Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Do You Get a Man Anyway??

Today is our 4 year wedding anniversary! Yup, I've been tied to the ol' ball and chain for 4 whole years and together for 7 in total. Wait, isn't the wife supposed to be the ball and chain? Oh well. Anyway the thing is, every year that passes, it gets that much harder to find a gift for big monster.

This year I got him two pairs of shorts, two DVDs, and a card. Over the years I've gotten him cologne, candy, shirts, watches, shoes, video games, gift cards, etc. What the heck am I gonna do for the next 50 years?! Not to mention that with the added holiday of Father's Day, there's even less to spread around.

Women are so easy to shop for. We want the flowers, the chocolate, the occasional lingerie - you know, the timeless gifts that keep on giving. But for men? Forget it. I get more nervous watching him open his gift than actually opening mine!

We keep saying that we want to start not giving gifts and just go away on a romantic vacay as a mutual gift. Unfortunately, every year money is an issue so we have to deal with the gift giving fiasco all over again.

So what do you gals think? What gifts have you given your men that have been major winners? Please share cuz this wifey is running outta ideas!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Birthday Blues Be Gone!

What is it about birthdays that cause us to frown, scoff, and want to hide under our covers? It wasn't always like this. Remember when birthdays represented growth, fun, and surprise? Now the only growth I experience is around my mid section. Or the surprise of an old poopy diaper hidden under the couch.

But seriously, I remember when turning 13 was such an accomplishment. Then my sweet 16 was all I could think about. Oh and turning 18 meant I was officially an "adult". What was the last exciting birthday? 21? Oh boy, now I was REALLY legal and could order a drink if I wanted. (which to this day I'm not really into.)

After those birthday milestones, birthdays for me didn't really feel any different than any other day and it wasn't until this year - today turning 29 - that I actually wanted to skip it all together! Upon analyzing, I realized that yes part of it is feeling like I'm old (only one more year til the big 3-0!) but the bigger part is unrealized dreams and aspirations.

We all create plans for ourselves, about where we want to be at age such-and-such, and when you aren't quite in the place you dreamed of, it does throw you for a loop. It's almost as if you wish you could have a "do-over" button and fix certain things that you're unsatisfied with. Your favorite phrase becomes "What if I had..." and you lose sight of all that has gone right.

But you'll all be happy to know that after much prayer this morning, I came to realize that it's not about my will but God's will in my life. And His will is so much sweeter than what I could ever conjure up. I just need to be patient (as hard as that may be) God reminded me that I originally had 3 goals to accomplish by age 30 - get married, have a baby, and be a licensed Mental Health Counselor. Hey, 2 outta 3 ain't bad and I still have one more year to get my license so praise God. What happened was, along the way, I added tons of sub-goals to my original 3 (like losing 40 lbs, going to Europe, living in a mini-mansion, meeting Michael Jackson *RIP*) that clouded my appreciation for all that God has given me. I have a loving God, a loving family, big monster (hubby) and little monster (baby), a job, caring friends (online and off)...

It's crazy but as I'm sitting on this crowded train, a homeless man just said to everyone that he just got out of prison, he's HIV positive, he's hungry, needs a little money, and he doesn't want to go back to jail. I immediately started tearing up. I couldn't say no to that. And how timely was it to strengthen my resolve even more that I should be thanking God for another healthy, happy, and blessed year on this planet.

Philippians 4:12 says, "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." In other words, Paul was saying that he learned through experience the importance of being content w/ your situation - whether in abundance or when struggling. We may not be happy every waking moment but we can still be joy-filled through Christ.

Oh and by the way, the hubby made this birthday extra special by getting me a kitten! I named her Pinky!

Happy Birthday to me!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Weight Loss Journey Continued - The Paleo Diet

Being busy busy busy does NOTHING for your health. Between taking care of little monster, trying to spice things up with my Mister, and working nonstop, I have managed to gain 7 lbs on top of the leftover baby weight that has been plaguing my existence since March 1, 2010.

I've done Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers. good ol' fashioned calorie counting, you name it - I've tried it. Nothing has really worked for long and sadly I've felt deprived in some form or another with all of them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that deprivation = failure. Not cool. But I still trek on. I can't give up. I have gained 40 lbs since meeting my husband and it's done nothing for my self esteem. And now with summer finally hear. I'm DREADING the oh-so-terrible bathing suit shopping. NOOOOOoooo!! (insert echo)

In any event, I have learned about yet another diet (or healthy eating plan) called THE PALEO DIET. This diet is based on how the "cave-men" ate back in the day during the Paleolithic period. Before the McDonalds' and Krispy Kremes, there was a simpler, healthier way of eating.

According to Dr. Loren Cordain, our ancestors ate lean meats, vegetables, and fruits. Period. Grains weren't introduced until generations later, and once they were, so was a reduction in health. So the bad carbs we love so much - bread, rice, cereal, pasta, etc cause a lot of our health issues today - including obesity. I know I know, this sounds just like all of the other low carb diets out there. The main difference is that this diet doesn't forbid you to eat fruit. Also, it even allows you 3 cheat meals per week to keep sane and motivated! The idea is that if you're eating well the majority of the time, having cheat meals won't harm you (as long as you aren't bingeing!).

This diet seems more of a fit for me because if I do decide to treat myself within reason, I don't have to be guilt ridden for the rest of the week. Phew! So I've been reading the Paleo Diet book and it sounds good so far. The eating plan seems realistic and the recipes are great. So I'll keep you all updated! *fingers and toes crossed*

I'm Baaaacckkk!!!! (again)

Hey out there in blogger land!! It's been forever since my last post. And rightly so! Right after my son's 1st birthday, work started to get hectic (and still is), married life started to get hectic (and still is), and mommy life... well you all know the deal so I don't have to say it.

Despite all of the chaos, I've still been feeling like I need an outlet - to get my feelings out and share my journey - so here I go blogging again. The difference is, now I'm typing out my post on the train ride into the city and actually posting it later when I get a (rare) free moment - and wifi.

So what's new? Well little monster is almost 16 months old and practically RUNNING around the apartment. He still looks like a drunken sailor while doing it but who cares, that's what makes it extra cute right? He doesn't talk much yet but understands a lot. He follows commands (sit down, come here, pick that up, etc) He also can point out tons of stuff on his body. He loves that game! He loves it so much that the other day when he was crying, I asked him to point out his nose to distract him, and he pointed while continuing to cry lol Picture a sobbing baby pointing to his nose over and over. That was priceless. He also can say mama, dada, hi, and cat (which sometimes sounds like car but we know what he means).

On to the next thing. Work. Work has been kicking my patoot. Working evenings doing family therapy in homes in the Bronx = stressed out chick who is a therapy session away from an ulcer. The pay is pretty good though so I feel like I'm stuck. Until I get my mental health counseling license that is (but that's a year and a half away)

Then there's the marriage - which has gone into a not-so-lovely mundane roommate type of situation. I feel like we're that typical "old married couple" which makes no sense since we've only been married for 4 years! Alas, little monster definitely had a big part in that, along with stress from work, finances, over-tiredness, etc etc.

And how do you turn that around? Ya ya ya, date nights and all that. Listen, we go out to eat by ourselves once a week but for some odd reason, even the conversation during those times circle around little monster. Or Real Estate, which is my husband's passion. Or my hatred for my job. Fun.

We keep saying that things will change but we don't ever take action steps to do it, which annoys the crap outta me. I mean all I do each day is listen to people's problems and help them put plans together to change their situation, yet I feel powerless to change my own. Isn't it ironic. Don't ya think? It's kinda like that heart surgeon who smokes like a chimney. Weird.

In any event, I guess I'll just keep trying, and praying, and hoping. Oops, gotta go or else I'll miss my stop. Loovvve NYC transit!! (insert sarcastic tone) ;)