Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Holidays


The happy family

65. Update 401K and IRA investments yearly (2/3)

Humpf. Well the market sucks so bad it doesn't really matter what I do. I spent some time going through all my current investments, but didn't really change much for the coming year. I will be sad to get all my yearly prospecti for taxes and see how much money is gone.

67. Return things that don't work ou

I have bought 2 pairs of knee high boots and sadly returned them. I just can't find a low heel that fits my legs. I'm sad.

20. Have date nights with John

SATURDAY!!!

this is cool

These photographers took a photo at the same time each day for 1 year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

thought

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain. —von Schlegel

Jennifer's survey

1. Started your own blog – yes, thanks to Monica
2. Slept under the stars - camping counts
3. Played in a band - no
4. Visited Hawaii – no
5. Watched a meteor shower – I don't think so
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world - 3 times
8. Climbed a mountain - does mount bonnell count? no
9. Held a praying mantis - maybe
10. Sang a solo - Baby Got Back
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris -yes
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning - McDonalds with JOhn
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France -yes, over rated
20. Slept on an overnight train - yes, paris to rome
21. Had a pillow fight – sure
22. Hitch hiked - I don't want to be in a horror movie
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - maybe
24. Built a snow fort - many
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping - all the time when I was a kid
27. Run a Marathon - hell yeah
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse – even made those little boxes to look at them
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset – yes
31. Hit a home run - no way
32. Been on a cruise - not yet
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - yes
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - Germany, yes, Poland No
35. Seen an Amish community - yes
36. Taught yourself a new language - que?
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - yes
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - not yet
39. Gone rock climbing - indoors?
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David - I think so
41. Sung karaoke – Hell yeah…
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt - no
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa - no
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight - yes
46. Been transported in an ambulance - no!
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - yes
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris -yes
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling – no
52. Kissed in the rain - myabe
53. Played in the mud - fun, fun!
54. Gone to a drive-in theater - no
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class – karate in HS
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - oh yeah
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason – yes!
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - blood
65. Gone sky diving - no way
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check – yes
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy – yes
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial – yes
71. Eaten Caviar - yes, gross
72. Pieced a quilt - no
73. Stood in Times Square - yes
74. Toured the Everglades - driven through them, so not really
75. Been fired from a job - no
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - yes
77. Broken a bone - no
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle – yes
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican - yes
82. Bought a brand new car – Rav4 and Pacifica
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper – yes
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House - yes, and sat at VP Dan Quale's desk
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox - yes
89. Saved someone’s life - no, but JOhn has
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous – if you use "met" loosely
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one - yes
94. Had a baby - no, oh yeah those 3 kids
95. Seen the Alamo in person - of course!
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - what?
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone - yes
99. Been stung by a bee - nope

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I've been tagged by Christy!

Here are the rules: Copy and paste the rule instructions in your post. When posting on receiving the award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them. Post five winners and link it back to them as well. Post five of your addictions. Add the award image. Let the winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.



1. Coffee - how do I love thee? Oh so many ways.

2. Sleep - it's what I should be doing right now

3. Pod Casts - right now I"m enjoying "Doug Loves Movies" and "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me"

4. Saying positive mantras over and over and over again in my head. "This won't last forever", "They will eventually move out", "I need them to take care of me in my old age", "Snot isn't that gross, really"

5. Chocolate - I must have an afternoon piece of chocolate, I absolutely must

Who else? Jennifer (who hasn't updated in over a month!), Sandy (who doesn't read my blog), Jenna my adorable sister, Freund Face, and Amy (who has a hilarious blog)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

85. Start holiday traditions

Sledding? In Texas? Much better than in Michigan!

54. Get new baby on a schedule


Make that "Get new babIES on a schedule". Well, after a few weeks of misery trying to force the little ones into what I thought was the perfect schedule, we decided put up the white flag and surrender to the children. The first of many battles we will lose. We had a great schedule for Gwendolyn and I just thought that was what all babies needed to do. It turns out, babies can be very different and they will tell you how pissed of they are when they want to nap at different times and eat 8 times a day. It doesn't matter that they just ate 2 hours ago or that they haven't slept in a millenia - let them do what they want!

After our surrender, things have gone much better. On the weekends we can actually get out of the house with everybody from 10am-12:30pm to run errands and go to lunch while the twins sleep in their car seats. They still eat 7 times a day, but we are thinking they could make it through the night if we really pushed them. But, it is working out ok when Maddy wakes up at 4am to eat, then I just stay up after feeding her and start my day.

As a side night, it is raining like a M-Fer outside and just sounds COLD and nasty. Brrr....

I won't mark this as complete until they are sleeping through the night (10pm - 6am), but we are making good progress at least.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

13. Be thankful for 3 things every day

I have a separate journal, but I will post todays:

1. Snow Day! Our HOA had a snow machine and we got to take Gwen sledding this afternoon. It was a pretty small hill, so she was brave enough to go by herself and she loved making snow balls. It was so cute to watch her see snow for the first time, even if it was man made.

2. Home made meals that I don't have to make myself.

3. Getting out of the house with the whole family with no major meltdowns from anyone (myself and John included)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

13 & 14 be thankful and positive

Take a deep breath... inhale... exhale... ahhhhhhhh.. Ok. So, as my sister reminded me, I'm not pregnant (because that really would send me over the edge) and I have not lost my job. So what other insane thing could happen? Our nanny quit today, Sunday. She sent me an email at noon. Fortunately, I happened to check my email before I went to bed, so at least I knew I was totally F-ed now, rather than realizing it when she didn't show up for work on Monday.

GAR! I'm so pissed, for so many reasons. But, I'm just going to take deep breath, chug the rest of my wine, and take action.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Attitude? What attitude?

You wouldn't know it from this particular picture, but Jack is the easy going baby and Madeline is all about the DRAMA!! Madeline wants to be held - all the time, especially when she's sleeping. If she falls asleep and you try to set her down, she immediately opens her eyes and gets all pissy. Jack, on the other hand, is totally chill. He only cries when he is hungry or tired. Most of the time he just sits or lays where we put him and is content to observe the world. Poor Jack gets about 1/2 the attention as the girls just because he isn't crying or running around acting like a fool. What a sweet little guy.

27. Catch up on photo albums (2/33) (caught up 1/30)

I uploaded, edited and printed out over 700 prints through Snapfish last weekend. Holy crap, that was a lot of pictures. This was done in order to get to work updating Gwen's photo album and start albums for Jack and Madeline. I can't believe I have to do 3 of these. Will Jack REALLY want a photo album? Do boys care about that kind of thing? Maybe not, but I can't risk him being extremely offended and going to therapy because I didn't make him an album. I'm sure he'll be in therapy for other things we do to him, but this one I can do something about.

My Blog


Life here is crazy, and probably will be for a long time. I am going to update my 101 list, I think there are some things that are pretty low priority now. My biggest priorities are the three hooligans on the right. I am also going to blog about life at the Mills house in general. I guess that will be my way of explaining why I'm not doing anything productive.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

1 Year

Wow, I didn't realize until I read Christina's post that we made these lists about a year ago. How time flies! I'm disappointed by my progress on this list. But really, some of these may need to be reevaluated completely. My life has changed dramatically in the past year. You wouldn't think that having 2 babies would be that different when you have already had one, but I am struggling to get even the essentials done every day - like eating, sleeping, drinking water, trying to be happy, trying not to cry, vaccuming the house and cleaning the bathrooms once in a while. I know that this is but a moment in time and I should appreciate the blessings in my life, but it is much easier to see all the negative things and get weighed down by them.

So, with Thanksgiving coming up, I am going to start being more thankful every day.

What am I thankful for today? My beautiful home, the health of my children, and my size 8 jeans.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

95. Loose the baby weight


As of this morning, I am pre-Gwendolyn weight. That is so crazy. I am definitely NOT pre-Gwendolyn SHAPE though. There are some things that change your body forever - tattoos, boob jobs, and having twins. I think I need some serious undergarments to manage my pooch. Ewww. just the word grosses me out - pooch. Seriously - I looked like a beached whale.

Friday, October 31, 2008

11. Pray

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tagged - assignment of the day

Hmmm 6 Things that make me happy (thanks Christy). One of my 101 items is to come up with 100 things that make me happy. I have a list started somewhere, but I'm not sure where it is. But this is a good exercise for me to do today when, frankly, I'm kind of miserable.

1. Sleep. Sleep makes me oh so very happy. More specifically, uninterrupted sleep. I think I got like 7 hours of sleep last night, which is great, but it was broken up over about 10 hours. I was so exhausted yesterday I reached the limit of my patience about 30 times.

2. Coffee.

3. Gwendolyn. Gwen is so awesome and she almost always makes me laugh, or at least smile. Last night she was actually eating her dinner, a hamburger, and she was just so cute chatting about what was on her plate and mine.

4. Sleeping babies. I like babies when they are asleep, it makes me happy to see their cute little faces sticking out of the blankets. They are so peaceful and QUIET, it's heaven (versus when they are taking turns screaming their lungs out, but I'm not talking about that right now).

5. Food that I don't have to make. It has been awesome to have our freezer stocked with meals that I don't have to put any thought into. Tonight a friend is getting us Chuy's for dinner. I might actually cry over that.

6. John. We haven't talked to each other much lately, because we are dividing ourselves between infants and toddler, but we do chat on the phone once or twice a day. Really, how ridiculous is it that I live with my husband and talk to him more on the phone than I do face to face? It is a great comfort to know I have a partner in misery who knows exactly what I am going through without even asking.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

95. If pregnant – loose the baby weight again (In Progress)

Ugh, I've got to start working out, I get winded going up the stairs. But what is more important - sleep or exercise? At this point, I still think sleep. I'm only getting about 5 hours, broken up over the night. Thank goodness for COFFEE!!!!!

53. Nurse new baby for 12 weeks (or pump) (in progress, 6.5 weeks complete)

Half way there and annoyed by every minute of it. It's 3am and I'm back at the milk machine putting in my time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

48. Help Gwendolyn into a toddler bed

Saturday John was gone all day so I had 3 kids all to myself - all day. It was actually a good day. Fortunately, Gwen was easy on me and that was a huge help. I had planned to start potty training this weekend but chickened out.

Saturday evening I put Gwendolyn to bed. As we head up to her room she said "Gwen sleep in big girl bed." (she talks in the third person) Even though getting her in the big bed is our goal, I was not at all mentally prepared to start that night. I knew I would need to watch her on the video monitor and make sure she didn't get out of the bed herself. So I said "No, not tonight Gwen." She insisted and climbed into the bed. ~Sigh~ Ok, I did not want to pass up a good opportunity. So I explained that she had to stay in the bed and got all the bed buddies and set her up. Then I stood outside the door for a few minutes to see what she did and then watched on the video monitor. She had a hard time falling asleep, tossed and turned for about an hour but she never got out of the bed. YEAH! Honestly, I was shocked. In the morning she even waited for John to get her out of bed.

Sunday nap time did not go as well and she ended up in the crib after an hour of playing in the bed, but she never got out on her own. Monday and Tuesday night she slept in the bed just fine. Tuesday night John said she did fall out at one point, so he has to move the bed rail. She sleeps all over the bed so it may be an ongoing issue.

I am not saying this is complete, she could boycott the bed, but we are off to a good start.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

#64 Pay Off Vehicle(s)


We paid off my Pacifica and then traded cars with my parents. So, now I am driving a MINI-VAN. A mini-van is something I had wanted to avoid for the rest of my life. It's a 'Mom' car, a bus, a family wagon. But, I never thought I would have 3 kids in car seats at the same time. Because the twins and Gwen all need to be in car seats and need help getting in and out, there are few cars that will accommodate our family. It was pretty much a mini-van or a suburban. So there it is, I drive a mini-van. I have three kids and I drive a mini-van.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

95. If pregnant – loose the baby weight again (In Progress)

I say this is in progress, but I'm not actively doing anything to speed things up. I would really like to start walking a couple times a week, but it is so hard to get anything done other than feed babies, change babies, wash bottles and pump milk.

10/1/08 - this morning I was 150 lbs (photo says 152, but that was after lunch). So 15 lbs or so to go.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

#52 Have Baby's Room Ready 1 month before due date



Technically, my due date was 10/8, so I might have gotten this in under the wire. The babies were born 8/29 and I had their room put together they way I wanted it a week or so after. I could not do much before they were born, but John did get the furniture put together and all their stuff was in their room. Since the babies were in the NICU for 2 weeks, I had the room ready before they came home.

#49 Potty Train Gwen & 48 into a Big Bed


I have been avoiding these mostly because of my own laziness, but also because there has been so much going on I didn't want to put too much pressure on Gwen. However, potty training is now upon us, whether we like it or not. Gwen is now - BIG. Comparing her to Maddy, it is ridiculous to keep changing diapers on such a big person. Then, last night, Gwen was in her crib and was playing. John went up to remind her that it was time for bed. Over the monitor I heard John say "Why Gwen? Why did you do that?" The first thing I thought of was that she had done some poop art, but when I went to investigate, I saw that she had taken off her pj bottoms and her diaper and was trying to put the diaper on her baby doll. Kinda cute really. She had never taken her own clothes off before, but if she can then she can also take them off whenever she wants and potentially go the the bathroom wherever she wants too - not good.

#37 Make Healthy Meals - failure

Haha, I have barely cooked at all in months.

#28 Take Pictures Every Week


No problem taking pictures, except that they are mostly of the twins. I'm not too interested in being in pictures myself.

#15 Ask for Help When I Need It

I am marking this as complete for now, but will make sure to keep up with it. I hate asking for help. It makes me uncomfortable, makes me feel like I owe favors in return, and makes me feel like I am lame for not being able to do everything myself. But the past few months have taught me many lessons - one of which is that it is OK to ask for help. So many people have been generous with their help and support. Friends have watched Gw. for us while we were with the twins in the hospital or had play dates with her. Friends have made us meals, which have been so wonderful. I had many visitors in the hospital to keep me company and made sure I didn't loose my mind. Friends helped us move and unpack - which we totally didn't deserve since we hate helping people move. My parents came to Austin for THREE weeks to help us and it was wonderful. My girlfriends threw me a wonderful baby shower, my co-workers gave us a generous gift. And I know people have been praying for us as we went through all this craziness with the twins and moving. Most of these things I didn't really even have to ask for, so that made it easier to accept help.

I decided that when the time comes, I will return all these favors and pay it forward when others are in need. There will be hard times for everyone and we will do what we can to help when people need it. And maybe we will have a big 1 year celebration for the twins birthday and invite everyone who helped us get through the pregnancy, moves and first year of having THREE kids.

Long Hiatus

Obviously, I haven't updated my list in awhile. Now that I have the hands free pumping going, I can spend a little more time updating - in 20 minute increments. The past few months I haven't gotten much done since I was on bed rest and physically unable to do very much. And I haven't blogged because I was in the hospital with no internet access. So - lots of excuses. I have several items in progress now though and will try to do better about updating everything and actually working on this freakin list.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What I've Been Up To


No updates, I've been busy

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

24. Read 3 books that Jenna picks out for me

2 down, 1 to go. This has been a fun one, she picks out good books. I just finished The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, published in 1943. It took me about 200 pages to get into it, I hated all the characters, but I really liked the book.

The Fountainhead's protagonist, Howard Roark, is a young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. He refuses to pander to the prevailing "architect by committee" taste in building design. Roark is a singular force that takes a stand against the establishment, and in his own unique way, prevails.

The book highlights Rand's philosophy of Objectivisim -
Objectivism holds that reality exists independent from consciousness; that individual persons are in contact with this reality through sensory perception; that human beings can gain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation; that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or "rational self-interest"; that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure, consensual laissez-faire capitalism; and that the role of art in human life is to transform man's widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and respond to.

56. Save $5000 for redecorating a new house

Done! We close on Friday and after we have paid all the closing cost and the down payment there is plenty left over for decorating. We have already bought a new bedroom set - KING size bed baby! We ordered a new sofa for the downstairs family room, that should be delivered in about 4 weeks. We also bought a new bedroom set for Gwen with a twin bed - her current furniture will go to the twins room. Of course, John is doing his own decorating by getting a new TV and surround sound system. Personally, speakers and receivers don't get me all excited, but he has waited about 8 years to upgrade the stuff he bought out of college, so I'm happy for him.

Now I have to (or get to) add all the little things that make a house a home. New bedding for our room and I am going to pick out new stuff for our bathroom. Then to the dreaded task of picking out curtains. I hate curtains. Why are they so expensive? I don't get it - it's a role of fabric. But I am determined to do it for real this time.

I'm glad I have the opportunity to do this, but I am 29 weeks preggo with twins (i.e. feel like I'm 38 weeks preggo), it's hot, and I'm lazy. So now that I saved the money, I really should actually do what I planned and get it done before the twins come and I am unable to put 2 coherent thoughts together.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Updates - 1 month later

So, what have I done in a month? Not a whole lot, mostly gestate babies and try not to complain too much.

5. No swearing - I think I'm doing pretty good on this. Every once in a while John catches me saying something, but not very often.

14. Be positive about changes look for the good - I need to work on this one, especially in the next few months when we will be going thought a LOT of changes.

28. Take pictures every week - we have been taking a photo of me every week with my growing belly and pictures of the new house as it is completed. We also take lots of pictures of Gwen and John has been using the video camera more to catch her talking.

29. Call extended family 1/month - talked to my Aunt Susie this week and also my friend Kelly in MI that is due to delivery today!

38. Bake once a month - John brought home some starter dough for Amish Friendship Bread a few weeks ago. The first batch was awesome. The second batch I had to improvise on some ingredients but it was still good. The last round I made 6 loaves and froze them for us to eat while I'm on maternity leave.

52. Have baby's room ready 1 month before due date - AUGH!!!! Once we get in the house I will actually be able to do this. I have a whole list of things to buy, but it is very hard to pick anything out when I'm not physically living in the space.

53. Nurse new baby - holy S. I'm doing a lot of reading about this, we'll see.

57. Save 20% for a down payment on the house - Technically, I should wait 2 weeks to say complete when we close, but this is done.

89. 20 min of physical activity each day - so not happening. I am super paranoid about working out after all my doctor visits and risks for delivery early. But I am really looking forward to starting physical activity again in Oct/Nov.

I guess that is it for now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What is this webpage for again?

Well, it has been forever since I've posted, but we've been pretty busy.

9. Go to church once a month - we went twice in May/June, I think. Once was good and once not so good.

20. Date nights - not really a "date night" but John and I got to go to a movie this weekend. We also have a babysitter booked for Friday for another night out.

24. Read books Jenna recommends - in progress reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

28. Take pictures every week - we're doing good on this. See our website (www.amandanjohn.com) for updates on the new house and Gwendolyn.

37. Healthy meals - whatever, if there is a dinner on the table at all I am happy

38. Bake once a month - hey - we did make cookies tonight!

40. Use kitchen tools - nope, they are all packed up

45. Use up food in the pantry & freezer - doing pretty good and still in progress. Moving to the apartment is forcing me to downsize and use up stuff.

46. Read to Gwen every day - Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Ten Apples Up on Top

59. Sell current home - done! We closed last week after much turmoil and BS. So glad to be done with that business. On to the next house!

Anything to do with physical fitness is off the list due to my gestation process.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

94. Keep weight under 140 - not really failure

I'll be red on this one for probably a year. Today I went over my normal weight max (pre-Gwen weight), but hell, I'm 4 months pregnant with twins, so it is what it is.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

37. Make healthy meals 4 times per week (10/572)

Ugh, I'm sick of cooking.

Monday - Chinese Chicken Salad and Tuna Noodle Salad
Tuesday - ate out
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - fajitas
Friday - ate out
Saturday -
Sunday -

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New item #105

I'm stealing one from Jenna, read some of the books on the top 100 book list (that I haven't already read).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

28. Take pictures every week (19/143)

I have no idea how many weeks we have been doing this, but I think I have taken pictures every week. Since they starting building the house we have at least been going to check it out on Sunday and take a picture of it and me - both of us getting bigger.

51. Get pregnant - with a boy (complete 4/28/08)

We had a 16 week ultrasound on Monday and they did a full anatomy check on everybody. After about 30 minutes of measuring the head, stomach, heart, arms & legs they told us Baby A is a GIRL. She is healthy and has all her fingers and toes. 25 minutes later they told us Baby B is a BOY! Hoozah! We got our boy! We are mostly happy that they are both looking healthy and growing on track. I had been reading internet garbage for the past two weeks and it was starting to freak me out, so it was very reassuring to get confirmation that they are O.K. But really, John did a little happy dance when we got the elevator. So, I can cross this off my list now.

9. Go to church once a month (3/33)

I have not been doing well on this list item. I am extra motivated now though, we have to get these twins baptized and I'm not flying to Michigan to do it. So now we have to go to church more often. We went to 11 o'clock mass on Sunday and it actually went pretty well. We were lucky enough to have a baby sit in the pew in front of us, and that captured Gwendolyn's interest every 20 minutes or so. We also went through 3 snacks and had the pacifier and books handy. I think it was much easier in the general population area than in the crying room. We will definitely go again now that we had a good experience with Gwen (Christmas was NOT fun). I went today and bought some kids religious books that we will only take to church with us, so they will be new and interesting for her.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

22. Read 2 Oprah's book club books - reluctantly in progress

I bought Oprah's most recent book club selection A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckart Tolle. She really brain washed me on this one. I can already tell I am not into it and not "open" to the whole idea, but I will push through and finish the darn thing. I feel like I"m reading a book for school.

7. Never eat after 8pm (unless drinking) (failure!)

Maybe I should have said "unless pregnant and/or drinking". I have found that if I don't eat every 2-2.5 hours I get queasy and this includes the evening hours from 7-10 when I normally don't eat anything. Rather than feel like barfing, I just have to eat.

83. Go to a museum

While in Boston this weekend, Jenna and I visited the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum. In the early 1900's a really rich lady collected a ton of art and made her own museum. She and her husband lived upstairs (the building is 4 floors, they lived in the top floor). How do you think that guy felt? "Seriously? You bought another tapestry? And what do we need all these 'antique' chairs for? Why can't we at least sit on them?!?"

There was some amazing pieces there and it was really interesting to see. Of course, Jenna knew all kind of facts about the European stuff after her studies in England (smarty pants!).

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum displays an art collection of world importance, including works that rank among the most significant of their type. Isabella Stewart Gardner collected and carefully displayed a collection comprised of more than 2,500 objects - paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles, drawings, silver, ceramics, illuminated manuscripts, rare books, photographs and letters - from ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Asia, the Islamic world and 19th-century France and America. Built to evoke a 15th-century Venetian palace, the Museum itself provides an atmospheric setting for Isabella Stewart Gardner's inventive creation.

74. Take a vacation with Jenna

This weekend I went to Boston with my sister. She is moving there in June and I went to help her look for an apartment and get to know the city. Boston is really cool and we had a great time. It would have been a much different trip if I could drink, but maybe that is for the best. We did find her an apartment and got to know the neighborhood she will live in. We also visited a museum, saw Fenway Park, ate a lot of great meals and walked about 20 miles (or it felt like 20 miles). Pictures should be posted soon.

Edit: I also think I should get extra credit for going after my whole fiasco with American Airlines/Travelocity. Did you know that if you book a flight on Travelocity if basically F's you? Well, it does, so don't do it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Delinquent

I've been very delinquent in posting the past couple weeks, but I will catch up soon. I'm not feeling sick as a dog, so I have a lot of catching up to do in general - mostly packing.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

18. Volunteer for Prom Shop - kind of complete 3/8/08

Humpf. I did volunteer at the Prom Shop spring giving event, but was really looking forward to 3/22 which was the official Prom Shop day, where all the girls come to pick out their dresses. Unfortunately, I was totally barf sick all weekend and had to be within 5 feet of a bathroom at all times. I'm sure I will make up for it next year, but I'm sad that I missed the big day.

Adding #104 - Get a flu shot

I am adding an item to my list - Get a flu shot next year. I got one last year and did get the flu but it only knocked me out for 24 hours. This year I totally blew it off and I've been sick for 3 days and still feeling like ass. I hate being sick. The only thing I have been able to eat today without gagging is goldfish crackers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

73. Take a vacation with John

Not exactly the vacation I had in mind when I made this list, but it was still a vacation - without kids! My parents have been visiting and we decided to take advantage by leaving Gwen with them for a couple days. Due to the annoying pregnancy, there wasn't much point in going to Vegas or Mexico. And really, what's a vacation in general without alcohol?!?! So we decided to be thrifty and drive up to Dallas for the weekend.

We stayed downtown at the Hyatt Regency Reunion. Friday we did a tour of our old apartments and hangouts in Dallas then went to a Maverick's basketball game. This was my first NBA game and it was a lot of fun.

Saturday started out with room service, a luxury we enjoy when we get the chance. We did some shopping and went to the movies. After dinner at a Chinese place we browsed some furniture stores looking for ideas for our new house.

We came home Sunday refreshed but glad to be home - I missed my baby girl!

#99. Get Promoted

Whew! After months of discussion, planning and strategery I was promoted last week. I am very fortunate to have a great manager that supported me this year. Of course I also had to make sure my performance plan and review was packed with my awesomeness so there was no denying me. I am SO glad to check this off my list!

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 18

Monday - homemade chili and fresh break (ok, my mom made it, but still homemade)
Tuesday - leftovers from a week of eating out
Wednesday - Raspberry Chicken and Rice?
Thursday -

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 17

I skipped week 16, not even sure when that happened.

Monday - ate out with the family
Tuesday - steaks/burgers, potatoes, peas and choc chip cookies
Wednesday - Baked Tortellini with Chicken Pesto Sausage, salad and bread
Thursday - Pizza! Yum.
Friday - ate out at the Mav's game
Saturday - ate Chinese at one of John's fav places in Dallas
Sunday - KFC (kinda gross)

2 home cooked meals - not so good

Sunday, March 2, 2008

58. Buy and move into a new home

We are on our way to building a new home! We won't actually close until the house is done in early September (please, Lord, early September) but we put down our earnest money this week and go in next week to pick out our design choices. We're very excited, but nervous about the length of time and all the hassles that come with building.

We'll start working on "Sell our current home" shortly. The Realtor came out today and we feel pretty good about selling, but we'll see.

51. Get pregnant - with a boy

Hmm... well, I got the first part of this DONE, with John's help of course. I won't know for another 12 weeks if I completed the full task or not, but I don't really care either way. I (not so secretly) kind of want another girl because I know what I'm doing with the one we've got and don't want to deal with another penis.

I am pretty sure I have told everyone who actually reads this blog (all 5 of you) that I am preggers, but if not - I AM! Due October 8th, but I'm going to keep her/him in as long as possible because I'll be working on another list item in September/October as well - moving (see post above).

17. Volunteer at a race - Complete Hawk Hustle 5k 3/1/08

I have been a pretty avid runner for a couple years, taking breaks for pregnancy and laziness. One of the things that I enjoy about running are the races. I have competed in 5k, 5 mile, 10k, 10 mile half and full marathon distance races and almost always enjoy them. In 4 years, I have done 31 races. I have always had great respect for the people who organize these events, they must take a lot of work and coordination - and now I know first hand. For the past month I have been working with the Hendrickson High School 5k race committee. Of course, a lot of work was already done before I got involved but seeing all the time and effort these people put into the event was really interesting and has given me a deep appreciation for the events. I am glad I had a chance to give back to the running community and work at an event that I could really make a difference at. AND - knock one off of my 101! Yeah!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 15

Monday - tacos!
Tuesday - burgers and steak, steamed veggies
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - more leftovers
Friday - fish sticks and mac'n'cheese (ugh, I feel like a real parent)
Saturday - burgers and all the fixin's (thank Cox's!)
Sunday - Pizza (I'm so ashamed)

I guess that's 3? I don't feel good about this week, but I"m not feeling so hot in general.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 14

Monday: John made a pasta meal (yeah for husbands making dinner!)
Tuesday: Hawaiian Chicken and Rice (I had GNO, but still made dinner for the family)
Wednesday: pizza
Thursday: Mexican Meatloaf and Sweet Potatoes
Friday: Antonio's Tex Mex
Saturday: Leftovers leftovers and more leftovers
Sunday: Fire Bowl Cafe

3/7, 4/7 if I count leftovers. I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be hard on this list item.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

#78 Take Gwendolyn to a Theme Park 2


Today John, Gwendolyn and I went to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco. A co-worker of John's said it was a great zoo and worth the 90 minute drive to Waco. We had a good time and Gwendolyn actually had some appreciation for the animals. She was probably the most excited about the turkey - they said "gobble gobble" to each other. She also enjoyed the bears, giraffes and the jaguar.

http://www.cameronparkzoo.com/


We thought the Cameron Park Zoo was good, better than the Austin Zoo. It took us about 90 minutes to walk through the whole thing, which is just right for a toddler. All in all, an enjoyable adventure, even though Gwendolyn barfed on the way home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

26. Watch AFI’s top 100 movies

no update, but I wanted to make a list of what I haven't seen yet. The list is here, AFI website has it too but you have to become a member to look at it and its only pdf. I have seen 53 movies on the list, pretty good I think. Some of these I am not looking forward to, time will tell if I get around to watching the really old ones and all the war movies.

#8 On the Waterfront
#9 Schindler's List
#13 The Bridge on the River Kwai
#17 The African Queen (I have seen parts of this, but I don't think the whole thing)
#19 Chinatown
#20 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
#22 2001: A Space Odyssey
#27 Bonnie and Clyde
#28 Apocalypse Now
#29 Mr Smith Goes to Washington
#30 The Treasure of Sierra Madre
#33 High Noon
#34 To Kill a Mockingbird (I've seen it, but it has been a long time)
#37 The Best Years of Our Lives
#38 Double Indemnity
#42 Rear Window
#44 Birth of a Nation
#45 A Street Car Named Desire
#46 Clockwork Orange
#50 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
#52 From Here to Eternity
#53 Amadeus
#56 M*A*S*H
#63 Stagecoach
#66 Network
#69 Shane
#70 The French Connection
#73 Wuthering Heights
#74 Gold Rush
#76 City Lights
#77 American Graffiti
#79 The Deer Hunter
#80 The Wild Bunch
#81 Modern Times
#82 Giant
#83 Platoon (? have I seen this?)
#85 Duck Soup
#86 Mutiny on the Bounty
#88 Easy Rider
#89 Patton
#90 The Jazz Singer
#92 A Place in the Sun
#96 The Searchers
#97 Brining Up Baby (might have seen it)
#98 Unforgiven
#99 Goes Who's Coming to Dinner
#100 Yankee Doodle Dandy

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 13

Monday - Chipotle (mmmm giant burritos)
Tuesday - Chicken Provolone and Mac'n'cheese
Wednesday - Chicken nuggets and steamed veggies
Thursday - Olive Garden
Friday - Leftover pasta
Saturday - Turkey Sloppy Joes
Sunday - More leftovers and eating out for dinner

3/7. Blah, I am so sick of eating out. I took a class this week and ate out for lunch several days. I just feel gross from all the take-out, fast food and general crap. Must do better next week. But that may actually require a trip to the grocery store.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

#46 Read to Gwen Every Day

I like to read to Gwendolyn. I love the way she forces a book into my hand and then parks herself in my lap. She points to all the things that interest her as I read and we talk about the pictures. What drives me bonkers is that she only wants to read the same books over and over and over again. There are some books that John really hates now because we have read them so many times (Jamberry!). One night I read Pat the Bunny at least 7 times in a row, yet there are some books I have never been able to get to the last page of because she will not even allow me to read them. I really want to find out what happens to that Little Engine That Could! Maybe someday I'll find out.

#20 Date Night with John

John took me to the Melting Pot on Friday night to celebrate Valentine's Day. It was a wonderful meal, 4 delicious courses, and we were uncomfortably stuffed afterwards. I decided that the Melting Pot is actually a terrible place to go on a date with someone you haven't been dating long. Why? 1. You are stuffed after eating there. Even if you only get cheese and chocolate, you will be full. 2. You smell like food after eating there. If you or any table around you is cooking meat at their table, you will smell like you've been cooking meat (sexy). 3. Gas, I don't think I need to say anything else here. Of course, none of this mattered much to us, this is our 11th Valentine's day together so we enjoyed our meal and went home to watch Live Free or Die Hard (so romantic!).

26. Watch AFI’s top 100 movies

Tonight I watched The Apartment #93 on the AFI top 100 movie list. As I suspected, I had actually seen it before but didn't remember until I saw the first scene. It won 5 Oscars including best director and best picture in 1961. The movie starred Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacClaine.

Plot: A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

Quote: C.C. Baxter: The mirror... it's broken
Fran Kubelik: Yes, I know. I like it that way. Makes me look the way I feel.

#2 Give Up Soda for 40 days

I have read/heard that it takes a month for an adult to break or set a new habit. I think that is about right. It has now been 40 days since I have had any soda - caffeinated, diet or otherwise. At this point I don't feel like I miss it all that much. I have substituted with iced tea and lemonade for an afternoon sugar buzz and am drinking more coffee. As of right now, I am going to try to stay off the diet soda since I am doing so well.

Success!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

#104 Giving Up Alcohol for 30+ Days

John says that I can't give up alcohol for 40 days, and I think he is right. I'm going to shoot for 30 on this one. I don't think I can make it all the way through our spring break vacation in March without drinking - that would be insane! But if I do make it past 40 I will beat his best streak. Sucka!

Can I use this to replace something else on my list, like the stupid TV watching thing? Hmmm

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monica tagged me

Share 6 random things about yourself. And then tag at least 6 other people. Hmmmm... I don't feel like doing this at the moment, but I will start the post so I have to finish it later.

1. I loathe my own laziness
2. I want to beat Guitar Hero 3 on Medium - and will!
3. I don't think I could be a stay at home mom - it's too hard
4. When I take any pills, I drink water, slip the pill in, tilt my head back and shake it, then swallow. Is that weird?
5. I read O magazine every month cover to cover
6. I have become addicted to coffee, can't start my morning without it

6 people to tag? I'm not doing it, the chase stops with me.

92. Beat 5k PR (23:36)

My previous PR for a 5k race is 23:36, reached in July 07. I did not beat that this weekend while running the Mardi Gras 5k. However, I did win first place in my age group though with time of 24:59 (one second faster than my previous 5k time at the Jingle Bell 5k in December). This is my second 1st place finish and my 3rd time to place in the top 3 in a race. I am pretty excited that I did so well, but to be modest, it is a small race and there are plenty of people much faster than me. I will post some pics when John gets them off the camera this week.

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 12

BORING. Apparently my life now revolves around cooking meals, as I got nothing else accomplished last week. Not entirely true, but it seems like it from my blog.

Monday - leftover chili (still awesome)
Tuesday - Basil Pesto Chicken Pizza
Wednesday - Wendy's
Thursday - Turkey meatloaf and pasta
Friday - MELTING POT - yummy
Saturday - Pasta with chicken pesto sausage
Sunday - Homemade Lasagna and garlic bread

5 meals - that might be a record so far.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

#17 Volunteer at a Race

I love road racing. It is a lot of fun. In the past 5 years I have run 30 races. I did not enjoy my first race, the Dash Down Greenville 5k in Dallas Texas. John convinced me to run it with him and I thought I might die. But I didn't. We moved to Austin and we started doing more and more races and eventually I ran a marathon. After all the racing I have great respect and appreciation for the people that organize the events and volunteer. So much effort is put into getting sponsors, coordinating with city and police officials, advertising, setting up the course and wrangling volunteers to hand out water and provide support on the course.

I have been thinking for awhile that I need to give back to the running community by volunteering at an event. I picked the Hendrickson Hawk Hustle 5k & 1K on 3/1 at the Hendrickson High School. One of my co-workers is the race coordinator so I have some association (no, I don't have a kid in HS and I don't even live in Pflugerville). I like that it is a small race, so my support will really have an impact. I volunteered at the Austin Marathon 2 years ago and it was kind of a bummer. There were so many freakin volunteers there was literally nothing for us to do. We ended up going up to the race course and cheering people towards the finish.

So... I think you should all sign up for this race or volunteer with me to support my 101 goal!

Check out the Run Tex Website or the race registration page

#2 Give Up Soda for 40 days

This is going fine. It has been 30 days since I quit the soda. For a week I just drank water, coffee and milk. Now I'm hitting the lemonade or ice tea around 2:00, so I have really just replaced diet soda with another sugar beverage. But I think iced tea is healthier than soda, so its acceptable.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 11

Can I go 2 for 2?

Monday - Pasta and Chicken Pesto Sausage - surprisingly good
Tuesday - GNI
Wednesday - meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Thursday - Cran-Orange Turkey and mac 'n' cheese
Friday - take-out burriots
Saturday - Rudy's
Sunday - Football Sunday Chili

4 home made meals!!!!! YES!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lent

Lent is coming up in just a few weeks. Sometimes I give things up and I am considering giving up - ALCOHOL - this year (GASP!). But we'll see how that goes. I would like to work on the going to church item on my list. I have been checking this out daily: Our Daily Bread and it has given me a lot to reflect on.

Edit: how come no one wants to do things that are hard just because? Maybe I need to exercise my will power or have an excuse to be pissed off all the time. Actually, John challenged that I could NOT give up alcohol for 40 days in a non pregnancy induced environment. He may be right.

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 10

Monday - Pasta with Turkey Sauce
Tuesday - Chicken breast and rice
Wednesday - Pasta and baked Sweet Potatoes
Thursday - Left overs
Friday - pizza
Saturday - I can't remember - left overs?
Sunday - Mandarin Pork Chops and Asian Noodles

FOUR DINNERS! SUCCESS FOR WEEK 10 !! Woop!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 9 - failure

It was a busy, sick week for the Mills. Lots of thrown together meals, leftovers and eating out. Better luck next week? Perhaps. Now that John is back in school I have at least 2, probably 3 nights a week where it is just Gwen and I for dinner. Which makes it hard for 2 reasons, 1 anything that takes longer than 15 minutes to make is difficult to do with a toddler to distract. 2 Gwen will only eat so many things, and dinner is a little stressful when she doesn't like what is presented to her. I really make an effort not to have battles over food, or make a dozen different things for her. But it still bothers me when I make a meal and she literally pushes the plate away and says "no". Unfortunately, that will be the next 10 years of my life.

Hello chicken nuggets, goodbye salmon pate.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

1. No TV for a week

Failure. I gave up, and now that I did I think it was a stupid list item. (I don't like this game, so I'm going home!) But I really did delete over a week's worth of shows, so I still won't watch them. I was just too bored folding laundry and taking the Christmas tree down on Sunday to not have the TV on at all.

But my diet coke fast is going well. I should be able to do 40 days with only minor complaining now.

Monday, January 7, 2008

#13 & 19 things to be thankful for and that make me happy


John bought me a very nice journal for Christmas. I decided to use it to keep track of my list of 100 things that make me happy and as a gratitude journal. I am also starting a "bucket list" - ie things to do before I kick the bucket and I will keep track of it in my journal. In the mean time, here are a few things that I am thankful for: Sushi, happy Gwendolyn and ice cream.






"If you start focusing on what you have and what you're grateful for, you will then begin to see more."--Oprah, Girlfriend

"Good, the more communicated grows." — John Milton

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." — Meister Eckhardt

Edit:
I am also very thankful for John K - he is fucking hilarious (and I am NOT being sarcastic)

#37 Make Healthy Meals week 8 - failure

I think this is week 8?

Monday - Gnocchi with tomato sauce and frozen veggies
Tuesday - sloppy joes, slop, sloppy joes
Wednesday - Antonio's Tex-Mex (mmmm margaritas!)
Thursday - Chick-Fil-A
Friday - Burgers and baked sweet potatoes
Saturday - Chinese
Sunday - pizza

I'd say 2.5 homemade healthy meals - bad bad bad

Sunday, January 6, 2008

#2 Give Up Soda for 40 Days


I am in progress on this one as of 1/2/08 and I am hating it. I L-O-V-E diet soda. Actually, I think I may just really love caffeine. I wanted to cut down on my soda consumption in general and I thought if I went 40 days I would keep it to a minimum after that. My habit is not excessive, 1 soda a day in the afternoon. But a couple of months ago I added a cup of coffee in the mornings too. I would rather drink coffee than soda, mostly because soda is completely engineered and unnatural. Coffee at least has some health benefits. Anyway, I'm working on this one, but begrudgingly.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

#20 Date Night

I had a date last night, but not with John. I went to see Atonement with Lauren and I think it was a pretty good date. Technically I shouldn't count this, but I want to.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

#94 Keep weight under 140

So this was kind of a gimme since I haven't weighed 140 in about 6 months. I set that goal since it is what I weighed before getting pregnant and was generally my comfortable weight that I didn't have to do a lot to maintain. But, for some reason I have found some weird combination of eating decently in small amounts, working out consistently and not depriving myself of anything that seems to work. In fact, I hit a new weight low today. Go figure - eating right and keeping active really works. Either that or I have a tape worm. Now bring me some ice cream!!

#65 Update investments

I spent some time tonight going over my 401k investments and updating my portfolio and made a few changes. After I did the whole analysis on my IRA, Fidelity recommended I sell the only stocks that are actually making me money - go figure. So I didn't make any changes there, but at least it was an educated decision.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

#66 Clean Out Closets 1/5 in progress

Last night I spent about 2 hours cleaning out my dresser and reorganizing my clothes. Tonight I went through my shoes and purses. Result - 2 bags of trash and 3 bags to donate. Now I just need to drag it over to Good Will.

This also begins a process of thinning out everything in our house so it is ready to sell in the spring. We're planning to pack a bunch of stuff up for a storage unit this month. I have Gwendolyn's outgrown clothes and toys semi-organized to store already. I know I have to go through our guest room closet and my books with some brutality.

It is all a pain in the ass, but I feel very accomplished when I finish a small section.

#37 Make Healthy Meals week ?

Monday - n/a
Tuesday - Pecan Crusted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes (yumm-o)
Wednesday - flank steak (thanks Super Suppers) with mashed potatoes
Thursday - left overs
Friday - Chicken Pasta with Veggies (frozen meal)
Saturday - SUSHI dinner - Yummo! (but not at all homemade)
Sunday - Meatloaf and Mac 'n' Cheese

3/7 - this seems to be par for the course for me