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Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's your name again and why are you sleeping in my bed?

If you're a parent, you know that sometimes you forget a little bit about who you are. And if you are a married parent, sometimes it seems like you might have a roommate who keeps going in your wallet for money and occasionally asks to see you naked. Yup. Sometimes life interferes with really living and it's important to remember to make some time to re-connect.

B at Life in the BAT Cave is hosting a Date Night Restaurant.com Giveaway. Seeing as it's been so long since Mike and I have been on a date and our cash flow is currently involuntarily restricted, I thought I'd toss my post into the ring.

To enter, you just have to blog about your favorite date night, then submit your link to B. If you don't have a blog, you can just tell your story by commenting on her blog.

Hmmm...my favorite date night. That's a tough one because really it has been about 100 years since we've gone on a date. Our standard fare is dinner and movie, followed by perusing the local bookstore -- Mike in the magazines and me in the mindless chick lit section.

Last summer, we did have a great night at Conner Prairie. Picnic spread, Symphony on the Prairie, terrifying hot air balloon ride. Ok, so maybe that's not a good choice for "best date night."

When I was pregnant with Annie, our date nights seemed to always end at Babies R Us, looking at the endless equipment we imagined our new baby would need. Now, we've graduated to Home Depot where we inevitably disagree on paint colors, light fixtures and which home repair project should take priority. Ooops, arguing. Not a good date night.

Sometimes we try things a little off the beaten path -- an art gallery exhibition, a college basketball game. And sometimes we just stay in.

Actually, that's a good one and something we haven't done in a long time. Feed the kids early, something easy like chicken nuggets or corn dogs. Put them all to bed (or at least confined to their rooms) around 8ish. Then we'll have sushi and one of those fancy desserts for two from the corner grocery store, watching a movie on Apple TV. And if I don't fall asleep before the end of the movie, I consider the date a success.

So there you go, B. Sushi, dessert, and a movie. All in the comfort of your own home, which is convenient in case your "roommate" does ask to see you naked.

(For some really good dating ideas, check out Just Heather's Alphabet Dating.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thank God it's Fragments!

Mommy's Idea

Was this week long or what? Always glad to hit Friday -- especially because of Friday Fragments, courtesy of Mrs.4444. Check out her site for more freaks who like frags.

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Yesterday I was in a funk. When I left the office, I was totally jonesing for some french fries (because potatoes and oil are a definite cure for what ails you). But something about eating fries on the way to the gym didn't seem right. So I made myself a deal. Workout first and if I still wanted the tasty spuds, I could get them on the way home. Well, what do you know? It turns out 40 minutes on the treadmill did the trick. No fries, no funk.

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Two of our kids have birthdays next month. Their gifts from their great-grandmother are coming from the Sherwin Williams store -- paint and a guy to do the dirty work! (Because I am totally banned from painting for life.) So by this time next week, when I need an escape, I'll head to Belize (Annie's new tropical blue room) and when I'm hungry, I might just go nosh on Robbie's Edamame green walls.

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There's a thing going on at Facebook right now where you're supposed to pick a Hollywood star that you look like and use a picture of that person as your profile pic. I can't decide who I might be? Rosie O? Kathy Bates? Maybe Katie Couric, the early years if she had had a serious addiction to ice cream, making her gain 50 pounds? Got any ideas for me?

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The latest on the Go Red for Women Better U front was an early morning of playing dress up at Macy's. Five women with free reign in a department store before it even opened! We got to try on a bunch of clothes and just act silly for a video they are making for the luncheon. Then they shuttled us to the Estee Lauder counter to have our make up done so we could have photos taken for the luncheon program. Too bad I had to go straight to my workout with "Father" Kyle, the trainer, and sweat off my beautiful painted face!

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Charlie's basketball team plays tonight. I am vowing to keep quiet -- even if I have to get out the duct tape. I think I scared some of the other mothers at the last game when my alter ego appeared.

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Attenion iPhone users! I keep forgetting to mention this. Mike had an app made for me for the iPhone. You can download it free from the App Store. Just search "4th Frog." Then you can have my posts and my tweets always at the ready! He said he thought it might be available for Blackberry users, but I'm not sure about that.

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Finally, please keep Hope, a good friend's 3 year old, and Jeanne, Charlie's teacher's wife, in your prayers. They are both very, very sick and could use all the prayers we can offer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feeling funky

Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel like you're in a funk? That's me today.

I'm not sure where it came from. Yesterday was a pretty good day -- lots of Go Red for Women fun stuff (clothes, makeup, working out with Kyle) and a much-needed evening in with girlfriends. Plus, today is the first sunny day we've had in a while.

Yet, I'm still feeling out of sorts and a bit like I might cry. Let's examine the anatomy of a funk:
  • Husband recently downsized and the reality of that sinking in.
  • Cat needing sudden and not inexpensive surgery (Is it bad that I was weighing whether or not we should pay for the procedure or go for the cheaper, more final route?)
  • House a crazy mess and activities every night of the week that are keeping us from getting a handle on it.
  • Collision of the pressure of wanting/needing to lose 10 more pounds before the Go Red for Women luncheon in 4 weeks and the feeling that I'm losing steam in doing the things I need to do to get me there.
  • A good friend's baby and a teacher's spouse both critically ill.
Can I just stop here and scream for a minute?!

Scream

Ok. So what can I do about it?
  • Pray. (Check!)
  • Eat something. (Not advisable in light of the 4th point above, but I can't seem to shake the feeling that French fries might help.)
  • Blog. (That always seems to help.)
  • Go to the gym. (Headed there soon.)
  • Hope that tomorrow is a better day.
How do you handle those funky days?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Biggest Loser: Malfunction



From time to time, technology fails me. Tonight is one of those times. Our cable receiver malfunctioned and didn't record The Biggest Loser. I did catch the weigh in, but I'm clueless as to what happened before that.

So, I'm asking for some help. Please respond with answers to the following questions:
  1. The challenge I enjoyed the most this week was ______________.
  2. The winners of the challenge were _____________ and their prize was _________.
  3. The segment of this episode I could have done without was _______________.
  4. The "Drama Queen" award of the week goes to ___________ for__________.
  5. The "I Kicked Butt" award of the week goes to ___________ for __________.
  6. The best trainer moment was _______________.
  7. The worst trainer moment was _______________.
  8. The team/player I'm ready to see gone is _____________.
  9. My favorite team right now is ________________.
  10. I picked the team in #9 because _______________.
Ok, watching the weigh in, I'm hearing that Green team has a 2 pound disadvantage and it came from the Red team. Someone clue me in on that, please!

And that's where The Biggest Loser started looking like the Jerry Springer show with the Red team and the Green team mouthing off at each other. Wish they could just toss both those teams off and bring back Yellow and Blue. I think that if Miggy goes home, then Migdalia might stand a chance to let down her guard and do the real work of healing herself inside and out.

Tied. 3-3. Please, Black team. Do the right thing. Keep Migdalia and send Miggy home.

Crap! I think that was absolutely the wrong thing to do. I guess only time will tell.

At home, Migdalia struggled at first, gaining 10 pounds. She's lost a total of 46 pounds, which I certainly won't poo poo. And she's done it as a single mom while her husband is overseas in Iraq. I'm hoping that she's using this time away from her mom to learn how to stop stuffing her feelings. I think her attitude is as detrimental to her health as her excess weight.

Monday, January 25, 2010

To hell with political correctness

I am a first-born. By nature I am a people pleaser. I want people to like me. So I tend to not rock the boat or do and say things that might make people mad. (My husband excluded. That I don't seem to have a problem with.)

But tonight, I'm rocking, shaking, and probably mad making. On the way to the gym a few hours ago, I turned on the radio and was listening to "Your Time with Kim Iverson." The topic of conversation was "Can you turn a booty call into a boyfriend?"

Seriously?

I listened to a few callers who talked about the trials and tribulations of trying to go from "in it only for the 'goodies'" to true love. Kim's sidekick shared her experience with a married man.

Seriously, seriously?

Not to sound old fashioned or prudish, but I'm beginning to see why "to hell in a handbasket" is such a popular phrase. I don't want my daughter hearing this kind of garbage (she wasn't in the car). I've seen Facebook pages of some of the kids her age (Annie doesn't have one) and think "Do your parents know that you are a member of the 'I Have Also Slept with Tiger Woods' group and are they OK with that?!"

And to be fair, some of these same kids are members of Facebook groups like "Above the Influence" and "Jesus is my Savior and I'm not Ashamed." It just screams to me that our kids need our influence and involvement in their lives. Not our lectures, but our willingness to have conversations about why booty calls do not equal love and why they should respect themselves enough to not go giving precious pieces of themselves away in the name of popularity or instant gratification.

I have to really think about the part I play in the perpetuation of all this. I regularly tune in to shows like Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy where affairs are the expected natural order of things. The difference, I know, is that I am an adult. I have a fully informed conscience. I can make value judgements on things I see on TV based on the convictions I have in real life.

We owe it to our kids to help them form those value judgements based on the benefit of our experiences where they may not have them yet. And turning off garbage like Kim Iverson is a good start.

So there, I said what was on my mind. It's not as eloquent as I'd like -- I wanted to get it down and out there before I chickened out. It's probably not politically correct. Likely not popular. Maybe I'll even lose a few followers in the process (Aaack! I hope not!).

But sometimes, even us people-pleasing first borns have to say "enough is enough."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kicking my can all over the place

A little more than 3 weeks into the Better U challenge, I'm feeling like I could be in a Queen music video..."kicking your can all over the place!"

It's all good and I'm (gasp!) beginning to find that I enjoy the exercise. But just when I start to feel victorious about being able to go for 40 minutes on the treadmill, the trainers over at Life Time Fitness hand me a new challenge that reminds me how far I have to go.

This week's? The innocuous-sounding "group workout." Read about how I fared over at the Better U blog.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fragments: It's All Good

Mommy's Idea

Time once again for Friday Fragments, courtesy of Mrs.4444. Check out her site for more editions of FF. I'm cranking this one out on my lunch break at the office, so no fancy frog stuff today. Deal with it (please).

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In case you missed yesterday's post, my husband was downsized yesterday. That sucks. What doesn't suck is the amount of people who've contacted him with freelance or part-time opportunities to help fill the void. God is GOOD, people, I'll tell you that.

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I had my follow-up appointment with the cardiologist for the Better U challenge on Wednesday. I've lost 12.2 pounds since December 9 and 3 inches off my waist. Plus, she cut my blood pressure medication in half. Now that is GOOD!

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Annie got a part in the school play. When she brought home the script, I was immediately transported back to high school drama club. GOOD memories. My first role was a 7yo girl who wanted to be a wrestler. Annie's is that of panicky chess club sponsor. And to think she didn't even want to try out.

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Colts vs. Jets on Sunday. As Colts linebacker Clint Session said "We're the ones who got them (the Jets) into the playoffs and we're gonna be the ones who take them out." That's a GOOD plan.

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Thinking about going out for Mexican for dinner tonight. There will be plenty of time to be frugal in our temporarily single-income household. But tonight a margarita sounds MUY BIEN to me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I've always hated statistics.

I love words. I mean I LOVE them, with all capital letters. And as much as I love letters and words and sentences and paragraphs, that is how much I hate numbers and equations and all the specific and factual properties associated with them. In fact, my worst subject in college was statistics. I HATE statistics -- and now, my husband is one.

Mike was downsized from his job as a graphic/web designer/social media guru today. His job that he just started in August. His job that he really enjoyed. He was good at it; he could make telecom expense management sound interesting. Unfortunately, the company he was working for (until 1pm this afternoon) is struggling. Sales have been low, too low. Mike is not the first one they've had to let go. And he probably won't be the last.

He said his boss was unhappy having to let him go. She said it had nothing to do with his performance, just that she "is no longer being given the resources to fund his position."

I think we're both shellshocked, but not surprised. When Mike called to tell me the news this afternoon, I thought he was joking at first. After I hung up the phone, I went into full GO mode, making lists of things he needs to do, people he should contact. Then I put the list away. It can wait a few days while he catches his breath and processes it all.

This bitter pill has been made easier to swallow by the fact that they've asked him to turn in some proposals for freelance work. So there is some hope there. Another position he saw before the holidays (and considered with some interest before ultimately deciding he wanted to put his full effort into growing his impact at his then-current job) has been re-posted. He's already heard from a friend with a lead for some other freelance work.

So we're not devastated -- yet...who knows how we'll feel when the shock wears off. There is reason to be at least mildly optimistic. Plus, I still have my job and the few freelance blog writing gigs that I do each month.

And for the moment, we're finding humor where we can. When I picked the kids up from school today, Charlie asked if I could chaperone a field trip on a Tuesday morning.

"I bet Dad could do that," I said.

Then Robbie wanted to know if I was coming to school for 100s day.

"I think Dad might be there," I answered.

So I told them. "Dad was let go from his job today."

"Legos?!" yelled Robbie, our resident Lego addict. That was good for a laugh.

We'll keep looking for the laughs because they feel good -- and because you can't quantify them with statistics.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Biggest Loser: Get your head in the game

It was student/teacher week on the Biggest Loser this week. One player in each pair was the teacher, one was the student. The students did not get to workout with Bob and Jillian. Instead, their teacher partner had to deliver all the training to them and the student was the only one whose weight counted at weigh-in.

To determine who of each pair would be the student and the teacher, the contestants had to face a candy challenge. Players had to eat only one piece of candy per round. Each candy was 5 calories each. (M&Ms, I think.) If you didn't eat, you're out. The one who ate the most got to pick the students and the teachers. Only two people ate candy in the first round -- Michael (White) and Sherry (Pink). Michael bowed out after the first round. So Pink got the power for only 10 calories.

For the most part, they chose the heaviest partner in the pair to weigh in. They were very deliberate about not making enemies with their choices. However, Green team -- Migdalia (daughter) and Miggy (mother) -- was upset that Migdalia was chosen as the teacher because they thought that she would have the best weigh in of the two. The other odd choice, in my opinion, was that the White team teacher was selected to be Michael, leaving his mother Maria to weigh in.

Migdalia was obviously angry, but when Bob asked her about it, she denied being angry. So Bob and Jillian went all psychiatrist on Migdalia, trying to break her down. Even though it was a bit overly dramatic, Jillian did make sense in saying that feelings and emotion are a compass that let us know when things are out of kilter in our life. That allowing ourselves to be vulnerable really is to be strong.

But Migdalia was not having it. When she finally started to allow herself to feel the pain, she walked out of the gym and threatened to quit.

Jillian followed her out of the gym, sayin that quitting is weak. True strength is digging in to the feelings you're having. Fixing the inside is the only way to make what's going on outside better. Once Jillian got Migdalia crying and broken, she sent Bob in to finish the deal.

When Bob goes in to talk to Migdalia, her mother is there too. Miggy argues that coming to the ranch was about changing your ways, not your personalities. They won't let themselves see that it's their insides that made their outsides 300 pounds.

A few times the show checked in with the Blue and the Yellow teams at home. I really wish that Green would go home and they would bring back one of the teams that is willing to work on their whole selves. As a seriously overweight person myself, I will venture to bet that there are very few obese people who are that way because they just love pizza and beer. Most people eat to extremes for the same reason others drink to extremes or take drugs or shop -- to fill a hole inside themselves. And until we face down those holes and learn to fill them with something emotionally -- and physically -- healthier, we will always be sick individuals.

I wonder if they have real therapists on the ranch, besides Bob and Jillian doing their best Dr. Phil impersonations?

The middle segment of the show was one big product placement. The first was in the training room for Walgreens. The second was with Chef Curtis Stone who showed the contestants proper portion size. While seeing how many calories are in certain restaurant foods was eye opening, it was basically an extended commercial for Muir Glen fire-roasted organic tomatoes.

With the product placements out of the way, it was time for the student-teacher challenge. The teacher had to unwind 1,000 feet of ribbon through a school playground. The students were told they would draw for which ribbon they had to untangle. The winning team would earn immunity and the ability to switch teacher and student roles on one team.

Once the tangling was done, the twist was that the students didn't really draw to see which ribbon they were untangling. They had to untangle their own ribbon -- blindfolded. The untangling would have been hard enough, but blindfolded seemed impossible. Gray, Red and Green did a remarkable job untangling the ribbon, but Gray won. They had until the weigh in to make the teacher/student switch if they chose too.

In the last chance workout, Mike was kind of slacking off, joking around. It made me wonder if Gray would choose White to switch teacher and student at the weigh in. And I was right. Of course, that made Mike mad.

Weigh in (Teacher, Student)

Gray: Koli -13, Sam -11

Even though they had immunity, they said they were there to work and that's what they planned to do every week. Gotta have a lot of respect for that.

Green: Migdalia -8, Miggy -7 (3.2%)
Black: Andrea -7, Darrell -12 (3.22%)
Orange: Cheryl -7, Daris -9 (2.9%)
Purple/Brown: Stephanie -7, John -14 (3.1%)
Red: Melissa -1, Lance -12 (3.57%)

Was this more game play from Melissa? Bob and Jillian seemed to think so. An argument ensued with Bob and Jillian accusing Melissa of throwing the weigh in and Melissa denying it. I think Melissa just guaranteed that Bob and Jillian will not be giving her much attention in the workouts next week. This is not over. The previews for next week, show Melissa scoring a 28 pound weight loss, proving Bob and Jillian right; Melissa is all about the game play and also lied about not throwing the weigh in again this week.

White: Maria -4, Michael -10 (2.08%) - not enough to keep them safe, unless Pink falls below
Pink: Sherry -6, Ashley -12 (3.48%)

So White was up for elimination. I think that everyone will give Michael an opportunity to prove that he really does want to be on the ranch. Sending him home at this point could literally be sending him home to his death. John wasn't buying Michael's sob story about being in pain. And John would know best. He only weighed about 60 pounds less than Michael when they all arrived at the ranch. And John and Stephanie (Brown/Purple) were the only ones who voted to send Michael home.

Maria was eliminated, as she wished. I only hope that Michael sees this as a wake up call that he needs to engage in the processand take advantage of the gift that the Biggest Loser ranch is.

While on campus, Maria lost 27 pounds. At home, she's lost another 23 pounds, for a total of 50 pounds. She's also taking swimming lessons and is conquering her fear of water.

This episode has given me more to think about than any episode in a long time. I think I'll come back to revisit that whole idea of healing the inside. In the meantime, I'm curious to hear your thoughts about it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hang up and drive

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I typically am not part of the Oprah Nation. I don't read books she's recommended until long after the recommendation because I don't want people to think I've been drinking her Kool-aid. I don't religiously watch her shows. I didn't weep at the news that she will retire.

But once in a while, Oprah does say something that makes me sit up and listen. Right now that something is her campaign to end distracted driving.

I'll admit it. I'm guilty of this. I do make a concerted effort to put the phone down and leave it down when I'm driving the carpool home from school. So, why don't I do it all the time? Aren't my own kids worth the concentration that I ensure when I'm driving other people's kids? Aren't the people driving around me?

It's not just about texting, though I do think that is the most dangerous distraction. Even just talking on the phone is distracting enough. Do you ever get to a destination and can't exactly recall the details of the trip there?

I'll holler at the kids for being too loud in the car, telling them I can't drive with all that noise. How is the yammer of a friend in my ear any different? What kind of example am I setting for Annie, who will be driving in just 3 short years?

From now on, the phone stays in my purse or closed in the center console of the car. I know of someone who puts it in the back seat, intentionally out of reach.

So, on this occasion, I'm with Oprah. No more distracted driving. I've even signed her cyber pledge. Will you?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crabby appleton

crabby appleton

When we were little and in a bad mood, my mom would call us a "crabby appleton." She actually had a little song she would sing --

"Crabby appleton, go to bed,
Close your eyes, lay down your head..."

The song would either make us laugh or make us crabbier. I think I need my mom to sing to me because today I am crabby.

I think it started when I realized that I fell asleep during the Colts game. I tried to watch the highlights, but that wasn't enough to fill the football craving I had. Then Mike wasn't moving as fast as I wanted him to this morning, which made me mad. I told him so, which made him mad. And it's just gone on from there.

Charlie couldn't find his basketball shorts, which caused the whole house and everyone in it to be turned upside down. Mike snapped at me. I skipped Charlie's basketball game to get the house in some semblance of order (my decision), then I was P.O.'d when Mike called to say what a great game Charlie was having.

I sat down to watch the Colts game on DVR as I folded laundry, only to find that we hadn't recorded it. What I planned to make for dinner turned out to take way longer than I'd anticipated so it will have to wait until tomorrow (unless we want to eat at 10pm tonight).

My garbage disposal is broken. My laundry is out of control. My normal response to stress and a bad day would be to eat something awful for me (but delicious), but I can't do that because a.) this Better U challenge and b.) I don't have anything awful in the house (see a.). I could really use a margarita or a Mike's hard lemonade or a Blue Moon ale, but we don't have any of that in the house either.

I've tried to tell myself that the people in Haiti would be happy to have these problems, but that only irritates me more.

It's just one of those days. Ever have one?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fragments: The Late Show

Mommy's Idea

I'm a little slow on the Friday Fragments today. I'm sure our hostess, Mrs. 4444, won't mind. Hope you don't. When you're finished reading my frags, be sure to hop over to Half-Past Kissin' Time to read more!

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Today was my first real workout with my trainer. His name is Kyle and he looks a bit like a priest. I'm sore, but not miserable. My full report will be available at the Indy Go Red Better U blog shortly.

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We've got a fun weekend planned. My nephew is being baptized tomorrow, so all our family, including my brother and his family from Georgia will be in town. Then there's the Colts game tomorrow night (oh, please let them beat the Ravens!). Sunday, I'm going to the gym with one of the other Better U challengers and Charlie has his last regular season basketball game. Then Monday, we're taking the kids to see the Harlem Globetrotters -- using the free tickets that I got for blogging about the show (game?)! Plus, we're invited to a "meet 'n greet" with the team before the game starts.

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Remember "Jill" from my office? She resigned to follow her passion (and her passionate fiance!). Her last day was in December, but we had a going away party for her last night. It was a great combo of roast and sentimental tribute. I'll miss having her around the office.

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In the "why didn't I think of that" category, check out this awesome idea from Enchanted Dandelions. She saw how much her (adorable) kids loved playing in big cardboard boxes, so she had her dh build a big wooden box. It's probably bought her hours of blogging time!

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Remembering a hero: Today is the 1 year anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson, orchestrated by Captain Sully Sullivan. But there's another hero story that caught my attention earlier this week. It's posted at The Daily Grind.

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lemonade award

Liz at Eternal Lizdom gave me the Lemonade Stand Award for bloggers who demonstrate an attitude of gratitude. I'm supposed to share the lemonade with 10 other bloggers. Check them out and see why they're on my list of blogs to love:


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Different worlds

Haitian girl

Tonight as I sat down on the couch to watch American Idol with my family, I looked around and thought how wonderful it was that were all in the same room, enjoying the show together. Then, in an instant my thoughts were interrupted by the idea that somewhere in Haiti tonight there are families who haven't heard from their loved ones since the earthquake hit. Or worse, who know that their husbands or wives or children are dead. It struck me how different that world is from mine and how insulated I am in my own world.

I don't often watch the news. In the mornings, I'm too busy getting everyone out the door. In the evenings, either the kids are dominating the TV or I'm busy getting dinner or driving a carpool somewhere. By the time the late night news is on, I'm generally already asleep on the couch.

So when I was meeting with my boss this afternoon and she got a text from her husband saying that it's feared that hundreds of thousands of Haitians died in the quake, it took me a second to realize what she was talking about. I saw a few Facebook updates and Tweets yesterday mentioning prayers for Haiti, but I confess that I didn't know why Haiti needed prayers and I didn't take the time to ask. My boss was visibly disturbed at the news.

Sitting there at work today, hearing about so many dead, left me a little numb. I did send a note to women on my retreat team from church, urging them to remember our CRHP sister Marie who came to America from Haiti some years ago and who still has family and friends in the country. But beyond that I couldn't wrap my head around the reality of the situation. Maybe because I hadn't seen pictures of the destruction. Maybe because it seems so far removed from my world where my biggest concern today was whether or not the Transformers puzzle would make a good birthday gift for my nephew.

I sat in a grocery store tonight passing out information about Fit City, surrounded by aisle upon aisle of organic foods, bulk rice in 10 different varieties, and an olive bar for crying out loud, giving little to no thought to the people of Haiti whose lives have literally been uprooted and thrown back down with terrifying force.

When I think about it, I'm ashamed that I am so self-involved that the tragedy hasn't been on my mind more. A friend of mine said she went to Mass tonight to offer prayers for the people of Haiti and that the priest was quite shaken by what's happened. Why am I not feeling this more deeply? Why am I so unaffected?

Have I become one of those spoiled, arrogant Americans? Am I really so self-centered that my heart has grown two sizes too small?

Sure, part of me thinks what can I do about Haiti from my life in Central Indiana? The answer is, aside from prayer and a monetary donation, not much. But there are needs in my own community that I can fill. There are families going to bed hungry, people in nursing homes wondering if the world has forgotten them, homeless men and women sleeping in the cold tonight.

I'm not sure where I'm going to go with this. But I do know that my eyes have been re-opened and that I can't pretend that those other worlds don't exist any more.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Biggest Loser: The notorious Week 2

In light of the fact that I'll be meeting with my new trainer on Friday for my first real workout, the opening scenes in the gym of the Biggest Loser made me more than a little nervous. I'm pretty sure that I didn't hear anyone at Life Time Fitness screaming and hollering like the BL contestants.

I have to say that I'm having a hard time getting into this season of the Biggest Loser so far. I don't know if it's too many contestants to keep track of at this point or if it's that the so seems so much more scripted and overly dramatic than previous seasons, but tonight I felt a bit disengaged as I watched. So if this post isn't up to snuff, I apologize.

Some things that struck me in this episode included:

John (Brown Team) - His dad died when John and his twin brother James (who was sent home last week) were just 15 years old. Three months later, their grandma died. Three months after that their died. I can totally understand eating to bury that pain.

Patti (Purple Team) - in talking with Dr. H. about her 20 year history of Type 2 diabetes said "I didn't have symptoms that interfered with my day to day life, so I was in denial." Oh, sister, I've been paddling the same canoe.

Anyone else think Michael looks like an oversized Kramer from Seinfeld?

Why is Jillian wearing those big Uggs in the gym? Hello? Tennis shoes?

The teams were given a series of "medical tasks" that were meant to wake them up to the severity of the consequences associated with their weights. Most of these tasks seems contrived and a little heavy handed.

White -- Watch a normal weight man simulate a daily task at your weight. Put 330 pounds on Bob to simulate Mike's excess weight -- it was really condescending. Not sure it would have made an impact on me.

Purple -- Watch a special message about how your health is hurting more than just yourselves. Patti's husband and Stephanie's dad and sister met with Dr. H. The conversation was ultimately one of guilt trips and scare tactics.

Red -- Find out the true cost of your being overweight. An armored truck arrived carrying over $3M to represent the money Lance and Maria will lose over the course of their lifetime because of their weight -- medical expenses, lost wages, etc. That was actually pretty eye opening.

Orange -- Watch how your old unhealthy diet affects a healthy person. Jillian has to eat one of their meals pre-BL. Bad news for Taco Bell -- that's what most of the food on the table looked like. I was glad to see it -- especially how many of those items had more than 20 grams of fat -- because a Taco Bell opened just outside my neighborhood today. Knowing what's really in that food will make it easier for me to stay away.

This week's challenge was a balance challenge. A beam 3.5" wide and 40' across stretched over a pool. Each team had to get 10 beach balls across the beam. If the person fell in, they had to start over. Winner would get immunity while the losing team would get a 2lb. penalty at the weigh in.

Maria of the white team was panicked because she is afraid of water and can't swim (though they were wearing life preservers.) I don't know why so many of the contestants kept walking sideways. One foot in front of the other seemed like it would be the best option.

Red team (Melissa and Lance) won immunity and were quite elated by it. Then it came down to the white team and the brown team trying not to be last. Maria (white) stepped on the balance beam, panicked, fell and got a bloody nose. Apparently it was more than a bloody nose b/c the ambulance came, they put her on the backboard and took her to the hospital. Too bad for them, not finishing earned them a 2 pound penalty awaiting at the weigh in.

I found Maria to be whiny and annoying and full of excuses. Wonder how long she'll last? I'm officially sick of the white team already.

A big chunk of time was taken up by meetings with Dr. H. But at this point, I lost a contact lens, so I was a bit distracted.

Last chance workout. The red team is already playing the game. They have immunity, so Melissa is planning to sandbag her weight loss to save up for next week. Lance lost 8. She gained 1 and owned up to the gameplay. I'm sorry, but that's just irritating. I would like the show just as much, if not better if it was all about the weight loss and not the cash prize. Then people might stay focused on why they are really there.

Add red team to the list of teams on my "go home already" list.

Weigh in:
Gray team - down 17 combined (8/9)
Pink team - down 13 combined (8/5) - remind me of Helen and her daughter
Green team - down 12 combined (4/8)
Purple team - down 7 combined (4/3)
Orange team - down 10 combined (3/7)
Brown team - down 10 - John weighing in by himself
Black team - down 15 combined (5/10)
White team - down 21 combined (10/11)

Which means that someone from the Purple Team - either Patti or Stephanie -- would be sent home. Patti asked to be sent home so her daughter Stephanie could stay. As a mother, I would make the same request. The teams respected her wish and sent Patti home.

The Biggest Loser transformation moment - Patti's lost 43 pounds so far and got a sassy new haircut. She's well on her way and looks great! Even better, she's gone from taking 9 medications daily to taking just 2.

By the end of the show, I was feeling the love a bit more because the weight losses are always inspiring. But I hope the character or attitude or whatever it is that's out of whack this season gets back in line for next week.

Truth be told

The thing about blogging is that I owe it to readers -- and to myself -- to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. So that's what I've done on the Better U and Fit City blogs this week, owning up to my weekend:

Fit City: How well do you bounce?


BetterU: Confession

Oh, it's nothing tragic. Just a bump in the road. But it's my reality and I'm owning it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

When did this happen to birthdays?

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Pretty much as soon as the ball drops over Times Square on New Year's Eve, my thoughts turn toward birthdays. Annie and Robbie were born on February 13th -- six years and 39 minutes apart.

Most years, I shop for their birthday gifts while I'm Christmas shopping because the deals are pretty good. So in early January, it's time to start thinking about how to celebrate. When I was a kid, birthdays were celebrated by inviting the grandparents over to dinner with cake and ice cream afterwards.

I don't recall choosing a restaurant to go to (though I'm sure we got to set the birthday menu for the home cooked meal). And I'm fairly certain that I only had one, maybe two, "friends" birthday parties. The one I remember for certain was a surprise party for my sweet 16 at the local McDonald's.

What's more, there was only one celebration. Now, because we don't live in the same city as either set of grandparents, we have the celebration with just our family of 5, then the celebration with my parents, then the celebration in Evansville with Mike's parents. And if we plan a friends party, that's FOUR birthday parties. Is it any wonder birthdays wear me out?

So when did birthdays get to be such major productions? Annie's first "friends" party was at the age of 3 -- a Blue's Clues party. Plenty of other bashes followed in the subsequent years. There was the American Girl Coconut the dog party, the horse party where we had friends bring their horse in a trailer to our street and the girls got to ride up and down the street in the freezing cold, the American Idol karaoke party, the movie theater and McDonald's party, and the Steak-n-Shake and magic show party.

The boys' parties have all been outside the house because (shhh...don't tell) little boys scare me. They are loud and wild and they play in a way that makes it look like they are fighting. So we've done the bounce house party, the baseball game party, the basketball court party and the Children's Museum party. And honestly, Charlie gets kind of gypped on the party front because his birthday is in the summer when our budget is stretched a little thin and it's right before the 4th of July, so it seems that most of his friends are on vacation.

Today the calendar reads January 11 -- I have just over a month to figure out how we're going to celebrate Annie and Robbie's birthdays. Part of me would like to keep it low-key. Maybe a Lego-theme party at home for Robbie (with actual boys! gasp! maybe 4 or 5). The other part of me says Annie is turning 13 and that's a big deal.

If the budget would allow, I'd whisk her away to New York City for a Broadway show. Maybe when she turns 16. I've thought about renting a hotel suite downtown so she and her friends can swim, watch movies and be giddy. There's a school dance the day before her birthday. Maybe a sleepover after the dance? Or I might just figure out what a party would cost me and offer her that in cash to spend on whatever she wants.

Too bad I can't just invite the grandparents over for cake and ice cream.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Does anxiety burn calories?

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For my thoughts on meeting the personal trainer for the first time, visit the Go Red Better U Challenge blog.

Flash Mob

I learned a new term the other day -- Flash Mob. It's when a bunch of people suddenly gather in a public place and break into a coordinated action, like a song and/or dance. You've no doubt seen some viral videos of flash mob.

According to Wikipedia, a flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media or viral emails. The term is generally not applied to events organized by public relations firms or as publicity stunts.

I love these things -- they just make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I think I'd love to be part of a flash mob sometime, or at least be somewhere to see one happen live.

Jessica at A Bunch of My Nonsense posted this one that happened at the Oprah show last year. Oprah sounds surprised by it, though by definition it's probably not technically a flash mob (but who cares, it's still fun!):



I think the first flash mob I saw was this one:



It's still one of my favorites, partially because I love the song.

Do you have any favorite flash mob videos? Have you ever been part of one or seen one unfold in front of you?




Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fragments: Who needs a title anyway?

Mommy's Idea

Time once again for Friday Fragments, courtesy of Mrs.4444. Check out her site for more editions of FF. Thanks to Mrs.4444 for also following the BetterU blog!

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Oops! I was in such a hurry to get this post finished, I published it without a title. Hence, the title it now has.

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Missed Milestone: I didn't realize when I posted last week's Friday Fragments on New Year's Eve that it was my 300th post for the year. What a great number to end on! 300 posts in one year. I think that's pretty cool!

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What was she thinking?! The building where I work houses a community health and dental clinic. While I'm sure that plenty of the folks who bring their kids in there are terrific parents, there are some who make you want to shake your head (or call CPS). Earlier this week, as I walked toward the building, all bundled up because it was 13 degrees with windchills below zero, I saw a woman standing outside smoking. At her feet was her baby, small enough to still be in a car seat. In below zero weather! Outside! Just so mom could grab a smoke! Nice...

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As seen on TV: EggCracker. Really? Does anyone honestly need a $19.95 gadget to crack eggs? If you've got $20 bucks to spend on an egg cracker, I can help you spend your money in better ways.

Then there is Heeltastic. Now this, I'm seriously interested in. My feet are horrid (I'll spare you the pictures). You know that scene in Dumb and Dumber where they take a power sander to the guy's toenails? My heels are that way. When I go to those cheapie nail places, the tech usually takes one look at my heels and the Asian chatter is suddenly flying. I just know they are talking about my gnarly feet. So has anyone used Heeltastic? Does it really work?

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Fat Jillian? I saw Jillian Michaels on Jay Leno this week. She said she was a fat kid -- about 175 pounds at 5'3". I'd love to be that "fat." And I'd love to see her fat pictures.

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Snow charm: When the 4" of snow we received were only a twinkle in the forecasters' eyes, I had two different people tell me that their kids were wearing their jammies inside out to bring on the snow. I've never heard of this before. Is this some new folklore -- maybe concocted by some morning radio team? Or have I been missing out? Because if it's for real, I'll be wearing my jammies inside out more often!

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Speaking of the radio: I need to wrap this up because I'm due downtown to tape my "heart story" for B105.7 radio. From February 1-5, the radio station will be playing "Stories from the Heart" as part of a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. This year, they've invited each of us Better U challengers to participate as well. (In other Better U media-related news, Mike thinks he can pull my television appearance off the DVR and upload it. If he can, I'll be sure to post it.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Toward a Better ME

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Check out my new post on the Better U blog. I have good news to share!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow job?

One of the things I miss most about being a work-from-home mom is being snowed in for days on end. Back in my freelancing days, if we got a good snow, I could stay in the house for 3 to 5 days with no problem. I loved it -- the coziness of being warm inside, looking at the frosty scene on the other side of the window.

Now that I'm a working mama, however, that's not really a possibility. Sure, if school is closed, I'll stay home. But if school's not closed, then I still have to make the drive into work. (Well, I can work from home for a day, but not for days at a time.) These are the days that I'm jealous of my friends who are SAHMs, enjoying snowy days in their jammies.

So last night when the weather dude declared a "Winter Storm Warning" with 4-7 inches of snow predicted starting about midnight tonight, I tried really hard not to get my hopes up. It seems that where we live, the wind often sweeps storms just north of us and delivers the snow to our east and west, but not much here. Still, the prospect of 4-7 inches had me cautiously optimistic.

When I woke up this morning, the weather guy wasn't quite as animated about the storm, calling it a "Winter Storm Watch" instead of a warning, suggesting we might see 3-6 inches of snow on Thursday. Ugh! I knew I shouldn't get my hopes up. By the time tomorrow actually comes, we'll probably get 2 inches -- not even enough for a two hour delay.

My friend Lidia, who is a meteorologist by training and who used to work for the National Weather Service, assures me that a good amount of the fluffy white stuff will fall here. She says not to listen to the weather clowns on TV, but to stick with the reports direct from the National Weather Service, which Lidia swears under-reports snowfall estimates so they don't scare people.

And the NWS is predicting sub-zero temps and 4-6 inches of snow. So I brought my work laptop home, stopped at the grocery for milk and a few other provisions, just in case. But I am biting my tongue with the kids -- I'd hate to get their hopes -- and mine -- up.

But maybe if I'm lucky, we'll get snowed in tomorrow...and Friday...and the weekend too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Biggest Loser: Season 9 premiere

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Biggest Loser Season 9 - It's probably blasphemous for me to say this, but I'm having a bit of a hard time getting into this season. It's seems a little like a freak show and I have to wonder if it's really safe to put people this size through this kind of exercise.

I'm not alone. According to an article in the New York Post (beacon of responsible journalism, I know), Jillian has some reservations as well.

The episode opened with each of the teams participating in very public weigh-ins in their hometowns. That would be hard. It's one thing to weigh in on national television on a taped program. But live in front of the people you live and work with? That's hard core.

You know it's a season of big boys and girls when someone steps on the scale, weighs in at 346 and you think "hey, that's not too bad." Five people weighed in at over 400 pounds. The lightest contestant was Cheryl at 227 pounds. The heaviest was 30-year-old Mike who weighed 526 pounds.

This season's contestants come to the show in teams of two. Of the 11 teams, 7 of them are parent-child teams. That's a real wake up call for me as an overweight mother. What kind of example am I setting for my children? What kind of future am I creating for them? That thought makes me even more grateful for my Better U opportunity.

The first challenge was for each team to ride a stationery bike for a total of 26.2 miles, which actually doesn't seem like a terrible challenge, although I hope they had some extra-large, cushy bike seats. The two teams who finish the challenge last would be sent home immediately. The first place team would win immunity.

The winner was the green team, a mother-daughter named Miggy and Migdalia.

The challenge was not without its low points, though. Cherita, the mother of the mother-daughter blue team, was overcome with excruciating cramps and had to be removed from the bike, despite her valiant efforts to continue on.

As a result, the blue team was one of two sent home. The other was the yellow team. Of course, there was a surprise in store for them. Before their limos left the ranch, they were stopped by Bob and Jillian who informed them that they would be going home for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, the team with the highest percentage of weight loss would be able to re-join the other contestants at the ranch.

As I promised, I did some exercising during commercials. Bob and Jillian offered some exercises that you could do with a partner, so Annie and I did those together for several commercial breaks. Let me just say that my abs are in sorry shape!

The first workouts in the gym sounded more like a maternity ward -- the wailing, shrieking and gnashing of teeth -- than a gym. And it wasn't just the ladies screaming. This was also the scene of a double product placement. Not only the Brita pitcher, but the Brita pitcher available in the hardware aisle at Walmart!

Probably one of the funniest things was watching Cheryl going ballistic in the gym -- screaming, kicking, beating the crap out of a punching bag. I bet that felt good!

After the gym, the contestants shared their stories with each other. Seems a lot of them are looking for love. Hmm...a possible story line later?

Ok, second funniest moment was when Bob said "I'm a sadist." That's like Oprah saying "I'm poor." Laughably untrue.

Finally it's time for the first weigh-in.

Team: Player/Starting Weight/Pounds Lost -- Player/Starting Weight/Pounds Lost (Total%)

Green: Migdalia/265/-16 -- Miggy/240/-13
Gray: Koli/403/-29 -- Sam/372/-18 (6.06%)
Orange: Cheryl/227/-14 -- Daris/346/-29 (7.5%)
Black: Andrea/298/-14 -- Darrell/413/-30 (6.19%)
Brown: James/485/-23 -- John/484/-23 (4.75%)
Red: Lance/365/-21 -- Melissa/233/-19 (6.69%)
Purple: Patti/243/-23 -- Stephanie/264/-18 (8.09%)
Pink: Ashley/374/-21 -- Sherri/218/-17 (6.42%)
White: Mike/526/-34* -- Maria/281/-13 (5.82%) *A new Biggest Loser record!

Mike only had to lose 25 pounds to keep them on the ranch. As I told my Mike, that guy probably could have lost that in one trip to the bathroom. (Well, what I said to Mike was a bit more colorful, but you get the idea.) His 41 pound loss meant that the brown team was below the yellow line and one of the "half-ton twins" would be sent home.

That would be a tough decision to make. Going in the brothers weighed only one pound different and they both lost 23 pounds. If it were me, I might have just flipped a coin. In the end, James, who has a bad knee and ankle, but who does not have to return immediately to work and can go home and focus on his weight loss, was sent home. In his final commentary, he said, "America, next time you see me, you're going to be able to tell me and my brother apart because I'm going to be the more handsome, skinnier twin."

At home, James has already lost 100 pounds in two months!

All right, I'll admit it. By the end of this episode, I was hooked again. I still do worry that these mega-contestants can handle the kind of workouts and challenges set before them. But you can bet that I'll be watching to see how they do.

Do you know where your trainer is?

My trainer is apparently at Life Time Fitness. I'm waiting to hear from him or her. The general manager contacted us (the 5 Better U challengers) today to ask a few basic questions in order to match us up with a trainer:

1.) Do you prefer a male trainer, female trainer or it doesn't matter? -- Doesn't matter
2.) What are your most preferred days that you'd be able to meet with a trainer?
i. Friday
ii. Saturday
iii. Wednesday
3.) Is there a time of day that works better for you to workout with your trainer? - Mornings
4.) Do you have any limitations when participating in physical activity? You mean other than my basic physical and mental aversion to sweating and heavy breathing unless it occurs in the privacy of my own bedroom? Oh, then no.

And do you know where the two most famous trainers are? That's right, folks. Bob and Jillian -- NBC TONIGHT at 8pm EST! I might actually try to exercise during the commercial breaks this season. Do any of you do that? What kind of commercial workouts do you do?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Crazy, maybe. But cat lady, no.

Cat

For the past couple of weeks, a very handsome black and white cat has been hanging around my back porch. Black fur with white underbelly and white paws, green eyes. I'm really not a cat person (despite the fact that I'm the one who spurred the adoption of our gray tabby named Dungy), but this kitty really is cute.

Dungy didn't seem to mind this cat hanging around. They seemed a little like pals. The kids named the visitor "Georgia" and were convinced that she was Dungy's girlfriend. Georgia didn't have a collar on, but she seemed well taken care of. However, she consistently appeared on the back porch every morning. Probably the fact that Annie was putting out food for her had something to do with that.

As the temperatures dropped into single digits over the past few days, I've been a little worried about Georgia. It seemed to me that she was homeless because she was spending hours on our back porch, meowing often to come in. So I called the emergency vet over the weekend to ask about bringing her inside. They advised that I shouldn't bring her in the house until I was sure that she didn't have feline leukemia or AIDS.

So I put a box outside to give her some shelter and lined it with a fuzzy blanket that might offer some warmth. That didn't seem to be enough because over the past few days, Georgia has been trying to come inside the house. This morning, when she attempted to come in, I let her. Then I scooped her up and put her in Dungy's travel crate. (Well, on the first try, I didn't have the crate ready and she scratched up my arms in a successful escape attempt.)

I took Georgia to our vet to see if she had a microchip. I was pretty certain that the vet was going to tell me she belonged to someone in our neighborhood. Imagine my surprise when they told me there was no microchip. Then imagine my greater surprise when they told me that Georgia was actually a George! (In my defense, a) I'm not sure I've ever seen cat balls and b) I never really looked at the cat's rear end.)

No microchip. No collar. Perhaps this was our kitty now? I gave the vet to go ahead and do the testing to make sure he didn't have any yucky cat diseases and to vaccinate him. Then they called and said that not only was George a male, but an intact male. Did I want to neuter him?

Because the neutering was $220 more than the $180 I had already spent on the testing and vax, Mike and I decided to hold off, thinking we'd take him to the low-cost spay/neuter clinic for $20 instead. Plus, I was getting a lot of "don't do it" messages from folks on Facebook who had nightmare stories to tell about introducing a second male cat into the family. I also decided to send a note to the homeowner's association, asking if they could send a "Found Cat" announcement out via e-mail.

Given that George (By now, the kids were lobbying to change his name to Tony or Caldwell. You'll understand if you're a Colts fan.) had no collar and no microchip, I assumed that I wouldn't get a response. But at least I would feel assured that we weren't adopting someone else's pet.

Wrong-o. The first call I got informed me that this kitty -- named Boots -- is well-known in the neighborhood (except, obviously, to me). He belonged to a family who recently moved away and who intentionally left him and at least one other cat behind. Even when the family lived here, Boots was an outdoor cat and roamed where he wanted. The first caller said if we wanted him, we should take him. Ok.

Well, the second call was from another woman who told me the same thing about Boots being abandoned. Except that she and her kids have been taking care of him. They named him Oreo and had kept him inside for the past 2 weeks. However, George/Tony/Boots/Oreo had peed several times in their house, so she let him out again, leaving the garage open for him. She'd been in contact with the former owner who at first accused her of stealing her cat and who then admitted leaving the cat behind on purpose. The second caller said she planned to take him to get fixed later this week.

It was pretty clear that this lady and her kids had already claimed the kitty. She said they had even bought him a collar and tag, which he must have lost somewhere in his travels. So I told her that I'd paid to have the testing and the vaccinations done and could give her the paperwork so she'd have the records. I wasn't real eager to take in a cat that might pee all over my house and whose former owner seems a bit unstable and might come back for the animal. I was also hoping the lady on the phone might offer to pay me for the vaccinations or at least contribute to the cost, but no such luck yet. Maybe when she sees the cost on the paperwork she'll offer.

I may be crazy, but apparently, I am NOT a cat lady. No new cat for us. However, there is a dog...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pit stop

Hey folks! I have time for just a quick check-in tonight. School starts back up tomorrow -- lunches to be made, socks and underwear to be thrown into the dryer, checks to be written, basketball and volleyball carpools to contemplate. You know the drill.

Plus, the Better U challenge officially gets underway tomorrow too. I had a chance to be on the WISH-TV morning news today with Dee Leonard, another challenger, talking about the program. (Don't get me started on "Do I really look like that?!")

Check out the Better U widget in my sidebar and consider joining me in this effort. Also, check out my latest post on the Indy GoRed BetterU blog. You'll see that I'm still counting on rendezvousing with Denzel every morning, which means I really MUST get to bed now.

Catch up with you tomorrow!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Giving Denzel a break

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One of the benefits of yesterday's marathon basement cleaning is that the Nintendo Wii is more accessible and there is actually room on the floor to bring out the balance board for a little Wii Fit workout. So I gave Denzel the morning off and powered up the Wii instead.

The Wii Fit was a Christmas 2008 gift. So it should have been no surprise to me that when I logged in, the machine greeted me with a message that said "It's been 364 days since your last visit." Yep. Sounds about right.

So I chose to do the body test. Click. An instruction appeared on the screen that I should step up onto the balance board.

"Oooh!" the board rudely groaned when I put my full weight on it. Apparently the creators of Wii Fit are relative strangers to good manners. But I was in a forgiving mood when the next screen informed me that I weigh 4.5 pounds less than I did the last time I logged in.

Looking for a calorie burn, I clicked the aerobic activity button and selected the hula hoop game as my first challenge. Turns out I'm a mean hula hooper -- as long as I'm leading my with right hip. Reverse the direction and lead with my left and it's #hulahoopFAIL!

After a few rounds of the hula hoop, I moved on to the basic step game. I am definitely void of all rhythm and found myself having to call out the moves as I took the steps. Even still, I was stepping with two left feet and getting no respect from the Wii. So I decided to give the solo run a try.

Now, I hate running. I pretty much think that there is a direct correlation between the size of one's bust and the pain generated by the motion required by running. But I'm working toward a goal here and as they say, "no pain, no gain." Or maybe it's "Boobs are no excuse, keep running," so run I did.

Robbie found it pretty funny that his Mii kept passing mine on the cross country route. I was just trying to log another 4 minutes of activity to make a total of 30 minutes -- and I did!

Then, having my 2010 "take a yoga class" directive in mind, I decided to check out the yoga positions offered by my virtual Wii trainer. I think I did a total of 6 or 7 poses, enough to decide it's really too tedious to do them with the Wii, but that I do really want to sign up for a class sometime this year (probably after all the resolution fitness seekers have given up).

Denzel shouldn't be worried. I'm not about to abandon him for a Wii Fit workout. I like the workout I get from Denzel much better. (Did I just say that I like a workout?!) But I think that I might add the Wii as an afternoon/evening routine. Who knows, between the two, maybe someday soon I'll be able to declare Mii Fit.