Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who likes his doggy door?

Before we bought our doggy door, MM wondered if Sebastian would ever use it. I assured him that Sebastian loves being outside, so long as he knows he can come back in whenever he wants.

Here is evidence that I was right: the boy sunning himself on our patio while I was getting ready for work one recent morning.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The tone of my blog has been decidedly negative the past few entries. Although I suppose this is understandable, given that I've been feeling crappy, it's totally unnecessary, and I want to turn it around.

So I decided that today I would blog about some of the many things in my life for which I am grateful. (In that same spirit of positivity, I am not posting my weight today because it was scary high and I would then feel the need to post possible explanations for this fact. . . which would potentially lead to some negativity. lol)

**I am grateful for my general good health. Since becoming active on Facebook, I have become reacquainted with lots of people from my past. Two of the women who are "friends" are living with chronic diseases for which there are no known cures. (I know one of these friends personally; the other is the half-sister of a friend of mine, knows my sister and went to my high school four years after me.)

Knowing two people close to my own age who are struggling with their health makes me really stop and think about how fortunate I am. Neither of these women did anything to cause their illnesses; they were just unlucky. Much as I've bitched since I've had this cold, it's nothing compared to what they live with every day.

**I am grateful for my husband. When I was 20 years old, I made a "bucket list." (I called it "Things to Do Before I Die.") I still have the list and review it occasionally to see what I've accomplished on the list. One of the items on my list was "Marry a man who truly loves and respects me." I have certainly accomplished that with MM.

MM does more than his fair share of the household chores. He provides a lot of stability for someone like me who struggles with routine because he is extremely routine-oriented. He supports all my interests and activities. And best of all, he makes me laugh nearly every day. I am very lucky to have found him.

**I am grateful for the typical American life I lead. Every "complaint" I have is a "first world" concern. I don't have to worry about a place to sleep, food to eat, clean water to drink, or my safety. It's easy to forget that the majority of the world doesn't live like this.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Girl and horse

Case of the Mondays

(don't know my weight: haven't weighed in 3 days)

I am mostly over my cold but have some lingering nasal congestion and just cannot shake my cough. It wouldn't be so bad if it were merely an annoying, occasional hack, but I have a tendency to go into a bronchospasm when I cough, especially if I happen to be lying down at the time. Thus my coughing continues to wake me up at night, and it's hard to feel good when you're not getting a good night's sleep. (Yeah, I have friends with newborns who are probably thinking "tell me about it!")

Nearly my whole day yesterday was taken up with a trip to Tucson. M, the little girl for whom I am a CASA through the juvenile court, turned 9 yesterday, so naturally I wanted to take her out for her birthday. I first met M just before her 4th birthday, so our relationship is a long one, especially by the standards of a legally-orphaned 9-year-old in foster care.

M's first choice for her birthday was a trip to Club Libby Lu to have her hair and makeup done. Because Club Libby Lu closed all its North American locations on January 31, I had to come up with a Plan B. M also loves horses, so I had the idea that getting to groom a horse might be a good alternative. (When she was much younger, she would often go to the stables to pet and feed horses with her grandparents.)

Lucky for me, my friend K lives in Tucson, owns a horse, and was willing to let M interact with the lovely 5-year-old "Buttercup." Although M quickly grew bored with brushing Buttercup, she did enjoy it and also enjoyed seeing her and all the other horses at the stable. I let her use my digital camera to photograph the horses, and I think she took 40-50 shots of the various horses there. (I'll have to post a sampling once I get them uploaded from my camera.)

After our trip to the stable, I took M to Chuck E. Cheese's for a while. The place was packed to the gills; we had to wait a while just to get in, and then every available table was occupied. The pizza was icky as usual and, as usual, M ate only one piece. . . . leaving me to wonder (not for the first time) why I even bothered getting a pizza. M (and I) won enough tickets for her to get a few small prizes, and she was happy with her outing.

I was glad to do what I could to give M a happy birthday. She liked her presents from me and had fun. (I got her a stuffed puppy that looks like a Golden but is actually a yellow Lab which she named "Sebastian, Jr." and the first book in the Twilight series.) I dropped her off in time for the family party her foster parents had planned for her. I could see that there were other gifts there for M and a delicious chocolate cake, so I think overall she had a pretty good day.

I returned home exhausted. I hadn't had a good night's sleep (coughing); forgot sunscreen and got a little sunburn from being at the stable; an hour at Chuck E. Cheese's is enough to raise any adult's blood pressure; and there was heavy traffic on the road back to Phoenix. (Did I forget to mention that it is a 5-hour round trip from my house to M's?)

Needless to say, after the day I had yesterday and another poor night's sleep, I didn't exactly wake up "rarin' to go" today. I dragged my lazy a$$ into work around 10:30 and have been sorta kinda working since then.

After working out a lot for a while there--26 out of 30 days, remember?--I now have only exercised ONCE since the 11th. And that was a session in the pool at the gym, not as vigorous as my usual sessions. I am more than a little annoyed that my relatively successful 30-day exercise challenge ended up being followed by nearly two weeks of basically forced inactivity, between the issues with my hip and this awful cold. (On the plus side, I haven't had any hip pain or noticable tightness for over a week.)

I desperately need to get back to the gym and plan to start tonight! I have my gym bag packed and plan to meet MM at the gym at 6:45 tonight. Not quite sure how this is going to go with my cough, but I have an inhaler and will scale back the intensity of my workout if necessary. Surely I can make it through 30 minutes on the treadmill, even with my cough, as long as I don't overdo it. Hell, I'll walk 3 miles per hour if I have to; at least it's exercise.

AND I need to start my 30-day fruit & veggie challenge. Maybe I will shoot to start on Wednesday. It's the first day of Lent, so that could be good.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tired of being sick!

213 (meh)

I haven't blogged the past couple of days because I've had nothing new to share. I continue to fight this cold which yesterday moved into my lungs also. It's really great having a cough deep in my chest and hocking up green phlegm--NOT. I am a horrible, horrible patient and have no patience or tolerance whatsoever for being sick.

Oh, and I learned this week that deep tissue massage is contraindicated when you're ill. Who knew? So I had to cancel Tuesday night's massage and will have to reschedule.

Last night I had the first decent night's sleep I've had since I got this cold, so I'm optimistic that perhaps I've turned a corner and will now start improving. My head congestion seems slightly less today, too. So we'll see.

I haven't worked out all week, and I've missed it. I simply have not had the energy. All pain in my right hip/buttock is gone, so that's a plus. Maybe a week or so of forced inactivity was just what my piriformis muscle needed to get back to normal.

Feeling like ass, I also haven't felt much like eating. It's been great for Sebastian because I'm not even finishing the small, simple meals I've fixed for myself, leaving lots of leftovers for him. Because I've had zero energy, I didn't start my nine-servings-a-day of fruits/veggies thing; just couldn't put forth the effort to prepare them.

MM has done the best thing that can be done for me when I'm sick, which is basically just to leave me alone. I've slept in the guest room the past three nights because my tossing & turning and snoring were keeping him awake.

Although I'm still not 100%, I'm at work today because I am preparing to take three depositions tomorrow, as well as completing various small assignments that I need to get done. Thank goodness I'm not really that busy at work at the moment; my concentration level is decidedly below its usual.

MM has been wanting to go out to eat the past few nights. I hope I am feeling well enough this evening to accomodate his desire.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I feel icky


I am feeling decidedly sub-par today. The head cold that started as a scratchy throat on Sunday evening has now fully developed. I didn't sleep much last night because my congestion made it hard to find a comfortable position that allowed me to breathe. Ugh.

On the plus side. . . . my right piriformis muscle is doing much better. I swam laps on Sunday for exercise because I am still avoiding walking, jogging, and the elliptical trainer. I drove to Tucson and back yesterday for a deposition--five hours sitting for the drive alone, not including the 2+ hours in the deposition--and had only an occasional mild twinge. A far cry from the red hot poker of pain I'd been having. I am optimistic that by early next week I can resume the elliptical trainer and walking (I'll probably avoid jogging because I think that caused a big part of the problem in the first place).

I have a massage scheduled for this evening. I have the usual tightness in my neck and upper back and am going to also ask the therapist to work on my right piriformis and the surrounding area. Lying on my stomach for the massage with this head congestion should be a real joy--NOT.

We did have a nice weekend. Friday night we had dinner and drinks with some friends of MM's, and that was fun. Saturday night we had dinner at my in-laws because one of my MIL's cousins and her family were in town from North Dakota. After dinner, we went to a hockey game. Sunday we did nothing except the usual household chores, but it was actually kind of nice to have anything else going on.

MM sent me a dozen red roses for Valentine's Day and also bought me a sapphire necklace. What a good husband! He was happy with the CDs I got him and didn't feel bad that his gifts to me were much more expensive. ;-)

Gotta try to get some shizz done. . .

Friday, February 13, 2009

Self-Love Day 2009

I'm posting this blog entry in honor of self-love day 2009. Here's how it works: I'm going to share something that I love about myself and ask anyone reading this blog entry to share something you love about me, too.

What do I love about me? I have to admit that I have a pretty healthy self-esteem, so while I realize that I'm far from perfect--hell, most of this blog is about my imperfections and struggles--I also don't find it hard to name something I love about myself.

I love that I am intelligent. No matter what career path one chooses, having a little bit more smarts than the next guy is always a plus. Over the (many) years I was a student, my native intelligence has allowed me to spend countless hours surfing the 'net, reading, and just generally chillin' while others studied. ;-)

In contrast to my entries for the past two self-love days, when I posted about qualities that I have cultivated in myself (self-awareness and being a good friend), the fact that I am intelligent is through no fault of my own. Nope, just a God-given gift. And boy am I fortunate.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


215.4 (ugh)

Yesterday was the last day of my 30-day exercise challenge, and I fell a little short of my goal. I will say, though, that my decision not to exercise yesterday was not made out of laziness. I really wanted to work out, but made a conscious choice not to due to the issue I'm having with my right hip/buttock. It stinks.

Although I'd really hoped to achieve 100% compliance, 26 days out of 30 is about 87% or an average of about six days a week. I'm pretty proud of that.

Not sure why the scale is up again. I had KFC for dinner, which I imagine is quite high in sodium, so perhaps that's why.

When I looked back on my entry for this same time last year, I realized that I'm about 10-12 lbs heavier now than I was then. Bummer!

Not much else to share. I aim to start my 30-day challenge for eating nine servings and fruits and vegetables a day next Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In short

214.4 (late dinner)

I'm too lazy to write a full-fledged entry for today, so bullet points it is. (Yeah, I know they're actually asterisks; bullet points didn't show up in the post for some unknown reason. . . )

**I got to visit my friend C's four-week-old baby last night. I was amazed how much he'd grown in just the little over two weeks since I last saw him. He is very cute and a good baby.

**My "30 days of exercise" challenge ends today. Assuming I exercise tonight, I will have worked out 27 of the last 30 days. And even if I skip tonight, I've already exercised 26 of the past 30 days. Not too shabby!

**My 30-day exercise challenge has left me with some discomfort beyond just the expected sore muscles. Because I always walk, walk/jog, or do the elliptical trainer, I have not always been diligent about stretching, and I probably need new shoes, I have managed to irritate my right piriformis muscle ( It hurts most when I'm sitting, which is GREAT when you have a desk job. [sigh] I've been stretching at least twice a day (it's super tight, especially when compared with the left) and applying heat and ice, and it seems to be improving. But yikes. It's also caused numbess and tingling in my right thigh in addition to the pain. Not fun.

**Even though my 30-day challenge is over, I am going to continue to exercise at least five days a week. I feel so much better than I did before I started, and it truly is beginning to feel like a habit to me. Shocking!

**I am gradually gearing up for my next 30-day challenge by beginning to eat more fruit this week. Because fruit is easier to prepare and take along--and because I like them better--I figured I'd start with fruits before veggies.

**I have my first piano lesson tonight! I've wanted to learn to play since I was a child. A friend at work gave me an electronic keyboard that her sons no longer use so I will be able to practice at home between lessons, too.

**I still need to buy part of MM's Valentine's Day gift. I feel a bit pressured about getting things he will like because he got me some awesome gifts last year ( and has hinted that he got me something "over the top" this year. (He bought my Valentine's Day gift before Christmas, actually.) So far, I've bought him two CDs by The Samples (a band he once mentioned that he loved in college and hadn't heard in years) and am planning on getting him some quality gummy bears and a nice card, too. I may also bust out and go to Victoria's Secret (with a gift card my friend N sent me for my wedding--thanks, N) and get some sexy underwear or something. I have the feeling he's still going to out-gift me, though. Suggestions?

**I got tickets this week for MM and I to go the Jimmy Buffett concert in May! We are psyched about it. Neither of us have never seen him in concert and we have both wanted to for a long time; it's just so hard to get tickets 'cause they usually sell out fast.

**Work is slow. Not managably slow. More like "I don't have enough to do" slow. It stinks. I'd prefer being hella busy to this.

**Because I've been feeling that I'm in something of a life rut, I've been researching activities for MM and me to do on the weekends. This weekend is set: we have dinner with friends on Friday, a hockey game on Saturday, and dinner with his folks on Sunday. The following weekend we are going to Tucson to visit M for her 9th birthday, so next weekend is pretty full, too. After that, I want to hike at least every other week while the weather is still cool enough, and I want to go to the Renaissance Faire. (I've been talking about it since law school and have never gone.) Not sure what else to plan. There is lots to do in Arizona, but it has to be within an hour's drive of us because MM hates driving distances. ;-)

**I'm a dork I know, but I'm loving Facebook. I have become reacquainted with several people I hadn't talked to in YEARS, and it's been so fun! (Could also be related to the fact that I am not busy at work. . . )

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Becoming Zen

Is the author of the blog Zen Habits reading my blog to get ideas? ;-)

After my post yesterday, I found this in my feed reader this morning:

I thought it was an interesting coincidence that this appeared the morning after I posted about my greatest fear. I also find the post to be good practical advice for conquering many fears.

Not sure how to practically apply his suggestions to my particular fear, though. . . .

Monday, February 09, 2009


There are four ways you can handle fear. You can go over it, under it, or around it. But if you are ever to put fear behind you, you must walk straight through it. Once you put fear behind you, leave it there.
~Donna A. Favors


I came to a realization during my Saturday morning acupuncture session. For those of you who've never had acupuncture--I was in this category until a few weeks ago--once the practitioner inserts the needles, you basically just lie still and relax for 20-30 minutes once they're in. You really can't move around because you'd dislodge the needles. Because of this forced inactivity, it's easy to relax and to meditate (or cogitate) during acupuncture.

I have been growing increasingly more unhappy every month that I've been off the pill and have not gotten pregnant. This month things finally got to the point where I spent a good portion of Friday crying off and on. (I *rarely* cry. Normally I can go months and months without crying over anything.)

Because this type of reaction is so unlike me, I found myself analyzing the reasons behind it. Trying to conceive and being unsuccessful month after month is frustrating, to be sure. Frustration is usually not enough to make me cry, though. A huge part of trying to get pregnant is completely outside my control. Really, all I can do is take care of my body, have sex at the right times, and pray. But although I hate not being in control, especially over big things feeling out of control also isn't something that I'd generally cry over.

As I lay on the acupuncture table relaxing, it finally came to me. I am upset because I am afraid. Afraid that I won't ever get pregnant. Afraid that I will never bear a child of my own. Afraid that I will never be a mother. And afraid of the toll that this may eventually take on my relationship with MM.

It is fear, not frustration or impatience, that has made me cry. Fear and uncertainty. Fear that has developed over the past ten months that I have been off the pill and not gotten pregnant. Fear that seems less unfounded with each passing unsuccessful cycle.

It's not the waiting that's getting to me. Hell, I have already waited many, many years to even TRY to get pregnant. I waited years to meet someone I could marry, someone I loved enough and with whom I had a healthy enough relationship to have a fighting chance of success in marriage. I am experienced at waiting for things. I may not like it, but I'm accustomed to it.

If I knew for sure that I would get pregnant someday, so long as we keep trying, I believe that my fear would subside. But in this arena, there are no guarantees for any woman who is almost 38 years old and has never conceived. There is no way, short of divine intervention, for me to ever KNOW that I will eventually be pregnant.

I don't know that there is a way to walk through this fear. Certainly I have visualized a life where I never have a child of my own. . . . but deep down inside, I never thought that it would be the life I'd ultimately live.

I will say that it's been a recurrent theme in my life that few things turn out the way I thought they would. Each time life has taken an unexpected turn, I've ended up being happier with the life I have than with the life I had planned.

I can't imagine, though, that I would ever get to a point where I'd be truly OK with never being a mother. But maybe I will.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


THE RULES: Step 1: respond and rework—answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own. Step 2: tag— tag eight other un-tagged people. So, here we go!

Make a list of things you can see without getting up
: A framed photo of Sebastian; a box of paperback books; a photo of MM and me taken at the Venetian last November just before our wedding; my BlackBerry; a photo of my nephew Rowan; a framed print I bought in Ireland in 2002; a lead crystal carving of a Golden Retriever; my digital camera; my wedding photos (waiting to go into the album); some bills.

What were you like when you were five? I was inquisitive and loved to learn.

What are you wearing now? A black Guinness T-shirt and black lounge pants.

What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading?
Just finished Goodnight Nobdoy by Jennifer Weiner today.

Do you nap a lot? When I have the time.

Who was the last person you hugged? My husband

What’s your current fandom/obsession/addiction?
Don't really have one

What was the last thing you ate today? A hamburger cooked by MM

What is the best purchase you've ever made? Toyota Prius

What websites do you always visit when you go online?
bloglines, facebook, google, yahoo

What was the last thing you bought? Fry bread

What are you listening to right now? ESPN's Sports Center

If you could have any super power, what would it be? The ability to turn dog poo into gold

What is your favorite weather, and why? Phoenix winter weather: 70s, clear, sunny

What time do you usually get up? 7:45

What is your most challenging goal right now? Getting organized

Say something to the person who tagged you: Thanks for the blog entry idea! ;-)

If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? On Maui

Favorite vacation spot? Can't really pick A favorite. I can visit DC again and again

What is your favorite children’s book? The Velveteen Rabbit

Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you:

If you could meet anyone famous - dead or alive - who would it be?

Favorite song: Currently, Single Ladies by Beyonce

Name one thing you would most like to change about yourself: My weight.

Name a bad habit: I tend to obsess about things in a negative way.

What are you looking forward to this year?
Seeing my nephew next month, and celebrating all our "firsts" as a married couple: first Valentine's Day, first Easter, etc.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Benefits of daily exercise


I only have six days left in the 30 days from my original 30-day challenge; my first day of exercise to start my streak was January 13th. (I remember because a good friend had a baby the same day.) Assuming I work out every day for the next six--and I see no reason at the moment why this can't happen--I will have worked out 28 of the 30 days.

A 93%. Not 100%, but not too shabby. Actually, just having worked out 22 of the past 24 days works out to slightly more than six days a week of exercise. Excellent! For the past 3+ weeks, I have FINALLY been doing MORE exercise than my doctor recommended.

I have to say, I have seen LOADS of benefits from this daily exercise thing. I am sleeping better and snoring less. (Yes, I sometimes snore. Poor MM.) My energy level is higher--and more constant--throughout the day. Because my energy level is higher, I am able to concentrate better at work. (Well, I *would* be able to concentrate better if I wasn't preoccupied with non-work stuff.) I am finally, FINALLY having fewer headaches: I've only had one (mild) migraine since the 30-day challenge started and fewer tension headaches. When I do have to take medication for a headache, I can take less and the headaches don't last as long.

I perceive a significant difference in my exercise endurance, too. I can jog longer, go faster, and generally feel better while working out than I did before. It's no longer a struggle to get through a 30-minute workout. In fact, most days I quite enjoy it. For example, I had a kick-ass 30-minute workout on the elliptical trainer last night at the gym. . . . so good, in fact, that when the 30-minute program ended, I hopped on the treadmill and jogged for five more minutes! I certainly didn't do that prior to this challenge.

Because I have also quit caffeine, started acupuncture, and gone for an hour-long massage every other week since starting this 30-day challenge, I cannot say with absolute certainty that all the things I mentioned above are attributable to (almost) daily exercise.

The scale hasn't really changed much with increasing my exercise, but I do notice I am slightly firmer in places, and MM says I look a little smaller to him. And honestly, I didn't start this challenge to lose weight (though it would've been nice!), so I'm fine with this.

I am on board with doing another 30-day challenge, and my next one will be to actually eat the RDA-recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. I've been reading up on ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Assuming I can get to the grocery store on the 16th and get prepared, I will probably start on the 17th because I want to complete my exercise challenge first and want to start at the beginning of a week. (Our office is closed the 16th for Presidents' Day.)

I think that this next challenge will be tougher for me than the exercise challenge. We shall see!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Insensitive much?


You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.
~Maya Angelou

Now that I've reached an age where 40 no longer seems old, I've sometimes had cause to reflect on things I've done and said in the past. At no time has this been more true than since MM and I started actively trying to have a child of our own. As I've written here before, I naively thought that this endeavor would be accomplished in a relatively short time. Certainly no longer than six months. I was even concerned for a while that I'd get pregnant before we were married. (This seems laughable to me now.)

When I was younger, I used to routinely ask couples who'd been married more than six months when they were going to have a baby. It never occurred to me that the mere question might cause some of these people pain.

Likewise, I used to have no qualms about asking a couple whose only child was at least 2 when/if they planned to have another. Again, I never realized that there might be reasons that this wasn't part of their plan.

I used to think that women who were willing to put their bodies and minds through all sorts of stress with fertility treatments were missing the point and that they should "just adopt." I used to think that I would never subject myself to all that "unnecessary" poking, prodding and stress.

I used to think that when the day came that I decided to have a baby of my own, I'd have some fun, passionate, unprotected sex and get the job done in no time flat. I figured I would even have the luxury of deciding which month of the year might be most convenient for me to be giving birth.

I used to think (though, thank goodness, I never said to anyone) that maybe people who couldn't have a baby on their own "weren't meant to be parents."

I used to think (though, again, I never said to anyone) that people who were trying for a while to get pregnant should "just relax and stop trying."

I have learned a lot in the past several months.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009



This post is my 500th, and I can't even be bothered to think of something interesting to write about. I'm in a funk today for the same reason I've been in a funk many, many times over the past ten months.

I couldn't let the day go by without posting my lower weight, though! And that's even after having a HUGE dinner out with my friend M yesterday before the gym.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

90% is still an A


As my ticker shows, I missed another day of working out since my last post: this one was last night. Again, I did walk the dog to the park and back, but I don't count that as a workout; it's activity, yes, but I definitely don't get my heart rate up.

I had tummy problems yesterday morning (no, not morning sickness), so I stayed home from work. I felt better in the evening, but still run-down and generally lethargic (despite a 4-hour nap). So those were my reasons (excuses) for not working out.

Anyway. Onward and upward. I've brought my workout clothes with me to work today and I'll be meeting MM at the gym as usual this evening.

Aside from the after effects of yesterday's GI upset, I feel pretty much back to normal today. Don't have much of an appetite, though, but hey! That's a good thing. All I've eaten today is a packet of instant organic oatmeal, and even though it's 2:00 here, I'm still not hungry. I'm not knockin' it! Just drinking water continuously.

One of the partners settled a case today which was going to trial in two weeks. I've been working a lot on that case the last few weeks, so I can now focus on other things. The settlement was an excellent outcome for our client, so I am happy about it for that reason as well.

Today's post is #499. Gonna try to make the next one special. . . .