July 30, 2009

This is Not My Beautiful House

"And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
...
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!"

Sitting on the front porch, it runs through and through my head until not even the suffocating heat can drown it out. This is NOT my beautiful house.

I know it's true because the house still belongs to someone else. My things now reside here. My pictures are going up on the walls, my books are resting on the shelves. My bed is here, my clothes, my food. But, this is NOT my beautiful house.

Unsettled, I wander each morning, wondering when it will no longer be two of us here, but three. Sam and I are usually alone for the morning. We watch TV and try not to sweat out all of our body's water. It is so hot. The heat, it cooks my emotions until they are crispy and liable to break at a feather's touch, or that of an old man's hand.

On Wednesday Sam locks himself in the bathroom and I am torn between anger and panic. He has not been sleeping well or enough, and neither have I. Breezeless waves of sticky air make it hard to sleep alone, and that much harder with a three year old radiator wanting hugs. I sit outside as he tells me 'no', wondering if he CAN'T or WON'T open the door. Eventually, Daddy arrives home with the key and he is freed.

I find myself without sympathy, wishing I could have one moment alone despite the fact that I can barely manage meaningful movement in this heat wave.

He falls asleep earlier than he should that night. I am home, alone with him once again, and I let it happen. The result is a 'nap' from 6-9 and then a boy who won't go to sleep until after 2. I am exhausted. I am drained. I am not eating or drinking enough, but the bloating from the heat and a worse-than-usual monthly visitor mean I feel achy. The sheen of 95 degree heat clings everywhere and I crave cool, though it doesn't exist here, now.

I no longer walk fully free in my space. I no longer leave the bathroom door open to pee or shower without a hint of fear that I will be caught. This is not my beautiful house.

My heart and mind know my dumb luck - young, healthy, strong parents. I am thrust through matrimony into caring, into caring for before I ever expected. Talk is talk, and we discussed this. Words weave into conversation, but reality has it's own ideas. I'm not ready. I said it. Are you committing yourself, or are you committing me? Intentions and ideas were formed. Now, I sit here and wonder how it is all me.

Because when he arrives every single day between 1 and 4 I am the one who is home. I am the one who places his pills into his shaking lips and hands him water to wash it down. I am the one who braces myself, and pulls him up when he cannot stand on his own. I am the one who walks with him leaning on my arm until he gets his rhythm back. I am the one who balances the needs of a young boy and an old man, trying to care for both. I am the one who wonders if I will have a day truly to myself in this house. Then I realize...

This is not my beautiful house.

Things settle. Adjustments happen. The air will cool and I will find comfort as the clouds roll in and the rain comes. Days will turn to weeks and soon months and the leaves will turn and we will enjoy fall, maybe more than ever before. My moods will turn from sugar strings drooping and stretching in the heat to hardened caramel holding the apple in place. I will get used to it.

But..

I search the kitchen for food to prepare for him, it is no longer an option not to have done the grocery shopping soon enough. He needs his strength, medicine, food, on time and now that is my job.

this is not my beautiful life.

I watch him open & rifle through the drawers I've cleaned out, looking for something that was there before but is no longer.

Did I sign up for this?

I listen to him talk about cooling off in the pool when I know that it is not safe to swim in because he has just added more chlorine.

Does it matter now?

I wet the towel, I help him remove his shirt. I rub his back with the dampened cloth to try and cool him down.

This is not my beautiful house.
[Continue reading...]

July 29, 2009

Like Pink, I am also not dead

So, I've been a little absent the past few days. Luckily for me, I got posts pre-written for last week so it's only been a couple of days instead of a full week since I've posted anything! Things are a little crazy here, and even though I haven't been writing, I have been THINKING about writing a lot. Thoughts...
  • They posted that BlogHer 2010 is going to be in NY City! I am SO going. This year, we just couldn't afford it, but I already have enough saved up from frelancing to pay most of the conference fee, then I just have to save up for the hotel. I definitely need at least one roommate though, I have no idea how you go about that. Since my little sis and Stepmom live in New Jersey, I'll probably combine airfare and leave Sam with them for 3 days if they're up for it, then visit them before/after the conference. That would work perfectly. There are so many laides I want to meet, and I hope that most of them will go too. It's early to start talking about it, but I actually think it might be feasible for me to go next year for the first time!
  • Um... moving with a 3 year old is HARD. I guess I have managed to get a significant amount unpacked, but it's so hard to do it in these really short little spurts. I'm hoping maybe my Mom will take Sam some over Friday and the weekend so I can finally finish getting our clothes put away and hopefully clear out more stuff from the downstairs. Part of the problem has been that Sam hasn't been falling asleep very early and he needs one of us to be there if he wakes up. It's all just part of the transition.
  • We went camping last weekend, it was Sam's first time and he had a lot of fun running around with his friends and wading in the river. It was a much needed break from a house full of boxes, that's for sure!
  • My husband finally got the network up here at home, which I THINK means I now have wireless so I can use the laptop. Which means hopefully I'll be back to posting regularly in the next few days. I have TONS of posts 1/2 written in my head.
  • I'm going to start a new feature. I don't have a name for it yet, and suggestions are DEFINITELY welcome. Once a week, I'm going to start posting something from one of my old journals (anywhere from 6th grade up through a couple years ago) or from a box of notes I found that my friends and I wrote in high school. Should be interesting!
  • Cramps suck.
  • I have been a bad bloggy friend - I've been reading but I haven't had the time to comment on many things. I'm still thinking about you all!
That's about it for now. I'll be back soon. Promise.
[Continue reading...]

July 24, 2009

In Court

Haiku Friday

Her desperation
is real, solid and pungent
alive and painful

Her days no longer
relaxing, no escape from
terrible shadows

As air thickens, I
try to imagine never
being truly free

Comprehension fades,
fear invades reality
my reality

Frustration, anger
confusion, no solution
it seems so unfair

If I could have one
wish today, I'd sweep her up
her daughter too and

we would fly away
somewhere sunny, no more fear
or glances behind

I can't take her though
and today the system shows
inability

Her desperation
won't end here, all I can do
is pray for mercy


For more Friday Haikus, click here.
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July 22, 2009

Carry On My Wayward Son

I finally got around to watching the last four episodes of Supernatural and it is absolutely one of my favorite shows on TV. There is so much to like about it.

The chemistry between Jared Padalecki and Jenson Ackles is just awesome. I love how every season they are able to continue the monster of the week type stuff but they come up with an incredible storyline to span the season and the series. I feel like they've found a good balance in that you don't have to have watched the whole series to enjoy an episode and youi won't be totally lost if you miss an episode like what eventually happened with Millenium.

You may already know that I was a huge fan of The X-files and this show has things in common. People who worked on The X-Files also work on this one. Sometimes I like to think of it as The X-Files for teenagers. Or whatever. In any case, if you are a sci-fi fan, you should check it out if you haven't already, it's totally worth it!

Although I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that I now love "Carry on My Wayward Son" by Kansas. Here, take a look. If you are a fan, here's some great eye candy and awesomeness. Unfortunately none of the Season 4 Finale Opener vids on YouTube are embedable, so you'll have to click through. Supernatural won't be back until fall, so feel free to visit and watch as many times as you need to tide you over until then. Hehe.
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July 21, 2009

St. Louis: Part 2 - The Craziness

This week's theme for Heads or Tails Tuesday is 'Where' or 'Wear'. Today I'm continuing with part 2 of 3 regarding my experience after my Dad's car accident. If you missed part one, you can read about Dad's accident here. It's been a couple of months since my Dad's accident and I've been meaning to write more about it since the moment I got back.

It was a time when I didn't know where to turn, didn't know where I needed to be, didn't know where my Dad would need to be after the initial hospitalization. I often wear my heart on my sleeve, and it was hard to even know if I should do that or try to be strong. I found myself not even knowing what emotions, thoughts, decisions were appropriate and most of all, where I was 'supposed' to be.

What a week. I experienced so many things that week that I've never dealt with before. First, there was the worry. I've been lucky enough that no one in my immediate family has ever been seriously sick or injured before. In the last year, my sister and my Dad have both been in the hospital.

It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do after getting the call about Dad. I honestly didn't know what I was supposed to do. With everything else I've experienced in my adult life, I feel like I've had some frame of reference - friends who had been through the same thing, some experience at least witnessing things that helped. In this case? I had no point of reference.

When I first got the call about the accident I was upset but I went into information gathering and dispersal mode. The hardest thing by far about that night was actually talking to my Dad when he was in the ER. As I mentioned before, he was in shock, and hadn't had the surgery to repair his badly damaged wrist. Talking to him in that state was really hard for two reasons. The first was that I could tell that he was out of it and hurt, and as a child of ANY age, I think it's hard to hear your parent that way. The second was that at the end of the call, I said I loved him and he said he loved me back and I could hear tears in his voice. I have NEVER seen my Dad cry. I'm sure it's happened, but I've never been in a situation where I witnessed or heard it. It was sort of a shock to my senses, because it made it seem so serious and scary.

I wrote this on Saturday, the day after the accident:

It fills my head, this pressure. In my sinuses, as the tears come and my nose begins to run, I sniffle automatically and the vague sensation of headache that's been lurking becomes more prominent. Ups and downs. I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know what TO do. This is a responsibility, for the first time as an adult something is coming down on me that I wasn't expecting. My thoughts are crazy. It looks like I will probably be heading to St. Louis tomorrow or Monday. I wish I was there already and part of me feels like an asshole for not being there right now. There are complications though. I don't have a credit card. I'm bankrupt and physically have no financial means to get there. I wrote that about four hours ago, having just talked to my Aunt about trying to make travel plans to go see my Dad. I was feeling so much pressure about the situation - emotionally being pulled to hopping a plane and just being there, or it being too hard to leave my kid and figure out babysitters and plans. This is the first time in my adult life I have been thrust into a situation really unfamilar to me. A situation where I had no friends to turn to, no one to help me figure out what I should do.
Should I stay, should I go? How serious is it? Does he need us? Should we go even if he thinks it's unneccesary? Who is that decision up to anyhow? Who is in charge here? When did I become... an Adult?!

It was all so confusing. I had no idea how to react, and I felt pressure from different people to do different things. Even getting the money to travel to St. Louis was a huge hurdle for us. And throughout the whole thing, we were feeling so much and not knowing what we "should" be feeling or thinking.

In the end, my sister and I both flew to St. Louis on Sunday, a day and a half after the accident. As soon as we got the tickets, we knew that it was the right thing to do. When we got there, we knew it was where we wanted to be, whether it was strictly NECESSARY or not. It was good we were there to get things in order, to be able to go buy Dad new glasses, to bring him things from home etc. It was weird to be taking care of him to some degree, and it was hard to see him unable to do things for himself. Luckily, his recovery has gone exceedingly well, and even in the four and a half days we were there there was a ton of improvement and he was in better spirits when we left.

Lately, I've lamented the spread-out-ness of our culture. The fact that my Stepmom and Little Sis are all the way across the country, and that my Dad is halfway across the country and that my Aunt is way down south. There are many times I wish that it wasn't so possible to travel so far, that we all lived closer together and that I could have just driven to that hospital when my Dad needed me. I am truly blessed that I was able to get monetary help with the tickets, and have people to watch Sam through the generosity of my family and friends.

Out of all the confusion and difficulty, there did come some good things. That's what I'll write about in part 3 of the series, which will be up next Tuesday!

For more Heads or Tails Tuesday posts, click here.

[Continue reading...]

July 20, 2009

Moving Still Sucks (shocking, I know)

So it is our second night at our new house. Which is actually not new at all, but the house my husband grew up in. Yesterday was the BIG moving day and we were so not ready for it. In the end we got like 90% of our stuff moved, two UHaul trips and some stuff in cars. Our dishes are still at the old place as is a bunch of random crap and some laundry and stuff. I sort of dread going back to clean out the rest of it because I just want to be done.

Last night we were all super tired and Sam doesn't really get the whole moving thing and so yesterday he played hard all day with my friend's kids and then didn't go to sleep until 10:30. He woke up crying and yelling in bed with us at 2 am and cried for about 45 minutes until I finally put a DVD on our laptop and he calmed down but still took another 45 minutes to go back to sleep. He woke up crying this morning too but not as bad. Poor guy just doesn't get why he is suddenly waking up somewhere weird. Hopefully after having a somewhat normal day today he will be able to sleep better tonight because I really need a good night's sleep.

This move presents some interesting issues since there is still a fair amount of my father in law's book and art and dishes and random stuff that needs to be packed up and moved out to the garage before we can fully unpack. I spent the day feeling tired and overwhelmed all at once and only gettiny little bits of unpacking done and it is making me a bit anxious.

My poor husband is the one who has to put up with me being and anxious overwhelmed frustrated bitch from hell who still needs some kind of emotional support and help with a clingy 3 year old and ARGH!

So basically we are right in the midst of the short term suck of moving before you get at all settled in. Also I have not been online in a couple of days because we don't have the whole internet sitch out here all the way figured out yet. Woo!

Hopefully SOME semblance of normality will return to us soon. Please send positive thoughts and prayers our way. Either that or a gigantic margarita. Whatever.

P.S. I am writing this in opera mini on my blackberry so sorry if the spacing or anything if fuckety.
[Continue reading...]

Old News

I wasn't going to do this. I wasn't going to write a post about Dr. Tiller. I heard about it, and I was sad. I realize at this point it's old news, but I am still so outraged that I need to finish what I started, and publish what I've written.

I wasn't going to write about how ironic it is that people who are "pro-life" think that ending a life is a good way to go about spreading their message. I wasn't going to write about how I don't understand selective humanism. Do you care, or don't you? I wasn't going to write about how I disagree, or how it shouldn't be called pro-life, because really, who ISN'T pro-life? I wasn't going to write about how no one is pro-abortion and how much women struggle with ever reason for it. I wasn't going to write about how fucking awful it would be to be forced to carry that baby - the one made against your will by the stranger, the date rapist, the father, the brother.

But then I started to read. I read what are undoubtedly some of the most heart wrenching, awful stories ever. About late term abortions. I am talking about the most heartbreaking choice ever. A choice that must be made by horrified, hopeless mothers and fathers. A choice that isn't a choice - how do you choose between two lives? What value is there in preserving a life that will only be full of pain and suffering, short lived and awful when continuing it could kill you? It's enough to make me vomit even thinking about it, thinking about the pain and the indescribable awfulness of it all. Even if you survive it, you still suffer, you are still in pain and suffering, but at least your baby isn't.

So, where will these women go now? Is it really possible that so many can turn their backs on these mothers and fathers in the exact moments they need it the most? That people will put an agenda ahead of real suffering, of real need for mercy and love? It's just disgusting.

Do people even think about this stuff?
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July 19, 2009

Assignment

I haven't thought about this for a while, but head over to YouTube and watch one of my favorite music videos ever, The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Primus. That is all. Hope you had a great weekend while I was slaving away moving all my belongings to the new house!
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July 17, 2009

Your Light Should Burn Forever

Haiku Friday

"I'm dying" her words
jump out of the screen, attack
my senses, I freeze

Six months and change since
I saw her last, and so much
has happened since then

I want her to fight,
to want to fight but words don't
seem to be enough

She sees no light, no
happiness, no reason to
prolong suffering

Pain radiates from
her, the physical pales next
to profound heartache

When 'forever' turns
to, 'not now, it's not right' and
your life's love is lost

When someone else makes
the choice for you, how do you
come out of that fog?

Last October, pills
and wine, saved only by dumb
luck and circumstance

Would I have known she
was gone? I wonder as she
speaks "I should have died"

My words fail me now
but she needs to understand
she is of value

How much she has to
give, how much she has given
or where would I be?

She has been sick for
a long time, now finally
a diagnosis

Leaves her void of hope
she doesn't want to try, there
is no cure, but hope

A way to live for
years, even decades without
another attack

In my head, I beg
her to accept the treatment
to fight, to thrive, live

I worry because
I love her fiercly, I see
the good inside her

Her love for people,
the way she commits full force
her heart so loyal

I wish she could see
the people she's lifted, how
much we care for her

I wish she could feel
our love as a physical
presence, she needs it

She is strong. Full of
fire, love and compassion
but her spirit wanes

Lord, help me. I don't
know where to turn, and I need
you beside me now


For more Friday Haikus, click here.
[Continue reading...]

SYTYCD Top 10: Elimination Recap

This week, Cat chose to wear a burlap sack covered in sequins. It was really strange. And it had strange low cut sleeves. And I just don't get why she wouldn't wear something more flattering. But whatever.

The opening number was choreographed by Wade & Amanda Robson to "So Much Better" by Janet Jackson. It was really cool, Japanese styling, great costumes and set design! It was visually interesting and different. Although when it first started and only the boys were there my husband blurted out "Mortal Kombat" because that's what the hats reminded him of. It was pretty funny.

Nigel wasn't here this week because he was receiving some honorary degree in the UK. I really hate the audition highlights during the show. It's just like a commercial and I think it sucks that they're doing that instead of having guest dancers. I also can't wait for the 100th episode, Ramalama was one of my favorite routines ever and I can't wait to see it again!

I predicted the bottom two girls correctly, and Randi & Melissa danced their solos from last night. I was only 1/2 right about the guys - Kupono was there, and he was joined by Ade.

Mary & Debbie's banter about the Pasa Doble was hilarious. The Black Eyed Peas performed their new single, "Got a Feeling."

In the end, Randi & Kupono were eliminated, and I was glad to see Melissa & Ade stay in it. How did you feel?
[Continue reading...]

July 16, 2009

SYTYCD Top 10: Performance Recap

Top 10!

Wow, hard to believe we're down to the top 10 already. This week Cat went for a simple green number, which was not too bad. I'm not always a huge fan of strapless dresses and I didn't love it, but other than that the style wasn't too bad. I wasn't sure about the black down the back that sort of came around the front. Nice to see Debbie Allen back as a guest judge. This week begins eliminations determined solely by votes as well as individual

Girl's Routine
Style: Bollywood
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: 'Dholna" from Pyar Ke Geet (soundtrack)

I was excited to see a Bollywood routine with more people, because it's such a cool style for larger groups. I couldn't wait to see their routine! It was great, although the whole masks on the back of the head thing? Freaky. I thought they did a really good job. Really, Mary? "Bollywow?" You really needed to say that? Hm. She then proceeded to call the routine "young, hip and fresh" which I'm not quite sure about.

Kayla & Evan
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographer: Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin
Song: "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal

I liked Evan a lot at the beginning, but to tell you the truth, I'm sort of over him. He's just not one of my favorites, so I kind of feel like there is no point anymore. I do love Kayla though, there is just something about her. Her dancing, but also her personality. Also, she looked gorgeous in that dress, I loved the skirt. I thought the dance went so well with the music, and it was a nice change from the really soft slow stuff we've had paired with the waltz in the past. Nigel said he didn't see the Viennese in the Waltz. Mary said Evan lacked power in the steps, although his lifts were good. Debbie Allen seemed to be in love with Evan.

Brandon
Song: "In Your Eyes" by Jeffrey Gaines

It was good. Not spectacular for me, but good.

Jeanette & Ade
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Tabitha & Napoleon Dumo
Song: "Love Sex Magic" by Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake

What is with the tall/short height difference matches! Weird. I DO NOT accept calling Tabitha & Napoleon "Nappy Tab" or whatever the hell they are calling them. Just, no. I love that they made use of Ade's comb. I thought Ade was great, but I didn't feel the chemistry between them, and I didn't think Jeanette was as believable as Ade was. His costume was fabulous too. That move where she went back onto the floor was very cool though. Nigel enjoyed it. He especially gave Ade good feedback. Mary loved it too, as did Debbie.

Randi
Song: "Dream" by Priscila Ahn
I thought it was pretty, but it looked a little frantic to me for whatever reason. I wasn't wowed by this one either.

Kupono
Song: "Marina Gasolina" by Bonde De Role

I liked it. It was nice to see Kupono dance in his own style again and not feel like he was just doing tricks or whatever. I thought it was very good!

Jeanine & Jason
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: "If It Kills Me (The Casa Nova Sessions) by Jason Mraz

Talk about the cutsiest couple out there. Jeanine & Jason. They are both 'pretty people'. Not that that's a bad thing. It was nice to see Travis back! During the practice you could tell they needed to find a lot of chemistry to pull this routine off. I thought they were wonderful. They both danced beautifully, and the parts where they were in sync were really good and they stayed together. They had the passion, they danced it hard, and I thought it was wonderful. They got that chemistry down! Holy sexy. I rarely rewind during this show, but I HAD to rewind to see that kiss at the end! Holy crap! Standing ovation from the judges and the audience. I loved Jason tonight, and I don't always. Mary was SPEECHLESS. When does that ever happen?! This was the first really spectacular thing to happen during this show, and Mary got teary eyed. I agree with her that Jason went on to a new level that night.

Melissa
Song: "Gabriel" by Lamb

Melissa broke out her toe shoes again for tonight's solo. I love the way feet look with point shoes on, so pretty. She did great.

Evan
Song: "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" by Rufus Wainwright

I thought he was good. It's just so hard for me to pick the passion out when he's doing broadway with the silly faces etc. I want to see passion, and I just don't connect as much to this style when Evan is dancing.

Kayla
Song: "Rock Your Soul" by Elisa
Beautiful, as always. She has great lines and I love the way she uses her feet.

Randi & Kupono
Style: Pasa Doble
Choreographer: Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin
Song: "Dies Irae" by Karl Jenkins

Slightly scary, I kind of wondered how they'd pick it up! Kupono has that intense look but Randi I wasn't sure about. And... she was wearing a wig. That was slightly distracting. I thought they danced it well, especially considering how the rehearsal was going. They definitely had some chemistry. I loved her skirt, because it really did go with the matador/cape thing. Sometimes it's hard to really critique when the music, the lights, and the costuming are so good that they're a little distracting. I agreed with Nigel (surprisingly) that Randi was the stronger of the pair, Kupono wasn't down into the floor enough. Nigel didn't think it was authentic. Like I said, the choreography and lights and music, sometimes it's hard to really judge the actual dance. Mary agreed that they were below where they should have been. She also called it "cautious" which I thought was a good description.

Ade
Song: "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers

Ade is a beautiful man. I thought he danced well, and at first I liked it then it went into trick after trick, and I wanted him to look passionate, for some reason his grin took something away from it for me.

Jeanine
Song: "Violento (Up Mix)" by Bailongo!

I thought she was gorgeous. Jeanine was definitely not one of my favorites starting this competition out, but now I really like her. She and Kayla are my top 2 girls at this point.

Jason
Song: "Train Fare Home" by Muddy Waters

I liked his choice of music and it was obvious that he put a lot of kthought into the choreography and the music. He was good, but it wasn't as stunning as it could have been.

Melissa & Brandon
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: "Aquarius" from Hair (The New Broadway Cast)
I like Hair. The musical I mean. It's interesting, it's not 'classic' broadway per se, so I thought maybe it would be a little more interesting and maybe a small departure from Tyce's normal stuff. Loved the costumes, totally fitting. I thought they danced it great, it was really entertaining! It sort of just made me smile. I thought they were believable as the characters. I loved when Cat said "Hey guys. Do you want to get up?" and sounded totally mellow and stoned. It was hilarious. Nigel also pointed out something I'd thought which was that as a mixed race couple it totally fit with the routine. It was my 2nd favorite routine of the evening after Jason & Jeanine. Those two routines were at the level I wanted at this stage in the competition, you know?

Jeanette
Song: "This is Miami" by Sander Kleinenberg

She looked hot, and had a lot of footwork in there. She just isn't my favorite, but she is a great dancer.

Boy's Routine
Style: African
Choreographer: Jeffrey Page
Son: "Balant Funk" by Ayanda Clark & Shawn Kelly

I was excited to hear they'd do an African dance, I love African dance. Much like African music, to me is so primal, natural and earthy. It's like the origins, when I hear traditional African music, it feels so much from nature that I get lost in it. So they were a good group. Well, there was Evan. I was a little concerned about Evan dancing this routine, but oh well. I liked when he said "You may not have noticed, but I am not... African." So funny. Kupono called it a "true" dance style, and talked about the rhythm. I heard the word "raw", which is a great description. I really liked it, but I didn't quite believe it totally. Poor Evan just stuck out like a sore thumb with his paleness, but he danced it okay. I guess I just wanted it to be more than it was, and I'm not sure I even know what I mean by that. The judges like it, and they talked a lot about the energy. I think this is one dance that it may have made a big difference seeing it live vs. seeing it on TV. Sometimes that's just the case.

Predictions for bottom 4: I can't remember how they do the eliminations at this point, so I'm going to predict the bottom 4 - two guys, two girls. For the girls, I'm gonna say Randi & Melissa. For the guys, I predict Evan & Kupono.
[Continue reading...]

Week 24 Update

Current Weight: 241.8
+/- this week: -1.4
+/- total: -25.4
Short Term Goal: 250 (5/26/09)
Short Term Goal 2: 225
Long Term Goal: 150

This week, I got my award for 25 lbs lost! It feels great, but at the same time I look in the mirror and can't believe that I am still so fat. It's a lot of weight not to be carrying around with me, but day by day when I look in the mirror it's hard to see the changes as clearly. I am amazed and disbelieving that I've come this far. I never thought it was really possible, and with all the times I've tried to have something finally work (thyroid meds + weight watchers + exercise) is somewhat surreal. I feel my achievement, and simultaneously can't help thinking about how far I have to go.

I lose myself in daydreams some days. Of what it will feel like when I'm under 200 lbs, of what it will feel like when I can shop at regular stores again, when I won't be self conscious about being bigger than everyone in the room, when I'll be able to jump without being completely uncomfortable because it's just so much weight to lift into the air, and such a hard landing coming down. When I'll ride rides and fit in the seats, when I'll never have to request a seatbelt extender on an airplane again. When I'll be able to chase after my son, to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath.

I've come a long way, and some of these things are already coming to pass in one way or another. Next week I'll get my award for 10% and finally get that keyring to put my 16 week and 25 lb awards on. At that point, I'll be creeping towards 30 lbs lost.

It really is a lifestyle change. Some days it's scary to think about the fact that this is forever - that I am changing the way I eat, and that I'll need to exercise several times a week FOREVER. It's not just 'for now' or 'until the weight comes off'. But I can live with that. For my health, for my happiness. It's worth it!

I have been going to Zumba again, and I still love it! It is a hard workout, and some days it's harder than others. But I make it, and it goes by so much faster than trying to do an hour on elliptical and treadmill or whatever. I need to start doing strength training again when I go to the gym on my own. I just need to take time to get one of the trainers to show me the machines they have set up on their pre-built circuit to make sure I'm using all of the equipment right. Then I will probably start a routine of 10 min treadmill, 30 min on the circuit and 20 min on elliptical. Sounds great!

I have been surprised at how FULL the Zumba class has gotten! When I first started going, back in March, there were probably 8-9 people in the class. On Tuesday, I counted THIRTY TWO! It has gotten really popular, and they added 2 more classes on M & W at 9:35 am. I might be able to go to that sometimes if I have the day off. There is also a Yogalates class on Wed at 4:35 that I'd like to try. I wish there was at least one evening yoga class, but they are all in the mornings. Maybe after the current boot camp is over they'll do a yoga class later in the day.

Mom has been doing Weight Watchers with me, as I mentioned before, and she actually reached her goal weight! She looks great and it has been awesome to have her there with me. She went to Zumba with me on Tuesday, and she liked it. It was fun to have two cohorts there since my friend Kara from mom's group/down the street has started going. The only bad part about moving is that I am not going to be her neighbor anymore!

I have been eating tons of pineapple and making smoothies. I also used some of the extra smoothie and poured it into the make-your-own-popsicle mold and made some fruity frozen treats. They are pretty good, but I broke one of my popsicle stick things because I didn't loosen it enough with hot water when trying to pull it out. Oh well!

What has been your favorite refreshing summer treat this year?
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July 15, 2009

SYTYCD Top 12: Elimination Recap

I watched the Elimination Show last week, probably the same day it was on, but never got around to writing about it. We've been super busy with moving, but I'm going to try to stay up to date on the SYTYCD posts since it's pretty much the only thing I try to post on a regular basis right after the show. So, down to it...

The opening number was choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon Dumo. The music was "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. As my husband said, 'It was okay.' Neither of us was SUPER impressed, but we didn't think it was bad either.

Cat's dress? Just, no. Way too similar to that weird pink collar dress she wore a few episodes ago. Maybe I am out of the fashion loop and that style is actually in right now, but it just looked like something from the sixties or something. Also, why does she need to wear such high heels? Isn't she already like eight feet tall?

It was really a bummer that they couldn't get the music cleared to do a Michael Jackson special. That's a tribute I would have LOVED to see, and it would have been spectacular. I like that they addressed the rumor right there with the real reason and what happened, and that was that.

Last week, we came to a part in the season that I sort of dread. It was the last week that the judges make the decision as to who stays and who goes. This is where it really morphs from being about the best dancing on the show to being about America's FAVORITE Dancer. I have mixed feelings about it because I tend to prefer reality shows where the judges choose using their expert opinions (ie Top Chef, Project Runway).

I was 2/3 right about the bottom 3. I guessed correctly that Jason & Caitlin and Melissa & Ade would be there. I did not guess that Phillip & Jeanine would be there. Their jive was so good! But I guess the Russian thing just didn't appeal or something.

During the show recap I was thinking about how much I absolutely love Wade Robson's choreography and miss him being on the show more often. I hope to see him back again this season.

I liked it when Nigel explained how they do the judging, that they decide ahead of time, but they DO consider the solos and it can change their minds. Also, I like that they judge in the positive - instead of who should we cut, they consider who should stay on the show.

They had audition highlights this week instead of a featured dance style, which was kind of blah. I like when they feature dancers from different styles who are the best of the best. Having audition highlights instead is basically just showing a commercial during the show.

Caitlin danced her solo to "Stand by Me" performed by Playing for Change.

Jason danced to "Calm Touching" by Evaline. I was taken aback by his passion and hard hitting-ness (shut up, it's totally a word now). I felt like he danced hard and really put his heart into it.

Jeanine danced to "Baby's Romance" but Garneau. She was good, and had a lot of feeling in her routine.

Phillip danced to "The Diva Dance" from The Fifth Element. I absolutely LOVE that scene in The Fifth Element, it's one of my favorite movie scenes ever. I thought he was wonderful.

Melissa danced to "Kashira" by Kodo. I felt like her choreography had too many tricks in it.

Ade danced to "Window Dipper" by Jib Kipper, and danced well.

After the solos I was pretty sure Caitlin was going, but it was hard to decide who would be going on the guys side. DJ David Guetta and Kelly Rowland performed "When Love Takes Over" as the judges deliberated.

Both decisions were unanimous this time. For the girls, Caitlin was at the end of the road. I totally agree with what Nigel said - this has been the best top 20 in terms of technique, but none of them have become a star yet.

Then... the guys. I didn't know who I was rooting for until they called his name. Phillips face during the judging reveal just broke my heart! I was SO sad to see him go, and his goodbye speech was really touching. I will miss him on the show.

So this week I think we start partner swapping, which is always interesting! I promise my recap will be WAY more timely this week!
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July 13, 2009

Piles of Piles

This week's theme for Heads or Tails Tuesday is "Pile." As in, I am TOTALLY buried under a huge pile of stuff to do. Or as in, there are piles of boxes all over my house. Or as in I like moving about as much as I like stepping in a steaming pile of dog poo.

So... we moved our first load of boxes last weekend. My Mom has been great about helping. She watched Sam on Saturday and her awesome husband helped us move boxes. Sunday it was crappy weather, so instead of actually moving stuff, she watched Sam while Justin and I packed up some of the stuff in the garage - there is just STUFF EVERYWHERE. Piles of it. Seriously.

We are planning on doing the "big stuff" this weekend - any boxes we already have packed (which should hold the majority of our stuff) and moving all the furniture. Including our beds, which means that after this weekend we'll be staying at the new place. Crazy. Tomorrow we need to get our asses in gear. I think the biggest packing job left in the house is the kitchen, and packing up the TV & computer stuff, which will probably get done the day before we want to move it since we use those things so much.

I'm hoping that we can get almost everything moved this weekend, because... well, moving SUCKS and I just want to get it done so we can unpack and get settled in at the new place. I've been talking to Sam about the move, but I don't think he really gets it, so I'm hoping it will go okay. I'm excited, but the whole thing is tiring and it's been stressful - I haven't been posting because by the time the day is over I just don't feel like doing anything! I have things to say - I did watch the SYTYCD Elimination show last week & have a couple thoughts, plus a weekly update or Weight Watchers. Hopefully I can manage to get those up in the next couple of days, and I promise after we get moved I'll have more intelligent and entertaining things to say.

Now I'm off to bed...

To read more piles of posts about piles, head over to Heads or Tails Tuesday!
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July 9, 2009

SYTYCD Top 12: Performance Recap

Performance Show

Cat went for an updo this week. Not bad. She also went for a simpler black dress, good choice. I actually thought she looked rather cute, and that simple dress really highlighted her waist. This week marks the first week of double work - each pair learning and performing TWO dances per episode. I think next week, when they're down to the top 10 is when they switch up the partners. The guest judge this week was Tyce Diorio. To tell you the truth, I'm not a huge fan of his anymore. I think he's actually one of the meaner judges when he doesn't like people at auditions, so I was interested to see how he'd be since this was his first time on the panel on the show.

Round One

Melissa & Ade
Style: Disco
Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
Song: "Move On Up" by Destination

I thought if Ade could get it, he would look the part! And, he totally did, I loved his sparkly outfit. I think it's so fun to watch the disco routines! They're just plain entertaining. I thought Ade danced it a little more believably than Melissa. the split lift was pretty incredible. As was the back hold spin thing. Nigel liked it, Mary liked it, Tyce thought it was "friggin' great."

Kayla & Kupono
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Song: "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles

I think Mia is an absolutely AMAZING choreographer. She helped me GET contemporary, and has brought me to tears more than once. When she said the theme was addiction, I had really high hopes for the routine. And I could tell that Kupono was REALLY getting in the character and thinking about the meaning behind the routine. It was absolutely beautiful. The look on his face at that part where he sort of rubbed his face up her leg? Just perfect. The way she was almost floppy at parts, like he was really controlling her? Gorgeous. The look on Kayla's face near the end when he was pushing her arm down? It was so amazing. It's funny to think that when I first started watching this show, I really didn't get the contemporary routines, and now I think Mia Michael is an absolute genius. She moves me to tears, she did it again tonight. Not only that, but the costuming and make-up for this routine was amazing. This may be my favorite performance by Kupono. He absolutely was powerful and just... the whole thing was breathtaking.

Caitlin & Jason
Style: Foxtrot
Choreographer: Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin
Song: "Minnie the Moocher" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Well, Caitlin got her sparkly costume all right! She looked so pretty with her hair done up like that. It was fun to see a more jazzy, sexy foxtrot. I just wasn't sure though. To me, they looked a little stiff, like they were a tad unsure, but that lift drop was amazing. All the lifts were. It just didn't look as easy as I would have liked. The judges liked it, but this could be one that was a little over people's heads. Tyce did say that they could have 'glided' more, and in some way I think that's what I was seeing maybe.

Jeanine & Phillip
Style: Kalinka - Russian Folk
Choreographer: Youri Nelzine & Lilia Babenko
Song: "Kalinka" by Barynya

Interesting. I like Russian dancing, so I was really looking forward to seeing what they'd do with it on the show! I love when they are bringing in new styles and cultures through the dancing, adding Bollywood and Russian Folk? So wonderful! It was so quick from the moment it started! Then it was just playful. When Phillip got down in the squat and did the kicks? That was pretty impressive. I thought they did great! I got what Nigel said about not asking them to do enough, but I thought that the other parts of the routine overtook the slower part. I thought they did a great job with what they were given, and that's about all we can ask for. Like Tyce said, it's about how they take it on and how they execute what they were given.

Randi & Evan
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Tabitha & Napoleon Dumo
Song: "Halo" by Beyonce

Seeing Randi and Evan do hip hop should be... interesting. I was skeptical. They just don't seem very hip hop. Then the song started - "Halo" by Beyonce? Ugh. I don't like it. I think Beyonce should stick to the fast songs, they're always better. I have a hard time with 'slow' and 'smooth' hip hop routines, I just don't like them as much. I didn't hate it. I thought they played the characters well. I didn't feel like they were in sync like they should have been. It's true what Nigel said - that Tabitha & Napoleon didn't ask them to be street or hard core, which is good because I can't imagine what that would have looked like. The judges seemed to think it was pretty good, Tyce said Evan needed to "find more" but thought Randi did a good job. I'm interested to see their 2nd routine.

Jeanette & Brandon
Style: Argentine Tango
Choreographer: Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo
Song: "Libertango" from Forever Tango (original Broadway cast album)

Sex. Sexy. Watching rehearsal, I hoped they could find it. I think Jeanette can do sexy well, but Brandon is sort of goofy in my head, so I hoped they'd find the right passion for this dance. I love Brandon, but this dance made Jeanette really shine! Her footwork looked beautiful. Her legs were great, especially during the lifts. Nigel gave them a standing ovation! He said it was "as close to perfection as I've seen on this stage, ever" for a ballroom routine. What the hell Tyce and orange juice?! That was hilarious!

Round Two

Melissa & Ade
Style: Waltz
Choreographer: Ron Montez
Song: "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Mary J Blige

I always like when they switch up the partners, to see who works well together and who doesn't that we haven't seen yet. Melissa seems a natural at this type of routine, so I'm excited to see this one. Interesting choice of songs. I just love Melissa's face when she dances. This dance just made me smile! They really do have GREAT chemistry. I agreed with Mary that Ade needed a little more strength in his actual dancing for this one, but Melissa was so good you also didn't notice that much. Then Mary told Nigel "pipe down, English muffin!" and I thought that was pretty freakin' funny. Then Cat called Tyce a "Brooklyn brownie" and that was completely hilarious too.

Kupono & Karla
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Joey Dowling
Song: "The Dance At The Gym" from West Side Story (The New Broadway Cast)

Nice to see Joey back again! When she said the routine is love at first sight, I felt like Kayla should be able to pull it off really well. I couldn't wait to see it. I loved her dress! It was so cute. I thought it was a little weird that she wasn't wearing shoes. All in all I thought they did a good job, but it wasn't as much as I'd hoped. I just expected more. I agreed with Nigel that there was a tenseness missing.

Jason & Caitlin
Style: Lyrical Jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: "Show Me Heaven" by Maria McKee

Jazz. Well, Jason with his shirt off is sure to get some votes, right? Ha. They made it look absolutely effortless. They looked huge, long, extended and beautiful. Shut up, get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about DANCING. It was really smooth and flowing. I agreed with Mary though, it wasn't magic. It was good, it was beautiful, but it wasn't magically captivating.

Jeanine & Phillip
Style: Jive
Choreographer: Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin
Song: "Stuff Like That There" by Bette Midler

I liked the concept, so let's see if they pull it off. I thought they were great! It was really fun and entertaining. The lift at the end was pretty impressive too. I was happy to see such a good dance as their last dance as a couple before getting split. Nigel said that Phillip was better than ever out of his own style. Jeanine wasn't one of my favorites at the beginning, but I am really liking her these days! I agreed with Mary, she's got to be here next week. Tyce said "I say call 1-888-Fan-Friggin-Tastic." I am not even kidding.

Evan & Randi
Style: Samba
Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev & Anya Garnis
Song: "Ritmo De Bom Bom" by Jubaba

Rehearsals looked interesting. Pasha & Anya just looked so good doing the dance, it was hard to imagine Randi & Evan looking like that. I sort of hated her costume a little bit. My husband said "They're not really interacting with each other", so I guess that means there wasn't that great of chemistry. I thought it looked a little amateur. they were good, but it definitely didn't look effortless, or like they were naturals at it. It was also so out of character seeming for them as a couple. Their chemistry was so much better doing Jive that it was obvious that it was missing here.

Jeanette & Brandon
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Wade Robson
Song: "Ruby Blue" by Roisin Murphy

I am a big Wade Robson fan, so whenever I hear he's doing a routine I'm excited. Like Brandon said, Wade brings a story to the routine, and I like that a lot. I liked it! I thought Brandon outshined Jeanette at this one. My husband thought Jeanette was a little too fluid and he fit the routine a little better. I feel like they each got the spotlight in one of their routines this evening, which is good for voting. I think this couple will be most disadvantaged by splitting up because they are SO adaptable. On the other hand, maybe they will have an advantage because they're so good they'll bring the other dancers to their level. I agreed with Mary, from the beginning it was great, their dancing on the stairs was just so good and hard hitting it fit. Tyce called it "technical excellence."

Predictions for bottom 3: Jason & Caitlin, Randi & Evan and Melissa & Ade

I'll be doing the elimination recap separately this week since I haven't seen the elimination episode yet - I'm staying off any other recaps until I see it! By process of elimination, I'm hoping to see Caitlin & Evan leave. I like both of them, but I don't think either is going to win and I thought they had the least to offer this week. I think this is the last week the judges do the elimination too, when it's top 10 I think it switches to being completely based on audience votes. So, we'll see!
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July 8, 2009

Week 22/23 Update: Challenges & Goals

Current Weight: 243.2
+/- this week: -0.4
+/- total: -24
Short Term Goal: 250 (5/26/09)
Short Term Goal 2: 225
Long Term Goal: 150

I didn't post an update last week because it was a completely crazy and hectic week and I just didn't get around to it. Last week I lost 0.6 and this week 0.4 for a total of 1 lb in the past 2 weeks. I was really sick last week with some horrible flu where I was coughing a ton then my nose started running like a faucet. It sucked because I wasn't really sick enough to hole up and not do anything, but I felt like I was running on 75% of my normal energy so every time we went out to do something I would be totally exhausted by the end! I went to bed early a lot. I didn't exercise at all, and I went over my points last week by 5 points. STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE. It was delicious. I was happy to just have not gained anything, so I'll take any loss, even if it's only 0.4 pounds!

I've started going to Zumba again. The class is on Tue & Thu at 6 pm, so I find that I have conflicts, but I managed to go last night. It's funny, when I first started going several months ago, there were only about 8 or 9 people in the class. Last night, I counted THIRTY! I guess the word is spreading! I still love it. It makes me push myself really hard, it's not easy, and I get a really good workout from it. The time goes by much faster than trying to do the eliptical & treadmill for an hour. I'm hoping I'll be able to start going twice a week again, because that would be great!

I was looking at myself in the mirror while at class yesterday, which I don't do that often, I usually watch the instructor the whole time. It's funny because I look in the mirror and I can see the weight I've lost, but at the same time, I see how far I still have to go. It is a little shocking sometimes that I've lost 24 pounds and am still so fat. Sometimes I wish there were an easier way, but I know that losing slowly and in a healthy way means that I'm way, way more likely to keep the weight off. It's just really hard. The upside is that since I'm working so hard at it, I feel more pride about it.

So, this week I have a mini-goal of losing at least TWO pounds. Why? Because when I hit 26 pounds down, that is my 10% goal. That means that I'll have lost 10% of the weight I started with, which is a big milestone. Then I'll be working towards 30 pounds lost. Crazy, huh? It's hard to believe sometimes.

All in all, things are going well! I'm also participating in the 15 Week Challenge, which is motivational, and it's fun to find other people on the same journey I'm on. My biggest challenge right now is NOT eating because I'm stressed. With money stuff, and our upcoming move, I am feeling the urge to eat a lot when I know I'm not hungry. I've mostly been able to deal with it, with a few small slips. So, hopefully that will soon pass. I'm proud of myself for being able to recognize it and not just slip up and pig out.
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It ends as it begins

Today, we started the day at 7:45 when Sam got up after sleeping ALL NIGHT in his own bed for the first time in months. I had stayed up too late last night then fallen asleep on the couch and moved to bed at 5. This is what we looked like when Justin left for work.

At the end of the night, we were all spending family time together on the couch and watching Wonderpets before bedtime. Here is how Sam ended the day.


For more Wordless Wednesday photos, click here.
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July 6, 2009

Our "New" House

So, I've started packing up the house, and can't wait to move. We went out there the other day and I took a bunch of pictures, so for those of you who've been curious, here it is! I couldn't figure out how to make it display the captions automatically, so you have to slide your mouse over the photo when it's showing to see what it is. You can also click 'view all images' and it will take you to a page where you can see them bigger and see the captions.



WOOOOOOO!
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Spotlighting Moms!

Last week, Zoot had a great idea. In response to Linday's wonderful article about the state of Mommyblogging, Zoot said...

"I definitely have seen this trend. I’m not as overwhelmed by it as Lindsay is, but I do agree with the very true sentiment that maybe the MommyBloggers getting the most attention, aren’t the best voices anymore. Maybe, by becoming spotlighted so often, they are no longer as relatable. I wouldn’t say it’s true for all of the MommyBlogs in the spotlight, but I think it’s true for a lot of them.

But what is the solution? I HAVE THE SOLUTION!

For the month of July I’m going to spotlight several MommyBlogs that I’ve found and adore but who aren’t getting the attention they deserve. I’m going to call it Spotlighting Moms!"

She invited her reader to make suggestions, or even better, to spotlight some of those brilliant mommas on our own blogs. So, today I thought I'd spotlight a few of my favorite Mommybloggers!
  1. Megan @ Newly Wed, Newly Bred. I know I've mentioned her here before, but I totally adore Megan. Her blog is great, and she always makes me laugh. She's fun and sassy, and obviously TOTALLY LOVING being a first time mom to her little chunky monkey. She is WAY into cloth diapers, and she seems to take every day with a smile. I love reading about her little guy, and I think her blog is really uplifting.
  2. Dawn @ Growing a Pair. Dawn hasn't been posting quite as much lately because she recently popped out another little, adorable, sweet faced little dude. Everything she writes is from the heart, and I've been addicted to her blog from the first time I read it.
  3. Shana @ Utterances. Okay, so maybe she's not TOTALLY a 'mommyblogger'. But, she does have kids, and sometimes, she talks about them on her blog. Shana is just a great person. She posts things that make me laugh, and I always feel like I'm one of her friends hanging around with cocktails in the back yard when I read her blog.
  4. Christina @ A Mommy Story. I think Christina's was one of the first blogs I started reading. She has two gorgeous girls, and has faced some challenges with them. Christina is another person who always amazes me with her positive outlook. She's a patient and great mom to her little girls.
  5. Mama Bee @ Mom to Bee. First off, she titles every post with a song title. Which is totally creative and I'm sure sometimes it's not as easy as it seems. She has one gorgeous little girl and is currently in the market for a second. She makes me laugh and smile with her stories.
  6. Jaci @ Ravings of a Mad Housewife. Jaci has been going through a very difficult situation. She has shown an amazing strength and sense of herself, and what is best for her and her family. I think she is absolutely amazing. She is also funny, sassy, and self assured, and I look forward to her posts every time!
  7. Maria @ Immoral Matriarch and I Can Only Be Me. I know that Maria isn't a really 'small time' blogger. But for me, there is something that sets her apart, and it's that she really IS who she IS. Maria's not interested in becoming a different person for anything. She's honest about how she feels and who she is. She is her own person, and at the same time she is an AMAZING mother. Her love for her girls can only be described as fierce. Hers was one of the first blogs that I fell in love with, she welcomed me into the blogging world and helped me a little with my design way back when I didn't know what I was doing.
You may have noticed a trend... I think I'm most attracted to mommybloggers who AREN'T just mommies. They are really strong women. They write about motherhood, about shopping, about media, about their love lives, about whatever they want. Self assured, sassy, funny, strong, amazing women who know there is more to life than their kids. And knowing that? Allows them to be the best moms they can be. And I absolutely hope that I fit in with them, because they are a little bit breathtaking.

So, there you have it. My spotlight. Who are YOUR favorite mommybloggers? Do you consider yourself a mommyblogger?
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July 3, 2009

SYTYCD Top 14: Performance & Elimination Recap

Performance Show

Well, Cat's dress wasn't terrible but it totally reminded me of a Barbie doll from the 80s. So, there's that. As far as her outfits go, not bad. I was glad to see Mia as a guest judge this week because she's one of the most honesty judges and she says weird shit sometimes, so that's amusing.

Jeanette & Brandon
Style: Cha Cha
Choreographer: Jean-Marc & France Generaux
Song: "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" by The Pussycat Dolls

I really hate The Pussycat Dolls, so I didn't want to hear their song, but it was not nearly as bad as some of their other stuff. I loved her dress. I feel like Jeanette looks so natural in every style, how does she do that?! I thought it was pretty amazing. Nigel said it was "probably the best damn cha cha" he's ever seen on this show. He called Brandon "The Michaelangelo of the dance floor." I think those two are teh couple to beat at this point. Also, I totally started to cry with Brandon when Mia was talking to him.

Kayla & Kupono
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: "Eyes on Fire" by Blue Foundation

I thought they were absolutely incredible last week. This dance sounded really cool during the choreography. I was unsure when they started dancing, but by the end I thought it was pretty brilliant. They work together really well as a couple. Kayla's technique was so beautiful. Mia called it Sonya's best piece ever on the show. "You make the most beautiful pictures everywhere," she said to Kayla. Loved it.

Evan & Randi
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Joey Dowling
Song: "Rich Man's Frug" from Sweet Charity

I love Randi. I think she is absolutely adorable, her face is just so sunny. FINALLY we get a new broadway choreographer, which was nice. I have liked Tyce in the past, but it's so nice to have someone new. She said she was easy on them, but they seemed quite intimidated and like they were working quite hard. I LOVED IT. It was great. I agreed with Nigel that Randi was the star of the performance. Mia wasn't impressed, and the only thing I agreed with her on is that I could see what she was saying about Randi's steps being a little heavy.

Caitlin & Jason
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Brian Friedman
Song: "Creator" by Santigold

What a weird concept. When they were practicing I thought if she could pull it off, it might be amazing. I thought this music was a perfect fit. It was pretty good. Her costume was out of control. I agree with Nigel that they committed to it. I wasn't sure if it would keep them safe, I thought it would depend on how the other couples danced. Mia called it "enjoyable."

Phillip & Jeanine
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Napoleon & Tabitha Dumo

Song: "Love Lockdown" by Kanye West
I think Jeanine reminds me of Selena Gomez or something. Doesn't she totally look like she could fit in on one of those Disney teen shows? She's so cute. I like that they choreographed something around the show and the dancers experiences. I thought it was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. They were amazing, completely believable, the choreography with the chain was amazing. It may have been my favorite so far this season. I completely disagreed with Mia that the chain was "sloppy" or that it was distracting, I think that was really nitpicky.

Melissa & Ade
Style: Pas de Deux
Choreographer: Thordal Christensen
Song: "Romeo & Juliet: Prokofiev's Suite No. 1 Op. 646, 6th Movement" perf. by Orchestre De La Suisse Romande & Armin Jordan

Romeo and Juliet! I loved when Melissa said she'd be dancing her dream on national television. It's cool that she got to use her point shoes. The look on Ade's face when she first came out was PERFECT. I loved watching her en pointe. She was just so pretty. It was absolutely beautiful, and at the end when their hands interlocked? I got all teary. Mia called it a fairy tale, and I agree. And, as she said, "you can't fake classical ballet."

Karla & Vitolio
Style: Quickstep
Choreographer: Jean-Marc
& France Généreux
Song: "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Rufus Wainwright
Wow, quickstep on the first week partnering is a tough break. But they pulled it off. I loved the concept, and really wanted them to do well. I also love this song. The dress change at the beginning of the routine? Absolutely fabulous! I actually gasped out loud. I loved it, the judges really liked it. It was wonderful.

During this show they also talked about a new foundation that the choreographers, producers etc from the show and a few others have put together called The Dizzy Feet Foundation. I think it's wonderful, and I love the accreditation for dance teachers idea that Adam mentioned because I think that there are a lot of people teaching dance who can be easily surpassed by their students. Katie Holmes is actually donating her performance fee for the show on broadway that she's in right now to the foundation. What a great thing, anything promoting the arts and giving people a chance they wouldn't have had? It's okay in my book!

Predictions for bottom 3: Kayla & Kupono, Evan & Randi and Caitlin & Jason

Elimination Show

Opening Choreography by: Tyce Diorio
Song: "Brand New Day" from The Wiz

Man, I was sort of bored by the opening number. It just seemed so disconnected to me - too much dancing by small groups, like I feel like they weren't cohesive enough or something. I dunno, maybe I am just tired of Tyce's choreography or something. I just think of how amazing some of the past group routines have been and I wasn't really that impressed. Once again we have Cat in an... interesting... getup. It's silver. It's short. It's ugly. Whatevs.

So, the bottom three? Karla & Vitolio?? They were so good. Maybe people just didn't get it? I don't know. I wasn't surprised to see Kayla & Kupono in the bottom three, I thought they were great, but I think maybe people didn't "get it". When she said Caitlin & Jason were safe I was absolutely SHOCKED. I could not believe that Philip and Jeanine ended up in the bottom 3 with that amazing routine.

Karla danced to "Blackbird" as sung by Dionne Farris. I thought her routine was very well choreographed. She clearly put time and thought into it, which is good.

Vitolio danced to "Here Comes Goodbye" by Rascal Flatts. He was just beautiful, I think he always is. He is absolutely one of my favorites this season.

Kayla danced to "Stupid" by Sarah McLachlan, my favorite singer. She was beautiful, she's a beautiful dancer. She literally looks like an angel.

Kupono danced to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Iz. He was Kupono. He danced well, but watching it, I didn't feel like he was dancing for his life, or that it was necessarily enough to keep him in the competition.

Jeanine danced to "Moonlight Sonata" and I thought she danced very well. It was a great choice of music.

Phillip danced to "You'll Find a Way" by Santigold. He was great, He is an amazing dancer, and I think that he's doing particularly well in the competition considering that his dance background is what it is. He looked great.

I really do think that this is one of the closest competitions I've seen on this show. This week, I was really unsure. I honestly didn't know who the judges were going to eliminate from the girls.

The judges were unanimous about the girls. They said that Jeanine's solo was the strongest of the evening, and that it was brilliant. Right then I knew it would be Karla going home. Despite what they said about Kayla's solo, I knew they would not send her home. I totally agree with what Nigel said - she just isn't as captivating as the other girls are. She's a wonderful dancer, but she wouldn't make it to the end.

The judges were also unanimous about the guys. Poor Phillip's face when Nigel was talking to him was so scared and unsure. Nigel talked about Vitolio's presence and his eyes, but say that he doesn't deliver much apart from that. He did point out how weak Kupono's solo was. In the end, they sent Vitolio home. I was so disappointed, I almost started to cry. I just don't think that Kupono can make it to the end, and I think Vitolio is so much more amazing. I loved his story, I loved his personality and the way he dances. It was the first person this season that I was shocked and very sad to see eliminated. He really is an inspiration, and I couldn't believe it.

So, no new couples next week. Sigh...
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Update on Moving & Blog Salad

I have about a million things running through my head right now, and I need to work on some articles tonight, so for this Friday? Blog Salad it will be. Blog Salad is not good for you like real salad. It's more like that salad you get at Red Robin where it has fried chicken and bacon and fatty creamy salad dressing, and you can sort of convince yourself that it's good for you, but not really. Mostly it's just delicious.
  • I posted yesterday about our coming move to Justin's childhood home. As the day went on yesterday it became clear that 1. communication is not this family's strong suit and 2. everyone had a different opinion. Basically, we talked to Justin's nephew and he expressed that he and his friend are still looking/deciding about their living arrangements. Living at the house had been brought up as an option, but it wasn't something they were planning on/counting on. So, for now it's still out there as an option, but it's not for sure. We need to get him, his Dad, Justin & me, and Justin's Dad all on the same page to figure out what's really going to happen. No matter what, WE are moving, and we have to make the move before the end of July.
  • I haven't been reading Avitable for that long, but I am bloggily enamoured with him. Not only is he funnier than shit, he is also an actual GOOD PERSON who happens to have a blog. He cares about people, and he is not afraid to show it. Then he slapped me across the head with this post, and I just about wanted to fly to Florida and become his best-buddy-neighbor. Go read it.
  • This week has not been the greatest for Rachael and Weight Watchers. I've been eating so/so, but haven't been getting any exercise, although there is a sort-of reason for that (see next bullet). Tonight, we had Pizza Hut, oh wait, sorry, The Hut, and I ate too much. Oh well. Next week is another week. I think the move will help with eating better because we'll be FORCED to cook more, no pizza places deliver out there and it's too much of a pain in the ass to go pick food up because it's a lot longer drive.
  • One of the reasons I haven't been exercising this week is because I have this awful cold. It started out Monday morning as a cough, which lasted until last night and I woke up this morning with an awful nasal drip and have been sneezing all day long. It's annoying because it's not bad enough that I can just lie prostrate on the couch while someone takes care of me (not that there's anyone to do that), it's just that I feel like I'm running at about 75% of normal and am too hot and more tired than I should be. Being sick in the summer sucks.
  • I have been enjoying summer TV - Raising the Bar, The Closer, So You Think You Can Dance, and In Plain Sight. I can't wait for Leverage to come back. What are you watching this summer? Also, we didn't discover Penn & Teller's Bullshit until last summer and I love it! It's great. This is it's 7th season and I'd love to get past seasons to watch.
  • Audrey over at Barking Mad is having an amazing giveaway. She is absolutely in love with her Keurig, and she is giving away a Keurig Platinum Brewing System!!!! Now, I don't drink coffee, and have faced the same problems as Auds - I want to have a way to make coffee for guests, but I don't want to keep a coffee pot I won't use. Well, you know what is fricking awesome about Keurig? It's not just for coffee! You can also use it to brew single cups of tea and to make fresh hot cocoa. It's like a dream! So, head over there and enter. Or don't. Actually, don't. Because then I'll have more of a chance to win!
  • For some reason this one tooth in the back of my mouth is scraping against my tongue and it's bugging the crap out of me.
  • When we move, we're going to have two more cats, and I'm really, really hoping that our cat will get along with him.
All right... I guess that's about it for now. I'll have my SYTYCD recap up over the weekend, maybe tomorrow evening. I hope that everyone has an amazing (hopefully 3 day if you're lucky) weekend, and a wonderful Independance Day however you decide to celebrate!
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July 2, 2009

15 Week Challenge!

June 29 marked the first day of Amy's 15 Week Challenge! I found Amy's site, Amy's Quest to Skinny, through Enz at The 4 Walls. I was excited just to FIND her blog, because finding other people who are on the same journey I am is incredibly encouraging. But when I found out about the 15 Week Challenge, I was even more excited! I can't wait to make some new friends, and participate in motivating each other over the next three and a half months.

So, what is the 15 Week Challenge? 164 of us ladies out there have signed up with Amy to support each other and compete from now until October 19 to lose some weight, eat right, and get in better shape. We'll be competing Every week, there is a weekly challenge and a Wednesday Workout challenge where we can earn extra points, and at the end we'll be judged by % of weight lost to make it fair even though everyone is a different size.

I had a very busy week this week, and didn't do the weekly challenge or Workout Wednesday, but in the future you can look forward to some posts about the 15 Week Challenge here! If you want to support us, check out Amy's blog. She has some great ideas and tips for getting more fit!
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The Good and the Weird

So, the good news is, we're moving. This month. Yeah, it's quick, but as you may have noticed by yesterday's post, it has to be that way. We are finally going to be moving to Justin's childhood home. When we first talked about moving there, I was really unsure. It is a log house and just didn't fit my style. As I started to look at it and think of my stuff in there, over the past year, I have sort of fallen a little in love with it, and come to appreciate how beautiful it is. I wish I had better pictures I could show you, but for now these are the only ones I could find. After we move, I'll take a bunch of pictures so you can see the house, specifically my very favorite room, which is the living room. It has a two story ceiling and a beautiful artful picture window, a brick half wall and a gas fireplace/stove.

The first two pictures show the front of the house, and in one of them you can see the pool in the background. That's right, a pool. Which Sam will undoubtedly want to be in every minute of every day. The third picture is inside the house, Justin and Sam playing on the stairs. To the left of that is where the big living room is, and behind him you can see one of my other favorite things, a stained glass window in the staircase.

So, being the anxious person I am, I totally wish I had some boxes so I could PACK. RIGHT. NOW. But I don't, so I'll have to be a tiny bit patient. We do need to move everything by July 31, and be totally out of our current place. Justin's Dad has a pickup truck so we should be able to start making trips with loads of stuff soon, and with a lot of help from my Mom when she gets back from vacation (watching Sam so we can work), we should be able to do it.

Now the weird part... when Justin's Dad finally came around to talking to us about moving in, he brought up the possibility of Justin's 18 year old nephew living with us. He graduated high school this year and is going to be going to school in Bellingham. I didn't have a problem with it, he is a good kid, and he and Justin get along really well. Little did I know... Justin got home from working out details etc. with his Dad last night and told me that it's going to be us... PLUS TWO. That's right, not only is Justin's nephew going to be living with us, but so is his friend. Who has the same name as him.

If you know me, you may imagine that I freaked. the. fuck. out. There is so much about it that is not ideal, that I am not "okay" with. But, we just have to work it out. We don't have a choice. My HOPE is that maybe the two college boys will want to have their room out in the garage. It wouldn't be too hard to insulate & drywall and put in some kind of rug or flooring. They would have WAY more space out there, but they WOULD have to come into the house to use the bathroom & kitchen. So, we'll see. That would be ideal, because then we would still be able to have a playroom downstairs and we'd end up with an extra bedroom so we could actually have people stay with us.

If they don't want to do that, then it's going to be a lot more of a bummer and we're going to end up probably losing the downstairs family room, which I was looking forward to setting up. In which case, we'd probably still finish the garage a little to have a big playroom out there. So, we'll see. It's all details.

The bottom line is that we don't have a choice. Yes, it feels unfair to me that after waiting a year and having so many financial problems that we are now bankrupt and flat broke that we have to move in with two other people, one of whom I've never met. It feels unfair that I have to deal with living with people who aren't really roommates but aren't really unlike children in the house either. I honestly have no idea how to deal with it, and I'm annoyed at the prospect of not being 100% comfortable in my own home.

It's just the way it has to be right now. In the end, maybe all of this will end up being a blessing... somehow. I'm feeling a lot right now, grateful, relieved, anxious and unsure all at the same time. The house is out in the county on 10 acres, which means we'll no longer be living five minutes from everything like we are now. It's probably 10-15 minutes to get to the mall, which is at the north end of Bellingham, so we're going to have to adjust that way. Justin will no longer be working literally 2 minutes from home, which will affect our schedules. Just like any move, it'll be some big adjustments, some will make things easier and some won't.

I could probably go on and on about it, but I think I need to get ready for the day.
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July 1, 2009

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Our medical insurance premiums just went up by 1/6 to $751 a month. They have gone up 50% in the past 2.5 years. We have to switch plans to a cheaper one, so we're pretty much screwed either way between higher premiums and higher deductibles.

We can't pay our rent this month without touching the one thing we haven't touched - Sam's savings account. Through bankruptcy & debt, that $1500 has been SACRED, it's all we have for him. And soon, we probably won't have that either. We are in the hole. We don't know what to do. Or where to go. How did this happen?

We have to move. We don't know where. The option that has been lingering for the past year of moving out to Justin's childhood home isn't panning out (still). If we can't move out there in the next month or so, we are going to be forced to look for a better job for Justin back in Seattle. It basically sucks.

At least my blog looks pretty, thanks to my husband. Also, at least I have both my hands because when I did a google image search for "Between a rock and a hard place" it came up with a lot of cover shots of that book about the guy who got stuck between two rocks when he was climbing and had to saw his own hand off with a plastic knife. So, yeah... there's always that.

Also, I have a weird, nonproductive cough and am totally paranoid that my lungs have fungus in them since that's what happened to our cat.
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