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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Random Links of Randomness - 3/30/13



I love the internet.  I don't need a TV, well except for Scandal and I'm sure there's a way to watch that on my computer.    Here are a few of the reasons why.

  • There are few things in life that have made me laugh as much as the comments on this site.  Seriously, I could just say "go read the whole thing" but that probably wouldn't happen.  As much as I'm annoyed by "OUTRAGE" this is completely justified - OHN Blog
  • Jodeci oh Jodeci.  I remember when you were the greatest band ever.  When all any of the girls could talk about was Dalvin and DeVante.  I'm sure there are thousands of pairs of twins with these names because of the group.  But the 90s are gone, and we're left with this.  - Crunk & Disorderly
  • Some things should never happen.  Especially when you're out and about with your daughter.  This is one of them  - Woulda Coulda Shoulda
  • Ut!!!!  It's not cool to spit on any one, ever, at all, under any situation.  The Beibs is going full Loahan. - TMZ
  • I love bacon.  I had a bunch of bacon today.  In fact, I had bacon with a side of bacon today.  But this.  This right here... I'm good - Gawker

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Scandal Blog: Jake Is Nuts





We all want Liv to find love.  Some of us want her to find it with Fitz.  For Fitz to leave Mellie once and for all, presidency be damned.  Some of us think she's silly for walking away from Edison.  He was ready to wife her and give her babies.   Some of us think she should find a guy that looks exactly like Idris Alba and that he should spend all of their scenes without a shirt.

 

 Woooooo Lawd!  

I digress.  Some of us were happy when Liv ran into Jake in the not-a-Starbucks.  And even happier when Jake seemed like a nice guy, who was genuinely interested in Olivia Pope.  But then we found out he was a paid stalker.  Okay, not the greatest foundation for a relationship, but worse things have happened.   He gained a few points when he lied to Fitz "she's not seeing anyone".   And some of us may have given Jake a chance.  Maybe he'll make Liv happy.   We were even okay with photog beat down.  No one likes the paparazzi anyway. 

But then this happened... 

And it turns out that it is highly likely that Jake is a looney toon creeper.   And he's a super spy creeper at that, so he has all kinds of tools at his disposal.  

Nothing good can come of this.  

Except Idris.  Idris would be very good.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Trailer Review: Tyler Perry's Temptation



I remember the first time I saw the trailer for this movie.  It must have been late last year, and I remember being flabbergasted.  I knew right then and there that I needed to go to the show and yell at this poor girl through the screen.  Yes, I know she can't hear me.  But what else can you do when you know someone is making the biggest mistake in the history of mistakes.
 

Tyler Perry is notorious for not showing his film to critics.  Probably because the critics are typically very "Meh" on his films.  Also, his target audience will likely show up no matter what. So who needs a critic?

Instead, I give you my preview review:


1.) 0:02 - Did we really start with Kim Kardashian's voice?  Really?  Is that supposed to intrigue me?  Who talks like that as an adult?

2.) 0:21 - When did Jurnee stop being 12?  12 year olds don't have jobs in corporate America.

3.) 0:57 - All these movies start with one thing that snowballs into the biggest mistake EVER.  So he forgot her birthday.  Twice.  That doesn't mean you should go bang someone else.  Even if they are ric... umm I forgot he was rich until just then.  Err    Eh    Ummmm...Oh wait, yeah that still doesn't mean go bang the rich dude. 

4.) 1:25 - If your WIFE was conveniently running with rich young dude, who is looking at your wife the way Wile E Coyote stared at the Road Runner, you've got a problem.  You might want to step your game up.  Learn some new skills, make her some chicken.  Something.  Anything.

5.) 1:35 - DON'T LET HIM TOUCH YOU.  ESPECIALLY DON'T LET HIM TOUCH YOU WHILE ON HIS PRIVATE JET, DRINKING HIS SPIRITS THAT COST MORE THAN A CAR.  DON'T DO IT!!!  Aw crap, she did it.

6.) 1:45  I'm so glad that one lady that's always the mama isn't the mama in this movie.
Not the mama

7.) 2:12 - Things walk in closets are good for: Clothes, shoes, dirty clothes hampers, all the stuff you don't want visitors to see.  Things walk in closets are not good for: getting beat down while wearing leather pants.  Actually, nothing good happens in leather pants.

8.) 2:14 - If your mama (I'm assuming that's the mama) tells you someone is going to take you "straight to hell" you should probably listen.  Mama's are usually pretty good judges of character on this type of thing.


That all being said.  I'm going to see this.  Even if that means I have to buy a bootleg get a babysitter.   Yelling at the movie counts as cardio right?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Random Links of Randomness - 3/25/13


  • Things would be much easier for Kim if she'd just embrace the panel pants.  Panel pants are your friend - dlisted
  • So it's okay to leave your baby randomly outside in foreign countries.  Remind me never to go here.  - gawker
  • Oops.  Turns out lockdown rehab exists in the land of unicorns only.  Don't drop the soap Linds - tmz
  • I don't quite understand why Bow Down was chosen as the release, but whatevs.  I'll just wait on the next one - awesomelyluvvie
  • I seriously cry-laughed at this.  Which says a lot about me - theonion

Munchie Mondays: Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

It's been a while since I've done this feature, I'm not sure what happened.  We've still been eating.  LOL. 

I've made a conscious effort to cook new things. If I'm honest, I could survive off just spaghetti and nachos.  I could make a big pot of spaghetti on Sunday and then eat that until Wednesday when I would make a big pot of taco meat.  Sure that's not a balanced meal, I'm ok with that. 

I came across a recipe for these stuffed peppers and was intrigued.  The recipe was simple enough, and it contained my two favorite ingredients, meat and cheese :-)

Honestly, the meal almost didn't happen because I was eating the filling out of the skillet.  It was that good.

I served it with homemade mashed potatoes.  Ladybug approved!
 

Ladybug approved
 Jethro said it was good, but said it was missing bread.  I'll admit that while I'm not anti-bread, it's not something I think about.  Ever.  He said he needed something to "sop up the juices with", I suggested the potatoes, but apparently that's not the same.  Next time I'll add some crescent rolls. 

Adapted from onceamonthmom.com

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 3 green bell pepper, halved from stem to bottom and de-seeded
  • 1 pound deli roast beef, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 3 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 0.25 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon steak sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

 

Fresh out the oven

 

Directions:

Place pepper halves in baking dish. Place 2 Tablespoons cheese in each pepper. Heat olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until softened and onions begin to caramelize. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add roast beef, beef broth, salt, pepper and steak sauce . Allow mixture to come to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer until most of liquid is evaporated. Spoon mixture into peppers. Bake at 375F for 20-30 minutes or until peppers are soft. Remove from oven. Evenly divide remaining cheese over peppers. Return to oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Negative Equity

For most of my life, I believed in the American Dream.  You go to college, buy a house, start a family.  And that house will appreciate at a rate that makes the interest rate ok.  And that house will, in turn, be a way to build wealth.  A way to make things better for your family.   You pay the house off, and you're better off than when you started.  You can sell the house at a profit, downsize and have a nest egg, that hopefully you can pass down to the next generation.  So that your children don't have to work as hard, and their children won't have to work as hard.

But then things changed.

We purchased our home in 2007.  Right before the bubble burst.  We thought we were making a good investment in our future.

Today, our home is worth approximately 54% of what we paid for it.   There's a home in our subdivision that is currently under contract for a third of what it was sold for in 2007. I know someone that also purchased in 2007 that holds a mortgage on a home that is worth 23% of its purchase price.    If the market appreciates at 3% from now on, it will take 24 years for us to get back to what we paid for it.  Let me say that a different way.  It will take 24 years for us to break even, for us to get back to zero.  That doesn't take into account the money we've put into the house, or the amount we've paid in interest.     That isn't building wealth.  Sure, 24 years from now the house will be virtually paid off.  But when you look at how much we will have paid in mortgage payments the numbers don't make sense.

When the housing crisis started, the pundits would talk about the foreclosure rate, and how people were just walking away from their homes.   Here's the thing pundits.  You don't fight to save a bill.  You don't stress yourself out, work two jobs, eat only beans and rice to save something that is worth less than nothing.  Sure there are exceptions.  There are people who are in their dream home, in their dream neighborhood and they are willing to fight.  There are people who strongly equate home-ownership with their sense of self, and those people are willing to fight.

But it's hard when you can literally give up on your house and go live in the house across the street that looks just like yours, for much much much less.

What is the prudent thing to do financially? Ride it out and protect your credit? Cut your loses and try again in a few years? Try to rent it and downsize? I don't think there's one right answer, but it certainly a question hundreds of thousands are struggling with.

What would you do?

Scandal Blog: "Top of The Hour" Recap, Season 2 Episode 16

I wrote my first official recap for Scandal last week.  As much as I love to write, it's one of the hardest things I've ever done.  Not because I didn't know what to say, but because I wanted to say too much.   2,000 words for a recap is way to much.  I was rewriting the script! 

That being said, the edited version turned out pretty well, head on over to Scandal: It's Handled and let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Savings Minute - 3/20/13

One of the things I've been pretty vocal about here is our desire to get in a better situation financially.  We're looking to do this while paying three arms, two livers and an a belly button for child care and having a house that is worth much less than what we paid for it.

One of the easiest things I've done to save is to clip coupons.  Yes, I know it's old fashioned, and no I don't buy 110 cans of dog food like on Extreme Couponing.  Here's the quick and dirty version.  You know there are some things that you're going to have to buy, cleaning products, razors, cereal, etc.   Print the coupons and put them in your purse.  That way, the next time you're in the store you have them with you.  And if you can combine them with a sale, even better.

Coupons.com is a great site for printing coupons, just select and print. 


Another great site for savings is Ebates.com.  This one works in two ways.  First, they advertise specials for all kinds of sites, from Macys to New York & Company.  Second, they actually pay you to shop.  A percentage (varies by store) of what you buy gets returned to you.  And, you get a gift card after your first qualifying purchase.

Even though they may not seem like "big" things, even saving in small amounts can add up! 

Scandal Blog: My Predictions for 3/21/13

***DISCLAIMER**** I do not write for Scandal.  I don't have any insider knowledge.  I'm completely making this up.  If by chance I end up being right, it's because I've got magical psychic abilities (that do not work for the lotto) - or I've been watching Grey's Anatomy so long that I've figured out how this works.

****SPOILER ALERT**** There are likely no spoilers here.  But if there are, because I'm a good guesser, consider yourself warned.  Don't come back leaving me nasty comments.  Come back and think nasty comments and then click on the link above and order some shoes.  That'll show me. 


I've viewed the promos for the week


And they don't tell us poop!  Pooooooooop!!  Oh and there is this tease of a picture




So here we go:


  • Olivia is brought in to help some people with their drama.  Someone is accused of boinking someone they shouldn't.  That lady will lie about something, she'll get caught up, Olivia will fix it.  No one really cares about this part.  It helps move the show along but we're all here to see what the gladiators are doing and to see if Jake lives to see the end of the episode.  (Is lusting after the President's mistress treason?) 
  • Olivia knows who the mole is and she needs to let the white house know.  She could just call Cyrus but that's too easy/Cyrus is in the doghouse again.  Instead she tells Jake, which will put Jake in a pickle.  How will he pass on the message without letting Fitz know that he and Liv are getting cozy?  
  • Fitz thinks Liv is seeing someone new.  He'll give up the shower drinking for a minute because he's got a new mission, stalking Liv.  He'll finally figure out that ignoring her isn't working, so he'll resume his late night breathy phone calls.  Liv will fall for it cause she's a sucker for Fitz.  Dude must have quite the wang on him, cause goodness gracious.  
  • Mellie will be Mellie. (profound I know)
  • Cyrus will try to have someone killed
  • Huck will be Febreezed and will hack into something (HUCK!!! TRANSUINON FILE #245....) 
  • Abby and David will continue to do it, while thinking no one knows they're doing it, although everyone knows they're doing it.
  • Harrison will have a couple of good one-liners, but won't have a date.  Poor Harrison. 
Let's see how close I am.  24 hours to go!

Bout time ABC, bout time!  Got me making up my own Scandal, having the shakes.  It's just sad.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Choosing A Different Adventure

Today was one of those days.  I had a super Monday.  It was snow/hail/sleet/freezing raining, I was  running late, Ladybug had her first "mama please don't leave me here" meltdown at school, traffic was dumb, I didn't have a lunch, it was quite the morning. 

Today, I wanted to chose a different adventure.  Do you remember those books?  



Life any self-respecting nerd, I'd try to choose my own adventure at first, but would inevitably end up falling off a cliff or into a river and being eaten by piranhas or something.   So after a few tries, I'd do things differently.  I'd find a suitable ending, and then would go back to trace the steps I would've needed to make to get there. What's funny is sometimes the most "innocent" choices are what led you to your demise.  And then I'd try it from the beginning again, prepared with the "right" choices.  Sometimes, It would work, sometimes I'd end up falling off the cliff again. 

Today, I fell victim to my own head.  I spent most of my day kicking my own tail.  Wishing I'd played my hand differently.  But the truth is, no matter which path I'd taken, I may very well have ended up right here.    Here is where I'm supposed to be.  Even if it kind of sucks right now.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Maury: My Guilty Pleasure

Maury for me is like a car wreck on the side of the road.  You know you shouldn't look, that you should avert your eyes and keep moving forward.  But I can't.  I stop, stare, put my car in park, get out and go stare at the carnage and then laugh, point and yell.   I know I shouldn't.  I know I will get absolutely no personal enrichment out of watching, I'm not a better person because of it.

I really wanted to do a post about how Maury shows the worst in all of us, and how we're exploiting the poor, unfortunate loose women that keep coming back, time and time and time and time and time (etc) again to do the run of shame.  But I don't have it in me.  Because that would be the most hypocritical post I could ever write. 

So instead you get this... when I watch Maury, I wonder:

Have I ever been THIS happy?  Like in life?  Ever?  And if I was this happy did I have the energy to do all of this?


Have I ever put this much effort into an "I told you so?" 


Have I ever had this much fun at work?



http://1.asset.soup.io/asset/1522/7297_3688.gif
Do my lips wiggle like that when I say no? 


Did she give herself "Shaken Baby Syndrome?"


When she got the call that she was going to be on Maury, did she think "Let me comb my hair except for this peice right in the front?"


For the record, this is totally my happy dance

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Scandal Blog: Huck... Sweet Sweet Huck

Huck is by far my favorite character on Scandal.  Sure he needs years and years of hug therapy in rooms full of puppies and rainbows.  I think I can work with that.   And, when he can be convinced to take a shower (you know, when it stops raining)  he actually cleans up well.


So here are the Top 10 Reasons Huck Should Be My Boyfriend:

10. I've got a little stalker in me.  Well, that's not true.  I've got a lot of stalker in me.  Her name is Consuela and she's really good at tracking people down via the internet.  Consuela has never showed up in anyone's bushes, although she'd really like to.  I'm sure Huck can help with that.

9.  Huck is really good friends with Olivia.  I need to have a little conversation with Olivia and he could probably arrange that.   I would tell you what I want to talk to Liv about, but then Huck would have to kill you.

8. We both enjoy things that we shouldn't.  I really like buffalo wings. And bacon. And pizza.  And Vitner's Hot Crunchy Cheese Kurls, and tacos and more bacon.  Oh and cheese. And Olive Garden which isn't really an Italian Restaurant, but I'm okay with that.   He likes killing people.  See, common ground.


7. He's loyal to his friends.  That's an awesome trait.

6. He's not judgmental.  He knows Liv is sleeping with Fitz.  No judgement.  He knows everyone's secrets yet he never seems to hold them against anyone.  

5.  Huck is a master computer hacker.  He can break into super secure national databases and trace untraceable money transfers.  I don't need all of that.  I could use a little help with Trans Union, Equifax and Experian though.  That shouldn't be too much for him to handle.

4.  The Zombie Apocolypse is coming.  Huck could totally handle zombies, no problem.  As long as it is not raining.  Me and Huck will have to live in Vegas or something where the chances of rain are smaller.   Rainy-day Huck would totally get our brains liquified or whatever zombies do.

3. Huck can obtain and figure out anything.  He's got connections.  Why, I'm sure he could even get Beyonce tickets.  And then drag Beyonce to my house and make her have a tea party with me.

2. Huck needs lots of hugs.  I like to cuddle.

1. No one could ever mess with me ever.  I'd totally be like Cyrus.  Cut me off on the highway - sniped.  Don't accept my Kohls cash because it expired yesterday - sniped.   Try to overcharge me for my car repairs - sniped.   Oh and by sniped, I mean written a strongly worded letter (no I don't)

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Infertility Story - Part IV

(Link to Part 1)
(Link to Part 2)
(Link to Part 3) 

When I started fertility treatments, I was so optimistic.  I was so sure that all of our prayers would be answered with the first cycle.  Then the second cycle.    By the time the third cycle started my optimism had waned, but giving up wasn't an option.  It didn't matter how many tests I had to undergo, it didn't matter how many injections I had to give myself, I was ready to walk though fire.  I didn't complain about the process?  How could I?  Just having the opportunity to have the treatments was a blessing.

My nurse started prepping me for a change.  Although I had coverage for "unlimited" IUIs, they didn't work the way I thought.  Basically, I had three rounds at each step.  If the treatment didn't work on a certain level, I'd have to move to the next level in order to be covered.   In my mind, I figured that meant I would continue to do IUIs with injectable medications (which were stronger) instead of Clomid.

The cycle started and things seemed to be progressing nicely.  I wasn't having any weird side effects, and my body was responding to the medication as usual.  Two days before I was scheduled to be inseminated, my god-sister called to tell me she was pregnant.  She'd told other family members already, but was waiting to tell me hoping that I'd get my positive.   I'm sure she was worried that I'd be upset or I'd resent her, but neither of those were the case.  I was genuinely happy for her.  I'd had years of falling into the "why her and not me" trap, and I was done with it.   It's not as though there was a limited number of babies and she'd taken mine.

I told Jethro and his reaction was different than I expected.  He asked "didn't that make you mad"? I answered no, because honestly it didn't.  And he stopped talking to me.    I couldn't for the life of me understand why, her situation didn't do anything to change ours.  A couple of days later it was time for our insemination, and I had to ask him for swimmers.  He slammed the door to the bathroom, and handled things.   He didn't explain why he was so upset, other than to say it was "stressing him out" and that he didn't know how much longer he could do this.  I didn't even come close to understanding his feelings.  The only thing I could see was that I was doing the hard part and he had the nerve to be "stressed".  Over what?   I didn't give any thought to his fears that I would walk away from us if we didn't get pregnant, or the added pressure he felt because someone so close to us was having a baby.  Nothing even close to that occurred to me.   I was so scared that he was going to say he was done.

I was inseminated on a Thursday.  The following day, one of my best friends came into town and was staying with me.  She, another friend and I were to meet up at PF Changs after I got off work.  I was happy to be seeing them, but was terrified that I was going to be childless.    I cried all the way to the restaurant.  I prayed harder than I'd ever prayed for anything.  For years I'd been praying to be pregnant, I'd write out my prayer request every week. Then I dried my face and tried to act as if nothing was wrong.   I faked it through dinner, I faked it through a Walmart excursion, I faked it on the drive back home.  And then I cried some more.

A few days later, I met with a different doctor in the practice.  This guy was the first doctor's opposite.  He was approximately 800 years old and cranky.  There were no smiles, no positive thoughts, nothing.  My meeting with him was to chart out the plan of action in case this cycle was a failure.   He hadn't read my chart before hand, and his first statement was "oh you're not ovulating".  Um. Yes the hell I am.  He immediately suggested I go straight to IVF, even though there were still less invasive options on the table.  He made the comment "most of the insurance patients go straight to IVF."  Oh.  So that's what it was about with him.  The money.  I told him in no uncertain terms that I was going to do injectables first.  He pushed again, I pushed back.  He gave up saying something along the lines of "you really know what you want". Yes.  I want a baby, and I'm not going to use up my final option in the beginning.  That's just dumb.   Even though I'd won the battle, I left feeling defeated.  Jethro was wavering, the doctor thought my ovaries were more broken than they really were and I still didn't have the one thing I really wanted.

A week later, I had the blood draw for the pregnancy test.  I'd resigned myself to hearing "no" yet again.  I went out for lunch and was sitting in my car reading when the call came in:

Nurse: Did you take any tests today?
Me: No, you told me not to
Nurse: So you don't know the results
Me: No......... No F'in way
Nurse: F'in way

I called Jethro, who I'd just gotten off the phone with.

Me: Baby
Jethro: Yeah
Me: We're having a baby
Jethro:  Really?  I knew it!!!

He ain't know nothing.  LOL.   In order to protect the innocent and not get fussed at, I shan't list the names and order of the rest of the notifications.  I will say my boss found out way earlier than I intended because she knew I'd been inseminated and knew to ask.

I will say my favorite notification was to my brother.  He'd stopped by for a little while and casually asked how things were going.  And I told him.  And tears crept into his eyes.  (sorry bro)  And it was at that point that I realized just how wrong I was about going through things by myself.  My friends and family were right there with me, praying for me, staying supportive, I was just too busy being "strong" to notice.

I thanked God every day, and still do.  I know that my daughter is the result of prayer.  I was blessed to have insurance coverage, blessed to have an understanding boss, blessed to be having a child.

And she's blessed every day of my life since.



Friday, March 8, 2013

Irreplaceable

I know some women feel as though they need to work outside of the home to have a sense of self.  They know that working a 9-5 is necessary for their mental well being, is key to having their own identity.  I am not one of those women.  While yes, I do feel the need to be productive, I don't work because it makes me feel butterflies and rainbows.  I work because I have to.  I would love to stay home with Ladybug, to be the first face she sees when she wakes up from a nap, to be there for all of her "firsts".  But I can't.

After being there for every moment of her life, I returned to work when Ladybug was 11 weeks old.  This was made slightly easier because I had the most awesome child care provider.  We met because our husbands grew up together, and she's a Godsend.  She didn't bat an eye at my "new mommy" requests.  She listened to all of my "rules" because of Ladybug's reflux.  She would send me pictures and every day she had updates.  She was my partner-in-crime against the persistent-antibiotic-induced diaper rash from hell.  She loved on Ladybug like she was her own.  Ladybug is a rock-star in her house.  I never worried about leaving Ladybug.  In fact, there were many a time when Ladybug would go running in the other direction when I got there because she wanted to stay and play.

Unfortunately for all of us, my superwoman sitter (there should be a better term than that) will be going in another direction with her career sooner than any of us wanted. I wish her all the best and am thankful for the friendship we've forged and most importantly for the way she's loved on my baby.    From 11 weeks to 15 months she's been my eyes and ears to all of the moments I missed.  She's given my baby kisses and cuddles, has helped her grow into an increasingly opinionated toddler (aka big baby).
Ready for her last day with the WonderSitter



How do you replace that?  Simple answer, I can't.

After an exhaustive search, Ladybug is going to "school".  A center with classrooms, lesson plans and sign language.  A school that will not be sending me text messages when she does something cute or new, who I won't be having deep meaningful conversations with about life and making me late for work.  A school that won't say it's no big deal if Ladybug has the runs, or won't bat an eye when Ladybug jacks everyone for their dinner.

However, it is a school that will allow her to continue to grow.  A place that will help to enhance her ever growing vocabulary.  She'll get additional social skills and will have brand new experiences.  She'll learn to work in groups (one of us has to, and it probably won't be me) and will grow and be enriched in ways I can't even conceive of.  And she better since it's going to cost 3 arms, 4 legs, 2 esophagus,  1/2 liver, 1/10 lung and both of my pinkie toes.  This feels like the right place for us.

I had a talk with Ladybug on the way to registration today:

Me: Okay Ladybug, today was your last day with WonderSitter, ok?
Ladybug: Yeah
Me: Starting Monday, you're going to be going to big girl school, ok?
Ladybug: Yeah
Me: And it's going to be fun and you're going to learn new things, ok?
Ladybug: Yeah

She's ready, even if I'm not.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Love Stories




I'm a romantic.  I love love.   I want people to be together and to love one another.  I believe in love songs and will emote (yes me!) over a power ballad.  I believe in love, I believe love is the strongest emotion on the planet, it can move mountains, power through cinder-block walls, make the impossible possible. 

Which is why I get so frustrated when writers make their characters suffer.  If two people love each other, they should just be together.  I love you, you love me, we are a couple.  That's it.  That works.  We all live happier ever after.  Meredith and Derek on Grey's Anatomy loved each other starting in season one of Grey's Anatomy.  Season one.  Season after season after season, we watched them pine for one another, hurt one another, fight what they were both feeling.  And then, finally, after what seemed like a century, they were allowed to be happy, together, with the one they belonged with.   Took them long enough. 

During every romantic comedy, when one of the characters does something stupid and they have a dumb fight about nothing that threatens everything, I automatically roll my eyes.  "Really?!?! You lied about going to the post office?  Who lies about going to the post office?  Oh, now you two are having a dumb fight about the freaking post office and break up? Huhhhhh"  I always chalked it up to making the story more interesting.  No one wants to watch happy people be happy. 

It occurred to me today (yes today) that is exactly how life works.  How many couples do you know that met each other and had no drama, no conflict, no extenuating circumstances and just rode off into the sunset together? I thought about it and my answer is 0.   People aren't designed to fit together perfectly, to be seamless.  You can't mix two things (or people) together and have them both remain completely intact, both are going to change to make the new thing.  And change is hard.  Change can be painful.  Change is definitely uncomfortable.  That doesn't mean it's time to run, it doesn't mean that you should avoid all disagreements at all costs, it means that to become everything you're supposed to be, you've got to work at it.  And sometimes, it's painfully hard work.  But it's worth it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Scandal Blog: Dear "The People" At Scandal



Dear Head Gladiators,


On behalf of all of the Scandal addicted viewers everywhere, we have a few requests:

  1. Please stop with the extended breaks.  I’m sure there’s some grand reason for the extended breaks.  Although for the life of me I can’t figure out what that might be.  Shonda likes to make her characters work for their happiness, so maybe the audience has to suffer too?   “Oh, you’re addicted to this show huh?  You just sit here and watch this rerun and like it, and maybe you’ll get a new episode next week.  Or maybe not.” We don’t like waiting, Gladiators don’t wait.  Gladiators make things happen.  We can’t make things happen with reruns!
  2. Can Harrison have a love interest?  Everyone else has one, why not Harrison?  Is he waiting for Olivia?  Did he take a vow of celibacy? Does he have some deep, dark dating secret that prevents him from having someone?  Everyone else has had someone, even though no one is exactly lucky in that department. He was supposed to be a ladies man, but how can you be a ladies man with no ladies?
  3. To save everyone time from googling like mad on Friday when they should be working, can we have a list of everything Liv wears?  Everything.  Accessories, shoes, clothes, outerwear, everything.  I’m sure the designers would love the exposure and employers across America would love to have a rise in productivity.  It’s a win/win for everyone.
  4. See #1
  5. See #1
  6. See #1… You see what I’m doing here? 

Thank you,


A Gladiator in Yoga Pants  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Unshredded

A little over a month ago, I started Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.




I started it primarily due to peer pressure, which can actually be a good thing sometimes.  I stuck to it for the first 20 days.  Then, life happened, my job went through a bunch of changes and I resorted to my coping mechanisms, chicken and purple drank. I fell off the wagon, bumped my head, suffered amnesia, woke up in a foreign land and started calling myself Consuela. (aka I ate one of everything and two of the good stuff)




Sure this beats crack and quaaludes, slightly but it definitely is not a good thing.






I definitely noticed a change in my body from the first 20 days.  It turns out, I have collar bones.  And my hour glass definitely shaped up a bit.

One of my most favorite people in the whole world did much better than me, and her results are awesome.

I have to do better, so starting tomorrow, I am back on the shred.  From the beginning.  From stupid level one with the stupid jumping jacks and even stupider push ups.  But my body needs this.  I need to do this, and to figure out what it is about food that makes it such a crutch for me. 

image
Even B eats!


And I'm back on fast food restriction.  I've got a freezer full of meals, all I have to do is thaw and cook, there's no reason for fast food.  

For the next 30 days, I'm going to be super focused.  At least one work out a day, and no junk.  Or the least possible junk in order to keep my sanity.   Time to pick up where I left off.

Who's with me?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Best Laid Plans

I love to read "strange" crime stories.  Usually, I laugh and keep it moving.  But this one resulted in some questions

NEW YORK, March 3 (UPI) -- A New York City man was arrested and charged with faking being kidnapped to avoid telling his girlfriend why he was gone for two weeks. Rahmell Pettway, 36, was discovered by passersby early Thursday between two cars parked on a street in Brooklyn, the New York Post reported.

His hands, legs and mouth were covered with duct tape, and he complained of pain in his ribs, police said.
When being questioned by police, Pettway said he had been kidnapped by two men in a blue minivan on Feb. 19. They then held him captive for about two weeks, driving him around from place to place, Pettway said.
However, authorities became suspicious of Pettway's story and he soon confessed that the kidnapping was a hoax, saying he had been avoiding his girlfriend for a couple of weeks and was terrified of facing her.
"He's a total moron," said one law-enforcement official. "It was a pathetic attempt to pull the wool [over] her eyes."
Pettway was arrested and charged for filing a false report.


Few things: 
  1. This dude is 36? Really?  At 36 you haven't learned enough about life to avoid needing to stage your own abduction? 
  2. Where was he for those two weeks?  At Shaquantavia's house?  Why couldn't he just stay there? 
  3. Was this his first idea?  Or did he think about it for a while and then decide that this was a fool proof plan? 
  4. Did he not understand the meaning of "fool proof"? 
  5. If he was avoiding her for two weeks was she really his girlfriend?  Or was she his "girlfriend"? 
  6. How dangerous is this girlfriend that the elaborate fake story was necessary?
  7. He confessed under questioning?  That was dumb.  First and foremost, the correct answers while being questioned are:
    1. Not to my recollection 
    2. I plead the fifth, one - two - three - four - five  
    3. No habla ingles

Way to go Mr. Pettway, you're a super genius. 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Infertility Story - Part III

(Link to Part I)
(Link to Part II)


After three years of trying, it was finally time for medical intervention.  My first IUI cycle began in December 2010.  I was super optimistic.  I was going to be that girl on the message board that got my BFP (Big Fat Positive) on the first try.   I was ovulating, the swimmers were swimming, and everything was going to work out.

On my first official trip for bloodwork, I was promptly named a "problem" patient.  I have little bitty veins that like to hide.  It was nearly impossible to find a viable vein in my arm, they hit my hand instead.  It didn't phase me.  I'm not afraid of needles and at this point I was ready to do whatever it took to get pregnant.

IUI cycles worked like this:

  • Ultrasound to make sure nothing got left behind from the previous cycle
  • Blood work three times a week to measure hormone levels
  • Clomid to help ovulation
  • Ultrasounds to watch follicle(s) mature
  • Self-administered trigger shot to prompt ovulation (and timed)
  • Insemination
  • Blood work to watch progersterone level to see if supplements were needed to aid in implantation
  • Blood draw for a pregnancy test
Cycle 1:

I was excited every time I went in.  Even if it was only for blood work.  I'd sit in the waiting room and text a friend, and would think positive thoughts.   I'd anxiously await the call from the nurse in the early afternoon with the results.  The first cycle, I had one follicle develop, which was great, because I was scared of multiples.  I was also scared of the trigger shot, which is used to both prompt ovulation.  The shot arrived in the mail along with a link to an instruction video that basically showed someone stabbing themselves with a needle.  Yikes!   The trigger was to be delivered in my stomach.   I was supposed to stab myself in the stomach!!!  My mother, a RN, offered to come by and do it for me, but it would've been past her bedtime, and I was determined to take care of it myself.  Luckily, I came across a suggestion online to ice the area before administering the shot.  I'm fairly certain I gave myself stomach frostbite, but I felt nothing from the needle.  In fact, I didn't feel anything in that area of my stomach for at least a day or two.

The insemination was on a Sunday.  The first step, get Jethro to make a deposit in a cup.  One would think this would be the easiest part of the process.  No needles or drugs were needed.  Just a little quality time with himself.  Turns out, this would be the most stressful part for me.  Jethro never happily made his deposit. He resented the entire process.   He gave up the swimmers, and I drove them in, arriving later than I'd planned due to fussing with Jethro.   I arrived at the doctor's office, handed off the deposit, then texted and surfed the internet for an hour while they processed it.  I'd see other couples coming in and doing this part together and it hurt. I tried not to get too caught up in comparing my situation to anyone else, because I had no idea what those people were going through.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.   The insemination was painless, after it was done, I hung out upside down and marinated for 10 minutes.   And I was sent on my merry way.

A few days later it was determined I did need the suppositories to help my progesterone level, which would help with implantation.  Even though they told me not to, I saw this as a sign my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to.  A week later, I had the pregnancy test and I anxiously awaited the nurse's phone call.  I knew she was going to say it was positive, I'd have a wonderful baby born in September. Maybe even a Virgo like me!

I was wrong.  The first negative result devastated me, it wasn't supposed to turn out this way.  I cried about it, but didn't tell anyone.  I really didn't want to be that person that everyone walked on eggshells around.  And, to be honest, I wasn't ready to deal with all of the emotions.  How do you mourn someone that never existed?


Cycle 2: 

The second cycle started just like the first.   It was, however, the first time I had side effects from the Clomid.  I got the worst headache ever on the same day Chicago got a blizzard.  A three hour commute plus a hormone headache made for a very unhappy evening.   I took this as a good sign though, I was sure it was going to be a positive cycle because of the side effects.  The side effects had to be because everything was working better than usual, I decided.  I had a different, more powerful, trigger, and I was optimistic.  Positive thinking didn't equate a positive pregnancy test.  It was negative once again.

I tried to walk it off, but I was second guessing everything. "What if" constantly plagued my thoughts.   And I was getting worried about Jethro.  Were we going to make it through this? Even though his contribution to the process wasn't nearly as involved as mine,  he was struggling and I couldn't figure out why.  Not that I tried very hard.  I instead walked on eggshells around him. I couldn't stop thinking that "this shouldn't be this hard".  And I was beginning to resent him for not being as positive about things as I was.  I was doing the heavy lifting and managed to "act" like nothing was wrong, why couldn't he?

I tried to appear positive, and waited for cycle 3.

(I originally thought I could do this in 3 installments, but that's totally not possible.  The fourth and final installment is on the way)

(Link to part 4)

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About Me

I'm a 30-something wife, mom and pet parent. I've been blogging since 2004, at first solely on a blog for my friends and family. I love to write about everything. I can't say that A Bacon Flavored Life is about any one thing. If it occurs to me, it'll get posted. I write about life, love, infertility and a lot of "random".


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