Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Three More Hours

Tonight after work:

  • 5:05 - Pick up the dog.
  • 5:25 - Pick up the Elder.
  • 5:40 - Pick up the Gum Zombie.
  • 5:45 - Arrive home.
  • Let dog out back.
  • Feed snack to Offspring.
  • Scoop litter boxes. Have staring contest with cats.
  • Let dog back in.
  • 6:00 - Leave for the Elder's middle school's Open House.
  • 6:30 - Open House begins.
  • Continue cursing under my breath because the middle school and the words "adequate parking" are never to be found in the same sentence unless joined by a negative.
  • During mandatory PTSO meeting, wonder why in the world Herff Jones is selling middle school class rings. Holy crap.
  • 8:00 - Open House ends.
  • Attempt not to be run over by the several hundred other parents who've also missed their dinners and are desperately trying to be first to get to their cars to hit the McDonald's drive through.
  • Feed children.
  • Take out dog.
  • Staring contest with cats. Someone used the litter box again. Pungently.
  • 8:45 - Showers for both boys.
  • 9:00 - Gum Zombie's bedtime is ignored because he has a spelling test in the morning and needs to study his words. Yes, he could study them in day care. No, he won't do it. Why? Because he's seven. And balky.
  • 9:30 - Put Gum Zombie to bed, because all the studying in the world won't help the child if he's too tired to remember what he's learned.
  • 9:45 - Finally get on the treadmill for W1D2 of C25K.
  • 9:46 - Stop the treadmill to answer the phone. Choreboy's on his way home. Put on coffee prior to his arrival.
  • 9:50 - Get back on the treadmill.
  • 10:00 - Off the treadmill to greet Choreboy. Elder's bedtime. "Yes, now. Yes I mean it. No you may not watch the rest of WWE. I don't care what CM Punk is doing tonight."
  • 10:10 - Kick side of treadmill. Get back on.
  • 11:10 - Stumble off of treadmill after post C25K walk. Shower. Wash hair.
  • Midnight - Remember I haven't eaten dinner yet.
So yeah... I'd like just three more hours for this evening, please. That's all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'm not going to weigh in this Friday.

I don't even know if I'll weigh in at the beginning of November, which was my original goal date.

What I do know is that right now I'm hovering around 150. Whether that's above or below is up in the air, but I can tell the ballpark from how my pants are fitting. And not to be too graphic, but I can also tell from how the skin sits on my abdomen. I don't have a huge amount of redundant skin at this point, but my time in obesity (sounds like a prison sentence) combined with two pregnancies where, if eating were a gauge, I should have been Octomom twice... well, it's going to take its toll somehow.

So anyway, I recognize the draping pattern of my skin, and that tells me I'm right at 150, probably a bit below.

If I saw that on the scale there would be fallout of the negative sort, but not knowing what the scale says is really helping me to stay on track. If I weighed myself I'm sure I'd overeat. And I'd do it because either a) eating well for x-number of weeks obviously hasn't done any good, so I might as well enjoy myself, or b) I've done so well that I deserve to eat, dangit!

Yeah. Not good. And I wish I weren't like that because I'd really like to know what I weigh, but there you have it.

So instead I'm going to get on the treadmill tonight and do the first night of C25K again, after nine months off from running after my stress fractures (for the record my bone density test came back just fine, so my doctor and I have collectively thrown our hands in the air for a cause). And then I'll ignore the fried chicken sitting in the fridge (I've been ignoring it since I bought it -- it's for the boys in the house), and the chili, and instead I'll dive for the Moroccan chickpeas and quinoa, and half an avocado.

And if I must, I still have the calorie allotment for one Biscoff cookie, and as much black coffee as I can hold.

Anyone else who has a twisted relationship with the scale, however it works, please share. Quirkiness loves company ;)

Okay, I'm dressed, I'm hydrated, and I'm off. See you on the other side!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have totally kicked ass this week.

I finally got back on my cardio because my knee is behaving itself again. I'm at 100% on the treadmill and about 80% on the elliptical, even with the time I had to take off. The downside of this is that it could mean that my body is really efficient at adapting, which is a total bummer for my metabolism.

Fortunately, I'm not shocked. It just means I have to continue to make physical activity a priority, which can get a bit sketchy with the way my joints like to behave, but if my grandmother (God rest her soul) could walk six miles a day at age eighty with severe spinal arthritis, I think I've got the genetics and the gumption to soldier on through.

My food has been on point as well. Among other things I've had Moroccan style spicy chickpeas with cilantro-lime quinoa and avocado; salmon with a dijon-dill sauce*, brown rice and quinoa, and broccoli; and tonight I'm making chili (no beans, because other than chickpeas they are The Sum Of All Evils) with 93% lean ground beef. The chili's kind of a one-off, but whereas the chickpeas and the salmon were multi-day meals (3 on the former, 2 on the latter), I'll only be eating the chili tonight. And tomorrow I'll either make another batch of chickpeas, or hit up the mustard maple pork tenderloin (recipe here -- it's awesome).

With breakfast and lunch I'm extremely boring. Most days I have an egg for breakfast, along with some form of whole grain (seeded wheat bread or perhaps some Kashi), dairy (nonfat milk or yogurt), and fruit. Lunch tends to be 2 oz. of a lean meat on a sandwich thin, one slice of cheese, more mustard than the law should allow, a HUGE bunch of grapes, and 3 pickle spears.

Snacks revolve around chocolate. I tell myself it's health food because it's over 80% cacao. Hee.

All in all, my daily calories hover around 1430 (my SparkPeople range is set at 1320 - 1670), and with exercising at a minimum burn of 2000 calories per week (low end is 5x/ week @ 400 calories each session), I can live with that.

I still have no idea what I weigh. It was close this week because I am extremely curious, considering how some of my jeans are fitting (loose-ish), but I didn't cave. And now I'm thinking... do I really want to weigh in next Friday? I know how my mind works, and if I'm below 150 that's a huge trigger where I have historically said, "Yes! Under 150! I can eat again!" and massive potato chip and Reese's consumption ensues.

I just don't want to go there.

I have been fighting this last twenty pounds for three years. The first fifty came off within a year, but I've been yo-yo-ing between 145 - 155 (with a few higher spikes) since fall of 2007. ARRRRGH. So perhaps I'll just keep on tracking my food and exercising, but not weigh myself.

It's still up for debate. I'll figure it out.

*1 lb salmon fillet
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 TBSP dijon mustard,
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP freshly chopped dill
1 bunch of chives, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse fillet, pat dry, and place in the bottom of a 2 qt. glass casserole dish (I spray my dish first with a cooking spray). Salt and pepper fillet to taste.

Whisk together sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, and dill, until thoroughly blended. Spoon over fillet and smooth until entire piece of fish is evenly covered. Sprinkle chives over the top. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the fillet flakes easily with a fork. Serves 4 unless you're pigs (which we are) in which case it serves 2. Or maybe 3. If you're lucky.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Ooof. Sorry for the radio silence, y'all. We had a nasty run-in with impetigo (I know! eewwww!!!) and I've been so skeeved out that I could barely think without my brain going into squick-out mode.

On the plus side my house is now practically sterile, and my pediatrician confirmed that washing the bath mat every day was probably overkill. Anyway, since I had already de-bacteriafied the main living part of the house, the hall bathroom and both boys' bedrooms (only one had it and for his privacy's sake I'll not say which one), this weekend I was inspired to hit up the master bedroom.

Let's just say it was past due.

In the end of it all, I scraped out the entire room including my dresser drawers and closet. Choreboy lacks my hoarding tendencies and thus was not part of the Grand De-Mucking outside of moral support and vacuuming assistance. I ended up trashing a small garbage bag worth of clothes and filling a HUGE -- I think 37 gallon? -- bag for donating. I also went into the bathroom vanity and threw out fully 75% of the junk under the sink.

All my clothes fit in my drawers and closet. My shoes are also in the closet rather than piled by my dresser.

Choreboy can't stop smiling. I can't say I blame him.

Oh, and just as a general note? After age forty it is perfectly acceptable to throw away the plaid dress with the Peter Pan collar, the teal paisley number with shoulder pads, and the Flashdance sweaters.

Yes I totally had to have that conversation with myself.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Well, in the Gum Zombie's elementary school's continuing quest to drive me completely around the bend, they just sent home the reminder about tonight's open house last night.

I know, I know, we're all grown ups and should have looked this up on the school website (which they update maybe once a year... in May), but seriously? Sending the reminder home the night before? Just not bright. Try the beginning of the week, kids. Most of us try to pay attention, but when you throw this on our [overloaded] plates less than 24 hours in advance, we get a bit skittish.

Choreboy has valiantly offered to accompany me, to help keep me in line. Otherwise I'd likely sit and read a book through the entire PTA meeting.

Shame for me to ignore the whole thing. Yes, I'm trying to convince myself of that.


In other news, food went well this week. I've still not weighed myself and I count that as a bit of a victory as well. My brother told me on Labor Day that my face looks the thinnest he's seen it in recent memory.

I think he needs glasses. But I'll take it.

My knee is improving, thank goodness. One more week off it and I hope to be back on track with my cardio. And Choreboy's job situation just improved exponentially, which means I can finally breathe again.

Whew :)

Ooops, my reminder to gather the office garbage just popped up. Better get a move on. Have an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Why Yes, Yes I Do Want a Medal for That

Accomplishments for the day:

  • Got out of bed (after a three day weekend, this is not to be discounted).
  • Remembered to buy cat food during lunch hour (we will be permitted to live another day).
  • Balanced all bank accounts at the office (first try, thank you very much).
  • Cooked dinner when I got home (Pizza Hut misses me).
  • While supervising the Elder's homework, did NOT fall into the trap of doing the assignment for him (took twenty minutes instead of two).
It's the last one that inspired the title.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

News and Events

First and most importantly my niece, the Divine Miss M, was born at 4:04 this morning somewhere in NYC. 7 lbs, 13 oz, 9 APGAR.

My baby sister is a mommy. Her adorable husband is a father. Those two had better get over the birth rush fast, because auntie wants pictures STAT. And yes, I'm grinning from ear-to-ear.


In other news, I'm taking a scale vacation this month; next weigh-in will be October 1st. I've noticed that whenever I get below 150 I seem to go a little nuts and invariably react with a "Hey, I can eat whatever I want now!" attitude. Considering I won't be at goal until 130? That's simply not a good idea. So instead, during September I am going to focus really closely on my eating and exercise (cardio subject to my knee not being a pain in the... well, knee) and ignore the scale. I will still be tracking everything that goes into my mouth, and recording everything I do physically.

I just finally reached the point where I realized something had to give. There is truth in the old saw, "Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity." For me to continue on that cycle would be utterly counterproductive, so a switch-up is definitely in order. I also freed myself from the last weeknight commitment under my control so that I have more flexibility with my family time and exercise schedule.

I'm already breathing a bit more easily.

Okay, time to tell the boys their newest cousin has arrived and field any questions about "Just where does the baby come out, Mommy?"

Hmm. Maybe coffee first...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Opting Out

Occasionally I wonder why I left the teaching field. I loved the actual teaching, nutty as some situations could get ("Yes sir, your son really did cough the words 'bullshit'. No sir, I am not making this up. No, I would not agree that children always try this stuff at home with their parents first. Yes, your precious snowflake really did curse outright in my class, and the fact that you coach soccer with the vice principal and called him (because your dear boy called you on the pay phone on his way to the office) means nothing. So sorry!"). I mean, if I were still teaching I'd have the summers to be with my children, the daycare issues involved with school holidays that don't match up with my office's holidays would be minimal. I'd be nearly ensured of employment, with reasonable healthcare available as well as a state pension. What in the world was I thinking by leaving?

Then I run into idiocy with my children's schools, and it all comes back to me.

The Elder started middle school this year -- at the same school where I used to teach, no less -- and so far it's been great. He's in the accelerated program, he enjoys his teachers and classes, and overall I'm pleased and relieved.

So the problem isn't academic. No, the problem is a couple of the endless forms we're to fill out at the beginning of every school year. Now I'm not going to bitch about all the forms -- that's a separate post in and of itself, and really, on the whole I'm accustomed to them after my years of indoctrination (although WHY they can't at least make them fillable PDFs available on the school website so we could just type in the info and print those suckers out, then edit for subsequent children/ years is beyond me). What I'm not accustomed to is being told I must fill out an opt-out form...

...when I'm not opting my child out of that particular, erm, option.

Yes it hurt me to type that.

But that's what I am told I must do. See, there are three pages at the back of the Code of Conduct with space for a parent's signature. One is an acknowledgment that we have received and read the Code of Conduct and agree to be bound by it regarding our children's behavior and consequences for same. No problem. I signed it.

The other two forms are "Opt-Out" forms, one for directory information (controlling who may access information to your child, such as colleges and the military) and the other is for technology (can your kid use the school computers? appear in the yearbook? etc.). Initially I didn't fill out either of these forms, as I wasn't going to restrict the Elder's information or his technology access.

Then the child comes home with the Directory Information Opt-Out form and tells me his teacher said I had to sign it. I figured if she was pushing it this hard then perhaps I should look at it more closely. I decided I'd require that I be contacted if colleges or the military wanted his information, because hey, if the teacher is pushing this it seems perhaps I was too hasty in leaving his information available.

Okay, fine.

So yesterday I get the Technology Opt-Out form back from this same teacher, with a post-it affixed saying "To Elder Offspring's Parents: You must fill out the top of this form and sign the bottom. Pick one of items 1-5 only if you are interested."

The school board itself doesn't appear to require that I fill out this form unless I wish my child's access to be restricted, and I base my belief on this line, which appears at the top of the form in question:

"Students will have the privileges listed below unless this Image and Technology Opt-Out Form is submitted by the Parent/Guardian."

In spite of this line, I'm being told I must fill out this opt-out form, sign it, and leave it blank. Doesn't matter that I am not choosing to opt my child out (the double to quadruple negatives necessary to even discuss this are making me crazy). Nope!

Have I completely lost my mind? Because seriously, this isn't a hill I would normally choose to die on, but holy crap. I know this isn't a school board requirement because I haven't ever had to fill these forms out before (and leave them blank!!!), and I've had kids in the public schools for years.

So I wrote the teacher a nice letter explaining that I couldn't in good conscience fill out an opt-out form when I did not wish to opt my child out of anything, and due to my time as a legal secretary I was extremely uneasy signing an essentially blank form (which could then be checked off willy-nilly and then waved around as proof that I'd chosen to opt-out my child when I did nothing of the sort), and I hoped the attached Affidavit of Receipt, which I personally composed and signed, would do in its stead. I also attached all my contact information for their convenience in case they felt this matter merited further discussion.

Hopefully they'll just look at the letter with its myriad attachments and decide arguing with me about this would be more trouble than it's worth.

What a way to start off the year. I'd better toss a few more bucks into the Elder's therapy fund...