loving lemonade.

hey life, bring on the lemons!


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I bet Bob Harper loves chocolate cake too.

Why is it that whenever I watch an episode of The Biggest Loser, I end up craving chocolate cake? Don and I watch for inspiration and motivation. He wants to be more active, and I have a few pounds to lose. But I just can’t get my mind off of having a nice large slice of fudgey goodness.

ridiculously good chocolate cake

ridiculously good chocolate cake (Photo credit: thepinkpeppercorn)

Don had to have knee surgery a little over a year ago, and he is now unable to do high impact exercises, such as running. At the time, he was running regularly, so it was a blow to his routine. We went out and bought a stationary bike as an alternative. I was excited, because we set up the bike right in front of the TV. Now I had no excuses- I could watch TV and exercise at the same time! I love multi-tasking!
This lasted all of a month. Next thing you know I was pregnant with Baby Blake, and I considered just getting off the couch to be my exercise for the day. And now, well, I have no excuse other than being a slacker.
I’m fairly certain that Bob, Jillian, and Dolvett would all kick my ass in the gym for saying their health and fitness show makes me crave chocolate cake. I don’t think that’s what they are going for. And if The Biggest Loser doesn’t get me going, what on earth will?
We were supposed to get our own version of the show going at my part time job, but somehow that fell through. I was ready to rock and roll, especially since the plan was for each of us to throw in 10 bucks and winner would take all. I’m way too competitive to let that slip easy! I guess the constant temptations of boneless buffalo wings and french fries were just too much for some of my coworkers to avoid, because the contest never even got started. And with the lack of competition, I lost my motivation.
So maybe I should pull out a swimsuit or some skinny jeans and make note of how they don’t fit. And maybe while I am at the grocery store, I should keep walking past the salt and vinegar potato chips I love so much. Maybe I could make use of Bob’s deck of cards workout that he used on this past week’s episode. It looked easily doable on your own at home!
And then I will reward myself with that chocolate cake I can’t stop thinking about. What, you didn’t actually think I would forget about it that quick, did you?

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Sleep? What’s that?

I’m pretty sure I have evolved into a human being that doesn’t require sleep. That’s not to say I don’t want sleep, because I do. I just don’t get any. I still manage to get by, thanks to coffee. But oh how I wish for a solid night of shut eye.

I’m a mom of 2. I have a husband I really like and want to spend quality time with, and a home that requires attention as well. I work full time for an insurance company managing a team of 7, and part time as a bartender, 2 nights a week. I think it is safe to say I am a little busy.

Most nights I average about 4 good hours of uninterrupted sleep. Some nights it’s as low as 2. On a Saturday night, I might luck out and get about 6. I have maybe had 5 good sleeps in the past 5 years.

But ya know what? That’s okay! I live by the line “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Life is way too awesome to worry about being tired. Okay, yes, sometimes I wish Blake wouldn’t decide that 2:30 am sounds like a good time to eat. But I can look at it as extra cuddle time, which means even more to me now that I am back to work. And let’s face it, I love sports far too much to miss big games… Or any games for that matter. So that is totally my fault.

Not to mention, we are all in the same boat people. Has anyone ever said, oh I get plenty of sleep! Doubtful. So there’s really no sense in complaining, because the sleepy person next to you doesn’t want to hear it! Grin and bear it!

I am planning to get some sleep in about 20ish years. Maybe. Or maybe once you are a parent, you truly never sleep again. If not, that’s okay. I wouldn’t trade any bit of this in for the sake of boring sleep!


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My minivan is sexy and she knows it.

Hi, I’m Lanie, and I drive a minivan. Those are words I never thought I would say.

A little more than 2 years ago, my most favorite vehicle ever, a black Ford Escape affectionately named Nick Carter, was on its way out. After an unfixable oil leak, Don told me it was time to break up with Nick Carter. My heart was broken, but I was strong. And on a snowy day in December, after nearly 8 years, we parted ways.

So, this must be when I met my minivan. Nope. I knew I only wanted 2 kids (and only had 1 at the time), and I knew how much I loved my Escape, so another small SUV it was! A pretty silver Mercury Mariner came into my life, complete with heated seats, a sunroof, and color changing interior LEDs. I named her Dorothy, and I loved her.

Fast forward to September and the birth of Baby Blake. With 2 car seats in the backseat and a double stroller in the cargo area, we were out of space. How could this be? These cars were made for 5! I had no room for my groceries, no room for additional passengers. And then Don made the suggestion: a minivan.

I said no way. I was flat out way too cool to drive a minivan. He started looking around online at them, and one day even stopped in a dealership to check some out. He told me about this awesome one with tons of storage space, and features Dorothy didn’t have: remote start, navigation, a DVD player. Okay, okay, I’ll look at it. But I really didn’t want it.

So we get there, and Don tells them what minivan he wants us to see. They pull around this big shiny black minivan, with all the bells and whistles a minivan could possibly have. Don says we should take it for a test drive. I tell him he can drive it, I really want nothing to do with it. Halfway through the test drive, he makes me give it a whirl. This is kind of big, I think, but man does it ride nice… dammit!

So we go back to the dealership and next thing you know, the deal is done and we’re driving away in our new 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T. I was kind of sad. I still didn’t want it, but I understood the practicality of it. But wouldn’t you know that 2 days later, my sister’s schedule was double booked and we needed to bring our niece out with us. If it wasn’t for the minivan, we would have ridiculously been taking 2 cars. It was all starting to make sense. Sigh.

And now, here I am, a minivan mom. A minivan mom proudly singing “I’m Sexy and I Know It” at the top of my lungs while commuting to work on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, feeling like my vehicle and I are finally getting that connection. It turns out I can still feel a little cool while driving around in this thing. And I kind of like passing little sports cars in my minivan, glancing over with the, “that’s right, you just got passed by a minivan” look in my eyes. I’ve learned enough about the minivan now to know it’s a girl, and to know she, like the previous motorized loves of my life, deserves a name. In our travels, I’m sure we’ll come across just the right one.

 


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Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.

case-of-the-mondays

Oh do I ever. Today was my first day back to work after having Baby Blake. I knew the day would come far too quickly, and of course it did. I’ve spent the last few months living in sweatpants, indulging in daytime television, and loving on my little guy, and I’ve basked in every second of it. I’m not sure if it was the non-stretchy waist banded dress pants, or speaking with people who don’t respond to your every word with bright eyes and big smiles, but I was just plain uncomfortable all day long.

My morning started with being puked on. Blake decided that Eau de Breastmilk was the scent I should wear today. Luckily, we were still home, and I had another outfit that actually fit. I then left the house with 7 bags: Princess Carlene’s school bag, Blake’s diaper bag, Blake’s school bag, a cooler with Blake’s bottles (since we have a bit of a commute), my lunch, my pump, and my purse. In addition, I had my water bottle, my coffee, and Carlene’s water. Whew. You’d think we were taking a week long vacation. I wish! Disney, where art thou?!

I got to work to find that my computer was locked by a coworker who needed to borrow while I was out. So my first hour was spent trying to figure out what to do about that. Thank goodness said coworker then arrived and was able to solve my problem. Then I had to attend a staff meeting with my new boss. That’s right, new boss. Nothing like coming back to work after a few months to find that everything has changed. And I won’t mention the 2,498 unread emails that were in my inbox. Oops, just did… well, I solved that issue with the delete button.

On the upside, Blake is spending this month at my office daycare, so I had the best lunch date! I get to bring him every day for the first month! After that it’s just an emergency type thing, so he’ll be attending our regular daycare. But I’ll take any time I can get. And my pump breaks give me a little mental decompression time. I can hide from my coworkers in our lactation room and just enjoy the silence. And when all is said and done, I know I am very blessed to have a job.

But uncomfortable is still the best word for today. Uncomfortable clothes and shoes. Uncomfortable being away from my baby and my home. Uncomfortable with some of my job changes. Uncomfortable. But I’m NOT dwelling on the negative. So here’s to a more comfortable tomorrow!


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They say elephants never forget…

Well neither do little kids! Princess Carlene is currently 4 years old (going on 14, or so she seems to think, but those are stories for another day). When she was 2 1/2, we took her to Walt Disney World for the first time. Booking the vacation was a little spontaneous, at least for me who usually books everything way too far in advance. She had just received The Princess and the Frog on DVD, and at that time was watching it daily. One night while I was at work, she told my husband she thought that princess castle (Cinderella’s) in the beginning was so pretty. So Don told her it was in this awesome place called Disney World. She was sold.

By the age of 2, she had already figured out I was a sucker. So the very next day, when I sat down with her to watch The Princess and the Frog yet again, she said some magical words. “Mommy, can we go to Disney World?” Don hadn’t even told me at this point that he mentioned it to her, so here I thought Disney was sending my child subliminal messages through their movies. But it didn’t matter to me how she learned, because a few hours later, the trip was booked!

Then I excitedly told some family and friends about our upcoming vacation. I remember being told by just about everyone I mentioned it to that she was too young and wouldn’t appreciate it. I was asked, why take her if she’s not even going to remember it? My answer was simple; she may not remember, but WE will. It turns out my answer wasn’t entirely correct, but neither was the peanut gallery’s assumption. We’re approaching 2 years since our trip, and she still asks to go back to Disney World every day. Every. Single. Day.

So, is there some sort of moral to this story of mine? Not really. Just don’t ever think your child won’t remember something. Your child might just surprise everyone and wind up costing you a Disney vacation more frequently than you had planned. I mean, Carlene will only think those beautiful young ladies are REAL princesses for so long. And if that means that I’m pinching pennies this year to make it happen, I’ll pinch until my fingers blister just so that I can see that look of amazement on her little face once again.

disney


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My New Year’s Resolution: Baby Steps!

New Year’s resolutions. Why do I make these again? So that in a month, I can feel like I failed for yet another year? Every year I say, oooh no, this year it’s the real deal, I mean business. Well, maybe if I write them for the world to see, I’ll HAVE to stick with them. At least that’s what I’m telling myself!

But this year, I’m just taking baby steps. Small things to hopefully help make the big picture a little brighter.

Baby Step #1: The Dollar Bill Savings Plan

From now on, I will not purchase anything with dollar bills. Instead, I will save each and every one I get. This isn’t a new concept, you’ve probably heard it discussed before. But what better way to save a little more and rethink your spending! This article says it best: If you are buying a coffee, pay for it with a $5, and put away the dollar bills you get back in change. If you cannot afford to pay for your coffee with a $5, then don’t buy it! Now THAT is a changed way of thinking for me!

There is also a variant of this with $5 bills… once I master the baby step of $1 bills, I’m going to try to include both $1s and $5s. Cha ching!

Baby Step #2: Soup for Lunch

This one is exactly what the title says. I will eat soup for lunch every work day. My husband started this a year or so ago. A client he was doing work for told him that she and her husband did this and were able to lose a few pounds with no other life changes. Now, if you saw my husband, you’d know he hasn’t any weight to lose (must be nice!), but he saw it as an opportunity to eat a little lighter. So I’m joining him!

This is going to help me take a baby step towards a couple things: Hopefully I can lose a few pounds, and hopefully this will keep me from spending far too much money on lunch. If anything, I won’t have an excuse to not pack a lunch, because I can keep extra cans and a microwave-safe bowl at the office.

To start, I’m not going to put any rules around types of soup, and yes, I’m buying cans. The next step? Making my own soups!

Baby Step #3: Dwell on the Good

I came across this idea on good old Pinterest. Each time something good happens for us, write it down on paper, and put it in a jar. Then on New Year’s Eve, open the jar, and read all the wonderful things that have happened for you all year.

But my plan is a little different. Yes, we will write down all our positivity. But why only open it at the end of the year? I’m going to take an extra photo album and stick our written notes in the photo slots. And whenever we need a pick-me-up, reading this will be our inspiration to smile. No more dwelling on the negative!

So, what are you doing for a better 2013?


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Why, you ask?

When I was 5 years old, I told my dad I was going to attend Princeton University and become an author. Lofty aspirations for someone just learning how to read! Well,  25 years later, neither of my 5 year old dreams happened. But I did get a quality education from The College of New Jersey (not far from Princeton!), where I majored in Journalism and Professional Writing (and writing is what authors do!).

So, I must have at least followed the writing path, right? Yea… about that… nope. I work for an insurance company, in customer service. And I bartend. Totally makes sense that a girl who was okay with being somewhat of a recluse author now works entirely with the public! But, when you grow up, you realize that your dreams don’t pay the bills.

Which brings me here, to you. I have a lot to say, and I love to write. And I’m fairly certain my husband’s ears are excited for me to have an additional outlet. I’m sure it’s against blogger rules to have no plan, but I don’t have a plan, nor do I care if I’m not like every other blogger. So thank you, dear reader, for joining me on this plan-less blog adventure!