Tuesday, November 3, 2009


We're in the pool! You can see for yourselves at this link. Now the wait begins. Interestingly, the couples before and after us on the website both have toddler boys. I'll have to spend some time looking through the site to see what the pool looks like this time around.

Tomorrow I'm off to buy a new infant car seat among other essentials. You know, just in case. Apparently our car seat has "expired." Who even knew that was possible?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For my mom

My mom has requested that I post something...ANYthing...so she doesn't have to see "I Totally Suck" every time she visits my blog. And I am, as ever, a dutiful and obedient daughter. Thus, I bring you this list of randomness:

  • My to-do list has just spilled onto a 3rd page - and that's only work items!
  • We're nearly in the adoption pool for our 3rd baby!!!!!
  • My brain has apparently reached max capacity and has begun to push out anything it deems unnecessary to store. (This may or may not be related to the first two bullets.)
  • I'm loving the "Glee Cast" station I set up on Pandora. If you're not watching Glee, I pity you.
  • Ian is equal parts adorable and trouble right now. (Does that make him trouborable?) One minute he's plopping in my lap with a book signing to me to "read pleeeeease" and then next minute he's trashing about on the floor in full tantrum mode for no apparent reason. Ahhhhh, toddlers.
  • Can someone explain how Christmas is only 2 months away?
  • I'm looking forward to being a stay-at-home mom next week while Jeff goes hunting. How many fun activities can I cram into one week? Wait and see people, wait and see.

Well, this post is totally lame but that to-do list isn't going to-do itself so I've gotta run.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Almost there

Wow, I can't seem to keep up with any of my blogs! Since I last posted, we have completed...

  • Two home visits
  • Individual meetings for Jeff and I
  • Physicals for Jeff and I
  • Family photo
  • Family introduction letter
  • Autobiographies for Jeff and I

Huh, I felt like there was more. Not that this hasn't kept us plenty busy mind you.

Jeff and I have wore the same outfits in our family photo for the family introduction letter in both of our adoptions to date. So we took the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach and wore the same thing again! After I lost a bunch of weight, I got rid of all of my clothes EXCEPT this jacket specifically with this adoption in mind. It's a funny little look back at our last five years. Particularly as my hair has gotten shorter in each photo. This will have to be our last adoption as I'm not sure I could pull off a bald head...

The talented Emily Andrews took our family photo this time. And if you think this is good, you should see the individual shots of Ian! I particularly like that he has a second chin in this pic. And if you look closely, you'll see his little index finger pointing. He likes to point out EVERTHING right now so this is totally him.

All of our paperwork and meetings are now complete. We're waiting on one more letter of reference and then we'll officially be in the pool! And then...we wait. And prepare. And wait some more. Fortunately we have Ian to keep us distracted while we wait. Believe me, there is no better distraction than a 20 month-old little boy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Application & Intake Meeting

We've been busy little beavers over here in the Next Chapter home (shout out to all the other OSU grads). Here's a quick look at what we've done:

  • Completed our initial meeting with the counselor - more detail below
  • Created a draft of our photo collage - this is a 3-5 page collage of casual pictures reflecting our family, home, vacations, hobbies, etc. It's basically designed to give birthfamilies a realistic view of our lives.
  • Updated my autobiography - another 3-5 pages for each parent recapping our life, values, experiences, etc. I was already up to 5 pages when I updated my autobiography for Ian's adoption so this time I had to edit before I could add. Truth be told, I'm still at 6 pages so I'll trust the counselor to edit from there. I mean, this is my life we're talking about! I'm hardly objective.
  • Signed the agency contract - this details the process and our commitments. We also paid for the next step in the process, the Home Visit.

Our Application and Intake meeting with the adoption counselor was last Wednesday. Much like last time, we really just used the time to get caught up and to discuss our desire to add to our family through open adoption at this time. For our first A&I meeting, I recall worrying about what to wear and what to say. I think I was concerned that this counselor, whom we'd never met, would solely determine whether I would become a mother. Now that we've been down this road, I'm much more comfortable with the people and the process. In some cases, the counselors may determine that a prospective adoptive parent is not a good fit with the agency. But on the whole, I realize now that these counselors' primary work is trying to accurately portray us to find the right match. At least that's my take on it anyway.

We've scheduled the first of two Home Visits for tomorrow. Considering our counselor only works 3 days a week, we try to be as flexible with scheduling as possible. Fortunately she had an opening so we jumped at it. It wasn't until later that I realized we needed to do a little work on the guest room which will be Ian's new room. Some of you may have that room where all the miscellaneous stuff gets tossed. For us, that is the guest room. Unfortunately, the Home Visit entails walking through EVERY room in the house. So that junky guest room would need to get an overdue cleaning. I'm sure the counselor understands the lack of storage for all those old baby toys and what not. But I'm not comfortable showing her a room you can hardly even walk in! After several late nights and a truckful of Goodwill donations, I feel so much better. The room still needs another deep cleaning but it feels good to purge all that junk! Next step is converting it from the guest room to Ian's room.

Please pray that our Home Visit goes smoothly tomorrow. We've managed to schedule it on our 15th wedding anniversary. What could be a more appropriate celebration?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One more time!

We've officially started the process to adopt our 3rd baby! We often thought Lillian would be an only child. Our family felt so complete with our little girl to dote upon. Everything was perfect according to OUR plan. But once she earned her angel wings, our hearts were opened. We realized that with the work and worry of parenthood comes utter joy. Though we don't think we're cut out to parent a large brood, we definitely want Ian to have the opportunity to share a close relationship with a sibling like we do with ours. While I would again like to plan each twist and turn on this road to parenthood, there is so much about adoption that is uncertain. So, we're jumping back into the process and leaving the timing in God's hands. (As it should be.)

We ordered the paperwork on July 17th. As this is our third time, much of the paperwork just needed updating. We also had to order certified copies of our Marriage License and Birth Certificates in addition to getting fingerprints taken. (That my friends is the glamorous side of the process.) Just two weeks later, Jeff delivered the initial paperwork and fingerprints to the agency.

The agency then informed that the state now requires 10 hours of adoption training for each family. I asked whether they wanted us to attend the seminar or teach it at this point. (Fortunately she laughed.) So we enrolled in what turned out to be a very introductory class on August 15th followed by about 4 hours of homework. I wish I could say it was a thought provoking course but instead it felt like just another check in a box.

And now, we wait for our first appointment with the counselor. We've tentatively scheduled it for this Wednesday but are waiting for the counselor to return from vacation to confirm the appointment. Fortunately we've been assigned the same counselor as our prior two adoptions so it feels very comfortable.

We don't know whether this journey will take three months or three years but as always, we'll keep you up to date on the process through this blog.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I totally suck

There's no excuse for a two month gap between posts. Really, I know. All I can say is HOLY HECK have I been busy! This "real job" has kept me real busy. Like a few overnighters in the first month kind of busy. I'm trying to determine whether this is the reality of the job or just a temporary learning curve. My fear is that it is the former. Ultimately I'm desperately trying to find balance. I've learned far too much about the precious gift that is each moment to waste too much time on work. Don't get me wrong, I love the sense of purpose and the way my brain is being pushed. But I also want the sense of fulfillment that can only come from being a mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend. Somehow, someway, I will figure out this balance thing. Mark my words.

As if the work craziness weren't enough, we also managed to raise over $5000 for Relay for Life a couple of weeks ago. Take that cancer! Thanks to everyone who came to the Papa's pizza event, bought raffle tickets or sent a word of encouragement. It was not easy to pull everything together this year and I really couldn't have done it without my amazing teammates and all of your support.

So with work, Relay, my regular contributions to Evergreen Moms and general life stuff, blogging has become a luxury I can't afford. I think every blogger goes through the same curve. It starts with daily posts about any trivial little thing. Then swings into an awkward lull as material dries up (and sometimes interest as well). Next things start to hum again with thoughtfully crafted stories. But when material dries up and time gets limited, you start to question whether blogging is worth it. You don't want to just vomit words on the screen but thoughtful posts take time. Time you don't have. So maybe it's time to call it quits. This is when blogs either hit their stride or shut down completely. What will The Next Chapter bring? We'll see...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A real job

After three months of worrying and wondering and then worrying some more, we hit the wall. This week, each employee was told whether they had a job with this company or not. I was one of the lucky ones. But I was in no mood to celebrate as I watched five hundred co-workers pack their personal belongings, dash off a final farewell and stumble numbly to their cars. It is unlike anything I've ever experienced. The company handled this with it's trademark compassion and generosity. But these are friends and they have families and well, it's just been heartbreaking to watch.

The request landed in my inbox yesterday an hour and a half before the meeting to discuss my fate was to begin. If you had walked into my office during those 90 minutes, you would have thought I was ill. Pale (no change there I suppose), sweating, shaking and nauseous, I tried to distract myself from the impending reality. I thought 10 years and a good performance record would offer me some protection. But my bubble burst when co-workers with 20, 25 and 30 years of service were let go. I honestly had no idea whether I would make the cut. Lemme tell you, that was a desperately helpless feeling that turns my stomach yet again as I type this.

Once upon a time, my career defined me. It made me feel successful and important and fulfilled. And then my daughter got sick so I took 7 months off of work to care for her. Those are minutes that I wouldn't trade for anything but they were not without consequences. My career has been aimless and faltering ever since as I've bounced from project to project without the security of a permanent job. So as this meeting approached, my prayer was simple:

Lord, thank you that you are faithful to provide for my family. Whether it is with this company or another, would you lead me to a job where I can once again contribute and find fulfillment? A real job that challenges me, that's all I ask. Whatever I am about to hear, help me to respond with grace and wisdom. May your will be done. Amen.

So when I learned that my new job would take me back to where I was 8 years ago, I was surprisingly calm. A real job! A job that I was good at and can be again. A job that will allow me to contribute and find fulfillment. My prayers were answered. And as I pause to reflect, I realize that God has been preparing me for this. Lillian's illness; an aimless return to the workforce; tearful co-worker's goodbyes. All of these brought the perspective I needed to handle the news with a grateful heart. I can't wait to embark on yet another new chapter in my life. And though it's harder to see through the tears, I know God has a plan for the other families impacted by these layoffs. I will be praying for them as their new chapters unfold as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Award worthy site!

Our Walking with Angels website has made it to final voting on About.com for the 2009 Web Design Reader' Choice Awards in the Best Use of Images in Web Design category. Voting begins today and runs through May 22nd.

This little site was created as a way to explain why we participate in Relay for Life and route people to our fundraising page. Even if we don't win, the exposure in these awards could mean more people visiting the site and hopefully more money for the American Cancer Society! This mama's heart is full. Special thanks to the web designer, Red Lace Design for creating an award-worthy site.

What are you still doing here? Vote already!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Relay for Life Fundraisers!

It's that time of year...we're fundraising for Relay for Life! Once again, we have a name drawing with three terrific prizes and fundraising event at Papa's Pizza. All donations benefit the American Cancer Society. Without further ado, here are the details:

Papa's Pizza Event

Papa's Pizza Fundraiser

Bring this flyer to Papa's Pizza on June 16th and Papa's will donate 50% of the value of the food you purchase! The flyer is valid all day on Tuesday, June 16th but we'll be offering door prizes every half hour from 4-8pm. (Click on the image to enlarge & print. You must bring the flyer for the donation!)

Name Drawings

  • Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20
  • You can donate online using a credit card and email me with your choice of prize.
  • Or give your cash/check to me in person (if you give me cash, please let me know if you would like a receipt for tax purposes).
  • Drawing will be held at the Papa's Pizza event on June 16th

You choose which prize drawing you want to enter -


Enjoy a 3 night stay in September or October at this cozy Sunriver home. Sleeps 6 with a private outdoor hot tub, access to Maverick's Fitness Center and Pool and walking distance to Fort Rock Park.

Donated by Suzanne Peters.


You and 7 guests will be treated to a guided wine and cheese tasting at Thirst Wine Bar and Bistro, Portland's premier wine bar specializing in Pacific NW Wines and Food.

Donated by Thirst Wine Bar.

iPod Touch16GB iPOD TOUCH

It's the funnest iPod ever. (Apple's words, not mine) iPod touch puts music, movies, websites, and now games and applications in the palm of your hand. 3,500 songs, 20 hours of video

Donated by Jeff and Lori Harris.

Through your donation, you will make a real difference in the lives of people facing cancer – and in the lives of the people who love them. Thank you!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Too much of a good thing

I recently discovered these chewy 100% fruit snack and have since been throwing them back like candy. Not surprisingly, I managed to consume the entire package in three days. After tossing a handful down the hatch on day 2, I started reading the fine print.

"Each serving, approximately 14 pieces, contains the same amount of fruit as eating 2 small apples."

Woohoo, look at me eating my fruit like a champ.

Then I noticed the number of servings per container...17. And my brain started doing the math.

I have consumed the equivalent of 34 small apples.

In three days.

That can't be good.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Open letter to cranky old ladies

Dear cranky old lady in the adjoining booth,

Let me be the first to acknowledge that my 15-month old is quite loud. He knows only one volume right now and that volume is admittedly deafening. Those are, however, his happy noises. See, aren't they fun? Let me assure you that his UNhappy noises are at a comparable volume yet much less pleasant to hear. And if you continue to give me the stink eye, I will personally see to it that you are treated to a private concert of his unhappy noises.

Sure, it's adorable that you and your sweetheart are sitting on the same side of the booth. But it may have been a wiser choice to opt for the side not adjacent to a rambunctious toddler. Consider that a friendly tip for your next restaurant experience.

I also find it odd that you have chosen to flash me the death glare despite the raucous din from the neighboring party of eight. Since they are discussing social security benefits loudly enough for the President himself to hear, I think it's safe to point out that they are old enough to control their volume. My 15-month old does not have the same skills at his age nor am I willing to gag him.

Let me assure you that we don't eat in restaurants very often (for my own sanity as much as for your comfort). But when we do, we select family restaurants like this one. You know the kind with high chairs and crayons and kid's menus. The kind with a general hum of noises loud enough to conceal the occasional joyous squeal from my child. The kind with understanding patrons who likely have parented children of their own. In fact, didn't I just hear you talking about your grown children? Have you forgotten the whole Toddler Restaurant Experience? Or perhaps your children were polite little angels who only spoke when spoken to.

I am sorry for disturbing your meal and humbly propose a truce. For my part, I will continue to shush him and cover his mouth as any responsible parent should do. For your part, you can just continue to make a production out of turning down your hearing aid.

Yours truly,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The left half of me is famous!

Remember when I was going to be in a commercial? I kind of forgot all about it until today. You can find the left half of me in the far left of your screen at the 0:15 mark. My dear friend/brilliant actress/super-mom to a cancer fighting kiddo is the one speaking in that shot.

(Since the embedded video is not working, you will have to click a link.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not sure how this could possibly be useful but...

...my brain works in stories.

Let me give you an example. Yesterday, I was trying desperately to enjoy the elusive spring sun. While Ian was napping, I curled up in a recliner conveniently located under some well-positioned skylights and soaked up the warm rays. It was heavenly. After the kiddo woke up and had some lunch, I thought we'd take this another step further and actually go outside. After about 30 seconds of pushing the kiddo on the swings, I realized why I prefer the window-filtered version of the sun to the more direct contact. (You can't get this lily-white skin without some effort at avoiding the outdoors.) As my eyes watered and my nose began to fill, I cursed my allergies and the pollen that causes them.

On the surface, this seems like a perfectly normal albeit annoying little event. But this is what went through my head.

Lori's Twisted Brain (LTB): "Hey, Sun."

(Sun looks around, pointing to himself.)

LTB: "Yeah, I'm talking to you. Dude, what is the deal with you and your party pooping pal Pollen? Do you have to bring him everywhere you go? Seriously, he's a real downer. Next time, come stag and I'll totally hook you up. You know how the girls down here worship you."

(Sun shakes his head modestly.)

LTB: "Oh whatever. You know you're hot! So come on, help a girl out and leave Pollen at home next time."

Seriously people, that is honestly what went through my head after the first sneeze. I have proof of sorts thanks to Twitter. Fortunately the 140 character limit condensed the story to this: "if only the sun would come without bringing the party pooper known as pollen. Aaahhh...ahhhh...achoo!"

The point, and I do have one, is that this little insight about my brain has led to a couple conclusions.

  1. I am often laughing alone. While that dry statistic you just uttered may not seem funny on the surface, my brain has either connected it to a whacky event or has concocted some colorful anecdote to round out your boring little fact.
  2. I can remember nearly anything told to me as a story. This is especially dangerous for those prone to drink and tell around me. Fair warning.
  3. Apparently this is not the way most brains work. Huh. Who knew?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You Tube videos actually worth watching

Two videos that are making me smile...



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Eternal life insurance

The second anniversary of Lillian's death came and went on April 4th. I thought about posting but I didn't have anything new to say. I thought this would get easier but I couldn't have been more wrong. I thought I was doing well but I forgot that grief is a roller coaster that can slam you face first into a brick wall without notice. Okay, I'll admit that analogy was muddled but still completely accurate. So forgive me if I'm a little melancholy.

The great thing about the cyber world (blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc) is it's ability to make the world a smaller community. As I'm learning, that's also the difficult thing about the cyber world. The recent deaths of two children to prominent bloggers set the cyber world ablaze last week. Everywhere I turned there was sadness and anger and confusion and sympathy for these shell shocked families. And the outpouring managed to fuel the fire of sadness in my heart as well. I know all to well the difficult journey unfolding before these heartbroken parents and thus my soul aches for them. So forgive me if I'm a little withdrawn.

And then there's work. The Powers-That-Be are locked behind closed doors as they plan our fate. A few months ago, they announced the intention to layoff 3% of the work force. Needless to say, there has been an anxious vibe ever since. But now that it is obvious the layoff planning is reaching critical mass, the anxiety is palpable. So forgive me if I'm a little worried.

The cumulative effects of these events have crept into every corner of my world. During the busy moments, I move about happily taking each second as it comes. But during the quiet moments, my mind succumbs to the sadness and the worry. It's at those times that I pray. Beseeching God to give me peace. To heal my heart. To show me His plans for my future. But all I hear is the sound of my own desperate pleas.

This relationship between God and I has become lopsided. I ask and ask and ask, yet my Bible sits unopened and I haven't set foot in church for nearly a year. I haven't truly listened for answers.

Then it hit me. I'm treating God like my Eternal Life Insurance policy. By accepting Jesus as my Savior, I was issued a policy that will provide heavenly coverage for eternity, payable upon death. So I stick the policy in a drawer, glance at it every once in a while just to make sure everything is up to date and renew my coverage when I need to.

Okay, that's an exaggeration...but not by much. Today especially, I'm reminded of the willing sacrifice God made for me. And yet all I seem to focus on is the last word of that sentence...me. Shouldn't there be more to this relationship? I know God will give me strength when I am drowning in sadness. I know I will see my angel in heaven again. And if I lose my job, I know I will be okay. Because thankfully, God's love and grace are more steadfast than mine. And maybe I needed these events to remind me of that fact.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fuzzy gender lines

A few weeks ago, Ian was taking a bath and I picked up a tub toy, filled it with water and squirted it. Boring story, right? Oh, did I forget to mention that disgusting black filth came squirting out of that toy? I know, I know. Ewwww. I thought the same thing. And with that, all the squirty toys were instantly tossed in the trash.

So the next day I did what any red-blooded American mom would do, I grabbed the kiddo and headed to the toy store to re-stock the tub with NON-squirting toys. We have a great, family owned toy store near our house that encourages kids to actually play with sample toys. Needless to say, Ian took one look at the place and went ka-ray-zee. He was grabbing toys and running from aisle to aisle with me trailing behind, scrambling to keep up. Suddenly he stopped and I nearly ran him over. He looked at me. He looked at a baby doll. He looked at me. Then he leapt at the baby doll, gave it a squeeze and handed it to me. I said "thank you" then gave the doll a squeeze too before putting it back. He picked it up again, gave it a squeeze and handed it to me. We repeated this routine for some time. With every other toy in the store, he spent a few seconds banging it around before running off. But with the baby doll, he was deliberate and insistent. I wish I knew what was running through his little head! Finally I scooped him up, paid for his new tub toys and we were off.

I have thought about those moments in the toy store ever since. He hasn't been around many babies younger than himself. Yet he was drawn to that doll and wanted me to snuggle with it. Where did he pick up those behaviors? One thing is for certain, kids are amazing little creatures. It's best not to underestimate their powers of observation. I finally decided that Ian should have a baby doll of his very own. I saw a glimpse into his nurturing side and that is a trait I want to foster.

So when I was shopping at Target this weekend, I swung by the doll aisle. It was a veritable sea of pink. There were dolls that cried, talked, crawled, drank from a bottle, peed, even pooped. But I didn't want any of that which left only one choice, a simple baby doll in a pink hat and blanket from the "Little Mommy" collection. I paid for it without a second thought. When I got home, the hubby was on the phone and remarked "for some reason, Lori bought a doll." "It's for Ian," I responded. "For some reason, Lori bought a pink doll for our son," he commented. "They don't come in blue," I replied.

Though that was the last I heard of it, the writing was on the wall. I knew that this doll would get conveniently misplaced. So the next day, Ian and I returned to that little neighborhood toy store to find a more suitable option. We found a simple bald baby doll wearing a striped shirt and denim overalls...for twice the price. The salesperson asked if I wanted it gift wrapped and I pointed at Ian and told her there was no need, it was for him. She congratulated me a little too heartily as she rang up my purchase saying he might grow up to be a pediatrician. Mkay, sure.

I swung by Target and returned the "Little Mommy" doll before heading home. And as I was driving, I was turning over this scenario in my head. It just doesn't make sense to me. Why shouldn't a boy play with a doll wearing pink? My hubby, a stay at home dad, carried around a baby dressed in pink after our daughter was born and no one thought twice about that. So why isn't it natural for my son pretend to be a daddy and play with a pink doll? Is it just me or does this little societal quirk seem strange to you too?

Monday, March 23, 2009

So I have this friend...

I have a friend who wanted to lose 25 lbs by her birthday which is now one month away. Anyway, at this point, my friend has lost and gained the same 5 lbs so many times that she's about to give up. Here are a few COMPLETELY MADE UP signs that my friend's plan isn't going to happen OR SOMETHING. Remember these examples are totally fabricated and in no way represent reality. Also, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

  • Half of her 20 minute workout this morning was the warm up cool down.
  • She tried Lisa Rinna's "Dance Body Beautiful: Learn and Burn" workout and Lisa's black unitard with gold belt and boring, repetitious movements make my friend flashback to the Jane Fonda videos of old.
  • She finished exercising and there is not a single drop of sweat on her workout clothes.
  • She is routinely consuming a serving of soy chocolate pudding mixed with vegan chocolate chips. At 9:15pm. And chasing it with a handful of organic corn nuts.
  • Her hubby looks over from the couch and says "I can't believe you just ate an entire bag of [baked] barbecue potato chips in one sitting." And she responded "I know, they need to make bigger bags."


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Planning for the worst, hoping for the best

My company announced that layoffs would be coming in the next couple of months. Even though I don't know if my job will be impacted, we've put the brakes on spending. Things we previously considered "necessities" have been downgraded to "luxuries" and eliminated. It's been a good exercise even though I fear we're effectively screwing the economy. Sorry everyone.

Here are some of the cuts we've made recently.

Our pipes are old and our water is not fluoridated so the lovely folks at Cascade Springs had been bringing 5 gallon bottles of clean, fluoridated water to our doorstep. Clearly a necessity, right? Wrong. We've installed a faucet filter and are getting fluoride drops for free from the pharmacy.

We live in a wooded area and thus have problems with pests. Ants, yellow jackets, four-footed-furry-friends, the works. In order to ward off these unwanted visitors, the fine folks from Barrier Pest Control spray toxic chemicals all around our property once a quarter. Not exactly the healthiest choice but hey, neither is having mice scamper through your pantry. Since the hubby is doing most of the work (he is the Great White Hunter you know), he has decided to take over all extermination responsibilities. Beware critters.

Gone are the housekeepers. (This has been the hardest cutback by far!) Buh bye magazine subscriptions. So long Netflix.

It really hasn't been that hard to cut out these little extras. In fact, I'm wondering why we needed them in the first place. And since those were so easy, I've got a few other ideas rattling around in my brain. I'm considering eliminating our land line (except we bundle this service so I'm not sure if that would save any money in the long run). I'm going to talk to my hair stylist to see if we could do color every other appointment.

Although this has been a good exercise, my hope is that my job is secure and we don't need to make anymore cuts. Frankly, that next layer of expenses wouldn't be as easy to cut and would impact our standard of living. Bottom line, it would hurt a little...but not a lot.

How about you? Has this economy caused you to make changes? Any advice for saving money?

Friday, March 13, 2009


Busy doesn't begin to describe my life the last couple of weeks. From work to vacation, to LOTS of work to the stomach flu to LOTS MORE work, I've completely fallen off the virtual planet.

Well I'm back internet. I've missed you. But unfortunately this is all I can offer you today.

Instructions: Do a web search for "Unfortunately [your name]" including the quote marks and write down your favorite results.

  1. Unfortunately, Lori has now disappeared from the Web. (I know! We already covered that. Let's move on already.)
  2. Unfortunately, Lori’s jet-setting big-city life isn’t what she dreamed it would be. (Yeah, where is that jet anyway?)
  3. Unfortunately, Lori has retired from being the Director of Fan Relations as of Spring 1998. (I can't tell you how hard it is to relate to fans. I much prefer air conditioning.)
  4. Unfortunately, Lori fell for Mark's deceptions, and he plucked her up out of her world, and wove her within his complex web of lies. (Darn you Mark and your plucking and deceiving.)
  5. Unfortunately Lori doesn't play any of the music on this CD. (That's right people, I rock.)
  6. Unfortunately Lori passed away in October 2005 leaving a huge loss in the schnauzer community. (Hey, are you calling me a female dog?)
  7. Unfortunately Lori it's not that simple. (Sadly, it never is.)
  8. Unfortunately, Lori cannot overpower the swarm of burly bodyguards surrounding the mobster, in spite of her formidable fighting prowess. (And don't you forget it!)
  9. Unfortunately Lori won't be able to make it this year due to her very large pregnant belly. (Dude, I'm not pregnant.)
  10. Unfortunately, Lori, you are experiencing what we call a flare-up. (Well of course I am, did you read #6 and #9?)
  11. Unfortunately, Lori just wants to be friends (without benefits). (Uh, yeah, I'm married!)
  12. Unfortunately, Lori, my dear Packer-loving friend, these socks were made ESPECIALLY for my feet. (It's just a sock, relax.)
  13. Unfortunately, Lori seems to have forgotten how rough it was the first time she married a prisoner. (The second time's a charm, right?)
  14. Unfortunately, Lori never really attained the stardom she so richly deserved (and never posed naked). (What's up with that? I totally deserve to attain stardom. With my clothes on TYVM!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I am all fired up about this week's "The Biggest Loser" episode. And not in a good way.

I've bored you with my weight loss tales for a year so you know that I've lost over 50lbs by eating right and exercising with fitness DVD's. I have not stepped foot into a gym at all during this time. The only special equipment I've used are hand weights and frankly, a couple cans of soup would have worked just as well. So when the contestants on "The Biggest Loser" were locked out of the gym for a week in sunny Southern California, I didn't think it was such a big deal. Go for a flipping run outside instead of on the treadmill. Fill a couple jugs with water and you've got hand weights. Try some water aerobics in that crystal blue pool. It's not that hard people.

But the contestants were practically crying. Which is fine. They can whine and cry if they want. It's hard when someone throws off your routine. If someone told me I had to workout in a gym for a week, I'd probably whine too. The commute, the germs, the girl wearing perfume and makeup on the elliptical, the communal changing rooms. Eck. But when Jillian, my hero and personal trainer, started whining too, I wanted to slap her silly.

First she complained because she's not an outdoor girl. Neither am I. So she decided to convert the living room into a gym of sorts. Perfect, I do the same thing with my kid's playroom. Move on.

Then she moans about how much she loves her equipment and toys. Mkay...

Finally she starts training her team with moves that were very familiar. Mountain climbers. Jumping rope. Plank stands. All the torture she inflicts on me through her workout videos. I'm thrilled to see other people sweating and huffing through the same moves instead of the typical uber-fit women from the videos.

And then Jillian says this: "I basically did like a horrendous host of fitness videos circa 1980's. But you know, that stuff used to work. That crap." [2:38 mark in the video]

With that, I lost my mind. I forked over my hard earned cash for 10 of those "horrendous fitness videos" that SHE created (none of which are circa 1980's). I workout with that "crap" every freaking day. I lost 50 lbs by sweating to that "stuff [that] used to work." So when a trainer who I respect(ed) starts making fun of those workouts, I tend to get a little mad.

If they are so outdated, why does she make fitness videos? If she loves her toys so much, why does she create video workouts that don't involve treadmills and weight machines? If she is such a gym rat, why does she tell me that her 30 Day Shred workout will "take the place of hours of phoning it in at the gym, if you give me 20 minutes of intensity."

Talk about hypocritical! Grrrrrrrrrr.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love on Valentine's Day

Mkay, normally I don't weigh myself everyday. The roller coaster is just too much to bear. But after yesterday's debacle, I couldn't resist. Those extra 2lbs have magically disappeared despite splurging on soda and chips & salsa with lunch. Which just reminds me why I shouldn't weigh myself everyday. It makes no sense.

Blah, blah, blah, enough about my weight loss efforts. Let's talk about something warm and fuzzy for a change.

I don't know about you but Valentine's Day completely snuck up on me this year! As luck would have it, we made last minute plans to go to central Oregon for the long weekend. Both of my kids' birthfamilies live there so we thought it would be fun to visit them for a change. (They usually come to us.) We're looking forward to catching up with my son's extended birthfamily in addition to his birthmom. My daughter's birthmom is expecting a new baby in just a few months so it will be exciting to rejoice over their growing family.

Huh, I guess we managed to make Valentine's Day plans after all. There is nothing more appropriate than spending the day celebrating our mutual love for these beautiful kids that made us family.

How about you, any big plans for tomorrow?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What a morning.

It's only 9:15am and already this day has served me a giant crap sandwich. Being the generous person that I am, I thought I would share it with you. If I'm going down, I'm taking you all with me. Haha, just kidding. Maybe.

It all started when I reluctantly crawled out of bed and stepped on the scale. Normally I wait until after my workout to weigh myself but I recently read that the number may be higher post exercise and I wanted to test the theory.

Let me pause to mention that on "The Biggest Loser" this week, a contestant who had immunity gained 2 lbs. Convenient, right? Though she did a commendable acting job, I was convinced that she was water logged for her immunity weigh-in so that she would have better numbers next week. Not a bad plan and I wouldn't blame her a bit.

Okay, enough about her, let's talk about me some more. So I hopped on the scale and through bleary eyes, I was horrified to see the number. I gained 2 lbs?! How is that possible? I redoubled my efforts this week with daily work outs and stellar eating. SO HOW COULD I GAIN WEIGHT? Suddenly, I had a new found empathy for that Biggest Loser contestant. Perhaps she wasn't acting after all. And then my clearly rational mind decided that I must be harboring 5 lbs of...um...pee. Yes, that's the problem, I just need to go potty and work out and the number will be reasonable again.

After visiting the loo, I dragged my pitiful self back to the playroom for a workout convinced it would make the difference. But when I returned to the scale, I found basically the same stupid number. [insert numerous 4-letter words here] My initial response was an immediate craving for potato chips and donuts with a chocolate milk shake chaser. Huh, I wonder how I ended up weighing over 200 lbs? I resisted that temptation but boy, oh boy am I discouraged.

And that's the bread in this crap sandwich. Now onto the creamy middle.

The morning's scale shenanigans meant that I was running late. So I ran out to the car to find the windows were frozen over. I turned on the heater and popped the trunk to get out the ice scraper. Before I got to the ice scraper, I grabbed the paper from the driveway as I do everyday. I toss it onto the porch before I leave for work so that it's more convenient for the hubby. I know, I know, I'm wonderful. Anyhoo, I grabbed the paper, walked over to the porch and gave it a toss. The world started moving in slow motion as the paper flew into the air and ricocheted off the light fixture. My hands flew to my mouth in horror as the globe cover came crashing down. All I could do is shake my head and return inside to get a broom. Did I mention that I was running late?

The final layer in the crap sandwich came shortly after I arrived at work. I screeched into the parking lot, ran to my office, dropped my purse, grabbed my bag and dashed to my first meeting. As soon as I entered the room, my new boss stood, walked around the conference table and quietly asked me to leave. Again. It's a long story but suffice it to say that my work doesn't naturally fit with any one group so they moved me over to report to the HR organization. Needless to say, there is a lot of confidential information passed around at an HR staff meeting. Which means that I am typically asked to leave from about 90% of the meetings. Normally I just shrug and exit without a second thought. But after the earlier blows, this one hurt.

And that is just the first 3 hours of my day. Frankly, I'm a little worried about what more is to come!

I don't know about you but I'm going to have a soda and chips & salsa with my burrito for lunch. Screw it. I need something to wash down this crap sandwich.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Random Things

I've been tagged a million times for the "25 Random Facts" note on Facebook. Normally I ignore those things but the peer pressure is just too much. (Well, that and I've got nothing else to write about at the moment.) Unfortunately, probably due to a combination of this blog, my big mouth and a relatively boring existence, I'm having trouble coming up with 25 random facts that are still...well...interesting. Here goes:

  1. In Elementary School, I was voted "Most Likely to Become the First Woman President of the United States." In High School, I was voted "Most Likely To Succeed." Apparently even at a young age, I was a natural leader a know it all.
  2. Funny enough, I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Is it too late to figure that out? I wish I had a job that was easy to explain and made a difference in the world. Like firefighter or nurse. But without the fire and blood.
  3. I would love to write a book but have no idea what it would be about. Give me some ideas and I'll totally dedicate the book to you. No monetary compensation however. I'm cheap.
  4. Speaking of cheap, I don't gamble. The risk of losing my hard earned money outweighs the hope of making more.
  5. I'm not very good at thinking on my feet which means I'm much more articulate in writing than in person.
  6. Because I'm not very good on my feet, I worry about how I'm going to answer those big, spontaneous questions from my kids. Like "where do babies come from?" Do you think I'll be able to spend a couple of days writing out the answer and then submit it for their consideration?
  7. I love public speaking. If I know the material and have a general idea of what I want to say, I can usually muddle through any speech fairly well. Which completely contradicts #5 I know. What can I say? I'm complicated.
  8. I met my hubby at age 16 and married him at 21. Let that be a warning to all of you who have teenagers. Their BF/GF may be their future spouse so be nice.
  9. My hubby wanted to have kids immediately after marriage (keep in mind we were 21). I wasn't even sure I wanted kids at all.
  10. I don't miss the pregnancy part of parenthood at all. Adoption has it's advantages and that's a big one in my book!
  11. I hate being embarrassed. And probably embarrass too easily. To the point that I re-hash the most insignificant things in my mind for years.
  12. I love to sing but after a bad choir experience in college, I've lost my nerve to sing in public. (See #11) But my hubby and kiddos get an earful. Lucky them!
  13. I love to dance but only with a choreographed routine. Freestyle is not my style, yo.
  14. (10 more, are you kidding me?!) I love musical theater and movies and tv with dancing. Bring back "Fame!"
  15. I wish I knew how to sew. I'm not sure what I would make but it would be handy to at least be able to alter some pants or make some curtains.
  16. My style is pretty much copied from things I see on mannequins or on websites. I wish I had the ability to pull together a unique style all on my own.
  17. Similarly, I'm a lousy interior decorator. I try to buy accessories but never seem to find a home for them. And much of my furniture is still hand-me-downs.
  18. I wish I were a better listener. I have a nasty habit of finishing people's sentences as though I know exactly what they're going to say. I annoy myself but can't seem to stop!
  19. I think I talk too much. Questions rarely have a simple yes/no answer with me.
  20. I can remember any personal story anyone has ever told me. And I have a great memory for numbers. I'm not sure how either of these is helpful.
  21. I don't drink. (Probably goes back to #11) This has been known to cause animosity at work events where drinking is involved. People assume that I'm storing up their crazy drunken behavior for blackmail purposes or something. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not...
  22. I have no perception for social nuance or hidden agendas. None. You've gotta spell it out for me people.
  23. I'm not a good napper. It takes too long for me to turn off my brain.
  24. I don't like massages for the same reason.
  25. (FINALLY!) I've never been worried about job security. I always considered my jobs indispensable. Until now. Now I'm worried.

Random is an understatement for this list. If you made it to the end, you deserve a medal. You'll have to settle for this: it's over, you made it, well done!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New shoes

Getting shoes on the kiddo is torture. Like most 1 year olds, just getting him to sit still for 5 seconds is a challenge in itself. It's like performing some sort of circus act to simultaneously sing him a song, hand him a toy and persuade a shoe onto his foot. So when the shoe WON'T GO ON, I'm understandably annoyed.

At first I thought he was curling his toes when I stuffed his foot into a shoe. Then I realized he just has a high instep (aka - fat foot). So I got him some non-skid slippers for around the house since those non-skid socks are pretty darn slippery and the wood floors are pretty darn cold. And really, he doesn't walk around much outside just yet.

When a few rare occasions demanded actual footwear, I remembered a terrific bag of hand-me-down shoes just waiting in his closet. I did the "mom sizing" method and held up the smallest shoe (size 3) to the bottom of his foot. Too small. So I dug through the bag and found some size 4's and repeated the mom sizing method. Perfect. Until I tried to push his little foot in the darn thing. Shove and pull and stretch as I might, it was not going to fit. So I tossed those aside and grabbed an adorable pair of size 4 Chuck Taylors from the bag. I opened the laces as wide as they would go and managed to squeeze a foot into a shoe and tighten the laces before he made his escape. Sweating, I once again wrangled him onto my lap and crammed the second foot into the shoe. Success!

Like a good mom, I realized that shoes should not be this difficult to put on. I pushed on the toe box and determined that he had plenty of room. But I thought I would print out the official Stride Rite online fit chart just to be sure. Try getting a 1 year old to stand on a piece of paper in just the right spot. And then try getting the same 1 year old to continue to hold still while you wrap another piece of paper around the ball of his foot to check the width. Just take my word for it, it's not worth the effort. The fit chart confirmed that he was a 4 medium. Then why is it so hard to get the right size shoes on his feet?!

The hubby announced a hatred for the slippers and cannot get the Chuck Taylors on the kiddos fat foot. So off we went to Nordstrom to cash in some of Mommy's precious credit card points. But with service no where to be found and a mediocre selection at best, we opted to journey down the mall to the Stride Right store. The same store where Nana & Papa bought his big sister her first pair of real shoes.

The lovely sales associate greeted us warmly, measured both feet and declared him to be a 5.5 EXTRA WIDE. Um, what? No wonder those 4 medium's were so hard to get on! I picked a couple of styles as the kiddo wandered to the Leapstart table to play. An older girl joined him making happy small talk with my child who has only recently uttered his first consonant. The associate returned with three acceptable choices, I wrangled the kiddo away from his new friend and easily slid his feet into his new giant shoes.

While I won't bore you with the details of my heart palpitations as I signed the receipt for these shoes which will likely only last 3 months, our story doesn't end here. As I handed over a ridiculous wad of cash, the kiddo toddled off to say hi to his new friend. Being new to the shoe game, he barely made it over to her before wobbling and falling gently to his booty. I remember the same awkward steps when his big sister tried out her first shoes as well. Before I could reach him, his friend wrapped her arms around his waist and hoisted him to his feet. Smiling at her sweetness, I thanked her and said good-bye. As we turned to leave, I heard her remark to the sales associate "hi, I'm Lily and I'm five."

Of course her name is Lily. Just like his big sister.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Feeling old

My first introduction to computers was in elementary school in 1983. Three shiny new Apple IIe's were available to a select group of handpicked students for a half hour each day. I was one of those lucky few. Despite their modest teacher's salaries, my parents had the foresight to buy one of these precious machines for our home as well. Complete with a daisy wheel printer, I used that workhorse through high school.

Unfortunately the Apple IIe was too big and cumbersome to take with me to college. So I managed just fine with an electric typewriter. Fellow students often begged to borrow my fancy schmancy typewriter which shows you just how few options there were. A computer lab had just popped up in a dorm basement. But since the internet didn't exist, computers were primarily word processing tools. And with so few computers available in the lab, you couldn't hog a machine for the length of time needed to write a paper. So really, what was the point?

At my first job, I graduated to a laptop and Lotus 1-2-3 software. I don't think we had a mouse as we used keystroke codes for opening files and formatting and such. (Anyone remember /-File-Retrieve?) EVERYTHING was done in a spreadsheet from cover letters to business plans. The internet still didn't exist nor did e-mail so we ran from floor to floor with 3.5" disks to transfer information. The only reason we needed the laptop was to upload files from a particular software program into the one centralized docking station in the building.

When I found out my next company had Excel, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Not to mention that a year after I started, we also got e-mail. Of course, only within the company so documents to external folks still required heavy use of fax machines. One of our primary software programs came with a 3" binder of codes as push button shortcuts didn't exist. This was also my first experience at travelling with a laptop. Of course it stayed in my hotel room during the day. I would go from place to place writing down information on paper and then transferring into the computer in the evenings.

In 1999, I came to my current company and a whole new world opened up. We had laptops, e-mail, color monitors, the INTERNET! My fax usage dropped from several times a day to a few times a year. Now I am completely addicted to my Crackberry Blackberry and am never more than a keystroke away from the internet.

Why do I take you on this trip down memory lane? Certainly not to date myself. It's hard to believe this evolution only spans the last 25 years. No, this diatribe was spurred by a group of MIT students who have taken over a conference room in my building for a project. While that in itself is a little strange, I can't help but notice a larger change in the conference room as I walk by. This conference room has become a veritable sea of laptops. And that made me pause to think.

Though my company is current with technology, you rarely see a single laptop in a meeting unless someone is giving a presentation. Notes are still taken by hand on pen and paper. Group discussions are first written on white boards and flip charts and later transcribed into a computer. It's certainly not the most efficient process but oddly, no one seems to question it.

Which makes me wonder: when will we begin to question it?
College students today bring their laptops to every class. Unlike me, they grew up with computers. They live on the internet. Their primary communication vehicles are digital. As this generation of graduates enters the workforce, will they conform to our pad-and-paper-ways or will we conform to theirs?
So what I'm really trying to say is...I feel old.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Good help is hard to find

Every other Friday brings drama to our household. Because every other Friday is house cleaning day. While I love coming home to a clean house, it's not as exciting for the hubby and kid who have to find something to do for 3 hours. That means packing up toys, bottles, food, etc and trying to get the kid to nap in the car or at someone else's house. When I started working 4 - 10's, I got to experience this hairball firsthand and lemme tell ya, it's no fun.

I have learned that every housekeeper has strengths and weaknesses. The key to success is finding weaknesses that you can live with. With our housekeepers, they do a great job with the big stuff but the details are often overlooked. Pictures are not put back in the proper place. Cobwebs are growing behind the fireplace screen. That kind of thing. So after each cleaning, I would re-arrange the pictures and dust behind the fireplace screen and generally count my blessings for not having to do more.

A few months ago, things started going downhill fast. First I came home after cleaning day and found a broken faucet in a bathroom. Thankfully my Dad was coming for a visit and I put him to work on it. I gave the housekeepers the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it broke after they left. Perhaps they didn't notice it was broken. Surely they would have left a note.

Then I noticed our white base moldings that we painstakingly painted, cut and installed last year had a black line running across them about an inch off the floor. Nothing a Magic Eraser can't take care of, right? I would just remind the housekeepers not to bang the vacuum into the moldings.

Then they didn't show up for their scheduled time after Thanksgiving.

Finally, the piece de resistance occurred. Two weeks ago, I came home and found a 4" scratch in the new bamboo floors. NEXT TO A 6" GASH! Again, there was no note. That was the last straw, they had to go.

But how would I get the key back? And did I really want to go through the hassle of finding new housekeepers? Two guys clean our house in 3 hours, could I find another cleaner who could be as quick? Maybe the gash isn't that bad...

Today is housecleaning day. As I was writing the check, I glanced at the bamboo floor and saw the gash. Again the irritation rose up and I found my determination again. At the last minute, I wrote a note explaining that we would no longer be able to continue with their housecleaning services. I left the usual check and asked them to leave the key under the mat when they finished. Obviously I found my determination but not my courage. I know it's completely ridiculous to fire someone in a note. I reasoned that their English isn't great and sometimes we have a hard time communicating over the phone. But really, I took the wimpy way out. I wasn't proud but it was done.

Or so I thought. Normally the housekeepers arrive at 8:30am and finish by 11:30am. But today, my cell phone rang at 9am. I thought they got the note and wanted to discuss it. Instead, they were calling to tell me that they weren't coming until 11. (This isn't the first time they've pulled this stunt either.) Because tomorrow is the kid's birthday party and I haven't allowed time to clean the house myself, I told them 11am would have to work. And then I calmly explained that this would be their last day. They said okay and we left it at that. I hung up and called the hubby who was understandably irritated. He and the kid had already left and now couldn't return for 5 hours instead of the usual 3.

So now I hope for the best. I hope that when I get home tonight, the house is clean, the key is under the mat and our valuables are where we left them. I hope that the hubby is mysteriously sedated. And I hope the kid is miraculously rested. Somehow, I doubt all of these hopes will happen. I think I may need to work late tonight...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mediocre results

I thought I was fired up about this next chapter of weight loss. So why don't I feel the slightest bit guilty when I have chips with my burrito at lunch? Last year, the thought wouldn't have entered my mind to even consider such an act. This year, I'm tossing back the chips without a single remorse. Does that mean I'm not ready to really give this my all? Do I need a competition of some sort to give me that extra motivational push? I wish I understood the big mental difference between my success and drive last year vs. this year. It's all very confusing.

On the upside, I have worked out consistently since Jan 1. I'm walking a little taller. I feel a little stronger. I don't think twice about getting out of bed in the morning for a work out. That's progress. And as work is keeping me busier lately, I find myself walking a lot more from building to building for meetings. A little extra cardio throughout the day is always good.

I wish the results on the scale better reflected the consistent workouts and generally healthy eating. But clearly those occasional dietary splurges are impacting the numbers. Dang it, I thought I'd get away with it! I lost 3 lbs the first week which was great but compared to the 8 lbs I lost in week 1 last year, it was disheartening. My head knew it would be harder this time but my heart was still holding out hope for big numbers! To add insult to injury, I weighed in today and discovered I barely lost a single pound in the second week. Seeing that lackluster loss on the scale hit me in a different way. I'm not disappointed, I'm MAD. All that sweating. All those early mornings. All those salads. FOR A MEASLY POUND. Are you kidding me?

Which leaves me with the big questions. The questions which ultimately determine success. Will I find a way to channel that anger productively? Or will the slow progress be enough to derail my efforts entirely?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Traditions Old & New

When Lillian was around 6 months old, we took a day trip to the coast with some friends. While browsing through the requisite candy shop that exists in every beach town, I found a plate that reads "Birthday Princess." Instantly, I hatched an idea for a new birthday tradition. Each year, our birthday princess would eat her special slice of cake from this plate. So I bought it and carefully transported it home. That plate was indeed used a both of her birthdays.

With Ian's first birthday soon approaching, I wanted to find a special plate for him as well. I searched the internet and wasn't impressed with what I found. True to form, I thought "hey, I can make that!" I've always been more certain of my craft abilities than I should be.

Shortly after Christmas, I recruited my lovely sister-in-law for some pottery painting bonding time. We met at the pottery painting shop and I found my plate while my SIL browsed. She stopped at the Christmas tree decorated with plain ceramic ornaments and instantly, I hatched an idea for a new Christmas tradition.

Like many families, I had the idea of purchasing an ornament for my kids each year. I had visions of laughing over memories of Christmases past as we hung each precious ornament on the tree. A fire crackled in the background. Sips of hot chocolate would punctuate each story. Oh yeah, I had the whole thing figured out. Except the part where I actually found and purchased that special ornament apparently. So on New Year's Eve, at the pottery painting store in front of the tree dotted with naked ceramic ornaments, I pounced. My poor SIL didn't have a chance.

"Hey, why don't you make an ornament for Ian? If you make it, I'll pay for it!"

I was a little too enthusiastic but fortunately my SIL is a saint and readily agreed. She picked the oven mit mitten ornament and set to work. And soon, the perfect design was complete. I can almost smell the fire and taste the hot chocolate as I picture telling Ian about this memorable Christmas.

"You probably don't remember your first Christmas Ian. It snowed and Snowed and SNOWED! See the snowflakes on your ornament? We were stuck at home for a week just watching the snow fall. And just when the snow began to melt, Santa brought you a most unusual gift. See those red dots on your ornament? You woke up on Christmas day with the chicken pox! Auntie M made this ornament especially for you. It tells the story of your first Christmas."

Thus a new Christmas tradition is born. Oh, and a birthday tradition is continued. But the real question remains...how many years will Ian allow me to serve his birthday cake on this handmade creation? I'm taking bets.

Monday, January 5, 2009

If it were up to me...

  • ...the first day back to work after a long holiday break OR vacation for that matter would be a half day. We need some transition time! How can we be expected to instantly go from sitting on the couch all day to sitting in a chair all day? How I ask you?

  • ...car dealers would be honest. Am I to believe this scenario: 1) Drop broken car off on Monday. 2) Car is diagnosed as broken (duh) and part is ordered. 3) As of Friday, the part still hasn't arrived. The service guy assigned to my car is coincidentally not at work on Friday. 4) Today, my car is magically ready to go. The service guy assigned to my car is also back at work today. Seriously, is that believable? Let me paint the more likely scenario: 1) same 2) same 3) Service guy goes on vacation on Wednesday, meanwhile part arrives. 4) Service guy returns, plugs in part and car is ready to go.

  • ...I would not start eating sugar again...EVER. The detox headaches are sooooooo not worth it. My body is still reeling from the holiday binging. Overall it's really not happy with this whole healthy eating and exercising routine but sooner or later, it will have to accept this new reality. I'm in charge Body, do you hear me? Suck it up! You're not getting any cinnamon bears no matter how hard you beg.

That's my top 3 for today, what's yours?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I'm already on my way to being shredded

Remember when I said I was going to find balance in December? Something about splurging on occasion but overall maintaining my current weight. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah well, that works in theory. Until you get snowed in for 8 days. And then your kid gets the chicken pox. So basically you're home for weeks on end. Locked in a house with a seemingly unending supply of butter and shortening. It wouldn't be Christmas without baked goods, right? And those platters of cookies you intended to give to friends but couldn't because of the snow? Well, of course you would eat them before they went bad. Because you don't believe in waste! (Not for cookies anyway.) And by you, I mean me. And by "maintaining my current weight", I meant "gain 5 lbs." Apparently.

So here I am on the first day of the New Year, revising my goal from 25lbs to 30lbs. On the upside, I've already worked out today. Hooray! Both a 30 Day Shred workout AND a little abs & back workout from Exercise TV On Demand. That's two, count them TWO workouts on day 1. Thank you very much.

Fortunately the cookies are gone and the house is nearly empty of forbidden foods. Now I just need to plan some healthy meals for the week and fill the shelves with good foods. Geez, it's only 7am, I need to pace myself!

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