Monday, December 14, 2009

Yeah ... Christmas is Going to be Better this Year.

So last Christmas ... no I did not give you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away.

No, last Christmas, I was covered in hives.

I had some allergic reaction to something, I think it was green peppers but it was never confirmed, and a week before Christmas I was covered head to toe in crazy red itchy hives. I looked like a science experiment. Needless to say, prepping for the holidays was next to impossible while trying to fight my way out of the Benadryl coma I was in. Although when I had to take steroids to help with the reaction, I got A LOT done.

So Christmas last year was weird; I wasn't into it, I felt awful, and the whole thing just felt like it was something I needed to get through.

THIS Christmas, I am feeling merry. Very!

Decorations are up. Tree is decorated. Gifts purchased. Menu chosen. Carols sung on a daily basis, thanks to a toddler who loves them. His excitement has been positively contagious. I am even making cookies with my little guy on Christmas Eve, despite the high odds that we will both end up covered in flour.

Hey, it's better than hives.

And I'm really looking forward to Christmas Eve night with the hubs. Christmas Eve has always been a more quiet, cozy time than the rest of the holiday. It's the soft quiet before the frenzy; a chance to sit together, talk, and think of Christmases past -- living in crappy apartments, or being apart at our respective families' houses because we weren't married yet -- and be really thankful for how far we've come and the family we've built together.

I don't take many opportunities to slow down and think of what I have -- I'm usually too busy looking to accomplish what I haven't -- so it's always nice to take a moment, reminisce, and be grateful.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas ...

... Because I am stressin'. Nothing new or different from what anyone else is probably feeling this time of year, but oy. Between trying to finish up projects at work and trying to find the right gifts while not bankrupting myself, it's been kind of hectic around here.

BUT. I am almost done. With more than 2 weeks to spare! I need to hit the mall (ugh) and the local outdoor shopping center (blargh) but then I'm done with gifts. The tree and decorations are already up, and the holiday cards are in. Now to just actually address them and get them in the mail ...

I'm really digging this holiday season so far. It helps to have an enthusiastic toddler who wakes up every morning as enamored (or more so) of the Christmas tree as he was the previous day. And when he says, "I'm happy and excited for Christmas, Mommy!," well my heart grows three sizes.

It also snowed this past weekend, probably the earliest we've had snow since moving here 5 years ago. It was fun to watch B's reaction to it, and it definitely helped with the holiday spirit.

I'll post more thoughts later on the holidays, including one of my favorite times, Christmas Eve.

Monday, November 30, 2009


This is so late, with Thanksgiving come and gone, but I still want to list some of the many things I am thankful for. Even the things that make me cranky.

In no certain order, I'm thankful for things big and small:

My family, even though they drive me crazy. Including my patient and loving husband and my completely impatient but adorable and charming toddler.

Facebook. I can't abide Twitter and email is fine, but Facebook is my hub of choice because I can be as active or passive as I want and everyone I know is in one place. Now if it would just stop with the crazy slowdowns and bugs and whatnot.

My body. As big as it is right now, it is getting smaller and healthier. It allowed me to complete a 5K this fall, and with (hopefully) a more dedicated training program, will allow me to complete an 8K in April and a 10K next November. My body allows me to do some really cool things when I get out of my own way.

Reality TV. If I'm ever feeling down, I can watch Biggest Loser or my personal favorite, Tough Love, to become inspired or grateful that I am not dating anymore. Yeesh.

Also, decent scripted shows. Thank you Mad Men, Glee, Lost, 30 Rock, and Modern Family for providing entertainment that doesn't make me roll my eyes or want to throw things. Also, thank you Yo Gabba Gabba and Thomas the tank Engine for entertaining B, so he won't want to throw things.

My job, for many reasons. I'm thankful to have a job at all, but I'm especially thankful or the flexibility and (until recently) unknown appreciation from my company's execs. I'm thankful that I'll get a chance to create my own path; I'm excited to see where it goes.

Uncle Ben's Ready Rice. I seriously love the convenience of this stuff. They even have Basmati and Jasmine varieties! What's not to love?

My iPod. I've completely given up CDs and just buy what I want from iTunes. It suits my non-commitment music personality.

Coupons. Oh coupons, in this recession where would I be without you?

The coming year. It's another year to live my life, make plans, and see what I can accomplish. It's also hopefully another year to mellow out my Type A tendencies (yeah right) and become a little wiser.

Monday, November 23, 2009

48:22; 536 out of 587

Yep - that's my time and my finishing place in the 5K this weekend.

I wish I had done better, but you know it's all about the journey, blah blah. I am proud of myself for training for something and doing it; I just wish I could have really hit the inspirational mark of doing better than I thought, or really kicking ass, or something. I suppose getting off my dead ass and doing something at all is pretty kick ass, though.

Also, and here's where the excuses start!, I was battling a pretty hefty allergy attack. I sounded like I smoked 3 packs a day and I couldn't breathe through my nose. So I suppose, for an overweight snotty mouth-breather, I did pretty well.

The coolest thing for me though was the feeling afterward: No, not the immediate feeling of wanted to throw up/pass out because I started my kick too early and the finish line was farther away than I estimated. Once I sat down and had some water, I felt ... good. Really good. Not dead, not exhausted. I felt good, like someone who's working toward being healthier who accomplished a goal. So I guess, despite my tortoise-like time, it was a big victory for me.

And now I'm plotting. The Charlottesville Marathon/Half Marathon/8K is coming up in April. I'm aiming low for the 8K, but who knows ... maybe a half is in my future? I'm getting back on my treadmill tonight; we'll see where it takes me next.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Get Ready!

Tomorrow's the big race day! I'm actually feeling pretty good about it, hoping to just have fun and get through it.

I'm currently battling an allergy attack that has left me with a crazy throat situation and no voice, so that should be interesting. My practice jog went OK yesterday so hopefully tomorrow will be fine.

So ... catch ya on the flip side when I will be DONE with this 5K! And then I'll probably write some sort of philosophical/sappy entry afterward about my training journey. I know you're excited.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still Around ...

Still jogging, still hanging with family, still watching The Biggest Loser, still trying to watch my weight, still trying to figure out what the hell is up with my job.

Just feeling quite a bit down lately and not sure what to do about it yet. I'm pondering.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Will Be So Glad When This is Done!

And by "this" I mean, of course, this #!%&@ 5K. I am over training for it, I am over panicking about looking stupid while running it, I am. over. it.

You know I'm over it when I'm doing that writer crutch thing of putting a period after every word for emphasis.

But, to my credit (have to give yourself a little credit every once in a while), I'm doing fine with training. It's just sucky because I'm putting pressure on myself even when I try not to. I don't know ... I'm weird, OK?

Other than prepping for the 5K we're putting together packing lists and whatnot for our grand road trip up to Long Island to see the in-laws, attend a wedding, and celebrate my SIL's engagement. This trip is bringing on a whole other level of stress, but I am trying to focus on the good and visualize a smooth trip. If I envision it, it will happen, right?

I'm also debating whether to blog about something kind of judgy but irritating, but wondering if I should since peeps who read this blog will know exactly what I'm bitching about ... hmmm ...

Oh, and it's Tuesday. Looking forward to watching Fat People Crying while noshing on low-fat pumpkin bread. It's my night off from jogging.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Work it Out, Work it Out.

So I jogged last night and it was fine. I was a little slower than usual, but not too far off of my usual pace of ... 13 minutes per mile.

Ha! Yes, you read right. I think the tortoise, the hare, and the entire fable-tastic forest would beat my ass in a race. But whatever, I'm doing it and I will be done in under an hour, which is all that the race people require. Done.

I'm jogging again tonight so that I can squeeze in three jogs for this week. We have Little Gym tomorrow night and you know, I just CAN'T miss that. Because nothing caps off a long workday like 20 simultaneous toddler meltdowns over who gets to do a forward roll on the cheese mat first.

So, yes. Three jogs this week and well on my way to hopefully not embarrassing myself on November 21.

Tonight when The Biggest Loser theme song asks me what have I done today to make me feel proud, I'll know. Aw yeah.

Monday, October 26, 2009

OhMyGodWhyAmISoLazy??? Part Infinity.

Oy, y'all. My fat lazy arse STILL has not jogged. We're going on almost a month here, kids. It was all going so well, I was in a GROOVE and working out! And THEN.

My freaking back and shoulder decided that fat was better than active and have completely rebelled. Hey, it's not like I have a what-should-be-easy race coming up in 4 weeks or anything ... that I'm running in front of people I know ... hey wait.

The time has come to suck it up and tell my failing body parts what's up, because I am jogging for the first time in a while tonight. The seismic thud you hear coming from Central VA is probably just me passing out ... just ignore it and carry on.

Besides, I have a wedding to go to in two weeks and THEN my sister in law has her wedding coming up in a year. I am a bridesmaid. I cannot be the bridesmaid that makes all the other bridesmaids wear a not-hot dress because I'm the fattest one. You know what I'm talking about.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Church Giggles

I don't know what was up with me last night, but I had serious church giggles. Like shaking, no-noise-making, crying my ass off giggles.

What set it off? An innocuous scene from Community, where Chevy Chase's character is singing some jingle about hand wipes and the way he sings "at the PICNIC!" just set me off. I was a laughing ridiculous fool. You can check it out in Chapter 3 of the online episode (around 18:20)

I think I laughed about that scene all night, and then for like 15 minutes while trying to fall asleep last night.

I don't know if it's the stress getting to me or what, but it seemed hella funny at the time. I haven't laughed like that in a LONG time. I bet if I watched it back now I'd be like, "whatever." But that's the beauty of Church Giggles: even something mildly amusing turns hilariously funny when you are trying not to be loud or disruptive, or wake up your two year old.

I can remember being a kid and being yanked out of a dead sleep by my mom laughing at something on TV. From a floor down. My mom has one of the loudest laughs I've ever heard. It's like an opera singer. It is insane.

I don't want to be that.

Speaking of my mom, her birthday is this Sunday and we're going up to celebrate. I will make her favorite cake (carrot with cream cheese frosting), and it will feel like the official start of Fall. It's nice to have that tradition, especially right now when I'm feeling like everything else in my life is kind of topsy turvy (at least emotionally).

Sounds like I could use some more church giggles.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Randoms: Now with Updates!

So the client webinar went OK, and seriously, that's being generous. I know I should cut myself some slack because it was the first one, but I was not pleased. Luckily, I've already taken steps to fix the issues we had and make the next one better in both tech and content.

Still haven't jogged. Am suddenly having a hard time caring, which worries me. I know I need to be active to be healthy, and I'm know I'm doing my usual "If I HAVE to do something (5K), then I refuse to prepare for it, so neener." Except that I'm neenering myself, over something that I willingly signed up for. Sometimes I'm just a self-sabotaging idgit. I'll start jogging again soon, but I'm bummed that I still find myself in this behavior pattern.

Potty training B is ... not really going. It's more like practice than training. He LOVES wearing underpants, but isn't quite attuned to when he has to go, so there have been quite a few accidents. It's frustrating, but since we've started early, I'm hoping things will fall into place eventually.

What else? I'm doing some light GMAT review, and have realized that by taking my time in taking this exam, I may not end up in B School until 2013. Again, kind of frustrating, but since my getting an MBA is not a time-sensitive thing, I'm actually OK with the wait. Maybe I'll have my act together more by then!

Um, also -- B has started asking for a brother, inspired by the Family episode of Yo Gabba Gabba:

Dude, I thought you liked being an only? Also: I think you'll be waiting a while.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Today is our big, first-ever client webinar. I've done all I can to get ready for it; and around 3:15, I will be free! Until next quarter, anyway.

Then I get to focus on our budget for next year, which is always a good time.

The leaves are finally starting to change, the weather's getting cooler, and I'm ready to just *enjoy* Fall already. This stress is harshing my good time! Although last weekend we did hit the Carter Mountain Apple Harvest Festival and had a blast. We're headed up there again this weekend with family to buy our apples/pumpkins/preserves/etc.

Oh, and suddenly we're potty training. B is in love with wearing underpants, and refuses to wear diapers except to sleep, so potty training it is. We've already had some accidents, but we're getting there. Considering that this is about 5 months earlier than I thought we would start--and he is driving it--I think we're doing fine. We'll see how I feel if it's 8 months later and we're still cleaning poo off of the bathroom floor ...

Oh. And. I have not jogged in a week and a half. I have a 5K to run in a little over a month. I have got to get on it, whether my back hurts or I'm traveling or whatever. They've been lovely excuses for the last week and a half, but enough already. The chicks on TBL are starting to catch up to my weight, and you know we can't have that.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm Still Here. I'm Just Losing My Mind.

Stress, stress, stress. That word is my life for the next few weeks.

A lot of projects are happening at work, the most important being our first client webinar. I've done many webinars before, but I'm nervous about this one because instead of using a service that completely runs the webinar for you, we are doing it by hand using GoTo Webinar. This makes me nervous because I am the one arranging, marketing, and ultimately running the technology for it.

I am not technologically savvy at all.

So yes, stress. That people will show up. That the technology won't fail me. That the content will be interesting.

And if we're successful? a brief glow, and then I get to do it all over again each quarter.

Not to mention the other 50 million projects that I have going on. That are also recurring. And then there's my favorite time of year: budget planning. Help me Jeebus.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm excited to have projects, to be busy, to have a job. But ... stress. I can never seem to operate without massive amounts of it; I've told people before that I feel like my stress levels are my down payment for a successful project. If I don't completely stress out, then karma will make my project suck. It's weird and stupid, but it's worked for all these years--why question the method now?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Weekly Therapy Session is Back ...

... AKA The Biggest Loser.

The new season kicked off last night and as usual, there are some seriously overweight people with some serious problems. I couldn't help but tear up hearing Abby's story: She lost her husband, 5 year old, and 2 week old in a fatal car accident. I told my husband that I would not only be heavier than her if that happened to me--I would be dead and gone. How do you come back from that, much less decide to put yourself through this show? She is amazing.

Of course I had to do the "How do I stack up to the women?" when it came time for weigh-in. I'm happy to report that unlike last season, which started back in January 09, I am officially lighter than the starting weight of every female contestant this season.

It seems dumb, but that was a big motivator for me. My husband and I joke that we gain weight during TBL because the extreme workouts, crying, and drama just make you want to sit down and binge sometimes. Happy to say, I did not have cookies this time (though I did have a few cups of low-fat popcorn). And as I watched these people sweat their way through their first workouts, I was both admiring and grateful. Because I remember what it was like to be wheezing and sweating and wanting to die after 15 minutes. I'm grateful that even though I am the slowest jogger on earth, I'm doing it anyway and I'm getting better at it.

This season will be interesting; I'm hoping I can continue to stay ahead of the women for as long as I can. Too bad I don't have a Jillian to scream in my face.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to It

So after my awesome breakthrough/empowerment/hear me roar/blah blah, I took a week off from jogging.

Why? Because I'm lazy/busy with other things.

But I was back to it yesterday, with the gripping fear in the back of my mind that I have only about 2 more months until I have to JOG IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE.

Yep, the motivation was back, big time.

Otherwise, life is toodling along: Summer's almost officially over, I'm training for this 5K, trying not to get buried at work, and doing a little dance now that football is back in my life.

And I'm waiting on some GMAT study materials. I still want to do it, gripping fear or not. I seem to be doing a lot of staring-into-fear things lately.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I was dreaming, but can't remember about what.

My mom bursts into my old bedroom and wakes me up: "Does Tom's mom still work in New York City?"

"No. Why?"

"A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center. It's some weird accident ... it's clear out today."

Get up, throw on clothes, look at the TV. I make my mom sit down -- I'm at my parents' house to help my mom after her surgery. We're the only ones home; Tom is working in DC and my Dad is on his way into work at HUD.

Diane Sawyer is talking about how the plane crash could happen; it's a beautiful day out, what's going on?

The camera is fixed on the the towers. The running commentary continues. I see something come in from the side of the shot: "Wait, what's that?"

"Oh my god, it's another plane. Oh my god, it's another plane!!! What is going on??"

My mom knew immediately that it was an attack. I suppose after all those years working in DC with government agencies, you almost expect it? It still wasn't sticking with me, until the panic set in.

My dad. My boyfriend. Both in the DC area. Mom and I couldn't get a call through until several minutes later; luckily, she caught my dad on the way to work and he turned around. Tom was stuck in Bethesda and couldn't leave because he took Metro. I irrationally yelled at him to get to Stafford as quickly as he could.

The next shot on the TV was of smoke pouring out from behind the OEOB. ABC-7 News realizes it's the Pentagon that's been hit. There's yet another plane. Hell has officially broken loose.

In the end, Tom managed to make it down to my parents' house, as did my dad. We watched the news constantly. I cried harder than I've ever cried. I remember the signs, so many signs, that loved ones made for those who were supposedly missing. I remember the fiancee on the news asking anyone to call her if they saw/found her fiance. He worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, she said.

I thought about our apartment and its proximity to National Airport--would it even still be there when we came back? An irrational thought, but that day, it seemed like anything could happen. I remember the sound of helicopters flying over my parents' house on their way to Quantico. Tom telling me that when he went past the Pentagon stop it just smelled like burned ... everything. I remember being more scared of DC, a city I loved, than ever. DC, the many-time murder capital of the country, and NOW I was afraid.

I managed to get over the fear enough to take a job one block from the White House. I started work on September 17, 2001. I eventually fell in love with DC again. Tom and I got married there; our favorite wedding picture has the Capitol in the background. I still think of it as my "home" city, even though I've now officially lived in Charlottesville longer.

Today I'm thinking of my home city and everyone in New York. I hope that we've all found some sort of peace, in our own way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm Taking the GMAT Next Year.

Hoping that now that I've said it, it will happen. And that I will manage to not embarrass myself.

Monday, August 31, 2009


After my last post, I had a breakthrough on Saturday. I was doing my usual jog routine, getting that nervous tightening in my chest as the warm-up concluded and it was time to jog, when I decided to change my thinking.

Normally, I am a panicky worker-outer (yes, that's a word. For my purposes). No matter how comfortable I am with a particular workout, I always panic before I get into the heart of a workout. Maybe it's fear of failure? Or fear of an asthma attack, which I had often when I was younger? Whatever the reason, the panic always remains. Especially with jogging/running.

So I decided that this time, there would be no fear. Just jog; who cares if I'm slow, or look goofy, or have to take a quick walk break? I'm in a room by myself in my own house--who cares?

So I did. I ditched my interval routine and tried to jog as long as I could before needing to walk--and it worked! I went for longer, I was calm, and I felt really great after working out. After being stuck on a certain week of my plan for almost three weeks (yeesh), I feel ready to move on.

Not to be too cliche, but it got me thinking: Where else in my life do I let panic or fear hold me back? And how can I fix that?

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Long Road

It's kind of dark and moody out, and I'm feeling contemplative this morning.

Friday is my weigh-in day for my Weight Watchers online program. I just logged my weight and sighed--yes, I was down, that's great. But then I was thinking of how the weight I just logged is still SO heavy. It's easy to get discouraged.

But then I thought: You've come so far from where you were two years ago.

Confession time! I was 289 pounds when I came home from the hospital with my son in July 2007. 11 pounds from 300 pounds.

300. POUNDS.

WTF, Me? I remember sobbing when I got on the scale. Even though I knew a good bit of that weight was the bloating from post-surgery drugs, it was still an insane amount of weight.

I remember in high school, after finally losing weight and looking somewhat normal, being terrified of going over 150 pounds. I remember third year of college, when I actually hit the 200 pound mark I had been terrified of for so long. Then 2001, when I hit 240 pounds, the heaviest I had been ever. Then getting down to 203 for my wedding and being thrilled that I was beginning two new chapters in life: marriage and healthy living. Then November 2006, when I found out I was pregnant at 247 pounds. What was I doing to myself? What happened to the girl from 2003?

Luckily, I had a healthy pregnancy weight gain (about 25 pounds when I was admitted for delivery) and the weight came off FAST post partum -- I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight less than a year after having my baby. Most moms would rejoice; I remember thinking that yay, I was down 42 pounds, but look at the road I still had to travel.

I'm traveling, though. I'm below 247, but confession time is over for now. Everything is still such a work in progress, and while I'm proud of what I've done so far, it's hard not to get caught up in what still needs to be done. It's getting to a point where I wonder if I'll ever be below 200 again in my lifetime ... but I'm trying to stay positive. I know if it's ever going to happen, I need to be more aware of my history than ever, or I'm bound to repeat it.

Hopefully I'll be able to confess some more (long gone weights) in due time. In the meantime, more treadmill jogging awaits tonight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

As the World Turns ...

... I'm just kind of existing right now. Hence, the lack of a post lately. My life is interfering with my blogging! :P

We've had a few family/life things to attend to lately, as well as work, play, and general family time. We're trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer, basking in the glow of a successfully accomplished Awesome Summer Plan. I never thought I would like summer after being a kid, but this year we had a great time. I like summer again. Yay!

But ... I LOVE fall. Like full-on butterflies in my stomach oh my god is it here yet when can I start making stews and baking not to mention holiday time LOVE it. I'm watching preseason football games, people. This is how much I am looking forward to fall (and football - if you think I am crazy about fall, I am barely tolerable during football season. LOVE.)

I'm also being a bit of a lazy slug because work is ramping up for the last two quarters of the year and the monthly trips to North Carolina are starting up again. I'm kind of bummed that the lazy summer days are almost over, but I'm kind of excited to get back to a routine. Tom just started his school year so it feels like everything is back in order.

So ... an Awesome Fall Plan, maybe? Not sure - my fall seasons almost always tend to be awesome, so I may not need a plan. But the Cooking by Instinct Plan is still on; I just need to get to it. I just posted a Brown Sugar Cookie recipe on Tasty Kitchen; check it out!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cooking By Instinct

Do you cook by instinct, or are you a recipe follower?

This question's been on my mind since I joined and started contributing recipes to Tasty Kitchen, Pioneer Woman's new community cooking site. I love how simple it is to search for recipes, and members have been really friendly, which is great!

Although I realized, in trying to contribute recipes, that I have almost none I've created myself. The site encourages members to contribute their own recipes and not just exact replicas of existing recipes (with good reason). I've only contributed three recipes so far.

I've been thinking a lot about cooking from instinct, rather than finding a recipethen cooking it but not remembering it for the next time. Then out comes the recipe again ... my dependence is embarrassing. I have a photographic memory, for Pete's sake!

I'm challenging myself to make up more recipes. Oh yeah, it's another plan! Maybe cooking at home will be more interesting if I'm not relying on recipes left and right. So off I go, in search of my own culinary creativity. First stop: I really want to read Michael Ruhlman's new book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, which focuses on mastering formulas that have endless food possibilities--and freedom from recipes.

Yes, I do realize that it's kind of weird to try and "free" yourself from recipes in order to ... develop your own recipes that you'll share with others. I'm not opposed to recipes, I'd just like to have a few solid formulas in place so help me with my own creativity. I still heart a good recipe, and I know that if it weren't for publications like Cooking Light or websites like, I wouldn't be the cook I am today (which, not to be boastful, I'm a pretty good one).

Should be fun! Oh ... and if you want to friend me on Tasty Kitchen, I'm under amandapan. Happy Cooking!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

We did the family vacation thing ... and it was great!

Really, it was. Yes, even with my parents there! Stop looking at me like that.

With a bit of planning and a lucky score of a nice resort suite at a good rate, our vacation was a success. I think, mostly, because we only planned one thing (taking B to Busch Gardens to see the Sesame Street area) and everything else was whatever--we just did what we wanted.

I think my aversion to agendas might stem from my issues with authority, or maybe one of my other 1 million issues. But I HATE having an agenda, especially on vacation. My husband's uncle takes his family to Disney World every year and everything is planned to the minute from the time they arrive until getting back on the plane. I would riot and run like hell if I was made to do that, but to each their own.

So the first full day we were there we did BG, and my little guy was awesome: he rode rides (save the ride he rode by himself and thus burst into tears, sorry bud)! He politely waited for the other obnoxious kids to get out of the way so he could meet Bert and Ernie! He sat at the table like a big boy at the Festhaus for lunch! The only downside: hot as Hades. We just had B there for the morning through lunch time, which was plenty for a little one. Tom and I returned later that night to ride some roller coasters.

When we weren't sweating our asses off at BG, we spent most of our time hanging out, having pool time (and lunch poolside - at one point, I looked at B and said, "You've got it made, kid. I wasn't eating lunch poolside at a foofy resort when I was 2!") The resort couldn't have been nicer in terms of service and staff -- if you're ever in Williamsburg, check out Kingsmill Resort.

B slept in a toddler bed in our room, which ... yay for him for sleeping fine without a crib, but boo for having him in the same room. B is a really LOUD, spastic sleeper, and every move he made woke me up with a panic that he had fallen out of his bed, or was rifling through the dresser, or something. Ah, well. I will say having a suite rocks -- B could sleep in our room while Tom and I hung out in the living room.

And having my parents there was actually ... nice! They served as a fun attraction for B, allowing Tom and I have to have a fabulous dinner at Le Yaca on our last night. I also love that B is making fun memories with his grandparents--I've been thinking of how we can include Tom's parents on another trip sometime next year. Gotta spread the B love around.

So yeah, our first official family vacation was a big success. Now to figure out our next destination ...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2 Years Ago Today.

Two years ago today, I was chilling in the maternity ward of Martha Jefferson Hospital. We had checked in an hour ago because my water broke around midnight. I remember bursting into tears when that happened --sure, because I was scared, because you were going to be three weeks early, because I thought I needed more time.

But I cried the most because the blinds to your windows weren't in yet, and the nursery wasn't perfect. Your mom is Type A, she can't help it.

Four rounds of Pitocin and one C-section later, you were here. And suddenly nothing else mattered.

One year ago today, I remember thinking how quickly twelve months could move. You were almost walking, and you had already said your first word, on your way to compiling many many more. I couldn't believe what a big boy you were.

Today I dropped you off at school, where you speak in sentences and have a posse of little friends and run around like crazy. You dance and play and have such a great little personality. Much like last year, I can't believe what a big boy you are.

Happy Birthday, little guy. I look forward to marveling at your awesomeness for another year.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Awesome Summer Plan Check-In!

I'm kind of blanking on new blog topics, so I figured I'd do a little check-in on my Awesome Summer Plan (ASP). It's probably only interesting to me, but whatevs. Here we go!

Treadmill = LOVE.
Even though I have yet to jog on it this week, I've been on the thing pretty regularly and it is indeed awesome. Tom and I agree that our favorite part is the hook-up for the iPod with speakers. I'm freeeeee ... no earbuds, no stupid armband that doesn't fit around my chunky arm. Just sweet sweet crappy pop tunes coming out of my treadmill's speakers while I plod along.

And the plodding is going pretty well. I'm back to doing the Couch to 5K program and need to finish the last day of Week 3 and move on to week 4. The last time I did this program, Tom and I signed up for the Turkey Trot at Quantico Marine Base in November 2005. Except it was a 5 MILER, I didn't find out that fact until the day before, and it was 19 degrees outside. If not for the running program, I'd have probably been an ice pop laying in a ditch along the course, instead of the whiny, shuffling pain in the ass that eventually crossed the finish line. Isn't that inspiring?

I'm hoping to sign up for it again (now that I actually know that it's a 5 miler), but I'm hesitant. I think the reason I'm enjoying my treadmill so much is because I'm taking my time, improving my endurance and fitness, on my schedule. If I add a November deadline then there's all this pressure. But I love pressure and deadlines. I'll probably sign up. What could be a better prep for Thanksgiving that getting up early, braving cold weather, and hoofing it around a Marine base?

The local food thing is still going. Not as strongly over the past few weeks since we've been out of town, but we hit the market this Saturday and then on Sunday had a lovely dinner with most of our organic finds. Reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and making an effort to buy local have had a really good effect on my thinking about food. For someone with major food issues, this is in fact awesome.

We get out and about. The family has been great about getting outside to play and getting around to socialize. It's been a nice balance of lazy weekends spent outside with the water table and other fun toys and going out of town to see friends. Next weekend is my son's second birthday party--aside from the planning anxiety, I'm looking forward to it. It'll be another great day of playing and family time -- what this summer has been all about.

I got over myself. Really, I did. I wore a bathing suit in our backyard. I ordered another to wear in front of other people on vacation. I wore short sleeves. I wore skirts. I wear shorts now! Granted, they're Bermuda shorts, but shorts nonetheless. Consequently, I've been a lot more comfortable with being outside and enjoying my time. Go figure.

So there you have it - goals set, goals being attained. It doesn't seem like much, but with summer half over, I'm happy that we've used this time wisely. We're slowing down a bit, having fun, and reminding me of why I loved summer as a kid.

Up next? Vacation starting July 27th!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Some Birthday Thoughts

So today is my birthday. Yay! The hubs wrote a very sweet post about me/us and that was a lovely way to start the day -- that, and the homemade crepes for breakfast. Yum.

So, to answer the usual question: Do I feel older?

Yes. But way older than 32, I can assure you. I think any fellow parent can agree that a child has the awesome ability to both age you at lightning speed and help you recapture some youthful exhuberance. How I manage to chase B around for a day, jog on my treadmill, then hobble around at night like an arthritic 80-year-old is a fascinating mystery.

I also realize today that for probably the first time in my 32 years, I have absolutely no expectations for "my day." In years past I pouted if I didn't have fab plans, or if I didn't get something I really wanted as a gift, or just because I was a spoiled only child who had an insanely huge entitlement complex. While I've been trending (a word only a marketer could love) toward contentment for a while, I really feel it this year. My mom got so frustrated with me this year because I couldn't tell her what I wanted for a gift. But it was because I basically had everything--the important things--I wanted and needed.

Sure, I'd love to be independently wealthy and/or travel around the world for my birthday ... but for now, I'm good. I'm happy.

Maybe I'm finally all growed up after all.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson: Icon, Wedding Awesome-Maker

It seems everyone has written about, Tweeted, updated their status, and what have you regarding Michael Jackson's death. I'm posting quickly about it, because aside from his iconic status in my childhood, MJ contributed to one of the most fun, unexpectedly successful moments in my adult life.

I was 6 when Thriller hit it big, and of course my family had the album. I was devoted to MTV and the stars that dominated the channel. I had a door-sized poster of MJ in his awesome white tuxedo with yellow accents, and rolled up into my classroom one day with a T-shirt with the same image ironed-on to it. Every single kid that saw me that day gasped, "Wow! Michael Jackson!" without a hint of irony or sarcasm. EVERYONE loved Michael Jackson back then.

The 80s were a heady time in entertainment for youngsters.

Fast forward through the decades, the awkward times for MJ, the lawsuits, the tabloids, the shame. Fast forward to 2003, as my husband and I are planning the play list for our wedding.

Me: Here's what I want--I want a Soul Train line. Like when you line up on both sides and everyone dances down the line in pairs. This is what I want.

Tom: That sounds like fun. (This is why we are married.) What song?

Me: "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." No! "Wanna be Startin' Somethin.'" That's it.

Tom: Yes! I'll tell Jose (the DJ).

So Tom told Jose and Jose was like "What?" He didn't think people would want to do it, that when you try to choreograph group things at events it never works and everyone is disappointed, etc. I asked him to at least try and if it didn't work that was OK.

November 1, 2003. Our wedding reception. We played a few songs, got everyone on the dance floor (thanks to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer." We're a diverse bunch.) and Jose announced the plan. Everyone kind of milled around, and then the first notes of "Wanna be Startin' Somethin'" started, and damned if the lines didn't form with the precision of a military operation. Everyone boogied their asses off -- young and old, single, coupled, too-cool and too-fool -- and it was awesome. The pictures from that moment are some of my favorites in our album.

(Note to self: find pics and post here. Liven up this blog already!)

I swear it would have never happened if we hadn't used that song.

Later in the evening, Jose gaves us props on pulling it off. People still bring it up when they mention our wedding. That dance is the stuff of legends. Much like Michael himself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Babe!

Today is my husband's birthday. So begins the summer birthday gauntlet!

I know I ragged on his planning skills in my vacation post; so in honor of the beginning of his 32nd year, here are some things I love about him instead:
  • Puts up with my crap, mostly. This is huge, as I am full of it.
  • Actually does plan when he wants to -- he's doing a great job of helping me investigate preschools for B.
  • Is a GREAT dad. A really, really great dad. When I watch him with B, my cold black heart grows three sizes.
  • Serves as House Husband during the summer when he's working fewer hours. Hello, clean bathrooms; how I love thee.
  • He always encourages me to go for whatever I'm interested in, even if it might make his life a pain in the ass for a while.
  • He cooks. And bakes. Real men do both of these things, and do them well.
  • After all these years, he's still cute. Seriously!
Anyway, that's just a short list of awesome things. Happy Birthday! I love you.

Something I Don't Talk About Often

So my husband and I like to check out PostSecret and when there's a theme, like Father's Day, we talk about how it seems like everyone has Daddy Issues. And how glad we are that we don't have those issues.

Except I do, kind of.

I don't know my biological father. He and my mom divorced when I was not even 2, I think? There were drugs involved on his part and my mom made the right decision to leave, obviously. I've seen maybe three pictures of him in my lifetime. His name is Mark. I don't know anything about him, save for an awkward run-in with his sister when I was 16 (she worked at a store that my mom and I popped into while back-to-school shopping). While I grabbed the nearest article of clothing and ran for a dressing room, my mom found out that he never remarried or had other children, and that he still lived in Maryland.

That's it. Lived so close, yet never wanted anything to do with me. I do wonder what the hell his deal was, and occasionally think, defiantly, about how much he's missing because he couldn't get himself together ... but I don't think about it much.

Because I have an awesome dad who came into my life shortly after my mom divorced. He is my real dad, adopting me once he married my mom. His name is Hank. He was the one who taught me how to ride a bike; ate my disgusting attempts at baking when I was younger; took me to just about every museum in DC when I would go to work with him; helped me with my homework (and notoriously helped me fail a math assignment, because he got confused about what we were doing. Thanks Dad!); took me out to lunch when I first started working in DC; and wouldn't let me lift a finger when I was pregnant. Now he's the proud grandfather who hogs my son when he visits--good luck getting a hug from B with my dad around.

Anyway, I guess my point is that yeah, you can have daddy issues--but they don't have to take over your life. I know I'm lucky to have a dad who loves me; not everyone gets that when they lose their father figure. So that's why I don't entertain that particular drama much.

Besides, why wonder about something that couldn't possibly be as fun and rewarding as being Hank's daughter? I love you, Dad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shopping Like I Actually Have Money

Hoo boy. My shopping habits have been INSANE lately. Recession what now?

In the last month, I have bought/ordered:
  • Our vacation: resort room, tickets to Busch Gardens
  • Father's Day gifts for my husband and Dad
  • A few birthday gifts for my son
  • A travel toddler bed for my son (for vacation, of course)
  • A few birthday gifts for my husband
  • Shoes for myself (you have to treat yourself, right?)
  • 50 million "little things" at Target that probably add up to more than the above items combined.
I still need to purchase birthday party supplies for my son's 2nd birthday in July; more birthday gifts for my husband, Dad, and mother in law; and some vacation clothes because the whole getting over myself and wearing seasonally-appropriate clothing thing? Would happen a whole lot faster if I owned some seasonally-appropriate clothing. For a resort. And then some more clothes for work. I'm keeping it cheap though - Target and Old Navy are my BFFs right now.

But still. For someone who sweats her budget constantly, this is really out of character for me. I can feel the foreboding credit card bill being printed as we speak.

Looks like I might need to implement a Damn Girl Stop Spending Plan.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Two Tickets to (Colonial) Paradise

I booked our family vacation this weekend.

Oh yeah, I said vacation. We're going to Williamsburg: short drive, nice resort, relaxing time mixed in with a theme park. I'm probably more excited about this than I should be, but you have to know our history of planning trips to know how significant this is. The history usually runs like this:

Me: Let's *do* something this summer.

Hubs: OK.

Me: Great! I'll look up some places and we can pick something.

Hubs: Cool.

**A month goes by, I'm the only one looking into anything, I get bitter and stop. We go nowhere.**

Lather, rinse, repeat for like a million years.

I HATE planning trips, for the above scenario plays out over and over every time I want to do something. We were on our way down this road again in the spring, when I wanted to plan a beach trip and everyone was on board with the notion as long as I did the research, booking, etc. So once again, I got bitter ...

... and bought a treadmill.

But then, like cockroaches and Speidi, the vacation notion just wouldn't die: My mom mentioned that there's a Sesame Street section of Busch Gardens, for smaller kids. So I started thinking about going down to Williamsburg, maybe staying somewhere nice, just doing one day at the park, etc. My little guy would have fun, but it wouldn't be too overwhelming. We could still relax. We kicked the idea around for about a week and it was starting to fizzle ...

And then my brain was like, "Aw HALE no, we are not getting robbed of a vacation again!" So while my husband took a nap on Saturday, I booked the entire trip--resort, tickets to the park, everything. By the time he woke up he was on his way to Williamsburg.

Yes, I had to do all the planning again. But I'm getting a trip. And my treadmill. See, ladies? Sometimes you can have it all. Try not to be jealous.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Usual

I have a a few post topics in my head, but life is kind of getting in the way right now:
  • I'm moving offices for the 7th time in 2 1/2 years. Hey, at least I get a window this time; I'll make sure to enjoy it before my next inevitable move!
  • We're trying to plan a short mini-trip to Williamsburg.
  • Work is stressful. That's all I'll say about it.
But hey, the ASP is rolling right along:
  • My little guy starts his first Beast class tonight. Should be fun and cute!
  • We're still doing the local food thing; dinner tonight is pasta with homemade pesto and sauteed zucchini and squash. Yes I realize that pesto is so 90s but it's also nice and summery, so back off food snobs!
The only ASP bummer I'm experiencing right now is that I still haven't heard anything about my treadmill coming, and it should be here later this week or early next week. Need to call and harass a SOLE customer rep, methinks.

Oh and somehow I got sucked back into the Real Housewives of New Jersey. I guess I'm just a sucker for the accents.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Whoa. It's June Already?

Well, yes, I know - it's not quite June. We've still got a few May days left. But since I always seem to live my life looking out two weeks ahead, it's basically June for me. I can't believe how fast time is going.

Summer's a big time in my family. Aside from my Awesome Summer Plan and its related activities, there are birthdays galore: my husband's in June; mine, my MIL's, my son's, and my dad's in July; my SIL and GIL in August. There's a whole lotta celebrating going on all summer.

That's my guy in the picture at the top, celebrating his first birthday last year. Can't wait to see if he's as messy with his cake this year (I'm guessing ... probably)

Around this time of year people always start in with the "What would you like for your birthday?" question. Which is lovely of them to plan ahead, but I'm stumped every year as to what to answer. Sure, I have the usual Amazon Wish List of books, music, etc., that are nice to receive, but I really want is time: with my family, my friends, to myself ... more and more time.

And thinner thighs. When are my 10-14 days over so I can get my treadmill already?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Amesome Summer Plan - Check It!

Hey, look at me saying I'm going to do something and then doing it, for once!

Above you'll see my lovely Sole F83 treadmill. It's coming to my house in 10-14 days. And then it will be time to get my fitness on, aw yeah. Maybe if I think of Jillian while running I'll be too scared to stop after half an hour.

Time to compose some guilty pleasure iTunes mixes. Danity Kane, Britney -- maybe even Beyonce, Lord help me -- I'm looking at you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Awesome Summer Plan - Oh it's ON!

I'm Type A. I like to plan. Hence the 50 million plans I have going on at all times, some of which were listed in my last post.

I mentioned an Awesome Summer Plan last week. After having an awesome weekend, I figured hey, let's make this weekend the model for our summer.

Elements of the Awesome Summer Plan:

Stay home more. Considering how much havoc traveling for work and family wreaked on my life this spring, I want to stay home as much as possible this summer. Being home means long evenings playing in the backyard, beers on the deck, home cooked meals, and low pressure.

Local entertainment. We hit the local farmers market this weekend, scored some great produce and grass-fed beef, then we went home and ate it. It was yummy. We plan to lather, rinse, repeat. I like the philosophy of eating local, reinforced by my current book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. We're embracing local restaurants, venues, attractions. Why waste all of that gas schlepping around, anyway?

Get over my fear/hatred of hot weather and its fashion. I hate being hot. HATE. I'm usually a mess during the summer because I have so many hangups about my body that I practically wear fall-ish clothes all year (pants/cardigans/light sweaters), with the occasional short-sleeved shirt thrown in. This year I'm done with that crap. I've already worn my first dress of the season (gasp!) and I plan to wear short sleeves, skirts, dresses, and whatever other warm-weather staples will make me more comfortable. Maybe even shorts! Look at me, brave girl! People will just have to get over my flabby pale self. I'm finally starting to.

Stop whining and do something about fitness. My personal local food movement doesn't really include my good pals Ben & Jerry, so I'm OK on the food front. Now, to fitness. I've joined and quit a gym, taken classes, tried just walking around the neighborhood, blah blah. Nothing sticks. The only thing I have ever been able to do with some regularity is hit the treadmill. Yes, it can be dreadfully boring, but I always do it. I need one for my house so I can stop bitching about not having time to hit the gym. I'm buying one as a birthday present to myself. I've managed to lose 65 pounds in 2 years -- it's really time to get the rest of this weight off. Plus I need an excuse to compose more random mixes on iTunes.

So there's the plan. I'm ready and excited. No pressure, just time with my guys, my house, and my 'hood. Pale legs be damned.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More Plans

I'm just plugging along, getting projects done -- both professional and personal.

Up next in the personal projects? Another book (possibly The Thirteenth Tale, it seems like a fun spooky read) and some sort of Physical Activity plan. I've got figure out something to do with myself to spur the rest of my weight loss. I'm trying not to obsess about the weight like usual, yet still stay motivated. It's difficult.

My son has already embraced his physical activity: Little Gym classes this summer. He'll be a Beast. And I'll try not to lunge at the first kid who knocks him over during class. Hey, I have restraint! Sort of.

As for the rest of the plans:

The Get More Sleep plan started out strong this week and has faltered a bit, but I'm getting back to it tonight. The Cook More at Home plan included a family meal last night courtesy of my husband, and I made homemade chicken stock. I feel so Ina Garten!

Now I need an Awesome Summer plan. We'll see how that goes; I may need to implement a Don't Blind People with Your Paleness plan first.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hit the Books

After whining my way through my last entry about gaining balance, I decided I need to pull an Oprah-style makeover of my daily life. If only I had Nate and Peter and the other experts to just come over and do it all for me ...

In the past, the first step of any makeover would have been weight loss; this time, I'm taking a new direction. I'm going to get back to reading. When I traveled a lot in my former job, I was a reading fiend and blew through stacks of books. My latest travel schedule inspired me to get back to it, and hopefully continue when my travel slows a bit.

I mentioned before that I read God Save the Fan and Eat, Pray, Love. I also recently finished When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, Company by Max Barry and Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield.

I enjoyed them all, and now you can see how seriously behind I am in my reading stack: the Sheffield book is two years old. At least the Sedaris is new.

It feels good, as a former English major, to be reading again. Reading is absolutely helping my writing -- I write A LOT for my job and things finally seem to be falling into place after a bout of writer's block. It's probably no coincidence that I started this blog when I started reading again.

So yay, reading. Especially now that I'm reading something more challenging than Sandra Boynton board books. Although I do like the twist ending of But Not the Hippopotamus.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Hamster in a Wheel

I'm starting to feel like that lately: a hamster in a wheel. Going fiercely, but going nowhere - or at least not accomplishing much.

I'm headed out for another business trip, this time to Philly. While I do love biz travel (as previously documented!), between the flights and driving trips to our sales office, I'm starting to grind down. It didn't help that my trip to the sales office last week was for the purpose of dismissing one of my employees.

We've also been spending almost every weekend at my parents' house - we still have friends and activities in their 'hood, plus we like to give them lots of grandparent time with our son.

Don't get me wrong - it's great to be busy (especially in this economy), social, and family-oriented. I have a TON to be thankful for and I do appreciate what I have.


I'm exhausted. There's no balance. I feel like a hypocrite when I read Eat, Pray, Love and find so much to relate to, especially the drive to find peace within yourself. Of course I want inner peace and balance -- but I'm doing nothing to accomplish that right now. I need a year off to hit some cool countries and Om my way to inner peace and beauty.

I know -- we're ALL busy. Quit whining. I'm really trying to. Hopefully after this trip I'll have a bit more personal time to actually get my life back in order. I just want my son to stop saying "Bye bye, Mommy!" when I'm playing with him on the weekends. I'm not going anywhere right now, bud. Sigh.

But first, I've gotta get to the airport.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

At Least it Wasn't Woody Paige.

I'm reading Will Leitch's God Save the Fan and really liking it. Will is the founder of Deadspin, one of my favorite sports blogs. The book is perfect business trip reading: funny, interesting, and most importantly for my ADD tendencies, written in easily-digestible essays so I can flit in and out of the book as needed.

But his book took me to an uncomfortable place. A place I had tried to ignore for a long time.

In a few of his essays he mentions crusty old-school sportswriters and how they've brought themselves over to a variety of ESPN's shows, most notably Around the Horn. Leitch can't stand AtH and talks about how many of the panelists went from engaging (or at least half-interesting) in print to scripted, screaming banshees on TV.

I used to watch Around the Horn almost every evening - my husband likes the show and again, it had that great ADD-friendly format. The point-keeping, yelling, and Tony Reali were tangential to the whole point for me: finding out, in a nutshell, what's up with sports for the day. At some point, we stopped watching because now my son is obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba! and now that's the way we roll with our evening programming.

So anyway I'm reading this book and something popped into my head that I had kind of forgotten - but was no less embarrassed to remember. When we used to watch AtH, I kind of sort of had a tiny crush on Tim Cowlishaw.


But he was so rumpled, and he had the salt and pepper hair thing going, and he wasn't as loud as the others, and he kind of looked like your friend's rumpled and kind of cute Dad. I couldn't help it. So I'd watch AtH and while other women my age were probably liking that little slice of intern Tony R., or that nice boy J.A. Adande, I was thinking that Tim was cute. Yeah, I'm not proud of it.

But hey, in order to make myself feel better, I read the title of this post. Repeatedly.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Today's my last day in the office this week, for I am about to embark on that most hallowed of working rituals: The Business Trip. To Chicago, quite possibly one of my favorite cities ever.

I seriously love business trips, y'all. They've made me a better traveller (a little more calm and a little less paranoid) and let's face it -- a little me time never hurt a girl. I have my own random/indulgent rituals:

  1. When at the airport I buy the latest Us Magazine and InStyle. This ritual used to incude Domino but sadly, Domino is now in that great magazine resting place in the sky. RIP Domino. I loved your mostly transitional focus and more importantly, your pretty pictures and dedication to Thomas O'Brien. Anyway.

  2. If there is a Potbelly at the airport, I will eat there. It's a compulsion - when you go from having one in the ground floor of your apartment building to absolutely none in your current town, you have to have it.

  3. I bring enough books to get me through a month of solitude. Even though I usually only get through one or two of them, I like having backups in case the book I'm reading is boring or sucks. I learned this lesson after getting stuck with some book about Hamptons people and their abodes, with no back up. On a cross-country flight. Man, the writing was so awful I had to see what publishing house allowed this crap. Turn the book over--self-published?! WTF?

  4. I take a cab from the airport to my hotel (unless there's a shuttle). Public transportation, especially in a new city while bearing luggage, is not for me. I'm too much of a spaz.

  5. I order room service, at least once. Especially at the Ritz, where their room service actually tastes good.

  6. I try to get out and do something exclusively related to the city. It's just fun, and makes the trip more interesting than "I flew in, did what I needed to, then I flew out."

  7. Try to have at least one meal or drinks with any coworkers who are also on the trip. I learn the most about people I work with when we're relaxed and not entertaining a client.
Of course the best ritual is that little flutter I get in my stomach on the morning of my return date. It stays with me until I touch down at home and see my husband and son again.

Speaking of returning home - business travel is great for a marriage. Missing someone and then reuniting ... it's a beautiful thing. Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

File Under Duh.

While watching a preview of The Real Housewives of New Jersey:

Me: "Whaaaaat? Did that chick just flip over a table?"

Him: "Yeah. You gotta go to the suburbs to get the good stuff."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On Dropping Hints

A friend of mine just mentioned that the people included in her nanny share have a filthy house and while she's kind of appalled about it, she doesn't want to be a total bitch and tell them their house is funkay. She jokingly said she might drop a hint about how her cleaning service is so awesome.

There is nothing more embarrassing (yes, I'm being a bit dramatic) than being overweight and saying that you love to watch The Biggest Loser. Because inevitably, the person you're talking to raises their eyebrow like "Oh yeah? Gathered any tips on how to deal with your chunky ass?" And the hints, they come a-droppin'.

How do you tell someone that you've been in a life-long battle and right now, with a crazy job, a toddler, and a husband you're trying not to forget in the shuffle that you're just TIRED? I mean, without unloading some seriously raw shit to someone with whom you're just casually chatting.

I've been fat since I was 8 years old. I was a skinny, skinny kid and then around third grade, I just got HUNGRY. I was 131 pounds when I was 10 years old. Although compared to TBL's Ron who just admitted that he was 200 pounds when he was 9, I guess I was pretty svelte, but not compared to my skinnier classmates back in 1988. And it just roller-coastered from there: Fatty-fat until age 15 when I went on Jenny Craig and lost a bunch of weight and was finally "normal"; developed a bit of a bulimia habit in my last year of HS and early college years; gained later in college and the first years in the workforce; lost a bunch before my wedding on Weight Watchers; gained; lost; got pregnant (at my heaviest weight ever, fun!) but had an awesome pregnancy and dropped the weight pretty quickly (about 9 months); now I'm working on my fat girl weight. 70 pounds to go.

But I've been working on those 70 pounds for a long time and I'm stalled right now. Not sure if it's the big drop in weight over the last year (about 60 pounds of both pregnancy weight and fat girl weight) or what. With so far to go it can get frustrating.

Until those mofos on TBL get on their scales every season and blow away past numbers of being huge. Even after losing 115 pounds, this season's Kristen is still heavier than I am. Granted, she will be a stick by the finale and I'll probably still be at my weight, but for now, this is solace. Yeah, it's inspirational that they are changing their lives and yay isn't that awesome, but some of my pleasure in watching TBL is in the small vindication I get when people have basically killed themselves and my ass is on the couch eating a cookie and we're the same. For one brief moment, we're same.

And I got to have cookies.

What I'd love to tell Kristen, though, is that I follow her because we are now very similar in weight and I do find inspiration in her--her efforts do push me to maybe eat one less cookie while parked on the couch. If nothing else, she's inspiration to stay at least a few pounds below her so I can continue my smugfest. Hey, it's inspiration nonetheless.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Putting the Oy in Employee

So I have this employee. She takes up a lot of my time, including yesterday where I had to drive down to our sales office (a number of hrs away), solely to have a meeting with her about how to be professional and do her job, then drive back home (I work in a different office than my staff - yes it can be awkward at times, but for the most part I make it work - and it's fairly temporary).

Have I mentioned that she has been doing her job for almost 3 years and should already know how to do it? And that she is in her late 30s and has been working for a while, so she should already know how to be professional?

Yeah. Yesterday was a long day.

Here are my personal tips for being professional, gleaned from my experience with this employee:

  1. Do not get drunk at a company event and become sexually suggestive to your male coworkers. Also, please don't do this three times in one year.

  2. Do not air your personal dirty laundry about your divorce drama, your custody battle, what a bastard your ex is, and how lonely and (and sexless) you are.

  3. Do not tell your new boss she seems cold and now that you have figured out that she is "warm" you can work with her. Thanks?

  4. Do not email and go to your boss's superiors and tell them you want to work for someone else. Your boss will find out, roll her eyes, and then tell you you're stuck with her. Sorry.

  5. When your boss is frantically trying to get a vendor paid because YOU spaced, do not come in late that day, then go out to lunch and be unavailable while your boss runs around begging Finance to cut a check for the expense. Then REALLY don't send your boss an email telling her that you came in late, went out to lunch, and the boss should have simply called your cell to get a hold of you.

  6. Stop making your boss's work life so frigging hard. PLEASE.
So anyway, that was my day yesterday. The meeting will either work or it won't - I think I'm so numb to dealing with this person that I've come around to a state of zen. Om.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The First Thing.

The first thing is ... this is the first entry of my first blog ever. I know - try to contain yourselves!

A bit about me: I'm a wife, a mom, a working chick, a daughter, a pain in the ass at times, a loyal friend, a snarky bitch at times, and as you'll shortly see, a rambler.

I've started this as a lark, a whim, a possible way to break out of a rut. Let's see where it goes.