Monday, March 30, 2009

You can't fight your DNA!

You can't fight your DNA, but you can try.

Every year for the military we do a PHA- periodic health assessment. This year I had to get my blood drawn (actually every year we do) for HIV and a cholesterol screening. I can't even begin to imagine all the money the government wastes every year getting HIV screenings on people like me- married, monogamous, and no new sexual partners in over a decade! I am sure you are all pleased that your tax dollars are going to good use!

Anyways, my cholesterol came back high. Total cholesterol of 207! Under 200 is "normal". I knew for a while that my cholesterol was creeping up, but thought I was doing a good job of keeping it low. Guess I was wrong.

My Triglycerides were also really high.

I am going to have to start limiting my red meat consumption, exercising more, eating fish! I love a good steak and hate fish.

I know that a large part of this is probably genetic, my mom's side of the family all had raging high cholesterol. Although I attributed their high cholesterol to their eating habits. My mom said grandma used to use bacon grease to butter her bread!

So what can be done to lower cholesterol, there are a lot- but here is what I am going to do:

  1. Exercise More
  2. Less Red Meat
  3. Fish Oil supplements
  4. Oatmeal
We'll see what happens...I will get it checked again in six months.

I did it!

Last night I was able to stay up to 3AM! Then I woke up at noon. I plan to stay up to 4AM tonight, then hopefully sleep until 1PM. By Wednesday night I will be turned around to a night schedule (I hope!).

I watched a few videos by a blogger that I love. She is a fitness and nutrition guru. There are several videos she posted on youtube about food prep. Really it is such a simple idea, I don't know why I don't do it.

She plans her meals for the entire week, grocery shops and buys those things, then does most of the food prep on Sunday for the entire week. That way there is no temptation to go to Burger King (my personal weakness) when there is no time to make dinner.

A few weeks back I was trying to come up with a similar menu planning scenario. I don't know what happened that I got derailed. Perhaps I will start again with renewed gusto!

Check out the videos and her site at Phit-n-Phat.

Must stay awake..awake..awake..

I am switching to nights on Wednesday. Unfortunately I am still on a day schedule. I had the last week off in which I was supposed to get turned around, but kept having stupid meetings to go to during the day. So alas, two days before nights begin and I am dying to stay awake!

Today I tried to make a delicious dinner, but ended up over cooking the chicken. It came out like cardboard! Seriously my jaw got tired chewing it! Poor Joe really tried to eat it, but just couldn't do it.

Oh well, I will try again tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

1st day back after vacation...

Today sucked. Just plain sucked.

I was really tired from not being used to getting up at 430 AM. I was starving and was looking forward to getting to work to have my morning coffee and oatmeal (since I get up so early I eat breakfast there), only I didn't get to eat until 9AM.

As soon as I walked in the door there was a Code Blue in progress. I walked in just as the tube went down the patients mouth. Since everyone else was doing stuff, I got stuck with the fun job of talking to the husband. Not a fun job.

Then it was pretty much nonstop all day. My morning cup of coffee which I had been really looking forward too was ruined by lack of coffee creamer. I did buy some last week at the Bx, but the only flavor they had was GingerBread- which was disgusting!

About 10AM one of the higher ups shows up and makes us all do push-ups for not having our ID badges on. So then my wrist hurts for several hours.

We had a patient with a miscarriage, a baby with a fever, insomnia, 2 chest pains, UTI, and at the end of the day I got into a fight with one of the nurses.

What a day. Thank God I have the next 7 off!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Guam pics

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Guam
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Open Letter to All Travelers...

Dear Annoying Traveler,

I know that we are all in rush, but standing so close to me that I can feel your breath on my back does not make the line move any faster. In fact it makes the line move slower because in my own vengeful way, I move slower the harder you push me. Not only does crowding me make me entirely pissed off, it enrages my husband. When my husband is enraged there are consequences. Don't dismiss those evil death looks as benign, if ignored they will escalate. Let's not forget the Splash Mountain Incident where at least 10 unsuspecting crowders were bowled to the ground after Joe violently lurched backwards instead of forward when the line moved.

Like all Americans my body does not end where my skin does. I have at least 18 inches of air space surrounding me. Please respect my allotted airspace.

Now onto the next matter- airline seating. Under no circumstances are you to evacuate your purchased seat, relocate into a vacant seat infront of me holding my sleeping toddler and then have the nerve to invade the three inch cube of personal space the airline has allotted me by reclining your seat. As the paying passenger in the proper seat assigned to me, I feel that I have the right to not have your head lying on my child's head, lying on my lap!

Likewise, when you usurp the seat behind me by the same means do not call the flight attendant to complain that I have my seat reclined and you are cramped. When the flight attendant tells me, very loudly, to move my seat up for the courtesy of the other passenger- while the other idiot is laying in my lap- it really pisses me off.

All of this seating drama causes my husband undue stress. He goes into protection mode trying to preserve our "real estate". He is shoving at reclined seats, yelling at people (in English so I hope no one understands) to move back, muttering angry curse words...I expect him to stand up and start pissing on the borders of our row. By the end of the flight we are all exhausted and want to get off the plane...

But even exiting the plane is a debacle. First an almost entirely comatose cabin springs into action as soon as they hear that "ding". People are everywhere- standing in the aisles, rummaging in the overhead bins, standing in the aisles in an obvious attempt at securing a place in line to get out. Heaven forbid that they would let a family with a small child out...mind you that child is now screaming and really pissed! (By the way, the irritated looks at us while the child is screaming does not help. Don't you think if we could get him to calm down we would? We do not enjoy him making a scene anymore than you enjoy listening to it!) Would it be too much to ask that you let us out? Will the 30 seconds it takes for us to exit the row really delay your entire travel itinerary? I think not.

In conclusion you annoying travelers out there- knock that shit off and have some consideration for other people.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What is that magical contraption??

On the flight to Guam we had an entire row to ourselves- 5 entire seats! With all that kind of room we decided to take the car seat on the plane and once Jordan was asleep we could tuck him in for a nice sleep...boy were we wrong!

As soon as we got on the plane we buckled in the car seat to one of the aisle seats. Joe, Jordan, and I occupied the three seats on teh other aisle. Flight Attendant #1 (FA1) comes over to ask us if we need the seat this moment or if she could put it in the overhead bin. (Mind you that this is in very broken English and very difficult to understand). Joe and I agree we don't need it right this instant but explain it is buckled to the seat and it won't move. FA1 doesn't buy the safety of the seat and begins to pull at it violently. The seat does not budge. "Excuse a me" she pleads and scurries away. Joe and I stupidly think that will be the end of it.

FA1 returns with FA2 and FA3. They all study the seat and take turns pushing and pulling at it. FA2 musters up the bravery to ask if it is bucked to the airline seat. Yes we reply, it is infact attached and will not move unless we unbuckle it.

FA4 joins in. They talk rapidly in Korean. The four of them sound like a fight might break out between them. FA2 and 3 take turns yelling and jerking at the seat showing how it doesn't budge. They inspect the buckles that would hold Jordy. They run their fingers along the fabric. I expected one of them to climb into the carseat when finally the FA3 declares it is safe, and away they all go.

Finally the matter was settled...

Until 1 hour prior to landing...

It seemed like an entirely new crew of Flight Attendants had arrived. I don't know where the ones that we started with went? Perhaps they parachuted out of the plane, or had as suicide pact if the car seat made it off the ground...I don't know... but what I do know is that we had an entirely new crew of Flight Attendants investigating the chair again.

The only thing different about this inspection period is that I had Jordy screaming mercilessly while the FA1 demanded that the chair that the car seat was bolted too be in the full and upright position. Mind you that also at this time Joe is having a panic attack and feels he may pass out (he's not a good flier). So I yell at the FA1 to hold her horses! One of the nice things about being in a foreign country is you can say whatever you want- nobody understands if you speak quickly. Joe springs into action and unbuckles the seat entirely, but moves the airline seat to the full upright and locked position.

Now a small army of flight attendants investigate. They all agree that the chair is in the proper position. None of them notice that the car seat is not bolted down and it may jettison into the air at any time, not important...

Meanwhile, while all flight attendants are having a near coronary over the car seat reclined seat fiasco, there is a woman leaning over her seat back trying to console her baby who is sitting in her husbands lap direction behind her. She is bobbing along with all the turbulence, once even striking her head on the ceiling...not too worry though- our seat is in the full and upright locked position!!

Miraculously we landed without anyone dying d/t our car seat.

I really don't understand what the big deal was- have they never seen a car seat? Then I remember that in South Korea I once saw a woman riding a moped holding an infant in her lap! No these people don't use car seats regularly, so maybe they had never seen one!

Next time we are checking the damned thing!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Only two more days...

Only two more days and we are off to Guam! We are going for vacation. I can't wait!

I plan to sit on my butt and get a tan (although hopefully not skin cancer). There are a few things I want to see there, but mostly I am excited for American stores and resteraunts! Guam is a US territory and has tons of great stuff. Although it does not have a Best Buy, much to Joe's dismay, they do have a Kmart.

Friday, March 13, 2009

An Entirely New Outlook

So after hitting rock bottom in the self esteem department, I have decided to change my outlook.

I read a blog called Phit-n-Phat that I just love. In this particular post, Corinne talks about liking yourself. She talks about how women always focus on what we don't like about ourselves, and seem to forget that we have some really good qualities.

So I am accepting her challenge and will list some things I like about my self:

I like my teeth. I love how straight they are and how years and years of grinding my teeth has made them perfectly filed down. People often compliment me on my smile and it makes me want to flash them a huge mega watt smile!

I like my nose. This may be cheating a bit b/c I did have a nose job. But after the work was done, my nose really makes me happy.

I like that I am fairly tall. In a crowd of people I don't feel like I am a giant, but not too short.

I like my laugh. Although when I hear it recorded it sounds like an annoying cackle, but it feels so good that I love to laugh. I love to laugh so hard that I start crying and my abs hurt.

I used to love my flat tummy, but since Jordy it isn't all that flat anymore. The other day Joe pinched at my flab and teased me about it. My response- I reminded him that this body made an entire person! Yeah I may have some left over flab, but dang it- I made a human being! I love that I was able to have Jordy and recover without any problems.

Overall my body will never be on the cover of Victoria Secret, but it serves me well. It hasn't failed me yet- no broken bones, no chronic pain issues, no GI problems, nothing...I will stop wishing I were a supermodel, and realize how blessed I truly am!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cheap Entertainment

Living in Korea has changed the way we entertain ourselves entirely! Since there are no shopping malls with stuff that interests us, no Best Buy, no scrapbooking stores, etc...we are not shopping like we used to. This is a pretty good thing as far as money goes, but the internet has thousands of places that are willing to ship to us...

Since our options for going out are so severely limited, we have found a few things to entertain ourselves. By far my favorite is Lost! We borrowed the DVDs from some friends and have been hooked! Every night when I get home from work we have dinner, then Jordy gets a bath, then straight to Lost! For several weeks I have been fairly sleep deprived b/c I end up staying up way too late!

Instead of buying 4 seasons of Lost on DVD, we borrowed them from a friend and saved at least 100 dollars. We have spent every evening for the past few weeks watching it! This great trade has made me wonder what else my friends have hiding in their DVD collections! What a great way to save money rather than buy something and only watch it once.

Usually Joe doesn't like people to borrow our DVDs (he is super paranoid about people touching his stuff!), but he will make people copies for them to take. That way I don't feel like we borrow and then never loan stuff out.

Another thing we have been doing a lot of is Jordy playgroups. At the food court on base they recently added an indoor play area. It is pretty nice and has a magazine rack filled with women's magazines like Allure and InStyle. I like to sit and read a magazine and watch Jordy play. This activity would be entirely free, except Joe likes to buy food from the food court everytime we go.. It is so much fun watching all the kids playing. They don't know not to push or hit yet, no idea what sharing is, but they all know how to cry when something doesn't go their way. It is very entertaining. Somehow everytime we go, the kids flock to Joe and I. We are the only parents who actually play with them! All the mothers just sit with the other moms and talk.

When the weather gets a bit warmer, I am looking forward to hiking in the hills behind our apartments. It is really beautiful back there, and Jordan seems to really enjoy running along the trail.

Before Jordan came along, Joe and I used to really like to go to the gym together. It was so much fun spotting for him. He makes the funniest faces while working out. Out here we can't go to the gym together since we don't have anyone to watch Jordan, but we still go. I have started going after work. It is easier for me to make it part of my work day, rather than try to make it back another time. Joe usually goes on my days off. I do look forward to getting back to the states and going to 24 hour fitness where they have a day care.

I really enjoy cooking, and trying out a new recipe is a fun way to spend the afternoon. I found a website called that has all kinds of healthy & low fat recipes. Some of them turn out pretty good. I like the crock pot ones so I can turn it on when I leave for work, and then come home to a delicious meal. Joe also gets on board for cooking sometimes. Last week he helped me make Chicken and Shrip Paella! Yummy!

Of course I love to scrapbook, so that takes up a ton of time. My only drawback here is the lack of storage space. I don't want to buy a lot of stuff to store things in here. The scrapbook room is a disaster with papers all over the place! Joe still gets his video games regularly. Right now he is waiting for the Bx to get Resident Evil. Everyday he goes to the Bx really early to check and see if it is out yet. What dedication!

Before we moved here I was working a DVD slide show of all of Jordy's first year. I didn't finish it though, perhaps I should.

After doing taxes with Katie, I am vowing to keep better records this year. I just put in a receipt to the 2009 tax file that she made for me. It was for 6.65 for uniform alterations. The old me would have thought that 6 bucks wasn't enough to matter, but we'll see what it adds up to!

I found a website called Postcrossing. It is a postcard club. I send a postcard to some random place in the world, and get some back too! Just yesterday I got one from South Africa. I have gotten about 10 postcards; from China, Thailand, US, Finland... It is free to join, and fun to do!

My point of doing this post was to remind myself, and you too!, that there are a lot of activities in the world that don't require spending money. I am just so used to shopping being my main past time, it is hard to get out of that mindset.

Any other ideas to add?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I have been scrapbooking quite a bit in the past week. Here are a few of my layouts:

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Jordy @ 18 months
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Monday, March 2, 2009

Budgeting Lessons...AKA OH CRAP!!

My goal of making & maintaining a monthly budget went great for January, not so for February...

Previously I had no method at all. I would just pay the bills when they came in, and then check them off of a list for the month to make sure I paid them all. If we had extra money we would spend it.

My financial genius friend, Katie, helped Joe and I come up with a budget. Katie is the wife of one of guys that I work with and keeps the best financial records I have ever seen! Someday I would like to be Katie! Anyways, we did great sticking to the budget as soon as it was implemented. Joe was wonderful about not spending more than the amount he was allotted. He did spend extra a few times, but it was always to bring me lunch at work (how do you complain about that!). We were saving more, spending less, and I felt on top of our finances!

Then this month, my old habits kicked in while I was still trying to maintain the budget (Katie you should stop reading at this will only disappoint you!). It all happened one day at work when I checked the exchange rate between the dollar and the won. When we first got to Korea the rate was almost 1:1. With the current economic disaster, the dollar to won is 1:1.5. Since we pay our rent in won, if we exchange money when the rate is like this we get "extra". For the last couple
months our 1200 dollar rent, has turned into 900 dollars or less per month!

So two weeks ago when I checked the rate and it was really good, I logged onto my bank account and saw how much money was there. Then I transferred 500 dollars to the bank account here to be withdrawn in won. Joe went and got the money and we had "made" extra won!

Then I got a rude overdraft fee! In fact there were two of them, each 29 bucks!

My old way of doing the money collided with the new way! I forgot that now every dollar is accounted for. There isn't just 500 extra dollars built into the budget! That money is already earmarked for something else. Damn it!

Well even with paying the 58 dollars of overdraft fee, we still ended up ahead by exchanging when we did...but it is still infuriating!

Lesson learned...