Monday, July 30, 2012

The Weekend Update

Oh, Monday. How do you get here so fast? This weekend was crawling at some points and just whizzing by at others. Now here we are at the start of another week! Does your week hold a lot of activity? Will you be busy? I am counting down the last three weeks of summer and determined to make the most of these days! What I mean is, I plan to do a lot of nothing and a lot of what I want to do only, no demands or requests from the kids!

Here are the weekend highlights.

DH and I have changed our date night to Saturday due to Professor X's football practices every evening. This date night found us enjoying Mediterranean food and strolling through downtown. We made a stop at DH's favorite store, Rhino Records. He browsed vinyl, I browsed anything else. I happened to spot a pillow that looked like an old cassette tape, thinking how much DH would like it, I picked it up for a closer look. Lo and behold, I found this record underneath with a note saying, "Congratulations! You found it!" Jigga what? Yes, I am the contest winner you never want to have win. I didn't even know there was a contest! I was just killing time! When I took it to the front desk, the lady said the prize was the record itself, which is an autographed copy of Electric Guest's mondo. Wow! It was a surreal moment. I listened to some of the record via DH's phone and I really like it. Take a listen.

DH had the crazy idea to eat dinner really late on Friday night. Where do you head with kids to eat when it's almost 9pm? Denny's, apparently. I dread Denny's. I have a had a couple really bad experiences at Denny's. But the kids wanted pancakes. So we went. Ugh. The pages of the menu I got were stuck together with gobs of syrup across the bottom. There was this disgusting peeling-apart noise when I turned the pages. The food was okay. Princess O barfed after we got home. I don't think we'll be going to Denny's anymore. And that's all I want to say about that.

Here I am, nice and sweaty, after a two-mile walk. Yes, I am back at it. I kicked off the weekend with a good walk and then DH and I hit the asphalt yesterday for our regular three-mile walk. It was the most silent walk we've ever had because we were both hating it so much! He says he didn't hate it, but I think he did. I know I did! The good news weight has finally, finally, finally dipped below that big old number I've been hovering around! Yes! So, this time, it's working. Hooray for thyroid medication! Don't give up! I have a new role model. I am bringing back Linda Hamilton! Yep! This time I feel like it is within my reach!

We also hit the used bookstore where for $1 each I scored six of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, brand new, for one of my homies who loves that series.

For myself, DH found me two Tony Hillerman's I haven't read. I also found Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler, one of my absolute favorite authors. The only reason we went to the bookstore was to see if they had The Lost World by Michael Crichton. The bookstore is very small and my hopes were not high. Wouldn't you know, DH spotted the book on the bottom shelf of the $1 rack!? He deserves something very nice for that, right? I have already started reading the book and it has already drawn me in. Michael Crichton was such a good writer.

This weekend I also had the most delicious fish tacos I have ever eaten in my life at Senor Baja's. I love fish tacos. I will order them anywhere. There were hands-down the very best! If you have one near you, try them.

How was your weekend? Any firsts or exciting thrift store finds? Monday is the day to start fresh. Get out there and exercise, eat some healthy food, and enjoy life!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Morning Potpourri

Good morning, friends!

Here I am enjoying my first cup of coffee, my most favorite time of the day. I love the morning hours and the morning routine. My Keurig brews my coffee while I take my chihuahua out. Having a dog is a blessing that way since I get to take in some fresh morning air and see the sun peeking over the rooftops. While I'm outside, I also send DH a text or lately, a Tango video message. Then we head back inside and I settle in to plan my day with my coffee and computer. Yes, I love the morning routine.

Do you have Tango? DH and I were attempting to use the Skype app and it was not working out, too complicated with all the sign up and details. Ugh. DH found Tango, we downloaded it, and seconds later we were video chatting. It's so fun! We can actually see each other's faces during the day now, love that! Also, he can see all the goofy expressions I am making to get a laugh. You know I need the laugh! It's a great app and you should try it if you can.

Today I am planning to knit and spend some quality time on my computer. The kids are blacked out from screen time every other day, so no one will be breathing down my neck to go on Poptropica or Webkinz. I remember being a kid and having to make my own Webkinz-ville out of shoe boxes and toys! Things are so different now. But, I know my kids will spend the day playing Legos or Barbies, which is great.

My Princess O is the most creative when it comes to making things for her Barbies. Last week, we were eating at a restaurant and the waitress brought us an extra to-go box by mistake. We were going to give it back, when Princess O snatched it and said it would make a good room for her Barbies. That's my girl! No $300 Barbie mansion for you! We could give her a really big cardboard box and she would be just as happy. I peeked at her and her little friend from down the street while they were playing Barbies the other day and one of the Barbies was being floated around in the bottom of a plastic egg. Nice. What did you play with or make things out of when you were a kid?

A quick update on the hypothyroidism. Can you believe that after being on meds for a week, I have lost two pounds? This is in addition to my regular exercise and calorie counting since May, which did nothing for my weight loss. Hooray! My energy level is way up and I feel like more pistons in my brain are firing. Things are looking good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Spider, the Shower, and the Fake Tattoo

This is a picture of the fake tattoo I put on my arm this morning. I had some old ones in the bathroom that I came across while giving myself a facial this morning. I was in the mood to do a few nice things for myself and I decided to stick one on. I took this picture at night so you can tell it's all faded and messed up by the end of the day, definitely old.

I went about my day as usual, not thinking anything about it really. I am saving my left arm for a very special tattoo someday and I think it will look great having one on each forearm. Anyway, I had to get some exercise in and Mr. M asked me to dance with him, so we worked out to Just Dance 3 for an hour. We had fun and I got a marvelous sweat going. Love that!

A marvelous sweat means a definite shower before bed. While in the shower, I discovered a fat spider scrambling around by the drain. I was putting shampoo in my hair and I certainly didn't want that thing climbing onto my foot and up my leg, so I did what any normal person would do in that situation, I screamed.

I hate spiders. I am afraid of spiders. I only get near them to kill them when I am the only adult around who can do so. Hence, the screaming.

DH bursts into the bathroom and I tell him to hurry up and get it NOW! Don't you feel that time slows down when you are waiting to be saved from a scary situation? Like people move way too slow? Yeah, well. He calmly grabbed the removable showerhead and washed the spider down the drain, looking at me with a grin that said, why didn't you think of that? Uh, I don't know. I just saw it and because I was naked I felt helpless. That makes sense, right? So he leaves.

And then I raised my arms to start rinsing my hair and I see this dark thing on my arm that looks just like a spider! So I screamed, really, really loud this time because it was on me! I shook my arm and looked again and, oh. Right. That dark thing is the tattoo I put on my arm this morning. Not a spider. Oops. DH calmly pokes his head and asks, "Are you still ok?" By this point, I am laughing hysterically at myself and he just leaves.

But, you see how that could happen, right? Good times.  

Zumba Class - So Much Fun!

Professor X has started playing tackle football. He looks so much older with all the gear on! I love it, though. He is doing a great job figuring everything out. He’s the only kid with glasses and we are actually getting contacts for him next week. Wow, right? He’s 10, but he will be wearing contacts. Considering he’s worn glasses since he was five, I think it’s a good thing.

The football practices are 2 hours every evening except Sundays at a park. The park happens to be the main park for our area and has lots of classes in the evenings, like Zumba! I was so excited to discover this last week. The class starts at the same time as football practice so it’s perfect. Last night was my first time going. I was a little nervous since my experience with Zumba is limited to my living room with the X-Box Kinect. I get an amazing sweat going and love dancing with Zumba Rush. But how different would it be?

I didn’t even think about what to wear. Big mistake. I showed up in my baggy Adidas shorts and old t-shirt, while most of the other ladies were looking cute in Zumba gear and make-up. Jigga what? I would never put make-up on to work out! Next week, though, some mascara and eyeliner, poppin’ lip gloss, all a must! I think I can find some Zumba cargo pants before the next class, though. I want to look like a cute Zumba chick, too!

The teacher was awe-some (read in a high pitched voice)! She introduced herself to me before class and very tactfully explained that this was not a beginner’s class. (Uh-oh) That it might take five classes or so to get the hang of her choreography (uh-oh). But don’t worry! Women of every, ahem, fitness level can do it! Now, when she said fitness level, she looked away, and it was implied, I believe, that she took one look at me and thought I was too overweight to stick. She wasn’t rude, not at all. I think she was concerned I couldn’t make it through the class. This really helped my motivation. I always rise to the challenge! (Plus all the other ladies in the class were some skinny Minnies and let’s see how they look when they’re pushing 40 and have had three babies!)

Here is how the class looked to me, everyone basically in rhythm, doing the moves, clapping, looking good.

Here is how I looked.

 Remeber that scene from "Housesitter" with Goldie Hawn? Yep, that was me!

Ha ha! Yes, the class is WAY different from the living room! But it was way more fun! Thankfully, I have a great sense of humor and can laugh at myself. I think that’s what got me through. Did I mention the whole front wall is mirrored? Yep. So I had a front-row seat for my efforts. Honestly, it didn’t bother me too much. I was having too much fun!

The teacher is very energetic and the music is pumping and I am telling myself to just do it. I loved it! If you enjoy dancing, you MUST trya Zumba class! Do I plan to go back next week? Oh yeah! Not only that, but when I rejoined DH at the practice, a couple other ladies heard me telling him about it and now they want to go, too. Boo-yah! I won’t be the only beginner anymore!

Today I am even a little sore, just my abs. I twisted and moved in ways I haven’t for a LONG time. My body was like, huh? You want to do THAT? Totally worth it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Finally a Diagnosis!

Hello, friends! After an extended absence, I am back. Things have been hectic lately, lots of personal stuff going on, and I have missed blogging so much. Sigh. Here is a little glimpse into what I've been dealing with the past few weeks.

What do you do when you exercise and walk and count calories, but the weight just refuses to drop? And I don’t mean those last ten pounds. No. I mean the whole 25 pound bag of fat that has attached itself to your upper body. This was the predicament I have been in since February.

Remember April? I was sick of myself. Then came May, no change in weight, and I was really sick of myself! I took action. I logged endless miles, counted calories religiously, but no change. Argh! Very, very frustrating. I tried to reboot my exercise drive this month, but honestly, I could not face the prospect of another month of sweat that would end in tears. So I went to the doctor.

I have always had a thyroid problem, always. From 2001 until 2010 I was on thyroid medication. In 2010 I developed some other issues and was taken off the medication. Big mistake. Huge. I have struggled physically and mentally ever since. But no one put it all together. Until I went to the doctor last week.

Although my blood tests are normal, as is the case with many hypothyroid sufferers, this doctor finally agreed to start my thyroid meds again based on how I am physically feeling, hooray! This is day five on the meds again and I swear I feel better already. My mind is a little clearer. I am motivated to do things, like housecleaning and cooking, that I dreaded doing lately due to an utter lack of energy.

You know me, I love to be outside. I am out exercising or with the kids daily, yet my vitamin D test was low. Jigga what? Also thyroid related! Today is day 5 of taking vitamin D supplements and I know it is helping me. Does that sound crazy? Like maybe it’s too soon for anything to really be helping me? I know, I think it does. But it doesn’t matter. I’m energized and getting the help I need to feel like my old self again.

This is a recent photo, after I kicked asphalt for two months trying to lose this weight. My whole upper body is puffy and bloated. Look at my fingers. My fingers are usually long and slender, but now they are like fat sausages and I have a hard time wearing rings. My arms are also very full of water weight, ugh! My face, well, let's let the chins speak for themselves. A puffy face is another symptom of hypothyroidism. This will stand as the Before picture, okay? I will post another one in a month and hopefully there will be a major difference.

 It’s time to kick off this weight loss goal! I have 20 pounds to lose. Two big old bags of potatoes. Tonight is my first Zumba class. I’m excited! I am going to start walking again in the evenings. I have a new fitness program on my X-Box to try. I am sticking with the “Don’t Give Up”theme, now more than ever. It has got to work this time!

What are your fitness goals right now? I know it’s hot everywhere, but get up and do something! You won’t be sorry!

Here are a couple fun pics of me and my boys, focus on these and not the one of my fat face.

Me and Professor X
Me and Mr. M - he looks like a little Kevin Arnold from the Wonder Years!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Once More Unto the Breach!

Well, friends, I am off on another adventure with Princess O’s Brownies troop. Tonight we spend the night with Shamu, actually with sea turtles, I believe, as a reward for cookie sales.

I know what you’re thinking. You are remembering my previouscamping adventure with these people and how opposite of fun that was. What could possibly persuade me to drive hours from home, sleep on a concrete floor surrounded by glassed-in water, and be subjected to the patronizing, controlling attitudes of these people? Oh, the things we will do for our children! If I don’t go, Princess O doesn’t go. I am not the type of parent who can send my 8-year-old off on a voyage without me, hours from home, overnight sleeping, and the environment of an amusement park in summer time. Uh, no way.

So here we are, barreling once more unto the breach!

Here is the history of this trip so far. First, while on our extended stay on vacation, we are informed that chaperones will have to pay over $100 to join the excursion to Sea World. No problem, we think, considering the trip is in August. In my absence, DH must fill out all paperwork, for me and for Princess O, a real-life nightmare for him, and send it in to the troop leader. He neglected to send the check. He also neglected to fully fill out the paperwork for me. In his defense, he said, “Well, you’re going to be there. Why do you need a medical release form?” (Um, in case I’m unconscious or something, hello!) So, a week after our return from vacation, the paperwork is all filled out and sent in. Except the check.

Now, the troop leader had told me, three times actually, that she paid for me to go and that my payment was to her personally. Get that? She covered me so I could go. She specifically called me while we were on vacation to explain to me that if I end up not going, I still have to pay her back since she paid for me already. We could just let someone else go since that spot was paid for. Get that? I was paid for. Right?

No worries. Except that DH flipped out a little that on top of all our vacation costs, here is another $100+ going out of the account. Hee, hee. Oops. My fault. I didn’t realize we had to pay right now. The trip is in August! Why should I pay right now?

So, I mailed the check a few days after I told her I would. Imagine my surprise when she called to tell me that because my payment was late, there was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to go. Really?! Because I thought you paid for me! Oh, the drama! Everything up in the air for a couple days while she gets it all taken care of. Seriously, my stress level this week has been atmospheric.

Because the trip isn’t in August. It’s this weekend. Which I found out on Monday when I got the email reminding everyone about the trip. What the?! I immediately called the troop leader and found out, why, yes, you didn’t know the trip was so soon? I guess all those meetings I “didn’t need to attend” were planning sessions or something. Nice.

Now the email barrage begins. First, there is the optional carpool spreadsheet, which I was left out of. On the surface, seems thoughtful, right? No one asked me what I preferred since I live so far away (30 minutes) it must be easier for me to drive my daughter and myself alone. Okay, but not as much for her. And, another expense, gas for the trip down and back. Wear and tear on the car which we just drove up to the Pacific Northwest and back, yikes! DH is outraged.

On the one hand, I don’t mind the drive. Would I prefer being stuck in a vehicle with these people for a couple hours? Hmm, maybe, if I had my knitting it wouldn’t be too bad. Certainly, Princess I would love it! Whatever. The decision has been made. We depart in a couple hours. God forbid we are late!

The second email contains the restaurant spreadsheet, listing every possible eating possibility in Sea World. Do I mark my preference, pick one or two? No. I mark each and every one, about ten, with a yes or no that my daughter and I would eat there. Apparently, the groups are being organized with this factored in to the equation. Really? We can’t just tell the children, “We are eating here. Pick something.” Aah! These ladies make things so difficult for themselves!

There was also a packing list email and an email listing the new rides with YouTube video attachments so you could see what they are like. I have to admit, the video of the rides was pretty smart. Princess O is pumped to get on the roller coasters! The final email was to inform the parents that we cannot all go on the behind the scenes tour. This is another additional charge. I’m going! I marked the spreadsheet that I was going. Then I got a text. Did I understand there was an additional charge? Did I understand I will have to have a check with me to cover this charge? Uh, yes. I read that on the email and marked it because I agreed to it. Really? Ugh.

Anyway, I have to leave soon. I’ve been dreading this trip all week. Let’s focus on the positive for a minute, shall we?

I will have quality time with my daughter on the drive.

I will have a new, once-in-a-lifetime experience with my daughter that we will always remember.

I have a break from home duties.

I will have a behind the scenes tour of Sea World and that’s pretty cool.

Stayed tuned for some pics and the conclusion of the tale!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Movie Overload - Date Night and a Couple Reviews

Last night DH and I saw the new Spiderman movie. Thursday is our standing date night. I gave him two choices, movie or food trucks. I wish he had chosen the food trucks.

Spiderman, another one? Really? Haven’t we seen this before? I know the comic book story of how Spiderman develops. That movie was already made. “The Amazing Spiderman” movie has a new young star portraying Peter Parker, a new love interest, Gwen Stacy (not MJ?!), and a villain, The Lizard. We see Uncle Ben’s demise and Peter’s guilt done differently, which I thought was okay. But, the love story is so cheesy! The way Spiderman reveals himself to Gwen is…very high school-ish, maybe that’s the intention since they are in high school, but, ah, whatever. I enjoyed seeing the villain played by the actor, Rhys Ifans, who you may know as Spike from Notting Hill. He was great! The only reason to go see this movie is the special effects. Amazing! As for the rest, I think it’s rental worthy, not theater worthy. If you need a Spiderman fix, watch the Toby Maguire and James Franco version.

 We’ve always been movie watchers. Isn’t that such an easy way to spend the weekend at home? Recently, we were using Redbox, but if you forget to return that movie, or two in our case, the dollar a day adds up quickly! We were billed $14 for our forgetfulness. Ugh! So, DH green-lighted the Pay-Per-View movie watching option.

Do you use this? It’s the best! You order the movies on your TV for about $5 and it’s a 24-hour rental. Awesome! Nothing to return! You can watch the movies over and over until the rental expires! We watched two movies this week, during the week, simply because we could. No one had to run to Blockbuster or wait in line at Redbox hoping to find what we wanted. Perfect!

We watched “Mirror, Mirror” with Julia Roberts, which I found very entertaining and even funny. The dialogue between the dwarves is hilarious! Julia Roberts played the wicked witch perfectly. I wasn’t sure how she would do in this movie since some of her other roles seemed to blend a little, like she’s always the same, you know? But she is wonderful as the egotistical, nasty, scheming queen. Who knew? There is a very creepy part of the movie where black magic produces these puppets, controlled by the mirror image Queen. I mean, it's really creepy. You should watch the movie for this part alone. I found the eyebrows on Snow White a little distracting. They’re very thick and bushy, reminiscent of Brooke Shields in the 80s. Don’t expect Oscar-worthy performances here. This is an over-the-top movie purposely and meant to be taken as such. The story is predictable, yes, but this is Snow White, folks, we all know the plot already. I suggest you watch this simply to be entertained. And if you can knit while watching, all the better! So thumbs up, a fun Saturday afternoon flick.

We watched the movie I have been anticipating for weeks. The Redbox never had it! Netflix didn’t have it! Pay-Per-View had it! Yes, that’s right, we watched “Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows.”

Have you seen Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes? Incredible. I have read a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories and RDJ comes very close to epitomizing the character in every way. Jude Law as Dr. Watson? No one could do it better! The dynamic between the two actors is electric. They fight and scheme and solve and fight. I loved it! Did you recognize Dr. Watson’s wife as Caroline Bingley from the new Pride & Prejudice? It took me a few minutes to place her. Rachel McAdams, meh. I think Holmes does better without a love interest. The movies don’t need it since there is so much plot and action pushing everything along.

The plot moves quickly and the action is superb, plenty of fistfights and explosions. I really like hearing Holmes work everything out mentally and there is a scene at the end that is unforgettable, where he goes head to head with Moriarty. Big thumbs up!

And, now, I am movie-d out. I feel like the Spiderman movie last night pushed me to my limit of sitting and watching long stories. I think I will head to the library today and remedy my brain with books, lots of books, nonfiction heavy.

What have you watched recently? Anyone seen the new Wes Anderson flick, “Moonrise Kingdom”? (If you need another recommendation, watch “TheAquatic Life with Steve Zissou” this weekend.)  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

I hope your Independence Day was as relaxing as mine! Although I had to do some laundry and make breakfast (beyond cereal in a bowl which was my original plan) I had a fairly kickback day.

Did I mention I made my first sale on Etsy? Yes! Okay, well, it was to my mother, but, hey, that still counts! She bought the neon striped bag I posted. Etsy made a big deal out of it being my first sale, which was way cool. Definitely a great event to wake up to!

We spent the evening with the members of DH's band, which is undergoing some major changes. The hostess of the party was a crafter. Love! She showed me a very cute project she worked on, a paper bag photo book I think she called it. Here is an example.

Hers was just as fabulous and made me want to add this to my homeschool craft projects for next year! I love the crafting and scrapbooking combination represented here. Needless to say, the hostess and I bonded over crafts and I think I might take her up on the offer to come back and swim again! She was lovely and very hospitable, always asking if anyone needed anything, putting out food, making coffee. I definitely felt the love, the mark of a true hostess.

The appeal of fireworks is lessening for me as it lessens for my kids. Actually, my kids have never really cared for fireworks, what with the loud noises and all. We didn't see a professional show tonight, just whatever popped off on the street. Meh. I would rather be knitting. Or reading. Or inside watching the news. Maybe next year we'll do sparklers and stay home.

On another note, I am in love with Fourth of July fashion for fingernails this year! Here are some absolutely fabulous pics for you to check out. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So This Was My Day

I spent the day knitting. Today was a fabulous summer day with nothing pressing to do. I finished two bags and listed them on my Etsy shop. I made myself sort through and organize some homeschooling stuff after dinner. That is an ongoing project, no doubt!

**I posted this from my Android and I have no idea why the pictures are sideways! Seriously, they did not look like that on the Blogger app, ha ha!**

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

There are a few new items I've discovered recently that I just love.

Instagram - why haven't I always spent time here? I really enjoy posting my pics and seeing what else is out there. I tend to follow people who post pics of knitting, coffee, and their feet. What do you think that says about me? Ha ha!

Jergens Firming Natural Glow Lotion - I have been bothered lately by how pale my tummy is, especially now with my summer tan on my arms. But, I can't tan my tummy! Or my white behind. So, I've been using this lotion and it's amazing. It really works, making a mellow shade, nothing orange or too dark. Love!

Android - OMG I am totally loving my new Skyrocket! This phone is so much faster and bigger than my old iPhone. Big thumbs up!

Now you share. What are 3 things you love right now?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stop Giving Up

Well, folks, I'm still chasing my weight loss goal. I've crept a little close, but basically I feel like the month of June was a bust. We were on vacation and while I did get some exercise in, my heart was not in it once we came home. I think I left my mojo at my sister's house. So here it is summer and there's a long way to go.

My exercise theme for July is Stop Giving Up. That's it, just Stop Giving Up. One goal I have is to hit the 100 mile mark walking this month, which means lacing up those Nikes and hitting the asphalt every day. Every day! No excuses.

My other goal is to get a workout program going. I haven't bought Insanity or P90X yet, so I think I will stick with Zumba Rush for now. I don't actually have that one, yet, though. What I have been doing is shaking my booty to Just Dance 3 in Sweat Mode. Wow, that is a great workout! And it's fun, which I think exercise should be if at all possible. I know I won't develop killer abs like this, but for now I'm just focusing on dropping the weight.

This is day one of Stop Giving Up. What are your fitness goals for July? Make some and join me!