Weekend Fun

Well, it seems like Mallory is over her little gastro virus so hallelujah for that.  She’s still snotty from the cold virus she had at the same time; we’ll be wiping her nose for the next few days, I’m sure.  There’s nothing like sprinting for a Kleenex every time she sneezes because of the twin fountains of slimy expectorant she brings up.  Yum!  Yesterday I saw the largest snot bubble I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was half the size of her head, I kid you not.

Today she was well enough to venture out to the library for a Valentine’s Day event that featured book reading, crafts, and rhymes/ songs.  We met up with my friend Claire, her daughter Emily, her friend Andrea, and her son Drew.  Mallory had a blast!  I don’t think she’s been around that many kids before 🙂  While she wasn’t able to really follow along, she was content to sit there in her mama’s lap and listen while playing with some stuff.  At least she wasn’t howling the whole time.

Afterwards, we hit up Max & Erma’s for lunch.  Our poor waiter…  having to deal with two 2 and a half year olds and a baby.  Mallory was just enamored with him.  She did fairly well sitting in the high chair until I let her play with one of the paper things that wrap the napkins and silverware.  She ended up getting a piece, it triggered her gag reflex, and I got to play clean-up.  Luckily, disaster averted and it was just a quick wipe up.  The whole thing got her tuckered out and she was fast asleep before I pulled into the driveway even though it’s less than a 5 minute drive home.  All in all, I’m glad we got out and hope Claire invites us to more Mommy stuff. I tell you, that girl knows everything mommy-related going on in town.

So she’s still sleeping and then we’re going to hit the grocery store.  I had to clean out a lot of the goodies in there yesterday because Ben got diagnosed with diabetes.  I figured the Ghiradelli Brownie Mix and Frosted Flakes were just too cruel to leave in the pantry.  Plus, I need to make room for all the healthy stuff we’re going to be putting in there… barley, brown rice, and quinoa.  High cholesterol and diabetes… ai yai yai.  As a  bonus, Mallory and I will be eating healthy as well.  I’m not about to cook two dinners, yanno.

I think it was the wake up call that he needed to get his life straight.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to get his major causes of heart disease under control.  Of the five risk factors, he has 4: smoking, high blood sugar (diabetes), high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  Amazingly, all of them are controllable.  The doctor wants him to quit smoking right away and told him a minor weight gain (5-10lbs) would be acceptable by his next appointment in 12 weeks if he quit smoking immediately.  The major thing I see us having problems achieving is getting in 200 minutes of aerobic exercise a week.  Seriously, going from basically ZERO to 200 minutes / week is a big jump.  That’s 40 minutes five times a week or about half an hour every day.

I had him fill a prescription while I was there and then he looked at my chart and noticed that I hadn’t had a physical and bloodwork done EVER.  Needless to say, I have an appointment in 12 weeks to have mine done.  Doh!  I think it’s for the best though.  After we left Ben said that he got read the riot act even after he had lost 12 lbs… LOL.  Looks like we’ll both have to try harder.  Expect to see more posts in the future about our journey to get healthy.

Oh!  Just as a ‘shiny monkey moment’ – have you tried Recipezaar.com?  You can search for recipes based on ingredients.  I think I’m going to actually pay the $24.95/year fee and join because it’s a lot easier to manipulate stuff.  Plus, it allows me to have multiple cookbooks and I can take advantage of the menu planning / add to grocery list options.  I’ll share our cookbooks and meal planners when they’re active so you can see what we’re eating.  The most interesting recipe I’m trying this week is “Low carb shrimp with ‘grits.'”  Instead of grits, they make a neat concoction with cauliflower.  I figure we’ll have something New Orleans-ish for Fat Tuesday.

So how’s your weekend treating you so far?

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Sugar Sabbatical

Honey, oh Sugar Sugar, you are my candy girl and you got me wanting you

I have a love affair with sugar.  Plain and simple, if it’s sweet then I want it.   If I were a death row prisoner and needed to pick my last meal it would contain nothing but empty carbs and sugary goodness.  Candy bars?  Don’t need ’em.  I like the gooey stuff and baked goods.  Brownies?  Yep.  Cupcakes?  Two, please.  Hot cobbler with cold ice cream?  Palatory heaven.

In the past few weeks I’ve just been… bleh.  My skin doesn’t look its best because it’s alternately dry / flaky as well as covered in intermittent blotches.  I constantly feel just bleh.  When I think about how I’ve felt over the past few months I realize that it’s all tied closely to my sugar consumption.  Drinking Coke, triple triples from Tim Horton’s,  and little to zero water most days doesn’t help.  Plus,  having a bagel every morning for breakfast – more carbs that immediately convert to sugar in my body – isn’t doing me any favors.

I know it’s bad for me and could possibly lead to Type-2 Diabetes, but I don’t think about that with every sip of Coke.  I know that PCOS played a big part in not being able to conceive for so long, which is tied to sugar consumption.  Teeth?  Yep, rots them too.  Plus, am I setting a good example for the Squish?  Not a chance. 

When I was pregnant I scaled back my caffeine and sugar consumption and felt fabulous.   Sure, I was tired and run down from being pregnant, but that was a different kind of tired.  I think it’s time I get myself back on track and I am going cold turkey tomorrow.  I picked a Friday start date because my weakest moments are on weekends.  If I can ‘detox’ this weekend then I will have more success next week.  Plus, Mondays suck enough as it is without adding another thing to it.  An added bonus is that I will be dropping a couple hundred calories from my diet per day so a side effect should be some form of weight loss.

My plan is to drink oolong tea with honey (natural sugar) in the morning.   I’ve also got some oatmeal with fruit ready to go that will take the place of my usual bagel.  More fruit is planned.  Lunch?  I’ve got that covered as well with a can of soup that I’m packing.  I know it’s not going to be easy, but I think the result will be more than worth it.

Think I’m crazy?  Sound off!

Update:  Successful with sticking to my oatmeal and oolong tea this morning.  One of our consultants from Cleveland brought in pastries and other goodies and one of our customers dropped off two dozen donuts for letting them borrow our projector.  This is a massive test of my willpower.  I will reign supreme!

Update #2: It’s 10:11AM and my stomach is already rumbling.  Better plan for two packs of oatmeal on Monday.

Update #3:  It’s 11:52AM.  The soup is thin, but ok.  I would shiv someone with a ballpoint pen fashioned into a stabbing implement for a Fudge Round right now.

The Internet Lies…

I have this gorgeous piece of copper chain that I bought for a steal because it was so bright and shiny that no one really wanted it.  I figured if I waited long enough it would oxidize on its own and get to that beautiful rich dark coppery goodness that neglected copper develops.  A year later and that stubborn petulant piece of copper is still bright and shiny fresh.  About 6 months ago I did a search on the ‘Net to see how to wipe that smug sense of satisfaction from that gleaming link of chain. 

It told me that I could use egg whites (sorry, no can do… that’s way too close to wearing salmonella.  Plus, it said it took a really long time and I have zero patience), some weird crazy recipe that I was in no mood to try, or I could use liver of sulphur.  I looked up places to buy liver of sulphur and it was fairly inexpensive.  The downsize is that to ship it required hazmat insurance or something crazy.  So the chemical itself was $16, but the shipping on it was over $33!  I found a local place to buy it but they only sold it by the gallon.  Liver of sulphur isn’t exactly something I’d use on an everyday basis and DEFINITELY not in that quantity.  So, I figured that shimmering self-righteous piece of copper had won that battle, but I was determined not to let it win the war.

Imagine my surprise and absolute delight this morning when I opened my email and found that my favorite online bead store (in Seattle, no less!) was now carrying Liver of sulphur and it seemed they weren’t restricted to any wacky shipping restrictions.  FusionBeads is carrying it in two sizes and it’s on SALE!   Just for kicks, I Googled how to use it and found that the page I used had a listing of what stores in the US carried it.  Believe it or not, but Blicks Art Supply, of which there is one RIGHT DOWN THE MOTHER EFFING STREET stocks the liquid form for only $3.95!  Guess where I’m going this weekend?  That piece of copper is goin’ down.

Other plans include…. childproofing the house since the Squish is now crawling.  Well, I hesitate to call it ‘crawling,’ but she’s definitely in motion.  She lays on her belly, rocks from the left to the right while pushing off the floor with her toes.  It’s more of a modified scoot, but she’s fast enough that she can get places very quickly.  In a few short weeks she will most likely be pulling herself up on furniture (or the dogs – yikes!) and actually crawling to  get where she wants to go.  Where did our itty bitty baby go?  *sniffle*

As for the rest of the weekend…

  • We’re getting rid of Ben’s car – the salvage yard is coming to retrieve it after it blew a head gasket / cracked the engine block.
  • Visiting Ben’s mom – our weekend trip.
  • Cleaning the house top to bottom, including mopping the kitchen floor.  Now that Squish is mobile I need to be more vigilant against dust bunnies and common household grunge, including dog hair.
  • Whoop that piece of copper chain’s ASS with a Liver of Sulphur smackdown!
  • The usual grocery store, other  stuff, blah blah blah.

What’s on your plate for the weekend?

Two steps forward… one step back

I decided to take a bath last night.  It had been a rough crappy day at work and I figured I deserved the nice quiet downtime that reading in the tub brings me.  After all, I had already taken care of all Mallory’s needs (she was sound asleep in her crib) and even got the dishes and bottles done.  A success, right?  Wellllllll, not so much.  I was so comfortable ensconced in the tub with my book that I soon lost track of time and it was 9:45.  Did I head downstairs to unload the dishwasher, get bottle stuff ready for the morning, and pick out my clothes for the next day?  Of course not!  I climbed into my jammies and crawled underneath the covers.  My inner procrastinator assured me that I had plenty of time and that I deserved a night off doing whatever I wanted.  As a result, this morning was more off-kilter than usual and I ran out the door frazzled and running behind.

I’m still trying to learn why my inner procrastinator keeps sabotaging me like that.  Even more importantly, why do I let her??  I feel like I’m Charlie Brown and she’s Lucy.  Every time I go to kick the damn ball she yanks it out and I fall flat on my face.  I know what the result will be, but I’m so lured in by the promise of not having to do it now.

My overall goal is to be able to get into enough of a routine (through manageable babysteps – no pun intended) so that I can get everything done that I need to and have enough time in my evening to devote 1/2 hour to working out with the Wii and quite possibly working on a piece of jewelry or two.  Yeah yeah yeah, I know, I’ve been saying that forever.

Anyways, here’s what we have planned for our exciting *rolls eyes* weekend.

  • Tonight: Home Depot to get a new garbage disposal.
  • Saturday: Dog food, hair cuts for me & Ben, date night!  We’re going to go see The Book of Eli and go out to dinner.  My sister has graciously offered to babysit.  She can’t wait; she even called me today to make sure we weren’t cancelling on her. 
  • Sunday:  Duh.  Divisional Championship games.  I might even let Ben make me breakfast. 

I’ll also squeeze in some laundry, bill paying, and basic cleaning / organizing in there.  Not to mention grocery planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.  Ugh.  I think I’m going to start relying on my slow cooker / crock pot more.  I’m gonna put that baby to work!

Have a great weekend!

My Horror Realm Experience…

Many of my friends and co-workers were surprised (and amused) when I told them where I spent last weekend – in Pittsburgh, PA attending a horror conference called Horror Realm.   Ben and left The Squish at home with a close family friend and spent three days at a hotel attending writers panels, networking events, and hanging out with some pretty cool people.

A lot of you know that Ben is writing short stories / novels of the zombie and post-apocalyptic genre.  His ultimate goal is to be able to quit his 9-5 job and support our family by writing full time.  I’ve been supporting him by serving as his first reader slash copy editor, support team, and motivational source.  We went to Horror Realm to meet people, try to get contacts in the industry, and get any tips on writing that we could.

Honestly, I headed into this endeavor with a sense of dread.  Seriously – a HORROR convention?  But it turned out to be not-so-bad and I ended up not hating it.  Got there on Friday, met some people from the Library of the Living Dead forums, and snagged some dinner.  Attended an awesome panel with Jonathan Maberry, James Melzer, and Rob Fox.  We skipped the movie panels but also attended the author panel containing David Dunwoody of Empire fame, Steven North of Dead Tide repute, and Kim Paffenroth, PhD who has a new novel coming out with Dante Aligheri as the main character.  Yes, he will run into the zombie horde. I hit the hay early and fell asleep watching Boise State dominate Fresno State.  Hooray for having ESPN at the hotel!

Saturday I skipped out on a lot of the festivities.  Ben and I took a detour to IKEA (did you think we wouldn’t sneak in at least one trip while we were there??) and then I dropped him off at the hotel so he could geek out.  I stole the car and tooled down the freeway to the (extremely rural) area where I used to live.   Stopped by my Grandma’s grave site; believe it or not but there were still flowers alive in her floral arrangements two weeks after her interment.  She always did have a green thumb.  Went past the old farm on the mountain (Mt. Joy) and wound my way through gravel covered dirt roads where I was chased by a pack of dogs – 2 German Shepherds, a cattle dog, and some mutt that could have had some beagle in it.  Drove past the old homestead and found that the trailer (with an addition) had been replaced by a more modern mobile home that was neatly anchored in place with a brick ‘foundation.’  I was shocked; I thought that our old place would stay the same forever.  I guess things change over 23 years, huh?

Got back to the hotel, changed into my bathing suit, and prepared to hit the pool because it was a 80+ degree day.  Uhhhh, the pool was empty.  A bit misleading to have a POOL PARTY on the schedule later that night, eh?  I ended up sitting at a table by the empty pool soaking up some sun.  Forgot my sunscreen so I got a little extra crispy.

Met back up with Ben and found out we had plans for the night – dinner and then a brief excursion to the cemetery where they filmed scenes from Night of the Living Dead.  No biggie.  Michelle, a friend of Ben’s from the LOTLD forums, doesn’t have Bob Evans down in Louisiana where she lives so we stopped there and then headed up to the Evans City cemetery.  At this point my internal “WTF’ radar starting going off because it was <i> getting dark </i>.  I don’t *do* dark, especially in creepy areas like cemeteries.  It took us about 1/2 hour to get there and we pulled the car up, killed the lights, and hopped out.  Creepy Central.  Found some tombstones from the movie, took some pictures, and then helped Mike (Michelle’s husband) look for a geocache spot.  Didn’t find the first one even after searching in the bushes so we headed down to the second one near the entrance to the cemetery.  It looked like it was in the woods close to the gravel road so we let him search while we took pictures of the sign and poked around.  All of a sudden, Ben saw something moving on the hill making the dry leaves on the ground rustle and we all started running like the devil was behind us.  I banged my finger off the trunk of their rental car and stowed it.  We hopped in the car and took off; we started laughing once we hit the main road again.  We’re idiots.

Got back to the hotel just in time for the deceptively named Pool Party to start.  Hung out for a bit, got pissed at cigar smokers, and went back to the room to watch more football, this time it was Texas and Texas Tech.   Hey, I had to take advantage of having ESPN, right?  Ben hung out down there for a while longer and then came to bed.  Slept in the next morning (hallelujah!) and got the car all packed for the trip back home.  Hit two more author panels with Rhiannon Frater of As the World Dies fame, Eric S. Brown, and Kody Boye.  Kody’s short story ‘Jade’ was pretty awesome.  If you want to read the best opening to a novel, check out Chapter One of Rhiannon’s ATWD’s  ‘Tiny Fingers.”  Eric Brown gave Ben lots of writing advice, encouragement, and told me to get him to finish his stuff.  He and Stephen North (they co-wrote a book together) were Ben’s biggest supporters. 

Sunday brought  more writerly panels.  My favorite reading of the weekend was Scott A. Johnson’s “Epiphony.”  That guy is crazy, but awesome.  Imagine that know-it-all teenager that has everything figured out in the event of the zombie apocalypse actually confronting it with his own family.  Classic.  I think he was my favorite author of the whole weekend, followed closely by Kim Paffenroth.

Headed home, reunited with The Squish, and unpacked a whole lotta laundry.  Caught the first quarter of the Giants / Cowboys game and shuffled off to bed to start the workweek over.  All in all, the weekend wasn’t too bad with the exception of being separated from Squishy.  I might take her next year en route to the beach for a vacation with my family.  Spend the weekend at Horror Realm (a treat for Ben) and then the following week at the ocean (a reward for me for being such an awesome wife / mom / all around good person).

Weekend Plans

This weekend is supposed to be absolutely beautiful in Central Ohio.  Yesterday’s weather was in the mid 60s with sunshine;  today is supposed to be more sunshine and a high of  70 degrees.  Tomorrow is slated to be the best day of the year so far with temperatures in the mid 70s and just bursting with sunshine.  So, what’s a girl to do?

  1. Grill out!  We’ve got pasta salad already made up (the perfect cheap side for any grilled meal) and plan to grill London Broil tonight, steaks my mom is bringing down on Saturday, and chicken or pork tenderloin on Sunday with Ben’s parents.  If it rains Sunday we’ll compromise and have lasagna. 
  2. Spring Clean!  We’ll open all the windows, leave the sliding glass door to the patio open and let the fresh air in.  Mom and I will be tackling my kitchen this weekend – getting it spotless and organized.  I hate a messy kitchen.  I probably won’t be allowed to do much other than direct what goes where, but we’ll get it done.
  3. Put the dogs outside.  The puppies love to lounge in the sun, shade, and anywhere in between when the weather is nice.  They’re perfectly content to spend the entire day outside if they have fresh water and someone  throws the frisbee and/or tennis ball with them for a while.
  4. Spend some time in the yard.  Last weekend I sat in a patio chair with my feet up reading a good book while soaking in some sun.  I may have to repeat that this weekend 🙂 

What are your weekend plans?