Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Not flatlined yet....

It's been a long time but things here are status quo except for the weather has gone to crap. The last two days? Highs in the single digits.


Anyway, holidays were smashing and my tree was torn down on the 29th THAT is a new record, my friends. I'm usually so sad to pull the tree down but in this case it was amazing. The room is bigger, brighter and cleaner.

My car is on the fritz so we have that too.

2014 will be the year for changes. Moves? Maybe. New car? Definitely. I need to do something. I keep thinking about getting a job but then I think about how much stress that would put on the whole family since I wouldn't be able to keep up with what I do around here on a daily basis, so as that turns out it's probably not a great idea.

It would be great if this...took off. As it turns out that age old question...you know, would you rather be rich or famous? The answer is RICH, always RICH. Just so you know. It's great that the product is out there and (some) people know about it but now to get it recognized so people buy it...that would be golden.

For now I continue to wait like a jumbo 747 circling O'Hare at rush hour...just waiting...watching for a signal...I know it's coming...just not sure what runway we're using and when we'll be waved in.

What's on everyone else's radar for the new year?

SS, who is thrilled to be celebrating the new year in a warm, cozy, happy house....not in a crowded bar...

Friday, December 13, 2013

I means...

...not to bitch or anything but this really isn't the way I saw this going.

Gru's job has become extremely toxic and volatile since the new Executive Director arrived a year ago. You know how people are like, "Oh I hate my boss, he's such a jerk"?

Yeah, this guy gives a whole new level of Asshole for future bosses (or Satan) to work toward. Without going into all the details I will say that he is extremely mentally abusive and being the supportive wife I usually am I would normally say, "Really? Pull your shit together, no one like their boss, really. Buck up, little camper"

But it's bad. Like people who have been there forever making this well-oiled machine run are bailing. People who haven't bailed yet are working on it. People who don't normally talk to each other are finding each other positions and sending them to each other so they can all get out. It's kinda like this...

I can't go into all the details but it would make the worst boss ever look like a saint. He pits people against each other, demands expectations that he himself doesn't adhere to and my favorite was his one piece of positive feedback during Gru's mid-year evaulation, "Well, you are working on sending emails after hours and on the weekends."

Rut rus that, Scoob? Uh yeah, that's your positive? That he's busting his ass off of work time to meet your shitastic requests? Like instead of maintaining a balance of work and family? Yeah, as it turns out you're a giant douche.

Anyway so we've been looking...a lot...at jobs, cities, houses, whatever to get a move on getting the fuck out of here. I like looking at houses and learning about other real estate markets. One,it's interesting and helps determine exactly how much of a pay cut we'll be able to manage (because yes, Virginia, there will be a pay cut and a HUGE one at that) and it also keeps me off of Facebook for a few hours a day while I think about what kind of house we might buy and how I can change it (because people in this day and age still insist on oak cabinets and putting in formal living rooms and dining rooms for completely wasted real estate that can't be used on a daily basis...I hate wasted space).

As it turns out, late fall and the holidays aren't the best times to be searching for a job.

That said, there are many applications, phone calls, interviews and such in the works but here's been our Official List of Places that We Would Like to Call Home Next:
DFW, TX (major learning point...Dallas and Fort Worth are two different cities...people always say, "I"m up in DallasFortWorth this week!" so I just assumed it was one city. Nope, sure isn't...they're not even really that close...like if you live in a northern 'burb of Dallas and work in Fort Worth that could be like a 45 minute commute...hmmm...now I know)

Atlanta, GA

Columbia, SC

Charlotte and Winston-Salem (which unlike DFW DOES appear to be one city), NC

Nashville, TN

Austin, TX (but not really...I'm not sure I can go 'home' again, like they say...price of living is WAY higher than it was when we left, traffic is supposed to be nightmarish...and they didn't post the job that they were going to so then, you know, there's THAT...like no income...)

And the latest contender...Minneapolis, MN

I'm sorry. Come again? What the FUCK did you just say? It sound like Minnesota?

I know...I'm not pleased either but desperate times call for desperate measures and Gru is one unhappy camper these days. Back when we started looking for a new place to call home I would have put my foot down but I need my husband back and if it means moving the the frozen north I guess I'll do it? I mean...wow. Let's just hope it doesn't come to that.

Now I've wasted another half an hour while I should have been working on Christmas presents for the wee little ones. I want so badly to vent on Facebook and chat (like we used to chat back in the day in the Blogosphere) but if word gets out to certain people that Gru is looking at leaving things could get worse than they already are.

Gru and I have a very simple wish on our Christmas List this year. We're pretty sure it will benefit many people and give happiness city-wide here. Our simple wish will cost nothing. We truly hope that his Asshole Boss gets hit by a bus. The guy is divorced (weird, right? he's SUCH a peach, I can't imagine what he did to his wife behind closed doors if he pulls the shit he does on public employees) so we're not harming a loving, surviving spouse and it would bring peace and happiness to many. It's a simple wish and extremely generous on many levels.

SS, who would enjoy the true spirit of Christmas for all in the organization who are being tormented by A-hole Boss if this one little wish could be granted...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Just because a cat is born in an oven don't make it a bun

Gru: "But Hattie, people are comparing the Hyundai to the Mercedes."

Me: "Uhhhh, no they're not."

Gru: "You don't know much about cars."

(shakes head...)

 Me: "No one is compring Hyundai to Mercedes- it's just not happening."

Gru: "But..."

Me: "No. People don't say, 'Hmmm, which car should I get? A Hyundai or a Mercedes? Really they are both so close in quality. Oh, forget the Mercedes- I'm going with the Hyundai!'...it's just...not...happening in real life."

Gru: "But look (shows me a website...Hyundai's website with comparisons)..."

Me: "See? Hyundai is comparing itself to Mercedes and that, my friend, would be like me comparing myself to Angie Harmon. Just because I compare myself to her does not mean that we are comparable models. Nope. Ain't happenin'. "

Suburbian Siren, nope, nope, nope, nope...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I don't even deserve the cigarette than I so willingly earned...

Last week my cute cheeky OB/GYN was like, "Yup honey, you're old and it's time to get those titties checked out."

I was all, "Ouch. Ouch, man. That hurts. Not the act of the mammogram but the fact that I'm like old enough to even qualify for that kind of shit."

She was like, "Too bad, so sad. You're not dead and if you don't want to be you'll go get the twins peeked at. End. Of. Story."

Meh. I made the appointment and didn't think about it too much other than to tell my SIL, Jane, that I was doing it.

"Wow! I can't wait for when my time comes because if the technician can pop these suckers I get new implants on the insurance company's dime."

That WAS worth getting excited over. Saving $6k? Huh, good point, I thought. I packed an overnight bag in my car right away in case that happened (and then I crossed my fingers really tightly).

This morning I got up and had to figure out what to wear. It couldn't be too fussy because I'd have to undress and redress in this room. On the other hand you have the fact that I live in Wisconsin and it's hella cold outside right now so it was fo' sho' going to need to be more than a tank top (note to self: next time move somewhere warm or reschedule for summer months...but remember to NOT wear a maxi dress).

I came up with this.

I love these neon corduroy's because they are a spot of brightness and funshine in our eight months of winter.

And this sweater? I don't know why I bought it. It had polka-dots on it and was pretty thick for a cardigan...looked warm (BONUS!!!! It had long sleeves instead of 3/4 length sleeves!) and cute but I had NO use for it. Today might actually be the first time I've worn it in over a year because up until this point I couldn't make it work. Not only did I make it work in a fashion sense but I also MADE it work because I needed a hundred little yellow polka-dots sending their sunshine down on me today for the dreaded mammogram.

I will spare you all the details but here are a few things of note:
1. There is a lot of manipulation in a mammogram...lots.
2. It didn't hurt at all.
3. You can see your boob on the tray through the clear plastic plate which is kind of funny but I kept getting in trouble because I'd look down at my squishy boob and then my chin would be on the image instead of the expected subject (read: boob).

After the nice soft-spoken, ridiculously patient technician had bid me adieu- which was all I got, a "good-bye" no sticker, no lollipop and no cigarette which I truly felt I had earned after that much intimacy- I headed on my way like I hadn't just been completely felt up by a total stranger.

I went to my safe place- Target.

Now to be honest with you since we are unsure as to whether or not we're moving I've been in a stalemate as to whether or not to buy things. I've been leaning toward the 'not buying things' and heavily into 'purge the hell out of any room I can' methodology of releasing my nervous energy. So why head to Target where you spend money on crap you know you don't need?

Excellent question.

Because apparently Agnes and I are responsible for bringing a bag of potatoes to her Thanksgiving celebration feast whateveritis in Kindergarten. AND wouldn't you know I just went to the World's Largest and Cheapest Grocery Story YESTERDAY before the letter with our contribution came home. Of course I did.

That is why I was going to Target. Now almost every Target in the free world has a grocery section which makes it nice for days like this when you NEED a bag of potatoes to be turned into the school by tomorrow.

But then as long as I was there and still recovering from my boobage manipulation I decided to walk around and see if there were things that I might need (silly thought...there are always things we NEED at Target even if they aren't on our list or if we don't even know they exist until we actually see them on the shelves and then pick them up and fondle them for a bit).

I like to cruise the end-caps because that's where the Clearance items like to hang out and wait patiently for new homes. These are the items that have been replaced by the latest and greatest of the new season, poor, poor clearance items.

My sunshiney polka-dotted sweater shone brightly at Target. I got a super cute Audrey Hepburn t-shirt (perfect for under a black blazer! $4.98) and then this...oh...my...my...$11 for a cute throw? Well, let's pick it up and see. I mean it's cute and it would go with my pillow covers...hmmmm...

Now here's what I don't get, if it WAS $7.48 why is it now $11.46? Really? They raised the price and though we wouldn't...

OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! This darling soft throw that I had no idea I needed until this very second is NOT $11!!!! It's $1.86! Uh, yes please. I DO need this.

(Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I think that was my reward for making sure that I really did follow through on my mammogram appointment...thank you Shopping Goddess!)

After that I hit a few thrift shops. Here's the thing, when I got thrifting I expect to come home empty handed. It's hard to go and have expectations when you are relying on what people donated to stock the store. I have been on the hunt for a Gap/Old Navy navy blue checked shirt for a few weeks now. It seems like the thing I see all the time while I'm thrifting...except when I need it.

First stop today was St. Vinnie's. They were having a designer handbag event. I couldn't go there, I looked but as much as I wanted to believe they checked to make sure those were real Kate Spades I was over it. Instead of a found a super cute black lace peplum top...it's so cute that I already own it in cream but love the way it hangs out of outfits so for $4.14 it was mine!

Then I hit Savers. I wandered around for a long time and found nothing. I found some 'almost' things but then they weren't quite right. As I was about to leave the store I thought I'd hit the first rack I started at 'just in case' I had missed something in my shell-shocked state that I often begin each thrift store with-- and then out of nowhere...there...it...was...

The elusive Gap navy blue checked shirt for $7.99...in my size...tried it on and it fit!!!!! Truly I have been rewarded handsomely for keeping my mammogram appointment today. I mean really, I don't even feel entitled to that cigarette anymore.

SS, who might just make a mammo appt. every month if these kinds of bargains are the reward...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Special du Jour: Cottontails- or something like that...

Every other Wednesday is a rather pleasant night in our house. Because in year four I finally felt like I could carpool with another mom to cheer. Due to this fabulous arrangement I get two nights a month when it's just Agnes and me. It's so wonderful and it feels like she's an only child- soaking up all the attention that is usually being divided up 25/25/50%...yes, even now Edith requires the most attention at all times.

But every other Wednesday is a little piece of bliss for both Agnes and myself. Quiet. Time just for her to be five.

Tonight is one of those every other Wednesdays. Agnes started kindergarten with a bang and never looked back. The first day we walked her into her classroom she just said good-bye and went on her way. The second day of kindergarten she climbed up the hill at the end of the day and announced, "Mrs. Lennartz got sick today and went home so we had a sub" like this shit happens all the time. Poor Mrs. Lennartz was sick for the next two days and never once did Agnes bat an eye at it, it was as if she had been in kindergarten forever and teachers get sick and that's just how it is when you have to have a substitute. Unfortunately for Mrs. Lennartz all the moms at pick-up like to chat and by the time the second day of having a substitute rolled around we had her all sorts of knocked up with her second kid.

As it turns out, she really was just sick...and not pregnant. Our gossip at the top of the hill is always so much more interesting than the real truth.

My point in all this rambling is that Miss Agnes just kind  of started the school year like an old pro and sometimes even I forget that she really is only in her third month of full-time, honest to God, real school.

Since it as quiet tonight I remembered that and we chatted about the day. She told me who has to turn their cards to yellow (for being naughty) and who got to help the poor little girl who had surgery this weekend after a rather freak accident that all the town knew about the next morning. Then I asked, "What was for hot lunch today?"

"Well, I had a chicken sandwich. I like hot lunch, I want to have it everyday. I'm not picky when it comes to hot lunch."

Really, I thought...wonder how much of that lunch you actually eat, since you never, ever, ever eat anything that I cook at home.

No joke, Agnes probably goes to bed hungry five nights out of the seven in a week because she doesn't eat dinner. As my friend's kitchen sign says, "Tonight's Menu is: Eat It OR Starve". Agnes almost always chooses the safe route with 'Starve.'

"What fruit or vegetable did you have for your lunch today?" I asked knowing that is a hard-core rule that they have to have something that grew on a tree or in the dirt on their plate.

"I had cottontails," she said as she munched on her pizza (this is one of the 2/7ths of the week of the week she ate since it was a recognizable, three-ingredient entree).

"You had what?" I asked.

"I had cottontails," she said again.

"What is that?" I asked wondering how in the hell I missed that on the menu.

"Cottontails are a kind of fruit that you don't know about," she explained very matter-of-factly.

"Oh. OK. Well, what's it look like?"

"Well there are grapes in it and peaches and pears..."

I started laughing, "Do you mean you had fruit cocktail?"

"Yes!" she exclaimed happily.

I was also happy to know that she was eating fruit and not part of what might come off of Adeline for dinner if I ever catch her chewing on my new couch.

Today is my weekly volunteering day at school. I spend almost the entire morning going between their three classes and doing whatever it is the teachers need me to do. It's a great reminder that I once had a great teaching career and that I really probably shouldn't ever do it again as being in contact with that many kids for that long of a period is not a mentally healthy situation for me.

It was cold and I needed something comfy and warm. I had been eyeing up this cream sweater in my closet that I bought last year. I kind of feel like a marshmallow when I wear it but I thought today if I put on tall brown boots and a scarf is would look less S'mores ingredient and more like a piece of winter clothing. I think I made it work.

The scarf was a score on a fabulous girls' week in Florida I took a few years ago. It was lovely. (and now that I see the sweater in a picture I feel like it's much less marshamallow-y than it was before I lost those 15 pounds...perhaps it wasn't so much the sweater that looked marshamallow-y as it was ME that looked that way...hmmmmmm, ouch, the truth hurts...).

Once I had to actually head outside today I had to throw on a jacket, again, as it turns out, I should have gone with the parka. I did graduate myself from a vest to the jacket but I was still freezing. Those 10-30 mph. winds did not bode well with my cute red jacket. This jacket was a great find on a a Target clearance rack last year. Probably something I would have never paid full price for but I love that I got it cheap and it adds some fun and brightness to my closet without feeling guilty about a high price tag.

I know people say, "If you wouldn't buy it full price, don't buy it on sale, it's a waste of money." I agree to some extent but then again, I don't NEED jackets in every color under the rainbow but it's certainly fun to play with them and I don't feel as guilty if I'm not paying full price- it's a fun way to add variety without busting the budget.

And that's all I've got for today. Nothing new on the relo front, just in the same holding pattern. I wish I knew but then again every day I don't know is one day longer that we can work toward finishing out the cheer season here (which is good since I'm about to write the last two big checks for the season...it makes no sense to pay for the whole year and then leave without finishing it, right?).

SS, who seriously starting to rue her decision to type this entire post without wearing socks...brrrrr...it's getting chilly up in here!

Monday, November 11, 2013

What to wear, what to wear...snow's a flyin'!

So I have a closet full of clothes and every morning it's the same thing, "OMG! I have NOTHING to wear!" And every day I hit Pinterest to help me pull my life together, it's amazing how many stylish girls there are out there.

I say 'girls' because they are cute and little and when THEY go in for their annual OB/GYN Touchy-Feely Appointment I'm pretty sure their doctor doesn't end with, "Aaaaaand, yeah, it's probably time for you to get that first mammogram scheduled now that you're old...I mean 40...I meant to say we should schedule that because you're 40, not because you're old..."

Sheesh. Between that and the fact that there is a legitimate layer of snow on the ground today I wish I could just crawl back into bed and sleep the next few months off.

Anyway, I'm not pretending I'm young and I'm not pretending I'm a great photographer nor that I don't have wrinkles or that I didn't have to take my pictures in Edith's mirror because mine is in an area of my room that is too dark to see.

So today I remembered once that someone, maybe Trinny & Susannah, said that pink and orange were basically MFEO...Made For Each Other.

I busted out this cute orange Old Navy gingham shirt that I thrifted a few months ago and a great raspberry cardigan that I scored at a super high-end boutique here in Wisconsin. It's called Wal-Mart, ever heard of it? I'll be honest, I will shop ANYWHERE and buy things if I like them and they are of good quality. This cardigan is long and the knit is nice and thick and the price was right, about $13. Can't beat it with a stick.

I also added a turquoise necklace from my favorite accessory joint, Sam Moon. I bought this a few years back for a Halloween costume. I was a squaw and Gru was a cowboy, we figured somewhere in US history a cowboy and a cute Native American gal hooked up, right? Super PC, I know. Point is, if you're going to buy stuff for a Halloween costume, be sure you can use it again. Just a little money saving tip from me to you.

Like I said, it's snowing here today so the multiple layer thing is not just trendy and fashionable, it's downright necessary. In order to head to the dreaded Touchy Feely Appt. I had to layer up with a scarf, vest and my trusty rain boots. As it turns out I should have said, "Screw it" to the vest and put on my parka, that blowing snow was not impressed with my awesome fashion sense.
A lot of the girls in my 'hood are obsessed with Hunter boots. They HAVE to have them (just like everyone has to have a Pottery Barn couch- which is, indeed, a post for another day). I liked them but not enough to shell out $140. Alas, I did need dry feet in our wet Midwestern falls and springs. What was a fashion-savvy, yet penny-wise girl to do? I did more homework (as usual) and came up with an equally water-proof, fashionable boot that I love. The Kamik Jennifer Rain Boot- they are awesome and a fraction of the price of the Hunters. Score yours here at Amazon. Again, my photography isn't great- these are black and I have a cable knit boot sock added to them for a little something extra.

It has stopped snowing now but there is a howling wind outside. Love. It. (sort of)

Which brings me to my next point which I shall keep brief.

I am not a Dallas kind of girl as far as I'm aware; I'm more of your Austin breed. Sadly when you are job hunting and there are jobs in DFW you quickly start to find all the great things you can about your potential new city. Today I added to the list that Dallas is like pretty far north in Texas- practically like Southern Oklahoma north- which means that while it won't be as freaking cold as it is here in the winter I will still see seasons change. Maybe not as dramatically but still, the seasons will change and I do like that. I like to layer up and wear jeans. I'm looking at this as a positive and my list of positives for DFW is getting longer by the day.

No decisions have been made, interviews are still in progress and we won't know for quite some time what is going to happen but right now my heart is leaning toward north Texas. I'm pretty sure that today Dallas isn't sitting under a snowy white blanket that is insulating the cold weather around them.

SS, who will be glad when this process is over because as a planner, I need to plan and this is throwing big wrenches in my shit...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Heartbreaking words...

When your five year old says, "Daddy, you're smiling!"...because it happens just that infrequently...time for some major changes around the house.

SS, who is torn and every time she thinks about it the wound opens again...

Monday, July 29, 2013

On a recent Wednesday morning...

A really great thing about having a screened in porch is that mosquitoes are of no concern to you when you are having a nice cocktail in the evening hours. Even more important as to why a screened in porch is a major asset is that no birds will fly into your windows and then succumb to their broken neck injuries on your outdoor couch thus leaving their poop and dead carcass on your couch.

It should be noted that I do not, indeed, have a screened in porch.

I am less concerned by the mosquito situation because they make chemicals for that.

I am, however, more concerned with the kamikaze bird situation which appears to be an issue.

SS, who double-bagged her hand before placing said theoretical bird in a third bag...and the promptly screamed like a little girl as she scrubbed her hands raw with antibacterial soap and bleach...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wherein I'm related to 'some people' (I was probably adopted)

EDITED: Shhhhh, I see quite a few people more people have visited than have commented...we all know how positive-reinforcement works...and I like super-de-duper work on that (stickers, pieces of candy, trinkets, beer, and COMMENTS...)feel free, I loves me some comments....that is all...read on and thanks for stopping by.
So for the last six years I've been writing ads for our annual yard sale here in Stepford. What usually happens is that I sit down one night, get the list of stuff together that we are going to have for sale and put it on Craigslist. My ads are a little more than 'here's a list of what we have', I've found that to attract the most amount of buyers it's best to have your ad stand out a little...or a lot. People show up at the sale and ask about who wrote the ad and say that it was the ad that drew them in. Not to toot my own horn- it's really not genius, it's just different and people like different.

Some people, as it turns out, do not like 'different'. Apparently I happen to be related to some of those people. I wrote this ad Sunday for my family's yard sale...got two responses from strangers who are all set to shop...and then a request from my family to take it down. Meh, who knows how many people would have come to the sale if it was up for more than 18 hours? We'll never know.

Estate Sale July 25-27- Stuff you NEED

Some people spend their entire lives living as minimalists and purging every chance they get. You know- usually they are those Euro types that have very clean lines in their house and when you are looking for a spool or ribbon (darn b-key. . .every time you see the letter 'b' in this dang write-up I've had to pound the bejeezus (there it goes again!) out of my 'b' to get it to work. . .you're welcome) or an extra relish tray it is nowhere to be found because people like that don't keep extra items around- too cluttery.

My grandparents were not those types of people- lucky for you. As a matter of fact they spent most of their time collecting things they already had at least one of and making them into a complete collection (16 cruets, anyone? Oh but I do think so!).

My aunt and dad have been working hard to undo the last 50 some-odd years of collecting by pricing all sorts of odd, ends, treasures and trinkets just for your viewing pleasure. I imagine that you would be hard-pressed to really think of something that you wanted and not be able to find it at this sale. As a matter of fact I'll even go you one better- I'll bet there are things that you can't even think of and/or fathom that exist that my grandparents had at least one of. . .if not nine of them. They were big into making sure you would never be without that 'one super important item' that you had to have (like wrenches- by the dozens).

Bottom line- there's some good stuff on the chopping block this week and you should totally come by and see it. They have so many treasures that there is shopping INSIDE the house and OUTSIDE. . .nope, not kidding, there is something here you NEED. My aunt has gone through the trouble of creating this list of items that will be available so here we go:
Sofa/sleeper (I believe there might actually be two of these- one normal and one vintage one with flowers that you NEED. . .no joke)
Kitchen stuff: Kitchen Aid Mixer, many kitchen items, microwave, dishes, Kitchen tables and chairs, oak stools, stainless sink w/faucet (yes, we are selling the whole dang thing- kitchen sink and all apparently)
Grandma's Things: sewing items, quilting material, canning items, bedding, towels

Grandpa's Things: file cabinet, 2 safes, records, organ, wood folding chairs, tools, jig saw on stand, garden tools

ANTIQUES: Edison phonograph cylinder player with 15 cylinders, Bentwood chairs and more, tables, magazine table, music cabinet, vanity, dressers, dresser with glove boxes, coat trees, hutches, chandelier, 1918 China dishes, salt dishes, glass dishes, factory sewing machine, vintage cupboards, fruit press/sausage maker, games, metal toys, lamps, gas lights, kerosene light with reflector, Roper gas stove, wood boxes, crates, license plates, tools and much more.
(ut...But you know what they don't have...a freaking 'b' key for my computer...that is the ONE THING they don't have...lordy)

"Oh emmmm geeeee!!!!! I'm so excited!!! WHERE ON EARTH DO I GO to take part in this amazing sale!?!?!" you say dancing around barely able to contain your excitement.
So glad you asked. . .(insert address here)
Thursday, July 25 from 11 am until 6 pm (and seriously- 11 am. . .I know YOU don't do this but would you believe there are people who knock on the doors and peek in windows before sales? Rude. . .Seriously- give 'em a break, wake up, get you some coffee, read the paper and THEN come shopping)

Friday, July 26 from 7 am until 6 pm (and holy cow- as I'm reading these times she has in here they are in for the LONG HAUL. . .)
Saturday, July 27 from 7 am until 6 pm
Thanks so much for reading and please stop on by...I promise they've moved all this stuff, priced and they don't want to touch it again to box it up-- please help some pre-loved stuff find a new home with you...

P.S. the rabbit isn't for sale...she's just there to entice you with her cute factor..."Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww"...see? It's working! ;) 
SS, who hates when a good piece of writing goes untapped...hence posting this here instead of Craigslist...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Days 10, 11 and 12 and my SIL's Rockin' Bod

So my SIL, Jane, came to visit last month. She's a personal trainer and has four kids. She looks like she could easily hold her own in a wrestling match with that Stacy Keibler chick (who honestly doesn't look like she'd make it a round with Jane- I mean Stacy is smokin' but her bod is not nearly as ripped as one would think it would need to be to be in the ring). Jane is RIPPED in all the right places and not ugly at all. As a matter of fact she's hot.

She and the fam went to Florida back in May and she's telling me this story about how everywhere they went people would come up to her and ask her how she got her body or if she was a professional volleyball player or whatever. People notice her, I mean she's not only 'fit' but her arms are cut, she legit has a six pack (she has a picture on Facebook in her bikini, nothing showy, just a pic of her and her sister at the pool- I'd post it but I don't think she'd appreciate it) and her legs are amazing. You see her and think, "Dammit, that girl does way more than just work out a few times a week."

Apparently they were on the beach one day and saw some people approaching them and thought, "Oh here we go again."

And yes, the people come up, ask her if she's a volleyball player, have the conversation with her that her body is awesome and go on their way.

Meanwhile my BIL is laying on his back in the sand, beer in hand, with his hat over his eyes and ponders, "You know, I'm kind of getting tied of this nonsense. No one has come up and asked ME how I got MY body."

Jane looks at him in his current state and says, "You know honey, I think they can figure it out."

I laughed. It was pretty funny.

So Jane and I go to Hot Mama to shop that weekend. I don't think I've ever actually purchased anything from there but I like to walk about and look at the merchandise (and then go replicate the cute things I see there at Marshall's...because I'm fucking innovative, that's why...) and pretend that I'm a legit customer. As we're walking about the store one of the sales associates comes over the Jane- not me, JANE- and says, "Wow! You must really work out- what do you do?"

Suddenly I felt my BIL's pain. I get it dude, I get it. 

So Days 10-12...things are decent. Days 10 and 11 were both Level 2- they were great, lots of sweating and panting. Day 11 was actually pretty funny. Because it was Sunday- Weigh-In Day- I got on the scale. It was like 139. Fucking scale. I fucking hate you. You are stupid and I hate you.

I head down the the basement all dejected like. Get my ass kicked, chug a ton of water and go upstairs and weigh myself again...I don't know. I'm special like that, what can I say?

I get on the scale and it says 135.2. (eyebrows lift), "Huh," I say getting off the scale. I stand there and wait to confirm what I've just seen.

Gru is there with me, "Oh well we did drink a lot last night..." he says trying to offer me some consolation.

"No, it's the other way," I say in a daze, "Hold on."

I get on again.


OMG! Happy Dance! I know it's only five pounds from my legit starting place but I haven't seen 135 in well over a year. I am crazy happy.

I go through the day floating on air, happy, still being good. Here's the deal- I haven't told most of the people in my life I'm doing this because I'm waiting to see when or if they'll notice. So far only one person has said anything and here's how it went. At cheer last night I was sitting next to another mom and she says, "Well my daughter had a good compliment for you yesterday."

"Oh?" I say thinking what a rough sleepover we had just had the night before (so. much. fucking. girl. drama....can't handle the meanness)

"Yes, she lifted up my shirt and poked my fat and said I needed to work out like you."

(SCORE! granted it was a nine year old that noticed but still...I'll take what I can get at this point!)

Well, then I woke up this morning.

Fucking scale. Said I was back up to 136.2. Stupid fucking scale.

I went to the bathroom and suddenly there was a knock at the door.

"Well, hello?" I said kindly.

And in busted my Big Fat Dumb Period.

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," I said as he busted through, "Umm, nice to see you again..." thinking that this explains a whole helluva a lot regarding my scale situation this morning. That guy is a hoarder- holds onto all kinds of excessive baggage and water-weight. Bloater. Hate that friggin' guy.

He sat down on my couch, busted open the Cheetos and a full-loaded Coke, "Burrrrrrrrrrrppppppp...uh, excuse me, sorry about that (wipes belch from his mouth). I'll only be staying like a week or so if that's OK with you?"

Like I fucking have a choice, I thought.

I went downstairs and left my monthly visitor wallowing in his own filth while I got my ass kicked by Jillian. Day 13. "You know, fuck him," I thought, "I"m doing Level 3 just to show that asshole who's boss!"

Did Level 3...brutality. Most of it I can handle but the Level 3 cardio kicks my ass. I hate 'high knees' and some of the other plyometric exercises- the jumping- ugh. Hate it. But I struggled through, probably a few too many '5 second breathers' today- but tomorrow will be even better.

And we'll be one day closer to my unwelcome visitor hitting the road and leaving my scale and me in peace again.

SS, who used to be super happy to see my Dumb Period- now that I'm 'fixed' it's just a nuisance...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sad Sunday

I was late to jump on the 'Glee' train but I'm glad I did. It's a show that's hilariously written, touches on many legit teenage (and general social) issues and stars a slew of amazingly talented actors and actresses.

This season there will be one less.

RIP Cory Monteith.

SS, who is just in shock over this, I know he was struggling with addiction as many (famous and not) do but what a loss...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sisterly Love...

“I don’t get it mom, it’s like Margo doesn’t want to believe I’m on her team.”

“Well, what do you mean?” I ask thinking, ‘DUH! Of course she doesn’t! You’re the bane of her existence you two couldn’t be more opposite. This is HER team and you are, in her mind, encroaching on her turf.’

“Well during practice if I say something to her she just looks at me and makes this face but doesn’t say anything,” says Agnes sort of screwing her lips up.

“Weird,” I respond, “But here’s the deal when you are born only a year apart and you are sisters you will eventually be on the same team due to age guide-lines so that’s just kind of the way it is.” I say this more for Margo’s benefit who is now smirking pretending neither of us can see her.

We are entering our fourth year of cheerleading and to this point in time my girls have never been on the same team so this year is totally new for them. We just started ‘season’ last Sunday and they’ve had two practices together- as in ‘on the same team’. I get Margo’s intense dislike for the situation but the bottom line is her mom’s a slut very fertile. I got knocked up a second time when Margo was only eight months old, and things get dicey when kids are born that close in age. Margo is old for her grade and Edith is just about right for hers. If Margo had been born a few months earlier she’d be two grades ahead of Edith instead of just one but Gru and I didn’t know anything about planning that kind of shit, I just wanted to get pregnant with no regard to what that meant for kindergarten registration. Very selfish of me.

            (Margo in happier days...like before Edith was on her team)

Poor Margo. 

Since Edith is so strongly inclined to be ‘big’ she made it her goal to not just get her back handspring this year but her round-off back handspring. Typically kids get a janky standing back handspring and it takes a while- sometimes months and months!-  to figure out how to connect it to the round-off. Connecting is a super big when you’re going from that simple BHS (back handspring) to the RO BHS (round-off backhandspring). In all-star cheerleading there are many components- dance, jumps, stunting and tumbling. Tumbling breaks down into ‘standing tumbling’ and ‘running stumbling’.  For Edith it was imperative to be ‘big’ and nail that running tumbling down with her RO BHS and prove to the coaches she was ready to move up. She almost got her RO BHS before her BHS (keep in mind this is the same kid who potty-trained in the middle of the night BEFORE being potty-trained during the day, she is the definition of back assward).

            (Edith doing her thing...being sassy as hell on the floor)

Margo, as you can imagine, was very supportive of all of this…until she realized it meant the next step for Edith was to leave her team and move up to the next team, which sadly for Margo, was Margo’s team.

It will be a long year for me because I have to hear from Margo how she would rather clean the rabbit’s litter box with her toothbrush and then use that same poop-stained toothbrush to brush her teeth than have Edith on her team. I will continually hear from Edith how she thinks that Margo doesn’t want her on her team which, if you know Edith, will mean she will do everything in her power to drive the point home to Margo in every single annoying way she can (even if that means nailing down her round-off back tuck before Margo does…which might put Margo right over the edge, she already wants Edith to go to military school and isn’t afraid to mention it at every appropriate time that she can).

SS, who, as an only child, still cannot figure out why my girls have to fight so much instead of just getting along and loving each other, is that REALLY too much to ask?!?!!?

Day 9: More Sweat

Day 9 at Level 2 was more of the same, more sweat, more moaning. I went to Recipe Club last night with the ladies from the 'hood. I thought since only a few of the dishes were gluten-free I was doing well. It's funny, I'm three and a half months gluten-free and I cannot remember that last time I 'felt sick' after eating. I think it's due to two things. First, I don't eat gluten which is a toughie to digest and when you eat a bunch of bread or pasta that your body isn't thrilled about, you feel shitty. Second, I don't tend to eat as much. I don't know why but my appetite has gone down since I started this nonsense.

I was stupid to get on the scale this morning. Late dinner, salty food, maybe a bacon-wrapped stuffed mushroom cap or two too many but whatever- should not have gotten on the scale. I really need to make a habit of ONLY getting on the scale on check-in days which are currently Mondays. But I"m a scale watcher, always have been. It's hard. I'm the same broad that gets on the scale before and after pooping just 'to see' how much I pooped out.

I have serious issues. I own that.

Anyway, I worked it out this morning and am back on track. 

I do want to share the story about my SIL's rockin' body (she's a personal trainer...let's put it this way, when personal trainers in her area feel unmotivated and need an ass-kicking, she's the bitch they go to see- she's HARD. CORE.) but I have to run. It's a good one though, perhaps tomorrow.

SS, who will not get on the scale until next Monday morning...or until tomorrow morning...whichever comes first...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 8: Because Farts Are Always Funny

Day 8...third day of Level 2. Blah- but motivated.

(grunt, moan, grunt, yell, moan, moan, moan, yell...thinks to self, "I haven't yelled and moaned this much ever...well, yes I did...but birthing an actual baby requires that much yelling and hollering, working out should not"...moan, yell, moan, grunt)





(snickers...sweaty back + yoga mat + certain movements= fart sounds)





(grunt, moan, yell, moan, holler, grunt, grunt, grunt, grunt)

SS, who finished sweaty, hot and worn out but made it...Day 8...DONE.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 7: Shocked.


So first of all let me say that as techo-savvy as I was back in my TKW days things have changed and now most of the junior high girls on our cheer team can show me a thing or two on their iPods and with their super cool photo and social media apps. That said, HA...this morning I figured out how to put two pictures side by side...BA-BAM!!!! Can't stop me now! (sticks chest out for Bozo button or gold star...)

Yes, I worked out this morning...it was Day 7 and I did Level 2 again. It was tough. There's no one home and I cried out in pain and pure exhaustion. I think this unnerved Adeline, the rabbit, who was busy crouching down hoping whatever was making that horrendous noise wouldn't eat her- she's a prey animal you know- she gets very nervous. I finished up and came upstairs and looked on-line at all the amazing girls who have gone before me in the process (searching Pinterest...whatever did we do before Pinterest?!?!?!) for some motivation and thought, "WOW, that Jillian is an ass-kicker alright, I can't wait for my 30 days to be up!"

Once my sweat subsided and I forgot that I really needed a shower I thought, "Huh, not that there's been much of a change but let's just compare Day 1 and Day 7 for shits n' giggles." (insert 15 minutes of really painful web-searching 'how do you put two pictures side by side' and my jacking around with Paint and Word...)

And then...whoa.

It's only been seven days. I weighed in at 136.6 this morning and that's really only about a pound loss from the beginning (138) but then I saw the pictures.

I was AMAZED. No, I don't think I'm God's gift to anything and I certainly am not going to quit but...I saw results. Real...live...results.

I wanted to cry a little.

I'm in awe and more inspired and motivated than ever. I pink puffy heart Jillian Michaels.

SS, who is looking forward to Day 8 more than ever (huh? have I EVER looked forward to working out? Nevah. Not even a teeny-tiny little bit BUT you better bet your bippy I am now!)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Days 5 & 6

Are you surprised to see Day 6 up there? I was. Let me tell you why. My goal was to work out Monday through Friday and take the weekends off which means I should be stuck at 5 right now but I took on Day 6 and kicked the shit out of it (something like that).

Friday was Day 5...fairly easy and routine. The kids were being bribed with a trip to the mall and lunch at Costco so that alone was enough for them to behave and leave me alone. I did another Level 1 workout and it was OK. By that time my hamstrings were TIGHT and amazingly enough the lunges really felt good while I stretched the muscles out. I was sweaty. There was a shower afterwards and as usual I was mesmerized by the amount of sweat in my sports bra. That alone should have meant that I lost like 5 pounds.

I didn't.


Day 6...here's how this went. Saturday I did nothing. We were getting ready for the Dave Matthews concert and I spent the morning sewing cheer spankies and watching the monsters in the basement...just feet away from where Jillian usually kicks my ass. I was taunting her.

So the DMB concert...another reminder that I am WAY older than I think I am. I remember this distinctly being an issue back in July 2001 when I saw him at Solider Field in Chicago. I was not even 28 yet but when I walked in I immediately felt OLD. I had left my building in Chicago and gotten picked up by my cousin and was living the young life working in a law firm- no kids...it was great! I was young! I was free (mostly)! And then I walked into the concert.

HOLY SHIT WAS I OLD!!!!! How on EARTH was I OLD at 27 years old!?!?!?!?!? But I was....dear God...the young co-eds...hot girls, hot guys...and me- this OLD 27 year OLD paralegal. Gah. I wanted to die.

But that doesn't hold a candle to how OLD I felt last night. Jeeeeeeeeeeezus. Gru and I brought down the average age by like 15 + years. If I had been a young, un-wed mother I could have EASILY been 'Mom' to most of the kids there. Depressing as hell.

Anyway Gru and I got to the hill early (I can't see buying seat tickets for the cost and then STILL have to stand the whole time when you can see perfectly well from the hill and scoped out a great spot) to snag some good lawn seats. We were about 45 minutes early for the opening act- she was great- wish I could sing like her but am resigned to the fact that I really don't.

Dave came on at 8:30 and by then most of the 'children' were totally shit-faced- notable were the people behind us..and in front of us (big, fat guy who chucked a water bottle up toward the front of the lawn, "Hey asshole, the other kids are throwing beach balls and glow-sticks...we don't fucking throw water bottles"), the guy next to me (who was ALL over his hot girlfriend and I  kept  hoping he would manage to NOT throw up in my Tory Burch flip-flops because as old and shitty as they are- they were still $50 and I pink, puffy, heart them)...but the guy behind us...OH....EMMMMM...GEE!!!

First of all he was talking to Dave Matthews like they were personal friends ("David, come on!")...from about 1/2 a mile away...which means he had to talk VERY loudly. However that didn't compare to how loudly he had to SING to get Dave hear him. Gru was VERY irritated by this. I was irritated by this too but not as much as Gru. I get we are at a concert. I get the patrons will sing. But please, for the love of all that is holy, don't sing so loudly that the main act can hear you on stage because that means everyone around you can hear you too and they paid their $40 to hear the dude on stage...not your drunk, constipated-sounding ass ruin the songs. I honestly thought this dude might need some serious fiber to get things moving but in retrospect I don't think he was grunting and groaning trying to shit- he was singing...all the words AND the instrumentals...LOUDLY. Did I mention he was very loud?

So why did I work out this morning?

There was a good amount of pot and cigarette smoke it the air which I'm fond of, personally. I don't necessarily like to smoke either one but the smells bring me many good memories from my teen years. As lovely as it was last night, this morning when I woke up I was ready to remove all the reminders of last night's activities. And then I thought about it...

...if I have to shower I need to make it worth my while. Showering as I've mentioned in the past has become a bit more of a luxury since I've had kids. When I shower I want to make sure that there's a darn good reason I'm doing it. So...I thought about it. I was kinda icky and kinda sticky but not enough that it would have warranted a shower. How can I make this right and worthwhile?

Oh, I know...I have an idea.

 I could work out and get another day under my belt. OMG, did those words come out of MY thought processes? Surely not. Yet, they did.

So to the basement I went for Day 6- on a Sunday of all days- a day of rest and napping! Ugh.  I decided to up the ante and hit Level 2. Ummm, it was rough. I know all the moves, I've done them in my previous 75 Minutes of Doom class but that didn't matter I was still begging for mercy by the second circuit and sweating like a fat man in line for cream puffs at the county fair. It was not pretty but it felt damn good. All I could think was that I was making a difference with my muscles and making them stretch and grow. I was *hoping* that the work was busting through some fat (gotdamnit). I had to take  a few 5 second breaks so my muscles didn't actually burst through my skin (which has yet to happen due to my very carefully, planned 5 second breaks) but I made it...and when I got in the shower I KNEW that I had earned the shower and it was not longer an optional bathing situation.

Tomorrow is Monday and the girls are off to summer school. It's my One Week check-in so I'll check in with weight as well as some pictures (not that I think a whole lot has changed...insert swear words here).

SS, who is ready to face day 2 of Level 2...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Days 3 & 4: The Funness Wears Off

As it turns out I really actually do dislike working out. I don't get that high some people do. I don't love to sweat. Honestly I'm kinda lazy (kinda?) and I'd rather take a nap than do pretty much anything else in the world. On those principles alone I should have lost 4 lbs. already- a pound for each day I've gotten dressed, turned on the DVD, picked up my weights and gotten my ass kicked.

Hasn't happened.

Anyway Day 3 was yesterday and it was a good reminder of why I don't like to work out when my kids are home. In the first circuit I had to pause Jillian and go upstairs and deal with a dispute between Agnes and (surprise, surprise!) Edith. There's nothing worse than doing something you hate, have to take a break and then GO BACK to the thing you hate. It's like double torture (and should be worth a loss of two pounds...in SS's World of Cardio Economics). But I did it and I finished it and I felt pleased with myself...three days down!

This morning was Day 4. Edith was already in Time Out for the duration of my workout so I didn't have that going against me but what was slightly amusing was Agnes doing 'squat presses' and 'push ups'...I use the 'quotations' because I'm pretty sure Jillian wouldn't have approved of the form (or lack thereof) but it kept me amused for like 30 seconds. I used a different Jillian DVD today (Ripped in 30)- same 3-2-1 circuit method (3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs...repeat two times) just to break up the monotony. Since I used her Level 1 workout on this DVD many of the moves were the same but at least I felt like it was a little different. Best part of today's workout? Agnes spanking my booty while I was doing side-to-side squats...I get it...my ass was sticking out and it's tempting, "It was RIGHT there, Mommy!!!!!" When I was done I was ICKY sweaty nasty. My sports bra had real, live sweat seeping up from the bottom. There was physical PROOF that I had worked hard. I'm not sure that I've ever seen sweat on my clothes even during Cardio Chisel (the '75 Minutes of Hell' class) so I think that has to count for something.

Bottom line...FOUR DAYS DONE!!!! I have to make an admission though. I have been 140 for a very long time. A few weeks before I started this I really cut back on intake- I wasn't starving myself but despite working hard to be healthy for the last three months NOTHING SHIFTED. So for about a week or two I really pushed and that got me to the 138 which is where I sit now. I know it's not about 'numbers'. You know what? Fuck that. It is TOTALLY about numbers for me- I'm over believing the whole 'it's not about numbers' BS. My goal is to be somewhere around 125- and while technically 125 is SOMEWHERE around 140 when we're talking about numbers in the thousands for my weight I'm not OK with it.

So far I can't 'see' any changes (because I'm super, super, super patient like that, "It's been FOUR DAYS! WHY can't I see any changes!?!?!?!??!?!!?!??!" WAH!!!!!) but I will carry on tomorrow and wear a smile...and continue to, as Agnes point out, 'swear' ("Oh my GOD!" I cried out in pain as Jillian kicked my ass) while I work out.

SS, who is please with herself but this will only be temporary until I see some fucking results...(grin!!!!)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Did anyone see...

In totally random news a dude escaped from our local mental health institute last night. I can't fully get the grasp on why he was there other than he like imprisoned some people and is quite a bit on the not-so-stable side of the fence. And speaking of 'the fence'- apparently the dude was outside at the facility and literally jumped a fence and just ran into the woods- lucky us he ran right toward our 'hood. This is about the most exciting thing that's happened in Stepford since the black bear decided this was a nice place to come and hang out on some of my neighbors' swing sets (true story) about two years ago. Yeah, he's still on the loose apparently (the crazy, not the bear...the bear has long since moved to another 'hood).

That is not really what I'm writing about today though.

What I'm wondering about is if you saw that enormous 18-wheeler that apparently broke through my house last night and ran me over? I was talking all tough and big yesterday but today I'm feeling it- back, quads, biceps, calves, chest...whoa. And here's the worst part- we have random stuff scheduled today so I have to work out this morning...again, less than 24 hours since my last workout. This is not me and not what I bargained for. I had this idealistic picture of me working out each morning at the same time exactly timing my workouts 24 hours apart so as to not over-do it. In that fantasy I also got a great shower in ALONE afterward (Reality: kids are in the bathroom talking to me and tattling/asking what's next/etc./etc.) and after a day or two I look like one of Adam Levin'es recent exes (Reality: fuck. I think I'm going to have to do the full 30 days...not just the 10% like I was wishing and hoping for...).

Let's be honest- I've NEVER overdone it with exercise so three days in a row alone is like, "WTF???? my body just wants to sit on the couch and watch our new gizmo that lets us watch Amazon Prime and get on the 'Downton Abbey' train that everyone is so excited about. Instead Jillian, whom yes, I still love- and I will go down to the basement with my already aching body so she can kick my ass again.

(begin whine)

I don't wanna!!!!!!!! I want to just take a day offffffffffffff........it hurts, my quads burn mid-way through and my abs are sore. I just want to be 25 again and not have to worry about all this!!! Wah-wah-wah-wah. I want to play on Facebook and shop on-line........

(end whine)

Here I go.

SS, who might actually die on Day 3...I want that one my headstone "Killed by Working Out' because EVERYONE says 'Exercise won't kill you'....but you know, it might...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 2: The Shred

My first workout was last night at about 9:00 so it wasn't even a full day before I was at it for Day #2. While the Margo and Edith were at gymnastics I decided to use my time wisely and hit it again this afternoon...instead of playing Facebook or taking a nap (which I really wanted to do...and again, perhaps that's how I got to where I am...weird...anyway).

This time I knew what to expect this time around. In the Level 1 option there are a few exercises that require weights. Last night, per some of the online reviews I just had my 3 lb. weights on-hand. For some of the exercises (lateral raises- I hate those friggin' things- I just can't do those- I don't know why my my arms aren't made to do that) they were fine, for other motions (chest flies and stationary lunges with bicep curls) I felt like I could have easily gone heavier so today I made sure my 8 lbs. were close at hand.

It was another ass kicking. I'm not going to lie. I was sweating and huffing and puffing. At one point Jillian says she can hear the girls behind her on the video and at that point I full on started grunting and moaning. I began to think that if someone was listening in they might not think I was working out all if you get my drift (wink, wink, nod, nod). As I was air-punching there was much grunting. It does make you feel better and somehow makes the motions not seem so painful...not sure how or why, but it does. Helpful tip from me to you.

I still like Jillian. As a matter of fact I knew the things she was going to say this time and found them to be very supportive and encouraging. Keep in mind in another 16 days I might think she's a total bitch and hate her guts but for today I still like her and that's also important in making this slightly more enjoyable for someone who ABHORS working out.

Day 3 is just around the corner. I'm thinking this will be my last day at Level 1 and then I'll bump it up a notch. My quads are sore after today's workout but not to the point of being painful when I go up and down the stairs (I've been there before...I know that pain...the kind when you think, "Huh...I could just wear a Depends today to avoid bending my legs to sit on the toilet....")- a good light hurt but not terribly so.

Wish me luck...

Suburbian Siren, who even after all these years still cannot understand how my SIL thinks that what she does is OK (she's a personal trainer...she's made people THROW UP when she's been working them over...like some kind of freaking Fitness Nazi)...remind me to share a funny story about her body next time...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 1: The Shred

So I do love the maxi dress. I would marry it if I could and if you look in my closet it appears that we do have a very intimate relationship that would border on that marital status. But truth be told it's like my Woobie, my training wheels, my lovie, my security blanket...but it's a slightly unhealthy relationship. See I'm a user and the maxi is an enabler. I use it to cover all my insecurities and she enables me to keep looking the way I do. I could work out more but why bother when I can just cover it all up...hide it...look pulled together (thankyouverymuch in my adult onesie) but still be a mess underneath. 

When I got pregnant with Agnes I was under-weight. I always had been, not due to lack of eating mind you- genetically I was blessed. Even after two kids my body was still thin. I'll fully admit today that I was too thin. I look back at the pictures and yeah, I can for sure see it. But that was kind of my identity- I was always 'the thin one'. When I went out people commented on how tiny I was, "Oh you're so tiny!" or "Oh my gosh, you're so skinny!!" and that made me feel good. That identity is gone now, no one says that to me anymore...ever. I'm pushing 40, I've battled with anti-depressants, had three kids and generally not worked out like a machine. Three weeks ago I had a doctor tell me that I could consider Weight Watchers. Yup, almost died, right there in the office. From embarrassment, from a broken heart, from failure.

So here's the dealio...I have decided that in addition to being gluten-free for three months and having gone off my anti-depressant (which supposedly had the side effect of weight gain associated with it) I'm going to actually make a commitment. This commitment requires a bit of humility on my part and most of the reason I'm doing it is to keep myself accountable. Here today I will show you what I look like now (gawd...I could die...), tell you exactly what my measurements are and then hold myself accountable for the next 30 days as I allow Jillian Michaels to kick my ass in to shape. 

Mind you...I don't airbrush, I don't have a professional stylist (or maid- there will be no mention of the girls' crap on the tub behind me...shush) and I am SUPER vulnerable posting these but I feel like I must not be the only person in the world to be battling this and if I can find one person who is like, "OMG! That's what I'm dealing with!!! Let's be best work-out buddies on-line" I'd be super happy. OK, hell I'll be happy if you just don't gasp in disgust.

 Apparently the silent, lonely camera was too much for Gru to resist. He had to look at what I was doing (while I was getting my ass kicked in the basement) and play along...and no, he almost never touches sunlight so shield your eyes...he's kinda like Edward but not as sweet and sentimental.

So there you have it. The before . Andnow for the most humiliating part...my starting weight. Oh. My. God.  (drumroll please)...138 lbs. at 5'5". There. There it is. That's what I was at like month 7 of each of my pregnancies. I don't want to talk about it.

My biggest areas that I would like to see improvement on are my Bingo Arms (you know, that shit on the bottom of your upper arm that waves and flaps like when an old lady hollers out, "BINGO!!!!!!" waving her arms to the caller????...WTF is that? I never had that until like last year, I'm not happy about it at all) and my thighs...they currently rub together under my maxi dresses. Me no likey. I wouldn't be pissed if my tummy tightened up either. You know, if I'm making a Wish List here.

OK, I've never been one to make a New Year's Resolution about going to the gym (mostly because up until five years ago I didn't need to so I didn't because I'm LAZY like that) and I've never been a dieter (says the girl who used to adore Cheetos and Oreos...but no more!!!! I haven't had an Oreo in months and same for Cheetos...I miss them a lot- although with having gone gluten-free I don't crave junk food anymore...kind sucks- you'd think I would have lost some weight from that...but no...nope, sure haven't!!!!) so I do not go into this promise lightly. My goal is to work through Jillian's 30 Day Shred five days a week. I know there's NO WAY I will make it seven days a week- I know that. But I can commit to Jillian 20ish minutes every day of the workweek to complete her program. Twenty minutes is doable- truth be told it's more than doable but with three small kids around it's what I can do every day. I used to take this ass-kicking 75 minutes class twice a week. I mean it was fucking hard and I loved it (I have those instructors to thank for my butt...they lunged and squatted me to death until my ass lifted up to where I always dreamed it would be) but it was long. SO long. 75 minutes.

DAY 1:
So I make my way to the basement (coolest part of the house...this is important to me...I don't like to be hot when I'm working out) and pop the DVD in. I let Jillian talk to me. I've never watched The Biggest Loser so I don't have a past relationship with her but immediately I like her. She's no bullshit but in a warm way. I like that.

The workout is the same format as my 75 minute class- mixture of cadio, sculpting and ab segments. It's familiar and I know I'm doing the exercises right because Janice and Sarah made sure we did them right. I appreciate that because if I'm going to go through the trouble I might as well get the most out of it, right? Jillian has three levels (Janice and Sarah used to call these 'Options'...they ALWAYS had options for us...they were super thoughtful like that- it was usually like Easy, Moderate and Pray for Mercy...) and tonight I started on Level 1 per Jillian's suggestion.

I think Level 1 was challenging tonight and I might do it for two more nights but I think I need to bump it up to Level 2 if I really want to see results- I was sweating and had to take a few five second breaks but for the most part I could push through the Level 1 option. My guess is that for my body to morph using only a 20 minute workout I need to push it a bit harder. I will allow myself two more days on Level 1 just because it's been a few months since I've really worked hard legitimately.

As you can see though I came out on the other side smiling. I promise this picture was taken after my workout. Even now an hour and a half later I can feel the salt from the sweat still on my body so I need to shower- there was definite blood pumping and perhaps tomorrow walking will be a little hard (crosses fingers). I always hope for that 'hurt'..."It's a good kind of hurt," Janice used to say smiling. Argh....

Suburbian Siren, who is off to shower before hitting the hay...and who also thanks you for joining her on this journey...