Friday, July 29, 2011

All By Myself...

...I don't want to be, all by myself, anymore [of course sung in a perfect pitch without missing a my head at least].

This morning my lovely wife took off for the CFRI conference in San Francisco (say hi to her if you're there) and left me at home to fend for myself. I'm not able to go to the conference myself because of the lovely bugs that I culture so she's going to be representing CysticLife without me.

It's so strange being here alone in the house as it's a very rare occurrence around here. We both work out of the home and almost all of our free time is spent together because we enjoy many of the same things. There are 168 hours in a week, and I would say it's safe to say that we spend at least 160 of those hours together (I know, poor girl). It will be nice however being on my own this weekend because this will give me the opportunity to surprise her with some work I'll be doing around the house. I of course can't say what it is, since she will probably read this, but let's just say some renovation will be involved.

My neighbor is a do-it-all kind of a guy and we've made plans to work on each other's projects this weekend. It's nice because I'm able to learn how to do some stuff around the house and he gets an extra pair of hands on his job. We've done this kind of "home makeover" exchange before and it turned out very well! I'm really looking forward to the changes we make this weekend.

Anywho, if you're going to the CFRI conference please say hi to my wife and tell her that I miss her already. That is all. Thank you :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Opinions & Cereal

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. as I mentioned, I no longer have the "linkytools" but I invite you to share your thankful blog in the comments section. Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful for dry cereal. It seems like I NEED something sweet at least once a day (no, this isn't a preggo craving, this is just my sweet tooth). Lately, Ronnie and I have a little cup of dry cereal as our dessert, and mannnn do I love it. We don't snack on healthy cereal, we snack on honey combs, s'mores, you name it. MMM I'm getting hungry now that I'm talking about it.

I'm thankful for bed. Every night, when my head hits the pillow, it feels like I've died and gone to heaven. By the end of the day, I'm so wiped, that bed feels like the best thing on earth. There are times I find myself day dreaming mid-day about bedtime!

I'm thankful for water. I feel like I can't get enough water these days. Partially because I know I'm supposed to drink a ton and partially because I sweat so much during my workouts I get thirsty after. I drink at least 100-130 ounces a day, and mm mm mm, there's nothing better than an ice cold glass of water.

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for flexibility. Working from home has it's perks, and one of them is flexibility. I usually do a spin class a 5:15pm but yesterday I was feeling a 9:45am work out instead. It's nice just to be able and drop everything in the middle of the day and work out. I think the flexibility I get from working at home outweighs the feeling that I'm ALWAYS tied down to my computer when I'm at home (which is not a perk from working from home). Nevertheless, love the flexibility.

I thankful for friends willing to give their time. We recently had a server issue over on because the community over there is just so darn active that they were using all of the memory! Thankfully, I have a buddy that specializes in server issues and was able to get us back up and running at full speed within 24 hours. He even provided his service at a DEEPLY discounted rate. We're talking like 80% off! Got to love having friends that are awesome at stuff that I'm not :)

I'm thankful for opinions. As many of you know, I'm very opinionated (and believe me when I tell you, you guys probably only see about 20% of what I'm actually thinking) but I love hearing opinions back. With this online world, opinions are very easy to give behind a screen name that conceals your identity, but one thing that is nice about some social forums that I am on, is that most people go by their real name. I'd much rather hear an opinion that I disagree with from someone that I know, than read or "overhear" stuff being said "in the shadows". One thing I'm a firm believer in though - if you have an opinion, make sure you know how you came to form that opinion.

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What would you do?

Yesterday as Mandi and I were sitting across from each other getting ready for spin class, a very peculiar thing happened. A woman, who had gotten there before us, essentially got kicked out of the class for "not following the rules". Here's the story...

The spin class at our gym fills up quick. In order to track how many people attend the class and to make sure you can save a spot, they hand out little blue cards with numbers on them. People will then take those cards and place them on a bike to essentially "save" that bike for class. The gym policy is that you MUST grab a card in order to participate in a class. One minor issue with this is that for new people, there is really no way of knowing. See, when you come into the gym, they simply scan your membership card and tell you to have a great workout. You must ask them for a card if you'll be attending a class. Now, back to the lady.

As I said, this lady was sitting in the front corner of the room when me and Mandi entered it and it was obvious that she had not just gotten there. The class was already close to capacity so Mandi and I were forced to sit across from each other. Mind you, we're always there at least 15 minutes before the class starts. Anyway, just as class was about to start, a different woman comes in carrying the numbered card "40". There are only 40 bikes available in the class. There was a problem, there wasn't an empty seat in the house. Just then, as the instructor was collecting the little blue numbered cards, he discovered that the woman in the front corner, the one who had been sitting there for at least 20 minutes, didn't have a card.

Then Ms. #40 who had come into the class with about 1 minute to spare walked over to the instructor (who was by corner gal at this time) to inform him that "this woman is in my seat". I couldn't believe it. Then, yet another surprise. The instructors kicked the woman out of the class because she didn't have a little blue card. Seriously?!?!? Was that the best solution they could come up with?

I was seriously shaken by what I had just seen. I couldn't believe Ms. #40 had the audacity to just stand there as the other woman got off the bike and left. Everything in me wanted to confront anybody and everybody in the situation. But to my regret, I didn't. I had that little voice saying "it's their club and they have rules, don't ruffle any feathers". I looked across to Mandi and signaled that I would give up my card and just go hit the treadmill instead, but I didn't and I kept my jerk butt on the seat. I didn't want Mandi to feel obligated to leave, or guilty, about me giving up my seat. I knew that it would not sit well with her because she knows how much I enjoy spin class. The bottom line though is that I did nothing, and I immediately regretted it. I could barely concentrate for the first handful of songs in class.

Anywho, hopefully I told the story in such a way that it made sense. I was hoping to get some feedback from you guys. What do you think you would have done in that situation? And don't worry about calling me out for not being a gentleman - I'll be right along side with you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Meals

I haven't done a top ten for quite some time on this blog so I figured that now is as good of a time as any. I'm giving this top ten list for two reasons: one, so you can learn a little bit more about me, and two, because I'm hungry. I'm still doing my reduced calorie thing, so I figured that maybe thinking about my favorite meals would satiate me!

I don't want to put too much thought into this and just write down the first ten that come to mind. I'll give them to you 10 through 1, and you can then assume that I thought of number 10, last.

Vegetable, Beef and Barley Soup: I have to say, I actually make a pretty nice VBB soup from scratch. It's a little too hot right now to whip one up, but as soon as it cools off, it's soup time!

Thanksgiving Meal: I love sliced turkey breast. I love stuffing. I love corn. I love mashed potatoes. I love gravy. I love the Thanksgiving Meal.

Pretty much any slice of pizza: If I'm just ordering one pizza I'll go with a pepperoni with extra sauce (especially from Peter Piper). If I'm ordering two pizzas I'll go with a ham and pineapple. If you twist my arm to order three (you don't have to twist too hard), I'll go with a BBQ chicken.

Grilled Ham and Cheese: I have fond memories of eating grilled ham and cheese with a slice of tomato sent up from the hospital cafeteria. If I make it at home, I will usually combine it with a tomato soup as well.

Blueberry Pancakes for Dinner: I like blueberry pancakes anytime, but there is just something about having them for dinner. The only drawback to this meal is that I have no self-control and I literally won't stop eating until Mandi has gone through all of the batter. I always pay dearly for that.

Hamburger Helper Salisbury: I probably had this once a week growing up and it NEVER got old. Oh my goodness, my mom used to make two boxes of it at a time because she could always count on me consuming one on my own.

Chicken and Rice Casserole: This is one of my mom's specialties. It's pretty simple actually, but it tastes sooooooo good. It's basically chicken breast cut into strips and laid on top of some crazy awesome rice that my mom makes and then baked. I want it.

My mom's Pressure Cooker Stew: Another mom classic. What do you get when you throw beef, potatoes, carrots, celery and cabbage into a pressure cooker? That's right, my mom's pressure cooker stew! Throw some brown gravy on top to make it just right.

Chicken Parmigiana: If I go to an Italian restaurant that I have never been to before, this is what I'll get 10 out of 10 times. I can do it the old fashioned way, on a sandwich, wrap, with pasta, without - it doesn't matter. Put breaded chicken breast with some red sauce and cheese, I'll eat it!

Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: If I'm at ANY restaurant and this is on the list, I'm getting it. Doesn't matter if it's 7am or 7pm, I want this in my belly. I don't even need the mash, but I definitely want the gravy.

Now, this doesn't necessarily represent my favorite meals. This just represents the first 10 that came to mind. For instance, I know for a fact that a shredded beef chimichanga with refried beans and rice would be in my top ten. For that matter, so would chili cheese fries. Come to think of it, I surprised that I didn't think of one of my favorite Thai dishes. Ok, now I'm getting really hungry. I'll stop.

So how do we stack up? Anything in common? Have any favorites that I just HAVE TO try? Let me hear them!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

26 Weeks and Getting Big!

It's been a few weeks since I've given a baby and belly update, and I had a few people ask for belly shots, so I figured I could post about baby and put up the most recent belly shot.

I am 26 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and the pregnancy is still going very smoothly. Peanut is still growing (I assume because my belly is growing faster now (what feels like daily) and her kicks and flips are feeling bigger. According to, she is about 13.5 inches long head to heel and 1.5 lbs. She's growing into a legit little baby these days! Ronnie and I absolutely LOVE to watch peanut move around. Her movements are so big these days, I end up with crazy lumps and bumps. I love picturing what she must look like; what body part we must be seeing. Feeling her move has been the most enjoyable blessing of this whole pregnancy. I can't believe the bond I feel with this little nugget without ever seeing her, just by feeling her inside me. Sometimes I sit distracted for minutes on end watching all her movements. Such an incredible process and beautiful miracle!

As for momma, I am still feeling good and still able to be really active (which is priority numero uno for me...second, of course, to peanut growing and developing properly). I am still running 5 mornings a week - about 2.5-3 miles at a time, and then I do another form of cardio for 30-60 minutes in the afternoons, as well as lift 3 days a week. It feels great to be active. It gives me a sense of "normalcy." I feel a little more like myself, and a little less like a bloated, host-body to an alien. As you can see in the photo (below) I am finally getting a legit pregnant belly, and man it is crazy to see myself with a belly! I am having some cramping and discomfort as everything is growing and shifting, but nothing crazy. Peanut is sitting WAY low and seems to like nestling into the WAY outside of my stomach, so I often have a lot of pressure WAY low and WAY forward in my belly, as peanut uses the front of my uterus as a hammock. I'm not complaining though, the best part about it is that many times during the day I have a HUGE lump on one side or the other and can see exactly where she is all curled up, which makes me feel like I am so just closer to her somehow!

Also, I promised I would post my weight gain on the blog...sooo I will hold true to my word (GULP). I am currently up between 12 and 13lbs, depending on what I ate the day before. I must say, seeing the numbers climb isn't the best feeling in the world, but hey, it's all baby, right?!? (Insert smirk and eye roll here). We will see how the climb continues. I'm not sure what is "normal" at this point, but I think I am on track and unless something goes crazy in the next 14 weeks, I will likely land in the recommended 25-35 lb range.

That's about it...enjoy the photo!
Picture taken at 25 weeks (last Tuesday)