Saturday, November 26, 2011

Number 5

Ben and I are overjoyed with the news that we finally have a growing baby inside my belly.  It has been a long and difficult journey to get to this point as we've struggled through four miscarriages in the last four years.  I feel like we have seen countless doctors and have had every test/procedure/surgery possible only to find out that we have nothing wrong....at least not that would cause a miscarriage.

We found out about this pregnancy a little earlier than normal.  I took at test at what I thought would be two days before four weeks, but after looking at the calendar it was actually three weeks, three days.  I don't normally test early and some months I don't even bother testing.  But with my turbo senses, I just knew that this was the time!

Given our past experience, as soon as we find out I'm pregnant we make our way to the doctor to start labs to check my HCG counts.  My labs in the past always look great up until about week six.  I'm seeing a new doctor this time around so we did things a little different this time.  I only did labs up to week five and then had an ultrasound schedules for week six.  As you can imagine, leading up to the ultrasound was a very nervous time for both Ben and me although we tried not to vocalize our concerns to each other so not to get the other riled up.  We couldn't believe it when after about 30 seconds of the ultrasound tech searching my belly, she found a baby and a strong heartbeat of 116.  What a huge sigh of relief.  I was immediately brought to tears and I was so thankful to have Ben by my side doing our secret hand squeeze that means "I Love You" (it was actually his and his mom's squeeze first, but he taught me too).  This was the first ultrasound that we positively saw a heartbeat.  We did have one ultrasound with a previous pregnancy that tech said "I think this is a heartbeat, but we'll know more at the next ultrasound."  Although the strong heartbeat did put at us at ease, we both still had reservations about getting too excited.

We had a brief scare at 11 weeks when the nurse and the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat with a doppler, but they didn't let our concern last too long as they sent us to an ultrasound right away.  Once again, the ultrasound tech found a heartbeat of 174 immediately (174 was also the heartbeat at the eight week ultrasound). 

We are now 13 and a half weeks and were happy to hear, this time with the doppler, a heartbeat of 164.  We are so excited that this is finally happening for us, but we still have a long journey ahead of us as we learned that we are considered a "very high risk" pregnancy because of a very elevated risk of pre-term labor.  We'll see how things progress, but there is a good possibility that I will be on at least some form of bed rest at 25 weeks.

Please send Ben and I some good thoughts over the next couple of months.  We can't wait to meet Baby Ruley!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Let’s Talk Bananas

It’s seems like I’ve had A LOT of conversations about bananas lately; particularly, my crazy obsession about only eating a perfectly ripe banana.  Here is my idea of a perfect banana…

 A perfectly yellow banana with a tinge of green on top. 

I will eat a banana a day older than this perfection, but nothing more than that.  ICK!  I was actually recently asked if I wanted a “perfectly ripe” banana and when I saw the banana, I almost threw up.  See below, except the banana being offered was probably even a day older.


Bananas have ALWAYS been an issue for me and I go in spurts with eating them.  Sometimes the thought of eating a banana brings up so much dread and other times I can’t seem to get enough.  I had one of the said dreadful times during high school…..

I was all done eating so I stood up to throw my garbage in the trashcan.  On my way, I came across a chunk of a banana on the floor that looked like it had been stepped on about eight times….aka, nice and slimy and gooey and turning dark.  One look at this sent me sprinting to the garbage can to lose the lunch that I had just eaten.  (Hopefully it wasn’t Italian Dunker day because this would then be a sad story).

I recently had another awful banana experience and I think I’ve been on a hiatus from bananas ever since.  Ben and I were at the State Fair walking out of one of the exhibit buildings.  We saw two little old ladies (probably in their 80s) sitting down to eat a banana (not sure why they were eating a banana at the fair).  Anyway,  I proceeded to watch Lady 1 break off the top half of the banana and I’m thinking because it has the biggest, darkest bruise that I’ve ever seen.  Nope, she gives the top half to Lady 2 who proceeds to bite right into the nasty bruise.  I told this story to a co-worker just the other day and I’m not kidding, I nearly threw up like three times trying to tell the story.

No bananas for me for a while!

And that concludes my randomness about bananas.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things...

It’s a rare occasion that Ben and I are not “Up North” on a holiday weekend, but this year was a little different since I had tickets to see one of my top five singers (more on that later). 

If anyone knows me (or has read my recent blog/facebook posts), you know that I LOVE the Minnesota State Fair.  And by “love” I mean I would love to go multiple times each year.  Once to see stuff and eat and another time to sit on a bench and just watch people (and eat too).  It has been quite a few years since I’ve been to the fair more than once and this year was no exception, but I had one of the best times at the fair this year with just Ben and me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had fun with groups of people in the past, but it was so easy this year with just the two of us not worrying about what everyone else wanted/didn’t want to see.  We just did our own thing without an agenda.

We were a little concerned with how busy the fair would be going on a Friday this year, but it actually wasn’t too bad until about the last hour we were there…we left at 4.  We ate a lot of food and did A LOT of walking…22,000 steps to be exact.  Although our first food stop wasn’t on my list of things to eat this year, we thoroughly enjoyed the deep-fried Minneapple Pie (also sold at Target Field).  Wow…it was SO GOOD (< ---- that’s for you bff).  It was a fairly large portion and came with a scoop of ice cream for only $5.  Our next food was sharing a footlong corndog and French Fries.  It was a tragedy when Ben was taking a bite of the corndog and the batter on the last ¼ fell onto the ground.  I almost cried.  Not really, but man was I bummed….sad I know, but it’s like my favorite food at the fair.  I’m not sure of the order of the rest of the food, but we also enjoyed a gyro, mini donuts, sweet corn ice cream with honey butter bacon topping, deep-fried pickles with cream cheese, and a Dole whip.  Our only disappointment with our visit (besides the corndog tragedy) was that the largest pig had already gone home.  I was so exhausted by the end of the night and was eager to get to bed for another exciting day on Saturday.

It was another early start on Saturday for friend Amy and me that began with a  trip to Fleet Farm at 9 am to pick up some cowboy boots so we could be a little honky tonk (did I spell that right?) at the Carrie Underwood concert at Mystic Lake Casino.

Side bar: I’m realizing now that this post is getting long and I still have a lot to say.  Bare with me.

After we bought our cowboy boots that were on clearance for only $11 we made our way to Albertville to do a little shopping.  The shopping was pretty uneventful, but we both came out with a cool watch from Fossil’s clearance table.  I thought Ben would have some words with me since along with my tennis shoe collection I seem to have a collection of watches going, but all he said was “what, did you win the lottery?”  Little did he know that I only paid $20 and I LOVE it!
                                                           



We didn’t spend too much time shopping because we know what was next on the agenda….hitting the slots!  By the time we arrived at the casino, we still had six and a half hours before show time.  It sounds like a ridiculous amount of time to gamble but it’s awesome if your money is lasting.  Shockingly, we both did pretty well and by the time Carrie started we both had more money than we came with (a rare occasion at the casino).

I’m not sure how to rate the concert.  Carrie herself was awesome and she had great interaction with the crowd, but I must say that the outdoor amphitheater was a HUGE disappointment.  After paying $100 for “good seats” I was expecting a lot.  Not so much.  We literally could not see the stage from where we were sitting unless we craned our necks to see in between people’s heads and even then could only see a speck of the stage.  The seats didn’t have enough of an incline and the stage was set too low.  The 50 degree temps didn’t help either!  Her set list was pretty much the same show we saw at the State Fair last year, but I didn’t care because she is incredible.

Cowboy boots and flannels!
 
As if the six and a half hours of gambling before the show wasn’t enough, Amy and I headed back inside (with 8,000 other people) after the show for another hour and a half of gambling.  We both walked out even which is a huge win.  The drive home (at 1 AM!) was brutal since I’m known for getting heavy lids, but Amy did a good job of keeping me alert.

With such busy days Friday and Saturday, Sunday and Monday included a whole lot of nothing besides watching crime shows on the ID channel (best channel ever).  I can’t believe how sick and twisted some people are…creepers.

And that concludes my weekend.  If you made it to the end…thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ben's Driving - 1 Lana - 0

Who would have thunk that water could be so unforgiving?  We had another great Sunday on the boat with some friends.  Thankfully the sun stayed out most of the day because it got a tid bit chilly when it was hiding behind the clouds.

Since I haven't been brave enough to try wakeboarding yet, my fun on the boat includes tubing (with a strict warning of "It's okay to whip me around, but no WAVES").  It was my first run of the day and Ben was doing a great job of following my instructions.  We hit a few waves because it was so busy, but no purposely made tsunami type waves.  A couple of the "whip-outs" were pretty intense, but my mighty strength kept me on the tube until one whip-out had me what seemed to be straight out on the side of the boat (far enough that I was out of view from the video camera).  When I could hold on no longer, it felt like I did about three flips and skidded across the water with a smack.  I managed to some how plug my nose during these acrobatics but when I came to the surface of the water, I was in so much pain (and in the weeds....grrrr).  I temporarily couldn't move my leg and could barely get back in the boat.  Here is the result....


This bruise is on the back of my leg and is about 4-5 inches across and still really swollen.  OUCH!

Is it weird that I'm glad that I bruised like this so people didn't think I was being a wuss?  By the way, Ben feels terrible that I got so hurt, but I keep reassuring him that it's not his fault.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Seriously Thursday?!

Seriously…I’m losing interest in blogging.  Mostly because I still don’t know what to blog about.

Seriously…I’ve finally officially lost 60 pounds.  I’ve been saying for quite a while that I’ve lost 60 pounds because I’ve been within two pounds of it.  I just didn’t realize how long it would take me to actually hit it.  Either way, I’m very excited – 60 pounds in 11 months.  I definitely could have done better, but I’ve been eating foods that I love and have still been +/- one pound from week to week.  Maintaining is perfectly okay with me.

Seriously…Ben and my five year anniversary is next month and he just booked us a trip to the North Shore.  Believe it or not, this will be our first trip together by ourselves (including our honeymoon).  The few trips that we have taken have been with large groups.  I’m very excited…to say the least.

Seriously…I know the State Fair is only a week away, but could it please come faster?  If it was up to Ben, we’d only go every other year, but he has to remember that he’s married to a gal that used to go multiple times every year.  No way in heck I’d ever miss it.

Seriously…I can’t believe summer is almost over.  The key indicators for me are that the State Fair is in a week and the fact that we took the boat out last night and I was cold almost the entire time.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Seriously Thursday?!

So I wrote most of this last week, but neglected to post it because I just thought it was too boring.  I still don't think it's anything too exciting, but I know BFF Andrea would be majorly disappointed if I didn't post again. 

Seriously…the cats neglecting to use the litter box and shitting in the basement has been solved.  All it took was putting back our shorter-walled litter boxes that were replaced by taller litter boxes.  It was that easy.  And here we were thinking that it was due to emotional/psychological stress to River since we adopted Percy or maybe Percy had attacked River while she was doing her business in the litter box so she was associating the litter box with hell from Percy.  I guess dealing with litter getting kicked out of the shorter boxes is better than dealing with shit…LOL, did I really just write a paragraph about cats and litter boxes?

Seriously…turns out the fish that wasn’t eating whose mouth was huge WAS actually carrying babies because all of a sudden the mouth was back to normal and it was acting like it had never eaten before…probably because it hadn’t eaten in a week and a half.  No sign of babies though.  They must have been eaten by the other fish.

Seriously...go check out thebloggess It's seriously one of the funniest things I've ever read.  This girl is amazing!

Seriously…if you want a great, quick read, get The Hunger Games.  Yes, it seems like it’s a horribly violent book with kids killing other kids, but the story is so “out there” and farfetched that it just didn’t seem as brutal as one would think.  I was able to read the whole book in a day and a half, but that could be because teenagers are the intended audience…not an almost 30 year old.

Seriously…I’m going to be 30 in less than two months.  YIKES!

Seriously…I know most, if not all of my readers are also my friend on Facebook, so this probably isn’t news to you, but Ben and I bought a “new to us” fish/ski boat last week.  Ben is a hardcore fisherman so the boat really needed to be setup mostly for fishing but have the power to pull a wakeboarder/tuber.  For him, this was very hard to find, but we found exactly what we were looking for at just the right price.  Our first time pulling the boat was two days after we bought it and wouldn’t cha know, some chic wasn’t looking and backed right into the boat/trailer.  Thankfully there was only damage to the fender on the trailer and a broken light, but still!

Seriously…why are flights so expensive these days!  It used to be no problem finding a trip to Vegas for $350, but now I’m having a hard time finding it for under $500 unless I want to stay in some no-name hotel off the strip.  No thanks!  Looks like I’ll be staying at the Excalibur again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Seriously Thursday?!

It's that time already for Seriously Thursday?! with from Mrs to Mama.

Seriously…this must be the year of concerts and show for me.  I’ve gone to Chelsea Handler, Rihanna, Britney/Nicki and now I just got tickets for Carrie Underwood who is one of my top three favorite artists (along with Rihanna and Pink).  She’s coming Labor Day weekend and this will be my third time seeing her.  The only bad thing is that she’s playing at Mystic Lake Casino…well I guess that’s not so bad since gambling is pretty high on my list of fun things to do.

Seriously…I think we are about to have baby fishies floating around in our tank.  One of our African Cichlids has not been eating (although it seems perfectly healthy) and it’s under jaw has become quite large in comparison to our other fish.  I’ve read that some Cichlids are mouth brooders which means they keep the fish/eggs in their mouth until they are strong enough to survive on their own.  I don’t know though, we’ll see.  Cichlids are quite aggressive, so I’m sure if it is babies, they won’t last long in the tank.

Seriously…do not go camping without an air conditioner when the temps are 100+ with the heat index near or at 110.  Awful, miserable, and wet…everything wet!  Thankfully our friends had a speed boat that we enjoyed on Saturday so we could enjoy a nice breeze on the water.

Seriously…you need to check out www. thebloggess.com if you haven’t already.  Everyday this writer has something hilarious to write about.  Very talented!

Seriously…one of our cats has decided that it’s no longer appropriate to shit in the litter box.  We’ve had River for over five years and Percy for nine months.  What the heck could have changed?  Thankfully it’s only in our unfinished basement, but still terribly annoying…AND we have no idea how to correct the problem.

Seriously…can’t believe it’s Thursday already, but seriously excited for the weekend to be here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Seriously Thursday?!

It’s that time again for Seriously Thursday?! from Mrs To Mama.  We all know I’ve been struggling with blog ideas which is why I loved this edition, but even this is becoming difficult for me to come up with topics.  I don’t know what has happened to my brain, but I feel like I’m losing my creativity the further and further I get away from my school years.  I think need to go back just to get my smarts back.  Anyway…

Seriously…my husband Ben planned a camping trip on the river for this weekend and we have a whole hodgepodge of people going.  I’m so excited!  Activities planned are: tubing, wakeboarding, canoeing, kayaking, bags, ladder golf, a float trip in inner tubes from the dam down to our campsite (of course while drinking beer), and just having a good ole time.

Seriously…thankfully I do not drink Miller products, otherwise I might not have any beer to drink this weekend.  The Minnesota Government shutdown is causing Miller to pull all of their products from the shelf – an expired license while the Government is shutdown equals not good for Miller.  No skin off my back though…Miller Lite is awful!

Seriously…is anyone else having a hard time telling the difference between Ben and Constantine on The Bachelorette?  Does Ashley really need to keep both?  I mean c’mon, they are like the same person.  Tall, dark, not so handsome, and no personality.

Seriously…does anyone else think it’s as cool as I do that Kim Kardashian has been tweeting/blogging about her multiple trips to Minnesota including her first Twins game and partying on Lake Minnetonka?  She even made a trip to my neck of the woods in St. Cloud with a visit to Five Guys being that her soon to be hubby is part owner with his parents.

Seriously…what is my problem with Weight Watchers?  I’m still losing weight, but OMG, it’s so slow.  I’ve definitely hit a mental plateau.   My body has made such a dramatic physical change that I’m kind of okay with where I’m at now, but I know I have at least 15 more pounds to go.  I need to get over this hurdle and kick it back into high gear.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When is the Best Time to Workout?

I think a lot of people would tell you to start off your day with a workout 1) to jumpstart your day and 2) so you get it done with right away instead talking yourself out of it (like I do) later.

I hate working out unless it’s disguised into a fun activity like dancing, kayaking, or playing tennis.  That being said, I create any excuse possible not to workout.  These excuses include:

I’m too sunburned
I’m too sore
I have my period (sorry male readers…it happens, get over it)
I’m too tired
I have to watch xx show on tv (really any show is more appealing than working out)
It’s too cold
It’s too hot
I’m too full; I just need a nap first
My workout clothes are in the washer

The best solution that I could find is to get a workout in during the work day.  When I’m at work, I actually look forward to my 15 minute walks twice day because it gets me away from my desk.  It can help you clear your head from the stress or it gets you away from the monotony of a 9-5 desk job.

Ever since I started Weight Watchers and started wearing a pedometer, I have a daily goal to hit 10,000 steps every day.  With my two walks during the day, I easily have 8,000 steps by the end of my work day which makes it effortless to get the remaining 2,000 before I call it a night.

Can you find the time during work?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Which Celebrity Would You...

So it’s Friday today which means that it’s super easy to be distracted at work.  One of my distractions was being asked a great question…What celebrity would I want to spend the day with? I was asked to pick one to hang out with and one to hang out with in bed.

This is way too difficult of a question to just pick one person, so the following is my list.

Hangout with:
Rihanna
Pink
Nicki Minaj
Chelsea Handler
Khloe Kardashian

Hangout with in bed:
Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Gosling
Zac Efron (a little embarrassed about this one for some reason)
Channing Tatum
Rihanna – not really, well maybe, but man she is HOT!  Remember my girl crush from my previous post?

After providing my answer, the next question was who would I want to drink with?  After reviewing my hangout answers, I realized that my list wouldn’t change since that’s how they made the list in the first place….duh, priorities people!

Who would you pick?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Seriously Thursday?!

I'm still loving the Seriously Thursday?! topic so time to link up with From Mrs to Mama again.

Seriously…my bff Andrea gave birth to her first child Avrie and she is the tiniest baby I have ever seen and cute as a button.  I had the special treat of being able to feed her last night after getting home from my next item…

Seriously…Andrea and I made a last minute decision to snatch up some Nicki Minaj/Britney Spears tickets and had a date night last night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Seriously…the concert was so much fun!  Andrea is one week post c-section so we were pretty mellow at the concert which was probably for the best since it was a sauna in the arena.  We were a hot mess just sitting there bobbing in our chairs!

Seriously…the concert last night was my first time at the 11 year old Xcel Energy Center.  Being that I live in Minnesota, the land of the freezing cold and hockey, it might be a crime that I’ve never been there for a Wild hockey game.

Seriously…although Britney Spears was awesome, I secretly wish (or not so secretly) that it would have been Nicki Minaj that was headlining the show.

Seriously…Upon sitting down in our seats at the concert, I couldn’t help but smell the aroma of rotten fish (ish) and I thought to myself…ok, who hasn’t bathed in the last three weeks?   In between Nicki and Britney when I was shuffling around my cameras and what not, I realized it was the way overpriced Nicki Minaj t-shirt that I bought.  It was disgusting!  I think Nicki needs to find a new t-shirt printer.  Smelly or not, the shirt is awesome!  Ben will for sure be jealous since I’m pretty sure he’d marry her if given the opportunity (wink wink).

Seriously…why isn’t every week a three-day work week?  I can’t believe it’s Seriously Thursday?! already!

Seriously...I brought our good camera to the show so I was able to get some great photos.  Here are a few of them!



Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday Adventures

Ok, so I have to tell you all how my Sunday went.  I’m wondering if the blonde highlights that I got last week are affecting my ability to think  J

I woke up Sunday morning to the house all to myself because my insane husband thought he should get up at 5:30 to go fishing.  Since I wasn’t home pretty much all weekend (even though I didn’t have any plans for the weekend) I needed to have a productive day of picking up the house, doing laundry and getting some groceries.

I put in my first load of laundry into the wash and per usual had to start the dryer to “touch-up” the last load that I left in the dryer from the last time I did laundry (apparently I lose steam when the last load is in and just leave it there for days).  So, I folded the clothes in the dryer after their “touch-up” and put the load in from the washer.  I started another load, folded up the dryer clothes and headed to Old Navy to do some returns (and more shopping).  When I returned home I put the load from the washer into the dryer and was folding the dryer load in the living room when all of a sudden I hear the dryer stop.

I wasn’t initially surprised since this has happened on many occasions because we have too many “things” running at the same time in our 100+ year old home that a fuse is tripped.  We usually march down to the basement and flip the switch back…problem solved.  When the dryer stopped this time, I listened to the silence that filled my home and realized….huh, the dryer was the only thing running in the entire house so how could I have blown a fuse?  I confirmed that I had not blown a fuse and was extremely disappointed to find out that our 70s Kenmore dryer had finally shit the bed.  While I’m texting Ben to tell him our dryer is dead I’m thinking what am I going to do with this soaking wet load of clothes in the dryer?

I decided to raid Ben’s quarter jar and head to the laundermat to dry my one load of clothes.  I was pleasantly surprised when I was greeted at the door by an employee and was escorted to dryer while she gave me instructions on how to use their equipment.  She recommended that I start with $1.50 for a 30 minute dry.  I put in my quarters and headed to a table to read my book.  I found it very difficult to concentrate on my book because I was repeatedly distracted observing my surroundings (aka – people watching).  There really wasn’t too many people worthy of watching, but I found it extremely odd that the couple sitting at the table next to me did not bring anything to do while they waited for their clothes to wash/dry and I didn’t hear them utter a single word to each other.  Once this couple stood up to take care of their laundry, the next couple that sat next to me thought that the laundermat was a good place to have public displays of affection…gross.

Overall, it was a pretty uneventful experience until I was grabbing my basket of folded clothes to head out and a rather creepy/drugged-out looking man asked me if I had a dryer sheet he could have.  Since my load already had a dryer sheet from my dryer, I didn’t bring a thing with me so I politely told him I was sorry but I didn’t have one.  He then insinuated I was lying and told me that I did have one.  I repeated that I was sorry, but no.  So then he asks me if I had a cigarette he could have.  Nope, sorry I don’t smoke.  How about illegal drugs, do you have any of those?  This is where I shake my head and turn around to leave without responding.  What a creep!

Thankfully, I won’t have to use the laundermat anytime soon because when Ben finally got home from fishing he looked at the outlet in the bathroom to find that the outlet tripped  J  What an idiot I am.  I checked the fuse box, but not the outlet.  Our dryer is just fine!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seriously?! Thursday

Seriously….Rihanna’s Loud show was AMAZING!  I think I might have a girl crush on her  J  I was surprised that she played for a full two hours and I read that she’s trying to add more to the show.  She got so into the music…you can just tell she loves performing. I know most of my readers are local, but if you’re not, I would definitely recommend that you check to see if the tour will be coming near you.

Seriously….Cee-Lo Green (who opened for Rihanna) was awful!  Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was at least expecting him to have an extravagant stage or costumes.  NOPE – he was dressed in all white with his bald head exposed (no fancy hats or wigs), and the stage was bare besides a DJ behind him.  He stopped the DJ several times because he was irritated that the crowd just wasn’t into him and when he finally sang a song that we all knew, he decided to change it up a bit so we couldn’t even really sing along.

Seriously…why am I wearing a thick UnderArmour zip-up on June 23?  It has barely been breaking 60 degrees this week and I swear we had the first official day of summer this week.  DUMB!

Seriously…I don’t have any plans this weekend and I can’t remember the last time this happened.  Do I make plans or just enjoy it while I have it?  (I hope I’m not forgetting about something I should be doing this weekend).

Seriously…I really hope that The Bachelorette is just playing with us in the previews for next week by making us think that Ashley invites Bentley back as a contestant.  If she does, she’s a moron and ABC should feel bad for not showing her the prior footage of Bentley completely bad-mouthing her.

Seriously…Did I really get my hair cut twice in one week?  Typical me…change my mind after I get home and just can’t help myself…I just had to go shorter.

Seriously…Is it really Thursday already?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Seriously Thursday

I was catching up on BFF Andrea's blog today and saw that she was linking up to Seriously?! Thursday which I thought was a very clever blog topic.  That being said, I've linked up as well....enjoy!

1.  Seriously....I'm going to the Rihanna concert tonight at Target Center in Minneapolis so I've been listening to Rihanna all day today on my iPod!

2.  Seriously....I had to move my desk today to a different building across town.  Now I'm further from home and left all of my friends (except for one...my boss).

3.  Seriously...I might wear shorts to the Rihanna concert tonight and if you any of you knew me, you know this thought would have never crossed my mind a year ago before I lost about 60 pounds!

4. Seriously...where did summer go?  We went from winter to a short span of Summer (no Spring) and now we are having the Spring we missed...

5.  Seriously...is anyone else super excited for the next Challenge on MTV...it's seriously looking like a good one.

6.  Seriously...is Bentley seriously coming back to the Bachelorette?  I will puke if it's him behind the closed door...

7.  Seriously...did I mention that I'm going to Rihanna tonight?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Not a Seller's Market

If you’ve been thinking about selling your house, you may just want to reconsider…unless your house is one of the lower quality homes in the neighborhood.

Ben and I have recently found ourselves completely shocked and helpless after consulting with a realtor and a property appraiser about potentially putting our house the market.  We live in a great neighborhood in which most of the houses are COMPLETELY different.  I don’t want to say that we have the nicest house in the neighborhood, but we definitely have one of the nicest because of all of the money and time we have put back into our house.  Ben was fortunate to have gotten a killer deal on house almost seven years ago.  It was a complete dump that was weeks away from going into foreclosure.  The house is now beautiful and full of character since it was built in 1887 (yes, that’s an 18).

After talking to a realtor and the appraiser, we have learned that the inside of our house (besides the number of bedrooms and square footage) has absolutely nothing to do with the value.  It all depends on what the comparable houses in the neighborhood have sold for in the last six months.  The appraiser was actually able to give an informal appraisal without even seeing the outside or inside of our house.  It doesn’t matter that we have refinished all of the original hardwood floors, or completely gutted the 100 square foot bathroom for a complete update, and completely updated the second bathroom, or redid the entire kitchen with new appliances, counters, backsplash and refinished cabinets, or that we built and expanded a new deck on our patio, or that we have a heated, large workshop with running water and a bathroom connected to the two car garage, or that we have all newly painted walls and new window treatments, new carpet and light fixtures…the list goes on.

I can’t be upset with the realtor or the appraiser because it’s simply how the market is right now…it’s a buyer’s market.  We are now left with the decision of whether or not we are satisfied with only getting enough out of the house to pay off the mortgage (which I’m thankful we are doing that well because I know there are a lot of people that won’t even be breaking even for years to come), or we sit on the house hoping the market improves but then taking the risk that the mortgage rates will sky rocket.

What to do, what to do.  Do you have any advice for us?

Monday, May 9, 2011

5 Reason that I Love Weight Watchers

Since I’m about to give my life story on my struggles with weight, I wanted to start with the five reasons so that you can choose or choose not to read on…

1 – There are no food restrictions.  You can eat whatever you want whenever you want it unlike other fad diets that say you can only eat certain foods and they can only be eaten at certain meals.  Yuck…who can sustain those diets?
2 – Points can be earned by doing activity (for those that don’t know, all food has a point value and you get a certain number of points to eat everyday).  The points that are earned can be used at anytime through the week.  They don’t have to be used that day.
3 – There are additional weekly points that can be used any time during the week to be used to eat/drink the things you enjoy.  I usually use these for cocktails.
4 – Weekly weigh-ins to keep me accountable.
5 – Weekly meetings to share ideas, successes, and obstacles with other people going through the same struggles.

I have been slightly overweight my entire life.  At each period of my life I thought I was fat at the time, but as the years passed and I continued to gain weight I would see old pictures or remember the size I used to be and think ‘wow, I can’t believe I thought I was fat…I’d do anything to be that size again.”

I started and stopped and restarted a diet so many times that I can’t even count.  I’d lose a few pounds, but the diets were never sustainable.  In the beginning it’s easy to be gung-ho because you’re motivated, but we soon get bored of eating healthy and quickly jump back into our old habits.  There never seemed to be a happy medium.

It must have been about six years ago that I tried Weight Watchers for the first time.  I LOVED it.  I was eating healthier, but I still had the option to eat the food that I loved like pizza, chips and fried foods…I just had to plan for them.  I had amazing success on the program in a short time period.  If my memory serves me correct, I lost 25 pounds in less than three months.  Then one weekend I had an awful weekend with eating bad foods…really bad foods.  The problem wasn’t that I ate the bad foods, it was that I still actually lost weight at my next weigh-in.  You’re thinking “why is that a problem?”  Well, the problem is that I thought “this is great, I can eat terribly and still lose weight.”  So I continued to eat my old ‘bad’ foods.  My new metabolism kept up with me for a short week or two, but it soon caught up with me and the weight began to come back.  I felt defeated and quit Weight Watchers all together.  So although the program worked and worked well for me, I did not have the right attitude.  I wasn’t viewing it as a lifestyle change.  It was a quick way for me to lose some weight so I could go back to eating the foods I loved…all the time.

About two years went by and I decided I had had enough of the weight gain and tried Weight Watchers again.  This time they were offering a special that you could pay ahead for like 16 weeks to get a discounted rate.  I chose this option, but it was a terrible idea for me.  In those days if you missed a week you still had to pay for that week’s weigh-in.  However being that I paid ahead, I never felt like I was losing money if I skipped a week since I had already paid for all of the weeks.  Honestly, I think I probably only went to the first two weeks of the entire 16 weeks because I didn’t feel accountable to go.  Needless to say, I didn’t lose any weight.

Three more years and four miscarriages later, I became completely fed up with all of the weight that I had gained (by this time I was way more than slightly overweight).  The doctors haven’t found a single thing wrong with me that would cause a miscarriage, so my only thought is that it has to be the excess weight.  I knew Weight Watchers had worked for me the first time, so I didn’t have any hesitation in rejoining.

I joined for the third time mid-September of 2010 and I haven’t looked back.  In the almost eight months on the program I have lost 55 pounds.  There has only been two weeks that I gained weight at weigh-in and they were the last two weeks with a .2 and .4 pound gain (which is like nothing).   This time it IS a lifestyle change for me.  I am by no means always eating healthy.  In my opinion, you have to allow yourself the food you love on occasion and in portion controlled quantities or you will never be able to maintain your new weight (unless you just don’t care about food, but I find that hard to believe or you wouldn’t be trying to lose weight in the first place).

I am so thankful that my mind is finally in the right place to succeed at losing weight and Weight Watchers has been just the right tool to help me do so.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tail Wagging Tuesday with C Mae

I haven't been the greatest at keeping up with my blog posts, so I am going to follow suit with my bff Andrea and try "Tail Wagging Tuesday with C Mae." 

Every week, C Mae provides a topic to write about your pets (she has a dog, so hopefully the topics will always work with my cats).  At the end of her post you can link up your Tail Wagging post for other bloggers to read.

Today's topic: "The Look"

With my cats, River and Percy, it's more about the tones in the meow that lets me know what they are saying, but I can at least play along with this one.

Since this is my first post about my cats, I should probably give you a quick background which is going to make this post really long... 

Prior to 2005 I HATED cats.  When I moved in with my husband Ben (boyfriend at the time) one of his roommates wanted a cat and Ben reluctantly agreed.  Drake was AWESOME and I was completely heartbroken when Drake had to leave with his owner two years later.  Apparently I had never been in the presence of any "good" cats prior to Drake...hence my hate for cats. 

When Ben and I returned from our honeymoon in January of 2007 we knew we had to get a new furry friend.  We went to the local humane society and purchased not one, but two cats (because they came together and it was a buy one get one deal).  I don't know why we bought Sully and River (formerly Beau Beau and Princess who were two and a half years old) because they were absolutely terrified when we were holding them and they wanted NOTHING to do with us.  They turned out to be the most amazing pets, both with their own unique personalities. 

River (the girl) became totally attached to me and NEVER leaves my side.  Sully (the boy) became Ben's cat.  Last October Sully died suddenly with zero warning signs to us.  The vet assumes he had an enlarged heart.  Ben and I were devastated and River became depressed (seriously, it was awful the sounds she would make).  We had to get another friend for her (and us too) so we made another trip to the humane society a month later and purchased a three month old kitten "Ted" which we changed to Percy. 

Percry has been fabulous too, so we have come to the conclusion that a cat's personality is all about the owners and how much time and attention they devote to the cat.  It took River a couple of days to adjust to Percy, but they now love each other (for the most part). Percy is still a kitten so River doesn't always appreciate him jumping on her back to chew on her neck!

Ok, so here are the "looks" of my cats...


This is the "Are you really going to make me come inside?" look from River


This is the "Don't disturb me while I'm getting your clean laundry full of fur" look from River


This is "Are you ready to play?" from Percy


This is "Maybe Percy won't find me in here"


This is "Daddy farted again" from Percy


This is "PLEASE...not another picture" from River


Finally, these are the "I love my mom" looks from River and Percy

What kind of looks does your pet give you?




Friday, April 29, 2011

Top Sheet Yes or No?

Can someone please tell me the purpose of using a top sheet in bed?  The only possible good reason that I can think of for using a top sheet is to prevent your skin from feeling the incredibly irritating feeling of those tiny little pilly things that develop overtime on the fabric of your blanket. 

I have always felt that using a top sheet is the “normal” thing to do so I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried it again to see if somehow a good reason to use it developed since the last time I tried it.  The result it ALWAYS the same, which is:  Nope, that was just as annoying as last time I tried this.

The problem with a top sheet for me is this…wait…the problemS with a top sheet for me ARE:

1 – I have to be able to kick my feet up in the air after pulling the covers over me so that the blankets can wrap up under my feet/legs so that I’m tucked in like a burrito, which can’t be done with a top sheet because it has to be tucked in under the mattress.  There is nothing more annoying than staying in a hotel bed and the sheet is tucked so tightly into the mattress that all of my strength is not enough to pull out the sheet to give my feet a little breathing room.  But in a hotel, you have no choice but to use the sheet (and sometimes only the sheet) because you never know what is on the comforter.

2 – I can’t use a top sheet with Ben (believe me, we’ve tried) because it never fails that the top sheet is nowhere to be found in the morning because Ben manages to kick it off both of us.  I think he may find the top sheet more annoying than I do.

3 – It also doesn’t work for Ben and me to use the top sheet because we don’t share blankets.  Yes, I know it’s weird which is why we’ve tried using the top sheet so many times since we ARE a married couple and not two strangers sharing a bed.  However, sharing blankets doesn’t work for us for a couple reasons:  a)we both violently toss and turn throughout the night so one of us would end up without any blankets at all (usually me) and b)Ben’s blanket has those little annoying pilly things that I mentioned above, but he loves his blankets because they are  super awesomely warm quilts made by his grandma.

So…if anyone has any tips to offer for us to try using the top sheet yet again, I will gladly hear them.


Monday, April 11, 2011

How Not to Use Facebook

I’ve been a little hesitant to share this post because it’s 100% my opinion and I’m not looking to create any drama or be de-friended on Facebook because someone gets upset with one or all of my top 10 things not to do on Facebook.  These are in no particular order…

1.   Post drunk photos – most of us are friends with family members or at least a handful of people that we work with.  Do you think your aunt wants to know how wasted you got last night?

2.   Post cryptic message – I have to say this is my biggest peeve about posts.  Don’t tell everyone you’re having the worst/best day and then not tell us why.  Do yourself a favor and tell us right away so you can save yourself the extra step of logging back onto Facebook after 18 people ask you why.

3.   Comment about work – I struggle with this one.  Being that I spend the majority of my day at work there is of course always something to say about it or someone…just remember you have to go back the next day.

4.   Use Facebook to share your religious or political views – this is where some people might be offended.  Nothing against people that do this once in awhile, but there are some on Facebook that this is all they do.  It gets old and rarely does it start a meaningful debate.

5.   Constantly talk about how your life sucks – unless something tragic actually happened, your life doesn’t suck that bad.

6.   Check-in – this used to bother me because it broadcasts to the world that you’re not at home and your house is free to rob, but now it bothers me because it’s getting out of hand with how often people are using this.  Unless I’m stalking you, I don’t need to know where you are at all times.

7.   Send love letters for everyone to see – try texting or sending a personal message.

8.   Post about how much and how often you drink – similar to number one, but in this case it’s not just one occasion.  People will start to feel bad for you, but not bad enough to do something about it.  And remember your future employer could be reading.

9.   Use Status Shuffle – this is a key indicator that you don’t have anything else to do.  Save your posting for when you actually have something to say.

10. Do not post your high scores from Facebook games – I am totally guilty of doing this in the past, but now I realize how annoying it is.

PLEASE don’t hate me for posting any of these :-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Wish I was Cool!

I always thought I would be one of those people that would keep up with the times and would always have the latest technology or fancy gadgets.  I actually thought that I was doing pretty well until I wrote the first sentence of this post and thought about what I would write next.  I now realize that I have fallen off the wagon to the future.  I don’t even have a clue how to download a song.  Heck, I couldn’t even burn a cd if someone else downloaded the songs for me. 

I’m embarrassed to admit that I gave up trying to keep with technology once Ben came into my life because I have completely relied on him to do it for me since he is so smart with computers and technology.  We have a fancy tv with a lot of options that I don’t know how to use;  a fancy blu ray player with all the cool Apps and Internet options, but all I can do is figure out how to play a move; a surround sound system that god forbid would get put on the wrong setting that would require me to watch tv in closed caption (except I wouldn’t even know how to turn that on).  Thankfully our Logitech Harmony remote is smarter than me and has a help button that fixes any issues if something isn’t turned on correctly when the system is powered up.  I’m not completely uncool though…I DO have the latest in Smart Phones, but I probably don’t use it to its ability; I DO have a Facebook account (who doesn’t?); and I DO have a blog…that gives me a couple points right?

My grandma on the other hand is one cool chic!  I thought she was super cool when I learned that she has a Mac computer (and will only use a Mac).  Then she got a Blackberry before I even knew what a Blackberry was.  She had an iPod before I had one.  She had an LCD tv before we did.  She has DVR and knows how to use it.  She has a Facebook account at the age of 82ish.  She has a Wii and still uses it.  Ben and I had dinner at her place earlier this week and I walked into her house to see her iPad docked to a keyboard.  Yep, grandma has an iPad.  WTF? My grandma is WAY cooler than me.  While we were eating, she politely asked Ben if he could help her get her house setup with WiFi.  My grandpa on the other side of the family doesn’t even know how to turn a computer on let alone know what WiFi is.  It’s crazy cool to me and I can only hope to be that hip at her age.

How cool are you?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TV Trash - Volume 1

What happened to the Real Housewives of Orange County?  They used to be my favorite cast (probably because that’s all I knew) until I saw New York, New Jersey and Beverly Hills.  Even I was shaking my head while watching last Sunday’s episode because I just don’t find a single one of the ladies relatable. 

As this season started, I was thinking that Gretchen was the only tolerable girl left on the show, but that quickly changed during the episode that she just wouldn’t leave Slade alone.  Did she really ask him why he ordered what he ordered for dinner because he was watching his weight?  She probably would have cut off his head and used it as a handbag if he had asked her that question.  So now that Gretchen has gone to the dark side, I think the only ‘real’ person left is Don, but unfortunately I think he’s a little too real for Vicki so we probably won’t be seeing a whole lot more of him in the future.

How about Alexis - is anyone fooled?  I have no issues with people having a strong faith, but if she says “where is that in the Bible?” one more time...(I have no threat to insert here).  The best part about her asking this question for me is that she said it in the same segment in which she discussed her previous marriage AND divorce.  And WTF is with her designing a line of dresses, but only if it doesn’t interfere with her husband and children?  How does her having eighteen nannies (slight exaggeration) not interfere with the time she spends with her kids?  Argh!

I hope you all know that just because I think these women are trashy and superficial does not mean in the least bit that I will stop watching the show.  I also want to make it known that this was a tough post for me to write because I feel a little bit bad judging these people, but then again they agreed to be on this show and as far as I know they aren’t given a script to read…idiots I tell ya.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Entrée Envy

I’m a little worried how the scale is going to be tonight at Weight Watchers.  I ate out six times (not including a couple lunches at Subway) in the last week for two birthday parties, three working lunches and a monthly girl’s dinner…oh and I had two nights of cocktails.  I absolutely make much better decisions when eating out now that I’m on Weight Watchers, but I’m just not a salad kind of girl because I don’t particularly enjoy spending money on food that I know I’m going to be hungry again 20 minutes after eating. 

Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m cheap when it comes to spending money except for eating out (because I clearly love food) and my one to two trips a month to the casino.  I know, I know, it doesn’t make any sense that I’m willing to spend $60 at the casino (I say spend, because going to the casino rarely results in a win), but I’m not willing to pay the extra $2 on my brand of beer if another brand is on sale…and I’m really picky when it comes to beer flavor.   Anyway, my point of bringing up the fact that I’m so cheap except for when it comes to food is that I just don’t enjoy going out to eat like I used to.  The days of going out to eat on a whim and making my food selection based on whatever I’m craving at moment are over.  Now I have to know where we are going ahead of time so that I can preview the menu in an attempt to compare nutrition information.  Some restaurants have gotten on board with publishing the nutrition info, but other places know that publishing this info will simply turn away business.  The absolute hardest part of eating out is that most of the people I’m eating with don’t have to care about their intake. So while I’m eating a grilled chicken sandwich (hold the bun, bacon, cheese, mayo or anything else that makes it good) with undercooked vegetables that are not in season…all I’m thinking about is how I wish I could be eating whatever everyone else at the table has ordered.  Eating out for me is now one big case of Entrée Envy (except on Monday nights after weigh-in which I consider “splurge day”).

Although I may gain tonight for the first time in over six months, I’m still very proud of how far I’ve come and will continue to go….AND I WILL still splurge (another birthday dinner tonight and we are going to my fav…Granite City)

…come back tomorrow and check my comments to see how I did  J