Archive | July, 2008

On Becoming A Quitter

31 Jul

I gave up drinking on Monday.

It’s a wonder I had such a hangover this morning!

I’m trying the South Beach Diet, per a doctor recommendation, and the first phase involves no alcohol for 2 weeks.  I made it about 24 hours.  I just picked a bad week to quit, as there was my hubby’s birthday and a business trip with my entire team.  A team that turns out is REALLY fun to travel with. 

I’ll quit again next Monday, I swear!

Literally Bleary Eyed

28 Jul

My work hell continues…  It started on Thursday night, through Friday, and then started up again Sunday night at 7pm, through the night, and escalated to a customer yelling at me at 7am Monday morning for systems failures that were completely out of my hands.

Is it Friday yet?

To make things more fun, I woke up Saturday with pink eye, so I marched into Urgent Care first thing Saturday morning.  After going through paperwork and getting my vitals checked and waiting for 30 minutes in the exam room, I was told the doctor didn’t show up.  So then I got to go to another Urgent Care and start the process over.  Just how I wanted to spend my Saturday morning!

On Saturday afternoon, I took Little Miss to Great Basin Adventure Park, where she got her first ever pony ride.  I hadn’t told her about the pony rides because I didn’t want to get her excited if they weren’t running them that day.  So it blew her mind when I marched her up to the pony rides, where she was first in line, and I thought her head might pop off when she got lifted up on top of the pony.  I have NEVER seen my child so happy and smiling so broad.  When the ride was over, I marched right back to the ticket booth and bought her another ride.

To add to the entertainment, it was Mormon Pioneer Days at the park, meaning the place was teaming with Mormons dressed in Pioneer costumes, but part of me was wondering if for some of them it was their regular garb.  I have never seen so many pregnant woman in one place, and every pregnant woman had at least 2-3 children trailing behind her.  Except, that is, for the seventeen year old pregnant girl that was chatting me up in the restrooms.  Those Momons, they know how to procreate!

On Sunday, I took Little Miss on a short hike in the morning, and in the afternoon, we did a family outing to Lake Tahoe.  I got to do some open water swimming in rough water with at least 5 foot swells, and after a half an hour of getting tossed around and swallowing half of Lake Tahoe, I threw in the towel.  So it was a lovely afternoon/evening until I joined a conference call at 7pm to find my work about to blow up in my face.


While we were at the beach yesterday, JB looked at the lifeguard and said, you should get a job here as a lifeguard.

I laughed, and told him if that would pay the bills, I’d do it in a second.  There is nothing more I’d like than to sit on the beach of Lake Tahoe every day than to deal with the stress I’ve been having.

*closing my eyes and going to that happy place now*

I’m off to Seattle on Wednesday.  Hopefully things will settle by then.

My Cubicle Feels Like a Jail Cell

25 Jul

Is it 5:00 yet?!  I’ve had a rough day.

Lucky Boom Boom

22 Jul

Little Miss has started to repeat a phrase to us that you can tell means a lot to her, but nothing to us…  “Lucky Boom Boom”. 

Doesn’t that sound almost a bit dirty to you?!

This weekend, we stopped by JB’s company picnic, and she kept going up to his boss saying “Lucky Boom Boom”.  He’d turn to us and ask what she was saying, and I’d reply, “Lucky Boom Boom”.  Who knows what is going through her mind.

Our maiden voyage in the pop up camper went really well.  We even managed to get it set up in the pitch dark on Friday, and I really enjoyed having more substantial dwellings than a tent.

We camped at Donner Lake State Park, and they are REALLY strict on bear regulations.  As in each site gets a bear locker, and all food and toiletries (including coolers, toothpaste, deoderant, lotion) must be in the bear locker unless actively in use.  They threaten a $1000 fine if you don’t follow the regulations. 

The first night we were there, I asked JB to take our toiletries out to the bear locker before we went to sleep.  He said no, and said they were just trying to scare people into being compliant.  I, on the other hand, was too tired to take it out myself, and threatened, “you know this could mean I’ll have a nightmare.”

And that I did.  I’ve talked about my lucid dreams here before.  It doesn’t happen often, but generally if I go to sleep with the slightest bit of unease (as in if JB is out of town, or I am thinking about bears), I will have a dream so lucid that it has me jumping out of bed and screaming.

Which is just what I did in the middle of the night at the campground.  In my dream, a bear was trying to grab me through the canvas on the camper, and I didn’t wake up until I was all the way across the camper screaming at the top of my lungs.  I somehow made it over the wobbly table and into Little Miss’s bed before waking up.  I must have scared the be-Jesus out of my fellow campers.  JB promptly told me to be quiet and go to bed, while Little Miss remarkably just groaned and went back to sleep.

Luckily, the second night I was better, as no bear encounters actually happened (unlike when we camp at Bullards Bar, where the bears come into the campground during the night and day).

So anyway, we had a good time, and I got in a lovely swim in Donner Lake, which makes me want to do the Donner Lake Open Water Swim again, where you swim across the lake (2.7 miles). 

That’s all for today.  Your assignment for the day is to go up to at least one co-worker and say, “Lucky Boom Boom” with a lot of gusto!  You’ll get a great reaction!


18 Jul

Wow, it’s Friday again.  Why is it the weeks in the summer just fly by?!  Probably because there is just so much to do around here compared to the Fall and Winter…  Quick recap:

  • Last weekend, JB was supposed to do the Donner Lake Triathlon, which was cancelled due to smoke from the CA fires.  The man then managers to pick up a ticket for the Death Ride on Friday, and then did the Death Ride (from 5am to 4:30pm) over 5 mountain passes the next day.  Only my husband would attempt that ride without the proper training!  JB made it 4.5 passes (had to quit due to hail and a flash flood), but my brother made it all 5.  Those guys amaze me. 
  • I did “happy hour” at the beach last Friday with the girls (including Little Miss), and Saturday, we hung out at the pool for 2 hours.
  • Sunday, a friend and I went up to Lake Tahoe early in the morning for some open water swimming.  The water was smooth as glass and it was absolutely gorgeous.  Made me so happy!
  • Last night, we went to a concert where the band from our wedding reception (Uncle Funkle) was playing.  It was nice to hear them again, and Little Miss really got into the dancing.
  • This weekend, it’s the maiden voyage in our pop-up camper.  More beach time and one really long run are on the agenda.

So that’s about it on the update front.  We decided we’re a bit fed up with our day care this week, so I’ve spent all kinds of time calling preschools to see what the lists are like…  Par for the course, preschool lists are nutty too…  It will take at least a year to get a space for her somewhere else.  Man, is it frustrating to want to make a change in childcare but have my hands tied by limited availability!

Pic Post

11 Jul

Here are the latest pics, including a trip to Tahoe with my brother and his family and 4th of July.

Living in a Haze

10 Jul

Image courtesy of the Reno Gazette Journal.

The veil of smoke is back in Reno, after lifting slightly for a few days.  This is the third week where we’re covered in smoke from the California fires.  The air quality is horrible, and people are recommending that we stay inside.  The sun looked red through the smoke last night.  It is very ominous.

This just plain sucks.  And I can’t help but think it’s a symptom of global warming, and a sign of things to come.  Fires this bad with smoke this bad just didn’t happen when I was growing up.  It’s becoming a trend in the summers for us to have nasty smoke hanging around, and honestly, if this keeps up, we may want to move.  Summer is my favorite time of year, and it is so tainted by this smoke, and it makes me sad to not be able to see our beautiful Sierra Nevadas.

Some people close to me say Al Gore is full of bunk (you know who you are).  I tell you, some of the predictions he has made have come true, including increased forest fires, flooding and increased severe weather, and the melting of the North Pole.  It’s just depressing.  I worry what this world will be like for the next generation.

Excerpt from

We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing.

  The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.2
  Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.3
  The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.4
  At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.5


If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences.

  Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.7
  Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
  Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
  The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.8
  More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.9Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years — to 300,000 people a year.9


9 Jul

Random thoughts to share from the past week:

  • I had the worst trip yet to the grocery store with Little Miss last night.  I left feeling like I had been through a battle.  It started in the car, when she proclaimed she didn’t want to go to the store, and it took me 5 minutes to wrangle her out of the car, using the bribe that she could push her own little “customer in training” cart.  She then decided she didn’t want to push the cart as we were in the middle of the store, but she didn’t want me to push or pull the cart, so in the middle of the aisle, I had to pick her up, push a mini cart, and go back to the front to get a real cart.  I then strapped her into the full size cart, and the screaming ensued for the remainder of the trip.  At one point, a clerk came up to me and asked over the screaming if I could use help finding anything.  Though the gesture was appreciated, all I could do was think of was the snarky response of, “a babysitter?”  Later, I thought of even better answers to her question, like “where is the hard alcohol?” or “could you hold this for me?” (referring to my screaming daughter.  It took me at least an hour to recover from that trip to the store. 
  • This morning, Little Miss awoke while I was in the shower, so JB went up to get her dressed.  When I emerged from getting ready, I heard all kinds of talking coming from her room, and I tip-toed up there to find that JB, still in his underwear (from sleeping) was reading her a Mother Goose story.  It truly melted my heart.  I tip-toed back downstairs so as not to interrupt them.
  • My husband shaved his legs this weekend in preparation for the Donner Lake Triathlon this weekend.  I can’t get used to it, but I think I like it…  What I really like is that he will now have a new respect for how fast I can shave my legs, and I won’t get any more ribbing on how long my showers take when I have to shave. 
  • Last week, my daughter came up to me and asked, “are you poopie?” and then she proceeded to pull down my pants to check, just as I do for her.  It was really funny.

So that’s about all I have to say.  We had a nice 4th of July, spending time with both of my brothers and their families over the weekend.  I got in some good swims and a trail run, which was enjoyable.  We’ve also been enjoying the outdoor concerts available through Artown. 

More later!

A Perfect Summer Night

3 Jul

Last night we went to an outdoor concert to hear the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, courtesly of ArTown.  The band plays New Orleans style jazz, which is truly one of my favorite types of music.  It was a beautiful night (despite the smokey haze from the CA fires), and the three of us danced like there was no tomorrow.  Little Miss really got into the music, clapping with gusto and proclaiming, “I like that song!” after almost every song.  She was still talking about dancing at the concert when she woke up this morning.  It was definitely one of those evenings I’ll think back on later in life as one of those nights when everything was just about perfect for our little family.

On a side note, I went to the brand new Whole Foods store in Reno on my way to the concert.  I have to confess that I think I’m going to be spending a lot of money there.  It is such a nice store, with many healthy pre-made options for dinners on those nights when I just don’t have energy to cook.  I wonder if I should just start an automatic payroll deduction to the store?  With it being right around the corner from my work, this could be dangerous!


The Inquisition

3 Jul

Last week, I was meeting with a corporate coach, and she was teaching me this strategy around how to convince people of a point you’re trying to make.  She called it the Five Whys.  In essence, as you prepare for the conversation, you state to yourself the change you want to make (or the stance you’re taking), and then ask yourself, “why”.  After you answer why, you ask why again, and after five times of asking yourself why to each justification, you should have gotten to the root of the issue, and should be able to present it well.

And then this week, my daughter entered the Why Stage.  It happened on Tuesday.  It was like a faucet being turned on full force.  No Whys on Monday, countless Whys on Tuesday.  So now, she’s helping me practice this strategy at home.  Except instead of Five Whys, it’s more like five thousand.

The timing was uncanny.

What Does Beauty Really Get You?

2 Jul

Ever since we were little girls, we are conditioned to think that if you have beauty, you have it all.  Look at all the Disney princess movies — the evil people are ugly, and the pretty people are good and always get the prince.  It’s that conditioning that makes me stop and contemplate that having beauty in the real world doesn’t always mean you get the prince.

For instance, Christie Brinkley is in the midst of a divorce battle with Peter Cook, who had an affair with an 18 year old, and racked up $3,000 per month in online p0rn.  He was married to Christie Brinkley!  She is the epitome of beautiful, even in her 50s, I would be thrilled to look like her.  You’d think any man would be completely satisfied to be with Christie Brinkley for the rest of his life.  But Peter Cook turned out to be no prince at all.

Or what about the Wonderbra model Elisabetta Gregoraci.  Not to judge a book by its cover (all be it a RICH cover), but it baffles me how someone as gorgeous as her ends up with someone like this:

(courtesy of The Superficial)

Or that Christina Aguilera could end up with someone that looks like this:

(also courtesy of The Superficial)

I know that beauty is only skin deep, and yes, we should choose a mate based on personality and not looks.  But come on!  Shouldn’t there be some sort of physical attraction there?!

It almost seems to me that in Hollywood at least, beauty seems to beg a sort of calamity in your life.  So as much as I may want to lose weight and count calories and work out like crazy, I have to remember that I have pretty much all I ever wanted out of life with a loving husband and beautiful daughter, so I need to remember that chasing after the unattainable American ideal of beauty is a rather fruitless endeavor.


Chinese Water Torture or Spending 12 Hours Traveling With a Toddler?

1 Jul

The reason I was quiet here for a week was that we were in Maryland getting all of the Bellin family together.  Little Miss finally got to meet her two Bellin cousins, ages 3 and 2, and the girls had a blast together.  The weather was rather mild, so although the humidity felt muggy to us, it could have been much worse.

We did a lot of hanging out as a family, going to parks, out to eat, and one trip to the Baltimore aquarium.  During the girls’ naps, I got in some trail runs in a beautiful state park right by my brother in law’s house while JB and his brother went on bike rides.

We traveled via Southwest Airlines from Reno to Washington Dulles, and in typical Southwest style, we took the scenic route with multiple stops, and it took about 12 hours door to door each way.  Little Miss was a champ, but I admit it was a rough trip for us.  I showed up in Maryland with a splitting headache, just in time for Little Miss to choke on food at a restaurant and puke up her entire dinner.  We also had a diaper explosion on the plane.  Fun times!

But did you know that the new Southwest planes have diaper changing stations in the restrooms?  I tell you, that was much appreciated!  I can’t tell you how difficult standing diaper changes are during turbulance! 

Anyway, here are the pics from our vacation.  Sorry, but I’ve been asked not to put pictures of my Bellin nieces up on this site, so I had to weed out a lot of the pictures I took.  Enjoy!