I'm hot, sticky sweet

There are some very neat things about my new work environment. One is that as I sit here at work I'm balancing on a stability ball at my ergonomically sound desk. Another is that if you were to walk to the kitchenette and open the fridge you'd find it stuffed from top to bottom with health food and water bottles. The cabinets are stacked with herbal teas, artifical sweetners, and - for the days you're feeling just a little bit naughty! - no-sugar added hot chocolate. Nary a can of soda or bag of M&Ms to be found in this place. The corportate headquarters is about as health-conscious as you could get. When someone bakes a treat for staff meetings it's a given that bran will top the ingredient list. I'm surrounded by people who are so fanatical about exercise that by comparison I seem lazy.

Which has actually been just the kick I've needed to push me out of my health rut and into a higher gear. Given that I spend every day talking to people about diet and exercise, I've found myself motivated to seriously overhaul my own habits. Which were fine to start with, but are now actually something I'm really proud of. I'm a walking poster child for the food guide pyramid and I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been in my life - I feel great.

But, the more you begin to examine things closely you're likely to discover the imperfections. Hands down sugar is my killer.

Did you know that Silk chocolate soy milk has 32 grams, and that that's equal to 8 teaspoons of sugar? 8 teaspoons of sugar! In something I drink for my health!

It's horrifying. Once you start to really look, sugar is everywhere! I rarely eat candy, never drink soda or other sugar-filled bottled drinks, and don't have dessert very often anymore. So it's disheartening to learn that there are a million ways I'm getting a ton of sugar and I didn't even know it! My whole-grain, high fiber breakfast cereal? Equivalent to 3 1/2 teaspoons! It's just bizarre. I mean, would you ever pile 4 teaspoons of sugar into something and not cringe???!!!

The very worst part is my Starbucks. Now, I knew it totalled about 400 calories. Right now that doesn't really concern me. But want to take a guess at how many teaspoons of sugar are in my morning fix?

Go on, guess.

Did you guess 18 1/3 teaspoons of sugar?!?!?!

You might be wondering if that's enough. If that's finally the one thing - where the money, the calories, and the inconvenience failed to motivate me to make a change - that will finally convince me to stop the madness of the Starbucks.

It's not.

But it does make me feel like a hypocrit when I'm spending my day encouraging people to give up drinking Coke.


All talk

Okay, Bob was nice enough to call me out on the fact that when I pledged to be a better blogger, I was clearly just talking sh*t :) I'm sorry!!!!! I know it's cliche to say I can't seem to find the time, but lately I actually can't!

Take, for instance, today. Today I'm at work on a Saturday. After work I have to go check in on my coworker's new baby kittens, do some laundry, try to get in a little fresh air and exercise, and then fall into bed. Tomorrow our day is filled with social obligations. Next week Hubs goes out of town for a conference and before he leaves I'll see him for about an hour each on Monday and Tuesday night and that's it. Then he gets back on Saturday and on Sunday morning I fly out to meet my family in Nags Head North Carolina for a week at the beach. On Wednesday Hubs will join me there, and we'll fly home together on Saturday.

And then it will start all over again. And by it, I mean The Busy that we can't seem to get away from.

My job is very hectic and fast-paced, and the proverbial honeymoon is SO over. There are parts of it I love, and parts of it I don't love. The commute is a 45-minutes-on-a-good-day nightmare. My dreams of working from home by December are still alive but not well; in fact they're barely producing a pulse given the spike in the sudden interest shown by the more senior members of the staff. There's a chance I could still be competitive for a slot, but the odds were more in my favor when everyone and their brother wasn't vying for the opportunity. The pressure's definitely on, because working from home would fit much better with my plans. Specifically my plans not to sit in rush hour traffic for two hours a day.

What else? I've found a new branch of my gym which I love, and that makes me very happy. It's got a pool, a hot tub, a steam room, a bathing suit ringer-outter *and* plastic bags to transport your wet suit home in!, and a cafe that has yummy smoothies. I still miss the Sports Club in Boston, but this is by far the most comparable replacement I've been able to pin down. Even better, it's very close to home and conveniently located near lots of great shops. The end result is that I swing by there after work most days and float back home on a cloud of chlorine and calm. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. On Wednesdays Hubs even swims with me, just like old times.

My thumb is now down to only a bandaid for protection on most days, and of course a thumb condom when I swim. I baby it, but it's still not 'normal' skin where the stitches were. It's kind of gruesome looking, and the realization has definitely sunk in that it will forever be a deformity that I need to integrate into my personal 'character'.

And who couldn't benefit from a little more character?

In other health related news, early this past week Hubs was diagnosed with strep throat. I've been doing all I can to keep from contracting it. I seem to have a sore throat daily, but I also seem to talk for eight hours a day, so I figure that's just as likely the culprit. I figured I'd be less inclined to talk on my time off since my jobs requires me to interact with people all day long (even more than my last job, despite the fact I initially swore I'd get a less people-oriented job this time around). I find the opposite is true. It's like now I can't shut up. I talk to everyone everywhere, just because I'm in the habit.

As for what's left of our summer, Hubs and I have a laundry list of home-improvement projects we'd wanted to have done by September, but as of today we've made little progress. I think we were a bit too ambitious when we put together our to-do list.

Hero's enjoying his summer too, but this week we've had a few issues with him that I don't even want to talk about because it makes my left eye twitch. Yesterday I picked him up from day camp and looked at his report card as Hero came bounding around the corner, choking as he was being led by one of their unsuspecting attendants. I remarked to the camp counselor behind the counter, "Oh! He was in with the big dogs today?" She looked at me warily and replied, "Yes, ma'am. Your dog is too energetic for the little dogs."

I can read between the lines, lady. Trust me, I know from his energy. No need for the attempt at subtilty.


Who's afraid of the big bad firecracker?

I'm going to become a better blogger. I AM. I miss it.

Thankfully, my thumb is actually... drum roll please... after a month of slow and painful healing... on the mend!!! So that should help. It's still wrapped in a big white poufy wad of gauze, but it's slightly less big and marginally less poufy than it was three weeks ago so I'm thrilled with the progress.

Hubs is in Boston this weekend for a friend's wedding, and I'm broken hearted that I'm not there with him. He's having a great time and visiting with lots of old friends and coworkers, so he's making the most of the trip. Hero and I are holding down the fort, which has been interesting to say the least.

The thing I've learned about Hero is, he's terrified of fireworks. Which makes 4th of July weekend an absolute blast (sarcasm and pun intended). Last night, after a day spent cleaning our house from top to bottom, I gratefully stepped into the shower. Moments later, I opened my eyes through the mist of water to find I was not alone. Hero was with me, curled up in the corner of the shower shaking like a leaf. In the shower!!! I heard the fireworks booming in the distance. He looked up at me with wide, terrified eyes as the water pelted him periodically in the face (and for those of you who don't know, Hero HATES getting wet). His fur drooped over his eyes and curled into tiny ringlets on his head as he inched close enough to be sure he was touching my leg, just in case. I've never seen anything quite so pathetically sad.

Try as I might I couldn't coax him back out - he was not about to leave my side. So I hurriedly rinsed as much shampoo from my knotted hair as possible and turned the water off with soap still clinging to my barely clean body. Poor little guy was drenched but wouldn't be pried away from me. I wrapped him up in a towel and put him in our bed. He was trembling so much that he couldn't even move. His adorable stub of a tail was tucked so far under his legs it wasn't even visible. He hid his face under the pillows and curled as close to me as he could get. He lay there in a tight little ball for the next five hours. About thirty minutes in he fell asleep, and the twitching subsided as his breath evened out. After three hours or so he loosened his body and stretched out a bit. I've never seen anything like it, and I'm dreading tonight. My poor little baby boy!!!!!

Regardless, I may keep the bathroom door closed in the future. It's a little disconcerting to shower with your dog, whatever the reason behind it.