Saturday, September 26, 2009

We Made It

Well, everything fit into our PODS, barely. When the movers showed up they expressed great doubts about all our stuff fitting. I threatened to not give them the cookies I made if they didn't get it all in there. It was packed to the gills. I don't think we could have fit one more box, no matter how large or small. Our car was all packed super tight too. Then one loooong drive later and we made it to Utah. We are trying to get settled in so we feel like we live here rather than just on vacation. And my dad has even agreed that we need to get high-speed internet while we're there. They've been using dial-up since the internet was created.

Our main adventure thus far has been Alex stepping on a nail in the backyard. He was crying that his foot hurt because he had stepped on a blueberry. He thought the blood on the bottom of his shoe was from a blueberry. It was cute in a sad way. Then when we were cleaning up his foot I found something had leaked in our medicine box. In an attempt to identify the offending medicine bottle, I tasted what was in the bottom of the box. Well, it wasn't medicine. It was hydrogen peroxide. I tasted just a teesy bit on the tip of my finger, but it was enough to make my throat feel super raw. So between Alex getting tetanus and me burning a whole in my esophagus, it's been an exciting first day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We're moving. Again.

So in a random moment last Sunday Anton and I decided we needed to spice up our lives. And what better to way to do so than to move in less than two weeks! Since we know that Anton's job training won't start until at least January, and since our apartment lease is up at the end of September, we decided to save a few months' rent and go crash rent free in my parents' basement. So now I'm trying to use up all the food in my fridge and freezer (13 pounds of butter anyone?) and get boxes and figure out what to take and what to store and, and, and.... I'm also working like crazy too. There's just been a little bit of stress rolling around over here. Thankfully Anton can take charge of the house duties since he's jobless right now, so that leaves me to work in semi-peace.

We plan on being in Utah for around 7-8 months, maybe. Unless the FAA decides to make us wait even longer. Anton will go to Oklahoma for training for part of that time, and we may or may not go with him. It all depends on how bad I feel about making Ella change schools twice in one year. It's just kindergarten. It doesn't matter, right? She'll bounce right back. And then after all of that we'll end up right back up here in Washington. But we'll be quite a bit less into the hole than we would have been if we'd stayed. So it's all for the sake of money and has nothing to do with being closer to Cafe Rio, I swear!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Expanding My Culinary Horizons

Tonight, in celebration of Anton being jobless, again, we decided to be foolhardy (Ella thought we were going to a pool party when I said this) and irresponsible and go out to dinner. In other words, I was too tired and cranky to cook. We decided to try out a new Vietnamese restaurant that opened nearby. None of us had ever had Vietnamese food before, so this was going to be a grand adventure.

Whenever I go to a new restaurant I always ask the server what I should get. So on his recommendation we got some spring rolls, the special Pho, and the special Bun. Pho is a noodle soup with meat in it and the Bun is a noodle dish with veggies and meat. I had glanced over the listing of meats that was going to be in my soup, but didn't look real close since the server recommended it. I wish I had looked closer.

What came to my table was a bowl of cow parts, and not just the meat ones. There were things that looked like rubbery vertebrae, and there was tripe. Don't know what tripe is? Go ahead and click that link. I'll wait...........Yeah. Gross. I ate as many of the noodles as I could, but the whole soup tasted like the waste parts of a cow. It was not good. Anton got the noodle dish and it was pretty tasty, but he also didn't have reject cow sections in his.

I got about a third of the way through mine before I had to stop. My stomach was churning and I couldn't think about what I'd just been eating or I risked throwing up. However, I didn't want to seem rude since the server had seemed so positive I would like his suggestion, so I asked for a to-go container so I could bring the monstrosity home to dump down my drain. On the way home we stopped to get some ice cream at the grocery store and I had to buy some super strong mint gum to get the beef parts flavor out of my mouth.

So while Anton liked his noodles and the kids shlurped up their meatless Pho, I'm not sure how soon I'm going to be able to patronize a Vietnamese restaurant again. For those who have had it before, was this a freak occurrence? Should I be brave and try it again in the future? Or are the mystery cow parts all part and parcel of the cuisine? 'Cause if so, count me out.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First (and Second) Day of School

Well, the day finally came. Ella's first day of kindergarten. This is her first time going to school, ever. She never did preschool. And here's the obligatory first day of school picture:

All she did for her first day was go with me to have a 30 minute orientation-type group meeting with her teacher. And that's it. Not much more to say about it.

Now, the second day, that was much more exciting. This was the day she would get to ride the bus and go to school for real. I was going to drive her just to make sure she got where she was supposed to go and then let her ride the bus home, but Anton made me feel bad about depriving her of her first bus ride, so I changed my mind. So off we set this morning to the bus stop.

Alex kindly lent Ella the lovely blue and red backpack she's wearing. Her's hadn't come in the mail yet. We didn't see any other kindergartners at the bus stop. We'd met one other girl at orientation the day before, but she didn't make the bus.

But that didn't stop Ella from being BEYOND excited. For days now she's been asking how many days before school, and then the morning of she kept asking me how many more minutes before we got to leave.

She kept a very diligent watch out for the bus. And then it was time.

The bus pulled up and the kids all filed on. There were already three kids in almost every seat on the bus. I told the driver that this was her first bus ride and first day of school, and she told her to go find a seat. And the only seat left? The one in the back. The very back of the bus. I felt so bad for her having to wander past all those other kids trying to find a seat amongst all those strange faces. And I could only see the top of her head as the bus pulled away. I wasn't sad at all until that moment thinking how overwhelmed she must be feeling. But never fear, I promptly called the school and told them I expected there to be seats saved in the front of the bus for the kindergartners from now on.

So Alex and I wandered home.

Where he proceeded to whine about how bored he was and how I needed to come play with him. He was underfoot the whole time I was exercising. While I was in the shower he answered my phone (which he's never done before). Thankfully it was just my sister. Then he came back in the bathroom to let me know that someone was knocking on the door and he had answered it and they were still there. WHAT?!?! So I toweled off quickly and stuck my head out my bedroom door and called to see if they were still there. Sure enough, my front door was wide open and the missionaries were there. They couldn't see me, which I'm sure their delicate teenage minds appreciated, and they asked if I would like them to shut the door as they left. Um, yes, please.

So while Ella was off having a grand day at school. I got stuck with the high-maintenance child.

We went back and collected Ella at noon, where I had to grill her to find out what exactly she had done the whole day. I got no response by just asking what she did. I had to ask, "Did you sing a song? Did you read a book? Did you color a picture?" And if I happened to hit on the right activity she would tell me what they did. It was arduous. But we made it through the first day, and I'm sure the craziness will become routine soon enough. Though I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ten Down

Before we went on vacation to Utah in June I weighed more than I ever had in my entire life, even when I was 9 months pregnant with either child. But I also enjoyed eating food more than I cared about being fat. So while I didn't like being overweight, I also didn't care enough to do anything about it. Actually I was more than overweight. According to my BMI, I was just over the edge of obese. Not a nice thing to be. Then we went on vacation. Between being asked if I was pregnant and seeing this picture of me:

(my arms look like puffy sausages and my skinny sister only makes me look worse) it was enough to tip me over the edge to caring.

When we got home, a friend of mine conveniently posted on her blog that she was doing the ABS Diet (hokey, scam-looking Web site, but the books are good!). She used key words like "haven't once felt hungry" and "awesome" workout plan, so I decided I'd check it out. I went to the library and cleaned them out of ABS Diet books. They have general overall books and books specifically on the diet and on the workouts.

I had already been exercising on my elliptical everyday, so all this plan required of me was switching out some of my cardio workouts for weight workouts. The books have pictures of all the exercises, which is nice. The "diet," which is more of a lifestyle change, focuses around 12 power foods which you are free to plan your meals around. I don't use their recipes since they feel like diet recipes. I've found that a lot of what we were eating fit nicely into the plan or only needed slight tweaking to work. Plus, I get to cheat once a week and eat whatever I want. So when I'm craving a hamburger, I know I am only a couple days away from being allowed to eat one. This helps keep me sane. Plus I'm allowed to eat ice cream.

While I didn't lose weight as dramatically as the books said I would, I've been following the plan for 10 weeks and I have lost 10 pounds. This is the first time in my life that I have lost weight on purpose, and only the second time I've lost weight period. The only other time was basic training, and you can't help that. So my whole life I've either stayed the same or gained. So I'm pretty proud of myself. I'm sure I could lose a little bit faster if I were to count calories and workout more, but as long as the numbers are going down, I'm all right with that.

And on a side note, why is it that on the way up we feel fat, but on the way down the same weight makes us feel skinny? I remember weighing exactly what I weigh now and feeling fat beyond relief. Now I weigh the same thing but I feel skinny. Crazy.

So I'm down 10 and I have 30 more to go before I'm at a healthy weight for my height. I'm out of the obese zone, though still in overweight. But I feel better and look better and don't get near as tired doing things like climbing stairs, which used to kill me. So here's to hoping my desire to be skinny doesn't ever wane behind my love of eating!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School Shopping

So today I decided that since Ella starts school in a week I should probably go out and buy the things on her school supply list. The list was nice and short and I figured Wal-Mart would be the perfect place to go since I needed a couple other things too. But oh how wrong I was. This shopping trip alone has almost convinced me that Ella needs to be homeschooled. Let me show you how things went. Here is the list and how I fared:

1 Box Ziplock bags - managed to finally find these next to the toilet paper, picked out the cheapest ones only to have them ring up wrong at the register.

3-4 Large Glue Sticks - They only had packs of six. Guess we'll have extras to keep at home.

2 Containers of Sanitized Baby Wipes - Now, do they mean anti-bacterial wipes or baby wipes? These are two different things. I'm starting to get the feeling that the person who made this list is not the brightest crayon in the box. So I grabbed the anti-bacterial wipes since I'm more concerned about the germs at school than their baby-soft butts.

4 Boxes 8-pack Crayons - We had to go to the back of the store to the seasonal section to find these. They weren't with the other art and office supplies. But we found them and they were only $.78, so we're doing good.

1 8-pack Scented Markers - Scented? Really? We're encouraging our kids to sniff markers? There were plenty of Sharpie markers in all shapes and sizes to be had in the store, but I"m pretty sure that's not the kind of scent they were going for. There were no Kindergarten level markers anywhere. None. There weren't even any empty space where they should have been. I would've settled for washable rather than scented, but no such luck. There were blendable markers, mini-markers, sparkle markers, but no plain ole marker markers. Sigh.

Facial tissues - This one was easy enough once I found them (across the aisle from the elusive Ziplocks).

1 Bottle Hand Sanitizer - There wasn't a single one in the entire store. I am at Wal-Mart, right? The king of the large middle of the aisle stacks of things like hand sanitizer? But there wasn't one. You'd think that with school coming up they would have stocked up on things like this, and markers. But I guess that's asking a bit much. I was starting to get more than a little frustrated at this point. Wal-Mart was supposed to be my one-stop shopping locale, but I'm being hindered on all sides!!

1 Plain White T-shirt - Anyone want to split a 5 pack of boys undershirts? Because that's pretty much your only choice if you need a plain shirt. I didn't buy them. I figured I'll go to Goodwill and buy whatever they have, plain white or not. It's just going to get messed up with art projects anyways, so who cares if it's white or not. Sheesh.

So that was the school list. I managed to get 5 of the 8 things. Then for the things I needed. Saline. They didn't have any of the double packs on the shelf, so I was forced to buy the much more expensive single pack. Much more expensive. Urgh. And milk. There was one carton of milk left. That's it. And it was whole milk, which we don't drink. And it was waaaay more expensive than I normally pay. So no milk for me.

I was pretty riled up by now. Add to all this trying to contain my kids the whole time we're shopping and I'm about ready to start crying in anger. Yes, I have anger management problems. I know. So I finally give up and checked out (where I discovered the overpriced Ziplocks but was too frustrated to do anything about it). I wandered outside to find it was raining. Went down the wrong aisle to find my car. Finally found the car to find that the doofus who had been parked next to me felt I needed two new spots of white paint on the side of my car along with a fresh new dent. Seriously? I'm beyond all emotion at this point. I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd been hit by an airplane on the way home.

So yeah. If this is what school shopping is like every year, that homeschooling thing may just be the answer.