Friday, August 1, 2008

Running on Empty

This morning I did something very, very odd. I got up at 5:30 (normally I get up around 6:20) and went for a run. This is odd for two reasons… 1) I don’t run. Ever. Seriously. 2) I am NOT a morning person and will go through seemingly ridiculous gyrations just to get to sleep an extra 10 minutes. (Its amazing how fast your brain can do math at that early hour of the morning: “Hmmm if I decide now what I’m going to wear I can sleep for 5 more minutes” - bang the snooze button).

What brought about this madness you ask? Two words: swimsuit shopping. I had not tried on a swim suit since my honeymoon 2.5 years ago. This was post diet, pre child and involved a bikini. However, I was invited by a friend to go to the local pool with her and her son this past weekend. When I pulled out said bikini I noticed, warily, that it was marked as a “small”. That did not sound quite right. Then I put it on. There were more rolls than a southern family reunion. Not pretty. Ok, ok I just needed to go buy a one-piece at my local Target and I’d be good to go.

I walked into target somewhat hopeful. While I hadn’t truly enjoyed swimsuit shopping since college, it had always still been a little fun to find that perfect new suit. Apparently waiting until August to do that is a bad idea. There were almost no suits left. I pulled together the few one-pieces and tankinis that I could find and headed to the dressing room. Holy mother of all terrors. When I left Target empty handed (after stooping so low as to try on the Liz Lange maternity swimsuits) I was all but ready to slit my wrists. I ended up going to the pool in a tank top and shorts. I remember laughing at those moms when I was younger. This so sucks.

Then last night as I sat in my big comfy chair reading in my jammies, I happened to look down (big mistake) at my legs. Lets just say the glare of the lamplight on my hail damage did not do a lot to increase my self worth. I used to be thin – no, I used to be SKINNY. Way tooo skinny. How do I go from that to THIS? What happened. Did my eating habits really change all that horribly? NO! I used to live at Taco Johns, drink soda constantly and eat raw cake batter for a snack for God’s sake. I actually make better eating choices now. So what the heck happened? The worst part, I think, is knowing that I’m not "just big boned”, its not “just genetic”, and I haven’t “always been this way”. I was skinny – why can’t I be that way again? {sniffle}

So, something has to give. I cannot sit by (literally) and let myself fall down the slippery slope to being buried in a piano case. I heard a co-worker say yesterday that his wife was training for a local marathon and that she was starting to look “smokin”. I asked him when she found the time since she is a full time attorney and mother of two small girls. He said she gets up at 5:00 to go running. It made sense. And since I know I have no energy at 8:00 at night once I get dinner done, cleaned up and the little one put to bed, morning was my only option.

Who knows how long this will last. Who knows if I’ll keep it up. Lord knows I’ve tried just about everything else and failed to stick with it. I have the workout ethic of Santa Claus and the willpower of a crack addict. Not a good combo. But if I can keep up this running thing, continue to do my 25 squats each night before bed, and tame down the major carb intake (that will be the biggest hurdle – me loves me some carbs) maybe, just maybe I can get back to some semblance of my former self. I’m not askin for “days of yore” super skinny, but I would sure take a size 6 if someone threw it my way. Oh please Oh please start throwin!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lactagen User Trial Diary: Day 10

Tonight is day 10. For those you paying ridiculously close attention you'll see that it was supposed to be Day 11. However I had a work dinner last night and didn't feel like bringing out a small vial of white powder to mix into my water. I meant to take the dose when I got home but forgot. Sooo I checked my handy guide and it said to just pick up where you left off. (it also said if you missed 5 or more in a row to call them, so I think I'm ok here).

Up to 2 L scoops tonight and so far no ill effects. I did have some bad effects around day 7 but that may be because I had pizza (with plenty o cheese) for dinner that night. The effects were a lot like day 1... not intolerable but annoying. However since then, nothin!

Meal tonight:
Honey/Ginger Glazed Chicken from the Grill
2L Scoops Lactagen in 8oz water

So there you go... so far so good. I haven't tried any dairy (other than yogurt) to test the waters for two reasons. 1) I really want this to work and they say NO dairy except perhaps one rare serving and then yogurt a few times a week; and 2) I think its just plain too early.

I'll update again in 5 days or so!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Favre, Don't Go Away Mad... Favre, Just Go Away

Ok, I am probably the last person anyone would ever guess would blog about the world of sports (unless you count competitive shopping) but I have just about had it with Brett Favre. Here is a man who had conducted himself with grace and dignity for years with the Packers. He retired the same way. Now, for some reason he is choosing to tarnish his legacy by acting like a spoiled child.

Apparently Brett got a little too used to being top dog - not only with the Packers but with the NFL in general. He made a move he now regrets and just expects everyone to kow tow when he screams "do over!" Ahhh I don't think so.

Lets just think about how this works in the real world:

You are the CEO of a major national company. You have a contract with this company. You decide to retire and take with you a lovely golden parachute. The following year, when everyone is ramping up for your company's "selling season" you get that old familiar itch. You want back in. So you call the board of directors and tell them you officially "un-retire". The problem is that the guy who willingly lived in your shadow for years hoping to get his shot at running the company has already been named CEO - and in a very public fashion.

Bottom line here is you have three choices --- enjoy your retirement, come back to the company in a different role, or find a new company to work for. Period. Paragraph. You do not get a “do over” in the real world.

But good ole Brett is instead choosing to whine, kick and scream. Instead of being responsible for his own bad decision (bad being a relative term) he now is pleading his case to the "chairman of the board" Roger Goodell by faxing him a demand to be reinstated. He has even threatened to show up at training camp. Yeah here is a guy who is thinking of the good of the team.

Go away Brett. Try and salvage a shred of dignity and years from now maybe we can all just pretend this didn't happen. Either agree to be back-up QB as you deserve, go play for a new team or stay retired. Its not like you need the cash. I'm sorry your ego is not tolerating retirement well, but the rest of us are just fine.

In the words of one ESPN blog responder:

Brett, I love you. I grew up watching you. You are my own personal hero and legend.

Now please, go away gracefully. The Packers are not going to welcome you back and this drama could disrupt the current team.

Stay out of camp, keep lobbying for a trade and just enjoy doing nothing and being rich. When did that become a BAD thing?

As for Aaron Rodgers - good luck buddy. Most people will be cheering you on, some will be cursing your name, but everyone will expect you to play like a legend. I hope you can.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vote Early, Vote Often!

Hey all! A rare, but heartfelt request:

Can you please check out this link and vote for this young man. Nothing is required, no registering, etc. Just enter your email addy and press "vote". This is a friend of the family who recently underwent a kidney transplant. He is entered in an "adopt a fisherman contest" on the World Fishing Network. If he gets more votes than the rest that are entered he wins a new bass boat and that would be so special for him. But he needs people to vote for him. The contest ends on the 31st!!!! You can vote each day till then. He was 333 now he is 28. The web address is

When you open the site he will probably show as number 28. His name is Shane Akira Tanita. If thats not the name for #28 check around there, he'll be there someplace. On the left hand side is a short biography of him and at the bottom of the write-up it asks you to vote. All you do is enter your email address and click send. If you have multiple email addresses, all the better!! It would be fantasic if he won.

Thanks - direct from me, to you.

For Sale By Dismayed Owner

Today my lameness hit an all time low. I was in a meeting in our executive boardroom and in my trance of rapt attention (ahem) I happened to look down at the granite board table. I noticed the huge slabs were held together by a dark substance. I couldn’t tell if it was silicone or grout so I stuck my fingernail in it. It was hard and scratchy – grout. I immediately began to think about how that particular color of tile grout would be great in a kitchen since it wouldn’t show spills, stains, grease or crumbs the same way white grout would. At that point – just thinking about the possibilities of my new kitchen, I could physically feel myself getting giddy. My heart rate increased, my skin blushed, and my breathing quickened. Then I realized what had happened – I had just gotten excited by *grout*. Oh Lord. I have so little coolness left.

But seriously – after 3 months (or almost three months) of waiting and hoping for our house to sell. Of cleaning and hosting open houses (9 to be specific). Of people tramping through our house whispering quietly to each other. Of losing summer weekends with my daughter. Of urgent “buyers” wanting to view NOW. Of offers going fizzle and potentials choosing someone else. Of looking at new home plans and going over budgets. Of meeting with realtors and the builder. Of dreaming of gourmet kitchens and a functional backyard… can you really blame me? I’m actually starting to literally dream about selling our house now, which I take as not a good indication of my current level of sanity.

When we started this journey just over two years ago, our home was listed for sale at $239,900. We thought we got “a deal” by getting a sale price of $217,500. And while we knew that selling now, in the current market, was not going to net us a lot of profit, we also knew that we were in Iowa. Not Las Vegas, not Malibu, not PhoenixIowa. Iowa could not be hit that hard. God knows we’re behind the curve on everything else so it can’t be as bad here as big ticket locations right?

So we started out with a discount broker listing at $229,900 – a full $10,000 less than what it was listed for 2.5 years ago when we bought it. We thought we were being quite reasonable. Not to mention all the things we’ve done to the house since we got it:

  • New kitchen flooring
  • New high-end stainless appliances
  • New paint in almost every room in the house
  • Updated the basement ¾ bathroom
  • New landscaping in the front and back
  • Created a “bar” area in the basement family room
  • New window dressings in every room
  • Put in a water softener
  • Tons more I’ve probably forgotten about right now

And the house already had a new driveway, all new Pella windows, tile entryway, new kitchen cabinets, California closets, etc etc. In looking at other homes in our neighborhood we thought we were offering quite a deal.

After 2.5 months of much ado about nothing, (and after some unprofessional conduct by the broker) we “parted ways” with our broker and went to list with our realtor (through whom we will be buying our new house … someday … I think). She actually told us “no” – albeit in a very nice way. She pointed out that with 7% commission (why on earth is IA real estate commission 1% higher than normal??) we would OWE money to get out of our mortgage. Not feeling right about that, she told us to just TRY selling on our own for 2 weeks. Just give it two weeks. She also advised slashing the price. In her words “Don’t try to make money on it, don’t think about what you bought it for or what you’ve put into it – just get it to sell. If its priced right you won’t need a realtor, it will sell itself”.

So, at 8:00pm last Thursday night hubby went to Lowe’s for signs and a brochure box, I put a photo ad in the local paper ($260 for only two weeks!!!), put our home up on every FSBO website I could find, created fliers for the box and at 9:00pm put our new FSBO sign in our yard. The next day we filled the brochure box and left fliers at all our local grocery stores as well as putting directional signs at every major cross street. I came up with a clever email addy for people to write to:

What did we decide to list at? $209,000. Twenty grand less than our original listing. Almost $10k less than what we paid for it before all our overhauls. It would get us out of our mortgage flat even. So I waited for the calls and emails to flood in.

Our fliers and signs went up Friday. Our ad hit the paper Sunday. How many phone calls and emails have we gotten? Well apart from other realtors trying to get us to list with them, we’ve gotten exactly NONE. Not one.

How on earth can a home list for $10k less than we paid for it over 2 years ago, have over $10k worth of updates done to the house, and us not get one %&$*$ phone call? To say hubby and I are a little dismayed and jaded (and angry, and disheartened, and disillusioned and frustrated...) is an understatement. Considering we’ve paid over $50k on our mortgage the past two years, put down $12k as an original down-payment, and are now offering to throw all that money out the window – just to break EVEN ... and are still not getting one phone call of interest … its about all we can take.

Last night hubby cautiously asked if perhaps we should just take the house off the market, let our lot in the new development go, give up our dream on building our “forever” home and just live. Just be where we are, and deal with what we’ve got - as much as its not functional for our family. At this point I can’t say as I have a good answer.