Thursday, May 31, 2012

And Another One Bites the Dust

This is going to be one of those uncharacteristically whiny posts. My feelings will not be hurt if you bail now.

Still here? Okay. Well, last week, I went and met with the new endocrinologist. I can't really say I am any more impressed with this one than I was with the last one. Which goes to say: Not impressed at all.

I went in, prepared with all of my lab work from the last year and a half. The doctor looked it over, asked me about my symptoms (fatigue, extremely cold extremities, hair loss, heart palpitations, etc. Apparently, I have been tired for the past 7 years because I currently have a toddler... that made me want to kick him in the groin, by the way) and came up with this: do lab work, look at the results, have me switch medications (again), up the dosage, and try to get my TSH to just around 1.

Sounded like a plan, minus the change of medication. I told him I really feel better on my current thyroid medication (Armour dessicated thyroid) and would prefer to stay on it.

Apparently I was wrong on all counts.

So, after calling the office every day for a week, I finally got someone to tell me what was up (they were supposed to call me the morning after the appointment. Ha). The nurse called and said "your lab results show that everything is in the normal range and the doctor said you could just continue on your current medication."

I told her I was confused--I am currently taking 1 grain of Armour and my TSH is right over 2... How was it supposed to be pulled down to a 1 if we leave the medication where it currently is??? She asked me to hold on and when she came back, said something like "well, it's a different medication, so it's measured differently." While this is true, my primary care physician has shown my the conversion chart between the two medications, and I know that my current dosage is significantly lower than the 125 mcg of Synthroid he wanted me to switch to. I told her all of this to which she replied "well, you have a good day." Click.

I then climbed into the shower and sobbed while I washed my hair.

I guess I just don't understand. I come in and say "I don't feel well. Here is all of my lab work--the last blood draw was 2 months ago." The doctor says "Huh. You were tested for A, B, C, D, and E. I think I will test you for A, B, C, D, and E, too." And then, when the results for A, B, C, D, and E come back EXACTLY THE SAME, the doctor says "See? Everything is normal. You're fine. Get another blood draw in a year." Just like the last one did. ARGH!


Why will no one say "Oh, the last endocrinologist has concluded the problem is not your thyroid anymore based on tests A, B, C, D, and E. These symptoms are also a sign of X, Y, and/or Z. Let's do some tests to rule those out!"...?!?!?!?!

Or at least adjust my medication until I feel better. I know the Armour is doing something... I do feel better than I did, but I still don't feel good. It's like on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being great, 1 being horrible) I have gone from a 2 to a 5.5. I just don't think I am all the way there, yet. I've been able to lose about 25 lbs (though, it's been extremely difficult and it seems to be stuck... I feel so close, yet so far away.... I'll probably be fat forever) since switching exclusively to Armour and I don't feel quite so depressed all the time. Otherwise, everything else is pretty much the same. Or only marginally better. But no one cares. Because if they did, they would have said "okay, you feel better on Armour, it's working, so far, albeit not perfectly. Let's increase your Armour and see if that helps" instead of "you can either take the Synthroid at a higher dose or you can go away."

It really makes me believe someone is getting kickbacks from the makers of Synthroid.

Not cool.

All right, I am going to go breaks things, now. And it really has me losing faith in the medical profession. Or at least the medical professionals in the greater JBLM area.

Guess this just adds to my growing list of reasons why I HATE Washington.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Might Be Insane

Actually, that title's probably an understatement.

Anyway, I'm sure I have mentioned this in the past about 500 times, but I'm going to do it, again: When I am feeling particularly depressed about living in Washington or surprisingly optimistic about getting to PCS (permanent change of station) in the near future, I look up real estate near to my dream duty stations. Unfortunately, getting stationed overseas is a lot trickier in the housing department than staying in the 48 contiguous states, so I tend to keep my search on continental US soil (that does not mean I haven't drooled all over Scottish cottages. Because I have. Many times).

When we moved here to Fort Lewis, we had every intention of living on post. It had a lot to do with being new to the Army officer life, having a small child (E was 9 weeks old when we got here), and knowing no one. It's an experience I thought I would like to try as a way to integrate myself back into the military life and to meet some social peers. Because of this, we really had no intention of trying to buy, and then looked not at all at the real estate market in the greater JBLM area.  Unfortunately, when S arrived to sign in, there were no houses available for months, and the ones that would be available were less than 1,100 square feet, 50 years old, and unrenovated.

Yeah. Not gonna happen.

So, he put our names on the list for new housing and found us a rental for the time being. We had thought we would move on post when a house came available, but what they offered us was 1,000 square feet less than we have now, had no attached garage, and they wouldn't let us see it before we signed the contract. On top of that, they would take all $1810 of our Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and we currently only pay $1450 in rent... So, we declined and are staying in our rental.

But next time? Next time, we are going to buy.

Which brings me to why I am insane.

After looking at all of the housing options around my top 6 duty stations (Fort Lee, Fort Eustis, Fort Story, Fort Meade, Fort Gordon, and Fort Jackson... not necessarily in that order), this is what I am most drawn to:

A 1908 house in need of major renovations. Petersburg, VA

1896 House in historic Augusta, GA
1910 house in Norfolk, Va. Check out the kitchen... It'll scare you.
Only an insane person would want to take on any of those houses, especially with a small child (or maybe 2? 3? 6? Who knows what's in the cards). But I LOVE the historic houses. I have about 20 I have saved up just around Fort Lee (Petersburg, VA) in hopes that we get to be there for a few years (we will be going there next for the Captain's Career Course, but who knows if we will get to stay). Secretly, I hope the one on the top hasn't sold and we can talk them down to about $10,000. We could pay cash and take out a loan for refurbishing.... And it would be glorious.

Practicality, however, dictates that the best thing we could do is buy brand-spankin'-new. Because we won't probably be there forever, we would either want to sell or rent (we are very interested in renting it out) when we move on from duty station #3 (I count Fort Sill from way back when). And let's be honest, most people want to rent or buy new/newer. I am not morally opposed to doing that, but what I have seen on the "new" market just doesn't impress me. It just looks cheap. In all of the areas I have looked, only Fort Meade, MD has anything in the new department I can get excited about... But that area is just so expensive. We could afford it, yes, but I'm just not sure we would want to.

It really is a huge dilemma. Why can't the heart and the head be in the same place?

Not that any of this matters. The Army, I am sure, will wreck all of our plans by sending us somewhere horrible. Like Korea. Or Japan. Or Texas.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Buy a Prius, Drive Like a Granny

When S commissioned in 2010, I was driving the 2005 Corolla S my parents bought me in college (I lived on campus my first year, and was not a fan. I think I came home every weekend but one my first semester, and after Spring Break of my second, I essentially moved home entirely. My parents told me that if they didn't have to pay for room and board, they would get me a car, pay for my gas and the insurance for my remaining 3 years--S and I picked up the tab after I graduated and landed my position at the university) and he was driving my dad's 1989 Ford Ranger pick-up... It was sexy. Before he deployed to Iraq, we made the brilliantly uneducated--and stupid--decision to buy a 1967 Ford Falcon... It was great the first 10 minutes he owned it, but was just a pain in the rear end the remaining 5 years. We ended up donating it--I think?--and cutting our losses. We shared the Corolla for awhile, but my parents were gracious enough to offer up the truck for us to use until we got something new.

Enter the Prius.

We did some homework and decided the hybrid was the way we wanted to go. We keep our cars long enough that getting a hybrid was a money-saver, and S was excited about "voting with his money." So, after his commissioning, we scrounged up a hefty down payment, went to the dealership, got suckered into opting for way more gadgets than we had originally planned for, and left with a car.

Because it's our "family" car, I drive it the most. When we had E in the infant car seat, I drove the Corolla a lot because we could easily move the seat from one base to the other. Unfortunately, spending $300 on a second convertible car seat just didn't fit into the budget, so now I drive the Prius almost exclusively, and when we go somewhere as a family, that's the car we take.

Anyway, back to my point.

While those of you in the rest of the country are experiencing gas price lows, those of us on the Pacific coast are having extreme highs. We buy our gas at Costco and it was $4.15/gallon yesterday.... And that's at least $.10 cheaper than everywhere else, including on-post. Because of this, I have been much more mindful of the mpg gauge on the Prius, and thus, my driving style has drastically changed.

Before I started watching the gauge, I was getting about 44 mpg on average. Right now, it's sitting at 54 mpg, all because I started driving differently.... Yes, I now drive like a granny. The 35 mph zone is my new best friend--I've been avoiding the interstate and taking back roads because I get such better gas milage. I can get up to speed without breaking the "eco" line, and coast in a range that gets me anywhere from 75-100 mpg. This probably makes me unpopular with other drivers, because I tend to go the speed limit, if not under it... Not that I didn't become infinitely slower when I started carting around a kiddo.

This may actually be the first car I have driven that encourages me to drive at a pace that can only be described as the opposite of reckless (lol). The Corolla is like driving a go cart, so it's easy to get out of hand (my one and only speeding ticket can attest to that). My goal is to make it to a tank that averages 65 mpg... Cause how awesome would that be?

[End incredibly boring post]

In other news:

  • I think E has hit the Terrible Twos. If she isn't blatantly disobeying me, she is throwing a temper tantrum (or so it seems). She's really not that bad, but it's such a drastic change in such a short amount of time (like... a week???) that it's notable.
  • Her new favorite thing to do while riding in the car is lick the bottom of her feet... Um. Eww?
  • She has probably eaten her weight in berries the last couple weeks--I'm not complaining. I would much prefer her be on a fruit kick than a processed food kick.
  • I have lost a few pounds since my omg-my-body-hates-me post a few weeks back. Bad news? Now I can't get any more to fall off. Argh!
  • I met with a new endocrinologist--the jury is still out.
  • I made cookie cake and it was a rousing success.
  • I still hate Washington.
And, while you're barbecuing this weekend--please remember to remember those who served and sacrificed it all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flippin' Amazing Spinach, Feta Casserole (Meatless)

I've been in a recipe rut; I've gotten tired of most of the stuff I have made for dinner recently, and everything that sounds good is "summery."

...Yeah... The weather here? 50s.

Ugh, I guess I can just add this to the list of reasons Washington makes me want to gouge my eyes out with rusty spoons (yeah, I totally stole that from you, Amanda).

So, last night I got on pinterest to see if I could find some dinner inspiration. Out of the 248 recipes I have pinned to my Tasty album, only one of them caught my eye:

Spinach and Feta Casserole with Brown Rice and Parmesan from
However, in my true fashion, I didn't follow the recipe. At all. Sure, some of the ingredients are the same and the end result looks very similar, but the two recipes are very different. I'm assuming. Obviously, I have no idea, since I didn't make the above. The the below is fantastic. I know it's a little obnoxious to toot my own horn, but I am pretty sure this picture of E's bowl will convince you:

Yeah... this ONLY happens when I make her sweet potatoes.

What you'll need:

Casserole dish with glass lid
Cooking spray
2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 large red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz fresh spinach, chopped
8 oz mushrooms
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup feta cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/8 red pepper flakes (I used 1/4, but it was a little spicier than the recipe needs)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit.
2.  After chopping everything up, mix the spinach, onions, garlic, mushrooms and HOT rice together in a greased casserole dish. You want the rice to still be hot so that it helps the spinach wilt.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together beat the eggs with a fork until they are smooth and evenly yellow. Add the milk, mixing well. Whisk in the herbs until everything is evenly distributed.

3. Add a cup of crumbled feta cheese, folding it into the mixture so that it is well-covered.

4. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and rice. Mix it well.

5. Cover (I have a glass lid... not sure if that makes a difference?) and pop that sucker in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the edges start to bubble and the spinach has completely wilted. Remove and serve while it's still hot.

This will definitely be served at my house, again. It was delicious. I will probably make it my new night-before-PT-test dinner, since it was light and fresh and good for you (you know, minus the cheese, milk, and eggs). This probably easily serves 4 VERY hungry adults, or 6 regularly hungry adults as a meal, but I would asume it would work wonderfully as a side dish, as well. I can see it with chicken or fish or maybe even pork chops. We ate less than half of it between the three of us... Although, I am about to go grab another bite...

P.S. Next time, I am going to be sure to have fresh herbs. Nothing is better than fresh!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Uber Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

(Before I get started, I realize that I used the word "uber" incorrectly... I just don't care).

Last night, I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner. He told me he wanted something with chicken and pasta.

I was up to the challenge.

If you pay any attention to the food pins on Pinterist you've probably seen some of the macaroni and cheese recipes that require nothing but a pot, milk, macaroni, and cheese. This one, for example, from I decided to put the method to the test, and couple it with my usual Cajun chicken and vegetables.

My husband called it "amazing." I thought it was a little bit more of a pain in the ass than pinners the world-round let on. But it still tasted pretty awesome and it was a nice consistency. I'll probably use the method, again, and for shits and giggles, though I would share our dinner with my six faithful readers.

You're Welcome.

Uber Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

What you'll need:
2 chicken breasts
2 green bell peppers, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
8 oz pasta (I used cellentani)
3 cups whole milk
2 slices pepper jack cheese (I used Sargento pre-sliced)
1/4 cup Sargento 6 cheese Italian, shredded
2 tsp butter
Old Bay seasoning
Cajun seasoning (I used Emeril's)

1. Cover chicken breasts with equal parts Old Bay and Cajun seasoning until they are covered. Add salt and pepper to taste. I let them "marinate" in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, but only because I was bored and needed something to do at the time.

2. In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 cups of milk, bringing to a simmer/boil (Note: I started the milk in a double boiler to keep it from burning. It really never got hot enough, so I had to move it to a regular sauce pan. If you start out with the sauce pan, be sure you are standing by to stir continuously). This will take awhile, so get started on the chicken and veggies.
3. In a skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add garlic and stir for approximately a minute.

4. Add chicken and cover. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then flip. Re-cover.

5. Add the onions and mushrooms around the chicken. Sprinle with seasoning to taste, and then re-cover.

6. Your milk should be about to the simmering point. Add in the pasta, and let it come back up to a boil (roil, big simmer... Whatever. Milk doesn't really boil...). You'll want to be stirring to keep it from burning (nothing smells worse than burnt milk, by the way). Add the additional milk as needed to keep the pasta cooking (you don't want it to drink it all up before it's done all the way through).

7. Back to the veggies/chicken: Once the onions have started to soften, add the bell peppers. Cover.

8. Once the peppers have softened, slice the chicken thinly and mix it in with the vegetables. I slice it in the pan, but you can remove it, slice it, then throw it back in. I like to cook the chicken breasts whole, first, because they stay juicier that way. When you slice them, they will release some of their juices. It's tasty. I promise. Once the chicken is cooked through, turn off heat and cover to keep warm.

9. Okay, back to the pasta. Again. The pasta should be soaking up the milk as it cooks. Once the pasta is cooked through, remove it from the heat and quickly throw in the cheese (The pasta, as a whole, took about 35 minutes from heating up the milk to finish).

10. Stir cheese in until it is melted through.

11. Spoon pasta into bowl and cover with chicken/veggie mixture.

12. Mix. Eat. Enjoy.

I really need to get better about my presentation before I snap the picture.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let Down City

When E was born, this was the setting:
Labor and delivery room.

And after she had come, we moved to a room like this:

Recovery room.

One of my friends from S's company had a baby, yesterday, and we went to visit last night. Her recovery room looked like this:

This is only an example. Her room looked much more run down. And it was smaller. And not a bright.

As the Army hates me, and wants me to die here in the worst place in the world, if we continue with the current family plan, I will be recovering in a room much like the one above (only smaller, uglier, and darker). The most depressing place to bond with your new baby. Ever.

She didn't even have a rocking chair. She was literally stuck in the horrible, uncomfortable, hospital bed. Because there was no where else for her to go. Bathroom? Around the corner. Privacy? None.

As unimpressed as I was with my labor and delivery experience the first time around, the recovery room was definitely nothing to sneeze at. I had a private bathroom, a place for my husband to sleep, a rocking chair. I could use my cell phone, I could be as naked as I wanted to promote breastfeeding, I had no strangers barging in on me, it was quiet... I will have none of the above here. I will have to share the most beautiful and simultaneously disgusting hours of my life with perfect strangers.

It's so very, very, very depressing. Like Washington. It's like they planned it that way.

I can only hope and wish and pray for some miracle that will send us far, far away from this place. So I can have as good a bonding experience with #2 as I did with E. Because that's what it will take :(. (Stupid Army).

(Above L&D pictures are from Northside Hospital in Atlanta, GA)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beauty Regimen

A few of my friends started getting Birchbox in the mail a few months ago, and posted about how fabulous it was. Needless to say, I bought into the hype, and subscribed myself. I really liked it, and wanted to post about my experiences with the products they sent, but think I probably need to establish a base of comparison before doing that.

So, even though I know nobody cares, here is my beauty regimen:

I'm a fan of rotating through my shampoo and conditioner. I have three that I am currently using, and I like all three, but for different reasons.
  • Aquage
    I can only get this through my hair dresser (stylist? I have no idea what the politically correct term is--Sorry, Tina, is you are reading this!), and always make sure I have plenty of it on hand. Unfortunately for me, I tend to grossly under-estimate how long my remaining product will last, so I tend to have about twice as much as I need at any given time. But, I suppose that's a good thing when I can't make the trip back to GA for awhile. Anyway, it's my "main" hair product, and I use it every other day. It smells divine and just really makes my hair feel... natural. It isn't heavy or overly producty... It also lathers up really nicely. Who doesn't like shampoo lather?? The conditioner isn't too heavy, either, and while I can tell a difference after I use it on my hair, it doesn't leave it feeling overly oily.
  • Giovanni
    This is my "off-day" shampoo and conditioner. I use the Tea Tree Oil version on the days when my hair is feeling extra oily. I typically wash my hair once a day, but every once in awhile I will let it go an extra day, and then I feel like I need to use something that will wick the oil away. Mostly, I ended up going that route because Costco carried a GIGANTIC package of shampoo and conditioner for half the price of my "old" alternative, and I like it well enough (I have about half a gallon of the stuff left, so that's a good thing). I actually prefer their 50:50 line, better. It has a light, orangey smell and I use it when I want to have really shiny, highly "pretty" hair. Usually for days when I know I will be out of the house doing something other than the normal trip to the commissary. The best part about this line is it's eco-friendly and not terribly expensive.
  • Biosilk
    This is my leave-in conditioner. I put it in before I blow my hair dry, usually just around the ends of my hair. I tend to get a lot of split ends, and I feel like this helps. It also keeps my hair from going ultra-frizzy after I blow it dry. The downside is it's expensive. I used to be able to buy it at Costco for a fairly reasonable price, but they haven't had it in a long time. I only have a little bit left, so I am in the market for a viable alternative.  

  • Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub and Refreshing Facial Wash
    I just started using Simple's products a few weeks ago. I have been bouncing around trying to find a cleanser I really like for awhile. I like Avon's Anew cleanser, but I got it through my mom at cost, and she quit getting Avon... And so, so did I. Before that, I used an acne-preventing regimen, but then my skin finally decided it no longer wanted to be a temperamental teenager, and I got to using big-girl cleanser. Anyway, back to Simple. I like that is is really fresh feeling and smelling, although the scent isn't my absolute favorite.I love, however, that it has no artificial dyes or perfumes, and that it is hypoallergenic. I will probably continue to use it, as I can get a really good deal at the commissary.

  • Bio-Oil
    I know, it's weird, but I use Bio-Oil as my moisturizer. I tend to do my face washing in the shower, and then apply the Bio-Oil right after I have dried my face. I let it sit for a few minutes until I can no longer "feel" it before I put on my make-up. I started using it to combat the lines and wrinkles that were making their virgin appearances around my eyes and forehead. They obviously aren't anything horrible, but I could see them. Anyway, after about three or four weeks of the Bio-Oil, I started noticing a reduction in the above. It is very reasonable, especially because I need so little of it. Just a couple dabs does my entire face. Love it.
  • Make-Up
    I use a variety of make-up, but all of it is mineral make-up. When I switched to mineral make-up, I started to notice that my skin started to clear up and be less oily. I started with Bare Minerals, and then branched out from there. I still have some of their eyeshadow that I use, but haven't bought anything new in years. One of my favorite brands is Aromaleigh. Unfortunately, the owner closed down the business last year, so I was unable to get it for a long time and had to find new minerals, elsewhere. Happily, they are back up and running, I just haven't ordered from them, again. I do, however, use their eyeshadow everyday and still love it. They have tons of colors, more than any other company (or at least they used to). I just started using E.L.F. cosmetics around Christmas when I began to run out of other products. So far, I like everything I have used except their finishing powder, but only because their lightest color was too dark for me. My favorite E.L.F. product, however, has to be their mineral eyeshadow primer. One of the problems I have with the mineral make-up is, by the end of the day, the powder has rubbed off or pooled in the creases of my eyes. But with that stuff, it stays exactly where it is supposed to be (and the colors don't get diluted by the chemicals in my skin. Double win!)

I hate to admit it, but I use the Victoria's Secret Fantasy products, and the Love Spell scent more specifically. I keep trying to find a new, more grown-up scent, but I always end up coming back to Love Spell. It smells divine, and it was the scent S picked out for me for our first Christmas together. I really do like it, but I feel a little silly buying it, sometimes. I usually try to switch out my scents every once in awhile, so I have been using the Sheer Love scent recently. It's a little on the floral side for me, though (I like floral, but I like it mixed with a fruity scent, as well), so I probably won't keep it around after I finish it up. I'm always looking for an alternative, though. Feel free to make suggestions.

I typically apply the lotion the second I turn off the shower spray, before I towel off. After it's good and worked in, I towel off. This keeps my skin super soft and moisturized, much more so than when I apply the lotion after drying. I use the spray and perfume, too, but I think their application is pretty self-explanatory/well-known.


I am pretty skeptical of mall-kiosk products, but S gave me a manicure set from Dead Sea Premiere for my birthday. It comes with a nail block, cuticle oil, and a hand lotion. It's fantastic. It makes my nails look beautiful and my hands feel lovely. I totally recommend it. I also have a salt scrub (which I prefer to sugar scrubs) and a body butter. Ah-mahz-ing. I use the whole set about once a month, and it really lasts that long, if not more.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Been an Army Kind of Week...

And it isn't over, yet.

From last Wednesday to this Wednesday, we will have spent more than half of our days in some unit-related function. I'm not really complaining, because thus far, I have actually had a pretty good time. It's nice getting to go out and have some good ole fashioned bonding. I find it hard to connect with our Army life since E and I are fairly removed from it, living off-post and all. Usually, my closest brush with the military is washing the husband's uniform and shopping at the commissary. I often find that I kind of miss that community feeling...

But, hey? What are ye gonna do?

Anyway, last Wednesday, we went and had dinner with S's old shop. When we first got here, his position was in the S3 shop as the assistant S3. He was not terribly happy with the position--it's one that is normally filled by a captain--but really liked some of the people. They were having a "family dinner" and invited anyone who had ever been in the shop, so we decided to go, baby and all. I actually had a really good time, got to meet some of the new people, and chat with some of those I had only heard stories about.

Thursday, there were two change of command ceremonies. It wasn't something I had to go to, but I felt like going and supporting those who were leaving and those who were arriving. I met both of the "new" wives at the last spouse coffee, and one of the "leaving" wives has been very sweet and supportive since we arrived. It really will be sad to see her go, even though we were only friendly at functions. E really enjoyed the ceremonies, and I think it's important to take her to that kind of thing, so long as she is welcomed (I want her to have been in that kind of environment as many times as possible so she knows how to act at "grown-up" events. I think all too often, kids get left out of events so that parents don't have to deal with them, and then on the rare occasion they DO get to go, they have no idea how to act). Afterwards, there were receptions. She had a ball and ate about 3 cups of strawberries and raspberries.

Friday night, S was in charge of the Hail and Farewell festivities. This is a fun little tradition among the leadership in a unit to welcome those who are new to the unit and send off those who are leaving. In the past, we had always just had a dinner, but the Colonel wanted this to be a "fun" event, so we went mini golfing, bowling, and had dinner. We dropped E off with a friend for the evening, so it was adult time. I had a really good time, and I think so did everyone else... The way the alcohol was flowing, they better have been having a good time! It was very laid back and you could really tell that everyone really thinks of this as a sort of "family." I was so glad I got to be a part of it!

And then this Wednesday, we have our FRG meeting. This should be interesting, as we are having a "consignment sale." Clothing will be sold for a small donation of $.25-$1, which I think will really work out well for some people. For us, it means we can finally get our clothing donations out of the garage (we've just never made it to Goodwill) and for others, it means they will be able to get some gently used items for practically nothing. Some of the things we are donating still have TAGS on them (ahem, S!) and several of the things I am donating were only worn a few times. I am keeping most of E's clothes in the event we have another girl in the future, but I did throw in a handful of things that were hand-me-downs from others that I didn't like and/or were the wrong size. Either way, it means social time for me!

(I did enjoy an Army-free afternoon on Saturday when I went to Seattle with a friend. It was glorious and I didn't die in a horrific car accident. Also, had a marvelous Mother's Day!)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Got Crafty

I haven't been terribly bloggy lately because I decided to get crafty. This is partly due to the fact that I got stuck on the novel (stupid writer's block) and partly due to the fact that I found the most amazing baby afghan EVER on

So, I decided to make one for baby #2, should there be one. This is an awesome project for me, because a flower takes me a little less than 20 minutes to crochet, which means I can do as little or as many as I would like at a time. I am doing a five-petal flower instead of a six, and I think I may add some leaves here and there, but this is the general idea. I am super excited about it.

I love the I Love This Yarn yarn from Hobby Lobby, but we don't have a Hobby Lobby here in the Northworst. It's super soft and has some really pretty colors... And it's super affordable. I made E a blanket and a sweater using their yarn, and I love the way they turned out.  I have some left over from some of my past projects/impulse buys in this color:
So, I am starting with that until I can get some more, either when I go back to visit in GA or by ordering it online. I am thinking of using these colors:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I've been trying to keep the negative I-hate-my-body, hypothyroidism-sucks posts to a minimum, but I've been feeling really discouraged the last month or so, and just need a moment to vent.

Since January 1, I have lost about 20 pounds. I am back down to my pre-hypothyroid post-baby weight (i.e. still not back to my pre-baby weight, but better than it had been). I still have a good 30 pounds to lose to feel... good about myself, but I would be happy if I could get rid of another 15-20 lbs. That would put me where I was before I got pregnant (I gained a little bit when I switched MA programs. I blame stress).

If you know anything about me, you know that last year was really hard on me. I was exercising non-stop, I was eating a completely vegan diet, and I was gaining weight. At the peak of my crazy exercise routine, I was walking/jogging 15-20 miles a day. And on the days where I couldn't go out and do that, I was on the exercise bike for 3 hours a day. Nothing I did worked and this February, I threw in the towel. I quit working out and sat on my butt all day--why kill myself if it wasn't working? Well, I promptly lost fifteen pounds.

I went home in March to visit my family, came home for a couple weeks and lost a few more pounds, and then went back. While I was home, I gained a pound or two, but figured that when I got home, the weight would continue to come back off slowly as it had.

Well, it hasn't. I've gone back to making a lot of vegetarian meals to help combat things, and I did get back to the 20-pounds-lost goal, but I can't get back over the hump. I'm stuck. And then, to just makes matters worse, I got on the scale yesterday and I had gained 3 lbs.

Most people would probably consider this "no big deal," but I am really starting to feel like it's crunch time. We are in agreement that we would like to try for Baby #2 at the beginning of the year... And I DO NOT ever want to go through this torture again. I refuse to gain as much as I did last time (50 lbs) and I certainly don't want to start out bigger than I did last time.

The news (I am loathe to call it "good") is that I go see a new endocrinologist in 2 weeks. I honestly don't think I am "fixed" yet. I am still having a very hard time waking up in the morning (10 hours of sleep and struggling to wake up isn't normal), I am always exhausted, and I am always freezing--ask my husband, he has felt my ice-cold feet. And my weight... Ugh, my weight. I am so hoping he can make me better. I am so tired of being broken :(.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Great Outdoors

We are not outdoors people. And by we, I really do mean me. I don't do yard work or gardening. I am not a fan of hiking or camping. I hate lakes, I sunburn easily, and bugs freak. me. out. I've always liked having my own herbs and veggies, but when I plant, it's always in pots. I like beaches well enough, and I like the ocean. But the only place I have ever craved the outdoors was Scotland... And, well, that is quite a ways away. The husband isn't much of a yard guy, either, though he likes camping and all that... gross stuff.

So, what I have been doing the last few days should come as a complete surprise.

Yes, I have been working in the yard. For two days straight. In fact, we both have.

E has been enjoying the sun (no, really, we even had sun. It's like a May-Day Miracle) with us. We pulled the baby corral and some toys outside, slapped some sunscreen on her, and let her enjoy the fresh air. The good 1Lt has been mowing the lawn (which seriously took him two days. It was THAT bad) while I weeded the front yard and islands. It looks amazingly better, but still looks... eh. Until we hire someone to design and take care of our yard, it will never win any yard-of-the-month awards. In fact, we'll probably be scraping under the omg-is-that-house-abandoned? line.

It's kind of nice to not have the worst yard in the neighborhood, anymore, though.

Anyway, we needed some dandelion killer. Usually, I wouldn't care that much, but I want to let E play outside as much as possible, and there are just SO MANY that they attract a ton of bees. The fewer dandelions, the fewer bees, right? Well, let's hope so. I got a handy dandy little tool to rip them up by the roots. It took me almost two hours to get the ones in the front yard, yesterday, and I am sure I missed a few. And the front yard is about an eighth the size of the back. There is just no way either of us will have the patience to rip up dandelions one at a time. So, we went to Home Depot to get some weed & feed and look at outdoor furniture.

Last summer, I may or may not have gotten addicted to late nights around the fire pit. And I would like to continue that little... experience into this summer (and future summers), but I would like it to be a little less time consuming and lot less work. So, we are thinking about getting one of these:

I don't think this one is really a contender, since we found one at the Exchange for less money and no tax. But this Martha Stewart one from Home Depot gives you an idea. The other one has a smaller fire pit and a bigger table space. And the Exchange set has a bench, 2 chairs, and bright orange cushions (woo hoo?). Either way, I'm excited to get my wine on. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why My Family > Yours

I like to mock my husband by "talking" like him, sometimes. Usually, this means I speak in an oddly baritone squeaky voice that sounds nothing like him, but that's why it's funny.

Anyway, so I was going through the coupons that came in the mail this afternoon. Most of them were for fast food restaurants and... more fast food restaurants. But there were a few good ones in there--you know, $1.50 off M&Ms and $2.00 off toothpaste. I came across one for Sizzler and asked him--in  my worst impression of his voice--"Why don't we ever go to Sizzler?"

First, he stopped chasing after E long enough to blink at me in confusion. "Why are you talking like that?" he asked me.

"I'm doing my impression of you." Said in same annoying voice.

"Whatever. Aren't you a snob?"

"Yes, but why don't we ever go to Sizzler?"

"Because you're a snob. It's like the Wal-Mart of food."


He then proceeds to sit down and focus on Family Guy. Twenty seconds later, E brings me her potty and asks me to open it. Unfortunately, I had already sat down to type out the Sizzler exchange, so I passed it over to my husband and told her, "Daddy is going to help you go potty."

However, as I made eye contact with my husband, it was to see that he was lounging in my chair, pieces of cardboard wrapped around his wrists. I raised one eyebrow and passed him the potty.

He smirked and said, "I'm busy being a super hero."

I waited a second before replying with: "Don't think that's not going in my blog."

"They're gauntlets. Who wouldn't want gauntlets?"

I chose not to encourage him and remained silent while I typed out exactly what was said. He did help E sit on the potty, which I very much appreciate. But she was back up in seconds, dancing to the Family Guy theme song.

Yes. This is just a glimpse into five minutes of my life.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

[Tea] Pot

Remember how tofu murdered my last tea kettle?

Well, my replacement kettle came in the mail today!

A few days after the homicide, Endelyn and I went to Macy's to see what we could find to replace it. There were a few options, but none that were aesthetically pleasing. I remember seeing one by Le Creuset on the site, so I pulled it up on my phone and went in search of a customer service associate. Because they had it on their site and not in the store, they ordered it for me and had it sent to my house... Free shipping and everything. Woo hoo.

So, I would like to welcome my new [tea] pot. I wish it a long life and promise to never put it in a compromising position with tofu.