Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas & Baby Musings

Well, I can't believe the year is almost over and what a year it has been...full of ups and downs, good and bad times, sad and happy times. I did quite a bit of Christmas shopping this year which is unusual for me nowadays. I don't think I spent an exorbitant amount of money but definitely more than I normally spend. I guess I was feeling generous. I know I need to start planning for Christmas way in advance next year. I don't think I started Christmas shopping until the second week in December. The only decoration we put up was the wreath on the door. It'll be a different story next year when the baby is here. We'll have to make more of an effort to make Christmas special for him. I still can't believe that this time next year, I will have a 6 month old baby crawling around the house. Sometimes, I don't think I'll believe this pregnancy is real until the baby is here.

I had a doctor's appointment on the 22nd and I heard his little heartbeat. I was so happy to hear that because I've been so worried about him in there. I'll be 14 weeks pregnant at the end of the month and I feel some movement in my stomach but have no clue if it's the baby or not. Since I don't know if it's the baby, I assume that it's not...it just seems too early for me to feel him moving...I assume that the sensations are something else and worry myself to death about how the baby is doing. Compared to some other pregnancy experiences I've heard about, so far this has been a fairly easy pregnancy for me. I'm into my second trimester so the nausea, tiredness, and general mental fuzziness from the first trimester have pretty much disappeared. I'm still struggling to work out 5 days a week though. It's been more like 2 days a week for the past couple weeks but I will keep trying. Since most of my uncomfortable symptoms are gone, I have no excuse not to work out.

I've been slowly buying things for the baby. I kind of went crazy on clothes but reminded myself that there will be plenty of clothes at the baby shower. We need to focus on the big things like the crib, stroller, and car seat. I've already picked out the crib. It will have to be a mini crib since our bedroom is so small. We do not have room for a full size crib. I've decided to go with a safari theme for the baby. I've even bought the outfit he'll come home from the hospital in. It's a cute little set with lions all over the top and pants and an embroidered lion on the hat and on each sock. It's just adorable. I can't wait for him to get here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Finally Getting What He Deserves!

I just couldn't resist posting this. Too bad the Iraqi guy missed!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

We're back from vacation. I'll complain about the cruise later but I had my first ultrasound today and wanted to share my Thanksgiving blessing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mixed Bag

When the thought of updating my blog occurred to me earlier today, it was going to be a positive post about the baby's progress and our upcoming vacation. I'll still mention that but I just want to vent a little first about my frustrations for the week. I HATE COLUMBUS!

1. The worst drivers I have ever encountered are here in Columbus and I drove around Atlanta for 10 years! They're either driving like they're asleep and moving at the speed of a turtle or they're doing something ridiculously stupid like changing lanes -often with no blinker- when you're right next to them.

2. Why is it that I, as a non-smoker and a pregnant woman, can't drive anywhere without someone around me smoking. Every single time I am in my car, which is several times a day, the driver in front, behind, or to the side of me is smoking! I don't want to inhale that crap and neither does my baby!

3. What kind of restaurant calls itself "Country's" yet doesn't serve mac & cheese? They've got all the barbecued onions and fried pickles you can eat, but macaroni and cheese? Why you'll have to come back on Thursday for that.

OK, I'm done. The longer I live here, the more I hate it. We'll have to apologize to our child for him/her being born in this backward place.

Anyway, on to more positive things, the baby and I had a much better week this week. I can't say the cravings have stopped completely but they are not as intense and frenzied as before. I actually was able to wait two days before giving into the mac & cheese craving. That would not have been the case a few weeks ago. I also had more energy this week and I've been coming home and working out instead of taking a nap. My clothes are slowly getting tighter but they still fit thank goodness. I am not ready to start shopping for maternity clothes yet. I can barely decide what to put in my baby registry at Target.

We're going on our long awaited vacation tomorrow....a Caribbean cruise. We took our first cruise last year and this will be our third cruise. We are just hooked on them. It looks like we'll have to cancel our cruise for next year though because the baby won't be old enough to go with us and I won't leave our barely 5 month old baby for a whole week no matter how willing to babysit my MIL is.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Who writes these things?


I've immersed myself in pregnancy books that so far are a bit of a disappointment. What is really annoying about them is that they stress eating healthy, which I normally do, without taking into account that during the first trimester, eating healthy is dang near impossible. I have had constant nausea almost from the beginning and many of the foods that I normally eat with abandon are nauseating to me. I have a big jar of cashews that I can't even stand to look at, much less eat. Yogurt was a daily staple. Now, the sour smell and taste seem to have magnified 100x. I can't stomach it.

The only healthy foods I seemed to have maintained my taste for are mainly protein, fruit, and milk. I only seem to have an appetite for ground beef. The thought of eating a steak makes me feel like throwing up. I also can't seem to eat anything I don't have a taste for. So far, I've spent one week in Wendy's eating just their chicken sandwich patties slathered with mayonnaise- no bread- and chicken nuggets. This week it's eating salami, boiled eggs, and tuna like there's no tomorrow. The books are written as though you should just eat healthy anyway. I would love to but that seems impossible right about now. I don't know what's worse constantly feeling like you're going to throw up and never throwing up or throwing up all the time. Some days, like today, my nausea is pretty bad and I'm tempted to make myself throw up thinking that the nausea will go away if I throw up. But I know better. It won't go away.

My breasts have also become so swollen and tender that it's hard to get a good night's sleep unless I lay on my back the entire time. Of course, when I get up and gravity hits them, OUCH! I've learned to get up very slowly and hold them in place with my arms until I've adjusted to standing up. My mom suggested sleeping with a bra on...of course, none of them fit properly anymore...and that seems to help. I can't seem to work up the energy to work out either....or even clean the house. It's getting annoying. I've lost count of the number of days I've come home and picked out my workout, only to fall asleep. I know this stage is temporary but I can't wait for it to be over.

I'm going to be a momma!

So my gyno confirmed about 2 weeks ago that I am pregnant. It's hard for me to keep up with the count but I think I'm wrapping up my 9th week now. I'm still in a state of disbelief that I will be someone's mommy. I'm excited and fearful about that. My own childhood was anything but normal. I'm so afraid that I'll be a like my mom. I love my mom and I know she did her best but, she was not a good mother. I'm torn every time I say that because she raised all 5 of us and 4 of us turned out OK. I don't know if that means that things weren't really as bad as they seemed or if we're just resilient. I know that I could never do or say to my child some of the things that were said and done to me and my siblings but I still worry. I have seen other people's children exhibit behavior that I know I would have no patience for. Everyone wants to think their child will be different but I know my child will be the typical child...trying to get away with whatever he/she can. I tend to have a no-nonsense demeanor anyway that I hope my child picks up on intuitively as he/she gets older. We'll see.

It's so cute. I've started calling the baby "she" and my husband calls the baby "he". We're still not sure if we want to know the sex of the baby before he/she is born. I've resisted buying anything or even looking at baby stuff because this all still feels so weird. I finally broke down yesterday and bought these cute onesies at Big Lots.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Surprise!

Well the completely unexpected has happened. I do not like surprises so I have been tracking my period religiously for a few years now. I really hated the seemingly random way it would pop up so this was my way of knowing when to expect it and be prepared for it. Anyway, my period did not come as scheduled this month. I can count the number of times I've been late in the past few years on one hand so the alarm went off in my head immediately. After giving it about a week to show up and praying it was late, it never came. So, I went to Walgreens and got a pregnancy test. It's positive. I'm going to my gyno this week to confirm but I know my body. That's really the only reason why my period wouldn't come.

I didn't grow up dreaming of the day I would be a mom. My fantasies did not include children...or a husband for that matter. My husband and I were dead set against having children when we first met. That position has kind of softened over the past 2 or 3 years. We never discussed it seriously but have had conversations of what it would be like to have a child and what kind of parents we would be. I guess this opened the door for this to happen because we almost didn't care whether we had a child or not. If we had one, great. If we didn't have one, great. I guess I can say that we're cautiously happy about it. My husband and I are calm and practical people. No matter how happy we are, our feet are always firmly planted on the ground. We know this is probably going to be our biggest undertaking as a couple and we really want to be as prepared as possible.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Presidential Debate


Ok, I will admit that I am so over this election. I have not watched one debate so far and I am just tired of both McCain and Obama. However, I was catching up on the news this morning and saw that Bob Schieffer is moderating the next presidential debate. I actually got excited because he, Ted Koppel, and Bill Kurtis are my favorite journalists. I've already voted so it's not like watching the debate will change anything. I plan to watch the debate just to see Bob Schieffer in action. Am I lame or what?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why?!

We have to vote absentee this year because we are still registered in Newton County. I received the ballot this past week. I have to say that Newton County has some of the most efficient and helpful workers I've ever experience. It's one of the reasons why I love living there. Anyway, I'm looking over the ballot and am just surprised and a little disgusted at the number of people running unchallenged. I counted 9 and I just can't fathom how there are absolutely no qualified opponents in Newton County for these seats. Perhaps, even more annoying is that they've wasted ink putting it on the ballot. I have no intention of "voting" for any of them because whether we vote for them or not, they will still retain their seat. It's a waste of time and frankly, a little pathetic.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Finally!

This is apparently the incident that prompted the huge police presence yesterday. Very sad...The Ledger-Enquirer has figured out what their job is since I just discovered this on their web site. Notice all the detail in the article. Someone's death should warrant a bit more indepth reporting than this don't ya think.

15-year-old killed in Columbus car wreck
By Lily Gordon - lgordon@ledger-enquirer.com --

A Columbus teen was killed in a two-vehicle crash Thursday on **** Street.

Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower said John Paul Morgan Jr., 15, was involved in a car crash at ****** about 5:30 p.m.

Morgan was transported to The Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 5:58 p.m., the coroner said. The teen's body was sent to Atlanta for an autopsy.

Great Night....Almost


I’ve been playing Bunco once a month with some of my co-workers for almost a year now. We rotate hosting the game night and the host provides dinner and drinks. My husband did a great job helping me get the house ready. He moved some of our furniture down to Columbus from Covington …by himself mostly because I was pretty useless with certain things like the sofabed. I did a really good job of renting the U-Haul though :-). He finally put up the bathroom accessories that I bought over a year ago. He put up my curtain rods. The house has 10 foot high ceilings so the windows are really up there. He set up the music for me. He didn’t complain once and was absolutely great about it. I spent way too much on food but I wanted to do something different so I got Caribbean food from Rose’s. She is a bit overpriced but the food is good and she is the only good Caribbean restaurant in the area so I guess she can do that. Everyone came and we had a great time.

It must have been a full moon last night because there were two incidents in my otherwise quiet with some seedy elements…mainly drugs and prostitution…neighborhood. There was something going on two streets over because the police were out there and there was crime scene tape up. All of my co-workers were showing up telling me there was something going on. I had no idea what it was. Having lived near Atlanta , I have the expectation that if there is a major incident, the local news crew will be there reporting live no matter when it happens. Well, Columbus is not a “live” kind of town. Even though this was happening at around 6:00, it was not reported on any of the 11:00 news reports. It is still not on their websites this morning nor is it in the Ledger-Enquirer. I could assume that it was not a major incident but I’ve been in Columbus long enough to know better. They report that someone has been killed or robbed days after it’s happened…if at all. The news reporting here in Columbus is another area that is light years behind other metro areas in Georgia ...the whole country probably. I have given up on watching it. It is the most uninformative 30 minutes so, why waste my time. The top news story, pretty much all week, has been Bill Heard closing. Well, darn it, if a possible murder doesn’t top that, I don’t know what does. Being dead is a lot worse than losing your job.

The second incident occurred right in front of my house. Our house is in an unfortunate location right in front of an intersecting street. This intersecting street is where the crazy and seedy folks tend to reside/frequent. Although…some red-neck looking folks moved in next door around Labor Day. I could be wrong about them but that’s my first impression. Time will tell. Anyway, we’re playing around the coffee table in the living room with the front door open and we look out the screen door and see this man with his arm around the back and front of a woman’s neck. In retrospect, it looked like a wrestling hold but at the time, it just looked like one or both was drunk and they were holding each other up. We notice the man arguing with another man in a vehicle. No one is playing Bunco now. We’re all standing at the front door watching. I pick up my cell phone and go out onto the porch because I am one who WILL call the police and tell them everything I know. When I hear strange noises, I make a note of the time, just in case they come knocking. The woman manages to wrestle herself away and hops in the car with the other guy and they drive off. The guy then pitches his cell phone after the car. Guess where it landed? Right in my azalea bush! He at least had the good sense to ask me if he could retrieve the phone before he crossed my fence into my yard.

So, that was my night last night. The Farmer’s Almanac reports that the moon was only 15% visible last night so it was not a full moon. So, why my neighbors chose last night of all nights to act the fool, I have no idea.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crisis?


Are we in a time of crisis? Everything we hear on the news says we should be. Somehow, I don’t feel overly concerned. I did't even watch Bush's speech tonight. Mainly because the man gets on my last nerve. My husband and I tend to be calm people who take things in stride. The only thing that generally sends me over the edge is when people don’t do what they say they’re going to do. I don’t deal with disappointment well. We are preparing our house in Covington for sale so we drive up to Covington from Columbus , every weekend to work on it. This past weekend, finding gas was a challenge. In Columbus , the second gas station I went to had gas but there was a line. When we arrived in Covington , none of the gas stations off our highway exit had gas. We have to pass 7 gas stations on the drive to our house. I’ve been watching the news this week and it seems that the gas problems are getting worse. Everyone is upset about it and understandably so. I don’t know. It seems like a good opportunity to decrease our dependency on automobiles to me. Take the train, ride a bike, walk, etc…

The economy is apparently going to hell in a handbasket. I have a love/hate relationship with capitalism. I think this phase is called reaping what you sow. This is one of the downsides to placing money, possessions, and wealth before people. No economic model is perfect but I finished my economics class in college not completely convinced that some of the theories were rational.

I’m not sure what to think about all this. I am not a happy-go-lucky person. This is exactly the type of doom and gloom that I often take comfort in. It fits in so neatly with my cynical world view. Surprisingly though, I’m not worried. I don’t think this is the end of the “good life” as we have come to know it. The instability in the financial markets and the ridiculously high gas prices will not lead to the country’s financial ruin. Whatever happens, we’ll get through it. What other option is there?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

P90 Masters

I'm ending my 2nd week of a P90 Masters rotation and I'm surprised that I'm still hanging in there. Doing only Sculpt 5/6 and Sweat 5/6 for the first 3 weeks did not appeal to me but it hasn't been as bad as I thought. I did do Low Impact Step today instead of Sweat 5/6 but one deviation in a week and a half is an accomplishment for me.

Natural Sunscreens

I'm about to delete my aromatherapy blog and combine it with this one. So' I'll be copying some of the posts here...starting with this one.

Friday, March 23, 2007
Natural Sunscreens

The fact that we are experiencing some of the hottest weather on record made me think of a question I received earlier this year about natural sunscreens...specificially PABA. I took this as an opportunity to do a little research and here is what I found.

There are typically two types of sunscreens, chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens are synthetic and provide protection from the sun by being absorbed into the skin. Chemical sunscreens feel lighter on the skin than physical sunscreens and generally have a higher SPF level than physical sunscreens. However, chemical sunscreens are typically more likely to irritate sensitive skin. Apply chemical sunscreens at least 20 minutes before heading outside since they need time to absorb into the skin.

Perhaps the best-known chemical sunscreen used for protection against UVA rays is avobenzone, or Parsol 1789. In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration approved Parsol 1789 for sunscreens. Parsol 1789 chemically alters the way sunlight enters your skin and there are no known dangers to using it . Broad spectrum protection is also provided by other synthetic ingredients such as benzophenone and oxybenzone, which protect by absorbing UV light. PABA (paraaminobenzoic acid) was once a popular UV-absorbing sunscreen ingredient, but it can cause skin irritation in some people and is now replaced by Padimate-O, a derivative of PABA. Other synthetic ingredients are octyl methoxycinnamate and menthyl anthranilate.

Physical sunscreens are the natural sunscreens that provide protection from the sun by sitting on top of the skin. They reflect or scatter ultraviolet light as it hits the skin forming a barrier between your skin and the sun. They start to work almost immediately after applying. The most common natural sunscreens are the natural minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These mineral compounds work by reflecting UVA rays and have long-standing safety records. Skin care experts debate which UVA blockers are most effective, but all of them work. One drawback to mineral-based ingredients is that they often show up white on your skin, but some transparent sunscreens now use them.

Antioxidants are often combined with titanium dioxide to slow down the oxidation of oils. Some popular natural antioxidants are vitamins E and C, rice bran oil (SPF 4), sesame seed oil (SPF 4), natural shea butter (SPF 6), and green tea (increases the sun protection activity of ingredients).

Recent research shows that green tea is indeed an effective sunscreen. A 1999 study published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology found that topical application of green tea may protect against the sun's UVB rays. This supports the findings of previous animal studies, which have also suggested that topical application of green tea may protect against the sun. The major polyphenolic constituent in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), is probably responsible for green tea's protective effect.

Recent research also shows that antioxidant supplementation may protect our skin. A paper published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplementation with carotenoids (25 mg/day) and vitamin E (500 IU/day) "may be useful for diminishing sensitivity to ultraviolet light."

Click here for an ingredient list for a true natural sunscreen.

Click here for some natural sunscreen recipes.

Most sources recommend a minimum SPF 8 when going outside but the lower SPF of natural ingredients can be suitable for less intense sun exposure. Also be sure to wear sunglasses and a hat to further protect the eyes and face.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Workout Time

This past month, I planned to do only strength and yoga/pilates workouts...no cardio. I've been largely successful only doing one walk in the park and the 10 minute cardio segment from Women's Health Total Workout in Ten DVD one time. I must say it has been an enjoyable month. I despise cardio and I really enjoyed not feeling like I had to do it. However, I really did not feel like I had a productive month workout wise. I enjoyed my strength workouts but my meager yoga and pilates collection did not offer much variety on those days. I've thought about it and with the help of my new workout tracker, I've come to believe that I should strive to work out at least 80% of the days in a month. This month, I'm averaging a workout about 60% of the days in the month. Last month, it was around 55%. I calculated for September and I should be exercising at least 24 days this month to achieve my 80% goal. That seems really unattainable. I would have to give up my strict no workout on weekends rule in order to meet that goal. As if that weren't enough, I've also decided to finally try doing a P90 Masters rotation. I despise rotations but I've had the set since February. I either need to do them or get rid of them. So, my workout outlook for September looks bleak and unmotivating. Oh, well. I've got two days to come up with a plan and get myself in the right frame of mind. I'm not going to wimp out.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Dark Knight

Against my better judgement, a friend and I went to see the Dark Knight. The Batman movies have not been the same since Michael Keaton played Batman. They've just gotten worse over the years. IMO, Michael Keaton was the best Batman. I am not one to listen to hype but everyone made such a big deal about this movie, I thought it would be a good idea to go see it. Not to mention, there was nothing else playing that I wanted to see, so Batman kind of won by default. I still don't know what to think of this movie. Heath Ledger did a great job as the Joker. Too good, in fact. I kept praying for someone to kill him because he really got annoying after a while. I am not sure why they had Batman talking like he had a really bad sore throat but, he sounded like Scooby Doo. I couldn't stop laughing. Why, in this movie, does Batman feel the need to disguise his voice when he didn't disguise it in all the others? It was so silly and unnecessary. The movie was also way too long and drawn out for my tastes.

My friend and I walked out of the theater convinced that the Joker- or the director, not sure which- was racist. Every time he turned around, he was killing a black person. In typical Hollywood fashion, the first person killed in an apparently otherwise lily white town, was a Black guy. There were two gangs in town..the Black gang and the Italian gang. Who does the Joker go and mess with? The Black gang of course! In fact, every Black character in this movie-except Morgan Freeman- was involved in some criminal activity. Good going Hollywood! Let's continue to perpetuate that stereotype. The bad cop that was tipping off the mobsters? The one Latino cop on the force. Would it have changed the plot at all to make the bad cop one of the white cops? I doubt it.

Don't get me started on the Batmobile. Why re-design a sleek, futuristic looking sports car into a lumbering, ugly armored car? And Batman's obsession with having this good face represent Gotham because he was apparently bad...what the heck was that all about? I am still trying to figure out why he was so bad. And Maggie Gyllenhaal...lord that woman is unattractive. Her face looks like a prune with all her facial features squooshed together in the middle of her face. I can't believe she's in her 20s. She looks like she's pushing 50. She was trying so hard to play this sexy, slinky, yet smart character and she was not believable.

There is so much more to complain about but strangely, I didn't hate the movie. I didn't love it either. There was just enough going on to keep it interesting but two weeks after I've seen it, I'm still sitting here going WTF was that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cliques

Why do cliques bother me? Doesn’t everyone want to be in the in crowd? Heck, for most people any crowd will do. But, I resist cliques. I think I always have. I was never a popular kid in school but I was happy with the few nerdy friends I had. They were honest, loyal, we had things in common, we had fun together. I guess some people would consider my little nerdy group of friends a clique in itself but I guess when you’re on the inside, you don’t see it that way. I also think the difference between a clique and a true group of friends is that a group of friends is not exclusionary. Cliques, by their very nature are exclusionary. My friends and I welcomed anyone who wanted to hang out with us. Cliques, no matter how bad you want to be a part of it, have no room for outsiders. I guess this is on my mind now because I’ve been at my new job now for 7 months and the cliques are everywhere. I’ve made a few attempts to hang out with certain groups but it just doesn’t feel right. I have really tried to act like their conversations, activities, and lives interest me but I just know I don’t belong there. I have nothing in common with most of the people and I don’t particularly like being around some of them. Some of them are quite wishy washy-a quality I really dislike in people. It’s amazing though that as much as cliques bother me and as uncomfortable as I am when I am around them, I still want to be a part of that group. What does that say about me?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

So many men...

What is it about Slavic men? They just seem to have immense sex appeal. We went on a cruise on the Carnival Legend last November and the fitness director was Serbian. The man was balding and seemed quite stern. I took an aerobics class and there was just something about him. I couldn't take my eyes off him. I ran into him again on our last cruise on the Fascination in April and the attraction was definitely still there, if not stronger. I started a new job back in December and there is a guy there from the Ukraine. He is also balding and has a dark, brooding quality about him. I find him immensely attractive. Now, I am watching the Olympics and took one look at Cavic from Serbia. I swear, I'm ready to move over there!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Color Purple

We went out to dinner and then to see the Color Purple with another couple this past weekend. I didn’t expect to have a good time but things turned out great. I must say the play is very different from the book. They completely lost me after the intermission. I just remember sitting there going, I don’t remember this from the book or the movie. They really played up Celie’s lesbian relationship with Shug. It became quite uncomfortable at times. The movie only hinted at it which I think is much more tasteful. I’ve decided I need to read the book again. After all, it was the 80s and I wasn’t even a teenager yet so it’s likely that I forgot some details. We ate at Baraonda before heading over to the Fox and although the servings were a bit small for my liking, the food wasn’t bad and the service was pretty good. It is an Italian restaurant so for someone who eats low carb, there were very few things on the menu I could eat. I ended up getting the sausage and peppers with roasted potatoes. I ate a few of the roasted potatoes but they were overcooked –that’s my nice way of saying the skin was burnt- and rubbery so I didn’t feel inclined to finish them. The sausages were a bit dry but the peppers were the best thing on the plate, delicious. My picky husband got the chicken ravioli. There were about 6 midsized ravioli on his plate. He liked them but he didn’t like the price, around $18. My sausage and peppers cost $16. My husband also got a martini- $12. Not our cheapest dinner but all in all, it was a good evening.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Bathroom Saga ends

We finally finished the bathroom!!! Words cannot express my excitement that after almost 4 years, the bathroom is done! And now, some pics....

Please ignore the splotches on the camera. I didn't realize the lens was dirty.

Picture of tub surround


Close-up of the tumbled stone. By far, my favorite feature


Picture of vanity area- painted cabinets, new pulls, new vanity light fixture. I keep thinking I need to do something with that mirror since it looks so plain now.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I'm a Daffodil?

I'm not sure I agree with this but...



I am a
Daffodil


What Flower
Are You?




"You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard."


No one that knows me would describe my disposition as "sunny". I *am* typically the first to show up at parties because I like to be punctual. I don't require much attention because I am more comfortable in the background and do not like to be the center of attention. I am so not capable of making myself seen and heard. Sigh...will these quizzes ever get it right?

Fruit Flush Day 2 and 3

Well, I lost a total of 2.5 pounds on the Fruit Flush. It's about what I expected. I have never been a fast loser so this is quite typical for me. Day 2 called for eating fruit at the same 2 hour increments throughout the day and another salad with protein for dinner. I’ve packed 1 large apple, 1 c. cherries, 1 c. pineapple, 2 c. strawberries, and 2 c. melon for my “meals”. I ate the apple at about 8:15 and surprisingly, my stomach was not growling at 10:15 but I did feel the gnawing sensation of hunger. Maybe it’s the green tea I drank in between that kept me going. The flush doesn't allow caffeine but I did what I had to do to stay on plan. On the plus side, I didn’t feel as tired or irritable as I did on Day 1. Day 3 was a lot harder, for some reason I was not as satiated as Day 2 and ended up quitting and eating a regular low carb lunch. I still call it a success because it has helped me refocus and appreciate my diet plan because it allows me to eat so much more than fruit, protein shakes, and salads. 130s here I come!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fruit Flush Day 1

After stepping on the scale this past weekend and seeing that despite really good eating and calorie counting, I have lost no weight, I decided to try Jay Robb’s Fruit Flush. A friend of mine bought me the book last year and I didn’t take it very seriously. In fact, I sold it on Amazon. But I’ve decided I need a jump start. Although I am measuring out and moderating carbs a la Schwarzbein and counting calories, there is still no movement on the scale. I promised myself in April that I would be back in the 130s or pretty dang close to it by my birthday, which is 3 weeks away. I’ve got to do something to get this going so with the help of some of my Low Carb Friends and these very helpful links from WBAL in Maryland, I started the Fruit Flush.

Day 1 was frankly a nightmare. You basically drink a 6 ounce protein shake made with water at 2 hour increments starting at 8 am and ending at 4 pm. I personally cannot stand protein shakes made with water so of course I had to modify. Yes, I cheated and used half milk and half water in my shakes. If there’s one thing I learned over the years, it’s that I have to be honest with myself about what I will and will not do or I will surely fail. I knew there was no way I would make it through the day mixing my very expensive protein powder with water. Even with the milk, it was still a struggle but much more tolerable. I spent the day drinking the shakes never really feeling satisfied but I must say I never got to a point where I felt extreme hunger. I also felt quite lethargic and irritable yesterday.

The plan calls for a big salad with 6 ounces lean meat and a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice for dinner around 6 pm. I am so not a salad person but I decided that I could do it for 3 days. By lunch, I knew that I needed to get some solid food in me so I prepared a small salad with one hard boiled egg and 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette. I am not a fan of vinaigrette, but it beats olive oil so that is what I went with. The salad is technically not allowed until dinner but I did it to avoid raiding the snack machine at work. I made it through the afternoon dreaming about the beef that I would have with my salad that evening. I usually come home and laze around for a while-checking email, watching Oprah, etc…before I start to workout. Not on day 1. I came straight home and prepared dinner. I was eating dinner at 5:30 instead of 7:30 because frankly, I was hungry and needed some real food in me to fuel my workout. Jay Robb does not recommend working out while doing the Fruit Flush but I really can’t abide by that. When I don’t exercise, it nags at me and I feel like a slacker. So, Fruit Flush or not, I am going to work out.

I know that I ate more beef than he calls for but I really did not care. Solid protein has never tasted so good. I also drank about 3 cups of tea because the lack of hot food throughout the day really bothered me. I was raised on hot home cooked meals. Hot meals are comforting to me. I had one of the cups of tea last night after dinner to avoid raiding the fridge. Caffeinated beverages are not allowed and since I only drink black tea or green tea, it was all caffeinated. I absolutely don’t have a problem with drinking the tea because it’s keeping me from giving up on this altogether.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sex and the City

So I went to see Sex and the City. I loved that show when it was on the air. I remember rushing home from work on Sunday nights to watch it. It was the only reason I had HBO. I must say, however, that the last season bugged me to no end. That was when Carrie was at her most pathetic. The movie just continued that theme. Carrie was never my favorite character. I identified with Miranda and Charlotte more than Carrie and Samantha. The way she allowed "Big" to yank her around was just so pathetic. That whole plot line just got ridiculous after a while. And, while I loved Chris Noth in "Law & Order", I absolutely hated his character on "Sex in the City". A smirky jerk who tried too hard to come off as charming.

The movie was OK. I don't plan to get the DVD. Once was enough. It was much more entertaining watching all the women show up for the movie dressed like they were going to a cocktail party. It's a movie for pete's sake. Get a life already!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wayward Wednesday

What is it about Wednesday? I seemed to have developed this habit. Eat really well on Monday & Tuesday and go off track on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. By off track I mean one thing usually, not a whole day of eating poorly. Last Wednesday, it was 2 Smirnoff Ice at our monthly Bunko night. Thursday, it was a 16 oz. Texas Margarita at a co-worker’s birthday party. Friday, it was a cup of Haagen Daz ice cream. Otherwise, my eating those days had been just fine. This is something that I’ve noticed for a while now so it’s not that I have this active social life. Most nights, it’s me, my workouts, the computer and the TV. I’ve been fine all week. Today, at about 2:00, I suddenly had a craving for something sweet. I was standing in front of the vending machine trying to pick something when it dawned on me what day it was. Wednesday! I can’t say that anything I ate today triggered cravings because I’ve eaten the same things today that I ate yesterday. Protein shake, 2 cups tea, and 2 boiled eggs for breakfast, ½ apple and ¼ cup almonds for mid-morning snack, salad w/ 1 cheeseburger patty for lunch. I’ve got plain yogurt with fresh strawberries in the fridge for my afternoon snack. I’m not hungry. So, why did I get the urge for something sweet…and why was I so close to actually getting something? I made a promise to myself at the start of this week that I was not going to give in to the “Hump Day Crav-a-thon”. Yes, I’ve given it a name because it’s been happening far too frequently. I even started to try and rationalize it. “Oh, you’re going to get your nails done after work so you’ll need this so you don’t get hungry.” And, my personal favorite, “you can get it…just don’t eat dinner”. Whether I eat dinner or not, junk is junk. So, I ended up getting coffee w/ a little half and half instead. I’m writing this at 2:30. I get off work at 5:00. My co-worker just gave me a piece of Harry & David chocolate. Does the whole universe know that I’m craving something sweet? I swear this is some sort of conspiracy. After realizing what day it is, I don’t even want the chocolate. I’m determined to honor my promise to myself.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Changes

There are so many things going on that I haven't written about. My husband and I decided to sell one of our houses. The big one that we love so much. It's the closest thing to a dream home that I think we will ever find. It's not exactly the best time but we've reached a point in our lives and our relationship where we just think it needs to be done. We've been in a bit of a frenzy trying to do the things that we should have already done to the house over the 5 years we've lived there. We are almost done with the bathroom after, what is it now, 3 years? I'm tiling around the tub. My husband will finish by trimming up the tile and adding wainscot. And I'll go behind him and do the touch ups of the paint. Then we have to replace the island, floor and countertops in the kitchen. Luckily, the cabinets are in good shape. I just touched them up with some paint and added new pulls and now they look like new.

The big project is the basement. We've been trying to get someone to put up drywall but it hasn't really been easy. We're on our third contractor and we have yet to get an estimate. One guy actually had the nerve to show up intoxicated when he came to give us an estimate. We were supposed to have the house on the market by the end of April. It looks like it will be more toward the end of July before we're ready. I'm not stressing about it. The only time we have to work on the house is on the weekends so it's going to take as long as it takes. The longer we wait the better the market may get.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Baseball

I'll be turning 35 in July and I went to my first, and probably last, baseball game this past Saturday. I remember watching baseball as a child and thinking how boring it was. It just seemed like a lot of standing around and every once in a while someone would actually hit the ball. Aside from it being the most boring sport after golf, maybe I dislike baseball because I wasn't any good at it in PE. Who am I kidding? I wasn't good at any sport in PE. I've just never been the athletic type. I rarely hit the ball and on the rare occasion that I did hit the ball, I never made it past 1st base.

Knowing that I don't like baseball, I rationlized going by telling myself that the tickets were free, it was something different to do, and it couldn't possibly be as boring in person as it is on TV. After sitting at the game for 2.5 hours, I can say with some authority that baseball is even more boring in person. At least on TV, the commercials break up the monotony. The game was between the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds. I don't understand how these men stay in reasonable shape because there was more standing around than anything else. After 6 innings, the score was 2 to 1. How can anyone call this a sport? I can watch basketball with no problem because there is always some movement. Not so with baseball. They rarely hit the ball. Of course, if you don't hit the ball, there's no running.

Although it was a home game, I was rooting for the Reds for really no other reason than everyone else there was likely a Braves fan. I seem to like going against the crowd. Too bad the Reds absolutely sucked. The 1 time they scored, it was because one of their players stole his way to home base. My husband kept laying his head on my shoulder because he too was bored out of his mind. We left at the beginning of the 8th inning. The Braves had just scored two runs at the bottom of the 7th inning and apparently scored 5 more runs after we left. We really didn't care that we weren't there to see it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Interesting Tidbit

Very interesting article...I must make note of this for the next time I meet someone. After reading this, I'm certain that I have a fearful attachment style.

Perceiver Factors in Attraction
Response to attractive stimuli depends on the perceiver as well as the stimulus. People's response to a target's physical attractiveness, for example, is influenced by the number of strikingly attractive people that they have recently viewed, by the opinions of other people, and by how invested they are in their current relationship.

Similarity involves a match between the target and the perceiver. People tend to like others who seem similar to themselves in attitudes and beliefs and, to a much lesser extent, in personality and physical attractiveness (Byrne 1971). Similarity in attitudes helps to avoid conflict, and the agreement of others helps to validate one's own opinions. Such validation is particularly attractive when people feel threatened or insecure.

One exception to the similarity-attraction rule is that women are often initially attracted to men who are the opposite of themselves, by being stereotypically masculine and task-focused. Conversely, men are attracted to women who are stereotypically feminine, expressive, and relationship focused. William Ickes (1993) suggested that this opposites-attract tendency is ironic, because relationships between people who have traditional gender roles are typically less satisfying and more problematic than are relationships between people who are androgynous, having both masculine and feminine qualities.

Some of the cause of attraction to sex-role typical mates may be due to hormones. Researchers who study the effects of hormones on attraction, such as Ian Penton-Voak and his associates (1999), found that women who were at the midpoint of their menstrual cycle, and experiencing higher levels of hormones, rated ruggedly masculine men as more attractive than women who were at other points in their menstrual cycle, who preferred a less masculine male appearance. Further, women at the midpoint of their cycle displayed strongest attraction to t-shirts that had been worn by more robust and symmetrical men, which presumably contained the men's pheromones. Men did not display such olfactory sensitivity (Thornhill and Gangestad 1999).

Sociobiological theory (Cunningham 1981) interpreted attraction in terms of evolutionary dynamics, such as the differential mating requirements of males and females. Men may have greater need than women for a young, healthy, fertile partner, which may be suggested by a partner's physical attractiveness, whereas women may need someone with resources to invest in their offspring, which may be indicated by a partner's wealth and status. Research conducted in thirty-seven cultures suggested that men are more interested than women in potential partners' physical attractiveness, whereas women are more interested than men in potential partners' wealth and status (Buss 1989). Although physical attractiveness and wealth influence attraction, the results of over one hundred studies about what people are looking for in long-term relationships indicated that mate qualities that indicate caring, such as being kind, supportive, and understanding, are more important in attraction to both males and females than material qualities such as physical attractiveness or wealth (Cunningham, Druen, and Barbee 1997).

Attachment theory suggested that an individual's disposition to be kind and caring may begin in childhood, as a result of the responsiveness and affection shown by the parents. A secure attachment style involves a positive attitude about oneself and other people, and is characterized by happiness, trust, and comfort with closeness. Rand Conger and his associates (2000) reported that when individuals had nurturing and involved parents in the seventh grade, they turned out to be warm, supportive, and low in hostility when they were in romantic relationships in their twenties.

Individuals with a preoccupied attachment style have positive attitude about others, but low self-esteem and anxious attitudes about themselves. They tend to experience emotional extremes in their relationships, to crave closeness but have a fear of rejection. Individuals with such low self-esteem may underestimate their partner's attraction, and eventually may cause the rejection that they fear. Individuals with a dismissive attachment style have high self-esteem, but are negative toward other people, whereas those with a fearful attachment style are both anxious about themselves and avoidant toward others. Bruce Ellis and associates (1996) reported that people who grow up in a stressful environment, and develop a dismissive or fearful attachment style, may initiate sexual activity at an earlier age. Such individuals may seek short-term relationships due to their fear of intimacy, according to Pilkington and Richardson, and may emphasize physical attractiveness and wealth when choosing such a short-term partner (Kenrick et al. 1990).

People generally are attracted to potential partners with secure attachment styles, who make them feel loved and cared for, despite the fact that the other person is dissimilar to their own attachment style (Chappell and Davis 1998). Individuals who are themselves insecure, however, may inaccurately see insecure people as being secure. In addition, such variables as familiarity, physical attraction, or similarity in attitudes also may cause individuals to become attracted to insecure partners.

When the object of evaluation is a stranger, a low rating of interpersonal attraction usually means neutrality or indifference. But when the target is a close associate, low levels of attraction usually mean hatred or disgust. It is unclear whether changes in the positive qualities of another person, such as decreases in their supportiveness, generosity, or beauty, cause a substantial change in attraction, or whether increases in negative behavior, such as criticism, unfairness, or withdrawal, are primarily responsible for disaffection (Huston et al. 2001). It is likely, however, that attraction is a function of the perceiver's motivation that is most acute at the time of evaluation of the other person. If the perceiver is feeling a need for respect, and the other person is derogatory, then attraction is likely to be low. But if the two break up, and the perceiver is feeling lonely, then the perceiver may become attracted again to the former partner, as a familiar conversationalist. If the two get back together, however, then loneliness will recede as a motive, and other needs will return to influence attraction or repulsion. Thus, interpersonal attraction, from the beginning to the end of a relationship, may be influenced by characteristics of the target person being evaluated as attractive; by the perceiver's needs, feelings and traits; and by the situation in which the perceiver is exposed to the target.

Baumeister, R. F., and Leary, M. R. (1995). "The Need to Belong: Desire for Interpersonal Attachments as a Fundamental Human Motivation." Psychological Bulletin 117:497–529

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just wanted to share my beautiful Valentine's bouquet with everyone. My husband earned some major points with this one.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Results

Wow. January is almost over and I haven't posted a thing on my blog. I really need to do better. Too bad I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. I made it through the 12 day Body Shaping Miracle. Even though my eating wasn't great, I started to notice around the 4th day that my appetite was diminished somewhat. My more vigorous exercise DVDs make me hungry so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that slower-paced steady state cardio would have the opposite effect. The only place I really saw a difference was in my waist. I lost about 1/2 inch in my waist. I didn't really lose any inches anywhere else. I can't blame Michael Thurmond for that because I did not follow the plan 100%. I did the exercises. I didn't follow the diet. All in all, I liked it and I'm going to try it again following the plan as written.

I'm getting back to basics with my eating. I've gotten so used to eating at maintenance levels that eating the way that led to my weight loss in the first place seems like deprivation. I have to adopt the mindset that it's not deprivation. I can eat and eat and eat and still lose weight. I just cannot eat certain foods the way I have grown accustomed to eating them. So starting yesterday, I recommitted to Somersize/Schwarzbein. I felt queasy and light headed all day, despite eating as much as I wanted. My body is just not used to eating that way anymore so I will have to re-train it. I've gotten rid of all the snack bars and healthy convenience foods because while they are good for me, they are not the way I should eat regularly. They became staples in my diet and they should not be since they are mostly frankenfoods. I love Kashi snack bars but, the brown rice syrup and the honey make them a no-no. Yes, they are a more natural alternative to sugar but according to Dr. Schwarzbein, sugar is sugar. None is better than the other. So, I've just had my dinner on Day 2 of eating 90% the way I should instead of 50-60%. I feel much better today than I did yesterday and I am so much more confident that I will be able to do it this time than I have been in the past.