Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Being the "Bad Guy" is a lonely place to be...

Despite what some people may think or feel, I do not like being the “Bad Guy”. I really don’t. However, there comes a time and a place where everyone one has to be.

Unfortunately, last night, it was my time to be. Like many Americans lately, money is way too tight right now. For the last few months, we have been working hard on catching up on our payments and paying off little debts. It is/was a lot of work and sacrifice for each of us.

There is a trip coming up to a place that I never been here in the USA. I love to travel and feel like I don’t get to go on trips hardly at all for various reasons. However, I don’t think we are going to be able to pull off this trip because this lack of extra funds. I know that this may seem minor to some for people are sacrificing more fundamental things such as food or shelter. For us, it is a big deal.

The one sacrifice that I am not willing to make in order to go on this trip? The hard work that The Hubby and I did the last few months to try to catch ourselves up. This trip will definitely set us back to where we were a few months ago. It will sacrifice the small enjoyments around our home such as the pool opening or even put a damper the future trips coming up this summer & fall. This decision kills me. I haven’t had the opportunity to travel in months (and no, I am not counting the trip to Potsdam, NY this past February).

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that I do not have The Hubby’s agreement on this. Don’t get me wrong. He understands where we stand and all. It is a logical decision but it is lack of understanding in his heart that I don’t have. It is that that caused me to feel so awkward this morning. It is that lack of understanding which made me feel like the “Bad Guy” all alone. Right now, instead of “Us” vs. “The World”, it feels like it is me vs. “The World” & The Hubby.

It is not a good feeling.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Woot! Made my 10% goal!

As of last night, I met my 10% weight loss goal. For those of you who are unfamiliar with WW, your first weight loss goal is to lose 10% of your weight.

This past week, I lost 1 lb which put me past this goal. Woot!

Now, I am the type of person that thrives on meeting goals when it comes to weight loss. So, I find that I stay motivated when I set myself small mini-goals. My next mini-goal? To lose another 5 lbs. I know it doesn't seem much... but as experienced dieters know.. it's not an easy thing to do.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Need of a makeover…

I’ve decided recently (but subconsciously knew all along) that I have not been happy with my looks. I am approaching on my mid-30s. You would think that after all this time; I would have found a good amount confidence in my looks and how to achieve them. Well, you thought wrong! *sighs*

I have already started tackling one step of this much needed makeover… my weight (see previous post). However, my closet lacks the artillery for this “new me” that I want to present to myself and to my world. That is one small step. It’s just a matter of raising the funds to exchange out the old/big pieces of clothing and replacing them. However, I would need to learn how to dress for my body shape. I don’t particularly have the “balls” to nominate myself for a program such as “What Not to Wear”… but that is something that I need desperately. The clothes step will need to wait until the funds and knowledge is there. (Personal stylist anyone?)

Another big contention for me is my hair. My hair is natural curly. Let’s face it… that doesn’t really lend itself to many choice styles. I’ve always hated my hair… always. I guess the grass is always greener, right? I must admit that it was kind of nice in the 80’s because the curls helped me with the big hair styles of the day. However, because of my hair hatred, I never really learned how to take care of it… or what styles will work for me. Before the Little One came along, I would often use a flat iron to straighten it. Alas, time is not a luxury that I have. I like my sleep time too much. Now, it appears that Little One is getting curly hair too. So, it has become important to me to find the love for my hair. I don’t want her to grow up learning from me that curly hair sucks. Alas, how do I change years of hair-loathing?

I really like my old hairdresser. I’ve been going to him for a couple of years now. However, I feel that he will not take me to this next level. I’ve been letting my hair grow out from the last appointment (Hell, I don’t even remember when my last appointment was!). I must admit that I feel a little guilty moving on to another hairdresser. Between the guilt feeling and general nervousness, I am just now making an appointment at a new place. (Hey! A relationship with a hairdresser is very important to a woman.) My date of fate? April 3rd. The day before family & friends come to town for my daughter’s 1st birthday party. Eeks!

Hopefully, this next step of my makeover will go well and help me gain the courage to continue on my “journey”.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Exercise is no friend of mine.

Frankly, I hate to exercise. I can not understand why some people get a “high” from exercising. Perhaps, personally, I just haven’t achieved that particular level of exercising.

When growing up, due to my vision, I was not allowed to play any contact sports. This caused me to focus more on music by participating in concert band, chorus, and marching band during my formative years. I was fairly active by playing outdoors with my best friend and/or my siblings. In college, I became less active (and ate less healthy meals) in my day to day routines. Needless to say, I started packing on the weight.

Since college graduation, I’ve tried several diet fads … such as Atkins. I would have some short term success. However, the long term success always eluded me. Part of that reason: Although I would make extreme decisions of what I ate, I would not balance it out with exercise. Why? I don’t like to exercise.

After going on a familiarity trip to Israel, I decided it was about time to get serious about my weight problem. I didn’t like what I was limited in doing or how I looked in those pictures.

Following a friend’s recommendation, it was at that point that I joined Weight Watchers in the fall of 2005. My starting weight? 236.6 lbs. Explains the picture? Thought so. My goal? 140 lbs. Now for those of you who are not familiar with WW, it is a healthy but slow way to lose weight. It teaches you the basics that you need to know on how to lead a healthy life. When I found out I was pregnant in August 2007, I was less than 20 lbs away from my goal.

That two year weight loss journey was filled with lots of ups and downs. Yet through all of that, I still did not walk away with a love of exercise…. Hell, I didn’t even walk away with a comfortable feeling with exercise.

As you can imagine, I gained some of my weight back while I was pregnant. This past July, I decided to re-activate my membership with Weight Watchers. I started off pretty rocky but been pretty good with my weight loss since the New Years. I am now within 30 lbs of my original goal (give or take a pound or two). I know in my mind that I need to incorporate more activity into my life but how do I let get my heart to follow suit? Please tell me if you know the sure way of doing this.

Today, I went for a walk with two of my co-workers during lunch. It wasn’t a long walk but it was nice to get out there with the sunshine and mild temperatures. I can’t say that this will be a regular thing. I don’t dare put such a goal on it for it would surely fail (like New Year resolutions – which I also gave up making). In the meantime, I am going to have to take small steps incorporating exercise into my life. (No pun intended.) I don’t want this long journey to end once I achieve my goal.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Going completely online….

I just made a decision this morning on how I am going to keep up with my personal finances. I think I am going to switch everything so that I can pay my bills online. (Not automatic withdrawal mind you… let’s not go crazy).

Screw me once… shame on you… Screw me twice… shame on me.

What happened that prompted this decision you ask?

I’ve had now three bill payments (two different mailings) lost on me. I generally pay bills on Monday evenings. I will go through to see what is due the following week and make sure that the payment gets taken care of. For example, last night I took care of bills that are due the week of the 23rd. This process has served me well for a very long time. Last December, I had mailed out a group of bills like normal. As the next round of bills came in, I noticed that two checks of the several payments made did not clear. The companies never received their payments. So, they promptly charged me a late fee, etc. I was a bit annoyed but I could understand that mistakes can happen. I called these two companies and explained what happened. They were nice and waived the late fee charge because I am in good standing and had a history of making payments on time. So, nothing was lost except time on the phone.

Well, it happened again. I mailed out a bunch of payments on February 24th. I came home after work and found one of my payments on the far side of the driveway in a snow bank. I picked it up and looked around my yard as well as my neighbors to make sure there no other miscellaneous outgoing mail hiding. I couldn't figure out how that happened since the mailman pulls right up to my mailbox with this car. I put it back into the mailbox, and went on my way. I received my next round of bills and realized that another payment has not reached its’ destination. It was not even the one that I found on the ground a couple of weeks ago! That one made it and cleared my account as well as the several other ones that I mailed that day. Luckily, it was also not one of the two companies that I had talked to before. I called this particular bill company and explained what happened. I also noticed because of this my interest rate went up an additional 9%. That’s right… 9%. The customer service rep said that they will issue the credit for the late fee and I should see it on the next billing statement. However, I still need to pay the minimum due (which is the missing payment, plus the current payment, plus the late fee, and finance charges) to get my account into good standing. That’s extra money that I simply do not have. Plus, I can’t request for the interest rate to go back down until the payment is received and the account goes back into good standing (despite my long good history that I have with this company).

Needless to say, I am not at least bit happy about this. I did the right thing in paying my bills on time. However, the postal service is proving to be less and less dependable. I can’t afford something like this happening again. Not during these times, where every single penny that I make is going towards bills. I am trying my very best to get our family out of debt. On top of this, they are raising the rates on the stamps once again. Of course, they are… their business is slowing down. They are proving to be less dependable than the online services that are out there.

Well, I’m afraid they have lost one more regular customer. I’ll be switching to online payments for all companies that offer that service.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Best laid plans of ...

Normally, we let the Little One sleep to whenever she felt like waking up on the weekends. However, with the parade, I thought it worked out better with feedings/naps/etc. if we stick to her weekday daycare schedule. So I was up bright and early Saturday morning with the Little One. Besides of having to wake up to an alarm clock (which I absolutely hate doing on the weekends), we had a pretty good morning together. Everything seemed to click into place as the day progressed. The Hubby and I were able to take showers and get ready for the parade while she was down for a nap. A friend of ours joined up with us to go to the parade.

Everything perfect, right? Wouldn’t you know it? The Little One passed out within 20 minutes of the parade starting. Out cold despite the toy horns, bagpipes, sirens of the fire trucks, and general crowd noise.

Frankly, I was quite amazed at her ability to sleep through all of that noise. It turns out that she wasn't the only one. The family who was watching the parade next to us was also guarding their stroller as their 1 year old was sleeping.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Why do this?

I can completely understand about hating a job so much that you decide to move on. There is nothing wrong in finding something in life that you like to do. However, I do think it is wrong to quit a job without giving proper notice.

A fellow (now former) employee just quit her job today. Her exit is far from graceful. She sent an email to resign from her job and left for lunch to never return. She didn’t even tell anyone that she was leaving. You know what sucks? She left a pile of work on her desk that must be completed today… no exceptions. Nothing was done. Now, the people in her department had to drop everything to cover this work. Why do this? A person doesn’t have to like their co-workers but should at least respect the work that he/she is responsible for. Your fellow co-workers are counting on you. No notice to me is a very selfish way of departure.

I also do not believe that in today’s market that you should “burn your bridges”. You never know where life is going to lead you. Now, you just completely closed (demolished even) a door that you may have had to turn to in the future.

It’s a shame really.

Spring Fever ( or raging hormones) ?

I really never considered myself to be the type of person that gets into Spring Fever. Don’t get me wrong. Winter is definitely my least favorite of the four seasons. Let’s face it though, I live in New York. Winter is coming whether I want it or not. So, I just normally take the winter hits as they come in stride.

However, this year is different. I am finding myself overly excited (to much of The Hubby’s dismay) about this weekend. So much so, that I was quite upset when I fell and injured my right knee this past Tuesday. I’ve been trying to “baby” my knee so that it will get better faster. I seriously can’t wait to get out there and enjoy the sunshine and mild temperatures (50’s) tomorrow during the St. Patty’s Day parade. I also can’t wait to see Little One’s reaction to the parade (her first one) and her surroundings. I’ve already got it in my head how to plan for the day to make it the optimal time for all of us (such as organizing nap times, etc.). I am also finding myself daydreaming about taking Little One to the playground for the first time on Sunday since the weather is suppose to continue to be nice. And... how I am going to convince The Hubby to come with us. Craziness, right?

I don’t know… perhaps my hormones are out of whack. I literally got misty eye this morning when I was reading a page in the American Baby magazine that was dedicated to soldiers who are currently deployed so that they miss the birth and/or first year of their baby’s life. I’m not a cold-hearted bitch. I think those that know me would also agree with that statement. However, I would not normally be affected so much by reading such a page especially while I am just reading the magazine and eating my breakfast before heading off to work.

I guess it is anyone's guess. Needless to say, I am going to do my best to make the most of this crazy Spring Fever feeling that I am experiencing. Hopefully, also get some great family moment memories in the meantime.

Monday, March 9, 2009


As always, thoughts of my mother come to the forefront around this time of the year. As of yesterday, it has been 13 years since my mom passed away unexpectedly. To say that such a dramatic event had no affect on me would be a complete utter lie. I must admit though that these thoughts tend to be more sad/depressing during the “big moments” of my life. .. such as my college graduation and my wedding.

Little One makes this year a little harder to bear the absence of my mom. She is missing the amazing little achievements that Little One is experiencing and developing during her first year on this planet. My MIL is a terrific lady and I am certainly blessed to have such a wonderful woman in my life. However, you can understand how it just doesn’t quite replace the absence.

I also find that doubts are popping up more this time. Questions such as “Am I going to be able to tell stories to Little One in such a way that she would feel that she knows her late grandmother?” or “Am I going to be a good mom?” are running through my mind lately. The Hubby and I incorporated my mother’s name into Little One’s name so that some small part of her will always be with the baby. It was The Hubby’s idea to which will be a constant reminder of why I love him.

To my mother… I love you and miss you. I hope it is true what they say about our loved ones looking down upon us from time to time. I don’t want you to miss a single moment of our lives.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My two cents... for what it's worth

These are just ongoing stories that I hear/read about in the entertainment world. Please feel free to skip this post.

Hef vs. Girls Next Door – I always kind of thought that it was a business relationship (for the most part) between the “girlfriends” and Hef. I mean, he has to keep up the playboy image after all… right? Now, hearing how the girls have all moved on to other men (all much closer to their age), It almost seem that it was closer to a father / daughter type relationship (perhaps a bit more kinky). It seems that all the girls have sought (and received) blessings from Hef about their current men they are engaged/dating. Doesn’t that seem kind of weird? After all, isn’t Hef the “ex”?

Octomom – Now, I fully agree that she should not have all of those implanted since she was not stable financially (and perhaps mentally). However, I am starting to feel a bit sorry for her and especially for those children. The media coverage on her has been completely insane! There is not a day that she is not a topic. So, in a way, I really don’t blame her in trying to harness this attention and get some good out of it (a.k.a. get help). Admittedly, I think she could be doing a better job of it. However, I see it as her trying to make “lemonade” out of the lemons (media attention) she is receiving. I pray that some day the media will find something else to draw its attention away from her. Perhaps then, she can receive the real help that she and her family needs.

Chris Brown / Rihanna – This is just a sad case all around. I sincerely hope that Rihanna can find the strength to separate her self from this man and this whole situation. I know that it is extremely difficult. I’ve lived this abuse situation first hand with my parents years and years ago. Rihanna is a role model for many girls/women whether she wanted to be or not. I hope that she can be a good role model in this and show the female masses that it is not okay to be treated so. In doing so, perhaps she can encourage her self-image to grow positively.

Madonna – Who cares that she is dating Jesus? Madonna is a cougar. There is no surprise revelation in that statement. So, god blesses her if she has moved on from her failed marriage with Guy. (Isn’t Guy much younger than her too?) I just hope that Guy and Madonna can keep it civil for the kids’ sake.

Michael Jackson – Another tour? Seriously??? I’m sorry but who wants to go? I was a big fan of his back in the day… back before the surgeries, court cases, etc. He is different now. Doesn’t he know that he is now become a butt of a joke?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

To Facebook or Not To Facebook...

That is certainly the question.

I must admit. I've been pretty reluctant in creating a Facebook account. I mean I already have a MySpace account. So why do I need another place to communicate with my friends? Well, after being mercilessly ridiculed for some time from my friends (yes, the same friends that I want to stay in touch with), I decided to create a Facebook account. Yes, I am a wuss/push-over. It seems that the majority of my friends have moved over to this new site (or at the very least use both).

So, what do I think? To be honest, I am not quite sure. Although, Facebook allows more access to each of your friends and who they are friends with. I feel that MySpace allows you to express yourself more by giving you the ability to design a profile page with pictures, music, etc. to your liking. I'll try to keep an open mind about Facebook for I am still a "newbie".

Who knows... perhaps in the end, it will be my networking tool of choice!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekend Update...

Unlike the norm, I had a rather busy weekend this past weekend. However, overall, I can definitely say that it was a great time.

Hockey games

Every year, a group of us that attended the same college gather to cheer on our hockey team when they come in the area to play the local (but highly rival) college teams. This year was no different. The Hubby and I bundled up Little One to take her to her first college hockey game this past Friday night. (I’ve determined that last year doesn’t count since she was still inside me.) Unfortunately, Little One was not her usual happy go lucky self. I must say that she is definitely a “Two Nap” baby. Daycare must have been hopping on Friday because she only had one (very short) nap. Needless to say, by the end of the game, she was something of the Exorcist. Despite battling her tiredness, The Hubby and I were able to enjoy the game as our team won (4-2 for those that care).

Needless to say, we made sure Little One took two naps on Saturday. There was no way we were going to deal with the monster version for the second game if we could help it. Our efforts paid off!! She was a doll throughout the whole game. Now, if only we made sure our team took two naps for they lost (2-1). It was a good game though so I am not too disappointed. Also, this may mean that our hockey team will be returning this coming weekend for round 1 of the playoffs.


It's amazing to watch Little One meet each one of the childhood milestones. However, it has sent The Hubby and I into a mild hurricane to get the house ready for her. This past weekend, we ziptied plexigass to our stairway bannister so Little One couldn't slip through and fall down the basement stairs. I must say that it looks great! It is very sturdy and you can hardly see that there is something even there. It was relatively easy to do which is a good thing for neither of us are pretty handy. I highly recommend doing this if you find yourself in the same scenario.

Dress shopping

As you know from an earlier post, I am an upcoming wedding this fall. On Sunday, the bride and I went dress shopping for a bridal gown. No, we didn't set up an appointment ahead of time. We figured that we would just go in, look around, and have her try on few dresses. We didn't think it would be too busy since it was Sunday. Boy were we wrong! The place was a MAD HOUSE! It was pure craziness! When we first arrived, the bride had to sign up in order to even get a changing room. We immediately saw a beautiful gown on a mannequin. After a few minutes admiring the gown, my bladder decided now was the time to annoy me. I basically had to follow this crazy maze to get to the restrooms. It would have been difficult to find the restroom even in an empty store. Now, imagine wading through this maze while dodging dozens of brides trying on gown after gown with their support people looking on... oh and don't forget the sales clerks flying around like gnats. Next time, I know to make sure to go to the bathroom before heading into the store. My goodness! Luckily, I was able to make it back to the bride with an empty bladder without a scratch on me. Phew!

Obviously, we had to wait a while before we could get a changing room. So, we just delved into the racks and writing down style #'s. I must admit that it didn't take too long to get a room (and a sales clerk of our own). The bride tried on 4 out of the 8 dresses that we found. The one that she loved the most? It was the very first dress we saw. That's right.. the one on the mannequin. It was beautiful on her. While she was looking at herself in the mirror... our sales clerk was hounded by other people about the dress for they wanted to try it on. It has been some time but I don't remember myself being that crazy when I was trying on bridal gowns. We left the store feeling pretty good... and not an single injury to report. Now, I am going to make damn sure that I set up an appointment ahead of time before I head back into that same store for the bridesmaid gown. Lesson learned.

Class Ring

The Hubby was going through some of his stuff from downstairs. Know what he found? My high school class ring! Wow! Didn't that bring back memories! I was even able to wear it. I wonder if class rings will be the "in" thing to do when Little One gets to that age.