Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jumping on the Wagon

I know my last post contained a bunch of random nothingness but I just can't help but do it again. And this time I have "permission" so to say from Keely over at the Un Mom. I know people - I still don't know how to link - deal. Anyway, if you're hankering to join in or you want to check out her bit of bloggy coolness just click on the Un Mom on my sidebar - that ought to do it.

Anyway, I have been feeling so, oh I don't know - scattered? Mentally chopped up into a zillion pieces? Anxious? Unsettled? I just can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's because every time I listen to the radio I hear about more and more layoffs and how the "worse times are still a head of us". Shit. It's just so very depressing. I'm not doing what I love by any means - but I guess I should just be damn happy I still have a job - for now.

My little one's surgery is next Monday. It's been rescheduled four times already so maybe this time it will actually happen. I still have to figure out what to do with The Captain since we are leaving in the wee early hours of the morning to get to Portland for his 7 am check-in. I'm nervous and relieved about the whole thing all at the same time. I think he'll be much more comfortable once it's over and done with, but damn that's going to be a hard day!

I love From now on I'm going to buy all of my girlfriend's b-day gifts and Christmas gifts from there. There's so much cute stuff at completely reasonable prices and the best thing of all - nothing is made in China! I found some totally cute clothing made by Katie and her shop is called "Little Overcoat". Thank God I don't have a little girl or I would be in serious trouble - it's already bad enough that she makes stuff in women's sizes too.

Why is that nothing has gone my way when I've tried to exercise this week? This morning I was going to get up and get my sweat on with Bob, but my alarm must have hit snooze all by itself. I woke up way too late to exercise and get ready for work so another day down the drain. I had even planned on going for a walk at lunch, but now it's snowing. WTF?!!!

Speaking of exercise, in my last HASAY post I mentioned that I was considering purchasing the Malibu Pilates Chair. I found more reviews on it and they weren't positive so I put the kibosh on that idea. I guess I'll just try to find some more workout DVD's instead. Any suggestions?

I love cooking with crock pots. I made a fantastic Black Bean and Chicken soup recipe I found on another blog called It was so good in fact that The Captain proclaimed it his new bestest favorite food. Quite a compliment I should say.

Am I the only one who was STUPID enough to open her 401K statements? Holy shit. I know they say we'll be okay if we aren't retiring soon - but when over half your money disappears - it's still hard to swallow. No matter what.

Speaking of money - I'm interested in hearing what things other folks out there are doing to save more of their greenbacks. I have to say that as a fmaily we do a lot to conserve money - pack our own lunches, use coupons and grocery shop with a list, buy used clothing/toys for the kids, do home haircuts, use dial-up, have only basic cable, (our household sounds like a ton of fun, doesn't it) but I know we could probably do more. I would be interested to hear any new ideas!

Okay - all rambled out for now. Hope you all have a great week! Thanks for listening!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Random babblings

I have been wanting to throw up some posts about a whole lot of different things lately and I just haven't had the time to sit down and really put a lot of effort, thought, or creativity into writing anything. So, I decided that I'm just gonna throw a whole bunch of stuff up all at once, and hopefully I'll quiet the loud trilling sound in my brain at the same time. Here goes.

I have to pre-register my little one for his surgery...again. This particular surgery isn't life threatening but it's something that needs to be fixed so under the knife he will go. It's been a very frustrating experience pretty much from the start - it's been re-scheduled 4 times already because of one reason or another. But this time it's looking like it just might happen, which makes me relieved and scared at the same time. Now if I can just get him registered. I left the phone number I need to call on the counter this morning. I just spent over half an hour getting bounced from one department to another because apparently I was speaking Latin or something and no one could understand what the F(&*&*& I was saying. So I gave up before I got really pissed and threw the phone out the window.

You have ever stopped to look at just how much shit is made in China? It's freaking amazing. Practically every single thing I touch in the store these days is made in China. Or Korea. Or the Philippines. Or Thailand. Is anything made in the USA anymore? Would it be possible to buy ONLY American made goods? I think I'm going to do a little experiment and do my best to buy only American made stuff. It's going to be a challenge but I think I can do. I know I'll probably save a ton of money.

I hate Sony. Our $995 Sony HDTV, that was only three years, old died a week or so ago. The picture tube went out so it was going to cost as much to replace it as it would be buy a new one. I called Sony and told them what had happened and that even the Sony repair center said it shouldn't have gone out this early. They pretty much flipped me the "bird" over the phone and said that since I didn't purchase the extended warranty there was nothing they could do for me. Or more like nothing they wanted to do for me. I was hoping that they might want to, oh you know, stand behind their product or maybe try to do something, anything, to keep life-long Sony customers as customers, but apparently not. So, F&^&% you Sony. We're never buying another piece of Sony crap ever again.

Usually when we have big purchases to make we avoid using money from savings if we can score one of those "no interest for 12 months" credit card deals. However, our latest ordeal with the Walmart card had me seeing red. After above mentioned tv went kaput, I hopped online to apply for a Walmart card because they had the no interest deal for purchases over $250. We picked out a TV we wanted and applied for the card. The TV was $678. I was approved for $600. Are you kidding me? I called a rep and asked her why such a low credit limit. I told her I haven't had such a ridiculously low limit like that since I was in my 20's. Again, there was nothing she could do for me since it "was all computer generated, Mame". I got off the phone and ordered my credit score from all three credit agencies. 793 baby. Take that and feed it through your computer, Walmart - we're taking our business elsewhere - forever.

And finally, is it just me or does anyone else feel like their days just blend into each other? One day just melts right into another. Get up, go to work, do the same thing at work, get off work, go home, do the same thing at home - day in and day out. The only thing that varies is what your kid may or may not whine about on any given day or what she may or may not eat for dinner. I need some excitement in my life - or least a really good date night! How about you?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

HASAY update week 13 - FLUSH

I did great with the HASAY challenge last week. I actually lost 3 pounds and all it took was enduring three days of a mutant stomach flu, or E-Coli poisoning, or something along those lines. Whatever it was, it turned anything I ate or drank into molten lava that came flowing right back out through any opening it could find. Yeah I know, TMI. I'm in a sharing mood today.

So, yes, my pants are looser and I feel lighter on my feet. That's a good thing. My stomach has also finally stopped hurting and making gurgling noises so loud my husband kept mistaking it for distant thunder. Things are looking up.

And to keep the numbers on the scale from going back up, I now have to get back into my exercise routine. Luckily for me, I think I may have stumbled upon the perfect thing to deliver the swift kick in the butt I need. The Malibu Pilates Chair.

Has anyone heard of it? I would copy a link right HERE for you - but since I don't know how to do that yet, and don't have time to figure it out, then you're just going to have to believe me when I say that it looks pretty awesome. Susan Lucci told me all about it during an infomercial I happened to see in between jaunts to the bathroom. I would have ordered it right then, but I only had enough strength to lift the remote to turn on the tv. Anyway, I did some research yesterday and it actually has quite a few good reviews I think I'm going to give it a try.

My gym membership ends in March and I don't plan to renew since summer is just around the corner. And I was looking for some good Pilates videos to do at home so I think this might be a winner. We'll see - all I have to do in the meantime is avoid any more mutant stomach buys, or E-Coli laced food.

Hope all of you have a great week with HASAY!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

HASAY Update Week 12? Work place weight loss plan

Hi everyone! I hope all of you fellow HASAYER's had a successful week. I'm still plodding along - doing the best I can. I am happy to report that this week the scale decided to throw me a bone. I'm down a couple of pounds - finally. I think "Aunt Flow's" monthly visit was to blame for the exceptionally large number on the scale last week. What ever the reason for the loss I just thank God for it - I was beginning to think my body's fat-burning mechanism was permanently damaged.

In order to keep my HASAY posts from boring the living shit out of you and to hopefully keep all of you coming back to see me (because your comments really brighten my day) I have decided to share my Super-Duper Deluxe at Work Weight Loss Plan with you. That's right - I developed it and I'm even planning on writing a book about it too. Watch for it to hit store shelves soon.

But before you get all excited and stuff, I do have to say that it's not for everyone because, well, blasting music and dancing around the office like a wild banshi is generally frowned upon - especially when you work with other people.

I, however, work by myself. Completely alone. Very alone. Rarely does someone come into the office and some days I only communicate with other people via email.

During one particularly quiet day I got to thinking - since I have all of this privacy and dare I say "freedom" here at work, I should really make the most of it. The next day I purchased a little timer, brought my walking shoes, my yoga mat and my resistance bands into work and now I exercise in my office - especially on days when I don't make it to the gym in the mornings.

It's a very simple plan actually. I set my timer for one hour intervals and when it rings I get up from my desk and dance around the office, or do kickboxing type cardio moves, or do sit-ups, or walk around the office complex, or use the resistance bands. I do this every hour all day long. Some days I actually get in about a hour of activity this way and it seems to be working.

The benefits have been many - I'm more focused and awake and my ass doesn't feel like a 10 foot wide pancake at the end of the day from sitting in front of computer ALL DAY LONG.

Now, some days I don't follow it as well as I should because I'm just too busy. But this morning I have already clocked in 10 minutes of wild banshi dancing and I have about 35 minutes to go until my next round. I think I'll go for a walk this time - would like to join me?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Would you like a side of fries with that guilt?

Oh boy! When I saw the Spin Cycle was about guilt I just had to laugh. I almost feel guilty about it - but not really.

Let's just say that I know Guilt. I know it very well. I grew up with Guilt as a very familiar part of my life. You see, I'm a full blooded Italian and my mother is the absolute best at dishing out heaping plates of guilt.

When I was little I remember my sister often telling me "pack your bags, Leslie. We're going on a guilt trip!" And they were some crazy trips I tell you what!

When my mom would get pissed about something she would bust out with her "silent treatments". For a little kid I don't think there is anything worse than when your own mom won't speak to you. I remember just feeling like total shit when I had done something that disappointed her. God, the guilt was enough to kill me sometimes.

That's why I decided that I would never make my own kids or my husband suffer through the "silent treatment". Whenever I'm angry or disappointed, they know it. And I try to avoid heaping on the guilt in the form of long agonizing lectures about how hard I slave over a hot stove, or at work, or at cleaning the house, or how much I sacrifice to provide this of that for them etc. etc. - it doesn't do any one any good.

So with all that said you would think that I now live a pretty guilt-free life, right? Well, not so much. I still feel guilty about a lot of things I think most moms feel guilty about.

Guilty for working outside of the home.
Guilty for not spending enough time with my kids.
Guilty for not enjoying every single second I do spend with my kids.
Guilty for going out once a month for my book club meeting.
Guilty about not spending enough time with my husband.
Guilty when I go off my "diet"
Guilty when I forget to call a good friend on their birthday.
Guilty when I take time for myself.
Guilty when I don't include a vegetable in every meal.
Guilty, guilty, guilty!

I think somewhere in the Spin, Jen even mentioned "regret". I have done things in my life that I really regret. I'm not an angel that's for sure. But I'm not a complete dumb-ass either so I'm definitely not going to talk about any of the things I've done that I regret because, well, that would be just plain bad. I want you guys to like me after all. Okay - none of it's THAT bad - but still. :)

So, there you have it. Lots and lots of guilt - a fair amount of regret - but overall nothing that keeps me awake at night. I think that's pretty good - don't you?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

HASAY Update - A new perspective and a couple of baby steps

Yawn!! I'm tired. Tired of hauling my butt out of my toasty warm bed at an un-godly hour in un-godly cold weather to do un-godly things to my body. But that's what it takes to get and stay in shape, right? At least I hope so because this whole fitness thing is hard people.

I found a picture of myself the other day. It was taken in my pre-kid days when my husband and I were just crazy kids in love. I was tan and pretty dang thin. I blush to say it really - but I was smokin!!! The funny thing is - I thought I didn't look so great then. Go figure right?

What would I do to look like that now? I'll tell you what I'd do. I would gnaw off my right foot to look like that now. I would slap the little hottie in that picture and tell her to stop being so hard on herself and to enjoy her body more because it was only going to get worse after she had kids and the years started piling on. I would chastise her for not being more grateful and appreciative of her body. Yes, that's what I would do.

I look back on all the years of my life I have spent being unhappy with my appearance and my weight and I just CRINGE. I CRINGE!! Looking back on those pictures it's obvious that I was just plain crazy! I was healthy and fit and at probably at the ideal weight. I should have been more confident about my appearance, happier about my weight, but I wasn't and it really is a shame. If only I knew then what I know now!

Anyway, I really am going somewhere with this and this is where - I am tired of being unhappy with myself and tired of wanting something "better" when it comes to my body. That's why this year I threw the obligatory "I'm going to lose 20 lbs right out the 'ol window" and my new health resolution is to just focus on being as healthy and fit as I can be and where ever that gets be it.

So far I'm doing great sticking to my resolution - I have exercised about three times a week, I've cut down my portion sizes at mealtimes and I have nixed all late night snacking, and I've started drinking more water. In addition to all of that I plan on picking up the phone right after I'm done with this post to call my doctor's and schedule all of my "lady stuff" appointments in one fell swoop.

Now... where's my doctor's number?

So there you have it. My rambling, venting HASAY post for this week.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Spin Cycle - Out with the Old - In with the New

I love New Year's. Not because it's an excuse to stay up late, drink a lot of alcohol and scream, yell and kiss the nearest person standing next to you on cue. No, I get excited about making resolutions. And I mean really excited. My friends and family think I'm insane, but I just can't help it. I'm a goal-driven person.

I usually start thinking about my resolutions a couple of weeks in advance, like around the middle of December. Culling my choices down to a manageable number is the hardest part of the whole process. This year was no different. And the fact that I was buzzing away on a really good caffeine high didn't help. But after I came down a bit, I was able to decide on a couple of resolutions that I want to tackle for 2009. Here they are in no particular order.

Resolution #1 - To make health and wellness a priority in my life. To achieve this I will do the following things:
- work out regularly 4 times a week for at least 30 min.
- Continue to eat lots of fruits and veggies. Eat healthier foods in greater proportions and unhealthy foods in small amounts.
- Schedule all required medical exams - i.e. my yearly "peek n' poke", a mammogram, and my routine dental cleaning.

Resolution #2 - To improve my financial heatlh. To accomplish this I will do the following the steps:
- Set up a couple of "goal savings accounts" with my local bank. This will enable me to save up for bigger purchases etc. instead of trying to buy things when money is tight etc.
- Develop smarter spending habits. I will "think" before I buy. I don't fall victim to impulse purchases very often, but I figure in this tight economy even a few times is too much. To avoid this I plan to put items on hold or even lay them away to give myself a few extra days to mull it over - in which time I probably will have decided I can live without said item after all thus saving myself a couple of bucks
- Obtain copies of my credit reports and scores from all three major companies so I can start the new year with a good picture of my credit score.

Resolution #3 - To learn something new and to continue to improve upon one thing I already do. The new thing I want to learn is how to make metal stampled jewelry and the thing I want to improve upon is my blog.

Resolution #4 - To continue to do my small part for the environment which means continuing to live by the "three R's" - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I am also going to buy local foods and American-made products as often as possible.

Resolution #5 - Try new things as family. Even though going to the beach won't be new to us, we're definitely going to go more this year. We're going to try letter boxing and geo-caching, we're going to take the boys on their first over-night camping trip - even if it turns out to be in the back yard. We're going to visit some place completely new - even if the drive is long. The list could go on and on.

Resolution #6 - Last but least, I reslove to incorporate gratitude into my daily life. I spent most of last year sort of co-existing with a rather pessimistic outlook on life, even when my life is full of blessings. My husband and I are still both gainfully employed in recession proof industries, we're all healthy, we have a great family and an amazing bunch of friends, we have always had food on our table, a roof over our heads and clothing on our backs. My kids don't want for anything and they go to good schools, and we've never feared for our safety. These things aren't extraordinary -they're basic and yet so many people in the world are lacking them. I'm going to make an extra good effort this year of appreciating them.

I think that wraps up my resolutions for the year. Now I'm off to read all the other resolution spins. Who knows - I might see a really good one I have to adopt for myself!

Happy New Year!!!