Feel the burn…

As some of you know, I started to workout with a trainer after Baylie was born. The baby pounds were simply refusing to budge despite my best efforts, so I bought a package of weekly workouts with a trainer named Jen. She has now been abusing me weekly for about 8 months. And oddly enough, I LIKE IT.

I would love to tell you that she’s mean and awful and that she screams and yells at me during workouts – it would make for a better story. unfortunately, it’s much much worse…she’s increadibly NICE. Ridiculously nice. And funny and I want to be her friend and I don’t want her to think that I’m a slacker so I work really hard at our sessions. Instead of saying that I’m slacking off, she’ll say “come on girl, you can do this! You’re working so hard today!”. And I, being the praise lover that I am, work harder.  I generally cannot walk after the amount of lunges and squats that we do – and my triceps literally cry at the meer mention of her name, but I continue on because I want to hear “good job!”.

When I first started working out with Jen, I decided to try her weekly boot camp on top of our regular sessions. I brought my friend Kristin with me to an eight am class in September. Now, it’s still hot in September and I was still in pretty crappy shape with many lb’s to go. So as I’m squat jumping as fast as I can without passing out, Kristin breathless says in between jumps “I want my legs to look like hers so we have to keep moving!!”. This was good inspiration to make it through the workout, however, I decided after that one abuse a week is enough. And did Jen yell? No! We ended up getting together for lunch instead.

Which leads me to another story – Jen and her husband came over for dinner a few months ago. I was very excited, until I realized that I have to serve my trainer dinner and she’s going to be thinking “no wonder those pounds won’t come off!!”. I chickened out of serving pork chops and we had a big salad with chicken instead. I’m sure she and her hubby went home and chowed down on some celery or something, but at least she doesn’t think I eat terribly…or at least that I’m smart enough to hide it when she’s over!

The only really mean thing that Jen does is she gives really awful, cruel and impossible  exercises very cute names. Burpies, ice skaters, hip dips and skull crushers (ok, that one isn’t cute, but it’s a pretty rad name) are all good examples of really hateful things that we do as part of or in between circuits. For example, a burpie: some call it an “up down” but you go from a standing position to a squat, jump back to plank position, jump back to a squat and then standing. Sounds simple enough – but after 3 sets of 20 lunges with 20 pounds of weight, 20 burpies becomes a bit of a challenge.

So now that Baylie is almost 10 months old, I can safely say that I have lost the baby weight, a few “vanity pounds” too and have muscle tone where I didn’t know I had muscles. All thanks to my buddy who I like more and more with each hurting week 🙂

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I’m on a boat

The following is a true story. The names of those  involved have been changed to protect the “innocent”. This is their story…

Around Christmas time, my friend’s son *Paco (just kidding, that’s a terrible fake name) *Paul was wearing a t-shirt that said “I’m on a boat” and nothing more. When I questioned 10 year old Paul about what the hell it meant, he simply replied “Just what it says, I’m on a boat!” I chalked it up to him being a preteen, a boy and an all around nut case (in a good way).

About a month later, Peter was doing some kind of sports related thing on his lap top and I happened to glance over and see an ad on the side of the screen with some young chicky wearing a shirt that said “I’m on a boat”. I realized then that there’s no way a 10 year old and some hot co-ed are wearing the same shirt.

After some digging, Peter found an Andy Samburg video from Saturday Night Live called, what else but I’m On A Boat. I’m going to play the baby card here and say that we weren’t aware of such hilarity because we were preoccupied with our kiddo when this was popular. The video may well be one of the funniest and also most explicit things I have ever seen. The skit is about the fact that you can make a rap song about anything. It features T-Pain (if you don’t know, just go with it) and Andy and they are, well on a boat and rapping about it. I’ve attached the edited version below. Still, be advised if you’re at work and watching!

Then it dawned on me, my friend Anna has no idea that her son’s favorite shirt (which he has in 2 colors, btw) is about THIS. I reluctantly wrote her the following:

“Ok, I admit that I’m old, but we finally figured out what *Paul’s “I’m on a boat” shirt meant. Please tell me I’m not the only one in the dark…”

Her response:

“I AM DYING!!!”

Followed by:

I’m going to hell on a mother f*#king boat!!!

After recovering from her last email, I was able to talk to Anna and find out that she was totally unaware of what her son had been wearing. More so, he had worn it to his Catholic school free dress day just last week (thankfully, no on there is hip either so all is well). In response, Anna wrote the following letter to Mr. Abercrombie:

Mr. Michael S Jeffries

Abercrombie and Fitch

6301 Fitch Path

New Albany, OH 43054

Dear Mr. Jeffries – or whoever reads Mr. Jeffries’ mail first,

My son loves A&F t-shirts.  It’s a fairly new love, but it is a deep love.  He wears them every minute he’s not in his school uniform and sleeps in them every night.  He loves how soft they are and he likes all the graphics – especially when they are funny graphics.  He’s only 10 and he doesn’t care much about clothes, but he cares enough that his t-shirts are A&F.  So I buy them.

My question to you is, why in God’s name would you make a t-shirt for a 10-year old boy that has a saying on it from one of the most foulest skits/songs on Saturday Night Live – “I’m On a Boat”??????  Don’t get me wrong, I love Saturday Night Live and I personally think it’s hysterical.  But I don’t think that a 10 year old – any 10 year old should wear a shirt that’s from a song  – I’m on a Boat Motherf**ker!

I didn’t happen to see the “I’m on a Boat” skit and so when my son was laughing at the t-shirt in the store and saying to me “what don’t you understand about – I’m on a boat” we both thought it was funny and kind of “out there” and so we bought TWO – different colors!!

He wore the shirts and he told his friends that he was on a boat and life went on.  A couple days ago, my friend and then my brother sent me the skit.  I was horrified that my son had been in public wearing this t-shirt.  I about cried when I thought about how he wore it to free dress day at his Catholic school.  I am so utterly embarrassed that my friends and family think I would allow my son to wear something like this.

I’ve read a lot about you and I know that you are considered in some circles to be an open minded entrepreneurial genius.  What makes you think that any decent mother would want their child to wear something that is totally intended for adults –  skanky adults at best, but adults?

I’m not saying that I’m going to stop buying your t-shirts, because I’m not.  But, am I really going to have to research your t-shirt sayings on youtube before I buy them?  Do I have to now double-check that I’m buying something age appropriate or not even age appropriate but just “not foul” before I purchase?  Am I going to walk into your store in the future and see shorts with “d*ck in a box” on the rear?  I mean, come on – help me out here – it’s hard enough raising kids!

Best regards,

Anna Fakename

I think the letter speaks for itself. Happy shopping!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8F3UE9qFsg

Get in line, sister

Getting into line. Standing in line. Staying in line. These are all things we learn early in life. From standing in line to go to recess, lunch and home. From the library, to the post office and the grocery store later in life. This is not a complicated task, in fact, ants do it all day every day.  Elephants walk hundreds of miles in a straight line… it’s not  hard. Yet, it seems to be something that we as humans cannot do.

My first example is the Cubs v. Dodgers spring training game last week. We drove across town to get to the stadium, only to wait in line to park for the same amount of time it took to actually get there. Once in line, cars would continue to get out of line, zip around the line and then try to cut back in further up. And of course, someone would let them in (probably tourists…). Sadly, we didn’t have Peter’s huge truck so we couldn’t park it in between lanes thus preventing such ridiculous behavior. Peter likes this trick when people try to get around the line to get on the freeway while he’s commuting home. When I attempted this trick, the man who I would not let over proceeded to scream at me for over a minute….and then ended up parking 2 spaces away from me. Lesson learned: unless you want to sit in your car for 10 minutes waiting to make sure the jerk doesn’t key your car, just let the guy over. Better yet, don’t drive to the west side for baseball games.

The prime example of people not waiting in line happened this morning at the grocery store. Because I get to stay home with Baylie, we’ve become very good at running errands together. You have to become a side-show act when it comes to balancing and carrying random objects when you have to have a munchkin with you at all times. I am so good (if I do say so myself) that I carried the kiddo, two hot dogs AND two beers at the above mentioned game last week. Yes, I am talented, thank you for noticing. I am also of the belief that even though I have a baby, the entire world does not stop to help me and I’m ok with that. However, it would be nice if people didn’t make it harder to complete normal tasks. At the grocery, I had a full cart and Baylie in the baby bjorn (for those unfamiliar, it’s not only a godsend but a contraption that straps the kiddo to your chest) on the way to the check out. Because it was early, the store was pretty empty but the woman in front of me had a cart so full it made mine look empty. An old man walked up with two items and began to huff and puff about the fact that he was going to have to wait. Mind you, there are FOUR self check out stands open, but that would require work on his part and therefore unacceptable. When another checker showed up, he literally cut me off to get to the open stand. Now, I’m a nice person and was going to offer to let him go ahead of me – but since he cut me off, I felt compelled to tell him in the sweetest tone “no no, it’s fine, please go ahead!”. Sadly, I don’t think his hearing aid was turned up and he didn’t hear me – or I like to think he was so embarrassed he pretended he didn’t hear me. So, next time you’re at the store and someone with a baby is near by, first, don’t cut in front of them, second, if you see someone cut, be sure to call them out for being a total butt head.

Lastly, you know when you’re walking into Starbucks or the dry cleaners and a person races you to the door so they can get in line first? I don’t have a story, here I just think it’s annoying. Thankfully for me, the dry cleaners we go to love Baylie so I usually get helped first no matter where I am in line! Take that line cutters!

Also, open the door for women with strollers. Yes, we can do it, but it’s nice when someone does it for you. And don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution, wait your turn in line 🙂

What a Weirdo

There are somethings you just can’t learn about yourself until you’re married. Having a roommate doesn’t count, they aren’t going to really notice how weird you are – or if they do, they don’t want to say it for fear you move out and stick them with the lease. But a spouse is going to give it to you straight; some of the crap you do is strange.

I first realized this about a year after we were married. We were remodeling our house in the middle of summer with no air conditioning and it was brutal. We had just finished a day of painting, trim work, etc and were headed back to our temporary home. It was there Peter decided to watch some ridiculous western on the living room tv so I headed to the bedroom to catch a nap. He saw me take a quilt from the living room with me. When he asked why, I stated that I was going to take a nap and needed a quilt. Peter then pointed out that I was going to the bedroom where there were obviously blankets galore. I then had to explain one of the things that makes me a little off-center – I don’t think you can take a nap under the bed covers. If you do, it’s not a nap, you’ve gone back to bed. In order to nap in the bed, one must sleep on top of the comforter and use a separate blanket. At worst, you can sleep under the comforter, but not under the sheets. I think naps are best under a quilt anyway 🙂

I also have a slight obsession with post-its. I cannot remember anything so I always have a perpetual lists running: grocery, Lowes, the mall and a general to do list. On top of that, I have post-its for the things I need to do immediately. I think it looks messy when you keep crossing things off  your list, so I make post-its for each task and then can throw them away when complete. I currently have 7 of them on my desk of blog ideas, 6 of things to get done and phone calls to make today, (oxford comma for you PW) and 2 for the grocery store which I will combine into one that Baylie will attempt to and probably succeed in eating by the end of the shopping trip today.

The last of the odd rules that I’m willing to admit is shoes on the coffee table. I don’t mind feet on the coffee table, but don’t put your shoes up there. Your feet are bad enough, but your shoes go horrible places so why would you put that on the table that you put food on? Same goes for shoes on any surface – Peter will often put a pair of shoes on the counter in an attempt to keep them out of Baylie’s mouth – I’m fine with them on the little table inside the front door, but not on the bathroom counter or the kitchen counter.

On a side note, I also hate Oxford commas. Made famous by the band Vampire Weekend and pointed out to me by my lovely lawyer husband in my writing (or lack there of), the Oxford comma is what all Catholic school educated people will tell you is wrong. It’s best explained in an example:

“I love Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

“I hate Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.” – this is the Oxford comma, it’s between the second to last item in the list and the “and”.

It is also stupid. Happy Tuesday!

A dream is a wish your heart makes

If that’s true, what the hell is my heart trying to tell me when I keep dreaming that people are dying?! Or the dream I had last night was that our neighbor kept sneaking up to our front patio and leaving a bird…I didn’t say it was a normal dream!

Actually, they say when you dream of death, it isn’t in the physical form, more like the death of a part of your life – or a better way to say it is that you’re starting something new as something else ends. The same is said for if you dream you’re pregnant – it can also actually mean you’re pregnant which is always comforting!

So the good news is that I’m not clairvoyant and that I don’t need to call the family friend who was the subject of my most recent death dream and warn him that he shouldn’t take that road trip. More so it means something I think I’m ready to part with in my life is on it’s way out. The trouble is figuring out what that thing is. 

As for the bird, the website I like to use only gives you bits and pieces. It tells you what the things in your dreams mean, not necessarily the entire dream so you have to put the meaning together. Apparently the bird means “denotes freedom from misunderstanding, and perhaps news from the absent”. The same neighbor came by unexpectedly one night  last week to drop something off for Peter – because I’m the paranoid that I am (please see previous post “Phones on a Plane”) I gruffly asked who was at the door and then was a little rude when I did open it, mostly because it caught me off guard. I realized later that I probably came across like a total freak and called to apologize. Maybe my sub conscious is telling me that it’s not a big deal?

Sometimes I wish Baylie could tell me what she’s dreaming about. When rocking her to sleep, she will once in a while scrunch her face up, whimper and then return to her previous state of sweet sleeping bliss. What could she be dreaming about? Her bottle didn’t come fast enough? The pear and applesauce was a little too warm? Travis the dog wasn’t excited about her aggressively grabbing his fur? Who knows, but she seems to have learned the “scrunch and cry” from the dogs. As they’ve aged, both Bear and Travis have “puppy” dreams. Their feet move like they are running, they bark, whimper and shnuffle in their sleep. I’m not sure who or what they are chasing, but it seems like most of the time, it’s something very good!

I always find it interesting that even on nights when Bay doesn’t sleep well and I’m up and down with her, I still dream at least a little. It’s always fun to see if the things that appear in my dreams really do apply to life, or trying to figure out how they do apply to life. Look up the meaning of the things in your dreams:

http://petrix.com/dreams/index.html   Sweet dreams!

The Magic Wand

While I very much liked my job at my previous employer (my new employer is short, bald, and screams a lot. But she’s cute and mine so I stay) I found the clients I dealt with were sometimes difficult. Or as Peter would say, bat sh*t crazy.

After a particularly fun round of “I can only execute the instructions you give me” fight with a client, I wrote the following email to my colleagues. It was obviously a prelude to what is now known as The Goon Room, but at the time, Outlook was my only, well, outlet. While this is much funnier in the context of work and having known the nuts we were working with at the time, I think it still has that special something that most in the corporate world will appreciate.

Dear Teammates,

I would like to clarify a point which seems to be rather difficult for some (namely our client) to grasp. While my last name is ‘Wand’, it is only by marriage that I have such a magical surname. Sadly, the actual object of ‘magic wand’ did not come with the union. I do not posses any supernatural powers nor can I obtain said powers. I cannot wave said wand over any campaign for any client and ‘make it work’.

On that note, I do not own a time turner. Made popular by that stupid Harry Potter, I do not have that device in my possession. I cannot go back in time, rerun the database update and change the (incorrect) instructions you gave me. While my jewelry is quite fabulous, it does not have the power to go back and correct any and all mistakes (which you made, not me, fyi).

Lastly, I do not have telepathy skills. While you often ask me to look into your head and figure out what you want (not kidding, actually had a client say this to me and was NOT joking) I don’t have the software to do so. Also, the last thing I would do with said skill is look into your crazy excuse for a brain. The thing I need least in my life is more crazy (cowbell yes, crazy no) and peeking into your brain would put me over that limit for the millenium so I’ll pass.

In closing, you pay me to do a job, so let me do it. If you want to pay me to listen to you try to do my job, then the hourly rate just skyrocketed.

Sincerely and in no magical way,

Beth Wand

To all of you that have to deal with this level of crazy on a daily basis, I sympathize. The good news is, it’s Friday!

Phones on a plane…

As some of you may know, I’m totally paranoid. I’m convinced that everyone is out to get me in some way. I think the person asking me for directions is distracting me from their partner who is about to grab me and throw me in their van. I won’t leave my purse in the grocery cart because someone is going to grab it or grab my wallet out of it (it happened to my roommate freshman year so I’m not totally off base). I won’t leave my sleeping baby in her car seat in our own garage while I unload because someone could be sneaking by waiting to grab her. I always think a car driving by our house is casing it and that if the outside lights aren’t on that someone will have figured out which we turn off when we’re home and which we leave on when we’re not. Which leads me to the following incredibly embarrassing, yet wildly entertaining, story.

A few months after Peter and I were engaged, I went to visit him in DC. It was only the second time I had been to see him (this is part of my defense). It was February, in Arizona that means sunny and 70, but in DC it means the same old cold, rainy and 40. I had a carry-on bag, a rolling suitcase and an overcoat that I had decided to put on while boarding so I wouldn’t have one more thing to juggle. While walking down the jetway, I received a call from a friend. After informing her that I needed to get off the phone so that I could say my prayers before boarding the plane so that it wouldn’t crash (don’t laugh, it hasn’t failed), I put my phone away. At the same time, the guy behind me in line made some annoying joke – I was half way through a Hail Mary so I wasn’t really listening, but noted that he was standing way too close to me. After getting to my seat and having stowed my rolling suitcase and my carry-on, I realized I didn’t have my phone. I began to search and pat down all of my pockets. The nice passenger next to me asked if I was ok (looking back, he probably thought I was a terrorist. At least, that’s what I would have thought he was if he was doing what I was doing). I stated that I couldn’t find my cell phone and he began to help me look.  A minute later, the flight attendant also inquired about what we were doing and began to help us search – she made a call over the loud-speaker to see if anyone found a phone. Picture the entire plane is helping me find the phone. It was then that I noticed that the guy standing way too close to me on the jet way was sitting across the aisle and was closing THE EXACT SAME PHONE AS THE ONE I WAS LOOKING FOR. Coincidence? I think not! No way could T-Mobile give out more than one flip phone…I was overcome with the thought of getting to the baggage claim at Reagan National, not being able to find Peter, not remembering his address so I could take a cab and thinking “If I’d only confronted the guy about stealing my phone!!”. So, I did what any crazy person would do, I stepped across the aisle, asked the man if that was his phone and stated that I could not find my phone that looked VERY similar to his and that he might have taken it out of my coat pocket while on the jet way (I really, REALLY wish I could say that any part of this story was made up…but it’s not 🙂  ).  The worst part? The guy sitting next to me and another passenger helped me accuse the poor guy. They said they also observed him standing too close to me. I asked to see his phone – the first person in the phone book was someone named Adam. I don’t know any Adams – it was then that I realized I had just wrongly accused a guy of stealing my phone. Please note, I was not alone in accusing him. This is not a defense, but merely a hope you won’t think I’m totally mental!

Another passenger got smart and decided to call my phone – three calls later, I heard it. It hit me all at once – the sweet relief that the phone wasn’t missing after all, and the absolute horror that I had to admit that it had been in my coat pocket the entire time. Yup. If I was a quicker person, I would have made up that it fell between the seats or something. Sadly, I’m not that fast on my feet and had to play the dumb blonde card…

The worst part is that the poor guy I accused hustled off the plane so fast that I couldn’t profusely apologize. Also, it was a connecting flight and most of the people on the first flight, were also on my second flight to DC. FIVE people asked me while waiting in line to board the second flight if I had my phone with me – they were then quick to let me know that they did not have it, just in case.

The moral of the story is that if you really think someone stole your phone, be sure to involve the entire plane in accusing them. But first, turn out all pockets of your coat, bag and jeans.