Monday, January 30, 2006

Redbox Codes

Just got an email from Redbox about FREE rental codes for the month of February. Yeah!

1/29-2/2: GROUNDHOG
2/5-2/9: FEBRUARY
2/12-2/16: ABRAHAM
2/19-2/23: PREZ

Take notice that the dates are Sunday - Thursday. So, not good on Friday or Saturday.

I always like when these come out.

My Weekend

I was feeling more social than I have in a long time, so I actually got out of the house a little more. Andy was indoors (actually since Wednesday evening and is taking antibiotics for a sinus infection, but now he thinks he may have a cold virus on top of it), with the excepton of me dragging him out on Sunday evening.

Friday, I met with Carrie & Kyle and went to dinner. I was quite chatty and I think that may have annoyed Kyle. Sorry Kyle.

Saturday, I took an hour long walk with Linda & her kids at the Nature Center. It was nice to get out and get seom fresh air. Then ran errands and spent A LOT of money on groceries. I honestly think I stocked up for enough food for a month. And then for dinner I made Spinach Cream Soup....mmmmmm! That was exactly what I needed. I like spinach.

Sunday, I made some lowfat whole grain cranberry banana muffins as part of breakfast. Dinner I made some chicken fried rice (very tasty.) We went to HoM for their 5:30 service.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Beauty & the Geek

Ok - I admit it, I watch this show. Last year I only watched the last couple. Honestly, there is nothing else of interest on, so I started watching.

But I gotta complain about one of the geeks -- Chris. What a dumbass!

He's smart, but has absolutly NO social skills whatsoever. He's just rude & mean and doesn't get it. This guy knows book stuff and pop culture (c'mon he knew Gwen Stefani's clothing line name), but he has no idea how to relate to other people and doesn't seem to have an interest in relating to other people. He just wants to prove everyone he's smart. But being smart at everything will only get you so far. If you can't get along with people, you've got nothing.

You can tell no one wants him on the show. They all hate him. Even his teammate hates him. He screwed her over big time by making her switch to him. They made it through the elimination round last night, but unless they start winning competitions, they will ALWAYS be going to the elimination round.

It says he's "Only Kissed One Girl" -- who was that? An aunt? Grandma perhaps?
I don't know that he will ever kiss another girl ever. He needs to not be so cocky. He tried apologizing for his behavior, but it didn't seem sincere basically because he still doesn't understand that he doesn't get people.

Plus, the fuckwad was dissing on Psych majors (at least 2 of the contestants are psych majors) saying it was a soft major. Hmmmm.......trying getting a kid in your office who is suicidal, or one that is seeing things, or one you know could have a psychotic break any day.....I could never imagine how he would relate to them. He couldn't. He can kiss my ass. The stupid fucker.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Long Weekend Trip

The highlights of our trip revolved around food. We discovered Popeye’s biscuits – so very tasty, and we discovered Gelato (Wow! Is that stuff fantastic.) I think I may have to make some of my own in my ice cream maker. They had a sign in the store saying it was so much lower in fat & calories than ice cream, but it sure didn’t taste like it.

The hotel was nice. We liked that it was a 2-room suite, so one could be sleeping and wouldn’t hear the other watching tv, it was actually pretty sound-proof. Right now I am typing outside our room, apparently once you get to our room the wireless connection is lost (we were the last room in the row). So, a bit of an inconvenience. It was also nice to have a room with a kitchenette in it, that way we could keep cold beverages and reheat food. The hot breakfast (they cooked) was a nice freebie, but I kinda wish they had fresh fruit too, which we bought at the grocery store and had a stock of food in our room.

As far as attractions are concerned. We went to the Pier in St. Petersburg and that blew. Then we drove along the beach towns there. We also went to the outlet mall about 45 minutes out of Tampa. I bought some more maternity pants and some cute items from Children’s Place for the baby. We went to Lowry Zoo. The baby elephant w/ mom was very cute. The zoo was pretty nice, but it seemed like EVERYONE there had a kid or 2 under the age of 5 with them. Andy was freaked out by a rhino there, as it had a very erect penis and it seemed to follow Andy as we moved away (kinda like when the eyes of a painting follow you.) I was more freaked out by the chimp with the semi that seemed to have splooged on itself. Ewwwww…… I would recommend the zoo, especially if you have kids. We tried to check out the Tampa Bay History Center, and after some difficulty finding it and paying for parking, turns out the place is closed until further notice. We also went to MOSI, which basically sucked. Lots of the stuff was broken and it was less than half the size as the Science Museum of MN. The IMAX was about Mount Everest and was pretty good. People who climb that are just nuts. I would say yourself the admission price on MOSI and try some place else.

Tampa seems to like businesses that us ‘n’ in everything, like Kash’n’Karry, Beepers’n’Phones, Beer’n’Kegs, there are more I just can’t think of them.

For food places, we checked out Popeyes (since we don’t have those by us – highly recommend the biscuits), Mama Mia’s (a pizza joint, decent pizza), Shells Restaurant (a chain thing in FL, seafood type place, the food was good),Krispy Kreme (yes, we have those in MN, but I only ever eat any when we go on vacation), MacArthur’s Deli (got sandwiches and salad, was ok, would have preferred Subway), The Bamboo Club (in International Plaza – which we would have found that place before tonight – highly recommend it. HUGE portions.) and Scully’s Hut (in Madiera Beach, decent food). Oh, and we can’t forget the gelato place called Gelateria del Duomo (A MUST!)

The weather for the entire trip had highs of 80+ degrees. The sun wasn’t out much until today and it was fantastic today, mid 80’s and sun. We actually sat out by the pool for a while. I’m not looking forward to seeing snow in MN and feeling the cold, but oh well. Looks all week it is supposed to be in the mid-upper 30’s and no pre-cip, which is amazing for January.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Decreased work time

Well, a couple years ago they extended the school day for students by 20 minutes, but did not extend the teacher contract day and were not honoring vouchers for meeting times outside of the contract day. That was a pretty big sore spot between the teacher's union and the school district (among other things, but it is something that affects me).

So, starting next year they are taking away the extra 20 minutes, which means the students are dismissed at 2:30 (at the high school, start & end times are staggered throughout the district to accomodate bussing.)

Anyways - I am paid on a 12-month contract and need to be present when kids are (including summer school) and then any meetings outside the school day that I may need to attend. I basically only can take vacations when the kids have off from school.

But the decrease in time means 59 hours accumulated that the kids are not in school & I may or may not leave at that time due to meetings that may be scheduled. But the possibility to leave @ 2:30 is there and that makes me happy. I wish they wouldn't wait until next year to reinstate that.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Why I Exercise......

Sometime I just need to remind myself why I am doing this, as a sort of intrinstic & extrimstic form of motivation. Also, I thought it would be good to post my reasons, as some people might not have thought of that as a reason.

I'm not in elementary/junior/high school and no one is forcing me to exercise. Although when it came to gym class there were plenty of girls in class that would walk up & down the court in the direction the teams were going and just gossipped the whole time, you know those girls. I was NOT one of them. I actually took pride in being able to steal the ball away or kick some boy's ass on the court. Please tell me why you choose to exercise.

  • To prevent additional weight gain or lose weight (exercising builds muscle, which will increase your metabolism and cause you to burn more calories in your every day tasks.)
  • To look better in my clothes & out of my clothes (who wants Oprah flags anyways, tone those arms ladies!)
  • To be able to eat more (Hmmm.....didn't see that one coming did you. Well, I like food and like to eat. I enjoy preparing and consuming food -- but not in any sort of pathological way. And if I am burning more calories I can consume more.)
  • To catch up on reading my magazine subscriptions (I have a lot and the only other time I read them is when I am taking a bath.)
  • My animals need the exercise too. If I go for a walk outside, I bring the dog. If I exercise in my exercise room, my fat cat Larry joins me and runs all over the weight equiptment. He would never do that if I didn't go exercise, he would stay sitting on the couch. But his favorite is when we do yoga. He lays right next to you and does stretches right along with you -- it's neat.
  • I will be a role model for my children. (Children learn in their early years by modeling and thier best source fo modeling behavior comes from their parents. They will continue to model as they grow up, but they also begin to learn your value system and if they learn you value exercise, then that is something they will value as well. Now, if I could get Andy to move a little more. I don't think his parents moved too much when he was growing up.)
  • I work out some of those kinks in my back/shoulders/etc. It loosens everything up.
  • Stress-relief......need I say more.
  • To hang out......I sometime like to workout with another person so that we can talk. For me it works best if we are walking and we walk roughly the same pace, or if we go to the gym and can used machines side by side at our own pace. I exercise not just to hang-out, so I don't want to be going too slow.
  • It helps to keep my cholesterol at a decent level. You would think that at under 30 years old I wouldn't have to worry about that, but I do. There is a long family history of heart disease on my maternal side and my mom lost 2 siblings before they were 50. The first time I had my cholesterol checked (3-4 years ago) I was surprise it was over 200 (not a good thing) and I made minor changes because I ate a reatively healthy diet, I just added in more fiber, took supplements, and started exercising more. That helped and lowered my cholesterol.
  • I want to be able to keep up with my kids and not be gasping for breath as I run after them (that is once I have them and they are old enough to run faster than me.)
  • I find workout clothes very comfortable and like to buy them & wear them.
  • I teach a walking/jogging class at the Community College and who wants to take a class like that from a fat person.
  • It is supposed to help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster (I'll let you know about this one) and helps you to not gain more weight than needed during pregnancy (seems to help.)
  • It is supposed to help with endurance during labor, to have a shorter labor, reduce the risk of tearing or needing an episiotomy (do I need any other reasons?!?!?!), decreases the risk of a premature birth, helps prevent gestational diabetes, and reduces the need for a c-section.
  • I think a lot on the treadmill and come up with topics for my blog (actually, exercising is supposed to increase brain power due to the increased consumption of oxygen and increased blood flow. Also, helps reduce your risk of developing Alzheimers.)
  • It can be fun. Really -- it can.
  • I need to be able to carry around a baby in a carseat and not feel wiped from doing that.
  • I actually like seeing my muscles work. We have mirrors up in the exercise room and if I can see my muscles working, it's pretty cool. It's sad when I am all flabby and soft and can't see my muscles hidden under there.
  • I want to.

It's a Crazy World Out There

Check out this post on Cat Woman's site: The World is Nuts.

To give you a preview of what you will find:

In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is punishable by death.(Like THAT makes sense.)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Another One Gone

Weekend that is -- Andy slept for about 12 hours on Saturday. He better appreciate it while he can.

Friday we had Andy's work holiday party. It was nice time. Good food, decent music, Andy got some gambling time in (it was a caino theme). We managed to get our table to get called to go to the buffet line early by one of the guys at the table telling the wait staff that there were 3 pregnant ladies at the table and they needed to eat (yes, 3 of us at the table were really pregnant and REALLY hungry.) I was going to just go up and start getting my food, but some people were afraid of getting yelled at by the waitstaff and wanted permission.

Saturday we stayed home during the day and relaxed. Then in the evening we went to Javalive and they had this group there called "Happily Ever Laughter". They were pretty good. The best we have heard there in a while. Andy bought their recently released cd. I like going to Javalive because the music is a decent volume and there is no smoke, plus you don't have to wait until 9pm to see a show. We also watched "Puddle Cruiser", a pretty awful movie. Made by the same guy as "Super Troopers"and has the same cast, but are much younger.

Today -- relaxing again. Then to the Cities to go to Best Buy to pick up some stuff, House of Mercy, and then finally we went to the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe for dinner. The food was good, but a little pricey. We had a coupon from our Happenings book, but it wasn't good on a ton of items and especially not what we really wanted. I liked da Afghan better than this place.

And tomorrow -- no school, so another day to relax and I'll go to my Meditation Practice Period in the evening.

BTW - Temperature in Tampa for Friday is supposed to be mid-70's and upper-70's on Saturday, Excellent!

Worshipping the Porcelain God

Our cats were worshipping the porcelain god a few days ago. You can see there is nothing interesting in the toilet.

I caught Lucy trying to drink out of the toilet (which she never does, but has apparently has learned from Larry.)

Then he had to come barging in to see what she was looking at and she just watched him, taking notes perhaps.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


So, last night Andy & I went to the practice session Buddhist Meditation Center. It was not structured for the person who has never meditated before and has no experience with it. I didn't think we would have a sitting right off the bat and then have instruction after. As soon as the sitting time started it dawned on me that Andy has probably never meditated before and has no idea what is is doing.

I think that was a very long 30 minutes for him. He said he was ready to go insane during it because he has this constant ringing in his ears from damage to them from years of playing the drums. He said the only thing that saved him was the music coming from a bar down the street. I am even more convinced that Andy could benefit from meditating, but he just isn't in that place right now. Maybe some other day.

He was so frustrated with the whole experience that he was contemplating homicide if anyone annoyed him more. So, guess meditation won't work for Andy at this time.

The practice sessions are 30 min. of sitting time and then an hour of discussion & lecture. There are 5 practice sessions and 1 half-day retreat. I will continue to go to them. The book we are reading for our assignments is by Awakening Loving-Kindness by Pema Chodron.

We plan to go to House of Mercy on Sunday. Since we moved out of the Cities we have not been back there, but we have not found a place we like, like we liked HOM. So, we're gonna go back and see what we think. We may not like it or we may. They may have changed, or we may have changed. So, we'll see.

Another thing - I think family may think I am the whole "reason" behind our feelings on baptism and organized religion. I am just the messenger or the voice. Andy laughs that he ruined me.


I saw a bumper sticker today that I found funny. It said "I Never Thought I Would Miss Nixon".

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Last Trip for the DINKs

I just booked our last trip as DINKs (Double Income No Kids). It will only be a long weekend that I have coming up because of a day off from school. Can't swing the spring break trip this year since it occurs too late and the doctor said I can't fly then.

So, a long weekend trip means we need to fly domestic. So, we're going to FL, Tampa to be exact.

I booked it all on Orbitz. I am a bit of a reasearcher with a need to be thrify, so I made up all these spreadsheets looking for the bext deal.

We are flying Midwest Airlines. Chose them because we wanted decent seats (2 large leather seats in a row); they call their flights business class. Non-stop flights were significantly more expensive and MWA only has a stop in Milwaukee for 40 min., so not even a stop really. So, that became our choice. I might have paid the extra money to fly 1st class on Sun-Country, but since I am not drinking it makes it not as worth it, and we still get the same types of seats on MWA (just no free booze for Andy.) We have liked flying MWA.

Booked a mid-size car through Avis. Could have been really cheap and got the economy size, but for the extra $40 (entire time) it is worth it to have more room and not have Andy complaining that his knees are tickling his nose.

I wanted to stay some place decent. For some reason I kept convincing myself to spend more money on everything -- TOTALLY NOT LIKE ME. I kept thinking would I look back and regret spending the extra money for a nicer place or would I regret not spending it -- or the chance everything would have been fine and there would be no regrets. I decided to spend more money, besides we're only taking a long-weekend break and aren't going someplace for a whole week.

We are staying at the The Best Western All Suites Hotel - Busch Gardens. The things that did it for us was the suites (has a 2 rooms each w/ TV, kitchenette, sitting area), free hot breakfast, free wireless interent in the room, king-size bed, 2for1 happy hour in their bar & grill, free ping pong tables and pool tables, heated pool (most pools in Tampa I find are heated, but you don't want to go to one that isn't), free parking, etc. It seems much more resort like than hotel like and I want more of a vacation.

Granted, we could have stayed at even nicer places, but I didn't find spending the extra money to be worth it, once I found this place.

We thought we might go to the Museum of Sciene & Industry, Lowry Park Zoo, The Pier, & Yuengling Brewery. I know - a pregnant lady going to a brewery -- well, I don't have to drink it, and since I am not normally a beer drinker I don't feel so bad, but I do like doing the tours and some places also brew root beer & cream soda at them. Andy thought that Yuengling was just in PA, but apprently their other location is Tampa. Go figure. Not sure if we'll do all those things, as we want to do a lot of sitting too.

We are all about the relaxing sitting vacation with a few events thrown in.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

Ok - Alison - here you go. I don't think you will find me arguing much here.

My mom said she stopped breastfeeding us kids when we were about 6 months, got teeth, and could bite her. Who wants their nipples bit? Ouch!

But I have talked to other mothers who have nursed past the acquisition of teeth and they said that the baby will quickly learn they don't like the response (they get scared too) from mom when she is startled from being bit and the baby learns to keep their teeth away.

I have done quite a bit of reading about the benefits of breastfeeding and I have always planned on breastfeeding (as long as my body will produce enough milk to feed my child and my child can digest it.) Although, I had always thought I would stop around 6 months, but over the last 6 months I have done a lot of reading about how they recommend feeding until the child is 1 year old and that breastfeeding that long really helps them develop a strong immune system, breastfed babies tend to not become overweight children as often, there are also studies to show that breastfeeding helps increase brain development, as well as attachment with the mother.

So, I guess between 6-12 months for me.

Now, the flip side of this, is I think there has to be a time when you call it quits. I don't want to personally knock people who breastfeed past a year, because that is their choice. My choice will be that once the child can walk up & get it or ask for it, then it's been too long for me. But if they are in school and you are still breastfeeding, then I think there is honestly something twisted going on and a mother should get some therapy to find out why she insists on getting her needs met by having a child who knows his ABC's and can tie his shoes latched on to her chest.

I am also not sure how I feel on public breastfeeding. Our society is not very accepting of it and I am not sure that I really want to whip my tit out (or even have it concealed) in front of people that I don't feel completly comfortable around & who wouldn't feel comfortable with me doing it. What drives me nuts about public breastfeeding is the women who feel they need to do it to make some kind of statement and feel they are entitled to it and that if someone is not comfortable around it then it is that person's problem. What I want to know is what is that mom's problem that she can't be considerate of others? I think you can breastfeed in public and not call attention to yourself and there are wonderful tops and dresses that disguise the breastfeeding, but when it borders on public nudity -- then there is a problem.

Playing with Barbie Dolls

For some reason I started to think about when I used to play with Barbie Dolls and thought I would blog about it and see if there were things that people played with a little longer than what was "typical" for their age.

I use the term Barbie Dolls loosely, because between my sisters & I we didn't have a ton, so I used any other small doll or action figure we had as "barbies".

It was in 8th grade that I stopped playing with dolls. I was 13 and the last time I played with them I was bored and it was xmas break. I remember thinking I was too old for this stuff and this would be the last time and I needed to grow up. It was the last time. A couple of months later I had to grow up and get my first period.

When I played with dolls I never made them talk out loud, the conversations always occured inside my head and I played quietly just moving the dolls from "house" (which was a bookcase that was segmented off to make apartments or dresser drawers as houses) to "house". I rarely made a sound. I wonder why that was that I never made my dolls talk outloud. I don't ever remember making them talk out loud. Maybe I did once and was made fun of and stopped. I would make my dolls deal with issues I was learnng about or that were going on in my friends lives (sex, boyfriends, divorce, popularity, etc.) I guess it was a way for me to think through the issues myself.

When I worked with junior high kids they frequently would take action figures and other toys and do play therapy with me as they worked through issues that were bothering them. I guess in a way I was doing play therapy on myself. I don't do much play therapy with high school kids now, but I do some.

I guess I just felt like sharing that information today.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Favorite Desserts

I was thinking about my favorite desserts the other day. I like a lot of desserts, but are my faves:
* Anything with carmel & chocolate together (mmmmmm!)
* Plain cheesecake (or could have raspberry or chocolate w/ carmel topping)
* French Silk Pie (drizzle some carmel on the top and you have heaven!)
* Dolly Madison Raspberry Zingers (not a big fan of coconut, but you don't taste the coconut in these, just the raspberry)
* Plain vanilla ice cream or even better with carmel sauce on it (don't really like the hot fudge stuff though) Haagen Dazs makes a Light Dulce de Leche that is fabulous.

Ok - so give any dessery with raspberry in it and I love it or stuff with carmel & chocolate together.

My favorite candy bars are carmello & Rolos - go figure, huh! Or those hershey kisses w/ carmel in them.

Monday, January 02, 2006

What a Week!

It was so nice having time off to sit around and do nothing. I am finding the idea of having to work tomorrow very disheartening.

So, what did I do. Well, not much. A lot of sitting. Went to WI for a few days for xmas with my family. We went to the doctor and found out we are having a girl and then entertained many phone calls from people about that. Took time to visit with one friend. Surfed ebay (A LOT!). Went out for Mexican food & rented a couple of movies on New Years' Eve. Ran a bunch of errands (mainly to get out of the house daily). Saw King Kong @ the movies w/ Andy. Had 3 new windows installed in our bedroom & master bath (what a difference that makes - no drafts and sooooo much quieter). And now today I am de-christmasing everything while Andy tends to some plumbing (that always seems to be an on-going job for him).

Yup, I think that's it. Time to go de-christmas now.