Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our new itinerary to Jamaica

Ack. Well, I guess we'll just need to pack plenty of patience.... and some of those small bottles of liquor.

Pray for us!


Sun 27-Dec-09

Sacramento (SMF)
Depart 6:10 am
to Salt Lake City (SLC)
Arrive 8:46 am
532 mi
(856 km)
Duration: 1hr 36mn

Flight: 1140

Economy/Coach Class ( 27C, 27B, 27A, 27D ), BOEING 737-800 (WINGLETS) PASSENGER

Salt Lake City (SLC)
Depart 9:40 am
to Atlanta (ATL)
Arrive 3:20 pm
1,587 mi
(2,554 km)
Duration: 3hr 40mn

Flight: 151

Economy/Coach Class ( 41E, 41D, 41F, 41G ), Food For Purchase, Boeing 767-300

Atlanta (ATL)
Depart 5:45 pm
to Montego Bay (MBJ)
Arrive 8:43 pm
1,120 mi
(1,802 km)
Duration: 2hr 58mn

Flight: 565

Economy/Coach Class ( 32B, 32D, 32C, 32A ), Breakfast, BOEING 737-800 (WINGLETS) PASSENGER

Total distance: 3,239 mi (5,213 km)
Total duration: 8hr 14mn (11hr 33mn with connections)

Fail, fail, fail away!

I love this. It reminds me of something someone once said to me: "There are no failures, just events that teach us how to succeed."

Thanks to my friend, Renee, for finding and posting on Facebook.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wonderful weekend

We had a fantastic weekend. Yup... fantastic, wonderful... it was that good.

On Friday night I left Daisy in the hands of Daddy and went out to a friend's house for a CAbi party. I drank two glasses of wine and spent $$ on cute clothes. In short, the weekend started off well.

Meanwhile, Daisy was in a fabulous mood all weekend.

On Saturday, we did our usual thing in the morning - swimming lessons with Daddy - we napped well and then, in the afternoon, we all went over to my parents so Daisy could ride her pink pony.

At 5:30pm, we spruced ourselves up and went out to a local street party event called Folsom Live. Since Mum and Dad had a charity event to attend that same evening, we had our nanny, Brandy come baby-sit for us for a couple of hours. We had never been to Folsom Live before, so we had no idea if we would enjoy it. Since we normally go out for date night and find ourselves checking our watch after an hour, two hours seemed like enough time to check it out and get back for bath, bottle, and bed.

That was until we realized that the entrance fee was $35 each!!!! Drink tickets minimum = $20. Food extra. Baby sitter $40. I can safely say that, with food and parking, we spent $150. That's $75 an hour!

Thankfully, the event was really fun and we will definitely return next year for longer than two hours. (No kidding.)

The minute we walked through the gates, we happened upon an already drunk bar-tender who poured two of the stiffest drinks I think we've tasted in a long time. That started the evening off with a literal buzz. Then we head down the strip to check out the bands on the ten stages, expecting to bop around from one to another during our two hours. That was until we found the 90s tribute band, STT. A little "Groove Is In The Heart" (my old night-club anthem) and we were hooked for the night (or, at least the two hours). All those songs from our 20s left us feeling at both young all over again and incredibly old because, let's face it, most of the songs we were getting giddy over were 10-20 years old themselves. (Argh!)

We started back toward the car, reluctantly, at around 7:15. Unfortunately, when we hit the entrance, the organizers hadn't yet made an "Exit". (Yes, we were leaving that early, it seems.) This led to the first ever episode of me flexing my mummy muscle.

The event staff at the entrance told us to walk around the fence to an area where we'd already been and that we knew was blocked-off and so we told them no, couldn't we just exit through the entrance? They said we could do whatever we wanted but would probably get stopped and turned back by the security guards (because, you know, you really need to keep an eye on who might be leaving without a ticket!) "Well," I said, in my I really don't give a shit what you say tone, "I have a five month old I need to get home to, so they better not stop me!" And with that, I marched right past them, Hubby in tow. We did indeed encounter the security guards, who happened to be holding open the fence for a golf cart. "We're just leaving!" I said, walking past them without so much as a pause and with such purpose that I think they would have been numbskulls to have stopped me.

That's right! Don't you dare try to stand between me and my daughter! I may have a bad hip but I can still kick your ass!

So, we were home by 7:35pm, $150 poorer, a little buzzed, but still able to give Daisy her bath. I finished-up the evening watching a TiVo'd episode of The Vampire Diaries. Ahhh.... Saturday night bliss.

Sunday, Mum and I went shopping for birthday gifts for a 1 year old, a 3 year old, and a 4 year old. What fun!

Hubby with those STIFF drinks.

Me in front of the stage where STT was playing
(The place was packed, it's just everyone's behind the camera)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Our neighborhood watch is out of control!

A couple of months back a man, posing as a salesman, went knocking on doors around our neighborhood during the day. Mum opened the door to him, irritated because he woke Daisy from her nap, gave him a piece of her mind, and when he refused to leave, closed the door in his face. (Go Mum!) Two nights later, Hubby's laptop was stolen from the back seat of his car and some other cars in the neighborhood were broken into. (The fact that the laptop was in the car overnight is another matter we shan't go into.) We're not convinced these two incidents are related but, everyone around here seems to think they are.

Obviously, this got our Neighborhood Watch all fired up. I don't think I mentioned the spate of burglaries last fall that had the men on our block literally patrolling the streets after dark in their pick-up trucks but I think this gives you some insight into how vigilant people are around here. Someone unusual shows up on the street and an email begins to circulate with his/her description and details of multiple neighbor interactions. It's to such an extent that, when my nanny's husband first started waiting outside out house to pick her up, neighbors would emerge into their driveway to eyeball him. I. KID. YOU. NOT. At first he was really weirded out by our crazy neighbors until, of course, I explained the situation.

Today we had two "elderly boys" (my mother's interesting description - she has many) knock on our door, again waking Daisy from her nap (why is their timing so impeccable?) and claiming to be peddling something or other. Mum closed the door on them again and I went downstairs to take a gander, see what they were up to. I was in my workout clothes and had just worked out on my Total Gym, so I was feeling very burly. By then the boys had crossed the street and were knocking on someone else's door.

As I was eye-balling them from my driveway, two men who I think are neighbors from down the street, came strutting along the road and asked me if I had seen a couple of boys knocking on doors around here. I said I had, of course, and pointed across the street. The men then proceeded to approach the boys and question them for ten minutes before heading back home. Not fifteen minutes after that, the Sheriff's car passed by our front door.

Of course, I shouldn't complain but sometimes it's just entertaining.

Friday Motivation - Week 1

In the quest to shed the baby weight, I am trying to find ways to publicly hold myself accountable (aka: shame myself) for the weight loss.

So, I have decided to do 2 things here on this blog every Friday moving forward.

1) I will post a picture of myself thinner.
2) I will report my actual weight and any loss/gain from the previous week

I expect to be soundly boo'd if I put on weight or stagnate and profusely congratulated if I lose so much as an ounce.

For week one, I have chosen a pic from me back in 2004 when I was on vacation in Greece. Here I am standing at the intersection of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas in Prasonissi, Rhodes. Approximate weight here... 135lbs.

Prasonissi . . .

And now to today...

GOAL CLOTHING SIZE: 6-8 (because this would mean I could actually wear 90% of the clothes in my wardrobe)
LBS TO GOAL: 14lbs

(And yes, it's still a fact that I am only 2lbs shy of the weight I was when Daisy was 6 weeks old. ACK!)

Bring on the shame!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Am I nucking futs?

So, in case you didn't catch it on Facebook, Delta Airlines has seen fit to cancel our direct flight from Sacraghetto to Atlanta, on the way to Jamaica in December. Now they want us to go from Sac to Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City to Atlanta, and Atlanta to Montego Bay.

Yes, with a 9 month old.

Initially, my reaction was the same as yours probably is - is she nucking futs????

But then, I looked at the schedule. Originally the flight into Atlanta from Sac left us with a 3-4 hour layover before getting on the last leg to Jamaica. Now, with the new schedule, we're leaving about 1/2 an hour earlier from Sac but they're having us take that same final flight from Atlanta to Jamaica, arriving at the same time. So, instead of a 3-4 hour layover, we only have like 90-120 minutes. The two flights (Sac to SLC and SLC to Atlanta) take-up that extra time inbetween and we're actually only adding 30 minutes of travel time to the day.

Therefore, the question remains: Is is better to take a 9 month old on 3 flights with shorter gaps between them or 2 flights with a bunch more downtime between?I'm torn. Right now, I would say the first but who knows what Daisy is going to be like 3 months from now? Plus, I also have to take into consideration the increased likelihood of delays and missed connections or lost luggage, the more flights we take. ACK!

The Expedia.com representative says she can contact Delta and see if they can come up with a better route but the reality is that they then cannot guarantee the dates or the price (which is already pretty hefty.)

Since I am the travel planner extraordinaire, the final decision sort of lands with me, says my family. Of course, what this means in reality is that they then get to bitch-and-whine about whatever decision I make when it goes wrong.

California Dreamin'

I have been having weird and slightly disturbing dreams lately.

Two nights ago, Hubby and I were outside my Nan's house in England (which is no longer, of course, hers) when we saw sparks fly above us in the night sky. When we looked up, we saw a red, glowing slit appear in the sky and from it zoomed a flying saucer of the "Independence Day" kind, zooming quickly across the sky but only about 1,000 feet from the ground. There was an ominous feeling in the air, as if we seemed to know what this meant; a harbinger of some kind. I remember feeling fearful and having the sense that nothing would ever be the same again. I think I said something about 2012, maybe referencing Nostradamus' predictions for armageddon? Hubby tried to walk towards it to get a better look and I pulled him back, telling him 'they' would see us.

In last night's dream I was in a women's prison. I had killed someone. I don't think this act was intentional or a murder in the "psycho" sense because I felt as though, although I wasn't denying being culpable in some way, I shouldn't be there. I was awaiting my trial and thought that my sentence probably wouldn't be that long.

Being in there for "homicide" gave me a sense of invincibility as I walked around. I was rooming-in with three other women and we all slept on the floor. However, I was ridiculously scared and could barely breathe for the feeling of being trapped. Just the thought of not being able to go places and do things just freaked me out, although I was trying not to think about it in the dream and trying to find ways to make the time pass, walking around outside in a fenced-off area that seemed remarkably similar to the Folsom Zoo that I just visited. My family came to visit me but kept wanting to leave early, which just made me more and more upset. The time went incredibly slowly and I looked at the clock at one point, thinking it was bound to be almost dinner time, and it was only 12:30pm.

Hubby said he has also been having vivid dreams but his are much more one-dimensional and the theme is reoccurring. He's skiing but the most vivid part is the sound of his skis on the snow as he heads down the hill. Sometimes he is alone and sometimes he meets up with me and we go up the lift again before skiing back down.

I like his dreams much better!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Back by popular demand!

Well, thanks to emails and votes from friends who want to hear about more than my beautiful daughter, Daisy, I have taken the step to resurrect this blog, officially pulling Random Rants out of hiatus.

If you found this blog through Facebook and are new to this blog (and me) since the days Random Rants was a regular part of my life, I should first start by warning you that Random Rants is a blog of my personal opinions as much as my personal activities.

Fair warning. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm Liberal and lovin' it. If you think reading my left-leaning rants will make it hard for you to love me, perhaps it's a good idea to stick with The Lazy Crazy World of Daisy. I'm not hear to offend anyone. Debate intelligently? Sure. But if you're the type who gets personally upset by views divergent from your own (and there's nothing wrong with that), then I value our friendship more than my readership stats.

Disclaimers aside....


Let's see what happened since we left off on a cool day in March...

Well, I had a baby. DUH. And... well... really not much else. Haha! Yes, it may be a challenge for a while to find things to post about but I'm going to try.

First, I have to say that reading my goals for the year on the right was a bit disheartening. I don't know where I got it into my stubborn British skull that I would be able to lose the baby weight in 3 months OR write a book while learning to be a first-time mum. I think I forgot the R in the SMART goals rule: "Realistic"

As of today, just over 5 months since Daisy was born, I have managed to lose 23 of the 32 pounds I put on when I was pregnant. Unfortunately, a good 18 of those came off within the first 6 weeks all on their own and the other 5 pounds have been a hard, hard, slog that I'm still slogging away on. I've noticed, however, that the majority of weight remains on my stomach which was taking the brunt of the stretching there, especially in the last few months. My legs and arms seem to fit into most of my pre-maternity clothes, it's just the bit below my boobs (which quickly returned to a less-than desirable size) and above my hips that refuses to budge. Do I hear tummy tuck? My goal is to budge the final 9 before my vacation in Jamaica at the end of the year. That's about 3 lbs a month. Sounds reasonable. Now let's see if THAT'S realistic!

All I can say is I'm putting in the effort. I bought the Total Gym so I wouldn't have the excuse of not making it to the gym every day and, for the most part, I have been using it at least 3 days a week. I also try and do one of my power yoga DVDs once a week in addition to a more gentle, Kundalini yoga DVD on a weekend (if Daisy takes a long enough nap.) Some weeks Mum and I even make it to an aquaerobics class at the gym. Plus, I try to take Daisy for one long walk each day (baking hot Sacraghetto heat, allowing.) Eating is hit or miss - I buy the food but seem to get to Daisy's bath-time before I realize I now don't have time (or energy) to make it. So, out comes the Slimfast, the Nutrigrain bar or - shock horror - the fast-food salad. Overall, I'd give myself a solid B+ for effort and C- for results. Hopefully the two will synch-up soon.

As for writing a book... HA! Or, as I should say in this social media world, ROTFLMAO.

So, what have I been doing other than being mom and dieting? The answer, unfortunately, is WORK.

I went back to work after 8 weeks and hit the ground running. Fortunately, my brother-in-law (who I hired to take over part of my job when I was gone), was approved as a permanent employee and so I didn't have to take back on those tasks I was doing before. But now my job is much different, much more engaging, much more challenging, and much more busy!

Depending on the day, I fulfill the roles of:
  • Marketer
  • Copy-writer
  • Sales Person
  • Contract writing
  • Executive/Strategic Decision-Maker
  • Business Development
  • Graphic Designer
  • Web-site designer
  • Videographer
  • Trainer
  • Presenter
  • System Analyst
  • Product Manager
  • Blogger
  • Customer Retention Programs
  • Customer Service
  • Social Media Maven

I could probably go on, but you get the point. (And no, it's not "poor me". Just phew!)

Now that some of the day-to-day tasks, including passive, incoming leads are handled by my BIL, I have been freed-up to pursue growing and protecting the company's sales and market share through less tactical and more strategic means. As I said, this can be anything from being the face on twitter, facebook, or Linked-In and working to develop strategic partnerships with movers-and-shakers in the business, to designing a new logo or working with our lawyers on a new contract. Sometimes the diversity is exciting and stimulating and sometimes it's just plain difficult to focus because I'm working on so many things at once AND I've got so many other things that I want to do. I've basically been given almost free-reign to do what it takes to get the job done and, now my mind has been freed of constraints, my ideas are greater than my personal ability to implement them, or the company's ability to pay for them!

Of course, all of this (inc. working out and eating better, going to doctor's appointments, physical therapy, and massage therapy) now has to happen, most days, between 8am when child-care walks through the door to 4pm-ish, when it walks out. On the days Mum is here, I have a bit more flexibility but by 4pm she's been playing with Daisy for 8 hours and so it's only fair I get my ass downstairs to give her a break by the time 5 rolls around. So, I leave my desk at the end of each day pretty darn exhausted from trying to fit it all in.

For those people who manage to pick-up their life pretty much where they left off after having kids, I only have to conclude that either (a) their lives and jobs were not that busy to start off with (b) they have a LOT of energy or (c) they're just plain exhausted at the end of the day. For me, battling pain with my hip is definitely a factor in energy depletion.

Which, of course, brings me to the chronic issue of my hip, the subject of many a blog post in the past.

The good news is that things seem to be improving. The bad news is that they're still not back to being as good as they were before I got pregnant (and that wasn't perfect or acceptable then either.) Carrying a baby and having a c-section put a whole host of different strains on the muscles of my hip, abs, and thigh (all of which, of course, are interconnected) and so I developed new pains, twinges, weaknesses, and soreness after Daisy was born. New stuff that I have had to battle before I could even begin to address the old, resurrected issues of post-surgery, let alone the issues I had the surgery to alleviate in the first place.

All of this has been building upon itself for over a year now and my right side has pretty much been in a hot, hot mess. There were days just a month or two ago, where I had to return from walks around the block with Daisy because I was getting stabbing pains in the right side of my leg and buttocks. It seemed like my entire right side was just freezing up in a spasm of pain. My lower back is in almost constant pain (but, again, getting better), my knees now have begun to hurt, my pubic bone is sore to the touch, I often get pains or cramping in my right foot now too, and my osteopath frequently finds a rib or two out of place. (I'm serious... it's like a domino effect!)

What seems to be working in chipping away at this myriad of issues is a myriad of approaches. As I said, I'm seeing an Osteopath every 10-14 days and she is participating in the chipping, although mostly addressing the pubic bone/pelvic floor issues, for no other reason than because pretty much no other specialty will or does! My massage therapist, meanwhile, has declared war on my IT band, psoas, and illopsoas (which seems to be the center of the wheel when it comes to where all the issues are coming from.) In addition, working out definitely helps. All too often what we think is a tightness issue is really a strength/weakness issue and, realizing that, I've been powering through temporary discomforts and set-backs to continue increasing my back, ab, and leg strength again. Finally, every night, right after Daisy goes to bed, I lay on the floor and devote the final 45 minutes of my day to some pretty extreme and painful stretching, sometimes incoroprating the excrutiating foam-roller into the routine when I'm feeling brave.

All that said, there are still days (especially on weekends) when carrying around and playing on the floor with a 5 month old all day, leaves me reaching for the NSAIDs and muscle relaxers. I'm not a big fan of either but, I have to say, that they are like "reset" buttons for me. They enable me to really relax and night and wake up the next morning ready to start all over again, rather than allowing the pain and inflammation to build upon itself.

It's a daily struggle not to feel discouraged and tired of dealing with this issue still but, when I look at Daisy and realize how much more active she's going to be in the coming years, I find new motivation every day.

Finally, I have added a couple of new things to my life.

The first is my parents. They're now here permanently and living down the street. This has been beyond AWESOME because, without their help, I'm pretty sure that Hubby and I would have lost our minds. I credit the fact that he and I are still on speaking terms to the reality that we're not alone in this new parenting thing. Someone else to share the burden, someone else to talk to, someone else to help with even the most basic things and, most importantly, two people we love to share our love for Daisy with. When I see my parents with Daisy, it's like having an extension of myself with her. I love sharing time as a family and that was borne-out during our recent vacation when Daisy also seemed to be equally as content to have all 4 of us together all the time. It's how I grew up (with my Nan and Grandad a big part of my daily life) and I'm so glad I can give that love and support to Daisy too.

The second is my new group of mommy friends. Contrary to what many may believe, the majority of women that I have acquired as new friends through having Daisy, are actually very cool, fun chicks who like to get out and about without their kids, as well as with them. Last Friday we all went out for "MNO" (Mother's Night Out) and had a great time chatting about our lives now as well as before mommyhood. I consider myself very lucky to have happened upon such a great group of ladies, especially after one of them told us about her sister who lives in another city and who has had the hardest time meeting other fun, local moms her age.

On the down-side (not that this is much of a "down") there is no possible way that I can attend all the birthday parties I am now getting invited to. Between my old friends (who have about 12 babies between them) and my new friends, there are just not enough weekends in a year, folks! So, while I love to socialize Daisy and celebrate birthdays (young and old), I'm going to have to start making some choices about which I attend and which I don't. For instance, I have 5 parties I have been invited to the weekend of October 3rd alone!

And, on that positive note, I'm going to sign-off. It's taken me almost 3 days to complete this post and I think it's time to turn it loose before it takes you almost 3 days to read it.

Until the next time I make it by...


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