Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

M-I-C...K-E-Y! M-O-U-S-E!

How about a happy post from Juliet for a change? LOL.

Here's Tybalt in his Halloween costume!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

God Help Me (aka I Need A Xanax)

Please tell me I am not the only one, or else no one reading this will ever understand.

Does anyone else have "that person?" The person who for some reason you attempt to maintain a friendship with even though deep down they really, really, REALLY bug you?

Mine is the wife of a long-time friend of my husband. We started out close. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding. But as soon as I got pregnant (which was only 1.5 months later) the relationship started to go downhill. She entered what I can only honestly chalk up to a midlife crisis, turned into someone I no longer recognize, and she started to disapprove of everything I did. Not only that, but she was vocal about it. And in this world of social media, vocal can be VERY VOCAL. The whole world was able to read her snubs.

During the pregnancy she started by accusing me of being too lazy and made it known she didn't agree with my doctors' orders and recommendations for moderate to low activity. (She was starting her research and interest in Eastern Medicine at the time, coincidentally.) Then she accused me of being a bad friend because I wasn't spending as much time with her. (Um, yeah, what about low activity and rest do you not understand?)

**Of course when my heart failed and the doctors were proved correct in that resting as much as I did probably saved my life and the baby's life, there was no apology, but that's another story, or is it?**

Enter her complaints after my son was born-- the first time I wanted to get a babysitter, she accused me of being a bad mother and told me that I should want to spend literally every waking moment with my baby. Never mind the fact that in my pre-baby days we went out with her and her husband often and they never seemed to mind getting their own son a sitter.

Since then, there have been "vocalizations," aka facebook comments, texts, etc. (she actually never wants to actually speak to or face me, now that I think about it...hmmm...) that I don't eat properly, I [continue] to not mother properly, I'm always sick (um, can you say heart condition?) the list goes on and on.

This doesn't even include her own status updates and article links on what she believes is right and wrong. There was the one that states children should never be sleep scheduled because it destroys the parental bond, another about how her child's behavioral problems are to be blamed on food additives. (God forbid she actually discipline him once, right?)

The point of my rant?


Sorry, I don't even know why all of the above is in capitols. It's just been one of those nights. Tonight, she "scolded" me for the fact I let me child eat GASP! WHITE FLOUR! aka Cheerios while he was sick. Because she saw me mention it on Facebook.

Gah. Argh. I literally cannot stand her. Ridiculously enough I actually thought HARD about that Facebook status and what she would think if she read it before I even posted it! For that reason I conveniently failed to mention my own eating of a dish of nachos while I was nursing the cold my son and I experienced together. Little did I think she could actually find fault in my son eating CHEERIOS!

What the hell?

Yet I think I know the answer as to why I continue to try so hard to maintain a decent relationship. Why I let myself be her doormat. Like I stated, her husband is my husband's friend. So it's not just as easy as dismissing her and not being friends anymore. I will see her. And even if the guys' friendship waned, (which it has a bit, not because of us girls, I swear, but because my husband is busy being a new dad) she would still be in my social circle because she and her husband are good friends with Ty's Godparents. (Remember the wedding mention at the beginning of this post? Our wedding party was the six of us--me, Romeo, this couple I'm ranting about, and Ty's Godparents who are still are dear friends.)

Sigh, I'm done. I've got no more. No more to say. And honestly? No more to give this B!^@#.

Time for a Xanax and bed. Gee, hope she doesn't read this, if white flour is bad for our bodies, how bad must Xanax be? :)

P.S. Don't worry, I do in all honesty know chemicals aren't wonderful. Or actually, maybe go ahead and worry, because I know that, but right now I don't care. Because I'm still gonna take one. :P

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bad Sleep Habits

I mentioned last time that we were in the middle of sleep regression. Amalah says that this is only supposed to happen during the baby's 4th month, but Mia turned 5 months on Monday, and we're still in the thick of it. A couple of weeks ago, on a particularly difficult night when neither me nor B could afford to be awake for two hours in the middle of the night, we plopped her down between the two of us, and she fell right asleep. And so, we did it again, and again, and again, and basically every time she wakes up in the middle of the night... we pick her right out of her crib/bassinet, and put her in our bed.

I know, I know, there's all sorts of stuff about how you shouldn't put a baby in bed with you because you might roll over in the middle of the night and crush it... but really? I've slept with my dogs in bed about a million times and I've never even come close. So let's move on from that.

I'm afraid that our "laziness" (I dare you to call it that when you're the one who desperately wants to sleep in the middle of the night because you have to get up and go to work in the morning) is going to end up biting us in the ass. Tonight, for example, Mia woke up at 1am, which is significantly earlier than she usually does, so I tried (this being friday night and all) to get her to fall asleep in her own bed. After an hour or so of me continuously patting her chest and replacing the pacifier, she finally did fall asleep. But... not me!

So here I am, at 4 am, realizing that perhaps I am the one who now needs to have a baby in my bed to fall back asleep in the middle of the night... who would have thought?

On an unrelated note, I have gotten much better about waking up in the mornings and actually getting some exercise in before work. I'm doing it at least 3 times a week (which is about 2 times more than I ever did before!), either with a DVD, some streaming Netflix, or going to our crappy apartment complex gym. On the other hand... I have absolutely failed on the diet front. I am eating all sorts of un-complex carbs (does that make them simple carbs?), and even made a second batch of those double chocolate chip cookies replacing the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips. So one win, plus one fail.

Unfortunately, the Las Vegas weather is already taking a turn for the cooler, so my goal of fitting back into my pre-pregnancy jeans before I actually need to start wearing them again is likely not to be hit. I may have to stop at the Gap tomorrow and pick up some tweeners.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In Another Life

Yesterday, I found out that a "cousin" of mine, we'll call her Amy, who is 22, is pregnant. (I use quotes around cousin because we grew up together - her older sister was in my wedding - but we're not technically cousins according to American standards, but totally are according to Filipino standards). It was a total accident. She has been with her boyfriend for 5 months, and she's... 4 1/2 months pregnant, but didn't find out until last week. I don't want to get into the whole how could she not know she was pregnant for that long and how awesome is it that you're basically going through half a pregnancy, but I should at least mention it in passing as I eventually get to my point. Now, she's happy about it, and her boyfriend is happy about it, and she doesn't know it yet, but her boyfriend is going to propose to her on Christmas Eve (he's in the military and is currently in Afghanistan, so he's away until then).

I tried to picture myself in her position, and how different my life would be if I had accidentally gotten pregnant as soon as B and I started dating. I think, much like Amy and her boyfriend, B and I would have 1) raised the baby together, and 2) gotten engaged. I would have had an infant for my 3L year, and I would have had a toddler when I was sitting for the bar exam. But, I think it would have worked out. One of my favorite things to do is to think back on those first few months. B and I spent so much time together, talked for hours, took long walks, and all those wonderful things that you do with someone new, someone special. Except for a *tiny* bit of drama I caused in the first two weeks of dating, everything was perfect (Quickly: My college bf and I broke up about a month before B and started dating - and about two weeks after our first date, my ex decided he had wanted to get back together, I made a good decision but agonized for a few days). Amy dogsat for us this summer (right around the time she got pregnant, come to think of it!), and she told me about this guy she had started dating, how different things were, how even though it had only been a few weeks, she felt like she this was It. I think about those first few months, and I don't think my relationship (or my life) would have been ruined if I had gotten pregnant right away. I imagine that those few months of blissful dating might actually be enhanced by knowing that no matter what happened, we would always be linked to one another.

Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm just thinking this way because I really like Amy, and I hope that everything works out for the best for her. Maybe I want her to know that someone is excited for her, even though her family is less than thrilled. But I really do believe that if Amy and her boyfriend are compatible, everything will be just fine.

B and I joked last night that if this had happened to us, we'd have a 4 year old.

Monday, October 17, 2011

SBD Week 3

I've been a bit of an absent blogger this past week, but we are in SLEEP REGRESSION CITY. Mia has taken to napping for only 20 minutes at a time, and waking up at 4am without going back down until almost 6am. I cannot physicall function on that little sleep, so I go back to sleep when she does and then I can't wake up. I need to grow up and realize that it's part of being an adult and a parent, but instead, I act like a college student who can sleep until 20 minutes before class. So yeah, it wasn't a great week. My LOST obsession has not yet subsided, and I am in the 6th and final season. I am trying to fit in as many episodes as I can so that this can STOP.

So, back to Weight Loss blogging. I'm starting week 4 of South Beaching, and I've been midly successful. I'm down to an 8 pound loss. That's a good number, but I haven't lost any weight for the past week. This is where it starts to get dangerous for me. If I don't get that positive reinforcement of seeing the numbers go down, I start to lose my resolve. On Saturday, B came home saying that he wanted a chocolate chip cookie. I said I would bake him some. He said, he wanted it to be double chocolate (chocolate batter plus chocolate chips). I said, No problem. He said, I want it to be big, like the ones from Panera. I said, Sure, why not? Yeah. Bad idea. Instead of cheating by having one regular sized cookie, I had one GIANT double chocolate cookie, the size of my hand. That lead to having pizza for dinner.

I woke up this morning and told myself that every day, you have a clean slate. Just because I messed up this weekend (and last weekend, when Juliet Cap and I shared two pitchers of Sangria (with a third person). I resolve, not to beat myself up over any slip ups, but I do have to stop sleeping until right before I have to leave, so that I can actually fit in a work out!

The Birth Story

I've mentioned my pregnancy induced health problems before, but for some reason I felt tonight that I needed to touch on it again. Maybe sub-consciously I need the therapeutic aspect that "getting it out" can bring. And I started to write what is now this blog post as part of my bio page. But I quickly realized it was much too complicated and lengthy to be part of my basic bio. So, here it is as a separate blog post. On another note, check out my new official bio page! Click on the "About Juliet" tab in the upper left! :)

My pregnancy wasn't difficult, but it wasn't easy. I have a bad back and it exasperated it. But aside from morning sickness in the beginning, my back was my only complaint for about 7 months. Because I'm obese my ob-gyn was even thrilled that I LOST weight in the beginning and then stayed steady until about month 5 or 6. But gradually the weight creeped up, until about the 7.5 or 8 month mark where it exponentially added up. And around the same time I was gradually having more and more trouble with my breathing. Simply catching my breath at first but then not being able to breath if reclining at all. Exams and x-rays and hospital stays and further tests all occured but there was no fluid in my lungs, no super high blood pressure or other signs of complications such as pre-eclampsia or eclampsia.

At 37 weeks my son was delivered via emergency c-section due to bleeding (still unknown as to whether it had anything to do with all the other symptoms or my final diagnosis), and I experienced heart failure on the table. I was diagnosed with post-partum cardiomyopathy. It is a rare but life threatening condition in which the pregnant mother's heart expands and causes the mitral valve to not properly control the blood flow. And all my symptoms during pregnancy? Common symptoms of cardiomyopathy. But there is no clear testing guidelines currently in place to check for the disease because of it's rarity and unknown cause. It is unknown why any woman ever develops it. Why pregnancy causes it in any woman. I was an in-patient for three months. The first few days I was touch and go in ICU. I have no memory of the first two months due to heavy sedation. The silver lining? My beautiful, healthy, blessing of a son, Tybalt.

The First Known Picture Of Mommy And Son (I Have No Memory Of It)

Tybalt Visits Mommy (Again, I Was Sedated And Don't Remember)

Family Picture When Mommy Is Finally More Alert (And Allowed To Get Fresh Air!)

A Few Days Before Mommy's Discharge


Whenever anyone would ask how I, Romeo, or Tybalt were doing, my husband and I would only half-jokingly say that Tybalt was the one who came out on top. I was horribly sick; my husband was horribly stressed. Tybalt however, was healthy, happy, and had round-the-clock love and affection from his grandparents, my in-laws. And it took an additional three months of at-home (read: my mother-in-law's home where my husband moved us into during the whole hubabaloo) rehab once I was released from the hospital, but once I was back on my feet Tybalt probably thought he had four loving full-time parents between me, Romeo, Grandma, and Grandpa. This kid won the lottery when it comes to love and attention. Even then though, I spent as much time bonding with him as possible so he would know who Mommy was.

A Tradition Is Born! Tybalt and Mommy Kiss At 4 Months!

When Tybalt was 6 months old, I was able to be alone with him and take care of him all by myself, so Romeo and I found a new apartment and moved out of MIL's basement. Our "baby" is now 14 months old and I have been full-time Mommy for about 10 months. It feels...different. Wonderful but weird. Because while we have permanently and properly bonded at this point I still feel like I am playing catch-up to some extent. And I wonder if I always will feel that way because of the first months and milestones that I missed.

And now, just for fun, some more pictures of my beautiful baby boy:

One Of My All-Time Favorite Pictures. Look At Those Rosy Cheeks and That Smile!

Mommy And Tybalt Venture Out Into The "Real World" Alone Together

Tired Of Trying On Clothes!

My Son, The Flirt!

Crazy Towel-Dried After-Bath Hair

His New Specs!

"Hello, Mommy!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Are You Serious?

This will be a short post, but I just had to get it off my chest and out there.

I am the mother of an almost 15 month old son. He was blessed with a bit of hair, but it has only grown exponentially since about the time he was 6 months old. It's probably been since he was about 10 months old that I have been trying to convince my husband that he needs a haircut. That's 5 months, approximately 21.65 weeks, 150 days, 3,600 hours, 216,000 minutes, 12,960,000 seconds, (you get the idea) of insisting to my husband that our son needs to get a trim. Nothing drastic, but at least a little off the back that's starting to hang down the nape of his neck!

And for the exact same amount of time my husband has insisted that our son is way too young for a haircut. That he shouldn't need a haircut until closer to his second birthday.

Enter our trip to Office Depot last Sunday. While checking out we had a cashier that had already displayed to us that she wasn't exactly the sharpest crayon in the box. For example, she had no idea what the store's return policy was (um, hello?) and had to print out a piece of register tape in order to read the policy from the back of it.

Now, my son was sitting in the front of the shopping cart and she in all honesty could only see the back of his head because he was facing me, not her. But come on, he was wearing blue from head to toe! And then she does it...she asks, "How old is SHE?" She mistakes my son for a girl. My husband and I literally speaking in unison, quickly answer, "Well, HE is..." and give his age. (Of course I know the exact month and week whereas my husband stutters and can only say he's a year, but that's another issue completely.)

So, we leave the store, travel home, and I honestly forgot about the entire situation. That is until that night:

I'm sitting in the living room and my husband calmly, but out of the blue, states, "I wouldn't be opposed to getting his hair cut."


Monday, October 10, 2011

Conflicting Aspirations

When I graduated from law school, I knew that I wouldn't get hired by a Big Law firm. Even though they don't tell you that when you start, you're not going to get into one of those law firms unless you've gone to the right school. Hence the giant lawsuit against a bunch of second to third tier law schools for totally misleading their students. Anyway, once I got past 1L and realized that I wouldn't be bringing in the big bucks and working a thousand hours a week, I was glad. I could get a regular job, and yeah, I would struggle financially, but it would be fine.

Yesterday was my 2nd year anniversary at my current job. When I was hired here, my boss wanted to make clear that I would be able to grow with the Company, and that I would be able to stay here for as long as I wanted to. Up until recently, I had thought that I would do exactly that. It's really the perfect job. I make a decent salary, I have very flexible hours, I have a lot of responsibility, but my day-to-day workload isn't terribly demanding. With a baby, and later a child with activities, this is the best arrangement I could have. And I like it. Today, I was pleasantly busy, I did work from the time I got in at 9am until lunch, then from lunch until 4 pm without once looking down at my watch. Mia was helpful with letting me accomplish that, she took a 45 minute nap this morning and played in her bouncy chair for the rest of the morning, then went back down at 2 pm and woke up at 4:30. But at the same time, I'm sometimes bored, even when I am busy. I do the same legal work, over and over. Sometime complicated will come up, but very seldom. I sometimes wish I had more than the one client, that I could deal with different clients needs, and really expand what I already know. I also think that with 2 years of experience to add on to my resume, some Big (or at least Medium) Law firms might actually consider hiring me, and certainly, we could use a salary upgrade.

On the total opposite spectrum, every day that Mia ages, I can see her becoming more and more fun. Yesterday, we went on the swings for the first time, and she loved it. We went to the dog park and she looked down at all the big dogs running around while strapped to my chest in her wrap. She laughed as she watched her Swarley running around with dogs twice his size. You can tell that she can't wait to be able to jump out of my arms and in with the fun. And I want to be there. I want to be the one to take her to the park during the day, and take her to music class and EVERYTHING. A big part of me sometimes hopes that B will get promoted at Big Bank enough so that we don't need my salary, that Mia and I could spend our days together at the park or Children's museum, rather than at my office.

Despite it all, I've looked at some Immigration positions at law firms. I've updated my resume. I might apply, I might not. I'll have to sleep on it a few more nights. I can't decide which one of my aspirations to follow at the moment.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chloe the Beagle's tragic story

That's right, it's Mommy and the Sin City's first guest blog post. So, take it away Chloe:

Hi everyone! Remember me? It's me, Chloe! Yup, you remember. I'm the one that you all used to fawn over. I'm still here. And I'm still adorable, but I've gotta tell you, things have taken a turn for the worse over here in Sin City. Let me tell you my story...

I started out in a sad little pet shop on Ashland. All my brothers and sisters were meek and quiet, but not me! I barked and barked. How else is anyone going to notice how much better I am then the rest? Apparently most of the shop's patrons were idiots, because they kept on picking the quiet ones. The shop owners made an extra special sign over my crate, which said "50% off!" in big red letters, because sometimes, you have to make it clear which puppies are the best. Finally, this 15 year old Girl picked me and I went home with a family.

It was a good start. I had two teenagers, two adults, an older sister and a backyard. We all lived in a nice house with nice wood floors (perfect to pee on!). Everyone came to visit me because I was so soft and cute. My big sister was always trying to tell me what to do, but she was a Golden Retriever, and what do they know? I did what I wanted! I liked her though, my big sis. She always gave me her left overs. After a few years, things started to change.

My teenagers grew up and left the house. Then, my Girl came back from where ever she was for four years, and took me away from my big sister and my adults. At first, I was pissed, but soon, I realized that she needed me! How could I stay with the adults when someone had to take care of my Girl? Poor Girl, she was left behind. I had to be strong. I spent lots of time her. She always wanted someone to sit with her on the couch, or sit at her feet when she was at our table. I took her on walks, I took her to the beach, what more could I have done for her? I was so important to her, I even had to go on airplanes with her. My adults and my big sis came to visit a few times, and sometimes we went to see them at their new place. I took good care of her, we made a great team.

Then, this Guy started coming around and kicked me out of my bed. It's cool though, one less thing I needed to do. I like the floor better anyway. He brought a bunch of things into our house, and he was kind of a pain in the ass. He was always trying to play with me! No way buddy, I'm a Beagle. I am too good for those dog toys you're throwing around. Clearly, he'd never had a Beagle before. He was probably used to those other kinds of dogs, like Golden Retrievers, those suckers. She started wearing something shiny on her finger, and I think she was happy. It turned out, his lap was pretty comfortable, too.

Anyway, it turned out that this Guy needed me too. He probably didn't have anywhere else to go, the poor Guy. So, I started taking care of him too. I took them both on long walks by the lake, to the beach, and we even went on road trips! I sat on my Girl's lap, or at her feet, while he drove me around in the car. We went and visited my adults and my big sis. We went around to other people's houses, I think they were my Guy's people, because they all talked real loud, like him. They were all wanting to pet me all the time, telling me how cute I was. But, I put up with it. They were cool.

Then, one day, we went on a car ride and stopped at this place with lots of cats and dogs. They brought this little dope of a puppy around to meet me, and he was so annoying. He looked so scruffy and had a beard, and I don't know why everyone thought he was so cute. Hello, everyone knows that a smooth coated dog is superior. I don't know what this puppy's deal was, but he would not stop following us around, and he came all the way back into my car and then into my house.

They called him "Swarley". What kind of name is that? That's not even a real name. My Girl even set up a second bed on the floor, like he was staying! Man, I was pissed. He was always bugging me, and bugging my Girl and my Guy. Always asking to go out and to be taken care of. I don't think they knew that he was the kind of dog that needed taking care of, one of those Retriever types. They even let him come up on my couch. We still went out on long walks and the beach, but he took up so much of their time, it just wasn't the same. I guess he got better eventually, but he did have the nerve to get bigger than me. Don't worry though, I'm way tougher. This kid needs me.

The one day, my Girl started getting fat. Like, really fat. She didn't want to go on long walks anymore. We went on a long road trip and now, I don't need boots or a coat in the winter, but sometimes, it gets really hot. I wasn't too mad at her though, I didn't feel like going on long walks anymore either. One day, she went away for 3 days. I didn't know what happened to her, and I had to take care of Swarley. Everyone was always out of the house and my Guy only came by for a few hours a day. Then she came back. But she wasn't alone...

You guessed it. It was a Tiny Human. I had heard about these at the dog park. Those other dogs warned us this might happen soon, but I never believed them. It cried. All the time. My Girl's always holding it and kissing it. And me? I'm not allowed on the couch. I'm not allowed on the bed. Those other people, they're always asking about that Tiny Human. Nobody asks about me anymore. What's the big deal? The Tiny Human doesn't even have any soft fur to pet like I do. Even Swarley has better fur than the Tiny Human.

Sure, my Guy still takes us on walks. Sure, sometimes she still needs me on her lap, but only when the Tiny Human sleeps. Yeah, alright, I still get food, and water, a warm house, a soft bed, but it's not the same.  My Girl promises we'll go to the park again when the Tiny Human gets a little bigger, but I'll believe that when I see it. Sometimes, that Tiny Human watches me and Swarley run around and she laughs. And I guess that's kind of nice. But I'm still mad.

So guess what? I'll pee on your floor. That'll show you.

California, Part II

*I'm feeling bad. Horrible in fact. I've been slacking on my posting frequency. I was never posting as often as Frenchie, but it's been really slow as of late. That said, I am going to make a concerted effort to change things up.*

So, where did we leave off? I was expounding upon how much I enjoy traveling from Vegas to L.A. as well as describing the original reasons Romeo and I went this last time (musical gig of a friend). But I didn't really get into details of what we did and how much fun it was.

So, our friend Ron Ellington Shy was performing in Covina, CA, and Romeo and I decided to make a weekend out of it. However we found out in the interim that it also happened to be a day in Covina called "Pat Allen Day." Pat Allen was the late wife of one of Covina's former mayors. She passed away after battling breast cancer a few years ago and the city has since organized an annual fundraiser and donates money to the local hospice and has done it for three years now. Romeo knew Pat, her husband (mayor) Walt, and their son Walter from his theatre days there in Covina, as Pat and Walter were both involved as well. So when he found out this day was the same weekend, you couldn't keep him from it! A day to reunite with old friends in downtown Covina, and support his old buddy's late mother's cause and celebrate her life? He practically sprinted from Vegas to California! (P.S. I LOVE my husband for being that kind of guy. If he cares for you, he SERIOUSLY cares for you.)

Our day consisted of visiting with friends, eating, shopping, and just having a seriously grand time. We visited with Walt and Walter for a while. It was wondeful to meet Romeo's fun-loving theatre friend. We also patronized not one but two restaurants owned by Romeo's friends, the Petersons. (If anyone reading this blog lives in or near Covina or the San Gabriel Valley area, I highly recommend both The Sugar Bowl and Giovanni's, by the way. Seriously, the food is great at both, and the atmospheres of each? So wonderful! And no, it's not just because Romeo knows the owners. I wouldn't do that--if I didn't like either place I simply wouldn't even mention going there.)

What struck me the most, and one of the reasons I wanted to post about this particular visit to California, was how this community banded together and what a warm feeling I know I had, and believe everyone had, that day as I walked up and down Citrus Ave. Coming from the suburbs of Chicago to Las Vegas has been an adjustment, most definitely. One part of that is city size. Las Vegas doesn't compare to Chicago as a whole, but most of the time growing up I didn't really consider myself as living truly in Chicago. I lived in the suburbs, so in comparing the suburbs to Vegas, Vegas is HUGE. There is no "small town" or "community" feel. And honestly, most times I don't really miss it that much, actually. Don't get me wrong, it's a loss, but it's just not such a loss that it would make me leave Las Vegas. I love Vegas. But spending the day in Covina on Pat Allen Day was just so refreshing. It actually felt more tight-knit and caring than the suburbs I'm used to!

Yes, yes, I understand it was one special annual day. Some could say it isn't necessarily how the town is the other 364 days a year. Yet, I would argue that in fact they must have at least some of that magic those other 364 days, or else they would never be the kind of community that would even think to put on such a special day once a year! (Am I making any sense? What I'm trying to say is it takes a special town, a special community, a special people to even want to produce such an event.)

When was the last time you knew of a community where for a day 7 hair salons and almost a dozen shops donated up to 50% of their profits for a woman some employees and owners didn't even know? In this day and age, that's HUGE! People smiled on the streets to strangers as they passed. People stood in line to shake the former mayor and widower's hand and share their condolences. People opened their wallets to buy from the businesses donating, and there were extra raffles and donation boxes as well. There was even a large banner hanging at the main intersection announcing the day. My hometown in Illinois never even did that!

I felt at home in a place that is practically across the country from my home.

Thank you, Covina, CA for what you did for the hospice, the Allens, and for me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Instant Gratification, Lost Style.

I am jumping on the bandwagon a little late, but I have just recently become obsessed with LOST. Okay, not just a little late, but really late. I was never interested in it when it first came out. I had heard that it was supernatural and uber-suspenseful. Harry Potter is as supernatural as I get. Anyway, I am obsessed with it. If I'm not at work and B is not home, or doing something else, an episode is on. I've even put down my knitting needles mid-project! Cannot read knitting pattern and figure out The Others! The Smoke Monster Thing! The Dharma Initiative! WOW!

During my maternity leave, I discovered the wonders that is Netflix streaming TV shows. B had always used the streaming for movies, but I realized that there are a gazillion tv shows on that thing! No commercials! No waiting between episodes! Awesomeness. While Mia was napping, or eating, or just wanting to be held and played with, I would stream a TV show. First, I started re-watching all of Grey's Anatomy. Then, I took Netflix' suggestion to watch Army Wives, which I liked a lot. And now, well OUT of my maternity leave, I have not given up on my streaming shows. LOST. I am so glad that I didn't get into it when the rest of the world did, because the way it has taken over my free time, I'm glad that I can at least watch the entire series in just a couple of months (I am almost halfway now), rather than dragging out my obsession for the 6 seasons that LOST was actually airing. Phew! Netflix, you rock. If you get past seasons of The Bachelor on here, I would actually never leave the house, so work on that. Or don't... because then I would turn into a pasty human-like couch cushion. Yeah, as much as I love LOST, I love the Bachelor even more. So yeah, you can look forward to that in January when Ben (so cute!) searches for the love of his life (or just the person he'll date for the next few months, but whatever, same difference).

I realized that this way of watching TV shows perfectly matches my way of "getting into" TV shows, and even books. Instant gratification. If I really like a book, I cannot put it down. The same goes for a TV show. If I start to really think about it, this type of passion (note the positive spin I've put on what is really some kind of obsessive disorder) is a big part of my personality. From ages 12-17, my room was plastered with posters of the Backstreet Boys and I spent most of my free time daydreaming about my wedding with Brian Littrell. ALL of my babysitting money went to concert tickets. (Did you know there is a yearly Backstreet Boys Cruise? I owed it to my teenaged self to at least look at schedules and pricing. And no, I did not go to the NKOTBSB show, I was mega-prego).

So, I swear that when I sat down to write this, I had planned a coherent post with a point at the end, but I've gotten myself all jumbled listing things I am obsessed with. Right. I wish I could come up with a way of channeling this obsessive behavior into something positive or productive, like running or biking, or any form of exercise. I want to be one of those people that is like "If I go a day without doing an hour of _fill in the black activity_ then I feel totally off". Any suggestions?

Or, more realistically, any suggestions for awesome TV shows that I may have missed while they were out and can now become obsessed with on Netflix? Ha!

PS: Netflix did not pay me or give me any type of free anything. I wish!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

SBD Week 1

Week 1
Lbs Lost: 6
Regular Pants: Still don't fit

I could not be happier with those numbers! After one week, I am going strong. The South Beach Diet, even though it was most popular in 2003 when it came out, still works like a charm. The Diet itself works in phases. Phase 1 lasts 2-4 weeks, and is super super restrictive. You eat basically lean meats, reduced fat dairy, and non-starchy vegetables. Plus, no alcohol for phase 1. NONE. Although the first few weeks are unsustainable for longer than a month, the total elimination of sugar from your system really kick starts your metabolism. 6 pounds in one week is a lot of weight. I am hoping for 12 by the end of the 3 weeks that I plan on doing phase 1 (except booze. I'm bringing that back after 2 weeks). 

I have struggled though. The first few days are not a big deal. I eat some kind of veggie scramble for breakfast, pack a salad for lunch, and a piece of string cheese and almonds for my snack. For dinner, I make a meat and vegetable, and have some sugar free jello for dessert. It works. The weekends though, those are a different story. I'm at home, B is at home, and all I want to do is take a few of the chips he's snacking on, or eat those hash browns that came with my omelet at breakfast this morning! But, for the past 7 days, I've resisted. It feels good.

Just to end on a fun note, here's a Mia pick!

Mia, having her first Glorious Carb experience!