Drawing Challenge Day 2: Draw Your Favorite Animal

(Hint: It's a penguin.)

Drawing Challenge Day 1: Draw Yourself


Drawing challenge!

Free cookbook!

The Jeub family has 16 kids (soon to be 17) (and they don't annoy me like those Duggars do. :) ) They are promoting a new cookbook on their website. I read their book Love in the House and it had really good parenting advice in it. I was skeptical when I picked it up, as I have one kid and they have many, but the ideas were the same and thoughtful. I like being encouraged to love my child and to give her the freedom to learn. I expect to find smart, practical recipes in their cookbook. Try this link to their website: Jeub Family

(I still only want the one kid, though!)

Sorry for the brevity, but typing with a broken index finger does encourage it!

Workin' for a Livin'

Since my job cut my hours by about 33%, I've decided to explore some other options. ONe of the options I've already been using is producing content for Demand Studios.  I know, I know, it's considered a content mill. Big-time freelancers don't take a second look at sites like that. However, I'm still finding my voice and my niche when it comes to putting words to paper, so I'm willing to write what someone else wants. For a while. I like Demand Studios because A) they pay consistently (2x a week through Paypal) B) I can always find something to write about and C) I like the experience of writing and being edited. The best way to become a better writer is to write. So I am.

The other idea I'm exploring is going back to school. I have a BA in Psychology Counseling. To do the work I want to do (Substance abuse counseling), I'd really need a Master's.I live 4 hours from the nearest college/university that offers a Master's program, so I'm researching online programs. I'm so much less hesitant about going forward with Psychology as a career than I was just three years ago. I feel like I have more confidence and more control of myself emotionally and temperamentally.

All that said, I'm eager for school suggestions or freelance writing tips!

"Good morning! Let's cut your hours, mmm-kay?"

So you know how everyone says 'Oh, I'd NEVER sell my kids childhood for money! Oh, I couldn't put a price our privacy!' Well, I could.

If some TV channel wanted to hang out and watch us and pay us for it, damn skippy I'd be in. Especially since the first thing that happened to me this morning was my boss (whom I like) calling to tell me they were dropping mr from 25 hours a week to 17 and could I keep the store in the great condition it was in now and never mind that I started this job two years ago with the promise of 30+ hours. That's $480 a month that I've lost in income.

Fortunately, we live under our means and are really good at making things work. But still. They want me to do the same job for less pay. I hate this economy.

I'm going to pick up some more freelancing, with the goal of paying the utilities with it. I think I might need to leave the house to make it work, because something about sitting in the house on the computer screams 'playtime'.

Weight loss woes

So, as reported previously, I lost 40 lbs last year. This Aug is the anniversary of the loss. However, it seems I've gained about 5lbs in the past month or two. I'm not real stoked about that. In fact, I'm pretty pissed. While I don't want to be obsessed with my diet and my weight, now I know when things ar ehappening becauseof poor choices I am making.

I've been eating crap food. Last week I ate two doughnuts. That may not seem like a big deal, but if you consider that the last doughnut I had before that was over six months ago, it proves the point.

So I'm not going to get all obsessive and calorie-counting, but i figured if I wrote down what I ate on here once in a while, it might keep me on track.  So here goes!

Breakfast: 1 slice toast w/ natural peanut butter, 1/2 cup of yogurt with 1.5 cups Special K with Red Berries.

Snack- one chocolate chip cookie. 1 piece chocolate. 1 cup Oregon Chai.

Lunch- 1 cup yogurt w/ 1/5 cups Special K w Red Berries

Snack 2- 1 cup Chai, 1 whole wheat english muffin with butter, 1 cup greek yogurt, 5 raspberries.

Dinner- 1 tomato basil wrap filled with feta cheese, hummus, cucumber, bib lettuce, chickpeas. (Freaking DELICIOUS.)

Snack 3- 1 Budweiser Select 55 (55 cals, baby!), 5 cups air-popped corn (super filling, low cal).

I went on a power shop today and bought produce and as many whole foods as I could. I am not 100% eating clean, but I try to get as close as I can.

Any awesome whole foods recipes to share?

Workout Playlist - Aggro (aggressive) version

Rocked the workout tonight. Always get the best workout when I'm aggro. Playlist qualifications were that it had to not annoy me or had to contribute to my irritated spirit. That's not really the contradiction it sounds like.


Kid Rock - Cowboy
Miranda Lambert - Gunpowder and Lead
Nelly - Air Force Ones
Pink - So What
Rob Zombie - Superbeast
Miss Balitmore Crabs - Hairspray Soundtrack
Taylor Swift - Should've Said No
I Drink Alone - George Thoroughgood
Green Day - Minority
Bowling for Soup - Almost
Fergie - Fergalicious
Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
ACDC - You Shook Me All Night Long
Kenny Chesney/George Strait - Shiftwork
Rufun Rainwright - Hallelujah

Rookie mistake

I made a training mistake that I shouldn't have. And it's all TV's fault.

So, I watch Make It Or Break It, which is teenage drama and gymnastics. When I was 8 I wanted to be a gymnasts, so this show is like candy to me. Anyway, my favorite character Payson has to retrain as a more artistic gymnast and is starting over. She started out with cartwheels, which made me think, 'Hey, I bet I can do a cartwheel now! That looks like fun! I should try learning some basic gymnastics stuff!' And that's where I went wrong.

I hit the gym and decide I'm going to screw around in the big aerobics room and try some cartwheels. (I stretched first, natch.) It's fun! So I do a few more, do two in a row, etc. Then I think, 'Well I used to be able to do a handstand. Let's try that.' So I do. I have some trouble getting up, but I manage a few. So 15 minutes goes by and I'm sweaty and warmed up so I decide today is the day to run my 2 miles for my race training.  I hit the treadmill and do two miles in 21:13, my best time ever. So I'm feeling great. Awesome, right?

Then I wake up the next morning.

It seems there is a huge difference in a teenage gymnast doing cartwheels and me doing them, because I am god-awful sore. I hurt EVERYWHERE. Back, shoulders, forearms, butt, thighs. I soak in Epsom salts. Nothing. Take Ibuprofen. Nada. So I decide to take the day off, because OW.

That's the mistake. When you wake up sore like that, the best thing to do is work out at a medium pace, nothing challenging, but long enough to work the muscles and get the blood flow going. I skipped out and I'm paying the price. It's two days later and I still hurt. I'm scrounging up some icyhot today.

Also, Make it or Break it rules.

I suck at blogging

Seriously, blogging was awesome when I started, because I had much more free time then. Now I have 3 jobs and much less free time. Of course, I spend half of my free time reading the opinions of strangers on the internet, so I guess I could be writing more of my own opinions.

It's funny, because I have several moments during the day where I thing of something funny/clever/interesting that would make an awesome blog post, but then it gets forgotten in the whirlwind of my day.  I've though of posts about celebrity, movies I watched, why Sweet Valley High is awesome, Facebook, and other things.

So I guess I'll try to update more. In the mean time, here's a snippet of my life:

8:30 - Out of bed with kiddo. Cartoons and pancakes.

9:15 - Realize I missed work conference call.

9:45 -Internet

10:30 - Shower.

11:00 - Kiddo wants milk. Have no milk. Voyage to store. Buy milk, OJ, chocolate and cereal.

12:00 -Ramen for lunch.

1:00 - Internets. Am called a horrible person for having a differing opinion on a blog. Remove blog from my favorites.

1:05 - Google said blog to see what else they said about me.

1:30 - Create grandiose list of things to do around the house.

2:00 - Try to figure out a way to make it look like I worked on the house all day without working at all.

3:00 - Give up on plan. Load dishwasher.

3:30 - Receive 4th call from friend complaining about her landlord. Read internet instead of listening.

3:45 - Blog guiltily.

Buying a new car

So most of the reason I have no time to blog is because I now have three jobs. I picked up two extra merchandising jobs in the same store I'm already in to bring in some more cash. We were fine on money, but I've decided my 12 year old Tracer needs to go pretty soon. Don't get me wrong, it's been a great car. I couldn't recommend it more highly. Very little in the way of repair work needed, it's been really reliable, great gas mileage. It's getting older, though, and as my daughter gets bigger, the need for a slightly larger car is becoming apparent.

I'm pretty much in love with the Honda CR-V. It gets good mileage, it's large enough for car seats and groceries without being too big, it's super cute and it should last forever.  The Mr. and I are very conscious of our money and what we spend, so we want to have a large down payment before we buy. Hence, the second job. He has a new(er) truck, so it's my turn.

Why do you guys drive and what do you think of the CR-V? Do you recommend another small crossover SUV instead? Comment, please!

Cool Site Alert

I know I'm about the worst blogger ever, but in my defense, I have a pretty busy life. However, to appease my few readers, I have brought you this cool site: www.wordle.com. Here's what I made there.

The Language of the Fridge


I left this comment on a blog and it says a lot about me and who I am. I want to remember it, so here it is.

I went to a public high school and debated all four years (I’m 29 now). As a timid, unfocused freshman, in debate I found friends that were like-minded people, I gained confidence and still love speaking to a room. I learned about the world, policies, the government, critical thinking, philosophy and other topics I might never have come across otherwise. Most importantly to me, my love of new things and learning was encouraged and respected, rather than diminished. I never won any trophies, but I wouldn’t trade those days in debate for anything. Some of the best times of my life were spent there.

The post where I try to gain followers by talking about Kate Gosselin.

So, here's a post where I talk about one of the more goofy things that I follow/pay attention to/post about on the Internet. (This is why my blog isn't known to my family and friends, except the husband.)

I hang out at a couple of pro-Kate Gosselin websites. I'm not a super fan or anything, but I liked how she was really organized during the first episodes and how she's got kind of a dry, sarcastic humor to her. I'm sure she's not always a nice person (neither am I) and she does things that don't include her children (me too) and she works outside of the home in a job many people envy (me too, kinda). 

It seems that people are up in arms because she (and it's always she, never she and Jon, you know, the other parent) made her money exploiting her children.  Which, okay, if you think kids on reality TV is wrong, fine. Why aren't you bitching about the Gosselins or Tori and Dean?

What? The Duggars aren't belittiling their husbands on TV? Oh, wait, you said it was about the kids. Some of the Duggar kids have been born on TV. I doubt they gave consent. Why aren't you pissed about that?

Oh, now it's because Kate didn't same money for the kids? Well, I haven't seen a statement from the Duggars saying they did. And if they did, splitting the kids' share 19 ways isn't much money for anyone.  Why isn't that a problem?
I hate to break it to you, but Tori and Dean make most of their money from filming their family and putting their kids on TV. You can see their kids having freak outs and, horrors!, potty training.  Dean does two made-for-TV movies a year and Tori does some jewelry and a few TV cameos. She admitted in her book (which mentions her kiids! Shame!) that she blew through her 90210 cash and her dad didn't leave her much in the way of money, especially with their lifestyle. All of their money comes from filming them with their kids.  They have a nanny, like the Gosselins, they have fights, like the Gosselins, they are estranged from family, like the Gosselins.  Yet, no one seems to be calling CPS trying to take away their kids under the guise of 'protecting' them.  Funny, that. 

Demand Studios

I know I don't post as much as I used to, but I've started writing for a place called Demand Studios, so that's taking up much of my writing time.  I've made $30 this week writing for them, so that's awesome. I didn't make much with eHow, but I made some cash, about $2-3 a month.  I like Demand Studios because I can just choose a title (I am bad at picking topics and at titling things) and they pay a flat fee, which is much more gratifying.  It's kind of annoying having to go throuhg a copy editor, but so far everything has been approved with just a rewrite and since I'm new, that's not a big deal. The copy editors have been professional so far and never brisk or rude. I hope to keep writing, not for any major cash or anything, just enough to buy a book or a online game or something once in a while.  If I make $50 a month, I can use my paypal to pay my water bill, and that would certainly make it worthwhile, no?

Today's Random Gym Playlist

Sideways - Dierks Bentley
Accidentally in Love - Counting Crows
Stronger - Britney Spears
Ladies Choice - Hairspray Soundtrack
Sin - Nine Inch Nails
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
Rockstar - Nickelback
Fergalicious- Fergie
So What - Pink
Air Force Ones - Nelly
Psych Theme Song - The Friendly Indians
Rooster - Alice in Chains
Blue - Leann Rimes
Only Hope - Mandy Moore


So yesterday I started two new workouts that were in the May issue of Oxygen Women's Fitness.


I did the 6-week ab routine and started the 8 week chin up goal.  My abs and arms ache so bad I took Ibuprofen twice today.  Sweet!

The ab routine is deceptively simple.  It's three exercises, leg raises in the captain's chair (3 sets, 15 reps), side crunches with weights (3x12) and crunches on the ball, with a medicine ball (3x12).

I'm not 100% sure that I believe that the chin-up plan will work.  I have no upper body strength, it turns out.  The first step is to raise the bar on the smith machine so you are about an inch or two above the floor with your arms extended.  Then you bring your feet in until they are planted on floor and lift as high as you can.  I can get halfway.  And I can only do 7 reps out of 12 before I need a break.  I didn't think that my arms were tired after three sets (I completed eventually) so I did a fourth of ten reps.  My arms hurt so damn bad today.  I can feel it in my biceps, shoulders and back.  It just may work.

I worry that I'll drift away from the plan, forget my goal.  I did the couch to 5K plan, but it took two tries to make it.  Maybe writing it here will keep me on plan.

Lifestyle Update!

I know I should write more substantive posts, and I will (probably) but for now let's just be grateful for the small things.

Life is super, as always.  I can to a really nice relevation about why I enjoy my job.  It's not an important job or a fancy job.  It do=esn't require a degree of any kind.  It works perfectly for me, though. (If you missed it earlier, I'm a grocery merchandiser, part-time.) I get to go to the store, work my product, order and stock, talk to other vendors, issue credits, plan for the week, etc.  I love it.  It has just enough structure to make me fee comfortable, since I have to do certain things every week and day, but enough freedom to make my life easier. I can alter my schedule if need be, and I can work longer to get projects done as well.

Some times I feel guilty for enjoying it so much, especially when I know several other people who don't love what they do.

What else? Lots of family engagements this week, which is equal parts nice and stressful.  The family is awesome, but we require space from people in order to maintain a sense of peace in the house.  After tonight we should have some free evenings again.

TV-wise , I'm watching Justified (the show I watch with the hubby, very dry and funny), Parenthood (SO GOOD!) and V.  And lots of Noggin. Oh, and The Ultimate Fighter.  I watch that with the husband and he watches Top Chef with me.  Good times.

Weird Stuff at My house

Okay, so my husband and I have this game where we have some letters on the fridge and we leave each other messages. The thing that makes it fun and weird is that we don't have all the letters, so you have to be creative with the spelling and the letters themselves. It's kind of awesome at times, so I'm going to document it for you.

My fitness story, part two

After a two months of running and tracking my progress (in miles and in pounds lost) I was down ten pounds. On days I didn't run, I used the elliptical or the treadclimber at the gym, instead of walking. After running, trying to walk for an hour was boring and felt pointless. I liked being able to move faster and feeling stronger. I also started lifting weights. I found weightlifting moves and tips in magazines and books and adapted what I could for myself. I started keeping a log of when I exercised, what lifts or cardio I did, how many sets, reps and weight of each. I had a notebook I took to the gym and I tracked everything online at SparkPeople.com. It makes things in to graphs and charts so you can see your progress and you can share your info with other people.

Here are some of the things that helped me change my ideas about fitness and to become more involved in my lifestyle change.

SparkPeople.com, which I briefly mentioned above. SparkPeople is a free website that has everything you need to make substantial lifestyle changes. It has a calorie tracker, fitness tracker, goal setting tips and charts for your progress, an option to create your own SparkPeople page, forums, articles and a lot more. The best part for me was being able to chart what I was eating and how much I was really working out.

Oxygen Women's Fitness. It's a fitness magazine for women, but it's not boring diet tips and endless crunches like you'd get from Shape or Fitness. This has serious diet plans geared towards women who want to push the limits of what their body can do and who are willing to work hard to do it. I learned amazing moves for lifting, saw women who had transformed their figures and got more practical, useful tips than I ever got in any other magazine.

Roni's Weigh (http://ronisweigh.com/). Roni is a fitness success story. She shed 60 lbs and ran a marathon last year and held a fit blogging conference this year. Not only is she a great fitness role model, but when she blogs, it feels like she is talking to you, honestly. Roni is the real deal. (Plus she is sweet enough to answer some of my questions on Twitter and to give support. Thanks Roni!)

Body for Life. Mys sister talked me into doing to Body for Life challenge, which is taking the book's exercise and eating principles and following them for twelve weeks to see results. The workouts are based on intensity and utilize cardio and weights. The eating plan was the best part for me. I learned about planning food in advance and to eat a protein and a carb together at every meal. It was a great way to find foods that are good for me and that will help me achieve my fitness goals.

I'm not perfect about what I eat or working out. I try to hit the gym six days a week. Some weeks I make it, some I don't. Some days I get 40 minutes of intense cardio, some days a moderate 20 minutes is all I can handle. You have to be flexible and listen to your body, but you also have to remember not to sell yourself short. Sometimes my not wanting to go to the gym isn't about the gym, it's about my emotions or laziness or a million other things. Usually by the time I get to the gym and get changed, I remember that I didn't want to be doing this, but by then it's too late, so I do it anyway. That's pretty much my philosophy. Acknowledge my feelings (good and bad) then do it anyway.

My fitness story, part one

My fitness journey really got started last year. I had been going to the gym for about two years, yet managed to maintain my 174lbs. I would walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes, thinking I was getting in some good exercise and wondering why the scale didn't movie. When I decided I wasn't getting enough exercise, I bumped it up to an hour.

The problem wasn't the amount of exercise I was getting, it was the quality of exercise. I walk all day, every day. For me, walking isn't enough exercise to change my fitness level. I was in some pretty good denial back then. I told myself and other people that I didn't run because my legs were too short and I just wasn't built for running. That was complete crap. Almost everyone can run. Unless your doctor has told you that you physically can't run, you can. The problem with running, or doing any vigorous exercise is that it's hard. Really hard. And things that are hard aren't always super fun. Plus, you're probably not going to be very good at it when you start out. Since running was hard for me, I didn't like it and I assumed I couldn't do it. The truth was, I didn't really try to do it because it was a lot more work than I thought it would be and it was something I could fail at. I really don't like to fail.

When I decided to really try getting into shape, I found a website called Couch to 5K. It had a training plan that started out alternating running and walking. At first, I could only run a minute at a time, and that whole minute sucked. A lot. And after a week or so, I could run two minutes. After three weeks, five. In three months time, I could run three miles in about 37 minutes. (Hey, I'm not super fast, but I'm out there doing it.) I, she of the body that wasn't built for running, ran my first 5K in 11 months after I made the choice to get fit. It was awesome. My whole family came, people I didn't even know were cheering for me when I crossed the finish line. It was one of my greatest victories.

I'll go into more detail about my eating habits and other lifestyle changes in my next post.  Here's a graph of my weight loss last year.
Can't think of anything outstandingly original to post, so I'll just go with a life update.

Back to watching my nephew full-time.  It's nine pm and he's whining about being tired but still wanting to take a shower. *sigh*

I've been really restless and funked lately, so much so that today I hit the gym twice.

Man, I've got nothing.

TV Review: Parenthood

On thing I love about my job is that I get a lot of time to think. I put groceries away and it's pretty mindless, so I have a great deal of things going on in my head during the day.  During most of my shift I thought about what I should say about Parenthood.

Character-wise, it's strong but not perfect. Adam (Peter Krause, who I recognize, but I don't recall anything of his I have watched before.) is the oldest of the Braverman siblings and looks to be the solid, go-to guy. He works a nice corporate job, has a nice house, a nice wife, nice kids. On paper, he's perfect.  In life, he cusses out the ref at his kids' baseall game, forgets his other kids' soccer match, has an obsessive streak and has to come to terms with his sons' Asbergers diagnosis.  Adam's wife Kristina is trying to hold her family together and take care of her son.  She's both vulnerable and forceful.  Monica Potter can get a little heavy-handed with it, but for the most part she's great.
I'm not sure which sister comes next, but I'm going to say Sarah (Lauren Graham, of Gilmore Girls fame) since she has the kids that are older.  (Plus, and absolutely no offense to Lauren Graham, who is perfect, but Erika Christensen looks younger.) Sarah's an ex-bartender who has to move back to Berkley to live with her parents.  I actually relate less to Sarah than I thought I would. My kids are younger and I hope they will always be much less smart-mouthed than her kids are. I loved her plot line that had hooking up with Jim the barista (Mike O'Malley, who I will always fondly remember as the host of Nickelodeon's GUTS).  I also like the dynamic between her and Julia, the younger sister.

Julia (Erika Christensen,Traffic and Swimfan) is the conflicted working mom. She's a high-powered lawyer and her husband Joel stays home with their daughter Sidney.  She seems to love her job, but she feels the pain of what feels like missing her daughter growing up.  It's a familiar story and in other hands it might be boring and trite, but the writing is strong and Christensen is convincing as a woman who loves working and wants to enjoy her child.  The plot steered towards Julia's husband spending a lot of time with a mother from Sidney's school, which is cliche, but gave Christensen a chance to bring out the bitch-face, which is where she is at her best. Joel is Julia's husband and he's got no personality at this point. He's either oblivious or pretending to be oblivious to the woman interacting with him inappropriately and he's not a great communicator. Also, he's boring.

The last of the Braverman kids is Crosby. Who names kids Adam, Sarah and Julia, then busts out a Crosby? That's the least believable thing so far. Anyway, Crosby is the rebel, the drifter, the unreliable one. Dax Shepard is getting a lot of flack for being cast, but I like his laid-back approach with Crosby.  I find him sincere, but mischievous.  His plot line is stupid and the 'hey, you have a kid I never told you about' is boring and not something I've seen happen five years later to anyone I know. It also has about a million holes in it.  It's easily the weakest storyline of the show.  Still, I like Crosby. He reminds me of how sometimes you think about how easy and free it was before you had kids and then you remember is was great and it wasn't, just like now.

The mother has no plot at this point and just wanders in and out of scenes.  The dad (Craig T. Nelson from Coach) is the grumpy, the world-is-a-war patriarch.  He's irritated and irritating, but I have a fondness for him.

The kids are all fine actors.  The stand-out is obviously Max, who is AMAZING as a child with Asbergers. He gives a really nuanced portrayal of a child who just isn't normal, and it never feels forced or coached.  This kid is going to win awards.  (Which I never would have guessed from watching him in Daddy Daycare.)

Plot-wise, it's solid and well-written for the most part. The dialogue is believable.  All of the characters have fairly relatable issues, with the exception of Crosby.  The biggest issue seems to be trying to cram major storylines for each of the siblings into every episode. It can seem like a really full show, even when nothing happens.

The best thing about this show for me, is hands-down, the sibling interaction. I have a sister I am very close to, and we have conversations like that.  I have two brothers as well, and while we don't get together as often as this clan does, when we do it's full of the laughing, and the inside jokes and the sharing of gossip, just like with this group.  The strongest scenes are the four siblings hanging out, such as the scene at Adam's where all the sibs show up, or the smoking scene outside the elementary school.

This show is definitely worth DVRing. The first two episodes were solid, the third a little weak, but better than most things you could be watching.

The eyes have it...

Before and After

he first two photos are me at 175lbs. I last weighed that much in Jan. 2009. The last is me November 2009,  running my first 5k at 135 lbs.

I need more time or more ambition.

I've been thinking about starting an adjacent blog for book and TV reviews.

When I was a kid I wrote reviews of every Clarissa Explains It All episode in a notebook and in college I started a journal of every book I read.  (I made it to fifty before I got bored of it.)

Now that I think about it, I'm not posting here as much as I had planned, so dividing my attention would be dumb.  Maybe I'll try a few reviews/recaps and see if I like it first.

FYI- Right now I'm reading 'Columbine' by Dave Cullen and I'd probably review Parenthood as my first TV review.


Baby TWoP Fan

Saving money

I am a big believer in saving money and using a budget wisely.  One way I could save money is in the grocery store.  I am really bad about going in to pick up a few things.  I also work in a store, so it's really tempting to grab one or two things on my way out the door.

I did a detailed budget last week and decided to see if our little family of three could spend $200 on groceries for the month.  Here's my plan to make it work.

1. I'm going to actually write down what I have on hand, in the pantry and freezer. Usually before I shop I skim the cupboards to give myself an idea.  This time I'm taking notes.  (I love notes.)

2. Instead of making a meal plan specific for each day, I'm going to write out a list of meals we like and plan to have the ingredients for 14 meals at a time.  (Lunches are usually leftovers for Jeff and soup for me.) Breakfast is oatmeal for the both of us.  And I am going to use the list in the previous step to use up what we already have.

3. I'm going to cash.  I'm going to take the grocery money out of the bank and envelope it.  The debit card stays home.  I'll take a calculator and paper to make sure I'm not overbudget.

4. I will shop alone and use my coupons!  (I love coupons.) Only use coupons if the price per ounce is cheaper than the store version. 

5. From now on, the debit card stays home when I work.  If I have some spending cash I can use that, but that's it.

6. I'm going to save every receipt in an envelope and see how we do at the end of the month.

How do you save money at the grocery store?

Misuse of the Internet

I waste a great deal of time on the internet.  I justify it by saying that I spend most of that time reading (true), so it's educational (define educational). I must be honest, however.  I spend a great deal of time reading blogs about the Gosselin family from Jon and Kate Plus 8.  Actually, most of the stuff I read is about how a bunch of women decided Kate was evil and doesn't deserve to have a) money b) kids c) fame d) happiness e) a public career f) cute clothes g) a nice body h) any one to like her, ever.

I read it because I just don't get the hate.  I mean, yeah, she's not a super nice person.  Newsflash! Most people aren't. And yeah, she got lots of money to let a TV crew film her kids.  Well, her husband was there and he said yes too, but no one blames him for it.  And if some one offered us cold, hard cash to film us, I'd get a lawyer and sign up.  Hey, my kid is cute and money is money.  I don't think playing around while people film you is devastating to a kids' life.  Plus, kids cost money.  A lot of money.  You think I work in a grocery store for the sheer joy of it? Well, actually, I love my job, but part of the love comes from the fact that it pays reasonably well.  And I'm planning to negotiate a raise in a few months.

Kate's going to be on Dancing With the Stars and I say good for her.  Her deadbeat husband doesn't have a job and that show pays nicely.  Seriously, $100,000 just to be on?  That's a few weeks on training and one episode.  My kid would deal with me being gone for that kind of cash and I find it hard to believe that others don't feel the same way.  Now, I certainly don't think that money is everything and we try to live a frugal life.  However, living a frugal life means making smart financial choices and if being away for a few weeks nets you a year or more of income (that would be more than my and my husband's income combined), then it is a smart move.

Big Love Recap at Pajiba by Yours Truly!

Episode 8

The place where I live...

Zen and the Art of Grocery Store Maintenance

I am really lucky in the fact that I love my job.  What I do isn't life-changing, or even significant, really.  It's just putting some products on a shelf, but I really get something out of it. 

I love the fact that I work alone.  My boss is 5 hours away, so unless he plans to come and see me, I only have email and phone contact with him.  I don't have any co-workers and I can set my own schedule, with a little structure.  I created a binder with each day of the week listed and what needs to be taken care of for each day.  I started a system of dating products to reduce the credits I write.  In the busy summer time I willingly come in for an extra hour some evenings to fill up the shelves.

I live the independence, I like the structure with flexibility, I like the satisfaction of doing my work well, without direct supervision.  I also really like the actual work.  I like walking the store, putting the product away.  Yeah, it sounds boring, but what it is for me is Zen.  I can get everything put away without a large degree of concentration.  My mind wanders and I have the time to plan my day, make goals, think about things I've seen and read, even just tune everything out and think of nothing.  It is the best benefit I'll never tell them about.

A picture is worth a thousand words...

My funny comment was wasted in a Pajiba thread

so I stole it back to post here.  It's recycling!

True Lent-flavored conversation*:
"I'm giving up coffee for Lent."
"You're not Catholic. You're not Episcopalian. You're an atheist. You don't believe in Lent."
"You don't understand Lent."
"Oh no you didn't!"
"You know that's right!" **
*This may or may not be two conversations mixed-up.
**This may or may not be a conversation about Lent mixed up with my husband and I quoting Psych at each other.

What does this blog need more of? Pictures!

Little TWoP fell off the swing into the mud.  And I laughed, because I am mean.


In case you missed it, I hate snow.  A lot.  The first snow of the year is fine.  It's new, it's novel, it's pretty.  Then it melts and it's slushy and muddy and ugly and useless.  Where I live you can have three inches of snow in the morning (that's a good size snow) and have it gone by 2pm.  This year we have had 325% more snow than normal.  It's snowing right now.  My birthday is in four days (but who's counting?) and I want no more snow for the rest of the year.  (Thanks in advance!)

Big Love Recap at Pajiba!

Season 4b Episode 6

If you're not watching, you should be.  This was one of the best episodes ever and Matt Ross needs an Emmy for his portrayal of Alby.

Read and comment, friends!

In other news

I've been feeling strange for the past two days.  I have this weird feeling in my chest, almost a pressure, which generally means a panic attack is near.  My mind is fairly clear and I don't feel mentally scattered or anxious, but I heed the signs when they come.  I hit the gym today for a major workout and did 50 minutes of cardio and lifted.  I feel sane again and I think I may have prevented a panic attack.  (Hope!)

Kids These Days...

My daughter just took off her diaper, put it in the linen closet and ran past me saying 'How do I look?  As she ran past her dad he said 'You look naked.'

Death and Taxes

I tried to do our taxes last night with TaxAct.  It would have gone well, had I been a mathematician and the tax laws not been as logical as a box of hair.  See you Monday, H&R Block!

A good deed never goes unpunished

Tuesday is the coaches meeting for the kindergarten soccer league.  I will be attending, as I have been persuaded to coach my own team this year, rather than assist my sister with my nephew's team.  I'm mildly apprehensive, as I won't have a kid of my own on this team, since Little TWoP is only 2.5.  A pack of rabid five and six-year-old kids would terrify any sane person. 

However, I figure coaching soccer gets me six months of good deed coverage, so if I coach fall and spring, I'm covered for the year.  That's a good deal.

Losing It

Last year at this time I weighed 174 lbs according to SparkPeople.com and the gym scale.  As of yesterday I weigh 134 lbs.  (That's 40 pounds lost, FYI.) 

It's is definitely awesome, as I've gone from a size 14 to an 8 (almost a 6).  I feel better, more confident, and if I go into a store and try on a pair of pants, the always go on.  That's a new feeling for me. 

A lot of people comment on it, which is nice.  It's also really uncomfortable for me.  The problem is that they always seem to want to know what my secret is.  The ask how I did it and then they look disappointed when I tell them.

Because I watched what I ate and I go to the gym six days a week.  It's not a magic cure, it won't even work for everyone.  It just happened to work for me. 

The part that people seem to like to hear least is when I tell them about the gym.  I don't believe in going to the gym to walk on a treadmill for half an hour.  I think that people ignore the potential for what their body can do.  I think people make excuses to not be fit or at least to not have to work very hard.  It's not even about losing weight, it's about challenging your body to change itself.  Muscle tone and endurance don't change without sweat and exhaustion. 

I may make it sound like it's all easy and anyone can do it, but I don't mean that.  I just think that people who talk about wanting to make a change need to challenge themselves.  I have lots of days that I don't want to workout.  And I do it anyway.  It makes me stronger physically, but also I think the discipline of going to the gym and training my body has been really good for my self-esteem and my goal setting in other areas of my life.

So, readers (ha), do you workout?  Do you have weight loss or fitness goals? 

More recaps?

I'm seriously considering recaping the random shows I watch on TV.  I've seen this 7th Heaven episode enough times today that I can quote dialogue.

The list would go like this (IE, crap I have watched this week):
7th Heaven
Real Housewives of OC
Max and Ruby
The Golden Girls
Child's Play 2

I hate writing titles

I don't know what my blogging voice is.  I thought I would pick a topic and write on it, like parenting or health.  The problem is, I do a lot of things and a lot of stuff happens to me (okay, not really) and I like to talk about a bunch of different stuff.  So I don't know what I'm trying to say with my blog, but so far no one is reading, so it's okay.

In other news:

I did get my haircut and after the first day of insecurity, I adore it.  It's cute, easy to style and it's much more versatile than I thought short hair would be. I keep flipping it around like a dork. 

The potty training thing stalled out.  She was so not into it.  She's started talking about going potty, so I think in a week when Mr. TWoP has some time off, we'll try again.

It snowed last night.  I hate snow.

Confession: I am watching 7th Heaven right now.  I'm that cool.

Pajiba Big Love Recap

Season 4 Episode 4

Otherwise known as the episode where I hate Bill.  A lot.

An Example of My Day

I walked in the door from the gym and my 2.5 year old greeted me with a loud, 'GO AWAY, MOMMY! I PLAY WITH DADDY!'  And my first thought was 'Sweet, I'll be in bed playing on the computer.' 


I totally figured out how to change the font size in my new template.  I am a blogging genius! I deserve a cookie.

In the Mirror

It turns out that in my head I look (feel) completely different than pictures show.  I forget that I have a birth defect, I forget that I have all the extra skin on my neck, to me, I look totally normal.  Hell, to be honest, after losing all the weight, I feel great about myself. 

It normally doesn't occur to me to worry about it, but I've been thinking about cutting my hair.  It's not super long, just about 3 inches past my shoulders, but I'd like to cut it to hit my shoulders.  When I started thinking about it, the first thing I thought of was how it would look.  And not in the normal, 'Will this look cute on me?' way, but in a 'Will this camouflage my neck enough?'  And it's really bothering me that I thought that.

I went to see a cosmetic surgeon in October.  I wanted to know if he could fix it.  If I could look normal.  He told me that for $15,000 and probably three surgeries, he could give me 'a minimal difference that only I would notice'.  Well, damn.  I figured that was that, you know?  It wasn't feasible, I should be over it, right?  I had all the confirmation I needed that it wasn't going to change for me and I could accept my body the way it was. 

I thought I had, but just thinking about cutting my hair has brought it all back.  I want to have short hair, I want to enjoy the freedom of not like a particular shirt more because it covers my neck.  I want to wear tank tops without being self-conscious.  I want to see in pictures what I see in the mirror.

Blog Upgrades

Turns out that lots of people have lots of free time and talent and make blog templates so you don't have to be stuck with a blog that screams 'Blogger!' Of course, I don't these people to feel as thought their work is unappreciated, so I grabbed up a new template.  What do the (non-existant) people who read my blog think?

My Kid is Special

I just saw my kid put cheerios on the dog and eat them off of her.  That's just great.

Our Top Stories...

So I went off the thyroid meds yesterday because I was insane.  I had a horrible headache and was jittery, like I'd had 5 or 6 red bulls.  And according to my husband, I was annoying as hell.  The directions say to cut out the meds until the issues subside, then get back on the pill wagon at the last dose before the problems.  I cannot wait to get back to it.  These pills are awesome.   

In other news, I am cranky and tired today, which may be from the lack of thyroid meds or because my kid won't give me a minute of peace.  I love her dearly, but no, I don't need her help making the bed, sweeping the floor or loading the dishwasher.  And since her way of helping is to put something on the floor and yell 'I made a mess!', it's really not helping my mood.

Pajiba Big Love Recap

Here's the link to my Big Love S4 E3 recap.  Enjoy.

Overheard in my house

Nephew: "You're mean! I'm never coming here again!"

Me: "Promises, promises."

Facebook Stuff

Today the goofy Facebook theme is celebs you have been told you resemble.  I've only ever been told one, but I was excited, because I dig Melissa Joan Hart.  I suspect I'm kind of a dork. 

Wishful thinking?

Cool FireFox Add-On

I run Mozilla FireFox because A) IE is sloooow B) Firefox has an awesome add-on that gets rid of all ads and C) cool add-ons that I just discovered.

I now have an add-on that makes the tabs at the top of the screen different colors.  It's my own personal rainbow!  I love it!  I'm definitely going to look up more add-ons.  In the meantime, here's where I got it.

FireFox Rainbow Tabs Add-On

Schedule Interrupted

It's  3:30 Monday afternoon and I still haven't seen the new Big Love.  I was going to watch it this morning but my boss called from out of the blue and wanted me to come and walk the store with him.  Since he comes into town every two months or so, I have to find the time for him.

Then I was going to watch it after lunch.  Except my grandma called and needed someone to haul a door for her.  So I took Jeff's truck and took care of it.  (I love my grandma.) Then we get home and Hannah is starving, so we're eating and watching Kai-lan.  I'm going to try and watch some of it when Jeff gets home from work, but that only gives me an hour until aerobics.  I suspect I'll watch it tonight and recap tomorrow.

In other news, my shoulder feels better and my doctor STILL hasn't called to tell me what my xrays said.  I'm guessing it is a pulled tendon, since it's still swollen but the pain is lessening.  It'd be nice if those $500 dollar xrays turn out to be useful, though.  I'd at least like to know what they showed.  I think my doctor tells the staff to call me and they don't because this lack of communication has happened before.  If she wasn't so nice, I'd be all over another doctor.  Damn her bedside manner!

Oh yeah, Brad and Angie might be on the outs.  Not even Jen Aniston cares at this point.

Thyroid Update!

So far I have tons more energy and I feel happier.  I also feel more alert, like I know what's going on more and I'm more aware of my life.  The downside to the energy is that I hurt the hell out of my shoulder and I'm not supposed to do anything on it for awhile.  That's some nice irony right there.

Online Work

I do a little freelance writing here and there.  Last year I made $24 writing on the net.  Which is pretty much nothing, but it's more than I had when I started. 

I write for eHow, which is my favorite.  The articles are short and easy to do and I love the residual income.  I get paid smaller amounts in the long term, rather than upfront set amounts.  I also write for Constant Content, which is good too.  The articles are longer and more polished, but you set your own amount per article and they take a percentage for the site fee.  I need to write more for them, but since the articles are longer and more polished, they take longer. 

I also write for Pajiba, but I do that for free and for the awesome exposure. 

I started fooling around on the net years ago and what gave me the confidence to agree to write for Pajiba and to start a blog and write for pay is posting on sites.  I have a handful of sites I comment regularly on and it really improved my writing skills and gave me an idea of what people like to read.  The more people commented on what I read, the more I wanted to get people to comment.  I'm pretty proud of all my writing and commenting.

If you see me commenting as TWoP Fan, say hi.

Pajiba Big Love Recap

Big Love S4 E2 recap - The Greater Good

I am so dedicated.

I did something horrendous to my shoulder and it's swollen, hot to the touch and hurts like hell.  I've been mainlining Ibuprofen and Icyhot with no major relief.  Thank god That 70's Show and early 90210 are on to ease my pain.

I'm also managing to play on the Internet, even though it is my right shoulder and I have to keep my arm at my side at all times to avoid excruciating pain.  I believe I deserve a dedicated blogger award.  More readers would be a fabulous reward, FYI.

So far...nothing.

It's day three of the thyroid meds.  I sort of felt like I had more energy today, but it could be a placebo effect.  I'm trying not to obsess about it but A) I'm obsessive and B) I'm supposed to take my pulse a few times a day to make sure it's not too high, so it's not like I stop thinking about it. 

In other news, I need to do a final check of my Big Love recap and that's done for the week.  I've been a bot more active with my writing, which has been great.  Doing these recaps has been great for giving me a nice little hobby.  I'm considering recapping something else for this site when Big Love goes on hiatus. 

I'm pretty shocked I'm still blogging, to be honest.  I'm treating it like a journal, which is helping and I like the idea of people paying attention to me via my writing.  Oh hell, I just like the idea of attention.

What else?  I'm crazy hungry lately.  I've gotten bad at planning my meals and about snacking whenever.  I'm still maintaining my weight loss, but I worry it will come back if I keep this up.  One thing I wonder about with the new medicine is if it will cause anymore weight loss or maybe make it a little easier to maintain what I have already lost.  Guess we'll see. 


I am so tired I am cleaning the house in shifts.  I can get one thing done, like cleaning the counters and then I have to take a break.  I'm drinking two chai's a day just for the caffeine boost.  I have to stop it after three so I can sleep, but I swear by five I am beat.  The Armour thyroid is supposed to help with the exhaustion, but when I am this tired I have little faith. 

Armour Thyroid

is the name of my new meds that came in the mail today.  I can't start them until tomorrow, which is kind of annoying.  It's a first thing in the morning thing, I guess.  I'm more excited than I thought I would be.  I hope it works out okay.  I worry that it won't help or that I have too big of expectations.  Maybe I am just the kind of person that is meant to be tired and grumpy a lot.  And maybe I'll just have to get used to doing things like putting the yogurt in the cupboard without realizing it.   Maybe, but I hope not.

What's Up Doc?

Well, I went to the doctor again today.  I actually saw Dr. A instead of his PA.  I got to go down the list of stupid things that are wrong with me (and thanks for that morale booster!) and he asked a few questions and took about a million notes.  (He's very thorough.)

Now I am on a thyroid supplement.  My apparent diagnosis is Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  I take this thyroid med in the am. I start with 30 mg for 3 days, bump up to 60 mg for three days, bump up another 30mg, repeat until my pulse gets too high.  Then I scale back until I get to the right dosage.  The meds have to come from a compound pharmacy, so they won't be here until next week.  My insurance didn't cover them, but it was only $70, which is do-able.  Next month they should come from my regular pharmacy and can be billed to my insurance then.  (I guess there is a shortage, which is why it can only come from certain pharmacies right now.) 

And that is the medical situation for another day. 

Big Love Recap at Pajiba by Yours Truly!

Big Love Recap S4 E1


Do  you ever have moments where you just don't know how you feel?  I know that I feel something, I'm just not sure what.  I'm not really happy, exactly, but I'm not sad.  I'm not upset about anything but I don't feel super zen, either.  I'm not very energetic, but I'm not sloth-like.  I'm not up or down or left or right.  I'm not...anything.  Shouldn't I be something? I want to be something.  Maybe I'm anxious, since I'm worried about something as weird as this.

Going to the Doctor...Yay?

My doctor appointment has been moved up to Thursday.  On the one hand, yay, the sooner the better.  On the other hand, I am not looking forward to it at all.  Last time I went in it was all, take these supplements and continue on the medicine that has done nothing beneficial for you and we'll see how it goes in another month.  I totally cried on the way home because I am so sick of dealing with these issues and I knew that it wasn't going to change.  And I was right.  Nothing has changed, the hormone cream hasn't helped at all.  I am just afraid I'm going to go in and they will again make me wait and I'll get all depressed.  I just want to feel like a normal person, is that really so much to ask?  I bet if my doctor was the one that had no sex drive, he'd right quick have that fixed.


Still sick, which means I hate pretty much everything.  I'm playing on the internet and the Wii.  I have five more days to beat Super Mario Galaxy before Movie Gallery demands it back.  I'm also working on my recap, so I'm not going to post here much.  Of course, no one reads my blog, so I doubt it's an issue.  Just stating it for the record.

Turkey Chili Recipe

1lb Ground Turkey
1 Packet Chili Seasoning
1 Can Kidney Beans
1 Can Chili Beans
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Tomato Paste
1 Can Tomato Sauce

Brown turkey in a pan, toss everything into a crockpot for about 3 hours on low.  Alternately, you could put everything in a large soup/stock pot on the stove on low for a few hours. It's good, healthy and easy.


Noggin is awesome.  It's got some great shows, like Olivia and Backyardigans, it's always on and it has the bets commercials.  Seriously, I love the Noggin commercials!  The tagline is "What if life were more like preschool?' There's one where it looks like a press conference and a guy comes to the podium and does a show and tell with his hot lips phone.  Another one is a surgery room and it pans in and they are doing arts and crafts.  My favorite one, though, is where a bunch of mechanics are sitting in a circle and this older guy is reading to them about cars stuff and one woman says 'Read it again!'.  So awesome.

Random Confessions

I read stupid, horrible blogs like Gosselins w/o Pity, because I find people who hate that show entertaining.

I listen to goofy music at the gym.  For example: Britney Spears, The Hairspray soundtrack, the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack.

I like gossip.

I am probably addicted to the internet. 

I always want to let people know when I do something awesome.

I sometimes wish I had more friends.

I sometimes wish I was more assertive IRL.

I think about my weight a lot.

I daydream way more than you would imagine.

I sometimes pretend like I don't hear Hannah crying in the middle of the night so Jeff will get her.  I may have nudged his leg to wake him up, once or twice.

I completely believe in bribing kids.  Especially other people's kids.

I used to freak out my sister in the store when we were kids by pretending I didn't know her and saying 'Stranger, stranger!'

I still don't feel bad about it.

Today is a weird day.

Of course, I don't really have any days that aren't weird, so there's that.

I have way more energy today than I have had in months.  I've done laundry, ran the dishwasher twice, cleaned the kitchen and laundry room, had my nephew come over and took the kiddo out for pancakes.  So obviously, I am suspicious of my new-found good fortune. 

Oddly enough, the one thing I don't want to do it go to the gym.  I just don't feel like it.  Fortunately, I have to.  I accidentally left my workout shoes on and left my regular shoes there .  (Which is a big no-no at my gym.)  I'm sure I'll get away with it, but I need mu shoes for work, so I have to them.  Maybe Fate was stepping in to make sure I get off my ass?  Yeah, we'll go with that.

Pajiba Big Love Season 3 Review

Here is my Big Love Season 3 Recap!  Read it and weep!  (Or laugh, whatever.  Just read it!)

Sleep commenced at 7:35. I am the best mom EVER!

Okay, the plan worked!  Bath at 6:30, stories at 7:00.After stories I wrapped her up in a blanket and sat by her until she relaxed and she was out by 7:30.  Now, we just have to see if her dad and I can keep it up.  I suspect this will be the more challenging aspect. 

Bedtime will commence at 7 sharp...

Okay, so the kid had been having sleep issues.  When it is time for bed she doesn't want to sleep and is up for hours, well past my bedtime.  The problem is with that word bedtime, because the Mr. and I are way to liberal about it.  We've been putting her to bed pretty much when ever it is convenient for us and not paying a lot of attention to naps and how long they are.  Well today I changed all that.  I took the kid for a long walk, kept her from a nap and informed Daddy that we will be having a bath at 6:30, followed by books and bedtime at 7:30.  We are good about giving her a bath and reading, but we are not consistent with the timing at all.  Not to mention, she hasn't been going out nearly as much since it is so much colder here than normal.  I figured getting out of the house for a walk would be good for me too (I loathe the cold and prefer to stay where the nice warm Internet is).  So we talked Aunt C. into going along and walked 7 or so blocks for coffee, then back.  I carried the kiddo half way both ways, but it was still more stimulation than she's been getting. 

You know, I always thought I would be a super-strict parent.  I am pretty disciplined, I like organizing, I plan ahead.  Man, when it comes to the kid, though, I'm just like, 'Whatever, she'll be fine.  It'll work out.'  No more!  There will be planning, there will be order, there will be potty training.

On another parenting note, I talked to the woman who was my nephew's preschool teacher about getting the kiddo in.  She turns 3 in late August, but I figured I should check it out.  She told me to come by next week for an application, because they were filling up.  There's not a waiting list yet, but damn.  It seems early, but I forget that she is 2.5  My husband was like, 'Preschool what? Application who?'  This has no potential for problems AT ALL.

Dear Lady at the Gym

Oh yes, I know you.  You're the woman who goes to the gym to 'workout'.  I would like to take this time to point out to you that walking around aimlessly while chewing gum is not the most effective workout.  In fact, it's goddamn annoying.  Why? Well, to begin with chewing gum = air in the stomach and can cause some gastrointestinal issues, plus working out while chewing gum makes you look dumb and is a choking hazard.  Although I don't think the choking hazard applies to someone who walks up to a machine, looks at it for a minutes, climbs on, does a half-assed set at the lowest setting, takes her sweet time getting off the machine, then doesn't wipe it down after.  All while other people who have a plan are waiting.  Walking around looking at machines, getting sips of water and 'streching' is not a workout.  It's annoying to people who are there to actually workout. 

And the kicker is that I know that in a few weeks I'll hear you bitching to a friend about how the gym is a rip-off and you aren't losing any weight.  And I will snicker to myself and be glad you're leaving and freeing up machines.  Because I'm not always nice.

Potty Training Still Blows Goats

Well, we did three days straight of potty training, with zero results.  However, Hannah was getting a cold, so I'm hoping that skewed the results.  I'm going to keep on it and do a little research.  I've had books suggested, so 'm going to see what I can find.  I want an doll that pees as an example, but I live in the middle of nowhere, so we haven't found one.  I'm thinking I can turn a doll she already has into one, though.  Weird, yes, but so is potty training.

Medication isn't actually optional, but it was a catchy title.

Again, with the health details.

Medications: Cymbalta 30 mg.  I love this stuff.  It makes me able to handle my own feelings, but it doesn't blur them.  Various supplements including Magnesium and Selenium, according to my doctor it can help with my fatigue and energy issues from the thyroid problem.  I'm kinda skeptical, but I'm trying it.  Glucosamine and Chondroitin for my knees, testosterone cream for my thyroid.  Huh, it seems like more when I'm taking it all in the morning, but this really isn't that bad. 

About Me!

Likes: TV, running, books, reading, the internet, yoga, socks, the color green, sarcasm, ice cream, being warm, waterfalls, helping people, organizing stuff, making lists, Dr. House, self-help books, personal finance, learning things, being clever, Scrabble, earrings, cats, good blogs, dried fruit, independent newspapers, Yahoo! Mail, laptops, curtains, doing research, being weird, internet gossip, voting, doing the right thing, making friends, leaving the house, being responsible, writing blogs no one reads, wraps, watching Psych with Mr. TWoP Fan, baking, Oregon Vanilla Chai packets, having goals, being secretly competitive, automatic spellcheck.

Dislikes: being cold, diet soda, people who are too lazy to answer easy questions, Internet Explorer, realizing I've already read a book I'm halfway through, not having enough time, carrying dogs in purses, really big sunglasses, coffee, the TV being too loud, getting up before six, being short, excess packaging on products, doing the dishes, not voting, people being irresponsible, email forwards, people who don't read what I write, spending a lot of time at the doctors office, when the fridge smells weird, knickknacks.

I'm Officially Cool.

The fab movie review website Pajiba(Scathing Reviews for Bitchy People) has asked me to do Big Love Recaps and I said yes!  I love Big Love (I'm pro-Nicki, pro-Adalene, want more Alby and Rhonda (not together!) and more focus on making the day to day family work).  It's a little scary, because I pretty much write for fun, so I'm not very polished. I tend to write the way I think and what I think.  The audience over there is terrifying (the tagline says it all) and I have a bit of a thin skin.  All that said, it is really an honor to me and I think it's time to step out of my comfy rut and try some new stuff. Bring it on, HBO!

A Brief Medical History

Well, since I said that part of this blog would be devoted to my medical stuff, I figure a brief medical history is important.  Plus, I watch 7 episodes of House last night, so I know the importance of a proper medical history.

At age three I was diagnosed with Jugular Lymphatic Obstruction Sequence. It's a birth defect.  They knew next to nothing about it and my mom was told that I would A) never live past puberty B) have an IQ of about 80 C) if I did live to be a teen I'd never have puberty happen D) be super short.

So far I'm 28, developed a nice rack, had a kid, and have declared myself a genius on several occasions.  I win.

There were a few effects of my birth defect.  I have extra skin on my neck (a webbed neck) and I was super self-conscious about it for a long time.  I even looked into surgery for it, but the cosmetic surgeon said that they could do very little for a lot of money.  So I'm pretty much over it.  It's me and it's not gonna change.  I also have edema in my feet (swelling) and weird toenails.  Oh, and I got sick a lot as a kid because my lymph nodes didn't work the way they were supposed to (see the Lymphatic part of the diagnosis), but having my adenoids out really helped.  

In high school I was told I had a chemical imbalance that was causing my depression.  I cycled through different meds until college, where I was given another diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and I met my new friend Cymbalta.  I've been on the Cymbalta for 5 years now and it is awesome.  It just puts me to a point where I can manage the emotions I am having, rather than being overwhelmed by them. Nothing else ever did that for me.  I occasionally take Xanax for extreme anxiety, but it's pretty rare anymore.  

In November of 2009 I went to my doctor (technically a PA) Shannon (Hi!) for lethargy and no sex drive.  She ran some thyroid tests and discovered that my body makes very little testosterone, which is the basis of the sex drive.  After many, many more tests and much of my blood in little tubes, it turns out my body doesn't like my thyroid and wants to eat it.  My body = dumb.  So Shannon gave me some hormone cream in December (I'm now 60) and the actual Dr. (Dr. A) had me start some magnesium powder supplements.  Apparently most people have a magnesium deficiency and it can be the reason for extra stress and low energy levels.  Normally I would be super-skeptical, but my doctor is a big believer in quantifiable data and western medicine, so if he says he takes a supplement, I'm inclined to believe it may have value.   

And now, we're waiting to see what happens.  (As of Jan. 3, 2010, zip.)

Bored yet?

Potty Training Blows Goats

Okay, we're in day two of potty training.  Day one we had nine accidents and did two loads of laundry.  We peed in the potty zero times.  We pooped in the potty zero times.  Day two we have had five accidents, peed in the potty zero times and pooped in the potty zero times.    I hate the word potty.

If I could just get her there in time, I thin we could make some progress.  Even if it is an accident, then I can praise her and give her a Dora sticker and M&M's and call the grandparents and the president.  Is that too much to ask?

This blog thing...

Okay, blog goals:

1. Be accountable to the larger world (ha). I am going to talk about things I want to do and actually do them.  Probably.

2. Discuss my various and sundry medical issues and conditions.  I can't be the only one who needs medication to function like a normal person.  And now I have an extra-special thyroid condition that just got diagnosed, so I can document it. 

3. Talk about parenting.  We're currently potty training Little TWoP Fan and it blows goats.

4. Talk about stuff I read and watch.  I really, really like TV and I don't really know anyone else who likes it in quite the same way, so now i can have conversations with myself about it!

5. Probably will make fun of someone or something once in a while.

6. Definitely will talk about goofy things that I say/do/think.  Also: goofy things my husband says/does.  (Ooh, need a good alternate name for him.  Mr. TWoP Fan?)

Okay, I think that is more than enough expectations that I may or may not fulfill.