Thursday, May 29, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday Barrow Baby

nomnom Minerals

Honestly I love my parents for this shot.
Great idea #1: Clothes? Babies don't need clothes. Clothes are for flesh blobs
that are capable of not spitting up all over themselves.
Great idea #2: Let's put the baby in this obviously rusting and falling apart dirt mound transporter.
Great idea #3: Awwww it's eating dirt. Capture the moment.

Thank you Mom & Dad,
for not treating me like a china doll.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day '14

A paid day off from work that doesn't take up my vacation hours is automatically hoisted to the top of my list of favorite days. A holiday that encourages barbecuing, lake trips, and being grateful for our freedoms garnered from the sacrifices of our military only sweetens the deal.
Speaking of military, thanks Grandpa!

And thank you Aunt Leslie for the sweet photo :)
Love and miss my sweet Grandpa.

A little after 9am on Monday we hauled out with our cooler of tasty foods and drinks, headed to our local walmart to buy a couple bags of ice and a load of bottled water, and set out along highway 88 to get out to Apache lake. Our original plan was to hang out at Butcher Jones but we've had bad experiences with the leeches (and the drunk peeps) at that location so we figured there was nothing to lose spending the extra hour to get out where it would be less crowded and less infested with blood sucking parasites.
We went out by ourselves. No group of friends tagging along, no family with boats, just ourselves, a lawn chair, and goggles for entertainment.
Those goggles saved the day.
We parked at the marina and just hung out along the shore by the docks. I started out with an invigorating swim around the 'no wake' buoy and when I got back Mark was grinning widely and said, "Yep. This is my new hobby," holding out his hand to give me something.
Feeling very wary I held out my hand in response and he dropped a soaking wet but neat and whole $5 bill into my hand. Which he'd found. On the lake bottom.
We spent a good four hours combing the mucky floor of the lake, occasionally resting to eat something and my heart swelled to see my husband grinning like a little boy and paddling over to grab me in a big hug saying, "This is the most fun I've had in a long time. Great idea honey!"
We recovered a multitude of sunglasses (some in decent shape, others not), two golf balls, a hair clip and decorative flower, bits of metal and plastic piping, an extremely grimy snorkel tube, a snorkel mask that must not have been under very long for how clean it was, the grand prize $5 bill and a pristine pocket knife that Mark was very excited to find.

When we weren't scavenging under the water (and running face first into fish the size of our arms) (terrifying) we snacked on sliced watermelon, corn on the cob, and veggie wraps. Our one unfortunate circumstance was that in being so close to the Marina and stuck to the shore, we were in the forced company of some very drunk, very profane "youths". But we managed to lay in the soft sand on our towels reading or just sunbathing (having just slathered on another layer of sunscreen to our pasty white bodies, of course) and have a really good time regardless.

We're especially looking forward now to our next Apache trip coming up in a couple weeks with Mark's dad and extended family from Tucson. You can bet we'll have more "sunken treasures" after hangin' out all weekend!

We decided to take the back road out rather than going back the way we came in because it was a slightly shorter distance and our exhaust pipe was precariously hanging off the back, having lost a bolt amid all the jostling and jolting of the dirt roads. We had a safe and easy ride back into the valley but were startled when we found that Bush Hwy was currently closed off. We had been planning on going home to feed the dog and freshen up a bit before stopping by Mark's mom's for a quick hello and well-wishing but with Bush Hwy closed and the 87 taking us well into the middle of Mesa, we decided we had to just stop by my mother-in-law's as is.
"Lake Urchin" is not the hottest trend this season, but it's all we had to work with.
We made it home before 9, watched the grand prize finale of America's Funniest Home Videos and made it to bed around 10.
Not a bad 12 hour day. Not bad at all.

Hope your Memorial Day was as fun-and-family-filled as ours.

Here we are looking high off of all the fun.

We can't all be photogenic.

Week of 5/20

Tuesday, May 20th; Day 8

--I'm kicking myself for not getting up early to exercise this morning. I wanted to sleep in and now I feel...just kinda sludgy. That's the only word I can come up with for it. The thought of BBQ tonight at the Mills' is pretty much the only thing keeping me from crawling under my desk to take a nap and hide from the world. Hot dogs, burgers, watermelon, and corn on the cob, it is summer for sure and I couldn't be happier about it. Not to mention I just bought a new swimming suit (a very different style for me, and an online purchase, crossing my fingers but leaning on the return policy if it all goes haywire) that should be here before our lake trip coming up in June. Last year was a complete and total blast but we had just bought our gopro and we had "calibrated" it wrong so it didn't save like it's supposed to and we lost a lot of the pictures and videos we took. Cool underwater shots and even a video as I went cliff jumping, so I'm looking forward to a second chance with all that.
This bullet point got huge. Apologies. I just love summer, okay?
--Oh my gosh my point. So we're hanging out with friends for dinner so exercising tonight may not be easily accomplished. Since it's a work night, we'll probably try to head home earlier and I want to try to do the 20 minute Flex, just to get something in. Dunno how I'm going to resist multiple hot dogs and potato chips and root beer floats. Oh, mama...
(update: Flex didn't happen. We're bums.)
--Another bit of TMI, but either this dieting and exercising is starting to help my complexion or I'm about to start my period. I'm not scheduled till the very beginning of June so this would be shockingly early but it's my usual MO. For a couple days prior I get this blessed lull in breakouts and I feel great and then all hell breaks loose on my face for the next 3-4 weeks, slamming my euphoria into disappointment and humiliation. Boo.
--This has nothing to do with the fitness but all to do with the adultness, I've been doing really well with keeping up on the dishes. Mark absolutely loathes dishes but we like to cook so sink-overload is pretty much the norm. I should also remember the feeling of accomplishment I get as I come down the stairs in the morning and see the pretty vacuum lines in the carpet. And the fact that I weeded and trimmed our front landscaping and swept afterwards so the walking stones/sidewalk were clear.
But then I start to feel rather how Hyperbole and a Half so eloquently put into this nifty chart (with brief salty language, apologies);


In fact, that whole post is very nearly my life. Minus all the f-bombs and cursings.

Wednesday, May 21; Day 9

--Guyyyyysss...I fell off the wagon. No, I took a running leap off the wagon. And unfortunately the wagon was precariously perched at the edge of the Grand Canyon, and even further unfortunately, I do not have the gift of flight. 
I did a horrible job resisting the food at the get-together last night. I think the only way to pay penance to the dieting gods is to adequately shame myself by admitting my sins; not one but two hot dogs, one hamburger (no cheese but only cuz I forgot about cheese, I was in so much haste to stuff my face how do you forget cheese I am shamed), far too many jalapeno pringles, like, three helpings of beans, a single heavenly root beer float, and a glass of soda.
As payment for my transgressions, I am up 5 pounds on the scale from sunday.
It is a dark and dismal morning in the house of Douglass.
I also didn't help myself by completely spacing that we were going to a party that night and I ate the rest of the pasta leftovers for lunch that I'd brought to work earlier that week.
I'm so good at this.
--Today I'm eating a cup of applesauce for breakfast, cantaloupe wedges for snacks, and a cup of leftover baked beans and a hardboiled egg for lunch, and probably chicken and veggies for dinner. 
--Mark bought a bike yesterday so today will be our first ride! More on that later when it has actually happened.
--^It happened. For our first venture out on the bikes we decided to ride 3 miles to walmart, there and back, to buy helmets and a dog leash for Odin. Not even out of our neighborhood we both realized that the minuscule, narrow seats would not be sticking around long and our bruised bums can attest to that. We stopped by Panda Express to share a 2-entree plate and picked the less fried and more veggie-laden options. Mark fixed up both our bikes once we got home with our new seats. A quick trial spin was enough to know we made the right decision. 

--I weighed myself at the end of the day today and I'm back down 2 pounds after my 5lb spike from last night so wheeeee! We're on a roller coaster, it would seem.

Friday, May 23rd; Day 11

--The delicious fiasco from Tuesday has officially been dealt with. I'm back to where I was before all the hot dogs and baked beans smothered me with their siren song. Now I just have to get through this 3-day weekend without stuffing my face again. Luckily we don't really have any over-the-top plans, we may just bbq at our own house then skip town to the lake for all of Monday. The less I have to resist the better.
--I'm nailing down a night-time routine as far as skin care and I am seeing major improvement in the facial region. Whether it be the "eating clean", exercising, or just general hygiene, something is working. Crossing my fingers that it'll stick around.
--Mark and I are riding our bikes basically anywhere within 5 miles that we won't have bags and bags of stuff to bring home (cough-cough-groceries) and it's actually really nice. I think I could be very happy living in some remote town where cars aren't used much and everybody just bikes around like some weird cycling flock of hippies. But for now Mesatown is okay, I guess.

Tuesday, May 27th; Day 15

--Technically today is part of the next week but yesterday was exhausting and we didn't get home till about 9pm and I just wanted a bath and my bed. So I'm finishing out last week on the first day of this week. #timewarp
--We did so good! Memorial weekend could have ruined us but it went fabulously. We had friends over on Saturday and we had steak, chicken, corn on the cob, watermelon, and popsicles. It was a perfect example that it's possible to hang out with friends and not completely ruin any dieting efforts.
On Monday we waited till 9 am for Mark to be released from his on-call week at work and we packed up the truck and headed out to the lake! We took tortillas with peanut butter and honey for him (I can't stand it, blech) and sliced leftover steak/chicken and sauteed veggies for me. There was leftover corn and watermelon from Saturday that we hauled along as well. It was plenty of food and we felt good eating it rather than having chips and soda and heavy processed foods. It took a little bit of prep, but really not much in the scheme of things.
I'll post a separate post about the day of, cuz we had a pretty rockin' Memorial Day.
--I'm sleeping "better" but my dreams have taken a bit of a horrific turn lately. Curious to know if that's because of the way I'm eating or just a particularly stressful period of life. Not sure.
--Skin is still on the mend.
--Water is my best friend.
--Hopefully this next week I can break through my current plateau. If I could not be staring at that dreaded 7 any longer I would be most grateful.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday Toting Mermaids

All of a sudden (and against my will) my Thursday evenings have become dull and meaningless.

In the un-melodramatic version of life, that means I don't have choir practice anymore.
Sad panda is sad.

So now I need to fill the void that is empty Thursday evenings and I figured what better way than hopping on the perpetual social media bandwagon and engage in some Throwbacks for the summer!
[fake enthusiasm]
Just...humor me. I'm depressed. /pout (refer to panda photo)
We will just have to deal with the pictures on my laptop from our wedding slideshow until the inevitable time comes when I get that guilt-tripping riddled text from my mom that reads between the lines saying, "I HAVE LOVED YOU ALL THESE YEARS--IT'S BEEN THREE WEEKS APPRECIATE ME," and then we go over for dinner and she feeds us enough for three days and I leave with more guilt than before AND a memory stick full of other pictures garnered from my parents computers. But also an inordinate amount of feeling loved. Moms are the best.
(oh, did Mother's Day just happen?? #hangover)
So without further ado; the first installment of Hope's awkward beginnings as a human!!

No, not that, obviously, that's just...moving on.

I was just talking about my mom so it's only fitting, really.
Isn't she beautiful?
And I have a hat.
Maybe someday I'll have her grace and poise and effortless loveliness.

The plan is that I will just post these pictures without much trumpetings and talking (unlike this post so, good start!) to just....enlighten you generous folks on how gloriously far I've come. Seriously, human development is hard business, yo. I like to think I'm comfortable with where I'm at now but that's been a recent period of enlightenment. And by enlightenment I really mean general apathy as to the carings of others. 'Others' being the apparent haters. Cuz my family and close friends seem to wanna keep me around and that's all that matters.

"Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." 

You done been Seuss'd.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kung Pao Stir Fry

I am not a cooking blog, I'm a blabbing blog. So this is going to be a hot mess of garbled instructions and "this is what we did but do it how you want" vagueness.
Funnily enough, I had nothing to do with this cooking venture but I will reap the blogging rewards from the success of it. Plus Jacquie wanted the recipe.
And I'm a giver.
Without further ado, the recipe for Kung Pao Stir Fry from the kitchen of Sir Frys-a-lot himself.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (chopped into bitesize pieces or strips)
Carrots, celery, green cabbage,
 red bell pepper, yellow onion, green onion, mushroom 
(all chopped into, again, bite size pieces)
Shelled and lightly salted peanuts
Soy Sauce
Chili Sauce 
(we just used packets from Panda Express xD)
White Vinegar
Water and Cornstarch paste
(like, a tsp of cornstarch and a Tb of water)
Optional* For added sweetness: Orange Marmalade
Chili Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Szechuan Peppercorn Powder

Literally, throw the chicken, nuts, and veggies in a large saucepan.
Dump the liquids on it and sautee until veggies are soft.
Season to taste.

I honestly can't tell you what amounts,
Mark just kinda throws stuff in willy-nilly and it turns out okay.
Stir fry is so nice because it's one "pot" and so easy and good for you!
We had it plain but it would be so tasty over steamed rice or noodles.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Week of 5/13

Friday, May 16th; Day 4

--It's far too early to pat myself on the back but for the last three days I have successfully completed a dvd routine of Taebo. I bought a three disc set that came on Tuesday and promptly started that night. The set includes a Cardio, Flex, and Flex express routine. Cardio is basically the same "moves" as Flex, only you don't clench and hold the punches/kicks like in Flex. And Flex express is just a 20 minute routine rather than 40 for those days when you just don't quite have the time.
--My favorite part of Taebo has always been that it, to me, is practical exercise. I'm being active and I'm learning self-defense in the process. Heaven forbid, but if I'm ever attacked I feel like I now have a higher chance of being able to kick my body into gear and fight back because I have muscle memory of roundhouse kicks, uppercuts, and right/left hooks. Although I'd probably break my wrist because my form is terrible. Not to mention it's not bulking exercise but rather toning. Which is what I need. #flabfest
--So far I have noticed feeling more ready for sleep when I lay down at night. This week, two of the three routines were completed right before getting in bed (but not without a good rinsing in the shower first, ew) and I think I sleep better when I do that. Which is huge.
--My hunger hasn't changed. I'm continuing to use juices for light meals and having chicken or fish and vegetables for dinner. Soups for lunch when I wanna switch it up. We kind of surprised ourselves, we accidentally haven't had bread for probably over a month now. I don't remember the last time I bought a loaf. We didn't sit down and decide, "Okay we're going off bread" it just kind of happened, so that's why I say "accidentally".
--Since it's only been a couple days, weight loss has been minimal. But! Two nights I sinfully indulged in desserts because of events (leftovers brought home from Mark's Tech Fest and then a Relief Society activity) yet I still continued to lose weight rather than gain. I'll take it! And it wasn't like, a small cupcake, Mark brought home chocolate souffle and vanilla ice cream (which we shared) and at the RS fiesta they had churro truffles (only ate one!) and fried ice cream.
--It may just be psychological but I think I see a difference in my face. It seems more well-defined and slimmer before I put on makeup. Although we've been eating clean for a couple weeks now and I've been keeping up with hydration like a water machine for months now and unfortunately it hasn't made much of a difference in my complexion. So that's discouraging. But I'm glad to no longer be perpetuating the problem with poor eating habits.
--TMI but my BM's are slowly getting better. It's been...clogged up for awhile so this is a glorious step that I'm hoping continues.

Mark has taken to doing the exercises with me and we both are benefiting incredibly from it. Emotionally and psychologically. Exercising together is bonding us as a couple and every time we've had a nice conversation afterward about how good we feel and how glad we are that we're actively doing something about our weight goals. We both just cross our fingers that we can continue to be motivated to stick with it and get some real results!
Oh, speaking of Tech Fest. In addition to his "swag bag" they also have I guess bowls of candy bars at the different stations/booths/whatever and I sat on the floor having just sweated out the cardio routine as he pulled chocolate bar after chocolate bar out of his backpack and dumped them on the floor. He brought home probably twenty or so assorted snickers, twix, milky way, and kit kat bars.
We promptly stashed them in boxes and put them in the fridge, agreeing to only indulge in them as a reward every time we lose five pounds. I can do hard things.

Monday, May 19th; Day 7

Well we did so good and then I blogged about it and jinxed us. Curses.
--Friday, Saturday, and Sunday went by without much exercising. We meant to bike to dinner with friends on Friday but Mark was unable to find a craigslist listing that would either get back to us or work for our budget. Although I nearly permanently curved my back from all the sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming I did on Saturday. We did however go for a nice long walk with Odin on Sunday.
--My hunger is growing. I am struggling with the urge to gorge myself when I do eat, but I always feel better about it when I resist. I've found that it's helpful to elongate my eating time by taking forever with my food so I feel like I'm getting more. Woot psychology.
--I'm still losing, despite my poor exercising. Excruciatingly slow, but losing ounces is still losing.
--Yardwork is gunna hafta cut it as exercise for today. But yanking out weeds and trimming bougainvillea is not a sweat-less task so I'm not gunna feel bad about it.
--It would appear (according to my measurements) that I have lost a couple inches in the bust (sad face) and an inch or so in the waist. Not much in the hips. So that feels good to the psyche, whether or not I can visually see a difference. The numbers don't lie.

Is this what being a real life adult is like? Before, I had the excuse that I was deliberately not facing my chores and that's why I didn't have the time to do the dishes or fold the laundry. It's because I was binge watching Sherlock, or ANTM reruns. But now I'm legitimately trying and I'm gunna be honest, it's exhausting. In a good way! I actually don't miss the tv as much as I thought I might and I really enjoy my shows when I can get to them, rather than just feeling lazy and sluggish.
But at the same time, even without being hooked to the projector, I'm still gutted for time. Oof. Growing up is hard business, yo.
This has been a long time coming. Don't be thinking I just woke up last monday and thought, "Maybe I should try eating better and doing my chores and being an actual adult."

"Do you think she woke up one morning and said: 'I think I'll go to law school today'?"

It's really hard (and I'm not even in law school). We've been those stereotypical New-Years'-Resolutioners and made all these plans at the beginning of the year and it's taken till now to really kick into gear. There have been slips and tumbles (MANY of them) and there will definitely be more. 
Week one down, lifestyle change to go!

Thrifting Tips

I often brag about share the items I save on when I go thrift shopping so I figured it was high time to share my suggestions and advice. It's mostly a bunch of common sense mumbo-jumbo. I normally stick with Goodwill stores so I'll be catering these tips to that chain.

--Obviously, troll the half-off Saturdays. I can hardly bring myself to shop there on any other day.

--Be open-minded about what you may find there. Sometimes I go with a list in mind, but usually I just mosey around and let the options remind me of what I "need".

--^which leads to the tough decisions. I don't hafta tell ya that just wandering around a store and dumping whatever strikes your fancy into a cart is not a great plan for frugality. If I'm not immediately in love with it, it's not coming home with me.

--Unless there's something I specifically came and need to go searching for, I will just start at one point in the store and make my way around the entire place. Though I usually skip over the clothes because there are just so many. That's another shopping trip altogether. So be ready for a long morning/afternoon of standing. This also encourages me to only skim over all the junk, putting only the things that really grab my attention in the cart. 

--If you're on a tight budget, don't get a cart. Duh.

(this cart is being shared with Ali, double the fun, don't judge me!)

--Always try on the clothes. If the line for the dressing rooms is long enough to dissuade you, the clothes aren't worth your time, therefore, you don't need them.

--Also take a minute to inspect the clothes. Look over the seams, hold it at arms length to spy for stains, try out the zippers and buttons, make sure it's all in working order.

--Again, in the dressing room, if you put it on and don't immediately love it or envision yourself wearing it in daily life, then you probably don't need to spend the money on it. Even the $2 it may be. 

--After you've filled your cart and had your go around the store, take a minute to run over your newly acquired treasures and cut ties with the crap. By now you're probably getting tired and you've been mingling with the entertaining and oft not-as-entertaining company of your local goodwill for nigh an hour and you're thinking fondly of your couch at home and maybe a tall, icy cold dirty Dr. Pepper. You'll be much more likely then, to put back that porcelain cat with the chinese markings painted all over it that would look mighty perty in your guest bathroom. It's the magic of Goodwill. Junk turns into treasure. 
Sometimes it's not, though.

--Considering thrift stores and their constantly revolving stock, the best way to find the best to go often. And different locations.

Honestly, the only reason I end up with so much stuff for so cheap is because I go often and I really look. It's a legitimate treasure hunt and you gotta dig through the monotonous to find the special. Diamond in the rough, so to speak. Most often I blame it on luck, though.
Last month I was there with Ali and next to the children's clothes was a stack of stuffed animals, which I would normally never touch because 1) ew and 2) no children. But that day there was a pristine Easter model Thumper with the official Disney Store stamp on his foot and he was like, $1.50 I think (identical on ebay for $20) so /shrug. I just happened to get to it first. It's the name of the thrift game.

I realize "skim the junk!" and "really look" are two contradicting statements but it is possible to do both. It's the trick of finding the balance between spending half an hour studying the shoe rack and checking behind that ugly, scratched up plastic water pitcher to find the perfect teacup to fulfill your Pinterest DIY succulent planter dreams.
Also, do not for a second think that I did not spend probably five full minutes debating that cat clock framed picture creation. The closeness to Umbridge decor tugged at my nerdy strings as well as the whimsical. But that's what I'm talking about when I say "tough decisions". It's an inner battle of epic proportions.

Happy Thrifting!

*--Bonus tip for making it this far through the post! "My" goodwill, the one closest to my house, is without a doubt priced by a rabid monkey wielding a price sticker stamper because it is the most inconsistent, illogical pricing I have ever seen of any of the Goodwills in the valley. But it works to the consumer's favor because usually it's way cheaper than it needed to be. So...if you can make the drive, shop the AJ Goodwill (apache trail and signal butte). You're welcome.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Frantic Friday Lunch Hour

So lunch was interesting.

Mark and I are currently "shopping" for bikes and found a nice his/hers set on craigslist this morning. Mark worked from home today and tried getting hold of the owners. They were home all day and we could go see the bikes anytime! So we planned that Mark would take the van to come pick me up at work so we could go look at them together and I could try out sitting on the bike.
A few minutes before my lunch normally starts I got this phone call;

"I'm in the parking lot at Desert Schools and....the van just died. Won't start."

He promised he'd call me if he needed me and we hung up.
I figured I may as well take my lunch to keep the office schedule on track rather than try and wait out the van situation. So I began heating up my soup in the microwave.
But then I got this call;

"Yeahhh, can you come get me?"

So I stuck the half-warmed soup back in the fridge and let my boss know I was off to rescue my dashing knight (not quite in those exact words) and hopped in my blazing car. I took the wrong way out because I forgot which North/South street the bank is on (sorry, credit union) and ended up stuck at a broken intersection light being conducted by a policeman.
As I was stopped there I got this call;

"Actually, can you go home and get the code reader?"
"Yeah, where is it?"
"On the table just inside the front door."

To avoid reentering the clogged intersection, I had to take a bizarre awkward route to get onto the freeway and head back home.
A mile from our exit I got this call;

"It lives! Must've been an issue in the electrical, just go back to work--wait, no continue home to get! I'll see you at your work! Yes!"

I went ahead and took our exit but just turned right over the overpass and got back on the freeway and went back to work, again avoiding the intersection with the broken stoplights.
Finally I met up with my sweet husband and our hot van with the broken a/c and he had generously saved me a bite of the steak he had carefully prepared for his lunch at home.
It was delicious. And I hadn't been able to eat my soup yet so it was extra delicious.
We headed down to the craigslister's location even though he had alerted them that our transportation was compromised and would need to do it later. We sent a text and called to try and let them know we were still coming but heard no word until we were almost there.
Only we weren't paying much attention and completely passed the neighborhood.
Mark pulled some fancy u-turn maneuvering and we were at the house in the next couple minutes.
I stayed with the van out front so we wouldn't have to turn it off and risk being really stranded and they were kind enough to bring the bikes to the front of the house. The "male" bike wasn't quite what Mark had in mind so he passed on it but I liked the other bike so we talked the price down $5 and bought it. (I've named her Regina.)
Mark dropped me off right as my "lunch" hour was ending and I went inside to get him a drink of water from our cooler.
I heated up my soup once again and had a couple bites until one co-worker offered me the other 6-inch half of her turkey on wheat sub from subway that she wasn't going to eat. I couldn't let such a specimen go to waste.

So the soup's back in the fridge again and my tummy is quite happy. Plus I have a cool bike waiting for me at home.

Today's being so weird.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


The other day in the May photo-a-day challenge the prompt was "Ready" and I chose to go with a "ready for Summer" vibe.

Other than the slightly serial killer vibe my eyes seem to be giving, I felt very summery that day.
And I am so very ready for summertime.
We kinda jumped the gun just a tad last weekend and tried to have a pool party but the water was still a little frigid. Poor baby Rori's tiny lips were purple and her whole body trembled but she paid no mind and strove to jump out of the arms of whoever was holding her and take on her true form of mermaid. Honestly, that little tyke was taking huge breaths, diving out of our safeholds and she hardly knows how to swim yet. Somebody's ready for some lessons!

I'm ready for lake days and popsicles.
Bike rides and watermelon and sunscreen.
Family reunions, camping trips, s'mores, and stargazing.
Lemonades until my lips pucker up and fall off. (ew)
Reading books out on the shore.
Searching for that perfect skippable rock...and handing it off to my husband because I have completely lost the ability to skip and I hate wasting good rocks on practice.
I'm so excited to test out the waters with Odin and see how he does. Maybe he'll love it, maybe he'll hate it.

I love those floppy ears and concerned eyebrows. Silly Odin.

Last year we were in! That was two summers ago. [great lamentings and gnashing of teeth] Oh, I miss okoboji summers.

Spending all day erry day out on the docks...

Imaginations run wild...

Boat rides to the amusement park...

NUTTY BARS...(they make ya kinda nutty)

And all the fishing you could ever desire...

I have great love in my heart for Lake Okoboji.
Most of my best summers were spent there.
I legitimately had a point when I started out talking about Okoboji...and then got distracted. Majorly.

Who's up for summer?!
Hope is. Hope really, really is.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Medical Update

I seriously just need to go to Grey-Sloan Memorial hospital and have Meredith or Bailey take a look at me because they wouldn't think I was being a melodramatic, lying hypochondriac and would actually dig into my symptoms and figure out what the crap is happening in my body.

I first went in to see the ENT (ear nose throat) specialist back in February and for months they've just said, "Oh you have allergies, it's just allergies" and prescribed me nose sprays and steroid packs. Every time I go back he asks about how my breathing is while looking up my nose and I really can't understand why because that's never been the issue and I've never complained about breathing. I get awful headaches and my ears pop all the time regardless of elevation change.
Doc, do you ever listen?

But he did point in the direction of TMJ being a possible culprit and so far the internet has been very vague and unhelpful in that respect so whoopee, magical unicorn diagnosis.
They've ordered a sinus CT scan just to make sure nothing's been missed and after that we go into treatment for TMJ.

For years before I got married my family wasn't on health insurance so we didn't do regular doctor visits. But I've been suspicious about my wisdom teeth for quite awhile. So I kind of took matters into my own hands and under the false pretense of a "regular checkup" at the dentist (since it's been years, awful I know) they recommended getting my wisdom teeth removed.
So I did.

It's still too early to tell if it's made a difference.

But finally, today, after nearly 5 months of having the excuse of "allergies" shoved down my throat they actually tested me for allergies and whaddya know, completely negative.
Not even redness.
The regular doc I'd been seeing came in accompanied with another doctor as if I was some circus freak for beating their allergy test.
"It's very rare that we ever get NO reactions at all."
And then he asked about breathing. Again.

So naturally I'm feeling a little triumphant and "told'ja so" at the moment. But also confused as to what's happening so that's why I need the doctors of Grey's Anatomy to take me on as a mystery case.
For now though, I'm just going to be super grateful that I do not have allergies because that is a major commitment in lifelong treatment so I'm glad I escaped that curse. (*knocks on wood*)
And at least it's a checkmark off the list of possibilities.

Thank goodness for insurance.

Before I get any nurses or doctors on here berating me for being less-than-patient with this process I realize that real-life doctoring is so terribly different than a drama show. I merely exaggerate for the purpose of an entertaining blog post. I'm grateful for the help the ENT has given me (while I would appreciate a little more thoroughness in my chart and less of putting words in my mouth) so please, no lectures.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Existential crisis in the making...

To the tune of Fun to Do in the LDS Primary Songbook.

Sitting up straight is hard to do,
Hard to do, to do to do,
Sitting up straight is hard to do,
to do, to do, to--whoops! [crash]

Blinking my eyes is hard to do,
Hard to do, to do to do,
Blinking my eyes is hard to do,
B-blink, it's hard, blink-blink.

Using my words is hard to do,
Hard to do, to do to do,
Using my words is not easy to be,
Too use, two have, tu-tu.

All of y'all lied to me. I has the disappointment in you. Everybody swore up and down that the second day would be the worst and I would be a miserable little ball of wadded up agony soaking in my own frigid tears. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were wonderful days and I actually had an inordinate amount of fun despite being just post-surgery.
Instagram recap!

Thursday around Noon pm I looked about like this...

I was a completely boring druggie and did nothing of any entertainment value on the way home from the doctor's office. I don't remember ANY of it, but I am told I mostly just moaned to myself and slept. Which is pretty much what I did the rest of the day on the couch. I do recall being slightly disappointed when we pulled the gauze out of my mouth for the first time and I realized there were only two small pieces in there rather than the gigantic wad I had been feeling for the past couple hours.
So then of course I couldn't stop touching my lips. My lower jaw/chin/lip region remained numb until early the next morning, so that resulted in some fun times. Like using one hand to find my mouth and guide the water bottle up to it, squirting in too much because I couldn't tell how full my mouth was and gulping with my mouth open, sloshing water all down my front.
I'm a super graceful giraffe like that.
That night I went to choir rehearsal despite my altered condition considering it was our last rehearsal before the last concert of the season, and I mean, lesbihonest, nobody even noticed I was "compromised". Let's not dwell too much on what that means as far as my "normal" behavior out in public.
But here is where I met the many testimonials of pain and anguish that I was sure to be experiencing within 24 hours or less.
I braced myself for the worst.

Friday about 3pm...

Earlier that day I had tidied up the kitchen, taken out the trash, folded laundry and started another load. Here I was taking a break before heading to my ENT appointment, after which I met up with some gal-pals for a Girl's Night Out!

Clockwise from the top (white sandals):
Allora, Taylor, Kymber, Hope, Jacquie, and Kristin.

I couldn't have pictured a better first experience for a pedicure. I'm still in love with my choice in nail color and I'm already dying to go back for another. In my head I always just thought you sat in a chair and somebody painted your toes. Which can seem really silly and superfluous when you aren't much of a nail-painting person. But I would be happy to just go back and sit in those chairs they have, I nearly fell asleep at the salon. The massage settings were very nice and I didn't realize they soak your feet and rub lotion all over 'em. Granted, I had to grip the chair pretty tightly as she manhandled my feet and especially when she pulled the lotion over each toe individually. Yikes, it tickled!
After that wonderful curse of an experience (my wallet will not appreciate that being introduced into my life) we went on over to Zupa's for some fabulous food. I've been addicted to that place since I first went a couple months ago and it was absolutely perfect for this weekend because their soups are divine and that's all I could have eaten anyway.
All I'd been feeling at this point was groggy and slightly loopy. I forgot things pretty quickly and messed up sentences really easily, using a completely wrong word randomly. But I wasn't in much pain at all.

Saturday at around 7am, Mark rolled over and nudged me awake asking if we still wanted to go to the lake with his family that morning. If so, we needed to head out to breakfast within the hour. I had completely forgotten and mostly wanted to just sleep at the moment but we hadn't spent good quality time with Mark's dad and brother for quite awhile, so we got up. We met with Tom and Mary, Robert, and family friends Jude and Emry at the Red Mountain Cafe on University and Higley for a nice breakfast and it was delicious. I had issues getting my mouth open wide enough to slide in a spoonful of "house fries" (which were basically just mashed potatoes?) or scrambled eggs with ham bits.
We ran into trouble at the lake when we didn't get out nearly as early as we wanted to and all the spaces at saguaro were full. We were redirected to the Pobrecito waiting lot for about an hour and a half.
But once we got out onto the lake it was beautiful and sunny and the water wasn't TOO freezing. Nobody got burned and we had plenty of drinks to stay hydrated, although I hadn't planned snacks too well for myself. So I got jealous of the cheetos and chips pretty fast.

(yay for being barely less pasty-white as the boat!)

That night we had some friends over for what turned into a night of just hanging out and general fun-having. I broke the rules and ate a few chips and salsa, chewing delicately and sipping soda.
Finally, after midnight had come and gone, we were laying down to sleep.

And then, Sunday morning, the fit hit the shan and I was reduced to a grumbling, moaning couch potato. It may very well be because I pushed myself so hard over the weekend and was merely experiencing a fun-hangover, but regardless of cause, the fun had ended.
Monday I called in to work because I was still relying too heavily on the meds and didn't feel that I would be doing anyone much good by coming into the office. If I didn't feel so guilty I probably would have taken today off as well.
I've only needed the nausea pills a couple times but I almost wish I would vomit so my mouth would have a reason for tasting this way. I've lost all appetite and still can't open my mouth much more than an inch or so. The nausea makes me wish to lie down, so sitting at a desk and remaining "proper" is proving more and more difficult. The pain meds make me so sleepy, I have a hard time keeping my eyes open. It's hardest when I blink because my eyelids seem so heavy it's difficult to open them again and when I do open them I go crosseyed for a little bit. Which seems to be giving me a headache. Or maybe it's just the pain of the surgery, it's hard to say.
If it's possible to get sea legs, I would say I have sea-brain.
Which of course makes me picture a slightly drunken-looking purple octopus in my cranial space. If I was any sort of computer artist I would attempt an illustration for y'all.

It's like I say things just to spite myself.
See how much I love you guys?
Also, that's probably the best depiction of my bedhead that has ever surfaced on the internet.
I'm also realizing that having "sea legs" means you're actually good at walking on a ship, but what I'm trying to refer to is walking on land once you've had sea legs so now everything feels like it's moving when it isn't and you kinda stumble around like a newborn zebra. Only you're an adult human so wobbling like a newborn anything-other-than-homosapien is kind of off limits.
I wish drinking water made me feel better.
If I were an octopus it would make me feel better.
Maybe I should be an octopus.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Post-Surgery Hangover

Right now may not be the best time for blogging. 
Forgive me for any grammatical or syntax errors.
Or just plain not-making-sense-ness.

The doctor only gave me ibuprofen (a nice hefty dose, but still)
and hydrocordone/acetaminophen for the pain
but MAN it's really fuzzying up my brain.
I mean, I'm no doctor myself maybe those are decently debilitating medicines,
I don't know.
In any case they're throwing me for a loop.

(icing my face immediately after returning home from surgery
waiting for Mark to arrive with da druuugs.
Pretty minimal swelling!)

I'm supposed to alternate the ibuprofen and hydrocodone every three hours,
so I set myself an alarm for 1:30am.
I made sure to set out the ibuprofen and tuck away the hydrocordone
so I didn't mix them up in my sleepy fog-headedness.
But when it went off I didn't have the mental faculties 
to reset it for three hours later, 4:30am.
(and the widget I was using wouldn't let me make more than one alarm at a time?)
So I just figured I'd wake up with my husband just before 6
and take the medicine then.
And I did...but later I was trying to write the time on the bottle
so I wouldn't forget...
and for some reason I wrote it on the wrong bottle.
So now I'm ALL sorts of confused
and just popping pills.
It's fine.

After I lay resting in bed till just before nine,
I got up to let Odin out and give him a little bit of breakfast.
I opened the back door to let him out,
lifted his water and food bowl out and got him a cup of food
setting it out after he sat nice and obedient like.
I tidied up the living room, took out the trash,
put away the dishes and wiped down the kitchen,
started a load of laundry and folded the clean ones.
I was taking the folded clothes upstairs 
and as I sat them on the couch to put away later....
Odin came moseying out of Mark's upstairs office.

I honestly CANNOT tell you how he got there
or how he got inside.
Either he found a portal in our backyard,
or we have a ghost.

And then later, I swear the stovetop clock said 2:44pm 
and I thought to myself,
"Oh! I better get ready for my ENT appointment soon!"
But then I sat down to keep working on the crossword I had started
and noticed our large clock was only close to saying 1 o'clock....

Having huge holes and gaps in memory are not comforting.
I tell you what, wow.
And I feel very tired but not sleepy.
Mostly just groggy.

But I'm still not too swollen, I'm very lucky!
I went to choir last night for our last rehearsal before our last concert
(it's and awesome and fun Broadway show,
nice and cheap date night or family night activity!
Would love to see you there! ;) )
and hardly anybody could tell I'd had surgery that day.
Although I made all kinds of simple headed mistakes
like just not even thinking about page turns
or completely forgetting what key signatures mean,
or finding myself falling asleep behind the piano.

Now it's almost time for me to go get my ears checked again
and then it's Girl's Night and my first ever real pedicure.
In an actual salon.
Kind of a big deal.
And Zupa's afterward.
Not gunna lie, looking forward to the soup the most.
Pudding cups, ice cream, and juices are great and all,
but I'm excited for something substantial.
Plus Zupa's is just soup totes delish
(slang puns, wah wah)

Thanks for listening to me ramble absentmindedly.
Hope everyone's having a fantastic weekend!