Archive for May, 2006

May 22 2006

goood moooooooooorning, monday!

Published by under daily,project skinny

Lots of things to cover, too many to do right now, but I wanted to post a project skinny update.

I am down 1.5 lbs. Am I disappointed? A little. Looking back over the week, I need to focus on water more. And I know that nothing can slow weight loss like not enough water, so this is a biggie. Friday night wasn’t the most stellar points wise, and neither was Saturday night, but I think I did pretty good overall.

The most important part is, I actually started and stuck with it. I know I can do this. It really is a good feeling. And 1.5 lbs is better than none at all.
That is all. More weekend wrapup later.


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May 17 2006

SUCCESS! well sort of.

Published by under daily,project skinny

6:05 stared at me from the alarm clock and I kept very slowly closing my eyes and then realizing what I was doing and FORCING them back open. It was 6:08 when I ACTUALLY GOT UP AND WENT AND DID MY EXERCISE VIDEO.

I only had time for 10 minutes. BUT I GOT UP!



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May 16 2006

A Mental Shift.

Published by under daily,project skinny

I have been telling myself, and tell you all of you at times, that this is it! Climb on board the skinny train! I’ve been slacking, but now I’m doing it! Yessiree bob, this is me, not slacking!

And then I haven’t done anything. And in addition to not doing anything, I’ve put things in front of me that are not even REMOTELY good.

I have really been feeling cruddy about myself. It is as if every shred of will power has disappeared.

Imagine a pool of bad eating behavior. Not only have I NOT walked away from the pool, I have just been swimming around in the pool occasionally calling out, “OK, I’M GETTING OUT NOW!” “Really! I am!” “Tomorrow’s the day, I’ll get out, I promise!” “Just five more minutes, ma!” “Ooooohhh look i’m all pruney like David Blaine!” “Hey, this pool makes me feel like shit all the time, and yet the ladder to climb out is soooooo faaaaaaar awaaaaay maybe next week.”

And I have really been wrestling with myself on HOW I wrangle up the motivation to get out of that fucking pool. I have to DO IT, and I just HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO.

This week was the big week. I was going to set my alarm early and get up and exercise before getting ready for the day. I was going to make excellent choices, quit drinking so much damn caffeine and no water and subsist on lean protein and fibrous fruit and vegetables and whole grain starches.

The alarm went off Monday morning, and I could have gotten up, I wasn’t soooo tired, but I didn’t. I stopped at 7-11 on the way to pick up my PKR and got a diet coke and a muffin. The kind with sugary sprinkly things on top. This is me for months, feeling like shit about my choices, so I manage to kind of shove the actual choice way down deep inside, and the crappy feelings along with it, but it makes it easier to make that same choice again. And again. And again.

So yesterday, I opened up my weight watcher’s online point tracker thingamabob, entered in my breakfast, my sugary muffin, called up the Pad Thai that I desperately wanted to order for lunch, and sat staring at the fact that 1 cup is 9 points. Does the restaurant serve only 1 cup? Fat chance, 2 and a half, at LEAST. So we’re talking likely, 18-13 points in that take out container.

I stared and stared and I thought about the times in the past when doing this was “easy”. I KNOW it wasn’t actually easy. But the motivation and the will power to JUST DO IT ALREADY was actually there, as opposed to now, when it seems like this impossibility. I got to thinking about why it was a possibility, and I think it was the end goal that did it. This seems like such an easy thing, but it totally was it.

So I looked really hard at those times when it was “easy.”

When I got pregnant with Ethan, I weighed about 295 lbs. Look, I used a real number. Scary, huh? Well I AM scared, and it’s time to get serious, so there you go.

I gained about 40 lbs during his pregnancy, but about 6-8 weeks post partum, I was back down to 295. I wanted to have a V-BAC with Jocelyn (vaginal birth after caesarian), and was told that the only way I’d even have a chance, was if I didn’t gain any weight. Ethan was a 9 lb baby, and the story goes that second babies are usually even bigger. I did NOT WANT a caesarian. That was my goal. I was about the same weight when I got pregnant with Jocelyn, and that goal did it – it gave me the power to act. I only gained about 5 pounds during the entire pregnancy – which meant that my body was actually losing weight, while the baby and reproductive bits were all gaining the appropriate weight. 6 weeks after she was born, I was down 20 pounds to 280 – I had lost it while I was pregnant. That success gave me enough drive to keep at it, and I lost another 30 lbs. I was nursing her the entire time and so was allowed to eat an obscene amount of food to fuel the milk production boob factory, and I also was cutting all milk protein out of my diet, as she had a pretty strong intolerance for it. When you’re eating a TON and can’t have ice cream anyway because your baby will be miss fussypants, it makes it fairly easy – but that’s not to say that it wasn’t hard work and I needed to stay motivated.

When she was about 5 months old, some gall stones decided to lodge themselves in my liver and I developed pancreatitis and spent a week in the hospital. I pumped for that week, but when I came home, nursing didn’t last too much longer. The truth was, I was sick of limiting my diet so much, it drove me crazy, so the breastfeeding came to an end.

With the new liberties allowed in what I ate, project skinny fell by the wayside and my attempts to pick it back up have been pretty lackluster. Before I spent a week in the hospital, I weighed 246. That will be 2 years ago, this fall. As my weight climbed over the past 1 1/2 years, I kept trying and trying to get back with it, but haven’t really had the focus and the goals to keep me on target. The immediate gratification always won out over the long term ideology. Last week, I crossed out of the 250’s and the scale read 260.5 and I knew that this is it. It is time to focus and figure out HOW to get the motivation I need, because this has GOT TO HAPPEN.

I used real numbers. They probably shocked folks, but hey, anyone that looks at me could probably guess. Just because I don’t SAY how much I weigh doesn’t mean I don’t actually weigh it. This is it. I’m serious about this. Thus, full disclosure.

Yesterday I stared at the 9 pts for a cup of Pad Thai and got off my ass and went to Subway instead. I got a foot long so I wouldn’t feel deprived (I was stuffed), but even that is still an excellent choice (especially compared to Pad Thai). Did I have a perfect day? I don’t think stopping at Taco Bell on the way home would qualify as “perfect” but I entered EVERY thing I ate into my points tracker (including the chocolate chip cookie I had last night) and this morning brought a baggie of sugar snap peas to work to munch on. Still got a big diet coke this morning, but I’ve also drunk 2 bottles of water to go with it (and I really need to finish this up cause I need to pee something awful.)

This is it. What is going to keep me focused? I know that thoughts of “I don’t want to be like THAT again” won’t last, because I think them all the time. This time, no more “free” Saturdays. I’m going to track all the time, EVERYthing.

And the thing I’m going to focus on when I want to toss it all, our vacation in August. We are still trying to determine what we’re goign to do, but whereever we go, I want to look better than I do right now. I want to have more energy, and feel good about myself, and I know I can make a difference by then. If I take one little step every day, then in August, it will have amounted to something, and by this time next year, I may have gotten a long way towards a healthier me.

Specific goal time – I’ll go with the standard WW first goal, which is 10%. I’m just going to focus on these first 26 pounds.

And maybe tomorrow I can actually struggle out of bed when the alarm goes off to try some exercise. But if not, at least I know I still am out of that pool.

-amy has to pee so bad g’bye!

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May 16 2006

Birthday Photos:

Published by under photos

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May 12 2006

The National Geographic Museum

Published by under photos

GEISHA TO DIVA: The Kimonos of Ichimaru at The National Geographic Museum (this is a traveling exhibit, and it’s gone now)

This one is pretty, but I wish I had taken a picture of the one to the left, with the blue flowers. I am totally digging it.

MONGOLIA: Traditions Reborn

This guy totally had his eye on me as I was walking down the hallway to this exhibit. I crouched down to take his picture, and half felt like he was going to come clobber me for presuming to take his picture.

He freaked me out. She made me feel a little better though.

What I REALLY dug though, were these caligraphy thingees:


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May 11 2006

Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room – James McNeil Whistler

Published by under amy's head,likes & irks,photos

While my folks and my brother were in town, we managed to go into DC and see some sights. My favorite, which I’ve seen many many times, and always see again when I go into DC for siteseeing, is James McNeil Whistler’s The Peacock Room.

I think the history of the room is why I like it so much.

Whistler’s patron, Leyland, was redecorating his dining room, mainly he wanted more shelving on which to display his porcelain collection. Whistler’s painting, “The Princess from the Land of Porcelain” was hung over the fireplace, and the designer consulted the painter about whether a certain color on the walls would clash with the painting. Whistler asked permissiong to retouch the walls, which Leyland agreed to.

Then Leyland went out of town, and in his absense, the creative spirit overtook Whistler, and he really went to town on the room, making all sorts of changes and embellishments, like putting gold leaf on the ceiling and painting the shutters over the windows with beautiful plumed peacocks.

Well, he told Leyland about the changes and added that it wasn’t done yet, and not to come back home until it was finished – all the while he brought his friends and even the press through the room to show it off. Leyland was kind of miffed, because he had only agreed on the minor changes and wasn’t prepared for the additional cost of these embellishments, which he hadn’t even signed off on. When it came time to pay for the painter’s work, Leyland voiced his displeasure, and finally agreed to pay for HALF the total Whistler wanted for payment, and then to add insult to injury, he paid him in pounds, instead of guineas. A pound is worth 20 shillings, and is considered the a tradesman’s currency, while payment to artists is usually made in guineas, which is worth 21 shillings.

Obviously, Whistler was upset and insulted by the quibbling over money for his fabulous work of art, and so he took the liberty of adding even more embellishments to the room. A large mural was painted on the wall opposite The Princess, and he depicted two peacocks in a fighting stance. One of the peacocks had feathers sticking out along it’s neck, which points him out as representing Leyland, and the ruffled shirts he always wore. He is in a position of dominance over the other peacock, and has coins scattered at his feet, showing the money that Leyland did not want to pay. The other peacock had a feather sticking up from his head, which was similar to a lock of Whistler’s hair (cowlick maybe?).

(The only photo that actually looks in focus! Wowee!)

He also made other changes to the room, taking the valuable leather hangings and painting them a brillian prussian blue, which I suppose could be considered ruining them. The sad part is that the painter never saw his room again, after he finished.

The room was bought and passed through several hands before it came to Charles Lang Freer, who left it to the Smithsonian upon his death. I beleive it had to go through some major rennovation at this point, as it had been taken apart and put together so many times.

It makes me happy to go sit in the Peacock room and look around, it is so beautiful. But it also makes me sad. Obviously, it is good that it is in a museum so that so many can look at it and enjoy it, but it still saddens me. I wonder about the parties that Leyland must have thrown in the room when it was in his house, and the comments that must have been made about it’s ornate embellishments. I wish I could see it back then, with the shutters thrown open and sunlight flooding in, the door to the kitchen opening and closing with servants bustling food and plates in and out. What would the colors look like with the daylight shining in? In the musuem, it is very dark, obviously the low light protects the room, but I just wish I could see how it would be, functioning as a normal room, with people sitting down to dinner, or milling around with a cocktail in one hand. Leyland telling the story about the room, and what his guests must have thought of it all. I can’t help thinking that Leyland probably got a good deal of enjoyment out of telling the story, since he kept it just as it was for twelve years (until he died). I wonder if years later, after the sting had left the situation, if he was sorry he hadn’t paid Whistler the full price asked. I bet he got his money’s worth out of the story alone.

Now that I’ve told you the story as I remember it, I found a link that has the official story – be sure to read it, as I have omitted some of the details (glad to see I got a good bit of it right, though 🙂 ) Also, their pictures are much better than my fuzzy-low-light ones. And I hope next time you’re in DC, stop by the Freer Gallery and have a peek into the Peacock room. I always do 🙂

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May 10 2006


Published by under daily,likes & irks

I showed you one of the canker sores I got.

What? I didn’t?

Oh fine, here you go:

That was in mid March.

Since then, I had a double canker sore (2 of them VERY close together, just inside the corner of my mouth), and then about a week or 2 after that cleared up, I got another one on the other side of my mouth, and NOW, I have one in front, behind my lower lip. It started out as just a wee sore spot, and then it was a teeny tiny little white spot of a canker sore, and now it’s a full on raging canker sore and it’s driving me crazy. I THINK it’s on the decline now.


Seriously, this will be my sixth canker sore this year. In fact, I think I had one or two before I took that picture of my tongue, which means even more than that.


I’m beginning to think I am eating or drinking something that is causing these fuckers. I hope it’s not my gum. (Trident, and Juicy Fruit) I love gum. I hope it’s not diet coke. I love diet coke.

the end.

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May 09 2006

Birthday Boy

Published by under daily,kids

I went into Ethan’s room this morning and he was sitting up putting on his socks. He gave me a little grin and we exchanged the usual “good morning!”s and “did you go to the bathroom yet?”

me: Guess what!
him: what?
me: Today is your birthday!
him: *gasp of excitement!* I’m four now?
me: Yup, you are four today!
him: I’M FOUR!

The rest of the morning was spent with him saying, “I’M FOUR TODAY!” every few minutes.

I will always be thankful that he was born just in time for me to be a mother on Mother’s day. Even if it means that there is always more birthday excitement going on than Mother’s Day excitement 🙂

june 2002

may 2003

may 2004

September 2005

April 2006

And of course, see the top of the page for this month’s all-ethan-all-the-time-banner.

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May 08 2006

few more wedding photos

Published by under photos

Somehow, I neglected to post my very favorite photos from our friends wedding:

I was sitting on the outside of the row, and after the ceremony managed to catch this very sweet scene. The ring-bearer’s Dad took him aside and told him what an awesome job he had done. Can you see the look of joy on his face as his dad praises him? He just looked like he was going to bust, he was so proud.

Ring-bearer getting a high five from Dad. I just wish it was in better focus.

My favorite of the set.

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May 08 2006

Weekend wrap-up:

Published by under amy's head,daily,house,kids

Except when it means you have clean clothes.

James declared war on the laundry this weekend and I gladly enlisted. Battle 1 (consisting of about 5-6 loads) has been WON, at the cost however of staying up until 11:30pm. Battle 2 (about 2-3 loads left) will likely be waged tomorrow and my hopes are high for VICTORY!

I wish that it really was a war, and once won, it would stay won. Unfortunately laundry haunts us and will return to battle again in the not so distant future.


I started out the weekend feeling pretty cocky and straightening my imaginary “geek grrl power!” hat, because I installed a new hard drive in my desktop and copied over my original drive and it all booted up beautifully and there are no issues whatsoever.

Then the fates frowned on me when I started with my laptop. I have an IBM T42 and IBM puts a super secret itty bitty partition on their drives that has a copy of the original setup / OS from when it was straight from the factory. So, I thought it might be useful to keep all that and wouldn’t it be handy if I could make 2 partitions on my new drive and copy both the boot partition and the super secret partition and everything would be hunky dorey? In a nutshell, it’s not as easy as all that. After trying a few things myself, and finding some pretty spiffy software, I called IBM and got instructions to burn 6 CDs and let them do all the work. It did work, made the partitions, copied stuff to the super secret partition, rebooted and was about to start on the main partition when it just popped up with a failure message. Called IBM back and they said, “what sort of drive is this? third party? Oh, yeah, we forgot to tell you, only works with IBM drives.” Grrrr.

So I guess it’s no biggie, who needs the super secret backup partition? I guess I don’t. Fished out my Win XP cd and deleted all partitions in favor of one big partition and installed a fresh OS on that. Thought I would run into trouble when driver time rolled around, but IBM does have a handy utility that checks the drivers of all the hardware, downloads and installs them all. I’m at this stage now, it installed them all and I understand that the computer is going to be pretty busy configuring everything, but when I booted it up, everything was running very very slow.

I do have some misgivings about the drive in general, first, I thought that I would need 5400 RPM, but it turns out the original drive was 7200 RPM. 7200!!! I could have bought something way faster! DAMMIT! A part of me is a bit wary of not having all the IBM crap that IBM puts on there for you, and I think I would have liked to have had the backup super secret partition, but I guess it’s not the end of the world. Dang, 7200. I should return it and get the 7200, shouldn’t I? (Ha. Now that I’ve finally got everything working. Grrrr.)

Anyway. The “Super Geek Grrrrl Power!” hat fell off, and got trampled into the mud by a herd of feral dogs while I scurried up a tree panting and my heart beating a hundred miles per hour and geeky grrl? Me? Shhaaaw! As if! And monkeys might fly out of my butt!


Ethan’s birthday party plans are underway, and I have latched on to a theme that I must say, I’m pretty excited about. Cars is the theme, and yesterday Ethan and I were busy with scissors, glue and poster board / construction paper making big road signs that we will put up all over the house on party day. Last night I made up little reversible “stop” “go” signs on popsicle sticks that can either be handed out when kids arrive, or put into their goody bags.

For an activity, I’m going to get paintbrushes, little wooden cars, and paints and let the kids paint their own race car. They had kits at Target but I shunned them for several reasons and will see if I can collect all the stuff myself at Michael’s or AC Moore.

I wonder if the theme is too “boy” as there are some girls invited to the party. I’m not dwelling on it too much however, and I don’t see why roads and cars have to be “boy” things. Still, hoping that aspect won’t be an issue.

James took Jocelyn to go scope out bikes. The original idea was to get one for Tuesday, the boy’s actual birthday, but we’ve put it off too long, so whatever one we buy, probably won’t be ready until later, so we’ll probably just get it for Saturday.


The weekend started in a pretty pissy mental state, due to the game which is World of Warcraft and my insane irrational jealousy of said game. James and I talked it over by Sunday, along with a lot of other things and we’re both doing better.


I have a project skinny post that hopefully I will get out tonight. I have lots of thoughts twirling around in my head and it’s time to get them out, hopefully get some clarity, and definitely get going on the road to skinny.

-amy is scattered.

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