Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dieting Doldrums

I’m on a diet again. Our wedding reception is coming up in less than four weeks, and Sunday after our Easter lunch, I tried on my wedding dress to see how it fit after last putting it on almost six months ago. Not sure why I chose to stuff myself into the dress after eating a large meal which included ham, mashed potatoes, and other carbohydrate- and fat-loaded dishes…I guess I’m glutton for punishment. Suffice it to say, we barely managed to get the dress zipped and when we did, I was SPILLING out of it. Boob fat and back fat galore, I tell ya. And, I attempted to sit down while wearing the dress and was unable to do so without feeling as though my internal organs were screaming, “STOP! YOU’RE KILLING US!” And, the really bad thing was that I was wearing all of my fat-holding-in and shaping underthings and I was STILL so uncomfortable.

So, I started the diet on Monday, and already I am finding it difficult to stay disciplined enough to lose any weight. I’ve been thinking about why it is so hard to diet and lose weight right now, and here is my list of (poor) excuses:

-Christ has risen from the dead. Seriously, who paired Easter with jelly beans, chocolate, and huge carb-filled meals? I’m sure the tradition of giving candy and feasting on Easter got started a hundred years ago by some tribe somewhere, but I’m not interested enough to research it. What I do know is that even though I shouldn’t be, I have been sitting on my couch every night this week nibbling on the solid white chocolate sheep that Aaron gave me for Easter, simply because it’s there and it’s tasty. Let’s not even talk about sneaking jelly beans and mini Cadbury eggs.

-I came off birth control last month, and as a result, my hormones are totally out of control. I’m pimply, cranky, bloated, and ravenously hungry. It’s pretty difficult for me to choose to eat something like a salad or pretzels when I really am craving pizza or cheese puffs.

-Very important business trip coming up in five days. I am leaving for a business trip on Monday and I am told that the people that I will be meeting with in Tennessee are big eaters and big drinkers. Oh good. Just what I need!

-Exposure to really stupid people makes me cranky and thus (since I am an emotional eater), hungry. I spend a good portion of my work day looking at resumes and interviewing people, and it is shocking to me how many people either don’t know or don’t care about how they present themselves to prospective employers. Every time I come across someone emailing me a resume from an email address like or I contact a candidate and am confronted with a vulgar voicemail greeting like, “Wazz up playas? This is (name). Leave me your number and I’ll think about calling y’all mo-fo’s back. Holla,” or interview someone and listen to them call their former boss a prick, it makes me sad about the state of things. Seriously people—you’re applying for a job. At least attempt some professionalism.

-The dose of my thyroid medication has been lowered. A few years ago, I had some thyroid problems and as a result, I was placed on a thyroid hormone replacement medication because my thyroid had completely crapped out. One good side effect of the medication is that losing weight has been a little easier for me. In fact, over the last year or so, I have been able to eat pretty much as I pleased and not gain weight. Actually, I kept losing weight. Well, late last year, I started experiencing chest pain and heart palpitations, and one of the reasons why was because the dose of my thyroid medicine was too high (this was why I kept losing weight without any effort). So, my doctor said, “Party’s over, sister,” lowered my dosage of medication, and I packed on five pounds almost instantly. And now, it’s quite difficult to lose weight, even if I do eat responsibly. I used to think people that used thyroid problems as an excuse for gaining weight were crazy. Now I believe them, and I am being punished for thinking otherwise.

-I am a wuss and succumb to peer pressure easily. Here at work, most of my colleagues love to eat as much as I do, so when someone suggests ordering lunch from Noodles and Company or Panera, it’s hard for me to say no and eat my Smart Ones frozen dinner whilst smelling other peoples’ tasty lunches. I’m like Ado Annie from “Oklahoma”. I’m just a girl who can’t say no.

-I have a general aversion to diets and feeling hungry in general. ‘Nuff said.

After saying all of this, I want to make it clear that I am still going to TRY MY HARDEST to lose some weight before our reception (my goal is five to ten pounds). I’m starting a walking regimen with a lovely coworker who is also trying to lose weight, and I hope that will help. I do want to look as good in my wedding dress on our reception day as I did on our wedding day. I want to be able to sit down during the reception and not hear the seams on the dress popping. I want to boogie till midnight and not worry about what may be popping out the side of my dress. So, dear readers, please send good thoughts my way. Lord knows I could use them!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hottie Hubby and The Spring Psych-Out

So, my hubby is talking on the phone right now to one of this co-workers as he is doing some after hours work at home, and I am listening to him talk about portals and secure sites and all kinds of other computer stuff that is way over my head. Is it odd that I find him incredibly sexy right now? Can't wait till he's done with work...I've always been a sucker for the nerdy dudes.


Today is the first day of Spring, and appropriately, today is also the first day this year that I have woken up and heard birds chirping outside our bedroom window. It was a nice thing to hear, especially since the days have been warmer lately and thoughts of warm, sunny days and green grass are on the brain. Then, I remembered that we are supposed to get five to ten inches of snow tomorrow, and I felt sorry for those birds. They should know better than to start chirping any sooner than, like, the middle of April, at least here in Wisconsin.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Breaking Tradition

Don’t get me wrong…I love a huge gathering with extended family on a holiday as much as the next person, but for Easter this year, I lobbied hard to have a small, quiet get-together at our house. This was an uncharacteristic move for me; I love getting together with all of my aunts and uncles and cousins (as well as all of my husband’s family) during a holiday. Maybe I had a change of heart on this particular holiday because Grace has gotten sick on every Easter since she has been alive (on her first and second Easters she came down with nasty cases of rotavirus and last Easter she came down with a bad cold) and subconsciously I am hoping that maybe by changing things up this year and skipping the large family gatherings, we can keep her healthy. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I feel like we spent Christmas rushing around the state like mad people, trying to cram in as much time with our respective families as we were able to while wishing we could just relax and enjoy the season. Perhaps it’s because now that I have a family of my own, I want to make our own traditions every now and then instead of participating in other peoples’ traditions. Whatever the reason, the thought of traveling (and we do have to travel, since we live in a different part of the state than our families) to visit our extended families on Easter weekend really didn’t appeal to me. In fact, I was actually dreading all of the rushing around and began daydreaming about what it would be like to spend Easter at home—we could have an Easter egg hunt with Grace, attend a church service or mass of our choosing, and then go home and have a nice, leisurely meal in our jammies if we wanted to. We could invite our immediate families down to celebrate with us if they wanted to, but if they had other plans, that would be ok, too.

I knew I would get a little bit of resistance from the hubby on this new idea, because he loves spending time with family as much as I do (and, one of the reasons I love him as much as I do is because he places such a high value on family) and I knew that his extended family was planning a large gathering on Easter Sunday that he would want to attend. So, when I introduced my idea of staying home on Easter, I was met with a little resistance, but after I explained my reasoning and repeated the phrase, “Just one holiday per year” several times, Aaron agreed to the thought as long as the three of us got to spend the morning alone and save our feast with the immediate families for the afternoon. No problem, says I.

So, this Easter, we’re breaking tradition and staying home and even though we are going to be preparing a meal for my parents and sister and brother-in-law (Aaron’s immediate family is attending the larger gathering), I am finding that I feel much less stressed out than I would be feeling if we were going to be going elsewhere for the holiday. And, I am very much looking forward to starting some new traditions with Aaron and Grace. Hopefully our new traditions won’t include any nasty viruses.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Back From Vacation

Well, we are back home from our vacation in Wisconsin Dells (with a stop to see my in-laws this weekend), and instead of giving you a written report of our trip, I thought some pictures would tell the story and might be a little more entertaining to look at.

We decided we needed a vacation since we were feeling like this most of the time:

So, we went to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, and stayed in a lovely, spacious room.

We slid down some HUGE waterslides (after some gentle coaxing),

did some kneeboarding in the Flowrider pool,

ate lots and lots of great pizza and other tasty treats,

smiled lots and lots because we were having such fun,

started to feel a little tired towards the end of the day,

and finally. went back to our cozy room to snooze till our heart's content.

The trip had a somewhat rocky start--the night before we left, Aaron had a fever of 102.8 and felt really crappy. When he still had a fever the next day, he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with the flu and I worried that he would be bed-ridden for the whole trip. But, after some much-needed rest, he was ready to go on day two of the trip. Needless to say, Grace and I were glad he was healthy again, and we had a blast!! All in all, we had a fantastic time, and we're looking forward to making this a yearly trip. It was a great way to spend a few days--Kalahari had tons of really fun, family-oriented stuff to offer, and the winter specials that the resort offers made the trip affordable (we were able to snag all kinds of coupons for free food and reduced rates on resort attractions). The indoor waterpark had plenty to offer for little ones and adults alike, and with the numerous restaurants and amenities on site, there really was no reason to leave the resort at all! I'd highly recommend the resort for a family vacation or even as a get-away for couples who love spending lots of time at the pool.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Goin' on Vacation

A few months back, I wrote a post about the get-away that Aaron, Grace, and I were going to be taking as part of the celebration of my momentous 30th birthday (turns out, actually, that my 30th birthday kinda just felt like another day). We had planned on taking a road trip to Green Valley, Arizona to visit my grandparents, who (wisely) spend their winters there. The idea was to drive cross country in the spirit of adventure and with the goal of introducing Grace to parts of the country that she has never seen. I am a huge fan of road trips and thought this would be a great way to spend some good quality time with my family.

Reason soon set in, though, and once Aaron and I sat down and calculated the cost of gas plus at least four nights in hotels (two nights on the way there and two on the way home) plus meals and other necessities, we would have spent about the same amount of money if we flew there. And, there was the nagging doubt in the back of my mind that spending 60 hours in the car with a three-year-old might not be a barrel of laughs. Initially, the thing that appealed most to me about a road trip to Arizona, aside from seeing my beloved grandparents who I miss terribly, was the adventure it would bring, and I was pretty certain that it would be a really cool adventure...or, it could turn out to be a royal pain in the ass. Finding out that my grandparents are coming home for our wedding reception in a month pretty much sealed the deal for me...we would postpone our Arizona trip until next year, when Gracie is a little older.

So, the question became, "What the heck are we going to do?" Aaron and I had initially floated the idea of going to Vegas, but we wouldn't be able to bring Grace along on a Vegas trip and frankly, I wanted her to be a part of things. (We'll get our child-free vacation in June when we go to Bonnaroo.) We brainstormed and came up with a short list of destinations that are relatively close to home, and we decided on taking a trip to Wisconsin Dells, where we will be staying at the Kalahari Resort and Waterpark. Since Grace is no longer terrified of the water--in fact, she loves being in the water so much that she eagerly looks forward to swim class each week--we decided that we're ready for the behemoth indoor waterpark experience. And, the fact that there are tons of activities to do at the Kalahari apart from the waterpark, including pottery classes for kids and massages for moms (ok, and for stepdads, too), was very attractive to us. Plus, we'll be in Wisconsin Dells, so even if we do get bored for some reason at the resort, there are tons of other things to do.

So, we leave tomorrow and we're totally stoked. A full report and pictures will be coming after we get home!!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Don't Mess With the Poppins -and- Defeating Lulu

A couple weekends ago, when Grace was spending some quality time with my parents, she was introduced to one of my all-time favorite movies: "Mary Poppins". She came home talking about the movie with the "pahck" (this totally cracks me up--she picked up on how the word "park" is pronounced in the movie, complete with the Cockney accent, and now this is her new funny) and the amazing merry-go-round horses that come off of the carousel and go galloping in the countryside. She loved the movie and couldn't wait to tell me all about it.

This was so exciting to me. "Mary Poppins" was one of my favorite movies as a child (and even as an adult), so knowing that Grace found it entertaining as well made me very happy. So naturally, I was really looking forward to the time when Grace and I could sit down together and watch it and talk about how cool everything was, and how Mama secretly has always wanted to be Mary Poppins herself. The only bad thing about all of this was that the only version of "Mary Poppins" that owned by my family is a grainy, VHS version that my parents taped when we had a free week of the Disney Channel like 20 years ago. Aside from being crappy in quality, our family's version of "Mary Poppins" also contains the annoying "To subscribe, please call 1-800-......." flashing across the bottom of the screen every few minutes.

So Aaron, being the thoughtful guy that he is, picked up a brand spanking new version of "Mary Poppins" at Best Buy a few days ago, and it has been playing nearly non-stop in our home since then. I have been able to finally watch one of my favorite flicks with my kid, and the whole experience has been totally wonderful.

Except for one glitch...tonight, while we were watching one of my favorite parts of the movie (the part where Mary and Bert and the children jump into the chalk drawing of the English countryside) I made the fatal error of singing along with "Jolly Holiday with Mary". Whoa. Big mistake. Grace looked at me with a face full of disgust and horror and said, "You don't sing with Mary Poppins, Mama. Now we have to start the song over. You don't sing again." And, she made me start the scene over again and promise her that I would NOT under any circumstances sing along with this song ever, ever again. I actually laughed out loud at how mad she got, and she immediately silenced me by saying with a furrowed brow, "I am not laughing."

Ok. Duly noted. Don't mess with the Poppins, especially if you want to finish the movie in under three hours.


Tonight, instead of following our normal Friday night ritual of dragging an already-exhausted and cranky Grace out to dinner and inevitably ending the evening with at least one of us in frustrated tears, we decided to stay home and attempt to duplicate one of my favorite restaurant meals--chipotle chicken pitas with kettle chips and blue cheese sauce from Cafe Lulu. Mmmmmmmmmm. Aaron bought all of the ingredients on his way home from work tonight, and we eagerly set out to try and make the meal ourselves.

And we TOTALLY succeeded. Our kettle chips were way better than Lulu's...sometimes Lulu's chips have a slightly burned flavor to them, but ours, with Aaron gingerly tending to them as they bubbled along in the canola oil, turned out perfectly. And my version of the black bean salsa that is used to make the chipotle chicken pita was spot on, only missing a dash of lime juice and perhaps tasting a tad bit too salty.

All in all, it was a great meal, and the best part of it was that we enjoyed it in the comforts of our own dining room. And instead of ending the night wishing that we hadn't gone out at all, I am enjoying listening to Aaron and Grace putting together a puzzle and making up a song that goes, "We don't need that piece, UH!" I love staying home. I think we'll make it a Friday night tradition.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Ok, I'm about to reveal one of my deepest, darkest secrets, so hold on to yer eyebrows are naturally almost totally white, so for most of my adult life, I have been shading them in with a brow pencil.

I feel so much better now.

So, tonight I went to this new hair salon in Brookfield to have my hair colored, and my stylist asked me, "Have you ever considered having your brows tinted?" Honestly, I have considered that at least once a day for the past several years, usually when I am standing in the mirror in the morning painstakingly trying to ensure that my penciling-in job is even and looks relatively natural. And, whenever I have my hair colored I always worry that my brows will be way too light.

All of you with nice, normal, dark eyebrows never knew you had it so good.

So, I said to my stylist, "What the hell? Go for it." And she did. And for the first time in my 30 years on this planet, I can actually distinguish my eyebrows from the rest of my face.

Here is what the top part of my face looks like with actual eyebrows.

Yeah, pretty shocking. Aaron didn't know I was having this done, so when I got home tonight, HIS eyebrows shot up in surprise and he said, "Wow. Your whole face looks different." And then he went out for a beer. I hope the two instances are not related.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm In Town Playing the Dolphins, You Dumbass

Oh, Brett, say it ain't so!

Well, there goes my whole motivation for watching football. Guess I'll have to go back to shopping and napping on Sunday afternoons in the fall. Sadly, my favorite quarterback and lifetime member of my Top Five Hotties list is retiring from the Packers. I was one of those people that wagered that he would be back for another season, especially after his stellar showing last season. But, sounds like Brett is just pooped and is going to enjoy some well-deserved time off.

Thanks for the great memories, Brett, and for the hilarious performance in "There's Something About Mary." I'll always love you. Sniff, sniff.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


And so, I enter the fourth decade of my life…

Last weekend, Aaron and I were out on a date and at one very honest moment (read: I had just finished a Flirtini) during dinner, I looked at Aaron and asked, “Do you ever wonder what happened to you?” I had been wondering lately, especially as I approach my thirtieth birthday, what happened to the fun loving, free, crazy girl I used to be. I was the girl that didn’t think twice about going out on a Wednesday night. The girl who would pick up and go at a moment’s notice. The girl who didn’t obsess about things like bills and the cleanliness of my living space and making dentist appointments and laundry. The girl that slept till 11:00am on the weekends and stayed up all night.

What happened to me? As I talk to my single and childless friends about their lives and listen to their stories about all of their adventures, I can’t help but think about my social life, especially since a “big night” for me includes not falling asleep before 10:00pm and actually making it through an entire two-hour movie. Long gone are the days of dancing till 2:00am and traveling whenever I wanted to. Now, my days are mostly filled with work and parenting and trying to maintain my sanity.

Mine is a common tale. We go through our wild and crazy years in our teens and 20’s, and then one day, we become an adult. I’m not saying that becoming an adult automatically means that the fun is over…I guess I’m just realizing that it’s a different kind of fun. One night last week, I came home from work to find Aaron and Grace playing with puzzles in the living room and when I walked in, they invited me to join them. At that moment, there was not a single place on earth where I would have rather been. Tuesday night swimming classes with Gracie are the one of the highlights of my week, because I get to spend time with my daughter doing something she really enjoys. And, some of the most romantic moments in my house are when I watch Aaron comfort or reassure Grace, knowing in my heart that Grace will remember those feelings and will be able to depend on him.

So, since my conversation with Aaron last weekend, I have done some serious thinking and I have come to the conclusion that this IS me now. My life revolves around not myself and my whims, but around my family. My priorities have changed. I have grown up. I am comfortable in my skin. And, the more I think about it, I don’t miss the girl I used to be at all. Why would I want to go back to the insecurity of dating, the uncertainty of the first couple years out of college, and living in crappy apartments because it was all I could afford?

Yes, life is hard sometimes. Along with the happiness of parenting comes the difficulty of raising a child and wanting to do a REALLY GOOD JOB as a parent. Marriage, although blissful and romantic much of the time, is pretty damn hard sometimes. But, I have to say that I am really, really , insanely happy. I wouldn’t trade who I am now for anything, even on those days when I am dog tired and fed up with just about everything.

Hooray for turning 30! Life is very, very good.