Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Morning to You!

It was an early morning today, and not by choice. Karl had to drop his car off at the mechanic's, and it had to be there before 7am. So, I had to follow, then drive him to work. The mechanic is half an hour away, so I was up way before the sun. It's 8:30am, and I've already downed a large coffee. Needless to say, I had a good hour of driving by myself, so my mind was wandering. I am definitely a "glass-is-half-full" person, so I was thinking about all of the positives that have come from this whole breast cancer thing:

  • I never have to worry about High-Beams again

  • A legitimate reason to ask people if my boobs look good in this shirt

  • I can go braless for the first time since 3rd grade

  • I can play the "survivor" card when I'm fundraising - and its working!

  • Now I have to update my wardrobe

Of course, there are a few negatives

  • Pain

  • Long-term discomfort

  • Missing work

But the most noticeable negative is that my cat can't "make biscuits" on my boobs anymore because they're no longer squishy. Maybe the permanent implants will be less firm, but right now, poor Braxton doesn't know what to do! Poor kitty.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thanks USPS!

I got some interesting news over the weekend.

I've been tracking my donations for the Stars and Stripes Challenge. I'm doing quite well. Right now, according to the website, I'm tied as the leading fundraiser. But that amount is only the online donations. When you add in the checks and cash I have recieved, I've raised twice that amount. But the checks I mailed to the nice people in Greenville haven't been added to the total yet. So, I sent a nice email asking where they were.

Their reply? They don't know. They haven't received any checks from me. In fact, they haven't received a lot of other people's checks either. It seems the USPS has conspired against them. Kevin, the nice I man with quite the southern accent, who I spoke with on the phone yesterday, told me they're having trouble with the PO Box they rented. In fact, when he mailed the check to pay for the PO Box, he mailed the envelope inside the very building the envelope was addressed to, and they never received it! That post office obviously has some major issues.

He's fairly certain my envelopes will make their way back to me, but I am doubtful they'll make it before the deadline. I'm glad I kept good records of who sent what and when.

So, for all of you who have not yet donated, I urge you to do so online at Just click Donate under the Stars and Stripes logo, then find my name under the drop down list (Rebecca Baumeister), and follow the prompts to complete your donation. I'm getting really close to my goal of $2500 (and I really want the reward for reaching that amount), so please give what you can.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Date Night

So, Katrina is spending her spring break with Grandma. Nine whole days of peace and quiet! So what do parents do when the kids are away? Date night, of course! Here's how ours went: Around mid-afternoon, he says "Do you want to go to the sale at Willy Bikes, then out for some dinner?" Me: "Sure, I need a new helmet and a new saddle bag, since you stole all my bike accessories." Him: "OK, where do you want to go eat?" Me: "I dunno, I'm not hungry enough to think about it." A couple of hours later, we make our purchases at the bike shop. BONUS - I get new cleats because they're on sale. Now I don't have to use his old ones for my hand-me-down pedals. No free popcorn at the shop, though. I remember that we pass a good BBQ place on the way home, so we stop at Famous Dave's, and enjoy the "Feast For Two" - served on a garbage can lid. It's been a while since we had good BBQ, and it sure hit the spot. Not exactly a romantic choice though. On the way home, we stop at the RedBox for a movie - you can't go wrong with Will Ferrell. We're home by 6:30, watch the movie, and are fast asleep by 10pm. I think we need a little more excitement in our lives, or maybe we're just getting old.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Did I really see that?

OK, this is just way to funny not to share.

I was picking up Katrina from piano this evening. I was a few minutes early, so I waited in the car. There were 2 kids playing outside at the house next door to the teacher's house - a boy, maybe 6-7 years old, and a girl, maybe 5. They're running around like kids do.

I see the boy come around the side of the house, unzip, and start peeing on the side of the house! Sister comes around the corner to watch, so brother starts chasing her while peeing. She runs back around the front, so he finishes up in the flower pot. He then knocks the pot over, and sister comes back to see what's happening. Brother goes back to the side of the house where he must have written his name on the wall. He must have touched it, and starts chasing sister around with his "pee touch!"

Then Katrina comes out, and it's time to go. I wish I would have had a camera. Aren't little boys grand??

Monday Update

Karl was so very kind and generous - he shared his cold with me. I feel pretty miserable today - I hope the Zicam starts kicking in.
I took Katrina to the bus, and forgot to bring her cello. So, I had to hurry home and drive Mr. Cello to school, because the 4th graders were performing their solos for the 3rd graders, right at the start of the day. I made it right in time - she was even waiting at the door!

I won't bore you with the remaining details of my uneventful day - morning nap with the kitties, "stock-up" trip to Woodman's (15 lbs of flour, 1/2 gallon of maple syrup, 8-pack of kleenex, etc), tried to shift the car with my soda bottle. Now it's time for Katrina to come home from school so I'm sure there will be much drama.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rainy Day Activity

I wasn't able to stick to my program last week, but I tried - I did get a short run on one day, and I biked to work on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. OK, so maybe the commute doesn't count - it's only 3/4 of a mile each way, but it's better than driving! Now I'm back to a normal Wed/Fri work week, but I'll still be biking to work as much as possible.

I have the afternoon to myself. The hubby took the kid to a family birthday party (his side). I should vacuum, but that can wait - there aren't any cat-hair tumbleweeds yet. I'm making cookies - Great Aunt Elizabeth's Oatmeal Raisin. One of my favorite recipes. The recipe makes about a bajillion cookies, so I'm sure there will be at least one or two left when the family gets home tonight. I did make them a little healthier than the original recipe - I substituted half the flour with whole wheat and I reduced the sugar a bit. Besides, my mantra is "It's not junk food if you made it from scratch."

Later this evening, I have rehearsal with Ladies Must Swing, which is why I did not join in the birthday merriment. It's always fun to play with LMS, way more fun than a 70th birthday party for the husband's uncle.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

update - I was good!

Just a little update after this morning's post:
  • My doctor was running late, so I got some knitting time.
  • On the way home, I remembered just in time that Katrina needs a new piano book, so I stopped for that.
  • I stopped at Kohl's and they were having a sale. I found an Easter dress for Katrina (I hope she likes it).
  • I did stop for lunch since it was 1:30, and I chose Noodles & Co. - a much healthier (and spicier) option! And, I have leftovers that I can enjoy for lunch tomorrow!

All Outta Whack

It's amazing how one little change of schedule can throw everything off. Normally, I work on Wednesdays and Fridays during the week. This week, my co-worker needed Thursday off, so I'm working Thursday and Friday. That's not that big of a deal, right? No, it completely throws off my workout schedule, because I don't have time before work for anything more than a few sit-ups (which aren't very fun anyway). But, with Coach Karl's help, I got it ironed out: Easy spin on Monday, run on Tuesday, hard spin/intervals on Wednesday, quick run on Thursday before work (but that means no morning email check!).
So, of course, my boss throws a wrench in the works by calling me at 9:15 on Tuesday morning - "I'm not feeling well. Can you come in this morning and work a few hours while I got home and lay down for a while?" Yes, I will. Mostly because she'll make me feel guilty if I don't. Having only three employees (including her) to cover two store can be a problem sometimes.
Well, since I was just settling in to watch the final stage of a bike race, and planned to run afterwards, I had to quickly shower, dress, and get to work by 10. Luckily, it's a 3 minute commute. But, I did forget to pack my lunch.
I've whined before that business has been slow, and yesterday was no exception. It was extra annoying because I knew I should have been at home, working through my to-do list for the day and getting some good exercise in. In the end, I completely cancelled out the good I could have done by having a Snickers bar and Dr. Pepper for lunch. And, working at that store always makes my back and hips hurt (nowhere to sit, bad ergonomics at the counter), so I didn't exercise anyway. Boo on me.
But today will be better. I took the cat to the vet to get his teeth cleaned. I have a doctor's appointment this morning. Then, I will go for a run because it's a beautiful day and I don't want to spin in the basement when the sun is shining! I will NOT stop at Arby's for lunch. Or at least I'll just have a kid's meal and no dessert.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oooh, Pretty!!!

It's no surprise that I am a stereotypical woman - I loves shoes. It's genetic (you should see my mom's closet!). But I don't have as many shoes as I used to thanks never having a desk job and pregnancy. Wow, I never know feet could change that much! Being on a tight-ish budget, shoes are on an "as-needed" basis. So, when Karl says "You need better cycling shoes" I am certainly not going to argue. New shoes are new shoes, no matter what the purpose. I was just as excited when I got my new Wellies as when I found the perfect pair of 40's style heels to wear for the Hangar Dance.

Shoe shopping with a man is not fun. There's a lot of sighing and grumpy looks. But not this time! On Saturday, we made our annual trip to Bike-O-Rama: the spring clearance sale put on by a couple of local bike shops. There are always great deals, and if you don't buy anything else, you buy inner tubes and a new pair of socks. Karl made a bee-line to the women's shoes, and we made our way past the aisle-blocking strollers, and pulled out a couple of pairs to try.

They had a ton of these. So cute, and they
match my bike - I even have flowers on my
seat! Sidi shoes are really nice, and really
expensive! These were on sale for $189. A
great deal, but a little steep for us right now.

So, in the end, I got some pretty white shoes with blue and silver which, incidentally, matches my bike. The obligatory socks are self-explanatory. Now, if it would just warm up enough to wear them outside.

On Sunday, Karl actually passed on a ride with the local group so he could ride with me - outside. It was a gorgeous day, maybe 40 degrees, but nice and sunny with no wind. And I actually have the proper gear to wear in that weather (thank goodness for my mountain bike shoes, even if they are too narrow). We headed out towards the lake, and Karl was nice enough to turn towards home just before it got too hilly. We did about 13 miles in just over an hour. It was the first time Karl and I have ridden together in a LONG time., and definitely not the last. Hopefully, I'll be fit enough for him not to drop me when we ride the Stars and Stripes ride in May.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Look out.

Excuse me while I have a bit of a venting session. I'm all by myself, so there's no one to listen.

Last night, about every 20 minutes between the hours of 8:30 and 10, the kid came in to tell me she couldn't fall asleep. This has become the norm at our house. Normally, I'm fast asleep by 9:15pm. So, of course, after the third session, I was getting frustrated and crabby.
Early this morning, right before I was rudely awakened by a 10 year old's elbow in the middle of my back, I had an awful dream: my kid wouldn't listen to me, I was yelling and crying, I had gotten a horrible haircut, and we were late for somewhere.

Needless to say, I woke up in a grumpy mood.
Then, while getting the aforementioned kid ready for school, I discover she has not done all of her homework. She is the QUEEN of procrastination, and was too "busy with her iPod" to do that second page of spelling. I even reminded both her and dad that it needed to be done (as I was walking out the door). That man is not to be trusted. Grrrr
Time to leave for the bus! Kid's boots are soaking wet from playing outside yesterday. She'll have to wear her leather "fashion" boots. I instruct her to stay out of the snow, puddles, and mud. We arrive at the bus stop, where the other kids are trying to repair the snowman they made yesterday morning (that an evil 5th grader kicked over). Of course, Katrina heads straight in to the snow, and is upset that I remind her to stay out of the snow ("Those aren't snow boots.").
Luckily, a few good things happened - I practiced my horn, got to watch the finish of today's race, had a good doctor's appointment (more inflation - I'm up to AA cup). Some not-so-good things happened too - I didn't get my morning bike ride, so I have to squeeze it in after school; I ate junk food for lunch and now regret it; so it counteracted the good things, and I'm back to grumpy.
I'm crossing my fingers that I don't blow up if she comes home with muddy boots. I'm thankful she's going to spend the weekend at Nana and Papa's house. I need a break from that mini-me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yeah, I'm griping about the economy.

We all know the economy is in the toilet. So-called experts keep saying it's improving. Well, I don't know where they're looking, because here at home, it continues to suck.
I work in retail, an independently owned business in our little town. The last year has been rough. We've cut our staff - between the two stores, we have three regular employees. We've cut our hours - during January and February, we were only open four days a week. Even our inventory is down.
I often joke about how I am able to get a lot of knitting done at work. There have been days where we had zero sales for the day. That's tough. It's hard to make payroll when there's no money coming in. Today, it just seemed slower than usual. We had some sales, nothing to shout about, but better than zero. I'm guessing it was the snow, although by 10 am, the roads were fine.
I had my knitting, and I made a serious dent in the pair of socks I'm working on. I knit so much that my hands got tired and I had to take a break for a while and read a cookbook (copied down some yummy recipes - a perk of working in retail!). My boredom barometer is set by how motivated my boss (the general manager) is for the day. I think we went off the scale today. I think she set a record for non-store related busy-work. I believe she also read a cookbook, she baked a pan of brownies (and had to make a trip to the market for some ingredients), and she fell asleep - TWICE! She said she sat down on the stairs and dozed off for 15 minutes, woke up and rolled over (!?!), and fell asleep again for 15 more minutes, until someone came into the store. Lucky for her, it was a friend of hers.
I can honestly say that I have never fallen asleep at work, yet...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Probably More Than You Needed To Know

Yes, I'll admit, this may be TMI, but so many people seem amazed at this process, I thought I'd go in to a little more detail. Plus, I had an awesome conversation about it yesterday that I just have to share.
So, I keep mentioning "inflation." I'll eventually have breast implants put in. But, placing the implants at the time of the mastectomy surgery puts too much stress on the tissues. So, instead, they put in tissue expanders. Essentially, they are balloons with injection ports. Each week, the doctor injects about 4 tablespoons of saline through the ports (just under my skin) and into the expander, slowly stretching the tissues until I am the size I want to be. When I reach that point, I have a second (and much easier) surgery to place the permanent implants. Those of you who know me in person, know I was a busty girl - DD cup. Right now, I think I'm an A cup, and I don't plan on going much bigger than a B cup. That's the advantage of this method, I can choose my size, and if I feel like I want a little more, it's no problem.
Something else you may not realize, is that when they do a total mastectomy, they remove everything "breast related" - that includes nipples and areolas. So, right now, I'm "blank." You do have to option of nipple reconstruction, and then they can tattoo areolas back on. I was telling someone about that yesterday, and how I'll probably not do that, and she said "Oh, you should have the tattoos, but get something fun instead - like smiley faces or suns!" I'm considering it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Disaster averted

Now that was a close call.
I'm blaming my poor eyesight. (I am REALLY nearsighted, ya' know)

I'm so glad I re-read my email last night about our gig today! Turns out we play at 8:45PM, not am! It clearly says pm on my written schedule, on the LMS website, and in the email. But, for whatever reason, I wrote am on my calendar and arranged my work schedule as such.

So, that means I have the morning to do my workout and go to work after lunch. Then I get a little dinner break before our 8:45PM - 11:45PM gig. It's going to be a late night! Then, up early for skiing tomorrow. Yes, I'll have an extra-extra grande coffee, please.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Another busy weekend

It seems like I lounge around all week, and then, BAM! The weekend hits and I'm off and running.

Tomorrow's itinerary: morning gig with the Ladies ( we start playing at 8:45am, UGH), then straight to work at Giggles where it's "Game-A-Palooza". Hopefully, that will bring in some business. After work, I have my "fitness test" and, hopefully, some ice cream before bed.

Sunday, the Girl Scout troop has a ski trip. I'm playing lodge bunny: sipping cocoa and knitting on some awesomely cool striped socks. I suppose I'll check on the four first-time skiers a few times, play photographer, throw a few snowballs (if there are any - right now it's raining)

Then, monday I can relax again!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's sit-up Thursday!

In the past, when I've tried to get in shape/train for a specific event, it's been a failure. I don't have a specific plan, I'm not motivated, and I can think of a million other things I need to be doing. This time, I vowed to make it different. I have hired a personal trainer/coach. He came pretty cheap since I'm married to him. So far, he has actually been helpful, has made a plan for me, and I'm sticking to it.
I started at the beginning of February. The plan says I am to do 10 minutes of cardio intervals (walking/running or cycling) twice a week, and one day of "core" work (mostly sit ups! YUK). I am supposed to add 2 minutes to the cardio each week. (Remember I'm pretty much starting from scratch, and I had major surgery 6 weeks ago) I did walk/run a couple of times, then the weather turned sour. Karl got my bike on the trainer before I even had to ask him, and I've been spinning since. 2 minutes a week didn't seem like much, so I went a little farther. On Tuesday, I did 30 minutes. That was more like it!
Last year I bought a cheap little TV to put in the office so I could watch DVDs while I rode. That got boring quickly, and that's why I quit. This year, the TV is still there, I watched it a couple of times, but my bike is in a different spot, and I can see the computer, so I pull up some bike racing footage and ride with the pros. That is my motivation.
I'm still having trouble with the "million other things I need to do" part, but I'm getting better, and believe me, I feel no guilt whatsoever that I should be vacuuming instead of spinning. Those cat-hair tumbleweeds can wait, I've got 100km to train for!
Things are looking good otherwise. I have yet another "inflation" today. I think I'm just about to the size I want.