Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend most ordinary

B works almost every Saturday, getting maybe one off every month. Usually, I mark the calendar for those Saturdays weeks in advance and plan something exciting. This Saturday, the plan was to take the one hour drive to the small town of Pahrump, NV and spend the afternoon having lunch at their winery and touring the vineyards. But, Saturday something even more rare than B having a Saturday off occurred: it rained in Las Vegas. Although it wasn't any kind of torrential rain, just a nice pleasant drizzle, it still wasn't something that we wanted to be out in all day.

I tried to come up with a few contingency plans. We thought of the Discovery Children's Museum, the Natural History Museum, but it occurred to us that every other family in Las Vegas would be there too. So, instead, we had the most ordinary weekend you could imagine, and it was glorious. We did eventually get dressed, in our finest casual wear for a trip to my favorite new place, where Mia got way too excited in the children's section. We read about 8 books, but only got through the first three pages before she wanted  to move on to the next book on the shelf at her height. I picked out a Madeline and an Olivia book to bring home for her, but her short attention span continued at home that night too. I kept right on reading Madeline despite her protests because it was my fave as a kid, and besides, I wanted to know the ending. Later that afternoon, I planned out all dinners for the week from the South Beach Diet Cookbook (still going strong -- 13 lbs down!) and we headed to the grocery store.

The Little Miss after her 3 1/2 hour nap on Saturday, not happy about being woken up.

Sunday, more of the same. A long walk with the dogs avoiding puddles, reading, knitting, playing, but mostly lounging and mostly in my slippers and yoga pants. The perfect way to spend a weekend. We'll go to that winery next time, but surprisingly, this Monday morning, I feel extremely satisfied with the two days we spent at home.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stupid Realizations: the Public Library Rocks.

So, I'm not sure why I've been such an idiot for my entire adult life, but after a particularly hellish morning trying to figure out what to do regarding my 9 day late paycheck (which I did manage to get, by the way. Except today it's payday again and well, that's not happening. AGAIN.), I really wanted some new books. Real books, not Kindle ones, that I could flip through.

My first instinct was of course, Costco. The last time we went there for our monthly diapers, wipes, fruit cups, applesauce run, I wistfully looked at the book section but the impatient toddler pointing to the applesauce box and demanding "appu" got me back on track pretty quickly. Besides, that table was dominated by Fifty Shades of Grey (I have read the first 50 Shades, which I borrowed from my Mother of all people - I finished the first book and read about 3 pages of the second book before confirming that I couldn't stand it).

Then after trying to figure out where the closest Barnes and Noble was to our new neighborhood and realizing that it's actually not at all close, I had the brilliant (for me) thought of looking up the Clark County Public Library. OMG. I'm so SMRT. You can have as many books as you want without paying for them? Brilliant.

I filled out the application for a library card online, found the closest location to my house and decided to browse. I got super excited and had a huge list by the time I was ready to leave, but I couldn't possibly read all of these in the 3 weeks they give you. So yeah, I ended up with an indulgent Philippa Gregory book (The White Queen, part of the Cousin's War series about the Platagenets), which I've always loved reading and a book of knitting patterns. I also learned that for the more popular books, there is a waiting list. So, that's fine. I'm on the list for JK Rowling's new book, Mindy Kaling's book, and the Song of Fire and Ice series that HBO's Game of Thrones is based on, and a few others that I don't even remember. This morning, I just got an email that the Game of Thrones is available, so I'm REALLY EXCITED.

I'm heading over there and spending no money after I don't get my paycheck after work today.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What I don't want to post about

It's been tough coming up with things to write about recently, because there are many things that I don't want to write about. I don't want to devote an entire post to them, because, well, it sucks, but I also want to write about something on this blog of mine.

  • I don't want to write about how I'm changing what I eat. I went back and re-read the posts that I had tagged "weight loss" to see how much of my blog I have devoted to something that I've always struggled with. It's not an inordinate amount, thankfully. I didn't want to make a topic out of being back on the South Beach Diet plan, thinking that I'd tried (and obviously failed) it so many times in the past year. The last time I did it, I lasted 4 weeks. I didn't realize that I had gotten so far last time, that I had given up past where I am now. I'm starting my 3rd week now and suddenly got very deflated. I feel different this time - it feels like I'm having fewer cravings, making a better effort to cook every night and keeping my menu diverse enough to keep me from wanting to stray. Something big is different this time, though. B is on it with me, and has been very committed to it. We've both moved from the very restrictive Phase 1 (no sugars/carbs/fats/caffeine/alcohol whatsoever) to Phase 2 (gradually reintroducing complex carbs, whole grains, caffeine and alcohol). Yes, he's been more liberal with his reintroduction than I have, but it doesn't bother me in the least. My temptations don't come at home, since we are both committed to changing out food intake (or as B puts it "taking control of our waistlines", LOLZ), but at work, where my Filipino coworkers make a rice cooker full of evil jasmine rice every day for lunch. I'm not tempted so much as feeling sad about not being able to have any. I'm not hungry. My meals are nutritious and tasty. And, I've lost and am continuing to lose weight. 3 weeks in and I'm already down 11 lbs, to B's 15 lbs. Some of my old work pants are even starting to fit, though I have yet to wear any because they are a bit snug. In a couple of weeks, my wardrobe options will increase dramatically, and I love that thought!

  • I don't want to write about how sick we've been since January 1st. Mia had pink-eye and strep. B had pink-eye, strep and an ear infection. I was also sick, but Minute Clinic assured me everything I had was viral. Also, as the least affected by whatever was going through our house, I was the caretaker for the two others. B turns into a bigger baby than Mia does, needing "directions" on how to care for himself. "Should I take my Tylenol now? What can I do to make my throat feel better?" I have to admit that I lost patience with him on more than one occasion.

  • I don't want to write about my frustrations with my job. Not wanting to work for this Company (or really, at all anymore) but not wanting to move. My plan is still to take the Nevada bar this summer and hope that I can find something else. It seems like any job that is out there that I might qualify for would require us to move again. I don't want to do that to B, who really enjoys and does well at his job, and I really don't want to do that to my parents, who essentially bought this house knowing we would be their tenants. So, I come to work every morning, and wait for my paycheck (7 days late at this point).
That's it. Those are the things that have been on my mind, that I don't like to think about. So, until something happens that I want to write about, there you go. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Guilty Pleasures: Girls, the series.

Happy Monday! (or in my case, Happy-no paycheck four days after payday, dammit I thought my company was supposed to be doing better-Monday!) Did everyone have a great weekend? We did, other than having no money. Did everyone watch the Golden Globes? Did 25-year old Lena Dunham make anyone else feel like they were total bums who had accomplished nothing in their life (which is 4 years longer than hers)?

I don't normally feel that way, only this morning when I am feeling how broke I am, despite knowing that I SHOULD NOT BE. As of moving and my Cable Company giving us 3 months of free HBO and Starz, and subsequently discovering the HBO On Demand feature, B and I have been dutifully watching all the HBO series that are available from the beginning. In this order, we watched: Game of Thrones, Girls and Newsroom. My favorite: Girls. B's favorite: Newsroom.

Not having HBO basically since moving out of my parents' house, I have learned to ignore all the praise and accolades that normally follow these HBO series, telling myself that this is not money I need to spend on a monthly basis. Like many other women of my generation, I own the full Sex and the City series on DVD, and have watched it many more times than I should (as the the DVD cases can prove). In college, we spent many a snow day cooped up in our little townhouse apartment having Sopranos marathons. But beyond that, my HBO knowledge is lacking. Well, I think my unwillingness to increase my cable package might actually be ending, which is unfortunately exactly what my cable company intended when giving me the free three months that conveniently expire right before the new season of Game of Thrones starts.

Clearly, I am not the only person to think Girls is awesome, you know, since it won many an award last night. But did you know that Lena Dunham, the previously mentioned 25 year old, is the creator, director, producer and star of this show? Unbelievable. Who has that kind of creative talent? As a person who has always wanted to be creative but whose biggest creative success so far are a small Etsy Shop and a Mommy Blog, I am in awe. But back to the show itself. I think it purposely follows the set up for Sex and the City. 4 women, with one main character who can't seem to get her shit together. Since these women are in their early twenties, it does not follow the Friends/Sex and the City trend of an unexplicably high-end lifestyle. These girls live in Brooklyn, in not so nice apartments, with not expensive looking clothes. The mishaps are not unlike the ones my friends and I had when we were between 20-25. As I was recommending it to my Mom, I had to add the caveat: "It might be too young for you... sometimes, it's even a bit too young for me." But it is, excellent. Smart, funny, and does a great job portraying the naive 25 and under Girl.

Speaking of Guilty Pleasures, Happy Bachelor Monday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back to 5

...and after that holiday hiatus from seriousness, we are back in full force.

The past few weeks of shortened work weeks have been glorious. It's wonderful to think that you're days off outnumber your working days for a very short period of the year. Actually, I'm not sure it's always this way, I think it's just the way the calendar happened to fall this year. Plus, factor in your daughter's contraction of pink eye and various other viral maladies, preventing her for going into daycare, and you've earned yourself a couple of extra days at home, as I did last week. But, several days into her antibiotics cycle and a looming Big Thing at work on Thursday, and I have to be back, whether my throat likes it or not. (As it turns out, my husband does not have a looming Big Thing, and since I took sick days to cover Mia's ban from daycare, he how has the luxury to pink-eye it up at home - to be clear, I never got it, diligent hand-washer that I am.)

Anyhoov. Not only am I back because the Holidays are over, but I am also back to working 5 days a week, and therefore also back to full sized paychecks! That is very exciting. And although the re-institution of full time work is not (yet) company wide, I hardly feel guilty at all, considering looming Big Thing. Although working reduced hours had its obvious cons, I've gotten very used to having a weekday of rest, and to take care of various errands. I have a feeling I'm going to get much busier very quickly, and slightly crabbier, since I will no longer have a day of just hanging out with myself. Most weeks, B gets a week day off and works Saturdays. It's never been much of a problem, Mia and I do fun things together on Saturdays because I always have my weekday off to catch up on the things that are best done without a child around, such as laundry. I'll just tell myself that with my increased income, Mia and I might actually be able to do things that Cost Money on Saturdays since our budget won't be quite as tight (though, still tight).

Another welcome back to normalcy that this beautiful Monday brings is the much anticipated return of the Bachelor. Although I am much more obsessed with the Bachelorette, this is still a very good thing in my mind. My weekly two hours of pure indulgence start tonight. For now, it will unfortunately without the glass of  wine (South Beach Diet, Phase 1, Day 8, lbs: -8), but should still be just as satisfying. Sean was edited to be a bit serious and boring on Emily's season, but he comes across much more laid back and fun in the previews. Plus, I'm sure ABC will make up for it with some good casting for the women competing to be his wife. My dream is to be one of those people who writes a recap of the entire episode. "HONEY, QUIET I'M WORKING". Anyone want to make me an offer?