Lead Balloon

This stuff works.
October 28, 2015, 8:47 am
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Finished “Wheat Belly”, the book yesterday. And I’m on day 10 of the “Total 10” plan. Will pick up Wheat Belly guidelines after this weekend… And it works. Something works. I’ve lost 7 inches and over 5 pounds so far. Just like “they” said, my need for grazing and my sugar cravings have subsided. It’s been a good thing.

I fully expect that at the end of the two weeks, as I transition some items back into my diet (in moderation) I will probably see a few of those pounds again. But I’m fine with that. Something is working. Something. And that’s better than before, when nothing was working.

Here’s what I found, 10 days in:

  • Sugar cravings are almost completely gone, but after dinner I do still crave dessert.
  • I’m sleeping better.
  • The first few days definitely brought some mental fogginess – but now I feel like I’m thinking a little more clearly.
  • I don’t miss the wheat. What I miss is my granola bar in the morning.
  • Food is good without wheat, starches, sugar or even dairy. It is actually good, whole food that is filling and delicious.
  • I cook more, we eat out less, and I never realized what a crutch restaurant eating is – especially during the week.
  • I feel better.

The biggest struggle in making this transition (besides people thinking I’m crazy) is trying to train the kids to eat better. We’ve trained them (especially the wee one) to snack a lot. He actually, literally, said this week, “But I want something to eat that comes in a PACKAGE that I can OPEN!” How embarrassing. Natalie has truly enjoyed the meals we’ve prepared over the past couple of weeks, but she’s a great eater. Andy is a struggle, a fight, a battle of wills. Lots of work to do there.

The next step is an appointment with my GI doctor to discuss wheat elimination. Apparently it has all kinds of positive effects on reflux. I have a checkup scheduled in a couple of months and I’m excited to see what he says about it. If he says it’s all crazy horsesh*t, then I’ll probably just punch him in the throat and litter the internet with terrible reviews about his incompetence. JK.

So, we’re having a very small, very impromptu Oktoberfest party this weekend. On Halloween. Todd has been planning it – and while he was doing a great job, I had to jump right in and blow it out of proportion. I’ve ordered Oktoberfest party decorations and even some costumes for us to wear. I’m trying to find where I can buy some pretzels that I can bake at home. This is ridiculous.

Kids – how are the kids? Natalie’s soccer season is winding down and she’s considering playing in an indoor league through the cooler weather. Andy will wrap up baseball soon, and I don’t think that will break his heart. He just enjoys spending time with his friend Kole on the field. Like a planned, predictable, weekly play date. Both kids are doing great in school and their teachers both said what great students they are, at our recent parent-teacher conferences. But I can’t help but feel like we are entering a new era of parenting with these two…They don’t seem scared to talk back or voice their opinion anymore. Just comes naturally to them. There are behaviors that I clearly, genetically, bestowed upon them that are coming to surface. And they better check themselves before they wreck themselves. HA! Todd and I are just going to have to enter a realm of not-being-a-pushover parenting that we’ve been holding out on. They’re sweet kids. Sweet kids that are about to start spending a lot less time with an XBox or anything else with a screen. We always tell ourselves, we know we have good kids… But when do good kids turn into serial killers? I kid, I kid…

That’s all, folks.


Preparing for the worst.
November 24, 2008, 12:45 pm
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For some reason, my trips to malls or airports always make me want to take the time to write a blog post. It’s obviously because of the many different walks of life that you’ll see visiting a mall or airport. At the airport, I pick up, easily, three or four observations that I feel the need to share. At a mall, though….I become obsessed with my own disappointment with what will be “our future”…freakin’ teenagers.

Last weekend we made a trip to the mall so that Natalie could have her picture taken with Santa. Of course, she ended up having her picture taken with ME and Santa (they make the chairs big enough now that you can sit NEXT to Santa, and not on his lap, which is somewhat creepy for an adult in my opinion.) And before I get off the Santa photo subject, I must say…God, please do not make me one of those parents who uses poor Santa as a threat to my children. The family in front of us (two daughters – adorable) apparently use this scare tactic quite often. If I heard it once I heard it fifteen times…”Santa’s watching you. Look at him, he’s watching you. You better be good. Santa’s watching you.” Poor kids. I thought to myself, I hope they’re not ALSO Catholic. Santa-Christmas guilt and Catholic guilt must be hell to deal with later in life, in therapy.

So my observations while at the mall:

– Teenagers have no social skills or any way of communicating with people who are not their age. There are certainly exceptions, but this is my general observation.

– Teenagers will do a lot in the name of “non-conformity”, all while conforming to look exactly like one another. Example at the mall this weekend: four kids coming to the mall dressed in their Halloween costumes, a month after the holiday. All of their “costumes” were basically just a cape of some description. (This reminds me of Todd’s VERY TRUE observation around Halloween time — teenaged girls use Halloween as an excuse to dress slutty. Plain and simple.) In addition to the Halloween example, I saw several groups of girls — all wearing variations of the same exact outfit. Now, I KNOW that I did this same thing…Which is why I’m even more frustrated by seeing it.

– Speaking of sluts. As we were walking by various stores in the mall, I’d point to a mannequin in the window and say “What if Natalie dresses like THAT?” And Todd would say, “I will tell her she looks like a slut.” Who are they trying to lure into those stores? Horny boys? Girls who want to be sluts? Whores? If I was forced to do all of my shopping in only store windows, I would have to start shopping at some sort of HUNTING store so that I could make sure my body was adequately covered.

– Thankfully, there ARE good kids out there. The problem is, they’re hard to find.

This is just the beginning for me…I have a daughter who will, one day, be a teenager. And this worrying is just the tip of the iceberg for me. It started while I was pregnant. I worried all nine months that something would go wrong during the pregnancy or during childbirth. Then, the first year of her life I tracked all of her social and developmental milestones and worried that she was too far behind or ahead of a particular “curve”. And now, I will spend the next 15 or so years completely PARANOID that she will turn out to be “that girl”…that teenaged girl who thinks that dressing provocatively is the best way to get attention, who thinks that her own taste isn’t good enough – that she has to follow the styles of the masses, OR that she’ll try SO HARD to be different that she ends up just looking like an idiot.


And to think, I want more than one.

Love on the road.
October 15, 2008, 11:49 am
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I witnessed two very interesting things on the roads of north Texas recently. Well, I am always seeing strange things from the comfort of my car, but I’d have to keep a database in my front seat to catalogue all of them for cross-referencing so that I could put them into a post that makes any sense, I see so many. These two happened in the span of a week so I was able to remember them in enough detail to write them down. So here goes.

Todd, Natalie and I were on our way to Todd’s parents’ house on Sunday. We were on the George Bush Turnpike (a highway with a toll) and just as we were about to exit Todd grabs the wheel of the car tightly and slowly hits the brakes as he notices, then points out to us, things flying through the air. Not flying so much as they were being THROWN. Off to the side of the road was a Honda, parked. And next to it, a woman in a skin-tight, black leather mini-dress. And she was taking things out of her car and HURLING them onto the highway. You know scenes from movies where a woman is tossing a cheating husband’s things out the window of the second story of her house? This was the same thing, except she was hurling his things out of her car. There were pillows, books, all kinds of stuff. And the truth is – it was DANGEROUS stuff to be coming at your own car as you’re driving 65+ miles per hour down the highway! What kind of crazy person does this??? Cars were swerving all over the place, dodging this stuff, and she just kept on doing it — not a care in the world for the safety of the innocent drivers out on the highway. Idiot.

All I could think of was, “What the hell did he do wrong???” I know it was a “he” because a few seconds later we saw “him” with his backpack, walking with his head down, swift pace, down the feeder. He had a look on his face like “Get me away from that crazy bitch.” I’m not a mind reader, but I can tell what people are thinking by the looks on their faces for sure.

Did he kill her dog? Her mom!? Did he cheat on her? Did he call her “fat” as they were driving down the highway? I think the real lesson here (besides: DON’T THROW YOUR CRAP INTO HIGHWAY TRAFFIC) is: don’t tell someone really bad news while they’re driving YOU around in THEIR car. They could kill you.

So the second thing I saw was last night while I was out running some errands. I was at a stop light, in the left turn lane when I noticed someone across the way (also stopped in a line of cars at the light) get OUT OF HER CAR (the driver’s seat) and start running toward a truck parked a couple cars back. When she got to the truck, the dude in the driver’s seat rolled down the window. She pushed the top half of her body through the window, planted a HUGE KISS on the guy, then ran back to her car, got in, and kept on driving.

Now, while that’s really “sweet” and all…again, traffic. Street. Other drivers. SAFETY!?

Just thought I’d share. And if you’re reading this blog and you are either of these women (or men!) please leave a comment and provide to us the details of what was going on there. I need to know.

Just some thoughts from the airport
September 25, 2008, 1:59 pm
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I hope this isn’t in any way offensive. But recently I was in an airport and saw many, many people traveling who were dressed in traditional, Hasidic Jewish attire. Like this. Anyway, I started to wonder about the rules that surround their dress. I’m sure it has something to do with modesty. Maybe a lot to do with tradition. But what if it has something to do with “not dressing like everyone else”? And what would happen if everyone started to dress like them? Would they have to find something different? I have no idea why I thought of this. I guess if that reggae guy didn’t start a trend, I’m not likely to.

Also, I see a lot of pilots, especially pilots for American Airlines, since I’m brand-loyal to them even though they piss me off. Those pilots are always so put together. Nicely dressed, clean cut, shined shoes, pressed shirts. They usually have the short-sleeved-shirt-with-a-tie thing going on. But I started to over-analyze them as a group, recently, and realized I’d never seen any of them with tattoos on their arms. I wondered if it was part of the dress code?

I also realized that I have terrible anxiety around boarding the plane. No matter how many times I do it, I always sit in fear that when it is my turn to board, there won’t be any room from my seat forward in the overhead compartments for my bag. I never check bags, so I’ve always got my backpack and my roller bag. I have always stressed about there being room for the roller bag…and this started BEFORE they started charging for checked bags. I used to be gold status, which meant I could always board with Group 1. But maternity leave knocked me down to regular status with no perks. So I’m wondering if “boarding anxiety” qualifies me for boarding first, with the kids with strollers and wheelchairs? I’m seriously thinking of trying that next time.

There was a little girl at the airport during my last trip who looked A LOT like Natalie. It’s what I imagine that Natalie will look like in a year or so. Interestingly enough, like Natalie, her hair and eye color didn’t match her parents’ at all. She was just like Natalie – blonde headed, blue eyed, with parents who had brown hair and brown eyes. Anyway, I bring this up because I was looking at this little girl quite a bit. I was looking at her fondly, thinking of little Natalie at home…When I realized that her mother thought I was eyeing her a little TOO much. She kept shifting away so that I couldn’t look at her. So I looked away, not trying to seem like a creep. But I couldn’t help but look AGAIN to see if the mother was still eyeing ME down! I felt like a total weirdo. I AM a total weirdo.

All the right reasons…
September 12, 2008, 12:38 pm
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Last night I had to eat ice cream to get the garlic taste out of my mouth, from dinner.

Today, I need it because my throat is sore. And the coolness of the ice cream feels good.

Just What I Was Seeking…
September 4, 2008, 2:18 pm
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I just visited Dooce’s Web site and she’s got a similar post today about her frustrations with this election. Granted, it’s definitely taking a harder stance and is much more eloquently written, but nonetheless, she put a link in her post that contains the type of “check your facts” information I was seeking.

You can check it out here. And I hope you do.

Family Values
September 4, 2008, 9:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I rarely ever “get political” on this blog, because it’s just no use, really. Writing about politics HERE just feeds what I absolutely hate about recent years’ elections. I can’t STAND the un-researched, unfair, idiotic, uneducated, untrue, left-or-right-wing slanted Internet or e-mail PROPAGANDA that is circulated around election time.

People say that they hate politicians. I feel sorry for them. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt — I’d say that if you had a chance to sit down with one of them — ANY of them — and ask them, they’d say that they’d actually LIKE to be spending more time in their day listening to their constituents, in activities, meetings, focus groups, developing policy and ideas that might help make this country a better place to live than spending time doing what they have to do now: developing spin, media and statements that defend themselves against the incorrect and blown up facts that are generated not only by “the other side” but by people like me and you who 1) read, 2) believe, and 3) FORWARD ON emails and links to the Internet which promote this type of propaganda.

Lately my inbox is full of them — from both sides. And as I read them, I can’t help but cringe. And when I’m done reading them, and scroll back up to the top of the email and see the VERY LARGE distribution list, I panic. I get worried about ALL THOSE PEOPLE on the list who might not think to challenge the content. Who might not think, “Hmmm, this is slanted one way,” or “Hmmm…that statistic just doesn’t match up with what I’ve heard before,” or “Hmmm…Obama’s middle name is Hussein??? Surely he didn’t choose that HIMSELF?”

Today I was so mad after reading a few of them that I got on a conference call with one of my clients and started venting to HER about it. How inappropriate is that? Clearly, I was moved. So clearly, I had to write about it myself.

We’ve got some good candidates this year. No, we’ve got some GREAT ones. All have their merits. And all of them have their shortcomings. I have some very strong feelings — good and bad — about some of the candidates. For example, am I pleased as punch to see a woman on the ballot? Hell yes! But do I think it’s the right choice? Maybe not. She’s a great lady with some good experience. But do I think McCain was irresponsible in making this choice? A little. If she didn’t have a special-needs infant (six months old!) who needs her full-time attention and a daughter in a delicate, scary state right now who also needs a full-time mother, I think the Palin decision would be easier to swallow. I’m not quoting any statistics here, I’m just saying that as a mother myself, I think her decision to hit the campaign trail right now might be a little selfish. They’re not kidding when they say “Country First”, are they? What about family values? I don’t in any way judge her or think she’s less qualified because her daughter is pregnant. Moms all over the country are facing this right now — it makes her REAL and STRONGER because of it. But again, I just question the timing of the decision. I loved when Obama was asked about the teenager’s pregnancy…He said he was offended by the question, he reminded the reporter that he’s said time and time again that family is off limits, and should be kept out of it That this goes for him AND his opponents. Tis true, tis true.

I can’t, myself, even write a post without having an opinion that is out there to be read and digested by the world. I just wish people didn’t believe everything they read. I got one pro-McCain email this morning that had tons of comparisons between him and Obama, especially in the area of tax increases and such. Then it said, “You can verify the above information at the following links” and there was a list of links there to visit. I visited them, and what I found when clicking on them was a lot of information NOT contained in the email. Information about tax cuts that Obama is suggesting that affect ME! In a good way! The email was so “doom and gloom” about how he’s going to tax the hell out of us and give us no relief. Well, that’s because it was only HALF of the picture. Taxes are a necessary evil, people. The benefits you receive from your government come from taxation…You have to pay to play. If you’re upset about the taxation, please do some research and see where those taxes go and how it balances out. I’m not saying that some of his proposed increases don’t affect me negatively — they do. Same goes for McCain.

The truth is I straddle the line. Several lines. There are more third parties out there that I am better aligned with on the issues — social and economic — and general interpretation of the Constitution. I remember in college in my “European Governments” class, thinking how GREAT it’d be to live in a country with a third-party system. Here, if you’re “republican” or “democrat”, it’s just a label you give yourself. The lines between the two are getting grayer and grayer, but the polarized “party politics” seem to never go away. Party platforms (which include probably 90% of the information you’re receiving in your emails) are great during election year. But if you pay attention, upon every presidential EXIT, you will hear a match-up of what he said during the campaign, and what he actually did in office. And it rarely matches up. I wish we didn’t hang on every word, and paid closer attention to our local, state and national congressional office-holders. That’s where you’ll see some impact.

I will say that there are parties out there that, as a Christian, I identify with more closely. And those are not the parties of people that call themselves the “religious right”. I’m talking about mankind — how we are tasked with loving and taking care of each other. How as a Christian, regardless of how I am taxed, I’m okay with sharing a larger percentage of my dollars if it means that someone else — regardless of their color, age, citizenship, etc. — gets to eat, has adequate shelter, or that a child doesn’t get the best this life has to offer. I could write a whole post on what I think “being a Christian” is all about, and how that is made manifest in the public arena of politics. But that would take time I don’t have today. I’ll just carry it in my heart and, in November, vote accordingly, hoping that I’m not jaded or swayed EITHER WAY by these stupid freakin’ emails.