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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday's "The Office" quote

I love this show. Haha. I have one of those daily calendars on my desk and today's quote made me laugh.

Funny "Office" quote off my calendar today:

Jim, if he won the lottery: "I'd probably buy a big piece of land in Maine, build a house, work in town. Somewhere I could bike to or kayak to. I'd either bike to my job at the kayak shop or kayak to my job at the bike shop."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sometimes it's too much.

I have many friends (online and in real life) with kids the same age as my oldest. I continue to see things they make at school. A friend just posted some adorable valentines she made with her daughter, who is actually younger than my oldest (she's 4; my son is almost 5.5). She printed both her classmates' name as well as her own.

Andrew still can't do this.

My heart breaks for him, so much that it brings tears to my eyes. We don't make a big deal out of it, but it makes me so sad because he has dyspraxia and he can't help it, yet when I see age-appropriate handwriting from kids his age and younger, it's like a little punch to the gut. I see some progress in school with his ability to trace lines and shapes, and some with the letter tracing, too ... but he cannot outright make a letter. And he's too young to realize that it will become an issue if things can't be fixed.

The truth is, in his interdisciplinary team meeting we had in October, they seemed to give me little hope that he would be able to write.

It doesn't change my opinion of him, as I am SO proud of him for all that he is and everything he has accomoplished thus far and they have assured me that not only is he smart, but he's highly intelligent, but still . . . I think of all the things I did as a kid (writing and drawing were two of my favorite things) and I hope that he can someday do those things as well.

I don't want the other kids to treat him differently if he ends up having to use a laptop in school. I know some probably will. I know the kids in his class love him, but pre-schoolers are so innocent yet and untouched by society, almost. For example, Andrew wants to someday marry a girl in his class. She happens to be black. Kids don't see color or differences, and I love that about childhood.

To my Andrew, I love you, just as you are. I will always love you, forever.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Two Thumbs up and a You BETCHA!

I'm going to be starting a new thing where I recommend products, shows, or movies based on my own personal experience with them. This will be the first of many, I am sure.

Today I'm giving "Two Thumbs and a loud YOU BETCHA to a PBS/BBC series called Downton Abbey. You may have already heard of it because it got some recent awards and I think that only helped catalyst its already apparent success. Please remember that if you purchase/view the series, get the British version because the one that is played for us yahoos in the U.S. is an edited version which doesn't include as many views of the lush landscape. Apparently. I have not watched any of the US versions, only UK, so I cannot verify this, but learned of it on another blog I follow (which strictly reviews films/shows).

There are ways to find the show online (besides Netflix, of which I do not subscribe to -- too cheap here), if you know what you are doing. That is all I will say on that. I know people. Who know how to do things. /incongnito mode

The show originally aired in Britain (what is the difference between Britain/U.K./England anyway? -- I will just call it Britain) in 2010 and is presently in its third season on the American PBS. However, you can find the entire third season online if you would like to get ahead of the game and not have to wait until Sunday night to view the next episode (episode 5 is the next one coming, if I have my A game on).

Three nights or so ago, I started watching Season 1 and was immediately drawn in to the characters. It's strange because I am not a history "person" and while certain things are interesting to me from our past, I don't typically read strictly history-type books, because normally it's the elements of suspense/mystery/romance that draw me in, not this. HOWEVER, this series has plenty of romance and scandal to pique the interest of even the most cynical person.

The show begins in 1912, when the family finds out that the only male heirs to the estate have died on the Titanic. Lord and Lady Grantham have only daughters, three of them, and they are obviously a big part of the story here. It becomes pretty clear early on that it's the goal of the Lord and Lady of the household to marry off their daughter, Mary, to a suitable man (preferrably sucessful and with money, as that's how it was back then -- it was a shame to marry between "classes") who would become the heir.

The daughters are all different personality-wise, and all of the servants/maids of the household have their own interesting stories. I found myself caring for all of them and loving the way each scene jumped around enough to keep the interest going, but not so much to where it was confusing. The camera work is fantastic and I love the way the castle (Downton) is romanticized in a way that I wish I could go there and live in those times and live amongst these interesting people.

There is some humor at times that caught me off guard and had me laughing. I completely adore the grandmother: she's intelligent, witty, and outspoken enough. Read: she's so old she doesn't give a Fuck what she says, and she will tell it like it is. At first I thought she was pretty cold, but you will soon see she does have a heart and she's a sweet little thing. She's probably my most favorite character, not because her life is one of the most interesting stories, because it really isn't compared to the others, but because I can't wait to hear what she says next. There's the story of sweet Anna, who serves as the maid to Lady Mary (the "main" and oldest daughter), and the man who becomes her love interest (no spoilers here) -- I totally called that one before it happened, but there is some definite foreshadowing with this show so you can sometimes predict what's going to happen. There's the "evil" servant, Thomas, who is always seeming to be jealous of his fellow servants who are above him -- you will become so angered with him, but every show has to have a villain. And then there's Matthew, the "stud" of the series, who has so many things happen to him throughout the shows, you almost think he's going to surpass Vincent (Young and the Restless? I am not sure as I don't watch soap operas, but I remember hearing that there was a character named Vincent who somehow always survived despite everything happening to him). There are many more characters I have not mentioned here, but every episode seems to have plenty of different stories for the viewer to enjoy. And there's always the shocker at the end of the show, leaving us in suspense.

I am up to season three, episode 2, and am hoping to get all caught up this weekend.

That about sums it up for now, but anyhow . . . this show gets Two Thumbs up and a You Betcha from me. Definitely check it out. Watch the first episode and I bet you will want to continue watching just to find out what happens.

Friday, January 25, 2013

No apologies.

Sometimes he'll tell me things like, "you're too outgoing" or "you're definitely an extrovert."

So what?

Is it a bad thing to be "too talkative" or want to talk to people, even complete strangers? Hell, I could maybe make someone's day. What if I am at the clinic and someone is in the elevator and is having a bad day and I give that person a smile and he/she feels better, or wants to have a conversation?

I love people. Don't get me wrong: people can be bad people, annoying, or rude . . .  but overall, I think most people are good. Most people enjoy human contact. If they don't, I can usually tell the ones who want to keep to themselves. As part of my job, I interact with new people all the time as part of the interviewing/hiring process.

I enjoy life. Most of the time I am truly happy. I don't let much bring me down. It just bothers me that someone close to me gets "annoyed" by my personality because it is so different than his. And he doesn't see the day-to-day interactions I have and that people actually do like me (I think). I don't care that he's quiet, not a bit.

Do I annoy any of you? Be truthful!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I freaking love working out!

Seriously! It makes me feel amaze-balls. I now know what an "exercise high" is. Similar to birth euphoria, though not quite as good, in my opinion. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fresh year, fresh outlook!

So, yeah. I had somewhat of a rough 2012. There were times I felt overwhelmed, down, and stressed to the max. I felt like there was so much to do both at home and at work and I felt I couldn't handle it. Not that I couldn't handle it like, "omigod, I'm going to kill myself or run away" because I don't think like that at all and have three beautiful children who are my everything, whom I live for, but something eventually had to happen. I took the counseling route and went roughly 10 times, and it really did help me out. I'm not just saying that . . . it was just good to talk to someone who cared and focused on what I had to say, and never did I feel I was being self-centered because I was focusing on my needs only at those sessions, but I guess that's the point of counseling. Shortly after finishing my counseling, I decided I wanted to join the Y. So that was mid-September and I've been going ever since.

And guess what, I feel amazing! At first I was a little intimidated because I tend to get "system overload" when I am at new places, particularly the Y where I didn't even know where to go (remember, my directionally challenged self has issues with this), so I asked for directions and had them explain where everything was, so at least I had that going for me. I started off swimming laps and did that 3 times a week for a month, and then I thought more and more about trying out an elliptical machine, you know, those intimidating contraptions I saw in college when I used to walk the track. Back then, I told myself that I'd never have the strength to use one of those and I'd end up looking like a fool.

So I ventured upstairs at the Y sometime in October and looked at the machines and hopped on and realized it wasn't bad at all. Amazingly, 10 minutes felt like an eternity! I then thought about doing weights, at the advice of some fellow workout girls, so I asked the Y worker to show me how to use the machines. I didn't really have a desire to bench press, so he showed me the Cybex machines. I started off light and slowly increased the weight amounts on the different machines to suit whatever I can handle.

About three months in here, and I am now doing 30 minutes on the elliptical and I feel so amazing. Last night, I had the best workout I had ever had, and felt as though I were on top of the world. I finish up with 15 minutes of weight training. (P.S., having an mp3 player helps to not focus on the time! Plus when I hear a good song, I want to keep listening and exercising.)

It's all crystal clear now: my house is clean and I'm keeping up with it so that stress isn't there, although I am busy at work, I am tackling things top-priority down, and working out has given me such a great positivity, more than I ever could have imagined it would. I'm even reading again! I had read a bunch of novels when I had Jameson 16 months ago and was on maternity leave, but hadn't done any reading since. More reading, less Facebook is part of my New Year's resolution.

I am thinking 2013 is going to be a great year for me. With a positive outlook and reflection on how far I've come (mentally and physically), it's motivation enough for me to keep a smile on my face. I can handle anything.

Not the best picture of me, but I'm smiling and took it just for this blog post. :) So there.

Do I still have readers?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Product LOVE!!

I don't do these very often, but the other day, I was just about out of my mineral make-up (which, anyone who knows me, knows that I love mineral makeup and have been using it 5 years now, singing its praise) so I combed the shelves at Walmart, looking for something I could use in the interim until I could place another Everyday Minerals order online. I wasn't patient enough to wait and I certainly can't go out in public with NOTHING on my face, yet I like the natural look of mineral make-up.

After about five minutes of reading ingredient labels on the back of a few products (I need paraben-free first and foremost, and as natural as possible), I found this: Physicians Formula Tinted Moisturizer.

At first I was a little leery: would a tinted moisturizer provide enough coverage to be sufficient? I used to have pretty bad skin (my teen years, I tried everything over the shelf and everything prescription-wise, including the dreaded Accutane, which I did 2 rounds of), but now it's not too bad, but what I like is an even look to the skin. So I bit the bullet (about $10) and figured for that price, it was worth a try.

Verdict: I applied it the next day (I actually used it over my regular moisturizer after I let it dry) and wow!! GREAT coverage! Not heavy at all and it gave my skin a natural look with a bit of a glow. I used the "light to natural" shade and it's perfect for my "regular" shade, and will probably try the shade one darker (tan or something) for summer. It does have somewhat of a strong scent, but it's not terrible. It gives a slight tingling feeling just after you've applied it (kind-of like when you use a minty balm on your lips) -- the feeling doesn't linger or anything. I will be stocking up on this product because one bad thing about Walmart, at least around here: sometimes they will run out of something and it takes awhile to get back in, or sometimes they stop carrying a product. Besides, I have this thing with stockpiling things I love. Don't be hatin! Sorry, Everyday Minerals, but I have found a better product! And I can buy it easily without having to wait 4 days for my order. And it's reasonably priced!

Here is the item description:

Certified organic by ECOCERT, Organics Wear guarantees the genuine practice of environmental respect through the formulation and manufacturing of this powder.
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • 100% free of harsh chemicals, parabens, GMOs, synthetic ingredients
  • Lightweight formula
  • Hydrates skin
  • Evens skin tone with sheer and natural coverage
  • Infused with organic water to nourish and restore skin's moisture balance
  • Contains SPF 15
  • Contains safflower seed oil, jojoba seed oil, avocado oil and shea butter
  • Formulated with EcoBlend to condition, fortify and protect skin from environmental purities
  • Organisoy helps even skin tone and texture to restore skin smoothness
  • Contains eco-olive, a natural antioxidant that shields skin
  • Naturally perfects and protects

PS, I did this review on my own accord, and only because I love this product so much. Nobody paid me to say this, which goes to show how I feel on this stuff. I give it five stars. :)

PPS, I just have to say, five years ago, it was IMPOSSIBLE to find paraben-free/natural products in stores. I know because I read every single label of every single foundation and powder out there and they ALL contained parabens. Parabens are estrogenizers and anything you put on your skin leeches into your bloodstream. You don't want to be putting estrogenziers on your face every day -- it's just bad. So that's when I turned to the internet and after tons of research, decided on Everyday Minerals. Which is a great product line, but I think the coverage with this OrganicWear, even being a tinted moisturizer and not a foundation, is even BETTER!

This is not the best pic because it's not like it's close-up, but I am wearing the tinted moisturizer here. Accessory not included. ;)