Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let's talk it out

Something my husband still struggles to understand about me is my need to "talk it out." In his mind I'm bitching about the same thing over and over again, being indecisive. I know part of him just wants to grab me on both shoulders and shake me until I shut-up. What he doesn't see is the whacked out thought process going on and how many times I've already had this discussion in my head. By the time I've made my way to his ears there's been at least three renditions of the thought process, and now I'm just vocalizing it to see if it sounds as sane outside of my head as it did inside. You'd think that talking to another human being would be better than talking to myself, but clearly he thinks not.

My mother has had years of practice with this and knows the difference between a pause for comment, and a pause to catch my breath and continue. After almost thirty years of being my sounding board it's her turn to take a break, and part of his husbandly duties to humor me. I have a gut that has served me well, not only at meal time, but in life in general. I KNOW what it's telling me. I don't always listen, but I do always KNOW. If I come up with an idea, thought, or decision and don't KNOW, then I keep talking. As annoying as it may be, this process has never failed me, and I'm not about to abandon it now.

Tonight I KNEW and I'm in a better place because of it. WE'RE in a better place because of it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Open mouth insert foot, and leg it's attached to

So, we've all had those moments where before your brain can start filtering your mouth you find yourself halfway down the road to, "No seriously, tell me how you really feel." Well that was me today and really the only excuse I have is that I was so tired I didn't know what I was saying until it was too late. I wasn't saying anything I haven't said before, but typically the comments are reserved for the ears of my husband, in the safety of our home, while sipping (guzzling) an adult beverage. Any other day I slap a smile on my face and become the sunshine princess that everyone knows and loves. Not the case today. Today I felt the need to air ALL of my frustrations about my boss to a coworker. The horrified look on her face said it all and as quick as I could I just.stopped.talking. It was like a train wreck and I was watching from inside. Twelve hours later I still can't believe I lost control. I mean seriously, how does the control freak loose control?

Clearly I have some issues that need to be addressed before I have another attack and this time on said boss. That will be the express train to unemployment and waiting tables. The longer I work in customer service, the more I can relate to cartoons. There are so many times when I'm sitting there with a smile glued to my face while imagining a baseball bat bonking the person in front of me repeatedly on the head. Or maybe their head just explodes mid inanely annoying request. When necessary I can fake interest like the best of them, but lately I catch myself in a blank stare wondering if they can see the daggers coming out of my eyes. Perhaps I need a career change. At the very least I need a vacation.

The year of me

When I was 12 my mom was admitted to the hospital. Diagnosis -- exhaustion. At 29 I'm already starting to see signs of how much I'm like my mother. I like to please people and make things easier for them. It's what makes me great at my job, but also what is leading me down the path my mother forged before me. While most people have a grey area between wants and needs, I have a line in the sand, and everything can be placed on one side or the other. Because of this, everyone else seems to have so many needs that my very few shortly loose their priority, but not their importance. I'll still get to them, but they'll have to wait. It's easy to dismiss your priorities when they're pushing you into an area of challenge. "Oh I can't make it to the gym today because I had to stay late to help the boss, and the dogs need to be let out of their crates." "No, I didn't get a chance to study my photography book because the laundry and dishes needed to be done."

I see it happening more and more and am feeling the drain already. I still enjoy doing all these things for people to help them out, but find that the I either forget to etch out some time for just me or actually manage keep to it. As much as I love my husband and spending time with him is a truly relaxing end to the day, it's still not me time. It's still not me focusing on what I want to do and how to do it. It's still not making them wait for what they "need" so that I can get a little of what I want.

On that note, I'm declaring this the year of me. I know this mindset won't come any easier once children are involved so I need to learn the discipline and set the standard now. It's important that I learn to do this. Both for the balance of my marriage, and the future example I hope to set for my children. And surprisingly, the more I type, the more this sounds like the year of them. What can I say. I'm not going to stop doing something solely for me just because it throws a positive out to the ones I love. That's just bonus.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When I grow up, I wanna be a ...
...well paid housewife

And most recently...retired.

The truth is I really don't know what I want to do when I grow up. Every time I think I have an idea I quickly find a list of reasons it is equally as terrible as it is great. Doctors and lawyers? Way too much school. Author? I can barely lie, let alone tell a story. Photographer? It would definitely be cool, but man will that take a lot of ambition. Well paid housewife? Did I hear The Real Housewives of DC was coming to town?

Something about getting older and approaching being a grownup for more years than you've been a kid makes you take a good look at where you are in life. Is this where I thought I'd be. HELL NO! That's not to say I'm not happy. In the original "plan" I'd be pregnant with #2 by now and lord knows what I'd be doing as far as work. No thank you. Ask me again in a year if I'm ready to think about #1.

What I do know is that I want my kids to be proud of me. Hell, I want me to be proud of me, and right now I feel like I'm falling short. I'm not living up to my potential and seem to keep making excuses why not. I don't want to be one of those people that looks back when they're older and can only see the missed opportunities. I know that life is short, and my biggest fear isn't being forgotten, but not having done something to be remembered.

When I grow up, I want to be remembered.

Small acts of kindness pay heftily in husband points

Most of the time I would bet money that as I'm rambling out ideas I'd like to do around the house, or reasons why I can't do certain things, my dear husband has his earmuffs on blocking out the oncoming honey-do list. It's the other times that I'm happy not to be a gambler because that's when he invites his alter ego Super Clint over to remind me how awesome he is and that he can in fact multi-task.

Just this weekend I was mentioning how the office was still really a mess and that I had cleaned as much as I could, but that the rest of the "stuff" was his to decide on. I may have also mentioned wanting to get my desk setup with my photo HD attached to the laptop and the photo printer installed. And that running the wireless modem through the bedroom closet and out through the office closet would be a good idea and allow us to hardwire into the modem when we're getting a crappy connection. All of which I was sure to be soaring to the top of that honey-do list...right behind mowing the lawn and going to dinner with the in-laws.

Much to my surprise the dear man was listening and taking notes. He setup my desk with the laptop, printer, and hard drive. Cleaned out three of his boxes and took them down to he garage for trash day. And did in fact wire the modem through the closet so that we could get faster connections when needed. I in no way expected him to get all of it done, but it was nice to see how much time and effort he put in to make me happy. On the other hand, it could also be his way of eliminating excuses as to why I'm not working on my photos.

Well played sir.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Better late than never

And in late breaking news, it appears that I actually do remember my password to blogger and will not turn to stone if I get on the computer at home. Seriously though, I have no idea what my problem has been. I write page long posts on my way to work, but just don't seem to find the motivation to get on the computer once I get home.

I'd say it's because there's nothing to write about, but if there's one thing my family is good for, it's providing content. I mean, I could have posted about the beeping noise I walked in to when I got home last night. You know, THAT beeping noise. The one that sinks your stomach and elicits an, "Oh shit!" as you walk up the stairs. The one that has you praying that you haven't lost the entire contents of the freezer and are willing to sacrifice the fridge if someone has to take one for the team. Indeed, luck was on my side. Not only was the fridge safe, but the house didn't burn down from the coffee pot that was left on all day. This was about the time I turned around scanning the room for the next potential money suck asking "Seriously" in disbelief, a la Grey's Anatomy.

It's amazing how marriage changes you. Things that would drive me insane if someone else did them, I can somehow laugh off when Clint is the mastermind. Logic I never thought possible has become one of my first instincts. Not out of agreement mind you, more out of survival and preparation. After not even two years of marriage the whole scene played out in my kitchen without even a word of explanation from my dear husband. The scarier thing is that I think I have a better idea of what went on that morning than he does.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Consider the line crossed

I'm not even really sure where to begin. I'm so appalled that this is even being debated in our highest court. Earlier today I heard on the radio about a court case where they were weighing the legality of ordering a school age student to comply with a strip search under the suspicion of drug possession. Now at first I was just shocked, but after reading this article, I just shook my head in disbelief. Seriously???

How could any school system, and any court house think that it's okay to order a minor child to a strip search without the presence of their parent? After not finding the prescription Ibuprofen in the girl's purse based on the accusation of ONE of her schoolmates, their logical next step was a humiliating strip search as opposed to say searching her locker, or corroborating the story with other students. Clearly they've been watching too much TV.

I mean seriously, if you're that concerned about keeping drugs out of school, and are so certain that this girl is in possession of the drugs, call the effing cops! If you're not at that point, expel her. Under no circumstances should a school system decide that they have the authority that a police officer doesn't even have without bringing a suspect into the station. And to execute this without her parents present. She was a MINOR. Cops can't even talk to minors without their parents. Again I ask, SERIOUSLY???

And yet here we are, hearing the case for at least the third time, debating where the line in the sand is that school systems can't cross in their effort to maintain a zero tolerance environment.

Guess what, the line was effing crossed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fatty, Baby Girl, Wiggle Butt, Tessie

The most accurate of all is wiggle butt. As in, I have no tail to wag therefore my entire ass end must make up for it. It's these greetings at the top of the stairs that can make any bad day, or crappy commute melt away. She reaches this uncontrolable level of excitement that just sends her into her horizontal happy dance.

She's also called smush face because well that's what bulldogs are. And Ms. Talkie talk because that's what she does when you're not paying enough attention to her. I've never had a dog that actually talked and interacted with me to the extent that she does. She's demanding and jealous, and just bats her pretty little eyes at you when she knows she's pushing your limits. Everything the stereotypes sa that a little sister is. Every toy Riggo plays with is her new abosolute favorite and must be hers RIGHT NOW.

But as sweet as that little face is, she's also our guard dog, our protector, and lioness. Who needs ADT when Tessie will bark and growl with the bite of an animal twice her size. In her small little head she's the king of the mountain and no one can stand in her way.

For all your expensive allergies that I'm still not sure we're at the bottom of, you're extremely low maintenance in all other aspects of life. You're favorite treat is an ice cube fresh from the freezer. Favorite toy is a rousing game of keep away/fetch with a regular old tennis ball. Weekend morning activity is hoppng in to bed with us just to fall back asleep in the crook of a knee or make shift valley of covers between us.

You not only enjoy the simple pleasures in life, but remind me of them too. I appreciate everything better through your eyes.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Six Margaritas into a Friday night and my dear husband finally convinced me to join twitter. He wasn't trying all that hard, but I tend to get chatty when I drink and suddenly our facebook status update chat wasn't cutting it. We created a virtual happy hour of updates and comments with friends, and the next thing I knew, I had an account. Who knows where this will go when I sober up. Could just be a drunk thing kinda like drunk dialing. Likely to be entertaining for those that can appreciate good drunken status updates.

On that note, we're on to some Rockband... Alabama getaway, getaway....Alabama getaway, getaway......

Friday, March 27, 2009

Biggest Loser Family Challenge Weigh-in #3

And the winner is.......Team Monkey! To say that I'm relieved is an understatement. That's one more pound in our corner for the big pay day. I can't wait to be lying on a sunny beach drinking frozen adult beverages on someone else's dime.

Team Monkey: 418.6 - 411.4 = 7.2 = 1.72%
Team P: 459.0 - 464.0= +5 = +1.09%
Team F: 552 - 547.0 = 5 = 0.91%
Team L: 429 - 430.4 = +1.4 = +0.33%

Despite the numbers, I'm still totally slacking. Stress is still an issue, and I'm working on finding a way to deal better with that. Right now lack of exercise and indulging in food seem to be my answer. Then again, that seems to be my answer to a lot of things. Kinda like old reliable, it just feels so good, how could it possibly be wrong. This is one of those head versus heart things that my ass (literally) just is not wining right now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finally, a break through!

I've been waiting for this... I've been needing this... I was wondering when it was going to happen...

Back when I went to the gym on a regular basis I remembered really enjoying my workouts. They gave me clarity and peace. It was my me time, and no one was allowed in. I would run or swim and just zone out from whatever was going on in the world. I missed that feeling. It's hard enough knowing what you need to do to get to the end game you want. It's worse when you know that you're the only one getting in your way.

If you had asked me earlier tonight if today was a win or a loose, it was a big fat loose. There had been extra catering today at the office and not only did I eat way too much of that, I did it after having already eaten the healthy lunch I had packed for myself. I felt fat, I felt gross, I felt sick. For a good hour I kept telling my officemate how ill I felt. When would I learn? On the ride home I was exhausted but forced myself to go to the gym. I knew if I could just get into the locker room and get my clothes on I would at least make it through the workout. Did I mention how sick I still felt?

I started off with my warm up. bleh. Dragged my ass upstairs for my stretching. eh. Crawled my way through the circuit room. Should I still be burping hours later? Finally an end was in sight and I just had to make it through my cardio. All of the ellipticals with the TVs were taken (of course they were!), so I decided to hop back on the treadmill. Given my weight, and the early arthritis in my knee, I'm still walking on the treadmill instead of running. To increase my workout I adjust the incline every five minute and walk at a 3.6 mile. As I start to adjust I bump up my starting incline. Tonight as I got to the 20 minute mark I was feeling surprisingly good (especially given that I wanted to vomit in the circuit room). At 25 minutes when I hit my max incline, my arms were pumping and I was on a roll. At 30 minutes I could have gone another 30. What the hell was this? Why wasn't I counting down the last few seconds and contemplating lowering the incline. I knew this feeling. I LOVED this feeling. I was really enjoying myself again.

I can't wait to go to the gym tomorrow!

Biggest Loser Family Challenge Weigh-in #2

And the winner is.......Team F! They're doing great. If this had only been a two month challenge there would have been hundredths of a percent separating our two teams.

Team Monkey: 423.2 - 418.6 = 4.6 = 1.09%
Team P: 455 + 459 = +4 = +0.88%
Team F: 567 - 552 = 15 = 2.65%
Team L: 438 - 429 = 9 = 2.05%

Well, this month wasn't stellar for me personally. I caught myself stress eating a lot, and making excuses for not working out. I made it to the gym at least twice a week (probably averaged about 3 times) but really that's pretty pathetic for me. I need to recharge, I need to de-stress, I need to focus. Part of the problem has been alcohol. While I don't call hanging out with our friends a problem, I don't necessarily need to drink as much as I am when we do it. My goal for the next month is to regain control.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Biggest Loser Family Challenge Weigh-in #1

At the end of last year, my mom casually threw out the idea of a family Biggest Loser Challenge. Little did she know that I would jump on the idea and run full sprint out the door and around the house with it.

My family is heavy. None of us have chronic diseases because of it, but there's nothing to say that it isn't just a matter of time. My parents are nearing retirement and my aunt an uncle are in their 40s. Changing their lifestyles is going to be difficult. On the younger end of the spectrum is my sister, brother-in-law, husband, and me. All married for less than two years and looking to start having children in the near future. There's no way we want to pass our bad habits on to the next generation. Given that my husband loves anything competitive I knew he would be in. Now, I only had to convince the rest of the group.

The Challenge:
We broke into teams of two with one male and one female on each team. Each team lives in the same house, so there are similar support structures. The first weigh-in was January 2, 2009. Each month we weigh in as a team again with the final weigh-in being January 29, 2010. This will teach everyone that it's a lifestyle change, not a diet. We will go through each holiday and everyone's birthday and learn how to celebrate without jumping off the wagon. If we fall, we have someone there to pull us back on.

Game Play:
Each month, the team with the highest percentage of weigh loss for that month wins an extra pound off the final weigh-in. Given that the challenge is so long, we needed an incentive for people to not wait until the end to start loosing weight. Teams can use any weight loss and exercise regimen they chose.

The Prize:
Thirteen months is a long time, so a big prize was needed. Each team is tossing $150 into the pot and the winning team will walk away with $450 in cash. The challenge ends the day before our family cruise vacation, so that's a lot of party money! And we'll look fabulous doing it.

So how did we do??? Well, Team Monkey kicked ass and won the first month. Down a whopping 22.8 lbs and on our way to total family dominance!

Team Monkey: 446 - 423.2 = 22.8 = 5.11%
Team P: 464 - 455 = 9.0 = 1.94%
Team F: 588 - 567 = 21.0 = 3.57%
Team L: 436 - 438 = +2.0 = +.46%

Thursday, January 29, 2009

So, does this mean I got a pay raise?

So originally I was going to come home and write a post detailing the Biggest Loser challenge that my family is participating in. It was going to be full of the fun details of the challenge and quick summary of how things began earlier this month. Then...then I came home to find yet another way Uncle Sam is trying to fund the next round of the stimulus bill.

Apparently, if you try and play it safe by declaring 0 on your W-4 form so that you'll damn near be guaranteed a state refund in the spring, that refund can then be required to count as income on your next year's Federal income tax return. Seriously??? Now, I know it's been a while since I've been in a classroom, but since when do I have to pay taxes on income twice?? Forget taxation without representation, I'll take that any day over double taxation.

So clearly, in my total and utter state of shock and disbelief, I called on my Pat to set things straight. I mean, there can be no legal way that I have to declare this as additional income. Imagine my surprise (yes, we'll call it surprise as opposed to say--furry) to hear that indeed they CAN require that. After dropping the eff bomb repeated times in confusion and questioning that this really was in fact the case, I promptly thanked him for not giving me the answer I wanted to hear.

So to summarize, the government has found a new and exciting way to take more of my money and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. By a new era of change, they must have been referring to the few little coins they were going to leave to rattle around in my wallet. Joy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welcome to Washington Mr. President

Well, if you live in the DC Metro area there was no escaping the repeated news reports of how our new President thought it was ridiculous that today would be called a snow day (read here). Apparently in the wonderful city of Chicago they never cancel school for snow. Well Mr. President that's because in Chicago they get snow, in DC, we get ice. You can walk through snow, have recess in snow, drive successfully in snow. In ice however, you can do the splits on a sidewalk, bust your ass walking out the door to get the mail, and slide off the side of the road in your car.

Yes Mr. President, in DC we also have an ever circulating number of immigrants from around the country. See, being the home of our nation's capital we have many people that move here for job opportunities and stay for a while before leaving and being replaced. There is a steady stock of home grown locals, but even they fall prey to the newbies. Those that haven't gotten used to driving in ice and still can't believe that four wheel drive doesn't mean that you're invincible. I'm also pretty sure that in your wonderful land of Chicago they don't have nearly as many parks as we have here and people that commute from over 40 miles away to come to work. Have you been on River Road (I believe your daughter's school is near there) or on the GW Parkway when it's been coated by ice? The roadside trees and sudden drop offs are enough to send anyone's stomach into knots.

We're not the great northeast of Maine or north of Chicago, and sometimes go an entire season without a significant snow presence. So yeah, our budget isn't dedicated to road clearing trucks and an exorbitant amount of chemical to help keep our roads safe for travel. So sorry that you think it's a big joke that the school system cares enough about your children's safety to keep them at home. When you see a bus full of school kids slide sideways down a street because of icy road conditions, be sure to thank your children's school system for keeping your kids at home and calling it a snow day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Blog, or not to Blog, that is the question

I've been throwing around the idea of blogging for a while. In my head I write posts all the time (I have conversations too, but that's a whole other post), but never seem to have the time or follow through to actually post anything on the blog that I've now had for about a year. Yep, that's right. I created this blog a year ago, and am just now getting around to creating my first post. Talk about procrastination.

But, this is the year of Change, or so I'm told, and to that extent I am making changes. I turn 29 tomorrow and am going to spend the next year making positive changes so that I can look back and say that turning 30 kicked ass compared to turning 18 (yay, I'm an "adult"), 21(woohoo, I can drink), or even 25 (watch out, I can now rent a car). I've made the decision that I'm going to run full sprint into 30 with arms wide open and give it a big fat hug HEL-LO!

On tap for the list of change are the following:
  1. Develop, and stick to, a realistic workout regimen
  2. Eat healthy -- learn and exercise portion control
  3. Keep house clean not only when company is coming over, but on a regular basis. (This will help when we decide to graduate from furbabies to real ones)
  4. Learn to take time for me. This could be reading a book, or actually working on the photography thing. Either way, it has to be just about me, and no one else (and that's OK).
  5. Appreciate Monkey C on the outside, not just the inside. (He likes to hear compliments and "Thank you" just as much as I do)
  6. Don't wait to tell people tomorrow, what you can tell them today. Time is always shorter than you think.
  7. Don't procrastinate just because you can.