This is a puke-free zone.

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Last night I said, “Honey…..” and my daughter said, “What?” I replied, “Not you, honey; Lonnie honey.” She said, “I know, I was just kidding. You have a very specific Lonnie voice.” My gut reaction was a feeling of awkward, indignant embarrassment. 1. That I am so predictable and 2. That I have a ‘Lonnie voice’ and other people notice.

Fortunately, I am a MASTER at thought replacement because of all the self-help podcasts and books I listen to.

And you can be too!  I responded within 2 seconds  with a giggle and a smile and, “I know I do!”  Our brains are AMAZING. Within those 2 seconds, the following conversation happened inside my head.

“WOAH…. I’m having a negative emotion about that! What’s that about? Why does it bother me that she pointed that out? Oh. I know why? Because for most of my life I was a ‘tough guy’ and equated snarky and sarcastic with being cool and strong, but I’m past that now and I am trying to live my life modeling love, especially for the kids because I was such a terrible role model for them with their father. I KNOW I have a ‘Lonnie voice’ because I want him to know I love and care about him with every word I say, and because I feel happy just talking to him and it comes out in my voice!  I want everyone in the world, ESPECIALLY Jessi and Sean, to have a special person who brings out a special voice in them too! So I’m gonna OWN AND ROCK THAT SHIT!!!”

screenshot_20180604-095258_snapchat43249595_10156848241724581_1724424228268146688_nOne way I worked on this issue was to recognize when I was having a negative reaction to people displaying love by rolling my eyes or thinking, “OMG GET A ROOM,” or “gag me with a credit card and put me on layaway.” or the puke emoji. I decided every time I caught myself doing this, I would stop myself and replace the thought with a smile and “Aw. I love love. They look happy and the more happy people in the world, the better!”  (even if I didn’t really feel that way yet as I knew I was a ‘lover of love’-in-training)  The smile is important. Saying it all out loud is even better. When you accompany your thoughts with physical actions, your brain locks that shit in! With years of practice, my instant, involuntary response to people kissing, holding hands, or taking couple selfies, is now a smile and a feeling a happiness.

I think that’s pretty great!

Our Vegas-on-a-budget trip

Bellagio fountain about to explode!  One of a zillion free things to do in Vegas!

This trip almost didn’t happen for us.  We had some dooooozy car repair bills and actually looked into cancelling, but it was non-refundable– and we already had our flight tickets to Dallas for my school program, so we needed somewhere to stay anyway.  We figured there was plenty of free stuff to see, even the hotels themselves are attractions.  So if all we could afford to do was walk around, and sit in our hotel and stare at each other (lol), we’d still be on VACATION! 

We booked a cheap on Expedia at Excalibur, which included a flight on Spirit Air.  At the time, we didn’t know about Spirit Air and their trick, tricky ways.   They even charge you for your carry on bags! So, sometimes Spirit LOOKS cheaper, but once you factor in bag costs, it’s possibly way more! In this case it was still way less as long as we kept it to one carry-on and a ‘personal item’ for each of us.
Loooooooong travel days are killer
Where we always fail:  Getting there– we spent around $200 on our first loooong day traveling. With flight delays and shenanigans we were in airports, cars, and shuttles from 8am to 2am the following day!  When you are stressed, stranded, and annoyed, it’s easy to just say, “fuck it!” and eat and drink whatever you want.    It’s the waters…. the iced coffees, and the ”I’m starving and I just want to sit down somewhere and relax and eat real actual food” that get us on days like that. I have to be really careful about what I eat on travel days too because of my propensity for motion sickness and restless legs. 
From now on we will be traveling with water bottles to refill!  And healthy snacks.   And a more realistic budget of dinner in an airport restaurant instead of delusions that we won’t eat at one 😉
For the Eating–Before we left,  we had decided to avoid the buffets due to the high cost. BUT, after our first day in Vegas, we learned how quickly snacks, meals, and iced coffees add up and ended up saving money the next 2 days by getting the all-day buffet wristbands that were good at Excalibur and Luxor. Both are mediocre, typical buffets,  but Luxor felt less like a cafeteria, so we mostly ate there.  Pretty sure I ate my weight in watermelon this week. 
For the drinking– we bought a bottle of Kraken to save on expensive drinks.  But that ended up being a fail because our room was so far away from everything.  It was also a fail because we learned that we actually LOVE video poker, and all you have to do is play $20 for all the drinks you want as long as you are playing.  They say this is true of slots too, but we played in a few different casinos and the servers around the slots are not in the least bit attentive.  SO, Good Samaritan’s that we are, we gave away our almost full bottle to some guy in the lobby when we left.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed BEFORE time-share hell
EPIC FAILURE–When we arrived at Excalibur,  we were immediately pounced on by timeshare reps offering free tickets to shows and a free 2 night Vegas getaway.  We figured, why Not? We had no plans and hadn’t planned on any shows because of brokeness.  (We HAD planned on long days lounging by the pool with a bottle of rum, BUT, 110 degrees and being on the surface of the sun, and staying at a cheap hotel that didn’t put a lot of effort into shade making landscaping cancelled those plans.  If you want shade at Excalibur  you have to pay 50 bucks for the “premium” lounge chairs with umbrellas or under the few trees.)  So, we signed up with the promise of a 2-3 hour presentation that included lunch and snacks.   Holy crap what a mistake! We were there from 1030 to around 4 being emotionally blackmailed with dying mother stories, ‘you will be divorced if you don’t do this,’ we paid 800 to get you here so the least you can do is listen,’ and my favorite—a long drawn out game of good cop/bad cop between our “personal tour guide” and his manager.  ….and that’s not even ¼ of the “techniques” used on us.  I just don’t have the personality for that shit and left there angry and on the verge of tears. All for some tickets to Zumanity, and a trip that I am not even sure is real.  ZUMANITY, btw… WAS AWESOME!  ….but in hindsight I would have just ripped out the plastic and worried about money later 😉
Zumanity!  Next time, we’ll just pay for a show 😉
ONE LAST TIP!!  My BFF got me this gorgeous scarf in Thailand, so I wanted to bring it with me to dress things up a bit.  I used it in Vegas to cover up from the scorching sun, and then to wrap myself in the freezing AC in the hotels.  I used it in the airport to look nice and not like a slob (Don’t even get me started on people traveling in PJs and ripped up, dirty clothes…..).  I used in on the plane as a light blanket. I alternated it with another scarf I brought to make it look like I had more outfits than I really did (we packed SUPER LIGHT– see Spirit Air discussion above…lol)!  Total WIN!  Scarves are my new travel essential!

I FREAKING LOVE VEGAS!!  And I REALLY didn’t think I was going to enjoy it at all. CAN’T WAIT to go back!!!
 

Dear Lady Who Screamed, What the heck did you think was going to happen??  Are you new?

Husband appreciation post

I know people hate this shit and :::::GAG:::::: But why?  I mean…  I don’t hate it when other people do it.  ….to a point.  Anyway…. this is my blog and I don’t care.  And YOU KNOW WHAT!!!???  Maybe if we all focused in on love and appreciation and shit, this world wouldn’t be going to hell in a handbasket.  So… if you are reading this… I challenge you to put some love and appreciation out into the world today!!

I felt compelled to write this blog after glanced over at my husband in the kitchen julienning green apples, fennel, red cabbage, and carrots to make himself a fennel slaw to add to his lunches for the week.  He had a similar slaw a Duckfat a few years ago and made it his mission to replicate it and make it part of his life 🙂

This is after a morning of hard-core housework including dismantling furniture, massive cleaning, and trips to the dump.  Jessi’s move, and Sean’s move to her room, has left us doing some SERIOUS cleaning and purging.

After a little lunch break, we headed into Bangor to run errands.  We took “the long way” …and what “the long way” means, is frequent stops, turns, and detours as we hunt for Pokemon and Pokestops.  Hey!??  You gotta catch em all!!

And these errands… a trip to Ulta, AC Moore, and grocery shopping.  And he doesn’t begrudgingly come along, he is all in!!  He will smell shampoos, consult about make-up colors, and agonize about future craft projects til the cows come home!

After grocery shopping, before putting groceries away, he decides to clean out the fridge.  Like…. on his own.  Without my even mentioning that it was a bit overdue to happen.

I gave him a hug from behind as he was washing out the nasty containers from the fridge and told him I was a very lucky woman to have him.  Which just confused him and made him think I was a weirdo.  But that’s ok.  I am a weirdo.

Note to self:  Read this post next time I feel the urge to FINISH HIM him during an epic xbox session…..  😉

This sucks.

Lesson:  When a good part of your life revolves around talking about where you are going to move away to someday, there are people listening.  People that are at points in THEIR lives where they can take action instead of just talk-talk-talking about it.

Richmond, VA- The city that is stealing my child

It’s no secret that I had a hard time when Jessi went off to college.  But now she is REALLY LEAVING!  Like, ’12 hours away’ leaving.  Like, ‘have to fly there’ leaving.  Like, ‘requires several days off’ to visit leaving.

I am NOT handling it well.  At all.

Friday I spent the day crying.  All. Day.  (It didn’t help that I also binge-watched the Kid’s Baking Championship and when those little kidlets get crying…. damn… that show is ROUGH!)  Then I drank some Rum.  OK, more than some.

Saturday I got pissed off and spent the day angry. “Who the hell does she think she is!!?”  “She just texted me wanting me to bring her allergy meds at work, but she is going to move 12 hours way!!???  WHAT THE FUCK!!!??”  “She spent her whole life being my buddy and getting me all attached to her and now can just go to seeing me like twice a year and not even care!!!??? BITCH!”

Then I googled “my child is moving away”  and found that there are a LOT of message boards with mommies JUST LIKE ME!  I got that little gem that I posted yesterday from that board— clearly I was not quite ready to receive it LOL. Another gem that stuck with me was…

Just remember that they are not running AWAY from you, they are running TOWARDS their life (or something like that).
Something about reading that stuff flipped a switch for me.  I cried a little, then I sighed and got back to looking at cool apartments in Richmond for her to look check out.
Then I decided I needed a little retail therapy and was grateful to have married a man who not only understands the importance of retail therapy, but is totally down to join in.  So, I am now the proud owner of a few new super cute running outfits since I also have a man who is kinda smart and suggested that since running has helped me get through tough stuff in the past, I should run. run. RUN!

Day 4 —It’s still a chore.

While I don’t plan to count the days like I did last time.  Today is day 4.  It’s been tough to get back into it.  Sugar does NOT fuck around.  It knows how to find you in your weakest moments and just whisper sweet nothings in your ear. I am still shocked that I didn’t give in to my sweet devil on Tuesday.  I had a long, crazy shift, with no time to eat.  When I finished up with what I hoped would be my last client at 9pm, I dreaded going home and having to prepare something for supper.  I{ was STARVING, to the point of being shaky and irrational.  So I used a lifeline.  I called Lonnie and talked to him on the phone because I knew if  I was talking to him when I passed McDonald’s, I wouldn’t pull in.  It WORKED!  Not only did it work, but I felt empowered enough to take the time to stop at the grocery store and pick up some salad stuff.  ( I LOVE salad!!! —no sarcasm!  I LOVE IT!)

When I got home, I was all ready to make a yummy salad with the stuff I bought, and walked into the kitchen to find a very handsome man cooking me a very late supper.  I was shocked because when we talked on the phone, he was in bed watching TV and settled in for the night.  Damn I love that man!
THIS WEEKS TIPS AND SAVES…

  1. USE YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM!  
  2. When the sweet beast was fighting me hard this week, I got a sugar-free iced coffee.  It totally did the trick!  (Yes I know about artifical sweeteners blah blah blah……)

Sleepytime

I love sleeping.  So.  So. Much.  However, this is the time of year every year (Which I didn’t even realize until a blog reader noticed a trend a few years ago in my posts as years went on!), I get a case of the winter blues…. cabin fever…. whatever you want to call it.

I usually combat my malaise with a vacation to someplace sunny and warm.  This year, I let Lonnie talk me into vacationing much earlier than usual, bringing us back to Maine with lots more winter left.  This has been a VERY mild, and non-snowy winter, but it’s still winter.  I still don’t want to go outside for a walk or a run, we aren’t going out hiking and fishing and stuff on the weekends, and there is not a lot else to do around here other than shopping and the movies.

So I have been sleeping.  A LOT.  My main excuse that I use is, “I sleep late because my job keeps me up late and messes up my sleep schedule.”   Which is true sometimes.  But not every day.  Honestly, I wake up naturally around 8-9ish, and then force myself to go back to sleep thinking, “Why get up?  To just go downstairs and watch TV or clean?  Fuck that.  I may as well go back to sleep.”

On Saturday I stayed in bed til noon-ish. I felt like crap when I finally dragged myself out of bed with that all-too-familiar “slept too much” feeling.  I decided that it was time to face that I had a problem, and even to say it out loud to Lonnie.  I even threw out the “D” word (DEPRESSION, silly, not divorce!).  We decided, based on all the other symptoms I would need to have,  that I am not having the D word, but that I am in a bad habit that needs to be broken. …and very possibly toeing the line of the D word.  So I made a “contract” with him to start getting up at 9 every day (well unless I have worked an overnight shift, of course).  Even if I was up too late, or don’t want to, I GET UP!  If I am that tired, I can take a nap in the afternoon.

Today is day 3 of this, and not-gonna-lie, it’s been tough.  BUT it has also been extremely rewarding!  I don’t feel like a sloth.  Once I am up, and have dragged myself out of bed, I feel ENERGIZED!  Yesterday I had SO much time, even BEFORE I started my work shift at noon!!  I have FELT like cleaning!  I have FELT like organizing!  It honestly FEELS LIKE SPRING, even though the weather has not changed.

They say “walk the walk.”
They say “fake it til you make it.”
THEY ARE RIGHT!

The Bunny Lost

Weekly coffee selfie… new diningroom location!

It was a long day but I made it through.  Lonnie and I both came close to giving in when Sean came home with so, so much candy and was like a crack dealer trying to share it with us.  But we stood strong.   I kept thinking, “Well it’s not like I am not going to have sugar at some point, why not on a holiday?”  and wondering if perhaps this torturing myself was just hollowing out a hole in my brain and I am eventually just going to go batshit crazy and EAT ALL THE THINGS to attempt to fill it up.  the funny thing is, at one point Lonnie said, “Just go ahead, pick like 4 pieces and keep it to that.”

  1. :::insert spoiled voice::: I don’t WANT 4 stupid pieces.  I want 104.
  2. I couldn’t even think of which 4 I would choose, honestly, none of them appealed to me– which told me that it wasn’t really the candy itself that I wanted, it was Veruca (that spoiled little girl!), being told no and throwing a tantrum.
  3. :::alert–this is the twisted one::: I spend a good part of the day bitching and pouting and threatening to eat the candy to Lonnie.  It wasn’t til the evening when he caught on to my shenanigans, had had enough, and finally said, “Go ahead.  Eat whatever you want, but I am not going to.” The wanting was instantly gone because I wasn’t getting the negative attention from him anymore.
New Mantra:
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FOOD!!