Sandie Simply Says

January 4, 2010

HASAY – Starting Over Again, Again

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 4:43 pm

There it was.  Staring at me.  A number I hadn’t seen in almost 8 years (well, unless I was pregnant and despite my growing belly, I am NOT pregnant).

Strangely, even that number didn’t do it for me.  It was the mirror.  More correctly, it was the muffin top I saw in the mirror.  And no, I wasn’t conveniently holding a muffin at the time.

*SIGH*

Rather than wait until the New Year, I decided to embark on my journey (again!) right away.  And so, two days after Christmas I started counting points, again.  I wish I had a meeting to go to as that has always been the key for me.

The good news is I’m down 3 pounds as of today! Now comes the tough part…week 2!

Excited to lose weight in the new year?  Go visit Casey and she’ll hook you up!

December 1, 2009

Tuesday Randomness

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 12:01 am

randomtuesday

My trip to Malta was fantastic! To read about it, go here, here, and here (there’s a part 4 in the works, so be sure to check back for that too!).

This sign was hanging in the bathroom at St. Agatha’s Catacombs:

I would like to know what exactly were people doing with the toilet paper that prompted the posting of such a sign. Who determines what “proper” use of toilet paper is? Luckily, I didn’t have to stress about whether I was using the toilet paper properly…there was none.

This was by far the craziest thing I saw on our trip:

Those were buttons on a cigarette machine.  The cartons of cigarettes for sale at the airport had equally obnoxious labels on them.  And yet every where we went, people were smoking (and I’m not referring to tourists).  I’m thinking labels like that would definitely make me take pause before lighting up!

My brand new laptop bit the dust on Saturday.  I had it for two weeks and one day.  It was working fine Saturday morning.  We left to do some shopping and when we came back it was no longer working.  I spent over an hour on the phone with HP only to be told I had to ship it to the service center as I probably have a bad motherboard.

This is the first Thanksgiving I can remember I didn’t have my family’s pumpkin pie.  My mom made it ever year and when I moved out, she gave me the recipe and I’ve made it every year since.  This year, I was lazy so I didn’t make it.  I missed not having it, so on Saturday I bought a Sara Lee pumpkin pie to takes its place and it didn’t work.  At least Christmas is just around the corner.  I’ll definitely make some then!

One of Tony’s co-workers was a professional chef before she came in the Air Force.   Since my birthday was last Tuesday, he asked her if she would bake a cake for me.  This was the result:

The best way to describe this cake would be heaven on a plate!  It was a chocolate cake with white chocolate filling and chunks of chocolate covered in a chocolate ganache.  The writing and decorations were all white chocolate.  It was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had!

Speaking of birthdays, my baby girl turns three today!  It’s hard to believe three years ago today we were in the hospital awaiting her arrival.  And now she’s all grown up!

This slice of randomness was brought to you by keely over at www.theunmom.com.  Want more?  Click on the button at the top!

November 17, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 4:52 pm

Three weeks?  Has it really been three weeks since I last posted?  Holy abandonment Batman!  I wish I could say I’ve been overly busy, but the truth is Facebook has sucked me in.  Well, that and I’ve been lazy.  I’ve started so many posts in my head, but can’t seem to actually sit down and type them out.  I won’t even say I’ll try to do better, because I know I won’t.

I’m going to Malta next week.  I bet you have the same question I had…where the heck is Malta?  It’s one of those countries we hear about, but don’t know quite where it is.  Well, here it is:

Yep, that little tiny dot right under Sicily is Malta.  I’m going with one of my co-worker’s wives.  She’s been planning it since June and he told her last weekend he didn’t really want to go.  So, she called me and asked if I wanted to go.  I did a quick internet search to find out where Malta is and now I’m excited to go!  The pictures I found look beautiful!  The trip is my birthday present.  We leave Sunday and come back Wednesday.

I’m really liking my AppleTV.  It’s almost better than my TiVo!  Tonight I caught up on Desperate Housewives.  Not only did I not have to watch commercials…I didn’t even have to worry about fast forwarding through them!  I’ve also been able to download movies for the girls to watch.  It’s great for those times that they’re bored and want something new to see.

Speaking of Desperate Housewives, I hope they’re close to wrapping up the whole Catherine/Susan/Mike love triangle.  It was interesting at first, but I think they’ve about played it out.

Alyssa made the A/B honor roll this quarter.   She’s really blossomed since we’ve been here.   At least one of us seems to have adjusted already!  The rest of us are still trying to get settled.

I’ve officially run out of randomness for tonight. Craving more? Go visit Keely at www.theunmom.com to get your fix!

October 27, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts – Unpacking is fun!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 2:32 pm

Our stuff is here! Our stuff is here! The shipment arrived on Tuesday, so we’ve spent most of our week unpacking the 5,000 pounds worth of stuff that was dropped off at our doorstep (OK, so it wasn’t really the doorstep, they DID bring it inside and put it mostly in the rooms we told them to. At least part of the week was spent putting things in the rooms they actually belonged in vs. the room they were put in (or better yet, the room they were labeled as since the movers on the other side mislabeled about 10% of the boxes)). So far, we’ve only come across four things that were damaged. Two of those things were things we could use and one of them I’m mad about (they broke our baker’s rack. I’m not sure how exactly they managed to do it, but it’s toast. It was the one thing I needed to finish my kitchen. So far, I’ve been unable to find another one. Or even anything that resembles a baker’s rack over here).

Have I mentioned we have no closets? Well, in case I haven’t, we have no closets. It’s common throughout Europe to have no closets in your house, because apparently the government considers a closet a “room” and charge extra taxes for the privilege of having closets in your home. Instead, the good citizens of Europe (I’m assuming this is universal throughout Europe, but I only know for sure that this is true of Great Britain, Germany and Italy) use wardrobes to hang their clothes. Since most of us military-types are only here temporarily (though with the length of time some people manage to stay here, that could be a debatable topic (you don’t have to worry about me staying here too long though…I’m much too partial to all the comforts (and conveniences) of living in the United States to ever want to live here long term!)), the government is good enough to provide us with these monstrosities:

Lovely, right? This is one of the small ones. We also have a few larger ones, that are just as ugly, but a bit wider. We’ve dedicated one of the rooms in our house a “walk in closet” and have nothing but these lovely things in them. My point to all this is that I don’t have a convenient place to keep my shoes. Sure, I could put them on the bottom of the wardrobe and risk knocking all my clothes to the floor while trying to find just the right pair (you can’t tell by the picture, but there is no hanging bar in these wardrobes. Instead the shelf has a lip at the bottom that you hook the hangers on. If you knock them too hard, you end up with a pile of clothes on the floor). While shopping the other day (looking for something to replace my baker’s rack), we discovered the Italians must also have the same problem because they’ve developed the perfect solution: shoe cabinets!

They come in all sorts of styles and are slim enough to fit just about anywhere. We’re planning to buy a few the next time we go to the store (had to come home to figure out how many shoes we had before we purchased the cabinets).

 

Somehow, in the middle of the night, someone came and replaced my eldest daughter with a pre-teen. She’s only 9, so I thought I’d have a few more years before we’d have to worry about this phenomenon. Apparently, I was wrong. Some of the conversations we have with her these days are so grown up, it’s scary. The bad part is she’s also developing the attitude that comes with that pre-teen angst. I’m fearful of what her teen years are going to be like.

That same someone came to Italy and turned on the A/C outside. We literally went from pleasantly warm days (not too hot, not too cold) to freezing our butts off. Over night. I have learned that I lived in Georgia for far too long. It’s not even *that* cold yet and I’m already complaining about how cold it is here (the highs have been in the 50s and the lows in the 40s…I’m used to that being about the coldest it gets all winter though). They’ve got us freaking out about how much the utilities cost over here, so I’ve only been turning on the heat for a few hours a day and wearing extra layers of clothes. Hopefully, we’ll get our first bill soon and I’ll be able to relax a bit (they only bill every other month here and it can take up to four months for them to start billing…nothing happens quickly here!).

Amber is just about 100% potty trained now (well, except for night time…we’ll work on that later). Unfortunately, she always needs to go potty at the most inconvenient times. Like when we’re in an Italian store where very few speak English and we can’t readily see where the bathrooms are. Or driving down the road between the base and the house where there are no places to make a quick stop. She also has to have someone accompany her to the bathroom…when we’re at home. We’ll be in the middle of doing something and she’ll come running, “I have to go potty!” She refuses to go by herself, so one of us has to take her. This same need for accompaniment does not apply to public bathrooms, apparently. I got kicked out of more bathroom stalls than I can count the other day.

During my trip to Germany, I purchased an AppleTV. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, as I generally try to avoid all things Apple (I think most Macintosh products are incredibly overpriced for what you get. Part of me would love an iPod, but I can’t bring myself to spend the money when I can buy a cheaper product that does the same thing). We finally got this hooked up last week and I love it! I’ve already spent an obscene amount of money purchasing season passes of many of my favorite TV shows.

This random mess brought to you by Keely at www.theunmom.com. Want to join in the fun? Head on over!

October 6, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts – Recycling, Potty Training, and Petty Whining

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 12:06 pm

One of the hardest adjustments we’ve had to get used to here is recycling. They recycle just about everything here. Everything. We are not good citizens of the earth. Before moving here, the only thing we recycled was aluminum cans. And that was only because Tony collected them for the extra pennies. Now, we recycle not only because it’s Italian law, but also out of necessity. Our non-recyclable trash is only picked up every other week. Wouldn’t be bad, except this is our trash bin:

We can easily fill that up in a day! So, we recycle. Plastic & cans go in one bin, glass in another, paper/cardboard in another, and foodwaste in yet another bin (I told you they recycle EVERYTHING here!).

On Friday, we saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I haven’t read the book. Actually didn’t even know there WAS a book until I read MIHH’s review last Tuesday. I thought the movie was very cute. It held the attention of 2/3 of my kids (to be fair to Amber, we went to a 7 o’clock showing and she’s normally in bed by 8, so much of her inattentiveness was really tiredness). The theater was packed. We don’t get too many kid-friendly movies here, so when we do everyone comes out to see it.

We’ve started potty training Amber. Well, her old daycare REALLY started training her and the new one continued it. Last week, they suggested we let her try out panties for awhile because they thought she might be ready for them. I wasn’t ready for them (it’s not that I enjoy changing diapers, we just had too much going on that weekend to bother with panties), so we kept her in the diapers for a bit longer. Saturday morning, she put a pair of her sister’s panties on. We figured we’d let her keep them on and see how she does. She was about 50/50 on Saturday…right up until she pooped in her panties while I was grocery shopping and Tony was home with her. He got after her and put her back in a diaper. Sunday morning, she did NOT want to put panties back on, but Tony got them on her anyway. After a few accidents in the morning, she started going to the potty on her own. She managed to stay clean and dry all afternoon. Monday and today, she went to daycare in panties. Other than wearing a diaper at naps, she’s stayed dry both days. Keep your fingers crossed…I think we’re at the beginning of the end of our diapering careers!

My internet connection sucks. I’ll be in the middle of performing some task and we’ll lose the connection. At first, I thought it was just me. Then I talked with others and they have the same issue. It’s not so bad, except it always seems to cut off when I’m in the middle of something important.

Our stuff isn’t here yet. It was supposed to be here yesterday, at the latest. Today, they started a “tracer” on it and we should know where it is by noon tomorrow. I swear there is some force working against us here. Of all the people I’ve met since I’ve got here, I’m the only one who’s stuff didn’t make it BEFORE the required delivery date…including at least one family that moved from the same base. Our neighbors, who got here AFTER we did, had their stuff delivered today. I’m green with envy and am tempted to steal one of their couches.

I feel like my last two thoughts were nothing but petty whines.  I need to look at the bright side of things.  Like, while I don’t have *my* furniture, I do have loaner furniture from the base (crappy as it may be, at least we’re not sitting on the floor!).

That’s all the randomness I can muster today. For more randomness, visit Keely at http://www.theunmom.com.

October 4, 2009

The First Monday in Octember: HASAY

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 2:15 pm

You’d think I’d be more prepared for this now that we’ve gone to once a month HASAY updates. But it seems like every month, it creeps up on me. Good thing Casey sends out those reminder e-mails. If it wasn’t for those, I’d never know what day it was!

The good news is, I actually have some good news to report this month!

I’ve been going to the gym! I’ve only made it three times in the last two weeks, but I think that’s much better than the zero times I went in the last few months. I’ve started the Couch to 5K running program. I’m starting week 3 this week (even though I didn’t really do the first two weeks correctly or even for full weeks!). My fitness test is scheduled for the end of the month and I figure doing a modified C-2-5K should get me running 1 ½ miles in no time.

I’ve also been trying to work on my abs and upper body. My hope is to score at least as well as I did last year on my test (though I’ll also just settle for a passing score).

And if you think that’s all the good news I have to report this month, well you’re wrong! During one of my trips to the gym I found a scale. According to said scale, I managed to lose about 3 pounds since we’ve been here. Initially, I thought the scale may have been off, but I found another scale and the results were the same.

Of course, I think I ruined it all this weekend (damn hormones!).

Want to learn more about HASAY? Visit Casey over here.

September 24, 2009

I’m alive! I’m alive!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 3:10 pm

I know y’all thought I fell off the face of the earth!  I really am still here!

We still have no internet at the house.  And no idea when we’ll have it.  Turns out they don’t run all the necessary wires to houses when they build them here.  Instead, they wait for someone to move in and request service.  Then the phone company comes out, runs around for about an hour (seriously, it was quite comical watching this guy run up to the house, then out to the street, then across the street, then back to the house, then back across the street, etc. He did this for 30 minutes until I finally got ahold of my landlord, who then ran around with him for the next 30 minutes.   And *bonus* the installer spoke ZERO English!) just to tell me they had to run a wire from down the street to the house.  He claimed it would only take a week.  It’s been almost two and still no wire.

I can steal internet from one of our neighbors, however I only get a signal while standing at my kitchen sink, which isn’t very condusive to blogging.  I’m on a two-day trip to Germany right now, so I’m taking full advantage of the free internet in the room!

So, to all my blogging friends: I’ve missed you!  I read when I get the chance, but don’t always get to comment.  Hopefully, I’ll have internet by the end of the year and will be back in all my glory!

September 8, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: I want a Walmart!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 12:01 am

We move into our house this week. I have very mixed feelings about this. Part of me is glad to finally be able to start getting settled. Part of me likes the security of living on base, close to the places we shop (tax free and cheaper than downtown) and with people who speak English. We pick up the keys tomorrow, but probably won’t actually move in until later in the week. We need to make sure the gas and everything is on and working first.

I’m rethinking our plan to ship our stuff so late in the game. I did it thinking we’d be able to use loaner furniture once we got here. We’ll have loaner furniture, but everyone we’ve met who has used it says the mattresses are hard as rocks and that we’d probably be more comfortable sleeping on the tile floor. Great. I’m hoping we’ll be able to find a nice feather bed to sleep on and maybe be somewhat comfortable.

I’m having a hard time getting used to not being able to find everything I want, right when I want it at the local Walmart. We have a BX on base (BX stands for Base Exchange for those who don’t know) and it’s kinda like Walmart. Well, if Walmart were small, expensive, and kept running out of stuff (but hey, they don’t charge sales tax (that’s the sales pitch they use to get people to shop there)). I went today in search of D size batteries. They had every size of battery known to man, EXCEPT D size. Seriously? Was there a run on large batteries at the BX? Or maybe they were hijacked by some mysterious battery stealing terrorists the media has been hiding from us.

I never thought I’d see the day I’d kill just to shop at Walmart!

My Feedjit thingie wasn’t working right on my other blog. I tried, in vain, several times to get it to work. No matter what I did, it didn’t work right. So, I set out today to fix it. I must have copied and pasted the script 100 times. On try #101, I noticed the words at the top of the Feedjit page. Words that said something like, “If you’re using WordPress, click here to get the non-java version.” I know those words weren’t there the FIRST 100 times I tried. It’s a conspiracy. They’re all out to get me!

I love peas. Canned peas, to be exact. That is all.

“A bra is what keeps your boobs from getting huge.” According to my 9-year-old anyway. I guess I need to stop wearing my bra if I want bigger boobs. Wonder if there is some miracle cure that will put them where they were before I had kids? THAT would be awesome.

Our American TV programming here is on the Armed Forces Network (AFN). Over the years, AFN has evolved. It used to be one channel. Now we have 10 (woohoo!). What hasn’t changed is the commercials. We don’t get “real” commercials here. Instead, we get commercials produced almost entirely by the Department of Defense and consist of pretty much nothing but PSAs. For a taste of them, go here (love YouTube…you can find almost anything there!). Now imagine watching those all. the. time. After two weeks of it, I’m ready to go insane!

We have to be careful with the Italian commercials though. Tony and I were flipping through the channels late one night and saw what can only be described as soft core porn. They blurred the appropriate parts, but you could soooo tell what was going on.

I watched Guiding Light for the first time in forever yesterday. I’m sad that the show is ending very soon (I think in just a few weeks). And it makes me mad that CBS pretty much drove the show into the ground in recent years. The final straw was them switching the way they did the camera. It made the show look like something my kids put on in the back yard rather a show produced by a major entertainment company.

This random mayhem was brought to you by Keely over at www.theunmom.com. Want more randomness? Go check her out! Shoo! Go! I hear she has cookies!

September 7, 2009

My clothes don’t fit anymore, it must be time for HASAY!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 2:46 am

It hardly seem like a month since I last update. But Casey says it’s been a month and she wouldn’t lie. Would she?

I wish I had some success to report. I haven’t been on a scale since we left Georgia and that wasn’t pretty. I weighed a mere 4 pounds away from the weight that drove me to Weight Watchers in the first place. Since my clothes have only gotten tighter since then, I imagine I’ve closed the gap a bit (either that or all my clothes shrank on the plane ride over…hmmm, I think I like that explanation better).

I could make up a bunch of excuses. We’ve been moving. The food is too good here (well, that one is true, but we’ve only eaten off base three times since we’ve been here and three times in two weeks doesn’t equal a weight gain). We’ve had too much to do, so there’s no time to cook. But the truth is I’ve just been too lazy and apathetic. I don’t feel like eating right. I don’t feel like exercising. So I don’t.

That has to change. Today. I fitness test in November. November. As in less than two months away. I haven’t failed a fitness test yet and now is not the time to start.

*I NEED to lose these extra pounds I’ve put on since March.

*I NEED to start running again.

*I NEED to work on my push up and sit ups again.

*And this year, I NEED to keep it up after I test (they’re changing our fitness standards next year and will make it about 50 times harder for me to pass).

I’ve already taken the first step. I started counting Points again yesterday. Now I just need to keep it up!

September 1, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 1:17 am
  • At least I think it’s Tuesday. The last week or so has kinda morphed into one day. The good news is we’re slowly but surely getting adjusted to the new time zone. Being on the go all day, every day has a way of helping you adjust faster (guess, that’s why they made sure our first week here was jam-packed with things to do!).

     

    • More good news: I think I may finally be able to kick my Diet Coke habit while we’re here. Some of you know of my love for Diet Coke and my unsuccessful attempt to kick the habit earlier this year. My all-time favorite way to drink Diet Coke is from a fountain, second is from a bottle, and lastly is from a can. I usually only tolerate it from a can though…something in the aluminum completely changes the taste. Well, in Europe they have Coke Light. I don’t like it. It tastes just like regular Coke to me (which would be great if I was still a Coke drinker, but since I’ve started drinking Diet Coke, I can no longer stand regular Coke…go figure). The one and only way I can get Diet Coke is from a can. I think I’m down to one or two cans of Diet Coke a day (some days a bit more…usually only because we’ve run out of water).

       

  • We found a house! Read all about it here. (Like the way I cleverly divert you to my other blog?)

     

    • I’m watching Wedding Day right now. I’ve never heard of this show in the States, but it’s one of the shows that plays one of the 10 channels that we receive. As the couple is dancing their first dance, Amber is clapping away. I’m not sure why she thinks she should be clapping…nobody on TV is…but it’s cute all the same.

       

  • I’m getting irritated with Big Brother. Every year, I watch the people who are my “favorites” to win make incredibly stupid decisions. I liked Jeff to win, but now I think he’s making incredibly stupid decisions and trusting the wrong people. Now, I’m at the point where I hope it bites him in the ass.

     

    • Angelina and Amber were both sick last week. First it was Angelina and then Amber. Amber had a much milder case than Angelina, thank goodness. She was still sick enough to keep her out of daycare though.

       

I recently discovered a feature of Microsoft Word. I can create an entire blog post in Word and then click a button to have it posted. This is most helpful since we don’t have Internet access in our rooms. Now, I just write my posts, go to the lobby, connect to the internet there, open my post, and click “Publish.” And my post is updated. Yay!

 And in an interesting twist, I typed most of this on Friday and am uploading it on Sunday. So, if any of my faithful readers notice that I’m not linked yet, please link me. J Mille grazie!
 

  • That’s all the random I have this week. If you want more, go visit Keely over at www.theunmom.com.
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