Monday, December 31, 2007

The End and The Beginning

Back from vacation in sunny FL, which was a study in contrasts. Relaxation and rancor. Reading and resentment.

Why is it that we chose the dead of winter as our time to look back? Wouldn't it be more appropriate in spring when everything is reborn? Or in the fall when our efforts come to fruition, to harvest?

But maybe, our forebears were not so far off. Maybe it is only now, when everything is still and quiet, turned in against the cold, can such reflection take place. Maybe, right now, in "the dark, sacred night" is when we can turn to each other and commit ourselves, again.

I never dreamed that marriage would be a rededication each day. Will you stay? And again, as the day before and the day before that, I say yes.

I was afraid to say the words out loud because they can never be unsaid. But tonight, I told John Dear what he needed to hear. That I'm sad. And scared. And I don't know that we should even be discussing trying to bring a child into the world when we may not stay together.

So, we talked. And we cried. And talked some more. And we've committed ourselves to one another, again.

This year will start for us with eyes open and with hope.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Positive Thoughts

Hi y'all! I'm in a much better mood today. Hooray! John Dear and I are having an on-going discussion of a magical power. John Dear's requested power is the power to kill without consequences (we had just gone through a horrendous commute and dealt with idiocy at the pharmacy). He would like death to be the default, so that you have to show him an affirmative reason why he should not kill you. For example, most politicians would not be able to give JD a good reason, so they would be killed.

I like that power, but think that resurrection capability should be standard, because everybody makes mistakes. JD thinks that the power doesn't work that way, but I told him that I'm making this power up, so now it does work that way. And I've read way more Harry Potter so I know how this works. Accio Christmas cookies!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Hall of Whining

What follows is a list of things I currently want to whine about. Take it with a grain (or an entire shaker) of salt.

  • My throat hurts.
  • Someone is burning a gingerbread candle that used to smell good, but now makes the whole office smell like old and used-up car deodorizer.
  • Everyone on the IF blogs is pregnant or has children. Oh, except for me, that is. How does that work exactly? (It's not that I don't enjoy and love reading these women's (and some men's) blogs, and I am truly overjoyed that those announcing pregnancies are getting their wishes, but jeez).
  • John Dear is a bum*. He says that he loves me, but really he just wants a nurse/mother/servant. Those last statements were really not contradicted by him in counselling yesterday. This confirms his bum-osity.
  • JD had a "fall" in physical therapy today and so, did not go into work. Because he is an irresponsible bum, he does not have contact information for any co-workers and so could not tell anyone that he would not be showing up at work today. As I expressed in counselling yesterday, I am worried that he will be fired. Yet AGAIN.
  • Did OPK, which turned up negative. Basically expected. But really, what's the point? It's not like JD is likely to "complete the transaction" anyways.
  • I have too many things to do!!!
  • TiVo won't let me watch any of the premium channels we pay for. I need to call them up and fix this, but don't have time. (Oh, if you've gotten this far and know anything about TiVo and have hints, please let me know.)
  • Whaa, waaa, waa. Nyah. Bleaaa.

*By "bum" I do not mean the common definition of a homeless idler, but instead refer to the biggest insult among my brother, sister and I when we were little. As in, "Jendeis is reading MY magazine! She's a bum!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Last to Know

Have you ever wanted to know what exactly is that green drink that they call Superfood? (Dmarie has been making it herself this past month). Just me who wants to know? Well, I'm telling anyways, because I just found out on a blog that I was reading for What Works for Me Wednesday (which you should really check out if you haven't yet).

Smooth and sweet, this gushing garden gulp is a blend of sweet apple juice and luscious purees of peach, mango, strawberry and banana, expertly blended with green foods including wheat grass, barley grass and wheat sprouts, plus other great stuff.


You know, that actually doesn't sound horrible. It might even sound, gulp, good. So, here's to Superfood (aka Green Crap)! You learn something new every day!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Seven Things

I have just been tagged by Carolyn (who should know that I could and would never, ever hate her) at Juggling Frogs to list seven random/unusual things about myself, and then force torture urge respectfully request seven others to write about themselves.

1. My current favorite bagel flavor is Everything (probably because I've been craving salt).

2. For Hanukkah, I got my father a black kipah with the 24 logo on it.

3. I took off work yesterday afternoon in order to run errands (pick up laundry, dry cleaning, make bed). I am so lame.

4. My immediate (or a little bit bigger, say "intermediate") family (some of whom are yet to be mentioned in my blog): John Dear, The Boy, Mom, Dad, Brother, The Princess (Brother's wife), Elle (my sister), Gramie, FIL, MIL, SIL, SIL's husband, SIL's kids, Fairy Godmother, BFF.

5. I know all the words to the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" theme song.

6. My hair is currently blonde, brown, and reddish.

7. My order at Starbucks: either a Grandé Skim Hot Chocolate w/ Whip, or a Grandé Chai Tea Latté. (But now I've discovered the Grandé Egg Nog Latté, which is awesome!)

List of Victims Loving Friends Tagged
Mel, Jen, Dmarie, Kristen, Hoping For a Child, Geohde, and Laura

Friday, December 7, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear?

As a singer and a non-Christian, I feel it's my duty to discuss the state of Christmas music this holiday season. There are some Christmas carols and songs that are the most beautiful music in the world. Others...not so much.

Here are my favorites:

O Magnum Mysterium
-Because everything sounds better in Latin. Also, each voice part has its own separate melody, it's not just 3 voices accompanying the sopranos.

O Holy Night
-I first heard this song in Home Alone and immediately loved it. It's a carol that I hear rarely and have always wondered why this is?

Winter Wonderland
-Not technically a Christmas song, but you only hear it from September - Christmas (you know, the holiday season).

Here are songs that I truly dislike, and want to stick a fork in my brain and swirl it around when I hear it in the mall:

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time
-Much like the song that never ends, it gets in your head and stays there. UGH!

Do You Hear What I Hear?
-No, obviously, cause you think that this is something I should be subjected to.

The Little Drummer Boy
-May have to be moved out of this category as Peter from Family Guy changed it to: "I have these gifts for thee, they're up in my bum."



What songs do you give a thumbs up/thumbs down to?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Seasonal Migration of Babies

Did you know that babies migrate with the seasons? Yes, much like Canadian geese and Monarch butterflies, babies pop up wherever I am with increasing frequency and to my utter confusion and frustration.

To wit, the DMV. The freakin' DMV? Are these infants getting driver's licenses or something? I mean, here I am, just trying to renew my husband's registration stickers because he is irresponsible and can't/won't do it himself (love that man o' mine), the one place that I figure will be baby-free and it's completely overtaken by babies! AAAHHH!

I've also figured out another reason why I should never go to the mall during the holiday season. Baby Stampede! Babies here, babies there, babies flippin' everywhere! Do you really need to bring your baby with you to Restoration Hardware? Is their opinion that important at Sephora? Why, in holy hell are people who take their babies into Victoria's Secret able to reproduce and not I?

This rant encouraged and brought to you by John Dear who reminded me to post it last night (so you can blame him).

Oh My God, My God

It's started again. As Winston Churchill put it, "the black dog." Borderline manic depression. I was pretty high this afternoon (emotionally, folks, calm down on that front); now I'm back in the pits.

Exhausted after a long day. But it doesn't stop there; if I become too exhausted, I start becoming depressed and feeling alone. The fact that John Dear has been asleep in the bedroom for an hour or more (without the CPAP and snoring to beat the band) sure doesn't help me feel that he's in sync to my feelings.

The posting helps though. Somehow, it's as if trying to straighten out my thoughts enough to put them down on "paper" calms me down, stops the pendulum from swinging.

My therapist thinks that this isn't the start of another cycle of mood swings, anyways. She tells me that this is milder -- a reaction to the stress of taking care of John Dear post-surgery. Maybe it is, but I still feel like I've been sucker-punched.

Must go to take The Boy for his last walk of the day. Usually, the night air and a C-SPAN podcast helps me to relax enough to go to sleep. I need the sleep, but more than that, I just really need to relax.

We received a large tax refund and I decided pretty much single-handedly that we will use that money to go with BFF on a nice vacation this summer. Maybe a cruise around the Greek Isles. Sure, I'm extremely prone to seasickness, but time with JD and BFF should be wonderful and a great thing to look forward to.

P.S. Speaking of nausea, "mal de mer" is so much more classy than "seasickness", don't you think?

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Single Step

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I think we are at mile marker 10, maybe 8, not sure. The important thing is that it be an even number. That's because I'm crazy and think that even numbers are good luck. How did I know that I'd do well on the bar? Because my seat number was even. Course, I can't remember it now, but I think there was a six and an eight, maybe two sixes and two eights? Anyways, it was even. (I do know that it was NOT Apple Orchard Banana Cat Dance 8663. If you don't know where that was from, please find out!)

All right crazy lady, let's get back to the story... The step that I took was in contacting a fertility clinic and asking for an appointment. The patient coordinator called today and we set up a consultation for January 4. AHA!! Also, an even number! Totally without thinking! I am awesome. Or crazy. Am I awesomely crazy or crazily awesome? Am I, in fact, both?

SO, we've got us an appointment at Generic Fertility Clinic (GFC). Jendeis, how did you pick GFC amongst the other FC's in your area? Well, my friends, picking an FC is complicated, involving algorithms, multiple analyses and so forth. That's why I basically picked GFC from almost-randomness. The choice was saved from utter randomosity by being the clinic who employs the husband of a woman who's a friend of a woman that I know "from February of last year..." Plus, I found out that a bunch of the DC Metro Stirrup Queens go there, so I was all for it. Now, after speaking to their wonderfully nice patient coordinator, I'm glad that I chose GFC.

Let's hope that GFC will help John Dear and I make 2008 the Année du Bébé (another even number, awesome!)

Creme de la Creme 2007

Attention my brother and sister IF bloggers: as I got the notice from Jen, so I spread the notice to you:

One of our fearless leaders, Mel, is putting together the Creme de la Creme list for 2007. This is a list of self-nominated best IF posts for this year. You can find out all about it (and how to contribute) by clicking on the button.

Creme

Friday, November 30, 2007

Cycle Day 1

Caution: Repressed anger being released ahead.



Cycle Day 1. Again. Not there was much hope for it, but come on, "throw me a frickin' bone!"

Cramps, backaches, and the need to eat my way out of the office. Plus, it seems to me that every IF blog that I've started reading gets a BFP within 3 weeks. Am I good luck to other people, but bad luck to myself?

SIL has been sending me "helpful" emails about using herbs to non-medically induce ovulation. Umm, thanks SIL. Not our problem here. I appreciate that she's trying to help, but I just want to jump up and down, screaming.

She doesn't know our specific problem because John Dear asked me not to discuss IF with anyone IRL (except doctors and therapists). So, I'm being a good, little* wifey and respecting the wishes of my DH. I sent her an email (after consulting with JD about it) that said thank you for the help, but we're not discussing it at this time.

Course, it's not like it's her business anyways, but what is it about me that makes her think that this is a problem with me? Is she completely unaware of all the freakin' medical issues that she and her brother have due to their genetics? Why doesn't she realize that this is not my fault?

I know, I know, it's not JD's fault either. It's not like he wished for this to happen to him.

And of course, JD totally doesn't get how upset I am, or why I'm upset at all about this, or about IF in general. He's just totally nonchalant, noncommittal and just non about the whole thing. I mean, JD is a pretty laid-back guy anyways to the point of slothfulness, but at least do something, anything on this. Why is it always me who has to do everything? And he's like, well, what can I do to alleviate your stress? I suggested about a million things and he can't do any of it because he still can't walk from the surgery and is too lazy to do anything in the wheelchair. So, um, forget alleviating the stress, how 'bout alleviating my f--king sadness and be interested in this and read articles or books and investigate clinics and make appointments? Or just learn how to fertilize, damnit!!

I'm not a drinking woman, generally, but I'm bellying up to the bar tonight. And we are eating out tonight. No cooking. And I'm going to eat chocolate. F--kers. (Not sure who that refers to, but I heard it in my head, so I'm typing it).

*The "little" is entirely figurative as I am feeling like one of those ballerina hippos in Fantasia at the moment.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

This year I am thankful for so many things. Here's a sampling:
  1. We're celebrating Thanksgiving with my family this year. (John Dear and I alternate years). Hooray! No ulcer/heartburn-inducing tantrums from the members of JD's family!
  2. I've met so many wonderful people online this year, including you!
  3. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach
  4. All of my loved ones (friends and family)
  5. Discovery Home and HGTV

Hope that everyone out there has a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Spotlight on Jendeis

Jendeis is one of the many women of her generation who blog. Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess recently sat down with Jendeis to talk with her about life, love and this recent blogging phenomenon.

A: For all of the newbies to your blog, Sell Crazy Someplace Else, could you please share with us a bit about Jendeis?

J: (demure smile) Of course. I'm a lawyer and art historian by training, and a crazy person by birth. I work at my job. I'm married to my DH, John Dear. We have a dog, The Boy.

A: Interesting. What little known fact about you might surprise some of your readers?

J: Well, um (hesitant). At this point, I'm not sure that my readers would be surprised by anything that I come up with, but, OH! How 'bout this? I once won a team scavenger hunt in college by carting around a toilet in my car.

A: Um -- yeah. Anyways. Chocolate or vanilla?

J: Oh, definitely vanilla.

A: I see from your blog that you are a fan of FlyLady. What are your favorite pieces of advice from her site?

J: Let's see... What's been very useful to me has been FlyLady's urging to use a timer during cleaning and organizing. When the timer goes off, I'm done! I also repeat one of her mantras, "just 15 minutes!" all the time to encourage myself and John Dear to accomplish necessary tasks. Finally, I've really been working on laying out my clothes and work bag at night so I'm all ready to go in the mornings.

A: Yes, I see how that would be helpful. Let's say you are going to be stranded with your family on a deserted island for 90 days. What 3 things would you take with you and why?

J: Hmm, that's an interesting question. The addition of my family (I'm considering that to be just me, JD and The Boy) changes my answer. I would bring food for 90 days, a solar-powered laptop with Internet for JD and one of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books for me.

A: Oh, the laptop is a great idea! Thanks Jendeis for your participation in this interview process.

J: Thank you.



Now, it's your turn. If you would like to be interviewed, please leave me a comment that includes the words, "interview me." I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. If you don't have a valid email address available on your blog, please provide one.

You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Water, Water Everywhere

...and plenty that we should drink!


Just wanted to post today about the importance of drinking water every day, especially during this Get Healthy Challenge. Most people should aim for six to eight 8-oz. cups of water every day.

I've often thought that many people who overeat (including myself as the chieftain), are unable to tell the difference between hunger and thirst. Many times when you think that you are hungry, it is really just your body screaming for liquids! So, next time that you think you need an extra snack, try a cup of water instead. It may just be the answer for you!

This post is brought to you by the glass of water that I'm drinking right now! I was so thirsty, I can actually feel the water being absorbed!
**T-shirt by Ian Stevenson; found through Google**

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Get Healthy - Update

Well, I'm doing OK with #3 - Exercise. I've been walking at least 30 minutes every day. Haven't done Yourself Fitness yet though.

I'm not so hot on my commitment to write down everything I eat. Started out great on that, then stopped.

The Weight Watchers meeting that I plan to go to is tomorrow at lunch, so I'm making myself go to that. I am not doing well on the Flex plan (counting points), so I'm thinking I should switch over to the Core plan.

I just don't know if I can stay with anything and that sucks. I'm sick of making false commitments. I get really motivated and then don't follow through. I guess I just need to wake up every morning and renew the commitment and just follow it every day, one day at a time. I've been so overwhelmed with caring for John Dear and The Boy; I need to start caring for myself first.

Still Standing

Still here, just don't have a lot to say. John Dear was able to see his therapist last night for the first time since surgery. Thank goodness. I'm going to see mine in a half hour, which should help kick me out of the funk I'm in.

The funk may be due to lack of sleep caused (again) by John Dear waking me up with his snoring and peeing (in a urinal, b/c he can't get out of bed in the middle of the night) and flipping around like one of the Wallendas on speed. If he's in so much pain with the aftereffects of the surgery during the day, how can he move around like a human pretzel when asleep?

In other news, trouble causes problems....

Any possible analysis of my BBTs is now completely beyond me. The first month or two I had textbook charts. Last month, it was all over the place. This month, I show a huge drop and rise, but it's a week before I was supposed to ovulate. We managed to BD during this time, just in case. Any answers?

Monday, November 12, 2007

30-Day Get Healthy Challenge

As you will see from the cool new button on the right, I am participating in Dmarie's new challenge to get healthy. For the next 30 days, I'm committing to 3 tasks.

  1. Attending a Weight Watchers meeting once a week.
  2. Writing down everything I eat.
  3. Exercise: 30 minute walk every day; exercise with Yourself Fitness 3 x a week.

The challenge starts today and I'm motivated! The great thing about this challenge is that at the end of it is my company's holiday party and then John Dear's company's holiday party. I'm hoping that the good habits of the month will have sunk in enough so that I don't blow everything at the parties and during the holidays.

It's not too late for you to join too! For more information, please click on the button above or on my sidebar.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Am The Greatest Aunt Ever


Guess what I got JD's nephew for his birthday?

Did ya guess a date-rape-drug lollipop? That's right, folks!

Luckily, JD's surgery has prevented us from seeing said nephew and we haven't been able to give him his birthday gift yet.
**Anyone who has Aqua Dots should remove them from children and go to the Spin Master website for exchange info.**

Round, Round, Get Around

I've been meaning to post about how John Dear is getting around for awhile, but didn't get "A Round Tuit" until now.

JD's surgery requires that he cannot put any weight on his right foot for six weeks. Count 'em up, six. Tha's a lotta weeks! So, JD gets around mostly by wheelchair (lovingly donated by a family friend) and by crutches. Actually, he moves around mostly by dint of sheer will. It takes a heckuva lotta strength to move yourself around in a wheelchair or crutch to the bathroom while preventing your right foot from taking any weight or hitting any obstacle.
MIL and I have been sharing carpool duties getting JD to and from work (G-D bless MIL for doing this). In case you couldn't guess, JD can't drive because it's his gas pedal/brake foot that's involved here. So, one of us drives him in and the other picks him up. This is done by him leaping/hopping/rising on one foot and twirling around and falling from chair into the backseat of the car, handing over pillows and backpack to him, then wheeling chair to trunk, folding it up and (wo-)man-handling it into the car.

It's been doable, but it can be rough with all the things JD cannot do. Like, get himself a glass of water, or use the sink for brushing teeth, washing hands (we use alcohol-lotion), shaving and anything else you would do whilst standing. We are managing, though.

Can't wait for him to get out of that chair and back to walking. I'm sure that he's ready to do that too. Once the doctor pronounces him OK (2.5 weeks to go!), JD will start physical therapy. I am prepared for all sorts of unexpected fun with that. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

For My Mishpochah

An Open Letter to Those Who Are Unaware:

Dear Gentle Reader,

This letter is to inform you that

NOT EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE FREAKIN' WORLD IS CHRISTIAN!!!
NOT EVERYONE CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS!!!
SO STOP SHOVING IT DOWN OUR THROATS ALL G.D. YEAR LONG AND FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!
IT'S NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET, FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!

Thank you,
a Soldier in the War on Christmas

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Excuse me while I bang my head against the wall

The weather outside is gloomy, so I'm probably just sponging that up, but I feel down. Just blah. My cheeks and lower eyelids feel like they are sinking, and I keep putting my hand on my face to check that they are still there. Man, I am insane.

I am so tired.

I am not getting anything done at work. Wondering if I'll be more productive at home. (Well, it's a thought).

Can't go home yet, because I have to assemble material together for a guy at work who's traveling, like I'm a G.D. secretary. Not like I'm doing anything useful anyways.

Excuse the malaise, I just need a cuppa tea.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"Living is good and dying, not as good"

My pants are a little tight, but I'm having a good hair day (thank you Frederick Fekkai straightening balm and my ridiculously expensive ionic hairdryer).

My shoe fell off in the bathroom at work (ew!) while yanking up said pants, but I was wearing socks, so will not get cooties.

John Dear and I had a fight this morning, in which I employed the oh, so articulate and well-reasoned comeback "F**k you!!!" But we made up via email and we're doing good now.

I ate some candy from the jar at our lunch place, but also ate a fruit cup at lunch.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Late Edition

I apologize for getting this up so late, but it's taken me this long to think up a menu plan. We are still using a few dinners from my last Dream Dinners appointment. I'm also trying to use up stuff in the pantry and freezer.

Monday: Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia with Sweet & Sour Sauce (Dream Dinners)
Tuesday: Raid-the-Fridge Nite
Wednesday: Moroccan Chicken and Pumpkin (Dream Dinners)
Thursday: Whole-Wheat Pasta w/ Meatballs
Friday: Salmon w/ brown rice and Asian stir-fry veggies
For menu plan ideas every Monday, visit the New and Improved Org Junkie site!

Hi, we're in Delaware

This weekend, JD and I went to the wedding of a law school friend of mine. It turned out to be a great reunion of my law school chums and we had such a good time dancing and catching up! Even JD joined in the dancing with his wheelchair!

Some highlights:

  • When the rabbi announced, "by the power vested in me by the State of Delaware," all of us giggled and whispered, "Dela-where?"
  • All the law school gals got our groove on to "Hot in Herre" by Nelly - a song that we've danced to at each of our weddings together.
  • JD and I did swing dancing in a corner of the room so there would be room for his wheelchair to spin around and the photographer took a bunch of pics of us!
  • The groom's sister put together a really sweet PowerPoint presentation of the bride and groom growing up and their years of dating.
  • Seeing the bride and groom so happy and kissing endlessly.
We definitely needed this fun. The trip was 99% good, only marred by a small spat between us on Sunday morning, but was easily made up. I don't like to do this, but I think JD needs reminding every so often that his current disability is hard on me as well as on himself. His acknowledgement of the situation helps me to stay cool and hold my temper.

We got home around 3 PM yesterday and I slept for 3 hours. It was wonderful!! I had set out a dinner to defrost and marinate in the fridge while we were away, so we had a nice home-cooked meal Sunday night. Yay - no spending of money! The meal was Chicken with Honey, Garlic and Orange Sauce and I made a side of green beans and mac'n'cheese. Overall, a really nice weekend.

How was yours?

Friday, November 2, 2007

We Closed - Go Eat Vegetables! - ***UPDATED***

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thanks to everyone who participated in my giveaway!! Comments are now closed. I will post an update with the winner, once the random generator selects one. Good luck!!

For more chances at the Fall Y'all carnival and giveaways every day, go to Bloggy Giveaways!
**UPDATED** -- Many congratulations to On Fire for Jesus!! She is the winner of a $25 gift certificate to iTunes! I will be emailing this lucky woman to collect her prize. Thanks again for participating, and good luck in the other giveaways.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Pits of Despair

I'm writing because I have to put these feelings somewhere. If I don't, I'm afraid that I'll just drown in this poison of rage and depression that I'm feeling right now. My friend told me this morning that I'm a ticking time-bomb and that if I don't do something about this, that I'm going to explode.

I'm so enraged that it has just burned over into a depression. I want to scream, but if I start, I'm worried that I won't be able to stop. I want to run and cry and hit things and throw things. I just want to lay down and hide.

I am alone.

My husband is a child who never grew up; never learned the skills that are necessary as an adult. Like the fact that one must go to work and not just skip out early or refuse to go because you are tired or don't feel like it. This has been a problem with all of the jobs that JD has had since the time that I met him. He blames everything on everyone else -- they were mean to me, or they don't like me or understand me. TFB!!! Man up and go to your job!

How can we have children when there is only one adult in this marriage? I'm lost and I don't know what to do. I love JD. I know that. But I have nothing left. He is so self-centered -- everything is about him. I know now that it will never "be my time." I thought that we'd just get him over this hump and we'd get a break, but no. I'm expected to completely sublimate myself. I just want to run away. We are supposed to travel to a wedding this weekend. Will JD even go now? I do want him to be there with me.

I'm going to see my therapist tomorrow evening for our regular appointment. Hopefully, she and I can come up with some options.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Well, after several weeks of not participating, I'm finally back! This week's worth of dinners is made up of meals that I made from the October menu at Dream Dinners. Dream Dinners is a meal assembly store, and I've found the meals to be healthy, DELICIOUS, inexpensive and very, very time-saving.

Monday: Herb Roasted Flank Steak
Tuesday: Peanut-Crusted Fish Fillet (leftover from Sunday)
Wednesday: Chicken with Sweet Ginger and Apples
Thursday: Moroccan Chicken with Pumpkin
Friday: Leftovers!!
For more meal ideas, go to Laura's new and improved blog!

Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway



Hooray!! It's time for Jendeis' first giveaway contest! For Shannon's Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway, I'll be giving away a $25 gift certificate to iTunes. Just think of how many great songs or audiobooks you can download to your iPod!

In order to participate, please post a comment below before Friday, November 2nd at 10 AM EST. I'll select a winner and post your name on a new post as well as on the Bloggy Giveaways page for this carnival.

**Bloggers and non-bloggers can participate in my giveaway. Just make sure that your email address is available to me, so I can contact you if you win!**
Go to Bloggy Giveaways all this week to participate in even more contests!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The World of Infertility

Infertility is a very common problem, but most couples believe that they are alone in their struggles. I've recently found a large community in the blogosphere and feel comforted knowing that they are there.
I've met some wonderful women through their blogs discussing infertility. A few women got together to demonstrate their common bond to each other. That's where the pomegranate thread bracelets come in. You can find out more about Infertility's Common Thread at Melissa's blog. Many thanks to Dmarie at Bella Vida for her offer of free bracelets. I got mine today and will start wearing it as soon as I can tie it on.

I also just finished a good book for those just discovering their infertility. The Infertility Survival Handbook by Elizabeth Swire Falker covers in a conversational but still educational tone all of the tests, procedures and FAQs that couples encounter when they need technology to help them conceive. There is also a website that gives more information.

The Business of Being Born


The weekend before JD went into surgery, we were able to see a sneak preview of The Business of Being Born. This movie was conceived of (no pun intended) and produced by Ricki Lake. The movie discusses the many problems that surround birth in hospitals and advocates for midwives, natural childbirth, and homebirth.

I found the movie incredibly interesting, but was glad that I did not come to the movie completely uninformed. I find that this movie is not for the person who knows nothing about homebirth, because it doesn't cover the negative and positive aspects of homebirth vs. hospital birth adequately (though it does try). If you are interested in homebirth, my advice is to read Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. This book covers (in detail) the pros and cons of many different approaches to birth.

My History
Because my mother used natural childbirth for all three of her children, I come to this table as a believer in natural childbirth. MIL had both babies by C-section (one after many hours of labor, and JD's was scheduled). Also, SIL (JD's sister) had her oldest at a birthing center (not a hospital), but she and her husband chose a homebirth for their second baby. SIL is a great advocate of homebirth.


After speaking many times with my mother, MIL and SIL and doing a lot of research on my part, I am convinced that, if I am able to do so, I would like to give birth at home with a midwife. I was already of that mindset when I saw the movie, and the movie reinforced my thoughts on the subject.

John Dear was very skeptical about the idea of a homebirth, but after lots of discussions with him of my research and after seeing the movie, he is willing to go along with me.


For more information on the movie, please visit The Business of Being Born. Pictures courtesy of the website.

Friday, October 26, 2007

24 - Day 7 Preview

The preview for the newest season (Day 7) of 24 ran during the seventh inning of the World Series game. It is a must-see. Check out who we're fighting this year!

Both JD's family and mine have become 24 fanatics, but my brother and I have been watching right from the beginning. Here's hoping that this season will be better than last year's. One of the problems with the later seasons of 24 is that they really moved away from verisimilitude. In Day 1, I think the writers tried to have a realistic sense of what could happen in only one day. By Day 6 (hell, by Day 2), not so much. Let's see Jack eat or walk into a bathroom in Day 7!!

Also, I'm interested to see how they screw up locations and traffic times in the DC area, since the show will be set in the good ol' District of Columbia. Our traffic is better than LA's, but not by much.

Many thanks to Margalit for posting the link to the preview up on her blog.

G-D Bless Everyone

Even though they may never see this post, I want to send my heartfelt thanks to them out to the universe:

John Dear's doctors and nurses at the hospital who, despite bureaucratic screw ups and a cranky patient, tried to make the experience of JD's surgery as painless (for me and for JD) as possible.

The nurses at our local ER who took a screaming-in-pain John Dear at 4:30 AM back to a doctor before a man with a stab wound (the wound had been stabilized).

The orthopedic resident at the ER who cut open JD's bandages and assured the both of us that JD was healing well and that the pain was not from surgery, but instead, from gout.

Each and every member of our families, for sitting with JD, laundry duties, tons of dinners for the fridge and moral support. I would have had a nervous breakdown without you!!

Finally, to all the friends who sent good wishes our way -- we appreciate your thoughts and crossed fingers.

Am I in Guantanamo?

When a loved one has outpatient surgery and you are the primary caregiver, sleep is a precious jewel. Sleep is a precious jewel that you don't have and have only heard about from people who don't have a loved one keeping them up at night like some sort of secret police investigator interrogating a terrorist.

That is one of the things they do to torture people, you know? Sleep deprivation? Learn it, live it, hate it and anyone who prevents you from sleeping.

John Dear's pain has now stabilized and he is much more aware of how often he requests a fluffed pillow, more water, help to the bathroom, etc. But last week? Well, he's lucky he got through last week, because I almost killed him (and everyone else).

It's not that JD was impolite in his requests, more that they came so often that I didn't have a second to sit down. We both questioned how we could possibly raise children when I clearly cannot function without a full night's sleep. Plus, I was an enormous "not-good person" (rhymes with witch).

Now that I've had several full nights of sleep, I am back to my usual polished-halo self.

The Surgery - Part III

Want to read the beginning of this chronicle? Start with Part I.
Want to read about the experience of the un-anesthetized? Read Part II.
Want to read about getting JD out of recovery and into the car? Keep reading.

So, John Dear has come out of surgery and is in Phase I of recovery. As far as I can tell, it means he's still asleep from the anesthesia or from a post-surgery shot of morphine. The family is not allowed to see the patient until Phase II (sitting up, awake, able to eat and drink). Once in Phase II and the patient's pain has stabilized to a manageable level, the patient can go home. The hospital's estimate of recovery was about one hour.

Is that how long my darling spent in recovery? Nope!! Because hospitals are stupid and not willing to listen to anyone but a drugged-up, agreeable-due-to-drugs patient (not the mother and wife who actually know the guy's medical history), John Dear was in recovery for six hours! Recovery comprised of JD's sensitivity to morphine, 2 full courses of morphine given, sats (that is, the amount of oxygen in the blood) dropping, no stabilization of pain because the nerve block had worn off, AND AFTER THEY HAD PROMISED TO DO SO, NO CPAP!!!!! In the words of my 7-year old and present self, "They are all BUMS."

Eventually, we got JD's pain stabilized and were able to get him out to the car (in a wheelchair), although the nurses almost forgot to discharge him. In fact, they would not have given us discharge instructions had his mother not asked for them. And me, his wife, who was going to be staying with him, was told to get the car and was not given instructions!!!! Again, BUMS!!!!

**Please forgive the complete overkill of exclamation points in this post.**

The Surgery - Part II

If you want to know specifics about John Dear's foot surgery, please see Part I. This part will focus on the experiences of the un-anesthetized during the surgery.

Hospitals are stupid. Not the nurses, not the aides and assistants, not the doctors -- no, they are not stupid people. Most of the people you meet who work in a hospital are some of the kindest, most charitable and certainly intelligent people you could hope to meet. But, hospitals? Yeah, they're idiotic, bird-brained, myopic and needlessly rigid. To paraphrase some great campaign managers, "It's the bureaucracy -- stupid."

After checking in with the surgical waiting room prior to surgery, John Dear was wheeled to a back room where the nurses could get him ready for surgery and ask personal questions. (Not for themselves, it's for HIPAA). Once they are done with the questions and taking vitals, about 15 minutes, the family is allowed to go back and see the patient and they all meet with the surgeon and anesthesiologist together to discuss the surgery and answer any questions.

Did that happen in our case? No. Instead, JD was wheeled back there and was back there for 1.5 hours!! With no books, no wife, no mother. And we have no idea what's going on. This was JD's first experience with surgery and general anesthesia -- he was nervous. I was nervous!!! We all wanted to speak with the doctors.

The aide running the waiting room did all she could, which was admittedly, little. She's not allowed to escort you back until they are done with the questions. When we talked to her, she said that JD was speaking with the doctors and that we could back after that. "But we want to speak to the doctors!!" No can do.

After speaking to the nursing supervisor, we finally got to see John Dear, who was very mellow. ("I think they had given him Valium, cause I've never seen him so calm," his mother said). Three seconds later, the nurses come to take him to surgery. JD's mother got mad on our behalf, saying that we wanted to be there with him or give him a book or something and this wasn't right. (This is why I wanted his mother to be there; she is a very good medical advocate.)

The chief anesthesiologist showed up and after informing him about JD's sleep apnea, said that they would use JD's CPAP (breathing machine for sleep apnea) during the recovery period. See, JD never told him about that stuff, that's why we needed to be in there!!!!!

The surgery took about 2.5 hours, after which the surgeon came back to speak with JD's mom and me. He stayed with us for about 15 minutes -- telling us about the surgery, how well it went and exactly what they did, answering all of our questions. (Love him.)

So all that was left was for JD to move from Phase I of recovery to Phase II and then getting him home before the nerve block on his foot wore off. Did that happen? Read on in The Surgery - Part III.

The Surgery - Part I

On Wednesday last, John Dear had a triple arthrodesis of his right foot and ankle. This surgery was to correct JD's very, very, very, very flat feet.


Here's what happened to John Dear:
  1. The doctors cut an incision on the right side and left side of his foot, using the incisions to scrape out the cartilage.

  2. They broke JD's right foot and ankle in three places.

  3. They realigned his foot (which points inward as opposed to straight ahead) so that it was in line with his ankle (which does point straight ahead).

  4. They drilled 4 screws into the bones to hold it all together. As opposed to the picture here, the fourth screw in JD's foot was inserted into the bottom of his heel, going straight up.

  5. They removed bone marrow from JD's pelvis and mixed it with artificial bone, then ground it into a paste.

  6. They spread the paste all over the little cracks and holes of the screwed-together bones, so that they can grow together into one Super Bone!

  7. Finally, the doctors sewed up the incisions with dissolving sutures and covered the whole thing with cotton batting and an enormous sticky Ace bandage.
**At some point of the surgery, someone drew a smiley face on the bottom of John Dear's toe. I can only imagine that this was to mark which foot to operate on. People keep asking me if I did it, and I'm like "no, I would've written something obscene." Like my title says, we got crazy here.**

So Much to Say

Musical interlude: "So Much to Say" by Dave Matthews Band

I have lots to say after a week-long hiatus due to John Dear's foot surgery. You should see posts-a-plenty in the coming hours as I completely neglect work and write about everything that's happened in the last few days.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Please take a stroll around the web today to read the wonderful posts about saving our planet and going green.

For Example

  • Margalit writes an extremely interesting essay about sustainable seafood.
  • Amy has a great post about going green without breaking the bank.
  • Tons of helpful information from the authors of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle at their website. (Plus, it's a wonderful book -- please read or listen to the audio version).
  • How I go green? Running dishwasher and laundry only when full; refrain from using disposable cups; using cloth bags at the supermarket, just to name a few.
  • For more posts, you can go to the Blog Action Day headquarters.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It All Comes Tumbling Down

The mail -- all I wanted to do was to pick up the mail. JD is always chastising me for not paying his bills on time, so I just wanted to pick up the mail.

But no, John Dear needed to go to the bathroom, so he asked if we could get the mail after coming home from our afternoon outing, not this morning's outing. I said yes, but thought aloud that if he had his keys, he could just go up himself. And I could get the mail.

JD fished his keys out, but let go of the wheelchair and it went wheeling away with him in it while he got his keys. Then, he started lagging behind me. I asked what was wrong, and he said, "you try to walk with keys held between your toes and see how fast you go."

So, I took the keys from him and we went in the building and pushed the button for the elevator. He said, "where are you going?" "Upstairs," I replied. "No, you're not," he said angrily. So I went to get the mail while he went upstairs to our apartment.

After getting the mail (1 plea for donations from the Humane Society, no bills), I got upstairs to find JD halfway down the hall slowly making his way to our apartment. When he got to our front door, I called out, "I'm here." He said, not really sotto voce, "Go away."

I reached out to hold the front door open and he yelled at me that he was using the door to help pull himself over the threshold. When I replied that I had been afraid that he would squeeze his fingers between the door and the jamb, he said that that was what was happening now that I had interfered. After struggling for a little, he said, "just push me in, OK?" I said that I was sorry, but of course, that makes no difference now.

So I did and he's not talking to me and not looking at me. When I inquired if I could help him with anything or get him anything or if he just wanted to be alone, he said, "just leave me alone."

So now I'm on my laptop in the living room, and he's on his computer in his cave, and we were supposed to meet his parents and nephews for lunch, but who knows when that will be or if he will even go now because he's so mad.

Why didn't I just forget about the mail and just go upstairs?

Friday, October 12, 2007

TTC + U2

For you music lovers out there, here's what going through my head.


OV - U - LATION!

Woo hoo!

Woo ooh hoo!

Woo hoo!

Woo ooh hoo!
My BBT was way down today, so I'm definitely ovulating. I'm determined not to stress about this, as we definitely have other options, but it sure would be nice to get pregnant in the natural way.
Photo from Photoshop Nerds.

In Need of Seed - Part II

To read the beginning of this epic, aka Part I, click here.

I started looking at the websites of different fertility clinics in our area. One of them has a kind of Ask-the-Expert widget set up, so you can email questions. I wrote in and asked whether they thought we should wait longer, or come in sooner. The doctor’s advice was that the year time frame was for couples with no known issues, and that since we have a known issue (John Dear's delayed ejaculation) we could get started now if we like.

Aside: Just found the credit card that I thought I had lost. Put it in my desk drawer so I wouldn’t lose it. Yes, if I had a brain, I’d be dangerous.

I should be ovulating in the next few days. So, we’ll keep on keepin’ on on that score. Of course, JD also has to stop his pain meds today so that he’s pain med-free by the time the surgery rolls around. Great idea - cause he's such a pleasure to deal with when he's in agonizing pain. And that should make a romantic interlude really do-able.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In Need of Seed - Part I

Realized that this post is rather long for any tolerant blog reader, so, at John Dear's suggestion, I am breaking it up into parts. Please thank John Dear for his practicality on this issue.

I've spent much of the afternoon not doing work. It seems that I am unable to focus enough to make a summary of the latest financial transaction for my business and I don't care when the next useless report will be due.

Baby issues on the brain. This afternoon has been spent reading blogs by women dealing with infertility. Are John Dear and I dealing with infertility? Not sure. We've been trying since May with no good news. They say that the average couple should try for a year before seeking help. Well, we're not average, I'm fabulous!! (JD is great, but as we saw in the Thunderpollen discussion, he's a complete dork. Yes, I'm a dorkaphile.)

To be serious for a tick, John Dear has ejaculatory inhibition. Meaning that his work very rarely gets done, if you catch my drift. Women not TTC may think it is wonderful because the man can go as long as the woman has stamina. But trust me, after awhile, it's tiring and physically irritating.

So, here I am, trying to exercise and eat right and get plenty of rest, taking my stupid temperature every morning, taking a prescribed prenatal vitamin for Christ's sake! It's not getting us anywhere. The two times that JD was able to pull the trigger when I was ovulating have not resulted in a BFP (big fat positive).

Aside: my footie stocking has slipped under my heel and it makes it extremely difficult to concentrate.

A Play in One-Act

As John Dear's surgery comes ever closer (T minus 6), he has begun to accompany me (in the wheelchair) on my nightly walk with The Boy. These walks give him much needed practice on maneuvering with the wheelchair, and as a positive side effect, will "develop The Guns." I've yet to point out to my dear husband that he has no guns [hulking biceps for you uninitiated] as yet, so it should really be "develop some/any guns".

Last night's walk was wonderful because the temperature in our area has finally gone down. Yes, Mother Nature woke up and realized that it was October, not August. JD mentioned the possibility of opening up the window in our bedroom for the night. What follows is our conversation:

JD: You know, it's so hot in the house, we could just open up the windows in the bedroom tonight and air it out.

Jendeis: Yes, that would be nice, but I'm afraid of pollen..."

JD: Hmm.

Jendeis (interrupting): ...and thunder from the storms that are supposed to come through.

JD: Yes, and thunderpollen. (pause) I think I've just found a new character for my video game.

Jendeis: I think I've found my next blog post!

WHO KNOWS WHAT EVIL LURKS IN NATURE'S DEN? THUNDERPOLLEN!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday, I'm In Love

Greetings from Boredom Central!! Trying to while away the hour or so left in my workday before I leave for an exhibition hockey game. GO CAPS!! Apologies for the trite post title, but I thought this one was better than writing "TGIF."

In the past couple of weeks, my depression has come back full force. Lots of malaise, crying episodes and just generally feeling not able to handle all the tasks in my life. After much urging by my Fairy Godmother (i.e., my therapist), I went to go see the psychiatrist who prescribes my drugs, since my Fairy Godmother is not an MD.

I was hesitant because I didn't want to have my dosage increased. I felt that I've got a lot weighing on me right now, and that my emotional responses are how anyone else would feel when confronted with these things. While my doctor agreed with me, she said that it was important to make a distinction. Feeling sad or angry as I do is a "normal" reaction, but feeling hopeless and overwhelmed to the point of being frozen is not. What an increase would do is help me to help myself, overcome these feelings of being incapable of dealing with the problems in my life.

Of course, she's right. After our appointment, I felt more positive and while researching an item for work, found my latest project, 101 Things in 1001 Days (see here). After only one day of the increased dosage, I find myself more productive at work and more accepting of the issues in my life.

I'm quite proud of the list, which took some thought to put together. I'm also excited to start working on many of the items. Some of them I've started already. For example, for #61, I want to take a picture of JD and myself at least once a month. To that end, I've brought my camera with me and will make sure that I take a picture of us attending the hockey game. Yay!

I had to beg and plead, but was finally able to get John Dear to take a look at my 101 in 1001 list. JD seems very energized about it, and immediately replied with comments and questions on items in the list in order to help me accomplish the tasks. I tried to explain to him that I have 2.75 years to finish the list, so we don't need to dial up the crazy just yet. But I'm glad that he is as excited about the list as I am.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

101 Things in 1001 Days

The following list is inspired by several that I have seen on the web these past few days. For more info, you can look at Day Zero.


Jendeis' 101 in 1001 Project


The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e., no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e., represent some amount of work on my part).

Start Date: September 27, 2007
End Date: June 24, 2010

HOME
1. Bring all wedding gifts from parents’ house to our house
2. Clean out room at parents’ house
3. Choose wedding pictures to have printed and to make parents’ albums
4. Keep fridge clear of impromptu experiments
5. Put together an “emergency” box (water, flashlights, etc.) for the house
6. Get a headboard for our bed
7. Paint bedroom
8. Use Mr. Clean Eraser on walls in house
9. Put together a Control Journal for the house
10. Assemble emergency kits for both cars
11. Write and properly execute wills
12. Spend 15 minutes (up to 1 hour) decluttering in each room of the house
13. Get VCR/DVD player fixed or get a new one
14. Apply Feng Shui rules to our house
15. Take an obedience class with The Boy, JD and me
16. Vacuum inside of car
17. Wash interior windows of car
18. Clean out JD’s car
19. Get an oil change in both cars
20. Put all CDs onto iTunes
21. Back up computer
22. Buy a china cabinet
23. Complete china service
24. Complete silverware service
25. Follow FlyLady’s mission of the month for one month
26. Find a white button-down shirt that fits well
27. Clean and organize 2nd bedroom
28. Have a baby
29. Make holiday gifts for all recipients (just once)
30. Volunteer at a community event
31. Spend 15 minutes on decluttering/house cleaning every day for a week

FOOD
32. Shop at a farmer’s market
33. Eat 4 different local vegetables while in season
34. Use Crock-Pot to cook at least once a week for one month
35. Roast a chicken
36. Make challah
37. Make matzah ball soup
38. Try a new recipe from each of the cookbooks I own
39. Pack breakfast, lunch & snack to work for one week

HEALTH
40. Lose 28 lbs (that’s 10%)
41. Reach 240 lbs.
42. Reach 220 lbs.
43. Reach 200 lbs.
44. Reach 180 lbs.
45. Reach 160 lbs.
46. Get eyes checked
47. Floss every day for a month
48. Exercise 30 minutes every day for one month
49. Take a yoga class
50. Go on a hike

SELF/SPIRITUAL
51. Bite back a nasty remark and replace with a loving remark
52. Read Kosher Sex by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
53. Find out rules for using a mikveh and go to one at proper time
54. Observe Pesach more by getting rid of chametz and cleaning kitchen completely
55. Instead of nagging, write a blog post instead
56. Listen to a meditation tape
57. Go to Shabbat services once a month for a year
58. Have Friday night Shabbat dinner at our house for family/friends
59. Read the Torah

RELATIONSHIPS
60. Talk to my sister at least once a month (She's in grad school & is hard to reach)
61. Take a picture of JD and I at least once a month
62. Have a women-in-my-family dinner (can be at a restaurant)
63. Email friends from law school every 2 months
64. Take a vacation with BFF
65. Make 4 friends a CD mix just because
66. Call Gramie at least once a month
67. Call BFF at least once a month
68. Invite neighbors for dinner

VACATION
69. Drive Skyline Drive in the fall
70. Visit Ireland
71. Visit Hawaii
72. Visit New England in the fall
73. Visit Austria
74. Visit Switzerland

FUN
75. Learn how to play the piano
76. Read all of Shakespeare’s plays
77. Try a magazine or newspaper-reviewed restaurant at least once a season
78. Go to a bingo game
79. Go horseback riding
80. Ride in a hot-air balloon
81. Learn how to knit
82. Learn how to put stuff on both sides of the blog page
83. Go to a wine tasting
84. Take a golf lesson
85. Take a cooking class
86. Take a dance class with JD
87. Post on blog at least once a week
88. Learn to speak German
89. Check out a music appreciation lecture from the library
90. Read 10 books that you haven’t read from 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
91. Make a quilt
92. Organize workplace to send care packages to soldiers
93. See all of my company’s properties

MONEY
94. Get JD’s financial information to accountant
95. Find out rules about ROTH IRA’s and 401(k)’s
96. Begin contributing to my 401(k)
97. Save at least $20,000 for a new house
98. Eat out only once a week for one month
99. Take out only once a week for one month
100. Use 5 clipped coupons at grocery store
101. Put together and follow a budget for six months

All Hail John Dear

Comes now the obligatory post detailing the household tasks accomplished by my husband, John Dear, this Wednesday of late, the twenty-seventh day of September in the year two-thousand and seven. All hail John Dear.

John Dear's Herculean Tasks

  1. Pick up The Boy at doggie daycare so I didn't have to.

  2. Pick up the dry cleaning (including a dress that had not been returned to us that I totally forgot about it till I saw it in its baggie in the closet).

  3. Drop off new clothes to be dry cleaned.

  4. Collect and drop off clothes at the wash 'n fold place.

  5. Determine whether or not chicken breasts were defrosted enough to make for dinner.

  6. Make a nutritious dinner of chicken with specifically-requested barbeque sauce and vegetables.

  7. Put up with a wife whose sarcasm is de trop.

In all seriousness, thank you John Dear for accomplishing this and all the other tasks that you do. You are a great helpmeet and I love you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Later than usual this morning due to craziness (what else?) at the office and taking longer than usual to plan out the week. Hoping that we'll be eating all of the meals at home as I'm trying to cut back after a spending splurge in other areas. After the Jewish Holidays, John Dear is back to his usual low-carb diet, so healthy meals for us!


Monday: Salmon fillet (steamed broccoli & cauliflower)

Tuesday: Meatloaf (mashed broccoli & cauliflower) Will make 2, 1 to use, 1 to save.

Wednesday: BBQ chicken breast (brown rice w/ stewed tomatoes)

Thursday: Chicken breast w/ cream of celery soup (green beans & onions)

Friday: Whole wheat pasta w/ tofu & stir-fry veggies

Saturday: Soup & sandwiches

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner (my favorite!)

For other meal plans, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie every Monday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Messy Desk Haiku

Oy, full of papers
Mail unopened there is
Desperation, stuck.

Reusable Bags Giveaway

Amy over at Crunchy Domestic Goddess is having a giveaway of reusable lunch bags.

Reusable Bags has offered up two of their best-selling reusable bags to one lucky winner : theWorkhorse Style 1500 and the Lightweight Recycled Cotton Tote with Dual Handles, both made by ACME Bags.
You can enter over at Crunchy Domestic Goddess by 10 PM, Wednesday, September 26th. Good luck!!

For cool lunch-packing tips and beautiful photos, visit Biggie's site, Lunch in a Box: Building a Better Bento.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Barking Seal

Yeah, that's me. Both John Dear and I have been sick all weekend; both taking the day off of work on Friday to lay around sneezing, sniffling, coughing and puking (that was just me - yes, I reserve the special jobs for myself).

No real menu plan for us this week until we start feeling better. For now, it's easy stuff like soup and sandwiches. For better menu plans than mine, see I'm An Organizing Junkie every Monday.

In the event that we do start feeling more up to snuff, I'll be following a free "body clutter" menu plan that I downloaded from the Dinner Diva at her site, Saving Dinner.

**Picture from Big Girl Feet**

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's 3 AM, I Must Be Awake

I am sick with a very bad sore throat, turning into a bad cold. Went to sleep last night at 7:30 PM. JD woke me up with his snoring (he was not wearing his CPAP) and I've been up since 3 AM. It is now almost 6 PM. I am not so happy with JD right now.

Rosh Hashanah was very nice yesterday. Woke up early, got dressed, took The Boy to doggie daycare, then drove up to my parents' house. I had breakfast with my parents and my sister, then we all drove up to shul for services.

The service was packed! Tons of people!

[Just spilled half a glass of very cold water on myself because I thought the glass only had a drop inside. OK, got a new blanket to sit with and am ready to go.]

This was my first experience with the new assistant rabbi. She was ordained this past June, so this was her first High Holidays with our congregation. Her sermon was on the importance of welcoming neighbors into your home and your life. It was OK, much better than what our Head Rabbi puts out.

Had lunch at my parents' house, then headed over to my in laws' to spend some time there at a party that they have every year. Same food, same people, same migraine from the stress of my mother-in-law and the poorly modulated speaking volume of all of her friends.

I apologize for having lost my usual cherub-like demeanor, but I'm sick and in desperate need of sleep. Have decided that I will stay home today so that I don't infect anyone at work. Unfortunately, I've exhausted most of the good things that are available on On Demand cable, so I'm watching a boring hearing on C-SPAN till something better comes on or I fall asleep or both.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy 30th Birthday John Dear

Today is John Dear's 30th Birthday. Because his birthday often falls around the Jewish holidays, we usually need to move things around in order to celebrate. This past weekend, we had a Board Games Party with family and friends. Games Played:

  • Chess
  • Pictionary
  • Monopoly
  • Robo-Rally
  • God of War II
  • Yourself! Fitness (not really a game, but an exercise program on PlayStation 2 (and others) demonstrated to guests at the party)
John Dear had a great time and got to play games that he never gets to play. Overall, I think the party went really well. Plus, JD was able to stay on his low-carb diet. Food served:
  • Veggie Platters
  • Mesquite Chicken Wings w/ Ranch Dressing
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Hye Rollers (my favorite sandwich from Costco - a turkey, swiss, lettuce, tomato and cranberry cream cheese wrap)
  • Breyer's Low-Carb Rocky Road Ice Cream
  • Costco Yellow Cake (for the rest of us)

As a nod to JD's birthday, we will be serving at Rosh Hashanah Dinner, per his request, pie from Mom's Apple Pie shop. We're serving apple pie, because it goes with Rosh Hashanah.

WFMW - Comfort Food



In our melting pot of a country, everyone has a different definition of comfort food. For some, it's macaroni and cheese; for others, it's Popeye's Fried Chicken biscuits. (Oh, is that only me? Moving on...)

Tonight marks the start of the Jewish New Year. Every family has different traditions for a holiday meal, and the items on the menu may change from time to time, but here are the must-haves of my family's Rosh Hashanah.
  • Apple slices dipped in honey to symbolize the sweetness of the coming new year
  • Chicken soup with matzah balls, a traditional Jewish course
  • Deviled eggs, no symbolism here, my family just really likes deviled eggs (although eggs in Judaism and many other religions symbolize the life cycle and so would symbolize the wholeness of the year starting anew)
  • Potato Kugel (that is, potato pudding)
For all holidays, my job is to make the potato kugel. What follows is my recipe adapted from my mother's cookbook for Jewish Holidays. I can't remember who wrote the cookbook, but will update the post after the holiday.

Potato Kugel
side dish, meat or pareve, serves as many as you wish

10-12 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
1 egg
1/2 cup matzah meal (you could also use breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup chicken fat or margarine, melted + some more (not melted) for greasing pan
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Lemon juice as needed

Peel and grate the potatoes. In order to prevent the potatoes from turning brown or black, place peeled potatoes in a pot of water with a couple drops of lemon juice and keep them there until they are grated.

You can use a food processor, but I think this turns out better when you grate by hand. Once grated, add a little more lemon juice (a little dab'll do ya) and mix. Add finely chopped or grated onion, egg, matzah meal, chicken fat, salt and pepper. Mix together until blended.

Scoop mixture into a greased pan and cook at 400 degrees for at least 1 hour. Top will look toasty and golden brown. When a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, you're done! Serve hot. The dish will keep in the fridge for a good couple of days so don't worry if you have leftovers.

L'shanah Tova to everyone! May you have a sweet new year with family and friends!



See more hints and tips every Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

WFMW - "Brand Loyal" Edition

I am a marketer's nightmare (or dream, depending on how you look at it) since I am inclined to remain brand-loyal on a host of different products. John Dear, in his one, thin strand of practicality is much more likely than I to shop all different brands for the best price.

Of all the products in the supermarket, the one I never, ever waver from is Open Pit Barbecue Sauce (also available here). Open Pit is awesome, Open Pit is great, I will use Open Pit till I am Two Hundred Eight (thank you, Dr. Seuss). Even with a recipe change in the 90s and my husband sticking his tongue out in disgust, I remain as loyal as ever. I live in fear of the day that Kraft Foods ends this brand -- the day that I will have to run to every warehouse store in America and stock up on my beloved sauce. Forever shall my fridge carry two barbecue sauces, Open Pit for me and another for the barbarians.

For more ideas, tales and themed posts every Wednesday, check out Shannon's blog, Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Before Bed Routine

As a fluttering FLYbaby, I'm trying to follow the instructions for putting together and WRITING DOWN a short before bed or evening routine for myself. Here's what I've got:

After Dinner Routine

  1. Check calendar
  2. Pack lunches and snacks for tomorrow
  3. Clean up kitchen

Before Bed Routine

  1. Walk The Boy
  2. Check calendar; bring glass of water to bedroom
  3. Set out clothes for tomorrow
  4. Wash face/brush teeth/take pills
  5. Time with JD/go to bed

And We're Back!

Hope that everyone had a relaxing Labor Day weekend; ours was nice. We spent Saturday and Sunday in visiting JD's family in order to celebrate JD's great aunt's 90th birthday. As JD has been having some issues with his immediate family, we elected to stay at a nearby motel rather than on one of the (broken and excruciatingly uncomfortable) pullout couches at JD's aunt's house with the rest of the family. Many thanks to JD's aunt for making us reservations at a new motel; next time, we'll pick a motel not located between a state housing project and the state prison.

We had a lovely dinner at a JD's family-favorite restaurant on Saturday night. Because we were seated outside with another large family, JD's nephews were able to run around a little and use some outside voices. That made the dinner much less stressful than usual. Plus, the food was delicious. If you are in the Staten Island, NY area, we highly recommend Portobello.

On Sunday, we spent the majority of the day at JD's aunt's house. JD was in the basement most of the day with his nephews who forced him to play Nintendo for hours on end (they being too young to play it themselves). I spent the day chatting with relatives and taking a nap by the pool. We had a nice lunch and later, a wonderful kaffeeklatsch with JD's relatives.

I hope to be as healthy and look as good at 90 as does JD's great aunt. This venerable matriarch swims laps every day and is a devoted follower of 2 major league baseball teams. She literally stopped the party so that she could go in and watch her games. (I must say, however, that if watching baseball or rooting for the Yankees is the key to longevity, I am not long for this world.)

In one of the smartest moves ever, JD and I drove home on Sunday night. No sitting in loads of Labor Day traffic for us! Plus, I got uninterrupted time with my audiobook (The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova) because JD was sleeping most of the drive home. Yay!

Yesterday, I was able to unpack both suitcases, do some laundry, made our menu plan, went grocery shopping, exercised, cooked dinner and put together lunches for us to take today to work. Yay me!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I've been gone for awhile dear reader and promise to update you soon on the happenings in my life. For now, I tempt you with my menu plan for the week (both low-carb and with Weight Watchers Points calculated).


Monday: Meatloaf (salad w/ oil & vinegar; frozen broccoli & cauliflower) (7 pts.)
Tuesday: Honey-Soy Chicken with Mango Salsa (salad w/ oil & vinegar; whole-wheat couscous) (11 pts.)
Wednesday: Turkey Chili (carrot sticks w/ ranch dressing; Grapes) (6 pts.)
Thursday: Apricot Turkey Breast with Cinnamon Squash (sugar snap peas) (10 pts.)
Friday: Sesame Shrimp (salad w/ oil & vinegar; green beans) (6 pts.)

**The recipes below are from the Weight Watchers website. The Sesame Shrimp recipe is from Saving Dinner the Low-Carb Way.**

Honey-Soy Chicken with Mango Salsa
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup onion(s) finely chopped
2 Tbsp cucumber(s) chopped
2 Tbsp ground coriander leaves
1 Tbsp unsweetened lime juice
1/2 medium mango(es) chopped
1 cup cooked couscous
2 cup mixed greens
1 cup tomato(es) sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
6 oz uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast

Marinate chicken in honey and soy sauce for 30 minutes. Combine mango, onion, cucumber, coriander and lime juice and set aside. Cook chicken breast in nonstick pan until tender and browned. Serve chicken topped with mango salsa on a bed of couscous. Complement with salad tossed with oil and vinegar.

Turkey Chili
1/4 cup onion(s) chopped
4 oz lean ground turkey
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup carrot(s) with
2 Tbsp reduced-calorie salad dressing ranch
1 cup grapes

Sauté onions in a non-stick skillet until onions are soft. Add ground turkey, tomato sauce and chili powder. Cook until turkey is no longer pink. Serve with vegetable sticks and dressing. Save the grapes for dessert.

Apricot Turkey Breast with Cinnamon Squash
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp table salt
1 item acorn squash
1 tsp margarine
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar snap peas
8 oz boneless, skinless turkey breast(s)
1 Tbsp apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread turkey with jam and sprinkle with ginger and season to taste. Bake until no longer pink. Microwave squash until almost cooked. Top with margarine and cinnamon. Serve turkey and squash with snap beans.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another Openin'

Well, we're back to square one. My BBT had been high, I was 2 days late, so I took a pregnancy test. Not pregnant, again. John Dear, being very supportive, suggested that because the test was designed for women to use "at least 5 days before your missed period!", that maybe the test was not detecting my pregnancy since I was already late.

Umm, no. After having brunch with the in-laws, we went to CVS and bought another test. When we got home and I was about to take it, I discovered that my period was really just fashionably late.

And so ensued a bout of hysterical weeping and squeaking and feeling sorry for myself, yadda, yadda, yadda. John Dear was quite alarmed, however, and had me call Fairy Godmother, but by the time I got to the beep on her machine, I had somewhat calmed down. Left a message anyways and will see her on Friday at my usual appointment.

We had both convinced ourselves that I was pregnant. This was not like back in July (see here), where I was all dizzy and nauseated and that's it. This time around, I had some morning sickness, a lot of dizziness, late after expected period, high BBT, going to the bathroom more often. All signs pointed to positive. We talked about how we would tell the news to our parents. I was planning to put together a timeline to clean the house based on my due date.

As we were driving to our vacation, I tried to find some positives in this negative outcome.

  1. More time to clean the house -- with no impending deadline and I can be more methodical about it.
  2. More time to decorate the house after cleaning it -- we've lived in our house for 2 years and really haven't done anything with the place.
  3. I've decided that I'm going to join Weight Watchers and go to the meetings. The time when I've had the most successful weight loss has been at Weight Watchers and going to the meetings. Doing this on my own is not working for me right now.
  4. In line with number three, I'm going to really start exercising. Taking the dog for a long walk every night is good, but is not getting my heart rate up, so I'd like to do some cardio other than walking The Boy.
  5. John Dear is scheduled for foot surgery in 2 months' time with at least 6 weeks of recovery following. By not being pregnant, I can devote my attention to helping JD and he won't feel guilty for not taking care of his pregnant wife.
  6. I am a complete freak and would like my children to be born in a month during the school year. If we don't get pregnant in the fall, we won't have a summer baby. Yes, I know. I am a complete freak.

So, after careful consideration at our 2nd wedding anniversary dinner this past night, here's what we've decided to do: (drum roll, please)

We are going to keep on keepin' on until December (when JD should be recovered from his surgery) and if we are not pregnant by then, we will start initial fertility clinic proceedings. (I've not blogged about the issues in that area, but suffice it to say, it's a little bit harder for us to get pregnant naturally than the average couple). If we do get pregnant, then it was meant to be and bully for us.

We now have a plan and since I am obsessed with plans and routines I am overjoyed. Well, that's overstating it a bit -- let's just say that I'm in my comfort zone.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Conversation

SCENE (JD and Jendeis at a local Chinese restaurant):


Jendeis: That waiter, don't you think he gets older every time we come here?


JD: Yes, that's how time works.


----


JD: He's been gone so long with our check, I bet he's growing even older.


Jendeis: If The Crypt Keeper comes from behind that screen with our check, I'm running. It's every man from himself.


JD: (laughing, spits out his drink)


(Pause)


Jendeis: You know, if The Crypt Keeper doesn't come out now, I will be highly disappointed.