Monday, July 29, 2013


Fortunately, I am married to a professional.


Saturday, after months of trying to talk Mike into it, he agreed to do Looking for Raid in Warcraft with me, my brother, and his wife. I was sooooo excited because it meant we'd get to see more of the game's story! I turned on my computer and it went "whiiiRRRR" and cut off. I thought, "well, maybe it was already on and I just shut it down." Pushed the button again. "whiiiiRRR" and then silence. "MIIIIKE, I NEED HELP."

Turns out it's the power supply. And Mike had to order one. So, I am computerless and photoless until, like Wednesday.


Sigh. It's really not the end of the world even though blogging is hard without my computer and I can't really work on my fitness resume which I was hoping to send out this week. Penny and I went out to my mom's on Friday and picked up some furniture she gave to us because she's moving. Penny and I were very proud of ourselves because we loaded her husband's truck with a loveseat, two end tables, a coffee table and a kitchen cart and then unloaded it, too! So, I need to get all that arranged and the coffee table needs to be put back together. I also want to get some things up on the wall in the living room. It's so crazy...after 3 years we now have a fully furnished house!!

I also made a blanket storage trunk out of an old, tweed suitcase. :D It was fun! I need to finish that up, too. I would have done it yesterday, but in addition to not having a computer, our power was out all day. I still haven't discovered what happened but I'm glad it's fixed. Our cove was the last place to get electricity back! We had plans to go over to Mike's parents' for lunch so we just stayed over there for the afternoon and evening. Autumn swam with P'd. I read an entire book. Mike brought a laptop he was working on and did that. I don't get bored much but by the end of a day without any projects or chores, I was going stir crazy! I ended up entertaining myself this way:

Ha! Until next time!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fitness Update!

The song above is currently my favorite workout song! I looked it up to see who sang it because while I don't ever hear it on the radio, I have the song on two of my class music mixes. I love it even more after seeing the video. What a bunch of incredibly fit people doing some serious dancing and looking like they are having a blast. And Mike thinks Timbaland's eyes are hilarious. It was funny, while I was watching them, I asked myself if I would be willing to give up, say, pie to be as fit as one of those dancers. I answered myself with a firm no.

I did my measurements last night. I did them again this morning to make sure they were right and I have a couple of issues. One, Mike was having a lot of trouble getting my tricep measurement. So, I looked up how to do your own measurements and found this blog post. I decided to go with my chest, suprailiac, and thigh measurements. Using her calculations (which are really complex for this English major, hahaha), I came up with a number that I am happy about the same time, I'm not really sure I buy that I've lost 3 percent body fat since March. So, I'm going to assume that the calculation is slightly different and see what happens later.

By the way, you can see the history of my photos and measurements by clicking here!

Total Body Fat % Using Skin Caliper
August 2012: 28.59
March 2013: 24.58
July 2013: 21.15

And that leads into the other issue: I have hit a point where my weight tracking and measurements aren't super comparable to when I first started. I'm not so much trying to lose weight these days as increase functionality. Straight up honest, though, I wouldn't mind having a little less pudge in the tummy, hahaha. It's interesting to see how my weight is changing. I weigh more than I have ever weighed before that wasn't during pregnancy or post-partum. So crazy. But my measurements are holding pretty steady while my body fat percentage is dropping and my body is rearranging itself. I was kind of hoping that now that I weigh enough, I could be a blood donor but, sadly, I can't. Anyone with a history of bleeding disease can't donate and apparently I count. :(

Weight in Pounds
September 2011: 121
March 2013: 110
July 2013: 118

Biggest side view change: improved posture as my abs get stronger.

I am truly terrible at self-portraits but, one cool thing, notice I changed my workout pants? This is the first time IN MY ENTIRE LIFE that I have worn fitted pants!! Regardless of my weight or measurements or anything--this is a big deal! I don't wear the tight fitting shirt when I work out or teach but who knows, maybe one day I'll feel confident enough! Six months ago I would have said I'd never wear fitted work out pants. It's extra great because when I first started seeing the trainer almost 2 years ago, I wore Mike's size men's medium t-shirts and my baggiest exercise pants.

The rest of my measurements are essentially the same, with some variances up and down by half an inch or an inch. I figure I'll post those when there's more of a change. I still don't feel super comfortable wearing my blue goal dress but I can definitely see some changes. Most notable to my eyes is around my waist. My abdomen is still a mess of scars that may or may not get less awful with time but with that clingy material I can tell that my stomach is starting to smooth out. I don't know if there's less muscle separation now or if it's just that the belly button the doctor made for me (haha) is settling in where it should be. How gross is that??

So, there you go! Still improving and changing although more slowly now. I am guessing that I'll have to be a little careful with certain moves and motions both in weight lifting and in aikido for some time but I'm okay with that. I can do more abdominal exercises and push more weight for longer than I could before. My endurance is still improving. I've GOT to get that up some and get confident enough with sudden movements so I can do the aikido version of sparring without hurting my lower abs. I can do ukemi for almost an entire 2 hour class, so that's something. I keep reminding myself of two things: I can do a lot and I am super, super lucky and blessed to do what I am doing! But, what's that book? If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll want a glass of milk? I'm kinda like that.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Post-Home Visit Recap

I'm next in the profile book! This scan is a little wonky. :(
Well, we had our home study visit. It went as expected and so fairly smoothly. Our social worker also updated us on how things are going in general for the Memphis office. Three expectant mothers who were due this month decided to keep their babies. I have to confess, I vaguely hoped we'd get a baby this month. Autumn and her cousin Tyler are 5 months apart. Tyler's brother Hudson is a February baby and Garrett was originally due in July. Five months! And Lindsay had Ellie this past February so...five months later, I did kind of hope we'd get good news. The next chances are in, I think, August, September, and November. Bethany's national office is running some ads, too, because things are slow all over.

We had been meaning to ask her if we get a call every time someone looks at our profile and the answer is that we don't. They only call us when there's something weird in a situation (we said no to a situation with over $4k pass through expenses) or it's something we checked "will consider" (like first trimester drug or alcohol use). Apparently, we are so open to anything that our book is in a stack that gets shown to everyone. This time around, we clarified that we're willing to take a child up to 2 years old and we'd also consider a sibling group as well as twins. I think we had that checked off last year but we made sure that she wrote it in our paperwork.

One interesting thing, there is a vague possibility that we could still get Grant. We don't have our hopes up but we did indicate that we would absolutely take him home if we could. The birth father is in the process of giving up his rights. The odd thing, though, is that the aunt who is supposed to be working on her home study and all that? She hasn't visited Grant but a couple of times in the last 6 months. :/ Poor kid. I hope everything works out--and if we get to take him home, it happens sooner than later.

I think that our fee is going to go up. They take an average of three years. Mike got a promotion a couple of years ago so when we first had our fee calculated, it included that year where we made less. So now it's going to be all three years with Mike's new salary. It shouldn't be too bad because we were at the bottom of the sliding pay scale so I can't imagine it'll bump up more than $500 or so. /fingers crossed.

So, that's it. Of course, I'm sure I will think of something later! Oh, I just thought of something...if we haven't adopted by this time next year, we'll have to update our profile book. And with that, I think I'm done for real!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WGA: The Return of the Misguided Guardian Angel

With the drop off times for the various camps Autumn's attending and her swim lessons, I haven't made it to my Wednesday class in a while. I got to go this morning and had a good time. I could definitely feel the effects of being a little sick over the weekend. I haven't eaten much other than bread and peanut butter and cheerios since Saturday. I woke up feeling off but decided to go to Aikido anyway. Well. Stephan's class plan included ALL THE SPINNING. Between the rolls and the turning around and around, I only made it about 45 minutes. Blergh.

Back to this morning, class was pretty entertaining. I got to stand behind and very tall woman who used very light weights and did jumping jacks like a baby chick trying to take off. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY: the elderly lady who is always checking on me to make sure I survived? She was in class today. I didn't see her at first because she was on the back row and I usually stand near the front or I would totally have surreptitiously taken a picture.

Not this spry. (source)
While I was out of class the instructor found out that my misguided guardian is all of 72 years old. I have to say, she's pretty spry for 72 but I spent a good chunk of the class peeking back to make sure she hadn't fallen out or something because she is downright frail. I'm sure the instructor was keeping an eye out, too.

I put my things away a little early to make sure Autumn got to swim on time. A friend who takes the class, too, goes to cycle afterward so she usually puts her things away during the cooldown. She's been wanting to know who this lady was (because, seriously, everyone is baffled about why the lady is so worried about me) so I caught her as she went by and said, "back row, Nike shirt...that's the lady who is always checking on me."

When we ran back into each other in the storage room, my friend gave me a great wtf look and agreed that the lady really needed to be more concerned about herself because she looked like she was going to keel over. I said that I also don't really get it because out of the entire (very large) class, there were waaaaaay more people to worry about than me! Too funny.

Maybe next time I go she'll be there again and I can snap a covert photo!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Renewal Time

I figure this is as good a time as any to post the next pages in our profile book. It's Mike's turn!

Over the last couple of weeks, a lot of people have asked me how the adoption is going. It's going. We're still with Bethany and we are renewing our home study this week because, if you can believe it, it's been a year. Mike and I finished the paper work and our social worker is coming for the home visit on Wednesday. We almost have the amount of the adoption saved and then it'll be time to save for the lawyer fees. Oh, and we also found out that Grant Jaden is still in interim care because his birth father is completing a family plan and his aunt is completing her own home study.

Autumn had a dream last night that she found an egg and a little girl hatched out of it and we took her home. I told her that, who knows, maybe someday we will have another baby although he or she probably won't be from a chicken egg.

I'll sign off with a poem by our friend Ken O'Shaugnessy. I posted about the home study on Facebook and he sent me this. I cried a little because it's so, so touching and true.

Welcome again to our home
It's a lot like it was last time
It's full of rooms with stuff
A complete complement of parents
A child who is everything

It has wide open arms
Joyfulness brimming
All the love that will fit
We're all full up
Because only a home that's full
Needs more children

Thursday, July 11, 2013

In Which I Don't Spontaneously Combust from Rage

This is how I felt yesterday. Btw, this is the first fancy dress I made Autumn. She hated it.

I fully intended to write a gym adventure yesterday. I never got around to it. And the reason was so very, very unnecessary.

I've been having trouble with my car's ignition. We cleaned it and all that but it was still sticking a little and I've been in the process of trying to get Mike to call our mechanic and talk to him about it. Ordinarily, I do that kind of thing myself, but he trades computer work for car work so I usually let him handle that. I handle the things I trade aikido classes for like Autumn's day camp weeks and ballet classes.

After swimming with Autumn, my mom, and some of our friends at the gym on Wednesday, I pulled into the library drop box driveway to drop my books.  It's SUV height so I have to get out and put my books in. I just habitually turned off the car, said "why'd I do that?" shrugged, and dropped the books in the slot.

When I got back in the car, the key would. not. turn. I yanked on it. I twisted the wheel which wasn't locked *yet*. I pulled the key out and breathed for 20 seconds before trying again. I tried to manually shove the key mechanism to unstick it. Nothing.

I called Mike and his suggestion was to get something and hammer on the lock to get the cylinder moving again. I CAN DO THAT.

I took the car phone charger and hammered. I put the key in and administered several palm heel strikes. I put CHAP STICK on the key BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW.

Oh, did I mention the heat index was about 104 degrees? There was an excessive heat warning.

And my swimsuit cover up had fallen in the water so I was completely soaked through. I despise being wet. Like a cat. I would have changed at the gym but this was supposed to be a 5 minute drive home.

Finally, I realized that I was totally in the way and the car wasn't moving. I said, "I'm going to have to PUSH THE CAR." I figured out how to unlock the gear shift and thought that if my mom steered, I could get it to a parking space. She offered to push but, really, she weighs like 80 pounds and, besides, I'm pretty sure I'm stronger than she is so I told her to steer.

I put my shoulder to the bumper and PUSHED.

The car totally moved.

I just wanted an excuse to post this little dude.

Then my mom sticks her head out the open door and goes, THE STEERING WHEEL WON'T MOVE WE'RE GOING TO HIT THE GRASS.

/deep sigh

I stopped pushing and told her to hit the brakes (she hadn't yet) if that's the case because it's her job to make sure I don't hit anything!! So she did and I decided to leave it since we were at least far enough away from the drop box that people could get around.

And get around they did. Someone watched me push the car. Someone else drove around us rolling their eyes because they had to back their giant land rover up and go around after putting their books in the box. Autumn asked, "why did all those people pass us and not help?" I had no answer.

Anyway, back to the car, after a repeat of everything above, minus moving the car, I called Mike back. He was planning to drive all the way to where we were (about a 45 minute drive). I was in the middle of saying, "we can WALK home faster than that," when one shove of the key actually sank in and THE CAR STARTED.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Holiday back to the grind!

And we're back! I'm feeling slow to return to normal so I thought I'd show you guys some funny pictures from our trip to the beach. We considered taking Autumn somewhere mountainy buuuuut since we're still saving a little toward the adoption and it looks like our 13 year old Saturn is in its death throes, to the beach with Mike's parents we go! :D It was a good trip although we only got a couple of good beach days. It rained a lot and there was an incursion of jelly fish a couple of days. Mike, Autumn, and I went jelly fish hunting with some nets and shovels. This little guy got past Mike and swept up by the chair where I was reading. I'm glad Autumn spotted him before I got a nasty surprise!

Lack of swimming because of jelly fish made this face. I love this lip so much. She's also wearing my hat. The funny thing? Two of the days we went to the beach, the indoor pool was all crazy so Autumn didn't get to practice as much as we were hoping. Someone mixed up the controls and the pool was ONE HUNDRED DEGREES. I don't even want to think about how much it cost to heat the pool to hot tub temps!

Once Autumn realized I was taking pictures of her sad face, she did this. Ha!

We did things other than the beach. One rainy day we went to the Naval Aviation museum. That was interesting for one, because Autumn doesn't really comprehend war...I mean, who does, but some of our talks were tough. And two, we had to explain to Autumn why there were almost no women in the museum. She knows that women haven't always been allowed to be warriors because of talks we had about the movie Mulan but I think it was really odd for her to see nothing but men (except for a tiny kiosk on Women in Aviation) in real life.

There's also a small amusement park that has little kid go-karts and other games for the littles. We've gone there for over a year now and every time we go, I try to talk Mike into doing the Sky Coaster: "Freefall from up to 110 feet at speeds of up to 70 mph." He always said no but this time HE TOTALLY DID IT WITH ME! Best picture ever:

That picture is probably a good illustration about our personalities and our approaches to new things. Me: Yay! Mike: Mmmmm. I was excited until we started getting close to the top. Then I told Mike, "I am beginning to have regrets." The first drop and the first zero gravity moment at the other end of the swing over were the worst but after that it was too fun!

Poor Autumn...she was very, very worried. She leaned against the fence, completely boneless, the epitome of dejection. I didn't really think about how she'd feel about us going and I felt kind of bad but after we finished, we talked about it and she said maybe when she's bigger she'll do it with me! We did, as we were flying over her, yell "HEY, AUTUMN!!" Lainey thought we were hilarious but worse things happened during the flyover while we were there. An, um, rubenesque woman in a red mini dress did the sky coaster. And, yup, her underpants matched. She yelled out, "sorry for the underwear!" as she swung by...

We also went to a fireworks display. Autumn's first time! In the past she's been a little too sensitive to noise to do it and I am so glad we waited. Because rather than being terrified and in pain from the noises, she oohed and aaahed and was just plain awesome. She even choreographed a flag dance and performed it to the fireworks. This was the first time I got decent fireworks pictures! I'm super happy. I really liked this one because the red and blue-lit palm trees are there in the foreground.

Back at the condo, we broke out the super-long, neon sparklers P'd picked up. I was so excited because I was the one who asked if we could do sparklers, another Autumn first! We had so much fun. Next year I want to get two packs!

I hope all of our friends in the US had a great holiday and returning to work today wasn't too painful!