Sandie Simply Says

December 31, 2008

HASAY: I’m jumping in!

Filed under: General,HAYSAY,Weight Loss — by Sandie @ 7:18 pm

I know I’m late to the party on this one, but I’m jumping into HASAY with both feet this week (well, maybe I won’t actually start until next week).  Casey tells me that my first assignment is here.  So, here goes!

1. What motivates you and why do you want to do this challenge? It may be that you’re training to run a 10K or merely just to be able to walk to the mailbox and not break a sweat (don’t worry, I fall on this end of the spectrum).  Hmmm…what  motivates me?  I’d have to say it’s a challenge or competition.  Also, knowing that I’m accountable or have to “report in” to someone else helps.  So, I guess that’s what I’m hoping to get out of this…that spark of a challenge.  We recently had a biggest loser competition at work.  I did really well and lost 20 lbs (a little over 13% of my starting weight).  I came in second to a guy who lost 14% of his weight.  That ended right before Thanksgiving and since then I’ve managed to put about 5 pounds back on.  I’m hoping joining HASAY will give me that kick I need to lose those 5 pounds again and the additional 5-10 pounds I want to lose to get to my pre-Angelina weight.



2. What is your long term goal? Do you want to lose weight or just tone your body. Are you trying to fit into your old prom dress for your upcoming reunion? Do you want to want to “pump yourself up” like Hans and Frans? Spill it.  I guess I already entered my long term goal above, but I’ll restate it here: lose 10-15 pounds and I want to do it by April 4.  Why April 4?  That’s Amanda’s quinceañera and I want to look smokin’ hot in front of the ex-wife (petty, I know!).  My secondary long term goal is to earn an Excellent score on my PT test for the Air Force.  That means I need to shave 2 1/2 minutes of my mile and a half run.  I can do this.  I hope.

3.  What is your long term weight loss goal? You don’t need to tell us your current weight, just how much you’d like to eventually lose. This can be in weight or inches. Jamie and I have a sewing tape measure that we use for our weekly measurements. We got ours in the sewing section at Wal-Mart, if you look at Target, you won’t find it.  I guess I should have read these questions better before I started answering because I keep answering the questions before they’re asked!  So, for the answer to this question, see #2.

4.  What tools are available to you? Treadmill, elliptical, jogging stroller, ThighMaster, Trampoline. Maybe a rabid dog to chase the weight off?  Tools?  Well, there’s the treadmill in my living room.  It has a nice layer of dust on it now.  I also have just about every piece of equipment known to man available at the base gym.  For free.  And multiple classes available to me.  Again, for free.  And then, I have all the tools of my Weight Watchers program available, of course.

5.  How often can you exercise? Be realistic here but try to make as much time as possible. This might include stepping AWAY from the blog for a couple of nights a week. I know, *gasp*. I’m crying on the inside too but it needs to be done. Fatty. Ok, that was mean and it won’t happen again. I promise.  This is where I really have no excuses.  I get 90 minutes, three times a week to work out.  During work hours.  I can’t really use the “don’t have time” excuse.  I can use the “I’m way too lazy” excuse though.  Starting Monday, I’m going to once again take advantage of my free gym time.  Three days a week I’ll be at the gym 30-60 minutes.  I’m going to do the Ab Lab class at the gym on Monday and Wednesday.  It’s a great class.  I don’t know why I stopped going and I’m going to regret it when I go back.

6.  What do you plan on doing? Beer curls, switch the remote to the other hand for a few days, start smoking more. Maybe you want to actually exercise and start eating better? I hear that never works but go ahead and try if you want.  Darn it!  Did it again!  Well, for the exercise portion, see above.  For weight loss, I’m going to start journalling again.  I’m going to journal every day, no matter how poorly I’ve eaten that day.  I use e-tools at for my journalling.  I love it!  And I’m going to try to get back to Weight Watchers meetings.  I need to figure out what day/time I can go and then stick to it!

7. What has worked for you in the past? Let us in on your secrets, what has worked for you before and how you went about it. We won’t tell.  This one’s easy!  Weight Watchers has been working for me for 7 years.  Finding the motivation to stay on plan is what has been hindering me.  That’s where ya’ll come in.  Instead of slapping that cyber-donut out of my hand, you need to ask me if I have the points for it.  But not until Monday.  Monday I get back on the wagon.


December 30, 2008

Spin Cycle: Resolutions

Filed under: Spin — by Sandie @ 11:10 pm

This week’s Spin Cycle is about New Year’s resolutions. Specifically, what our resolutions are this year.

This one was hard from me. I don’t think I’ve ever created a New Year’s resolution. Ever. Seriously. I guess I just never saw the point in creating a list of things you say you’re going to do (or not do) in the coming year that you end up not doing (or doing) before January is even over. So, I visited a couple of my favorite blogs to get some inspiration. If any of the things on my list sound familiar, well it’s because I’ve blatantly stolen them from either Deb or Casey. 🙂

1) I resolve to give up cut back on my Diet Coke intake.  I don’t know what has happened, but my two Diet Cokes a day has suddenly grown to a 6-pack a day habit (sometimes more!).  I justify it because I still drink quite a bit of water (most days), but I really need to cut back.  If for nothing else, it’s expensive!!  Over $3 for a 12 pack (and that’s on sale!) and we go through at least 3 a week!  That’s almost $500 a year JUST on Diet Coke (and that doesn’t include what we drink at restaurants, etc).

2) I resolve to help out more around the house.  I used to be a good housekeeper.  Somehow, that’s all changed over the years and my husband has taken up the majority of the slack.  It’s become a bit of an issue in our marriage, so I’m going to work on it.  This one will be hard for me because I abhor cleaning!  I can think of 10,000 things I’d rather do than clean!

3) I resolve to spend more time with my kids and I want to start by reading with them every night.  I’d been reading with them, but somehow let other things get in the way and haven’t read with them for longer than I can remember.

4) I resolve to work on my relationship with God, starting with reading my Bible more often then Sunday mornings at church.

5) I resolve to FINALLY lose the last few pounds of baby weight leftover from when I had Angelina and stop eating so much junk (like the TWO Toblerone bars I just ate!).

I think that’s it.  Let’s hope I can stick with them.  Maybe we should do a monthly check in or something to see if we’re following through!

December 27, 2008

Gotcha and other stuff

Filed under: Step Life — by Sandie @ 12:00 pm
Tags: ,

I discovered this great feature on WordPress. I’m sure other blog hosting sites have it, but I just noticed it here. I can choose when I want a post to be published! Isn’t that great? I can write a post at say 11pm on Dec 26 and have it post at noon on Dec 27. So, I decided to trick all of you into thinking that I wrote a post on Saturday, when I really wrote it on Friday night but didn’t publish it until the next day. I’m actually somewhere in Texas or Lousiana and won’t have internet access for hours. Gotcha! Oh wait…I guess I just told you what I did. Ooops!

This is the time that’s always bittersweet for me. I’m happy to be going back to stay in my own bed, but incredibly sad to be leaving part of my family behind. And every time I find myself wishing we lived closer and hoping against hope that just once the needs of the Air Force could meet up with my needs.

We went to see the movie “Marley and Me” tonight…er, I mean last night. There is a scene when Jennifer Aniston is talking about marriage/kids/etc and she says “Nobody told us it would be this hard.” That’s how I feel about my family. I knew entering into a ready-made family wouldn’t be easy. I knew it wouldn’t be all Brady Bunch and roses. What I didn’t expect was this big hole in my heart. The one I walk around with most of the year. It’s only filled when I have all five of my kids under one roof. I knew I’d love the girls, but never expected to love them this much. Never expected the incredible hurt I’d feel every time another visit ended. Nope, nobody told me it would be this hard.

Oh and a quick water heater update: Tony and I decided Christmas night that we’d loan MIL the money for a new water heater (though it was only a loan to make her feel better, we really weren’t expecting her to pay us back). We went to Lowe’s today to price a few water heaters. That’s when I found out the darn thing had a 9 year warranty. I’m not sure why nobody thought to call Whirlpool to enforce the darn warranty! I went in search of warranty information and found a troubleshooting guide. We went as far as we could with the troubleshooting guide and ended up calling in a plumber. Turns out, no licensed plumber has ever looked at the darn thing either. So, the guy comes out and says we need some part that costs $4.16 and they charge $75 an hour for labor (and I don’t think this part will take more than an hour to install). Yep, you saw that right…my MIL has been without hot water for 8 months over $80 and all because she didn’t want to call in a professional. Hopefully, MIL will be able to get the part installed on Monday.

December 26, 2008

The Christmas Guest

Filed under: Step Life — by Sandie @ 11:07 pm
Tags: , ,

Picture it: It’s Christmas Day and the kids are excitedly getting ready to open their gifts. Then Ashley’s cell phone rings. It’s her mom. I hear Ashley tell her, “We’re opening Christmas presents.” For most people, well normal people, that would be a signal to say, “OK, call me back when you’re done.” But no, she keeps Ashley on the phone for at least another 5-10 minutes. And then utters the famous words we all know are coming: “When are you coming over?” This was followed by another phone call about an hour later: “What time are you going to be here?”

Some background information: Tony and I have been married almost 10 years. In that 10 years, we have spent THREE Christmases with the girls (including this year). All three of those were spent in Laredo. And now all three times, it’s been a shared holiday. They spend part of the day with us and part of the day with their mom and because my husband generally takes them over there and stays while they open gifts, HE spends part of his day over there, as well. The only other time we get to spend with the girls is 6-8 weeks in the summer and an occasional spring break (though that hasn’t happened since Alyssa was in kindergarten because the girls’ spring break is a different week then Alyssa’s). To break it down, on a good year, the girls spend 70 days with us and 295 days with their mother. And that’s only if they are with us 8 weeks in the summer, a week at Christmas, and a week for Spring break. On a normal year, they spend 49 days with us and 316 days with their mother (and don’t even get me started on how somehow the courts find this not only fair, but “in the best interest of the child”). She gets 87% of they year with them. Can’t she let us have one completely undisturbed holiday?

I’ll admit, sharing Christmas didn’t bother me much in the last two times this happened. This year, it really bothered me though. Maybe it’s because the girls are getting older. Ashley will be 16 this spring. Last summer, she wasn’t sure she wanted to come for 6 weeks this summer. She wants to go to summer school and then she has band camp (which starts 3 full weeks before school starts!). Our time with them is already precious enough. The last thing we needed was their mom to show up, uninvited.

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 9:40 am

Not sure how many people will be out reading blogs today, but just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you all!!

Tony and I are getting showered, dressed, etc. and then we’re headed over to MIL’s house for the general mayhem over there! Wish me luck!

December 24, 2008

The list

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 10:18 am

It’s Christmas Eve. I’m supposed to be happy, cheerful, or otherwise enthralled with the Christmas Spirit. Instead, as often happens when we visit my husband’s family, I’m irritated. Rather than run down the litany of irriations with my husband and probably causing a big argument on Christmas Even and ruin EVERYONE’S day, I’m going to type them all out here and get some release!

1. The hot water situation. Almost a year ago, my MIL’s water heater went out. It wasn’t a HUGE deal in the summer because it so freakin’ hot here that the outside air alone heated the water some. But now it’s DECEMBER and the temps have hovered near the freezing mark some nights and she STILL has no hot water! Tony and I are staying in a hotel with whatever kid wants to come with us that night, so it’s not a big deal for us, but my 4 neices and nephews (ranging in age from 3 to 13) live with my MIL and have had to put up with this for the last year. I have no idea what has prevented her from getting it fixed other than she doesn’t want to call the gas company to have them turn off the gas (that’s what she told me was holding her back when I stayed with her one night last summer…I hope it’s not money because we’d GIVE her the money to get it fixed). And I sit here completely torn because part of me thinks that living with no hot water for nearly a year is CPS-worthy, but on the other hand I hate to get them involved. For starters, I know CPS is very busy with cases of much worse harm being done to the kids. And I’m afraid if they get involved, they may force the older two kids to live with the dad they can’t stand who has floated in and out of their lives for the last 13 years. It’s a very long story, but the short version is he legally has custody of the older two kids (the younger two have a different dad and their parents gave my MIL guardianship AND he’s still very much involved with his kids) and has allowed them to live with my MIL (well, the “allow” might not be the right word…the kids have outright refused to live with him and would give him a world of headaches if he ever pushed the issue).

2. Late nights. My MIL has apparently never heard of bedtimes. As a result, NONE of the kids are on any sort of bedtime schedule/routine/whatever. All of the kids are frequently up past midnight (even on school nights) and since my kids stay with her while we’re here, they fall into the same routine. Problem is my kids don’t sleep in. It doesn’t matter what time they go to bed, I can guarantee they’ll be up by 7, 8 at the verylatest. So, we get to deal with the overtired kids, while she goes to work. Normally, this doesn’t bother me as much as it has this trip. Maybe that’s because we went shopping late last night (to avoid the crowds at the grocery store) and came home to find MIL in bed with the rest of the kids running around the house, including my 2 year old who was up well past her bedtime. Actually, I take that back, ALL the kids weren’t up, my 4 year old was sound asleep.

3. Welfare fraud. Although this one isn’t really just welfare fraud, it’s a general sense of dishonesty amongst some of my husband’s family and friends. Example: my MIL gets food stamps and WIC for the younger children. She routinely doesn’t use everything every month (though I don’t know how this is possible), so she’ll use her foodstamps or WIC vouchers and then give the stuff away. My husband thinks she should sell it and he has the audacity to get upset with ME when I tell him that either scenario is welfare fraud (he says: “What else can she do?” I say: “Um, how about just NOT use it?” And then we have our friend who is getting food stamps and housing assistance by lying about her husband’s whereabouts (she told them she didn’t know where he was or where he worked and I’m pretty sure she told them he gives her no money). She’s hanging by a thread even with the assistance (at least part of it is her own doing though), so when my conscience kicks in, I have a hard time dealing with it. Part of me thinks “turn her in” because we all know it’s wrong, but then I worry about what happens to her three kids if she loses the help. My husband, on the other hand, has no trouble sleeping at night.

4. Trying to do too much. This is a big one for me and probably has to do with different perceptions on our parts. I think that when we come here it’s to visit Ashley, Amanda, MIL, and whatever other family we may be able to see. My husband thinks it’s so he can get together with every single friend he’s ever had who is still here. And he’ll make plans to see them, even if it means giving up time with HIS girls. The girls he only sees 2-3 times a year for a grand total of 10 weeks (and that’s on a good year). We stopped in San Antonio for ONE NIGHT on the way down here. We got into town around 4 pm and stayed with his aunt. He immediately starts making plans to see another friend of his and his cousin to do lunch on Monday (actually he originally wanted to do dinner, but I told him we were NOT getting to Laredo past 6pm). We ended up not being able to even do lunch because we woke up late that day. He, of course, was ticked off at me because I nixed the plans. Silly me for thinking time with his daughters would be more precious than time catching up with friends (or a cousin who couldn’t be bothered to come to Laredo for Ashley’s quinceanera last April, but I digress).

5. And finally, my husband acting like an ass. I told ya’ll we went shopping late last night. We’d actually planned to go a bit earlier than we did, but found out at the last minute that Amanda had tumbling practice and on the way back from there Ashley calls asking about dinner. She “couldn’t figure out” how to place an order for pizza (don’t get me started on this one!), so we swung by Pizza Hut to place a carry out order (and spent 45 minutes waiting on it). By the time we get there, he’s tired. I’m trying to be patient with him because I know he’s tired, but at the same time I wish I would have just gone by myself. I would have been better off for all the help he was. His only saving grace is he didn’t ask for sex when we got back to the hotel as he normally would have done. I probably would have gone postal on him last night had he done that!

Ah! That’s so much better! Now I can put on my happy face and try to enjoy the next two days here. Hopefully I won’t have a breakdown making Christmas dinner!

December 23, 2008

The definition of insanity

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 9:00 am

They say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, expecting the same result. Tangent: Did you hear about the guy in Missouri who legally changed his name to “They”?  Apparently, he wanted to give a face to all the times people say “they say.”  Now every time I say “they say” I think of him, so I guess it worked! Tangent over, now back to your regularly scheduled post.  I have decided the real definition of insanity goes something like this: “Let’s go to Laredo this Christmas.” “OK.” “Let’s drive!” Um, yeah, WHAT WERE WE THINKING!?!? 

This was no quick trip…it’s approximately 20 hours from door step to door step.  We thought we’d covered all the prerequisites:

Video player? check
Plenty of movies? check
Snacks? check
Other things to do? We forgot that, but bought them at our first stop, so check!

We even set the seats up so they weren’t sitting on top of each other. The hope being we would have less arguments. And we left at 4am thinking they’d sleep for the first few hours of the trip. We were wrong on both counts. They were all awake before we got out of Georgia (it only takes us 1 1/2 hours to get to the Georgia/Alabama border from our house). Great.

It wasn’t long before the arguments started. It’s my turn to pick a movie! Tell her to stop looking at me! I don’t want to share whatever-the-hell-one-of-them-has-that-the-other-don’t! I was pulling my hair out before we left Alabama.

The baby has become somewhat of an escape artist on this trip. She has figured out how to pull her arms out of the shoulder straps. It didn’t matter how tight I thought I had those straps, she STILL figured out how to wiggle out of them. So, all the way across Louisana we played a game: she wiggled out of the straps, I crawled to the back and put them back on, lather, rinse, repeat (so maybe we really did meet the definition of insanity!).

Finally, after 14 long hours, we arrived at our first destination: Beaumont, Texas. Of course, the GPS didn’t have the right directions for our hotel. It took us an hour to find the place (I even called the hotel and was given some horrible directions from the desk clerk). Day two wasn’t much better than day one, except this time the baby decided she was done about halfway to San Antonio. We stopped and let her stretch her legs a bit, but boy was she mad when we put her back in that seat! She screamed for about 45 minutes. Loudly. Amplified by the fact that we were in an enclosed space.

Thankfully, the 2 1/2 hour drive from San Antonio to Laredo was largely was uneventful. We were dangerously close to leaving one or all of our kids at a reststop along the way (I’m kidding! Sorta. No really, I’m just kidding!).

December 17, 2008

Thirty minutes

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 9:53 pm

What can you do for thirty minutes?  Watch a TV sitcom.  Flip through a People magazine.  Bake a cake or maybe some cookies.  Read some blogs (and maybe even work up the nerve to comment on a few).  Or my personal favorite…listen to your toddler scream because she doesn’t want to go to sleep.

And the worst party is listening to the “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” coming from her and feeling like a complete failure as a mother because you’re letting her down by not rescuing her from the depths of her horrible crib.

I knew this was coming.  She was sick for a little over a week, so we were letting her fall asleep on the couch.  We’d then move her to our bed to keep her close.  I tried a couple times to put her to sleep in her crib, but Daddy would always rescue her (he was tinkering in the garage tonight or she would have been rescued by him early on).

She’s been feeling better now, so I decided tonight was the night she started sleeping in her crib again.  I waited an hour after her bedtime to make sure she was sufficiently tired.  I carried her to her crib, kissed her and laid her down.  I practically ran from the room, nearly killing myself on the way, only to be greated by blissful silence.  Yahooo!!  I gave myself a quick high-five.  I did it!

I quickly learned she was merely taking several deep breaths to gear up for the screamfest that was coming.

And she screamed for 30 minutes.  And almost as quickly as it started, it stopped.  Finally, she is sleeping soundly!

Now, if I could only get Angelina to sleep!  She’s been playing the How-Many-Thing-Can-I-Think-Of-To-Get-Out-Of-Going-To-Sleep game for almost an hour.  She’s on her fifth trip to the bathroom.  I know she doesn’t really need to go, but at the same time she’s not 100% nighttime potty trained, so I can’t take the chance.

December 10, 2008

In the beginning…

Filed under: Spin — by Sandie @ 7:52 pm

This week’s Spin Cycle assignment (brought to you by is to tell how I got started in blogging and the story behind my blog’s name.

How did I get started?  My friend Tina started a blog, that’s how.  I’d heard about blogging, but until Tina started blogging it was something that lonely people with no friends did (and we just won’t talk about my message board obsession, hmm K?). Or celebrities who think we actually care what they have to say.  After reading Tina’s blog, I became intrigued.  And because I like to do everything Tina does (I even had another baby just so I could have 5 kids just like her…OK, I didn’t really, but Tina is seriously my idol), I starte my own blog.  The first few months, I was gung ho and blogged nearly every day.  Then, as life got in the way, my blog entries got further and further apart.  Then I discovered that my friends Debbie  and Ginger  had also started blogging and it reinvigorated me.  I moved my blog to wordpress (which I find MUCH easier to use than and started blogging again.  I’m trying to be more consistent now (but as you can tell, it doesn’t always work out) and I’ve started venturing out to read other blogs (sometimes I even comment on them!).

How did I come up with the name for my blog?  I held a contest.  Though, I guess it wasn’t much of a contest since I only had one reader at the time and therefore only had one entry.  But I liked the name, it fit, and was much more creative than anything I could come up with at the time!

December 8, 2008

You know you’re a mom when…

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 9:31 pm
Tags: ,

I frequently read the “New Moms” message board at  The “New Moms” is a bit of a misnomer though.  The board was originally called “Calling All Moms” but WW changed the name a few years ago.  Many of the “oldbies” stuck around despite the new name, so there are moms of all sorts on the board.  Every couple of months, somebody will start a thread titled “You know  you’re a mom when…” and then expect the thread to be filled with things that moms endure (attending a business meeting with spit-up on your suit, cleaning up puke at 2 am, etc).  We had one of those threads just a couple of days ago actually.  By the way, these posts are almost always started by a relatively “young” mom.  And by “young,” I mean they still have fairly young children not that the mom herself is young and many of the people who post to it also still have fairly young children.  Nothing wrong with that, except the threads often end up turning into who has endured the worst event to earn their “Mom” badge.  One mom posted the best ever response on the thread the other day though: “I knew a was a mom when the baby came flying out of my who-haa.”

So what brings this to mind?  I had one of those moments today.

Amber turned 2 last week.  Today was her 2-year well baby check up.  I picked her up from daycare right as they were getting up from their nap.  She was rather quiet on the ride over, but I figured it was because she’d just woken up from her nap.  We get signed in at the doctor’s office and sit in the waiting area.  I’m texting my husband because I want to know why he’s not there yet.  I thought she had to get shots today and I’ve had to hold her down for shots EVERY time she’s gotten them in her young life and I think it’s only fair that HE gets to hold her down at least once!  Well, that’s when it happened.  Out of nowhere, she spews peaches all over the waiting room floor and couch.  Luckily, I have those quick mom relfexes and was able to direct most of it away from me.  I was pretty proud of the fact that none had gotten on me (I was in my blue uniform today, not BDUs, so this was important).  Of course, I had nothing to clean it up, so the angels behind the desk came out and cleaned it all up.

We get back to the exam room and the nurse informs me Amber needs to have blood drawn today (just a finger prick).  Of course, my husband isn’t there yet.  So, I get to hold my poor, sick baby while the nurse pricks her finger and then squeezes it until she gets enough blood to do whatever test they need to do.  This whole time, I’m praying that she doesn’t throw up again while simultaneously holding her in such a position that if she DOES it won’t be on me and cursing my husband for not being there (funny story: he went to the wrong clinic.  Didn’t even realize it until he went inside and they told him Amber wasn’t a patient there (Alyssa and Angelina are patients there though.).  FINALLY, my husband shows up and I pass her off to him (he didn’t wear blues today).  I turned around to grab something and he says, “What’s that on your skirt?”  Yep, that’s right, spewed peaches.  All over the back of my skirt.  Lovely.

And the best part?  Turns out she didn’t need shots today.

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