Attention, Please!

Hey peeps.

As you know, I've been having a torrid affair with my OTHER internet home, The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.

Well, I have to come over here to let you know, that if you've been kicking around the idea of losing some weight, have we got the challenge for you. Shrink for Good. Not only will you be challenged to lose weight, you'll be donating food to your local food bank in the amount of pounds you've dropped. Cool, huh? Please go and read all about it - you'll be inspired, I promise. And by the way, you DON'T have to sign up with Weight Watchers to do this challenge. If you don't want to spend the money, or can't afford it, you should try Spark People (it's free!).

And, if you've just been wanting to work on your fitness, and you are the owner of a Wii Fit, we're also starting the 30 Day EA Active Challenge tomorrow. If you haven't tried EA Active, well, it's a hoot. And it's a good workout. I promise (all these promises today, but I'm SO EXCITED!).

In other news, I really do have a lot to write about personally , but am struggling with HOW to write about it. I've literally sat, staring at my computer screen for hours, knocking out drafts and then deleting them. I know writing would help me sort out my head, but how much is too much to share?

How do you decide what to broadcast out into cyberspace and what you keep to yourself?


Food For Thought (Possibly Nightmares)

I guess last week I jumped the gun on the food picture.

And this week - well, let's just say I haven't really made any 'pretty food'. I haven't been in the mood.

It has, fortunately, helped out with the weight loss.

So my pictures of food...well, they're maybe not that appetizing. Let's just call this photo exercise a lower middle class version of MTV Cribs. You know how they always show the contents of the fridge and kitchen? Yeah. No Cristal Here. Just Crystal Light.

Exhibit 1: I really need to clean out my fridge. I have way too many science experiments going on for my taste.

The Costco sized eggs and Go-Gurt are literally collapsing a shelf. Thankfully, the ginormous Costco mayonnaise is there to prop everybody up.

Exhibit 2: And I need to clean out my freezer. Stuff falls out on my husband every time he opens the door. Resulting in a few swears. Just a few.

You see that ice cream? I haven't touched it in a week. Amazing. Or the Eggos. But I am eating that Ezekiel Bread. Everything is okay with peanut butter and bananas...

Exhibit 3: At least my canned goods look nice. But you don't get to see the uncropped version of this photo. It's not pretty.

Exhibit 4: Dinner.

Exhibit 5: Who wants to come do my dishes? I'll pay you $100. They're still sitting in there. Gross. I HATE DOING DISHES.

Exhibit 6: This is what I did instead of dishes. Mmmmm. Tea.

Go on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry where you'll hopefully find some more appetizing food!


Deep Dark Past

I don't talk about this a lot, because it kind of pains me to admit it.

I was a cheerleader in high school.

Most of the time, I manage to push this fact into the distant recesses of my memory. And then, I do something to bring it front and center.

Like today. Little grumpy dictator was having a massive meltdown in the living room. I think he wanted yogurt(YOOOO-GUT)or to nurse (NUSSSSSSS) and I wanted to distract him. I started beckoning him down the hall to his room to look at some books.

And then it happened. I broke out in cheer.

Oh yes.

L-E-T-S-G-O, Let's Go, Let's Go, L-E-T-S-G-O, LET'S GO!

He stopped in his tracks and looked up at me with his little puffy red face. And then he burst out laughing maniacally.

Hmmmm. Now I have to see what other cheers I can remember. Hey, if I have to live with the shame, I may as well use it to my advantage in deterring tantrums.


So Much To Say

One of the craziest things about blogging (for me, at least) is that I find that I have to censor myself. A lot. You probably don't believe me...

No, I really do. Because YOU NEVER KNOW WHO READS.

So, I'm in a situation right now that I'm just dying to spout off about. Like, seriously. I am so pissed off I could just punch someone in the neck. Not randomly, I do have someone in particular in mind.

But I can't. And it sucks. Not just because venting would make me feel so much better, but it would probably be the best damn post I've ever written because I'M SO AMPED UP right now. Like I've had 20 cups of coffee in 20 minutes.

Realistically, I'm probably having a panic attack. Fluttery heart, sweaty palms...uh yeah.

I'll leave it at this...just when I think that people can't possibly be any more selfish and horrid, well, they just have to go and do something that blows the lid off.

(Just so's not to be ominous, if you're really dying to know, email me and I'll fill you in.)

That is all for now. I wish I had a heavy bag right about now, to punch the hell out of. But I will try to be very zen about this and go make myself some tea.

The Red Headed Stepchild

Poor, poor blog.

I've been neglecting you. I've been posting up a storm over at the Sisterhood, while you've sat patiently, waiting.

I wish I had something cool or interesting of vaguely funny to post on you.

But for now, you'll just have to be patient with me. I'll love you up soon, I promise.

Mama Sass


Classy, Defined...

B came home from Chicago late last night, and we were going through all the amazing photos he took as he regaled me with stories from his trip.

Of course, all I really wanted to hear about was the food.

The last night they were there, he said, they went to a 'really fancy restaurant'.

I asked him if he ordered a Long Island Iced Tea, because when he was actually in Long Island a few weeks back, he'd had plenty.

Yes, my husband is THAT guy. The one who orders Long Islands IN Long Island. He also said the servers did not make fun of him for ordering the Long Island in Long Island. Clearly, he has never worked in the restaurant industry. We used to make fun of people for trying to be fancy and ordering the pink wine.

After I asked about the Long Islands, the following conversation ensued:

Me: So, did you order a Long Island?

B: No, this place was way too classy to serve Long Islands.

Me: So what did you have?

B: A Sex on the Beach.

I laughed for like ten minutes straight. Because I never in a million years thought I'd hear the words 'classy' and 'sex on the beach' in the same sentence.


You Know That Old Camera?

I had to pull out my older than dirt camera (well, for an electronic, its old) a few days ago. I took a bunch of shots, and then plugged it in to my computer.

And there were photos from three years ago that I'd totally forgotten about. It's kind of like back in the day when we used film? And found an old roll?

Like a little time capsule, a present.

Unfortunately, it looks like my camera was dropping acid back in 2006. For instance, I can't even begin to figure out what this is:

If you squint for this next one, you can see our dog, Carl, and out cat, Violet, who is actually sitting with me. She did this for the first week after she came to live with us, and hasn't let us touch her since. Except when she was in heat, and that was just gross. GROSS. There is nothing more annoying/disgusting than a cat in heat. And yes, Bob Barker, she is now fixed. The end.

This one is from my high school reunion. All these children are now in high school I think (okay, maybe grade school). Too bad you can hardly tell they have faces...

But then, lo and behold. The one photo that turned out. It is pristine. Do you know who this is?

Yes, it is Mr. Horror himself, Stephen King. And someone who is giving me the stink eye for taking a photo in the background. Awesome.

He did a book signing at my former employer. They used to have stuff like this all the time. During work hours. Back in the glory days.

Not excessive or a distraction or anything...and they were surprised when they had to lay off half the company?

Ahem. Memories...


Peace Offering

This week's You Capture almost didn't happen.


1) Peace? Oh my God, I have photographers block. This is the first time. Beth has finally stumped me...

2) My husband is in Chicago and took my crappy camera to take pictures of architecture (the nerve). But I remembered I had an old digital in a drawer, and amazingly, it still works. My Olympus circa 2003. It's a freaking dinosaur. It literally creaks when I start it up. So I am shooting this week with an even crappier camera.

3) I had a busy few days and forgot to really ruminate on what I needed to go and shoot.


So, here I am today, out watering the garden, when I notice something gleaming and red out of the corner of my eye.

Could it be?

Oh, sweet Jesus in heaven...my tomato plant finally decided to ripen some of those bad boys that have been hanging out for like a month, green, taunting me.


A PEACE OFFERING. Oh yeah, it's a stretch. But aren't they gorgeous (click to enlarge to really feel the LOVE)? Tomato plant must have sensed I was going to rip it up by its stubborn roots and go buy my tomatoes at the grocery store.

So thank you, Tomato Plant, for my dinner, and my photographs.

(Yes, they were delicious. Nothing in the world like a homegrown tomato. Nothing. Bliss.)

For some more peaceful shots (and hopefully less of a reach!) head on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Peace out.

Drumroll, Please...

Today's' the day!

If you don't know already, I'm one of the newest contributors at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, along with Christie. We found out on Sunday, and since then have been caught up in a whirlwind of technology and general craziness. Not to mention getting to know our other Sisters (and Brother) better.

Let's just say last night we had a chain on GMail that was over 100 emails long. Good times, good times!

We're starting up a couple of new challenges soon, one with Weight Watchers called Lose for Good and another with EA Active for Wii. Check 'em out! If you're interested in losing weight, getting fit, or just being healthier in general, there is no time like the present, and the Sisterhood is AWESOME. For reals.

I'll be blogging over here about my fitness and weight loss adventures, so be sure to hop on over once and a while.

So, after all the buildup, that's my news! No, not the lottery, my brother is not getting married (Andrea, I was rolling on the floor over that guess) and I don't have a new job.

But after getting the news on Sunday, I kind of felt like I'd won the lottery, and after getting to know my new team over the last few days, I'm pretty sure I actually did.



B has been in Chicago since Sunday morning, and I am wiped out. He's gone till Thursday night, or maybe even early, early Friday morning, depending on flight delays. Last time he was out of town, I jam packed our days with visits and outings. This time, I thought we'd just lay low at home.

I think being as busy as possible was better. Because it makes the time go faster. And breaks up the monotony of meal, play, read, meal, play, nap, snack, play, TV, meal, play, bath, read, bed. It's like Groundhog day around here.

Tomorrow, we're going somewhere. Anywhere. Well, not anywhere - somewhere G approved so I don't have a repeat of the grocery store incident the other day. The one where he chucked his toy car at some unamused lady's head. Oops.

On a positive note, I have been super busy with that cool thing I can tell you about tomorrow. Almost there!

So, I've made myself a cup of tea, and I'm going to watch St. Elmo's Fire. Okay, realistically watch it for ten minutes before I pass out on the couch.

Titillating, I know.


And the Award Goes to....

Let's have a look, shall we?

Smelly dog for pillow? Check.

Toys covering every square inch of floor? Check.

Zoned out watching Dora? Check.

Chewing on shoe? Check.

Yes, it's true. I am very much in the running for Mother of the Year.

P.S. You totally thought this was about my post from last night, didn't you...DIDN'T YOU?!


Dude. DUDE. Dude!

So I just got home from a super freakin' long day. I'm talking up at the ass crack of dawn, driving my husband to meet a co-worker and shuttle to the airport (hey, at least I didn't have to actually go to the airport), a run, and then I packed up the kiddo for a family birthday party which included a ferry ride, several insane children and too much food. Namely Doritos.

I know. Doritos. I have identified my cryptonite. And it leaves nacho cheesy crap under my fingernails.

We literally just got home about fifteen minutes ago. Little dude went to bed without so much as a peep (thank you, Jesus). And I thought I should get on my email, check the Facebook, play a little Bejeweled (shut up), before I shuffle off to watch the perfection that is True Blood.

And boy, am I glad I decided to check the email.

Cause I got some freaking fantastic news.

And I can't tell you what it is, just now. Sorry. I know. I suck.

But I promise all will be revealed shortly.

You can guess in the comments, but I don't think you'll figure it out. And I'll save you the trouble. I'm not pregnant. And I haven't come up with the solution for world peace.

World Peace is next week and it is definitely going to include Doritos.



I have to admit, I'm addicted.

When I can't do it every single day, I feel like I'm slipping, unproductive, losing any edge I may have gained.

I lie in bed and think about it. I think about it when I'm driving.

You're probably thinking I'm talking about food. And if you think that, you're probably right. Or you're thinking something else.

Pull yourself on up out of the gutter, like, NOW.

I'm talking about blogging. Even if I have nothing interesting to say (which is pretty much ALWAYS), I am compelled to the glowing screen.

Write something, it beckons. Anything.

Sometimes it tells me to write about something funny. Like poop. Cause admit it, poop is always funny. Just say it aloud - you'll laugh. I promise. All together now... POOP.

Very rarely, I'll write about something socially conscious or serious. Did I say rarely? It takes quite a lot to get me fired up enough to write about something truly controversial.

Do I have opinions? Um, that's a resounding yes. But I'm still a little shy and don't want to be yelled at over my blog. I'll save that for later. So I pretty much complain about things that won't offend. Too much.

Some days I want to blog about people in my life...in a not very positive way. I'm not talking about my husband - I don't feel like I want to air our marriage out in public. But others, yes...and most of them - well, I'm pretty sure they don't read this. If they can even read, period. But I don't feel like taking that chance.

Will I outgrow this compulsion to write and push a button, propelling my verbal vomit out into the bloggy universe? Maybe,

But right now, I'm kind of obsessed.

If I could only get this passionate about exercise.


Body in (Constant) Motion

His energy level baffles me. If I could bottle it, I'd be a bazillionaire. He's my little blur.

Click on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for more motion.


A week ago, I started forcing myself into teaching myself some healthy habits. One week in, and how am I doing?

Well, if I'm being honest with myself, I'd give myself a C+. I'm doing decent on the water, crappy on the crunches and great with not eating after 9 pm, running and no fast food.

And the fast food has been hard. Hard. Not because I'm craving it, but for the convenience. Sometimes its hard to go into a Subway when you're on the go with a very active 18 month old. Usually, by the time we get our food, I have him hooked by the armpits in the crook of my arm, legs and arms flailing, screaming COOKIE!

I'm thinking I'm going to franchise a Subway and make it a drive through as my next career. Seriously. Moms everywhere would thank me!

To counteract the knee jerk reaction to hit a drive through, I've made sure to pack healthy snacks in the car, so, if necessary, we can wait till we make it home and I can make lunch. So, as a double bonus, I'm not spending as much.

More to go towards my reward at the end of this challenge! I have pretty much decided on this skirt from Gock's Frocks. My husband will probably accuse me of dressing like a kindergarten teacher, but I love it! I will try not to wear it with Crocs or Birkenstocks. But I can't promise anything.

One more thing this week, I started using Spark People. It is free (FREE IS GOOD!), and I like it better than Weight Watchers - the site is much easier to use, and you can set fitness goals as well as nutrition. Plus, you can make charts and graphs to analyze your eating habits. So far, so good. It always helps me to have a place to write down what I'm eating. Definitely makes me more accountable.

No numbers this week, but I promise, they're good. We'll save that for the grand finale in a couple of weeks!


Take Me With...

My husband is going to Chicago for work next week. For four days. Four whole days with air conditioning and a hotel room all to himself. I'm not jealous or anything.

Okay, I'm crazy jealous. I want to go. I've been wanting to visit Chicago for a long time.

He's not enthused (he's not big on traveling), but keeps asking me why I'm so interested.

Truthfully, most places I want to go, it has to do with the food. I will never want to travel somewhere that does not have good food. But this is hard to explain to someone who I sincerely believe was born without taste buds. And is skinny. You can't explain wanting to travel to a city simply to have a culinary experience to someone who lives on a solid diet of frozen pizza (dairy), Sunchips (grains), fish sticks (protein) and Starburst (fruit).

Chicago is no different. But I also want to see all the architecture. I want to experience the city. My interest in Chicago started with the book Devil in the White City (if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it - absolutely fascinating).

For now, I have to live vicariously through my husband. Did I mention they're near Navy Pier?


I had better at least get a souvenir. Preferable some Chicago Deep Dish. They'll Fed Ex that, right?


Assault with a Deadly Grocery Cart

I don't know what it is with me and Costco, but the lamest things happen to me there. Like getting stalked for a parking space.

This latest episode took place on Friday afternoon, and it's been weighing heavily on my mind ever since. I just had a few things to pick up, but for once, I wasn't in a huge hurry. And by hurry I mean my child wasn't screaming 'CAAAADDOOOOOO' (avocado) or 'BOOOKKKEEEEEE' (book, cd, dvd) or 'COOOOOKEEEEEEE' (this one should be obvious) or throwing his sippy cup at the heads of random strangers.

It was about noon, which if you go to Costco enough, you know that's when they start offering the samples - i.e. when people arrive in droves for a free lunch.

I can't tell you how much I want to hit the people who stop across the aisles, four deep, to wait for a piece of cut up pizza pocket skewered by a toothpick. Or a dixie cup half full of warm juice.

Let me be clear - I don't begrudge those wanting samples. It's the complete lack of awareness of oneself while blocking the path for a full minute while waiting for the food to warm up.

Still, I was actually surprisingly patient for once. Feeling pretty good about how mellow I was considering this type of behavior usually sends me over the edge.

Then IT happened.

After waiting for about six people to exit an aisle, I was about to make my turn. I saw an older woman trying to go ahead of me. Deep breath. I let her go. Then she STOPPED to wait for a sample. Another deep breath.

She started moving, and I thought she'd cleared out. I was wrong.

And I hit her in the ass with my cart.

Not hard, literally a brush, a tap.

She whipped around and gave me the most horrid look. Seriously, I wanted to shrivel up and die, right there next to the 5 gallon jugs of soy sauce.

Me: I am so sorry! (eyebrows raised for effect) I thought you'd already gone through! (In retrospect, this may not have been the best thing to say, as it may infer I thought she had a large ass - she didn't).

Woman: (continues glare, grunts)

Me: Are you okay?

Woman: (sniffs, whips back around, eats her sample)

I felt bad at this juncture. I mean, I definitely could have been watching where I was going a bit better. But I was truly sorry. I apologized. And I meant it.

And come on, there is no way she was even a little bit injured.

She was out of sight and I continued on with my shopping. I still had to grab a few things before I hit the checkout stand.

And wouldn't you know. We were on the same item trajectory. Every single aisle. There she was. Giving me the evilest stink eye imaginable.

I wanted to cry. Don't ask me why, I'm not usually uber-sensitive, but I guess when I've issued a sincere apology for something that wasn't entirely my fault, it makes me feel a bit crappy.

After at least five times crossing paths, I decided I'd had enough. I was guessing at our next passing she'd show up with a neck brace and a personal injury attorney.

It was time to get out. So we got.

All the way home, I thought about this bitter beyotch. Eventually my embarrassment and atonement morphed into flat out anger.

And I'm probably going straight to hell for saying this, but now I wish I'd actually hit her harder and on purpose, if I was going to catch that sort of grief for an accidental tap.

But then, I probably would be out on bail for assault with a deadly cart.


Don't You Forget About Me (RIP John Huges)

At first I wasn't going to write anything about the passing of John Hughes. But then I got to thinking about all of his films, how so many made such a huge impression on me as a child and young adult.

I had to write something. So write, I did.

Things I Learned From John Hughes.

- The good guy doesn't ALWAYS get the girl. The hot guy does. At least in high school.

Even if he does a mean Otis Redding impression.

- Men, though semi-retarded at first, can in fact nurture and care for children.

- John Candy was amazing. Uncle Buck, Trains Planes and Automobiles, The Great Outdoors...seriously. I mean, who could not help but laugh when he was on screen? Pure genius.

- Being a computer nerd will pay off. This was absolutely VISIONARY. Geeks everywhere rejoiced in Gary and Wyatt showering with Lisa, turning Chet into a pile of crap, and in the end, getting the girls.

- Many HAVE tried, many WILL try, but, no one will ever...EVER...be as cool as Ferris Bueller.

- That some moments are just that much better with a great song and life truly deserves a soundtrack.

I'm not kidding, hearing this song right now still gives me chills (and I'm loving the fact the dialog is dubbed in Spanish - got to love You Tube).

I heart you Jake Ryan.

- Quirky is beautiful. Yes, Molly Ringwald is gorgeous, but not the conventional California beach blonde with huge boobs beautiful. Thank you John Hughes for showing us that a 'normal' girl can be the object of affection.

I could really go on and on, but let's leave it at this:

Thank you John Hughes, for all the laughs and tears. You were truly an American icon.

For more on John Hughes, go over to Shindig and read Zakary's tribute/commentary on the twilight of our youth, and also this moving post from a girl who was lucky enough to have John Hughes as a pen pal.

Tonight, it's a John Hughes marathon for me. I'm starting with Sixteen Candles, it's my favorite.

What's yours? Comment below!


Running Stigmata

I've been doing the C25K for about five weeks now. I'm pretty proud of myself, sticking with it this long. I have kind of a short attention span with exercise. And I really, really, REALLY hate to run.

But I know running is the quickest, cheapest way to get in shape. So there it is. I'm trying to be practical.

The area around my home is hilly hell. I do my best to plot out as flat a course as possible, because, while I'm up for a challenge, I'm not certifiable. Just yet, at least. We live at the top of the hill, so my normal plan of attack is to do my warm up by getting down the hill, I do my run at starting at the base, and I do track backs all the way up. Usually I hit the uphill part on the walking part of my intervals, so that's okay. I have had a few runs where I accidentally timed it out wrong and ended up running up most of the hills. Then I was unable to walk/stand/exist without groaning in pain for three days.

I'll try to avoid that in the future.

All the while, I still despise running, but I've been trying to turn it around and make it my time to focus, think, plan.

Lately, I've been looking at other houses in the neighborhood, trying to come up with some way to expand our living space that requires minimal wall demolition. Most of the houses around here are the same vintage, and have similar floor plans, but a few have added on, so they're good reference for what works, and what doesn't.

I get a little swept away in the possibilities sometimes. And then I don't pay close enough attention to my feet.

Which for me, is not good.

In fact, it's very bad.

Which is why, when I hit a pothole and loose gravel the other day, I wasn't able to correct myself. For a split second, I thought I could, but no. OHNO.

I went down like a ton of bricks, rolling my ankle and landing hard on my knees and the heels of my hands. Sitting there for a few minutes, doing the sharp intake of air hiss that is supposed to help you refrain from screaming curses, I assessed the damage.

Knees were a little skinned, but not too terrible. For some reason I had changed from shorts to pants right before leaving home.

My hands, on the other hand (HA), were not so lucky.


This is four days later. Gross. At the actual time of the fall, they were bloody hamburger, with little pieces of gravel lodged in the gouges. I had to perform minor surgery on myself to clean up. Puke.

I never knew how much I actually used the heels of my hands, but this injury has brought swift and painful attention to the fact that I do, in fact, need them. Not to mention how bloody achy my wrists have been from bearing the brunt of my entire upper body weight.

Generally speaking, I would normally use this as an excuse to stop running. FAR TOO DANGEROUS! But I'm pushing forward.

And it was so sweet the other day, when I went out for my first run post fall. My thoughtful husband called out, as he was leaving for work:

B: "Are you going to Toys r' Us today?"

ME: "Um, no. Why - do you need something?"

B: "For your helmet and pads."


Though, honestly, not a bad idea.


Glamour Shots by Heather

I do a lot of self portraits. But usually, it's not just me. G usually takes center stage, I'm off in the background somewhere, using the child to hide my chins.

As ever, I'm up for a challenge. I set out this week to try to take a decent self portrait.

And, five trillion photos later, I think I have a few.

Can I also mention my husband thinks I am nuts and keeps asking why the flash is going off? Don't worry, I told him I am taking shots of my skinned palms and knee from my running injury - which isn't totally a lie. I will post on that later. Back to the task at hand.

First, the sans makeup photo, the before photo. I just love how in weight loss/acne medication ads, they always make the person look as homely, depressed and crappy as possible.

Did I mention pissed off? I think I look pretty irritated. Mission accomplished. My eyebrows are even askew. Awesome. Calling eyebrow stylist after this post.

Now really, makeup is quite amazing, isn't it?

Here I am in profile. I've never been too fond of my nose, but hey, I kind of like the shot. You can see my elf ears, as my mother has them dubbed. They kind of point at the top, which you can't see. I may be part Vulcan.

Another in semi-profile, with a knowing smile.

Trust me, I'm not thinking about anything except how to hide my chins.

This next photo, well, I think it captures me pretty well.

Wild. Crazy. Nerdy.

And yes, my hair is that huge naturally. Tawny Kitaen, eat your heart out.

Did I mention, I'm a HUGE DORK?

So, world, this me, captured.

And if you, don't like it, tough.

For more in self portraiture, skedaddle on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.


Twenty - One

New challenge at the Sisterhood and I'm liking it. Here's why:

We're focusing less on the scale and more on healthy living. Let me rephrase - I think the Sisterhood is always looking at health, but I tend to get wrapped up in how much I weigh.

It became very clear to me when a sixteen year old told me yesterday that it's not the numbers on the scale. It's how your clothes fit.

And she's right. I know this.

Yee-ouch. Nothing like being put in your place by a teenager (and also a good reminder not to obsess about my body in front of a kid - no need to send her down my body hatred path).

For the next three weeks, I'm going to be focusing on creating healthy new habits. The thought it, it take three weeks to make something stick. I don't want to go too crazy, so I'm sticking with five habits, and they are:

1) Drink water - at least 64 ounces a day. This sounds easy, but for me it is a challenge. I forget to drink water. Plus, I'm not crazy about the taste. But, I will learn to like it. I will trick myself by lacing it with lemon or cucumber slices.

2) Not eating after 9 pm. Most of my comfort binging goes on after dark. I know it's bad. All that food hanging out in my gut while I sleep with nowhere to go but my ass. If I can pull this off, I have a feeling weight loss may come easier for me.

3) No fast food. Period. Not even McDonald's soft serve. My heart just broke a little. (One caveat, I can have Subway - with no mayo).

4) Run three times weekly. I am already doing this, but making it a habit will help it stick after I complete my 5K in September.

5) Do 100 crunches daily. This is the only way I'm going to chip away at my leftover baby belly. Which I can't really call a baby belly as my 'baby' is 18 months old. Seriously, it's the front butt. I could pull off mom jeans like a rockstar right now. And that's not a good thing.

One thing I'm not going to do is post my weight on this blog weekly. Here's the plan. I will say what my weight is today, then at the end of this challenge, it will be discussed again.

So, today, I weigh 179, which is up from the end of last challenge. Blast it! I blame it on the Burger King I ate yesterday. And the double chocolate zucchini bread. Which was packed up and sent to B's work this morning. I don't need that in the house staring me down every time I enter the kitchen.

Another thing is I want to reward myself at the end of this challenge. If I can get down to 175 in three weeks, I get to do or buy something fun.

Any suggestions? Can't be too pricey, I'm on a budget, but I want to splurge on myself just a little.


Shark Week - AKA Hell

This week is Shark Week on Discovery Channel.

Just saying that makes me want to crawl out of my skin.

You see, I hate sharks. I have an unnatural, illogical fear of them. I can't quite explain where it came from, but it's consuming, paralyzing.

I'm even convinced that they are in lakes. Yes, I know they're not, but when I'm out floating in water where I can't see the bottom, a fear will grip me that Bruce (that's the shark's name in Jaws) is lurking below, ready to bite me in half.

The sucky thing is, my husband is the polar opposite on the shark thing. He LOVES them. He wants to do that cage diving thing with them in South Africa. Just thinking about that makes me vomit a bit.

He has a shark tattoo, for Pete's sake (G points at it and says 'sark'. I'm trying to teach him to say 'bad judgement').

When I was little, my Dad used to catch sharks in his fishing net in Alaska. They would die, because they have to keep moving to push the water through their gills and breathe. So imagine little terrified me, watching these 15 foot prehistoric looking creatures with terrifying teeth being pulled aboard.

You could say it scarred me, just a bit.

So, this week, I'm hoping my husband will not realize it's Shark Week. Or I will have to hide out in our room.

Because there is no way I'm watching those things in high def.



Doggy Family Tree

If you read much, you probably have figured out I have a love/hate relationship with our dogs. Mostly hate. Except I have to admit that when B was out of town, I very much appreciated the extra security.

We know Carl is a purebred Golden Retriever. We have a genealogy chart and everything. Plus, I think he is horribly inbred, if not simply from the fact that he is dumb as a box of rocks, but also all his many hereditary 'issues'.

Sadie, on the other hand, is some kind of mixed breed monstrosity. When we rescued her (I say rescued because ohmylord the place she came from was heinous), we were told Husky and Golden Retriever. Now, having actually owned a Golden, we know there is no way she has one trace of that breed running through her veins. The Husky is obvious, but the rest is a mystery.

We've hypothecated Border Collie, as they are known for their incessant obnoxiousness and need to be busy at all times. Our vet thought maybe German Shepard for her coloring. My guess was a descendant of Cujo.

So I have to admit I was very intrigued when watching the local news the other night and a story came on about doggy DNA testing.

You heard me.

The prices range greatly, but most land around $100. A completely frivolous spend, but I am SO tempted.

Maybe I'm hoping that some breed will pop up on the test that will explain everything. The big AHA! But I'm guessing the test doesn't detect Hellhound.