Friday, October 24, 2008

October 24th

I haven't blogged in a couple weeks. I had that run of blogging almost daily and then it just died, like most things in my life.

I've picked up the pace a little bit at work. But not overwhelmingly so. I'm having trouble targeting what I should be focused on. (and subsequently am suffering guilt from not having focus).

Weight loss efforts continue to produce positive results. Last week I hit my 10% loss goal (the first goal they give you in Weight Watchers). I celebrated by eating way too much over the weekend and not planning this week's meals. Which means I fell back to old standards which tend to be high in fat and calories. They sure tasted good, though.

I'm still exhausted all the time, and I don't have a reason for it. I'm going to bed well before 10. I usually get in bed shortly after 9 with my book. I don't usually get very far in my book because I fall asleep rather quickly.

Then the following day I'm just constantly trying to stay awake.

I went to a conference on Tuesday which was mostly very interesting. One breakout session, however, was a bunch of legalize and it put me too sleep (it fell, unfortunately, right after lunch). I was looking around during the break after that session for a caffeine kick. I could have had coffee - but I really don't like coffee unless it has lots of stuff in it. And the options for said stuff were pretty non-diet friendly at this conference (no Tall Skinny Cinnamon Dulce Lattes were offered). They were serving soda and happened to have Dr. Pepper. I don't like Coke or Pepsi at all, but I've always been a Dr. Pepper fan. I can usually avoid soda because Dr. Pepper (or Pibb) is rarely an option. But there was one, I needed the caffeine and I figured, what the heck. So I had a Dr. Pepper. After 5 months of not having any soda whatsoever, it didn't taste at all like I remembered. It wasn't even very appealing. Which is good in one sense, because now I really don't feel like I'm missing something by not drinking soda.

The kids have a Halloween party at church tonight. They are dressing up in the costumes from last year (Aron is Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas and Jordan is a princess - specifically Snow White from Shrek the Third - with tearaway sleeves). The biggest difference is that this year Jordan gets to wear make-up and put some purple highlights in her hair. She is VERY excited. And why I say VERY excited, I mean she's having trouble going to sleep because she's so VERY excited.

Tomorrow is Zoo Boo at our local Zoo which will provide another opportunity to wear costumes. And of course next Friday is Halloween and Eric will take them trick-or-treating while I hand out candy.

I'm glad today is Friday. I just wish I was full of energy.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Future CEO?

In my various efforts to improve myself I have started reading more. Specifically reading material that will help with my career. (Or cooking and saving money). Currently I am reading a book called The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter and James Noel.

It is about the 6 transitions leaders must take moving from individual producer (worker bee) to enterprise manager (CEO). It is very enlightening. Also there are really only 4 transitions for a small company such as mine. Further - after reading the explanation of the CEO role - I'm not sure I want (or would even be good at) that job.

But it does bring to mind the question: "What the heck am I doing?" And I mean that pretty much in the literal sense. I feel I have very little direction and therefore very little motivation to DO anything. I'm trying to decide what to do about that and so far I'm coming up blank.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Heck of a Week!

Friday -

I had my weigh in and lost 1 pound. Which was surprising, as I was sure I had gained. That puts me exactly 10 pounds over my goal. I've heard the last 10 pounds are the hardest to lose.

Saturday -

I decided to do my pre-cooking for the week. I got up and was out of the door to the Farmer's Market by 8 a.m. with my list in hand and $60 cash. I found stuff there I didn't expect to (Mozzerella cheese) but later realized that it was definietly not low-fat part-skimmed or whatever. I also purchaed a head of broccoli for $2 and found heads down a couple of stalls at $1 each. But I'm learning. It's only my second time shopping there. I didn't take the kids this time, which helped me tremendously. I was done in about 40 minutes.

Then I went to ALDI to look for anything else on my list. They have milk for less than Meijer, but they only carry Whole, 2% and Skim. I usually get 1%, but I opted for Skim this time. As long as I'm not just drinking it, it's fine.

Finally I went to Meijer for everything else I couldn't find at the first two stops. I paid $46 for all three stops and bought enough to make 4 meals.

I got home at just after 10:00 a.m. and started preparing right away. Eric helped by grating the mozzerella and Jordan helped by cutting up the scallion greens I didn't need.

I got everything cooked and in the freezer by 12:30 and then we went down to the soccer field which houses not only a ton of different games but also a large playground that the kids enjoy. On this particular occasion the playground also included a small toad which they spent a good 1/2 hour following around and touching it's back (to make it jump) and then screaming with delight.

At about 2 or so we decided to head back because we wanted the kids to have a nap and they were asking for snacks that we couldn't afford. My neighbors were hosting dinner that night so I didn't have to cook anymore, which was nice. It meant that I too would be able to sneak in a nap, and maybe a shower since I'd skipped that step in the morning.

As we were driving back Jordan opened her door enough to turn the lights on inside the car. We stopped and pulled over as soon as we could so I could reach back and close the door. As I was getting ready to close the door Jordan reached out to get the door and her hand got smashed in the door. She was silent and Eric was screaming. I opened the door, she pulled her hand out and just started screaming. I looked at it and saw read and a broken nail. We decided to go immediately to the Urgent Care at our clinic.

By the time Jordan calmed down Eric was explaining to her that she'd probably have to get an X-Ray - a picture of her bones. And he asked if he could go into the picture room with her. She said "No, Mommy!" and he said, "But Mommy did it!" and she replied, "She didn't mean to!"

It took about an hour before we saw the Dr. and then she sent us down to X-Ray. When we got down there the technition asked who had done this to her and she piped up happily, "Mommy!" Aron turned to me and patted me on the chest, "It's okay, Mommy."

Sometimes my kids are sweet!

It turns out she had a teeny tiny hairline fracture on the tip of her ring finger (and a nasty blood blister on the end of her finger). The only real thing to do is tape it to the finger next to it, to make sure it doesn't get jammed and take tylenol for the pain.

So 2 hours and no nap. FUN!

The Smiths made steak and potatoes for dinner, which was wonderful.

Sunday -

On Sunday I had to sing at the 11:00 service and then a luncheon immediately following until 3. I got the kids up and took them to Sunday School at 9:45. Eric had soccer at noon and wouldn't be done until 1. So I brought a video and some toys and coloring/drawing items for the kids to keep busy until I could run them over to meet Eric at the field to watch the ND Girls play. Also I gave them some of the lasagna that was served for our luncheon - they didn't eat anything but the brownie.

When I got home I watched TV. And did laundry. When the kids got home they went down for a nap.

I made chili for dinner - it turned out pretty good I thought. And also sweet-potato fritters.

Monday -

So my reason for doing all this pre-cooking is that we had plans every night this week. Monday night it was Curriculum night at our kids' school. Fortunately Kevin (neighbor) agreed to watch all the kids and Ashley and I went to Curriculum night. Eric came for some of it too, but then he had a board meeting. Dinner turned out pretty good. I had it all done and mostly cleaned up in time to leave.

Tuesday -

Tuesday night it was Swimming Lessons (first session). Dinner turned out well and I got the kids out the door with all their swim stuff, stuff to take showers after AND pajamas to dress into when we were done. We arrived at where I THOUGHT we were suppsed to be right at 7 - class didn't start until 7:15. I had the kids changed and in and out of the shower by 7:13. THEN I find out that we are at the totally wrong pool (who knew there were two pools on campus) and that the right pool is on the completely other side of the campus. So I took my sopping wet children back in the car and went to the other end of campus and parked and shoed them across the parking long and up the stairs until I found a door that actually opened to the building.

We were about 20 minutes late for a 30 minute class. Oh well, now I know. On the plus side the kids got showers and were ready for bed when we got home.

Wednesday -

Tonight is church.

Thursday -

Swimming again, but at least I'll know where we are going.

Friday -

One of our fish died and it is in a plastic bag in my car with the receipt waiting for me to go get a new one, something I haven't had the opportunity to do with the current evening schedules. I told Aron maybe I'll pick them up from school and take them to the petstore to pick out the new fish.

BUT - I'm supposed to cook dinner for the Smith's Friday night, unless I do it Saturday. Eric is going to Indy on Saturday and invited us to go along, which would be a great outing. But I really need to clean the house and cook the meals and do the laundry and....

So I don't know. It's a crazy week, I tell ya!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Go Dodgers!

So we've been Dodger fans for ever. Eric because the Albuquerque Dukes used to be their top-rated farm team and me because my dad liked the Dodgers (he's now a Mariner's fan).

Anyway, I'm not a sports nut. I don't even really like sports. I know the Dodgers play baseball and I've been to a few games in my life. Eric loves the Dodgers and was very excited that they were in the play-offs. And he was yelling around the house on Wednesday night as they were winning. I didn't even know who they were playing. But I was happy our (but mostly his) team was winning.

I live in South Bend - we have a LOT of Cubby fans. A LOT! So when I arrive to work yesterday there are people in my office commiserating about the fact that the Cubs lost. I (seriously with no malice or ill-will) piped up "But the Dodger's won!" Mostly just excited that I knew something I could contribute to the conversation.

I got a lot of dirty looks and even some vacating of my office. It took me a while to realize that we were talking about the same game. I'm slow sometimes, but loving. (tm DJ).

In other news, my blood work came back completely normal. So there is no medical explanation for my utter and complete fatigue.

Also, I threw my back out this week - by sleeping - how the heck does that happen? It's better now.

So glad it's Friday! I'm going to attempt to pre-make some meals this weekend for the crazy week we are expecting next week. It's my attempt to not spend money (or points) on eating out. We'll see how it goes. I'm not ready to spend the entire weekend cooking for the next month's meals, but I am willing to attempt three-four recipies to get me through next week.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


 This is a picture of the Koi pond at our local Zoo (the Potawatomi Zoo). It's one of Aron's favorite hang-outs and he asked me to take pictures of it.

I finally went to the Dr. yesterday about my fatigue issues. I had blood work done but I'm still awaiting the results. On the one hand it would be nice if it were mono or anemia because that at least is a REASON, even though if it's mono that's gonna suck to just stick it out.

But on the other hand, if it's nothing they can tell from blood work that indicates it's mental. Either depression or just lack of focus on my part. And I'm not sure what to do about that either.

Today, being the first day of the month and the end of the quarter, kept me pretty busy. I didn't nod off once during work and my morning flew by. It is now 3:30 and I have a few things to do, but I should be able to get out of here around 4:30 and go home an change before Church tonight.

This weekend the kids and I went to the Farmer's Market in my attempt to 1) support local businesses, 2) pay less for groceries and 3) incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into our diet. We bought a whole chicken, which I roasted on Sunday and then used to make Soup for Tuesday. Note: the Farmer's Market does not carry swordfish steaks.

I also went to ALDI, which I should probably have been doing all along.

I do believe I spent less overall on groceries, but I'm still way stressed about money in general.

On Sunday we went to the Zoo. We also bought more fish. Subsequently we've lost 2 and 1/2 fish (the 1/2 is one that is really looking like it's dying, but every time I go to sweep it out it flops around). Eric took out the first fish that died - one of the swordtails. He put it in a bag for me to return (14 guarantee on fish from PetSmart). On Monday I was looking everywhere for the fish and couldn't find it. That evening Thumper was running around with something in his month. Turns out that between Eric's putting the fish in the bag and the kids' bedtime, Aron decided to put the fish in his bug vacuum container and hide it in his room somewhere. Thumper (having a 1st class sniffer) found said container and chewed it to bits.

The second fish is in my car with the receipt as we speak - I may go try to replace it this evening, except that PetSmart seemed to be pretty well out of that kind of fish (Algae Eaters) when I was there Monday.

The tank is fun, and currently clear, but I can't figure out how to get the Nitrite levels down to normal.
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