Lose it!

While bored last Friday afternoon, I logged onto my iTouch and browsed the free apps. I stumbled across a calorie counter program that allows you to track your food every day, set weight loss goals, etc. Of course I am not trying to lose weight right now, in the midst of a pregnancy. I am, however, trying to eat better and more well-rounded meals. It’s been really helpful in getting a good amount of calories in me and for tracking my exercise. In fact, it’s made me want to exercise more because it subtracts those burned calories form my overall count. Something about seeing that number go down is really motivating.

The best thing about it is that I set my weight loss goal for 1 pound a week, which put my daily intake at about 1500. I obviously need between two and three hundred extra calories at this point in the pregnancy so when I hit my daily goal, I try to make those last 300 really matter: fruits and vegetables mainly. Also, I sort of plan my day around it. I will search for foods I think I want, add them in, and then I feel obligated to stick to them. It’s funny how this simple program has kicked my ass into gear about being healthier and more conscious about this.

8 things meme

I was checking one of my daily sites:

Tally Daily Photos and I decided to do said meme. Here goes:

8 TV shows I watch on occasion:

House Hunters
Real World
True Blood
America’s Best Dance Crew
Blue’s Clues (I kind of have to!)
NFL football
Cash Cab
Jeopardy

8 favorite places to eat and drink:

La Rumba
Outback
Cracker Barrel
Masa
Jasmine Cafe
Another Broken Egg
Osaka
Metro Deli

8 things I look forward to:

Blogging
Reading once Elliot goes to bed
Every other Friday date day with Ash
The impending birth of child #2
Free bagels on Thursdays
Springtime
Having two little boys running around my house
Sixth anniversary trip to Hawaii

8 things I love about winter:

No mosquitoes
Getting to wear my cold weather clothes
Christmas
Tea
Fires
Holiday cheer
Soup
That it is brief here

8 things on my wishlist:

A healthy baby
To be ok on money during maternity leave
A pedicure
A nice outing to a restaurant sometime soon
Endless energy
A new lawn mower
To get back in shape after baby
New carpeting

8 things I am passionate about:

Writing
My family
photography
Batman comics
Teaching
Raising my kids to be good people
(could only thin of 6)

8 things I have learned from the past:

Do not hold a grudge
Try not to regret things
Move forward and do better
Trust your instincts
For most instances, you can’t wait around for things to happen
Solve problems when they arise
Get up and do it if you know you should
Always tell them you love them

8 things I want/need:

More calmness
More patience
Pants (hey, I need ‘em!)
A haircut
IBC rootbeer in barrel form, that I can drink from all day long
HBO just long enough to watch True Blood season 3
The most sour candy in the world (it’s been a craving)
A day to myself

1,000 Year Old Viking Vampire

So a few months back, I wrote the following status update on Facebook. Bear with me; I posted the entire interaction: (left out real names to protect the, er, innocent)

Claire Smith RE: TrueBlood; I don’t get the attraction to Eric.

Gail Munroe


Oh, Claire. You poor thing.
Claire Smith

Claire Smith

I apologize. Perhaps he’s simply not my type… or I haven’t seen enough episodes yet?
John Orr


Fun fact: His father is this guy who you see in a load of movies but don’t know who he is

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001745/

Gail Munroe


Hello? Viking! ;)
Claire Smith

Claire Smith

Yes, I get the Biking thing but I imagined him… bulkier.
John: I had a feeling they were related. :)

Claire Smith

*Viking.
Annie McDermott


HA HA HA…
Claire Smith

Claire Smith

Annie, I can’t tell if that’s because you’ve seen it and are mocking me or… well, just mocking me in general. :)
Annie McDermott


I am laughing at “Biking”…because it is funny… I mean, it really made me laugh as I scrolled past – I don’t know anything about this show. I’m still laughing… Typos are funny… You are funny… I am not mocking… I am *laughing*…
Claire Smith

Claire Smith

You know, in the context, “biking” is rather amusing. Typos *are* pretty funny. But still, I’ll take Bill over Eric, thank you.
Claire Smith

Claire Smith

Ha ha, thanks for the, er, evidence.
Annie McDermott


Oh, THAT guy. One of my best girlfriends is madly, badly in love with him. In fact, she sometimes admins @ two different pages for said “Biking.” I mean, she’s almost religious about him. I borrowed her copy of “Generation Kill” (not sure if you’ve seen it) which stars said Biker and she’s going bananas without it. Me? I am SUPER “Meh…” about said dude. I’d need to see this “Bill” person to judge him.
Annie McDermott


I said “said” two times twice repeatedly. There you are. :P
Annie McDermott


THREE! Cripes… Sorry…
Rory Lee


Eric is everyone’s type.
Claire Smith

Claire Smith

Even yours, Rory? ;)
Rory Lee


I love me some Eric.
***********************
But you see, I was naive then, before I’d finished watching season one and before I’d ever set eyes on season 2. For now, NOW, I get it. It’s like how I never used to understand the attraction to vampire novels and movies before, I suddenly do understand it. And a Viking vampire, well, that’s just overload. I mean, really! Feast your eyes; go ahead. Look.
I may be 30 freaking years old but by god, I can still have crushes right? He’s tall and built and all kinds of the perfect vampire, now that that all makes sense to me. Maybe I just had to grow up to get it. When I was 16 and I read Anne Rice, it was all “meh” to me.
So yeah, I have one episode left of season 2 but I am putting off watching it because I know then it’ll all be over and I’ll want it to be June for season 3 and we don’t have HBO so what am I gonna do then?? Huh??? I may employ Facebook once again and see whose house I can invade to watch it. :)

Phantoms

About a year ago, Frosted Mini-Wheats was giving away Guitar Hero mini toys in the boxes. Since the cereal kept showing up on shelves two for four, we bought a ton of it and collected a bunch of those toys. Turns out that Elliot loved these little noisemakers. (One ended up in the toilet and kept working!) Anyway, as toys tend to do, they lost their luster and Elliot stopped playing with the only one we seemed to keep track of:

This too disappeared into the bowels of the house. Last Sunday, I decided to move one of our couches and see what I could unearth. I knew that there had to be at least three Hotwheels lodged under there. I ended up finding about five crayons, some Duplos, and other various things. I vacuumed the dust bunnies and put the couch back in its place. Then I sat down on said couch. What do I hear?

The little tune at :36 seconds

Immediately realizing it was one of the long lost Guitar Hero trinkets, I removed the couch cushions and dug around down there amongst the stuff that somehow always lives in couches: crumbs and beer bottle caps (OMG when’s the last time anyone drank a beer in my house??) and other debris. Alas, I came up short. I sat back down and there was silence. Strange. As days went by, every time a dog jumped on the couch, the noise came back. Sometimes it plays for the full 10 or so seconds and sometimes it cuts itself off. Sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. But it always plays the tune from the red button.

I posit that this little toy is somehow embedded in the actual infrastructure of this couch. I have no idea how we’re going to get it out of there. It’s one of those things you have on your mental to-do list but forget about until it presents itself again. This one is overshadowed by all of our larger house issues, like the aforementioned foundation crack that we managed to pinpoint yesterday after ripping up the damaged carpet. It’s not huge, but it’s obvious. This led to us investigating a spot in our bedroom where the carpet was pulling away from the wall and alas, there’s rotting wood and dampness there too. This then led us to wonder if some discolored spots on the hardwood could also be from small fractures. Maye the place in the kitchen where the vinyl isn’t quite flat (liquid rolls one way) is also a result of a hairline fracture in the 40 year old slab. This is shaping up to be a Much Larger Problem. But we just don’t know for sure. The true answer eludes us.

It’s frustrating and stressful and always in the back of my mind. No matter what. Ash and I have been trying to keep busy at night to keep from fretting about these things but this is a homeowner’s burden. We knew the house was old. We knew it could have problems.

Tonight, we’re going to watch Defiance (I think Daniel Craig will do a great job of distracting me) and worry about all this tomorrow. Everyone deserves a break.

Fine line between metaphor and the truth

Yesterday, I updated my status on Facebook as, “A crack in the foundation.” I got two emails in my FB inbox from people asking me if I was ok, what’s going on??, etc… And I had to chuckle because for the most part, people like to use cryptic language to sort of tell you what’s going on via Facebook. In this case, however, I was perfectly truthful. We have a crack in our concrete slab under the house. And it’s going to cost us a pretty penny. I just got off the phone with the insurance company and god, I really hate dealing with those folks. It’s like, you have to play dumb to get what you want/deserve from them. At the moment, I am waiting to run the info by Ash and then I’ll be calling my plumber back for a quote. At any rate, it’s going to cost us a grand because that’s our deductible.

What this really means is that I can’t paint just yet (I got one wall done) and we can’t recarpet until this whole thing gets resolved and hence, cannot begin to transition Elliot in there before the second kid comes along. We need to act quickly if we want to keep on some kind of schedule.

Home-ownership: not for the faint of heart.

So aside from that, our weekend was pretty nice. Ash and I had a half-day outing on Friday in which we ate Mexican food and saw Book of Eli, which was decent for all intents and purposes. Saturday we did nothing. As in, nothing at all. I felt sort of lazy but it was a free day. (Well, ok, we went out to breakfast.)  Sunday was football day and Ash afforded me about an hour of cleaning time and took Elliot out. I got quite a bit done all in all. Then yesterday we had pancakes for breakfast and we both ran errands with Elliot and I started to prep the room for painting, spawning the above issue.

The highlight of my weekend was when Ash went out to Baskin-Robbins (of all places, I wanted their sub-par ice cream) because I had a craving for pistachio in a sugar cone. He’s an awesome man, I tell you.

Anyway, I have a staff meeting in about 20 so off I go.

Dreams and wishes

Last evening, we went to the grocery store right after work. It’s always daunting to me because I will inevitably ask Ash what he’d like to eat and we’ll inevitably disagree and I will give in and he’ll be mad at me for not standing up for what I want. The only easy person to please, food-wise, is Elliot. I know the meals he wants. So Ash said he’d be OK with sandwiches. I told him how, for the past two weeks or so, I have wanted something but I don’t know what it is. So every meal I eat is supremely dissatisfying. As we hemmed and hawed and Ash kept asking what I wanted, I answered that I would like a personal chef to come to the house and make me whatever my heart desires. Oh, and can he look like this?

Planning ahead

There are a lot of things that need to get done. Some of them are more immediate and some are six months off. But all these ideas are rattling around in my head, making me sort of busy under the surface; I’m always coming up with little side ideas about these things.

For one, we have got to get into our fourth bedroom and prepare it for Elliot. Right now, the walls are white, there’s a twin bed with no frame, a couple reject bookshelves from Ash’s old storage unit, and while it houses the all-important modem and router, the room mostly serves as a place for fall-out storage. Sometimes Elliot’s Diego bike ends up in there to get it out of the hallway. I fold the clothes on that bed and jam various out of use toys in the closet, along with the disassembled arcade machine and some old junk computers.

Last evening, soon as I got home, we went to dinner and then to Lowes for paint. We ended up with a color called something like “Faint Maple” and it’s one of those nice warm neutral colors that will hopefully compliment the furniture. I plan to begin painting very soon and once that’s done, we’ll recarpet. And when there’s new carpet, there’s nothing stopping us from putting Elliot’s Spider Man sheets on the bed and the curtain on the window and begin the process of switching him into that room and out of the crib. I’m not *really* worried about that but I have some concerns. I don’t think he’ll fall out of bed – and if he does it’s a pretty short fall – but I have a terrible feeling he might try to get out of bed… even though he’s never once tried to climb out of his crib. He’s a smart kid and he may immediately recognize his new freedom. We’ll have to see.

So, other stuff coming up, besides the impending baby of course. Well, there’s the all-the-time saving money for maternity leave. I have to think about this EVERY DAY. Every purchase I make, a little buzz goes off in my head and I have to justify it. If it cannot be justified, well then, that money could go towards the future.

And speaking of money, I am planning Ash’s 30th birthday (July 5th) WAY WAY in advance so I can afford to make it one big blow-out party. Like, party of a lifetime type thing. For one, I have already contacted the – seemingly – one and only place that’ll make a shot luge. It may cost me 350 bucks but if I start now and also, if I can get donations from his long list of possible invitees. It wouldn’t even take much but I think people might be pumped about a shot luge. I know I enjoyed the one we had at our friend’s party in NYC.

Hopefully this guy (whose name is Dawson and there’s a Were character in the books I am reading named that so I just think of a hairy biker dude) will be able to make something similar and it won’t cost me an arm and a leg.

So yes, there’s a whole lot of stuff coming up for me and we’ll get there, day by day.

Either I’m just a pansy or it really IS that cold

Yesterday morning, it was 15. And though we’ve seen temps like this in the past, never have they been this… constant. I am sure some of you out there under 10 inches of snow scoff at me right now but no, I am not used to this. And while I don’t necessarily mind the cold weather, what I don’t like is how unproductive I feel. All I really want to do is lay on the couch under multiple blankets. I did get some laundry done and I worked on my ipod some more, wrote a lecture and finished a book. But still. I don’t feel that pull to really get up and go.

I have, however, been taking more pictures. I go in cycles of being in that mood and I finally picked it back up. I usually start to feel guilty for not posting pictures of the Boy for my various family members who check my Flickr page. It’s actually hard to keep up with all your extracurricular things when you have a kid and a husband who need¬† attention as well as dogs and a house. Obviously, a million women through the ages have all shouldered this burden a million times over. But can’t I complain a little? Just a bit?

Oh, so I have figured out my perfect self-start business when I am a little older and have the start-up capital. I will deliver dessert. And not just that but I will aim my business at pregnant women. You see, when we crave something it’s not like, “ooh, I could really go for a BLANK.” It’s more like, “I want BLANK and I will kill you to get it.” The only problem with said business is that I’d have to keep late hours because most women who would be pregnant with, say, a second or so on pregnancy, couldn’t order their food until after the kids are in bed. Now, some might say this is what husbands are for but I’m not one to “make” my husband do something like that for me. Hey, someday, this could really pan out!

Now that drop/add is over I’ll have some more time for personal endeavors so maybe more blogging and picture taking. Can’t wait!

Ipod playlists are not made overnight

When I got my ipod Touch, I gave my old Nano to my mother, who recently started going to a gym as part of an “employee improvement plan”, devised by her private school. It was only a 4 gigger but I had it nearly full of various junk from my infinite mp3 collection. I didn’t even think about needing to populate an entire 8 gigs worth of space on the new device so I set out (once fixing my syncing problem) to create play lists.

This is surprisingly harder than you’d think. I’m not one of those people who just starts uploading their entire collection. I like to think about a theme and an activity that parallels the music (or vice versa, I suppose). I used to have one called “Work that body” full of songs that motivated me when I work out on the elliptical. I had some for specific bands – Beatles, Eagles, Counting Crows – who have extensive songbooks and could populate their own lists. But, the key thing, is that all of this music didn’t get put on their in one single evening. As I got a hankering to hear a certain song or artist, I would then go in and upload. It took months if not years to create the perfect collection.

I’m finding that the 82 songs I have so far on my new Touch are not sufficing. I like to be able to shuffle about and find something for my mood but there’s simply not enough content right now. I must be patient and let this thing take shape organically. Considering I have been collecting music since about 1998, there’s a lot to choose from so I must be smart about it. As the old man guarding the Holy Grail said, “He chose… wisely.”