and I lose contact with all my eFriends? I would become a hermit with no human contact whatsoever.


My best friend from high school does daycare for me. I see her and her baby every morning. That doesn’t mean we ever actually talk, though. She called me the other night and said “I really did have something to ask you, but I just can’t think of it!” When our conversation turned to ground turkey vs. ground beef, I knew why she’d called. I miss her, too. But I hate talking on the phone. I also don’t make any room in my life for anything but family, work and errands.


But sometimes my heart aches for something else to do. For an evening spent just talking. For a Girl’s Night Out…or even a Girl’s Night In. Hell, even someone who wants to go hit up the local thrift store.


I guess until I get this social anxiety - or retardation - under control, I still have you, my internets…my eFriends. I treasure every moment spent reading your antics and every comment you leave about mine.


Thanks for being Socially Retarded with me.




FMILF UPDATE: I know you sneaky girls have been coming over here, checking to see if I’ve posted an update…as I told Sillychick I would. So here’s your update: I haven’t done a damn thing. I didn’t buy my elliptical, I haven’t even tried to exercise or watch what I eat (besides my normal habits). My new excuse is the snow (See pictures).
But I love you all for checking on me and I promise I’ll post updates every Friday…even if I’ve done nothing. Also, I’ve been checking on a lot of you, too…and you’re doing GREAT. (16 POUNDS, Sillychick???? Awesomeness!!!) Keep up the hard work and inspire my lazy ass to get up in the gym and work on my fitness.