1.29.2008

to do :: this week

normally i'm not what you would call "busy." instead, my busyness comes all at once, as these things tend to do.

as i age i'm finding it harder and harder to remember things. and if i don't forget, then i remember too well, to the point of anxiety. the easiest solution, of course, is to write it down. problem is, i have three calendars and keeping them all up to date is a task in and of itself.

so, what does any sane person do? make another list in a completely different place ... here ::

  • smog check; pay car registration
  • pay mortgage
  • pay property tax
  • buy packing tape
  • get gas
  • mail tagE*blankEs to customer
  • return one of ian's christmas gifts to amazon (sorry, K, we decided to return it after all)
  • mail back rupert's old cell phone for e-cycling
  • mail in rebate for my new cell phone
  • mail gift to friends' new baby
  • mail survey for follow-up to pre-natal study
  • make another tagE for separate customer; deliver tagE after maya's rie class
  • training session at gym
  • get groceries
  • work on pta newsette; get newsette printed; deliver newsette
  • work on invitation order; deliver final products on thursday
  • ian playdate @ park on wednesday
  • watch and return netflix movies (quincea├▒era, waitress); watch and return library movies (the saddest music in the world, hoot)
  • read and return library books (the mysterious benedict society, when asia was the world, auralia's colors, blink, the palace of laughter)
  • finish up sample for mini-book class; send out class info/invite
  • make more tagEs for the coming month
  • keep going to the gym!

1.27.2008

week 3 weigh-in

i feel like i'm getting into the habit of eating better and actually wanting to exercise. this is big, folks. seriously, i haven't felt the need, desire, or urge to exercise in years, and yet, here i am, feeling bad for not working out for a few days. and i'm constantly talking rupert's ear off about this excerise or that exercise.

i'm not necessarily going to love the activities i engage in at the gym, but i know i'll feel better afterwards. most things don't come easily to me :: when we worked out with the trainer she had us on the treadmill and it was awful -- i hated it; my abs are completely useless and crunches are nearly impossible; and sometimes those last two reps of weight-lifting cause me to make crazy grimace-y faces. after it's all said and done, though, i feel like i've accomplished something. i'm moving forward. i'm ready for the next workout. i feel good.

our third meeting of the fitness challenge was sparsely attended. i didn't think i did that well since the dieting felt a bit off (i.e., eating too much), but i lost another pound. that was enough for me to "win" the weekly weight loss challenge. i won myself a pair of dumbbells, which is great because i was just thinking about buying some to do simple weight-lifting at home. and ian can use them too, so he'll finally stop complaining about how weak he is!

1.25.2008

why i {heart} trader joe's

one of many reasons ...

they were giving away their red reusable grocery bags today. it somehow made me happy to see customer after customer leaving the store with shiny, new red bags.

1.20.2008

girls' night out

girls_night_011908 002
a rare occurrence :: just the girls (sans my aunt) getting together to have dinner, just 'cause. my cousin L (back left) and cousin-in-law SA (front right) drove up from orange county to join us at beacon in culver city. it was an enjoyable couple hours of laughter, eating, and catching up. just what we all needed for the new year. hopefully this will become a semi-regular thing ... otherwise we never see each other!

almost spoke too soon ...

the plumber came again yesterday and i was prepared for the worst. that anxiety was all for naught. sure, the laundry, shower, and kitchen pipes all lead to one pipe to the sewer line -- it's not the ideal plumbing set-up -- but at least we can take care of it if it backs up again.

what i was really worried about was the puddle of water under the house :: did we have a major leak? was the foundation being compromised? would we have to replace the piping? did our home inspector miss something major when we bought the house? the plumber's assistant crawled under the house and checked out the pipes and found nothing wrong, thankfully. and the puddle from two days ago was gone. the plumber's educated guess :: the water heater leaked water all the way under the house and it stopped once the water heater was replaced.

it still cost a lot to snake the pipe from the outside; double what the other pipe snaking guy charged us. it didn't bother me that much, though, as i did two loads of laundry and didn't once hear the gurgling in the shower drain, or smell the sewer in our bathroom. sometimes it's worth the price just to get the problem resolved ... after two years of suffering!

1.19.2008

xmas mini-album sneak peak

i'll be teaching a christmas mini-album class in the very near future. time + place tba. click on the mosaic to see bigger sample pictures.

xmas mini-album sneak peak
this is a 6x6 mini-album with a transparency cover. students need to bring 6~10 christmas or winter-themed photos, family holiday card(s), and any embellishments or ephemera (such as ribbon or gift tags from gifts, ski lift passes or business cards from a trip). i will provide all other materials.
no worries if you've never scrapbooked before. the class is geared towards all levels of scrapbookers :: the design is simple + easy enough for beginners, and more advanced scrappers can add embellishments and details to suit their individual style.
the class fee is $15, and it should last about two hours. i intend to teach this class at least twice, once at my house and another time at a friend's house. if you know you're interested, please leave a comment here (or email me) and let me know general times + days that work for you (i.e., weekend days, friday nights, etc.) so i can schedule classes in the next month or so.
here's a variation on the album ::
knott's berry farm mini album

week 2 weigh-in

i told myself not to be concerned with how much i lost, but to instead concentrate on getting healthy and learning better life habits. the first week of the fitness challenge is over and i feel pretty good about the progress i've made. i'm working on controlling portion size and snacking; i worked out regularly; i tried to get more rest; and i drank more water than usual. now, to continue this for at least two more weeks (they say it takes at least three weeks for habits to stick) ...

we had our second meeting this morning where we measured our progress on the scale. i lost 1.2 pounds. not bad. i'm wondering if i could've done better if i had worked out everyday and not eaten apple pie + ice cream on friday night! rupert cautioned me to slow down and not push my body too hard, lest i injure myself. but it's really because he's afraid i'm going to get so fit i'll easily kick his ass. ;)

week 2's challenge :: incorporate stretches into our fitness routine + getting rid of junk food and cravings.

1.17.2008

when it rains it pours

things are breaking left and right around here. we are in need of repairs up the wazoo and i am vigorously writing checks for this repairman or that repairman.

first it was my car battery. luckily, the aaa service guy replaced it right in my driveway, but that convenience costs money. then it was the oven ignitor and sensor. of course, there's our beloved dslr that had to be taken in; who knows how much that's going to cost to fix/replace.

and then there's the plumbing. there seems to be issues with the plumbing every time i flush the toilet. last fall we had to replace pipes in our front yard because of tree roots clogging them up, which was causing our bathtub to not drain (the roots were so bad the roto rooter man's snake got stuck in the mess and it took him hours to free his equipment). most recently we got some leaks repaired. but that wasn't the original problem i called the plumber for. because i am the fumbling, accident-prone person that i am, i broke off a part of the toilet's inner workings. luckily my plumber never pushes unnecessary repairs so he thought the toilet could work without that piece. so far it's working okay, but that's another potential problem waiting to happen.

and, because everything has to go wrong at the same time, our water heater is leaking. rupert noticed a pool of water in front of the water heater closet outside on sunday. at first we thought it was a rainwater puddle from the week before, but upon closer inpsection we could hear water running and see trickles of water pouring onto the brick patio. my mother-in-law's plumber came today and his estimate to get a new one installed is $850. oy. i pray that rupert is not reading this post because this will displease him greatly. it figures the price of water heaters went up at the beginning of the year ... why couldn't it have started leaking in 2007? yeesh!

and our last plumbing problem i hope will get remedied today is the disgusting back-up in our shower every single time we run the washing machine. not only have we not been able to use that shower stall for at least a couple of years now, but we have to rinse the shower and air out the bathroom constantly because of the nastiness.

it would be wonderful if that were the last of our problems for awhile. somehow i'm not too optimistic. did i mention before how sometimes it sucks to be a homeowner? yeah, i thought so.

quick pages

i'm trying to get into the habit of working on a layout everyday. i may not finish it, but just doing something creative each day helps me to constantly think creatively, to look for inspiration, and to be happy.

here are a couple of layouts i did quickly with some photos that have been lying around forever.

aww_1105
scraplifted from page 70 of the november/december 2007 scrapbooks, etc.

mothers_day_0503

feeling the burn

yesterday was day five of the fitness challenge. and i've been good :: eating better (a little bit) and working out five days in a row. it wasn't vigorous activity everyday, mind you, but i was moving.

having a fitness buddy has made all the difference in the world. not only do we encourage and motivate each other, but i think we guilt-trip each other into getting out of the house to exercise. and besides having to log in everything we eat, telling each other our food consumption always makes me think twice about that extra bite i'm tempted to take.

a couple of days ago i joined the gym P belongs to. it's close to our house and P made sure i got a fairly good deal. rupert wasn't mad i joined (we're on such a limited budget right now), but he declared he would be mad if i didn't go. more pressure to keep this up.

i was slightly sore from the first night at the gym, but then P had to go and invite her trainer buddy to join us last night. i got worked! i used muscles i didn't know i had ... or i knew i had but they're hidden so deep under my fat that they're virtually non-existent. i couldn't help but laugh at some of the things she asked me to do :: "are you serious? you want me to do that?!" i did them, though. maybe in my own feeble, weak way, but i did them.

and i'm paying for it this morning.

1.13.2008

this could be the year

i haven't worked out regularly since the end of 1998. yeah, you heard me right. it's been 10 years since i've moved my body on purpose, not because i had to, but because it was good for me.

things have got to change, seeing as i've put on more weight lately and my blood pressure has gone up too. my friend P invited me to be her fitness partner (or "accountabilibuddy") in our neighborhood fitness challenge, which started yesterday. it's a 10-week program organized by a couple of neighborhood women who want to share fitness and nutrition tips. the participants will put in $20 and at the end of the 10 weeks whoever loses the most will win the pot.

i actually don't expect to lose too many pounds. at best, maybe a pound a week. but i do want to learn healthy habits. today is only the second day but i'm already finding that the daily exercise and food consumption logs are helping. i'm more conscious of what i'm putting in my mouth and the amount of activity i'm engaged in.

it's probably a good thing that P is already more fit and active than i am. she'll no doubt motivate me and push me to try harder. i'm not sure what i'll bring to our fitness partnership but i hope our 10 weeks will be fruitful.

1.08.2008

new layouts

i have a stack of layouts that are partially done and my goal this month is to actually complete them so i can put them in albums.

friends_til_the_end_edited_0907
this layout is from a few months back when a bunch of our friends got together for lunch at el gringo in hermosa beach. the patterned paper is from ki memories.
seasons_greetings_left_1207seasons_greetings_right_edited_1207

these are not aligned correctly but it's a two-page spread of the holiday cards we got in 2007. i used a square punch to cut out the photos and some holiday accents from the cards. i used to keep all of the cards we received but i have to accept the fact that i cannot keep every single card we receive for the rest of our lives. so this is a compromise of sorts :: i get to keep the essence of the card but it doesn't take up too much space.

1.07.2008

ants in my pants make me want to do the boogie dance

actually, they may be in rupert's pants.

ants have been raiding our house the last couple of days. i think the rain has driven them indoors. which is annoying and disgusting since they arrive in droves and keep on coming. yesterday they were in the kitchen and this morning rupert found them in his sock drawer. yuck.

there is no "i" in "team"

it seems that every other thing in this house is breaking/broken. yesterday the hot water stopped running. rupert, being the stresser that he is, was on the verge of freaking out.

but, we worked together and re-lit the pilot light on the water heater and all is well again ... at least with the hot water. it was nice to figure something out together and take care of it instead of paying someone else to do it. (granted, relighting the pilot light is not a big deal, but i was proud of us nonetheless.)

current items in need of repair ::
  • toilets (plumber coming today)
  • dslr camera (sent out for repairs yesterday)
  • shower plumbing
  • lawn
  • cracks in ceiling
  • patio bricks
  • etc. etc. etc.

as much as i love our home, sometimes it sucks to be a homeowner!

1.05.2008

two-oh-oh-eight

2 0 O Sutton Hoo site plan 8

a little late but happy new year, people! hope your new year's festivities were just that :: festive.

i am flabbergasted that the holiday season is over ... i am stunned that 2007 is over. i hate to sound clich├ę-ish, but where did the time go? what did i do in those 365 days?! not a lot comes to mind, but i loved that i got to travel in 2007 and that i started "exanding my business." despite that -- and not to be a monday morning quarterback -- i probably coulda done more.

i feel like i'm living with some regret about how i spent last year. a year from now i don't want to feel the same way. so, i've been inspired by ali edward's one little word idea and i'm choosing DO as my word for the year :: do something. do anything. just don't do nothing!

some things i intend to DO ::

  • simplify
  • enjoy
  • give
  • listen
  • create

here's to goals and new beginnings!

1.04.2008

26 months.

maya 26 months
maya @ 26 months :: january 4, 2008

  • while watching bits of "pirates of the caribbean: at world's end," she identified davy jones as tako, japanese for octopus.
  • her current favorite movie is "monsters, inc." and "toy story 2 ("buzz! buzz!")"
  • much to my chagrin, she has been carrying around the ugly doll i had hoped to keep for myself. she calls it "dah-yee."
  • her bedtime routine is getting longer and more difficult since she doesn't want to go to bed ... i speak of this as if i am suffering but it's rupert's job to put her to bed so it's not my problem. ;)
  • it seems totally wrong -- but somehow appropriate -- that all of maya's hanukkah gifts were dvds while ian's were books.
  • she has picked up the very nasty habit of nose picking ... ewwww!
  • she got sick randomly with the stomach flu. it was her first time vomiting and it was not a pretty scene. oddly enough, after that she vomited a couple of times in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.
  • she's a complete natural at playing the drums.
  • first trip to SF for new year's. during the new year's party at our friends' house she dropped a whole plate of lemon bars on someone's coach purse. yay!
  • stringing more words together into sentences ("already kissed mama," "dada do it," "i want one"), and she'll say some more words in japanese, but usually either the first or last sound so you really have no idea what she's saying.
  • starting to memorize right foot and left foot.
  • more potty time (with daddy) ... she's now peed more times in men's bathrooms than in women's bathrooms. when she tells you she needs to go shi-shi she usually does go in the toilet. bathtime also seems to trigger unchi (poop) in the toilet.
  • sings songs ... sort of.
  • figuring out how to use the dvd player; she can also properly handle dvds ... most of the time.
  • when she hears the toaster "ding!" she automatically shouts out "waff! (waffle)" and confiscates the waffle from whoever toasted it.
  • i have been giving her "good bacteria" pills for her digestive tract and she just loves them. when she asks for one, she says, "i want five" but holds up all ten fingers. still have to work on the counting ... (and a whole lotta other stuff)