Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cardio Blast

Yup that is the name of the two hour session I did today! It was great! We did cardio-kickboxing and then we started on the cardio-core workout. However that instructor was a bit less organized than our kickboxing instructor, and so we ditched the class and went to the track. We ran/walked a little over 1 mile. I can feel it in my legs now as I sit here and type away. I am going to be sore as hell tomorrow. Actually I might be sore as hell tonight! But I wouldn't have it any other way.

My only problem is that I can't see any results. I mean my jeans are fitting better and my muffin top is slowing un-puffing itself. I look more like a mini-muffin than one of the full sized ones, but still it's really hard to tell.  I couldn't tell ya' if the weight is coming off because I am afraid of the scale.

See it lies to me. If I move it to one room, it reads one thing. Move it to another room. Totally different weight. And I am not talking about ounces here. I am talking a full 5-8 pounds difference. Now for someone who is training, ok trying to train, for a triathlon and in a local Biggest Loser Competition (BLC), I don't need that type of fluctuating scale. I need accuracy. I need positive reassurance, not taunting numbers. So I just stay the hell away from it!

Last night though I got a bit of reassurance from a friend I hadn't seen in two weeks. She is our third member of our BLC team. She said she could see it in my waist area and in my face that I was losing weight. She said my face didn't look as round. Shit... I didn't realize I had a moon pie face to begin with. Apparently my cheeks round out when I am a bit on the chubby side. The point: someone noticed all my efforts.

That is a reward all by itself. I won't lie. I need the reassurance. I can't see the difference. I CAN feel the difference. My wobbly bits are a bit less wobbly. My endurance is better. I can get through more of the cardio-kickboxing without a break. But I need/want to SEE the results. I want to start to look like my kickboxing instructor...ok that might be a far stretch but I want to look better not just feel better.

Maybe I need to take a before picture and then I can compare it to an after picture. That might really help to "show" me the changes that are taking place. I have the numbers they gave me when they did my initial weigh in, but I am not crazy about those numbers. So I am kinda ignoring them.  The running further and lasting longer is helping but I need more motivation. I need to experience greater results. I think I am going to set up a workout/training schedule. That might get me where I need to go... trained for this triathlon.

How do you notice changes in weight loss in your body? What helps to motivate you when you are trying to achieve a goal? Any training tips or workouts you would like to share would be great.

There are two of us training for the triathlon sprint this summer, and we are also going to cram in a half-marathon. I think. I might be overambitious with that one.

Any help or info welcomed!

Money 101

Warning....the following post is going to sound a lot like a bitch session. Language can will be slightly foul.

So if you've read my last post, Lessons in Fiscal Responsibility, you will know where this is coming from. Without having to recap to much of that post, I am teaching trying to teach my daughter some financial responsibility. That said, apparently I should keep my day job because I am failing epically. Oh shit wait! I am a teacher by trade, so what does that tell me? 

Anywho, let's pick up where that post left off. Her January cell phone bill posts to my account. Now remember we are living overseas. Her cell plan isn't half of what we had in the states and it costs about the same as one of the higher end plans by Verizon. There is NO unlimited texting to all cell phones, only to those in your same carrier. There is NO unlimited calling except to those in your same carrier. There are also charges per call for calling land lines. Of course as with any cell plan, go over your allotments and get raped on charges. Truthfully it's a shitty plan, but it's what they have here and it's what she agreed to. Wait! Did I mention that you don't get a paper bill, going green bullshit, and I can't get them to update my email so that I can get the emailed bills? Also, in Germany when you sign for these contracts they automatically deduct the payment from your account. Yea... it's friggin' awsome! So back to the story... the bill posts my account. $262 DOLLARS. Yup big text and all. I too choked when I saw it. Her bill is usually around the $100 range. I was like WTF??? FUMING! So I try not to flip shit on her and simply asked her what the hell happened? She was wide eyed and flabbergasted at the amount. Not to mention that she knows how much she already owes me. We'll get to that later! So I ask her "what the hell are you doing with your cell phone that you are racking up charges in the amount of $262 dollars?" Of course.... as you expected, she has no idea. Actually she thinks it's my cell phone that racked up those charges. So I call the cell carrier and confirm that indeed it's hers. So what now?

Well I'm pissed! To add insult to injury she walked in the other with $30 yoga pants and a new shirt. WTF?!?! I asked her where she got them from... so-and-so bought them for me. Really???? REALLLY???!!! Oh my dear! I am ready to strangle her! So I took a more logical approach. I need to teach a lesson...lesson...lesson...lesson. I keep repeating it because it keeps me from smacking her upside her head, and at 16 that approach is not very effective. So I repeat...lesson...lesson...lesson.

The lesson in money management. That is the lesson. 

I go to my handy dandy Xcel and create an invoice. Oh did I fail to mention she has been friggin' going haywire with her iTunes purchases as well? Yup that too is accumulating. So I create a very official business-like invoice. I included Decembers cell bill, all the iTunes that she has purchased since the cell phone bill posted in late December and then added her January cell bill. Here is the lesson part. Wait for it...wait for it. Late charges!!! Hey if this were a real cell phone bill, they would have cut it off already. Since I can't do that and not have a boat load of penalties, this is the next best thing. 

I added a 2% interest charge to all of December charges which are now past due. Granted it was only three bucks but it's the point. If you are going to play with the adults then you play by the adult rules. 

I haven't sat down and explained the invoice to her, but I will. My husband, who is in other parts, agreed with this plan. Now let's see if we can get it to work. Maybe the fact that she owes $472 between two cell phone bills and iTunes is enough to jar her ass back to reality. Maybe she pick up more shifts at her work to pay it off. I may go down and still take the money from her account. Am I relieving her of the responsibility of paying her bill? She is still "out" the money, but if I get it myself then she didn't really pay it. I don't know. I am confused and talking in damned circles. I just need her to understand that financial responsibilities should not be taken lightly. Ever. 

It's frustrating as hell, and I hate being the bitch. However, I feel like if I don't do it now she may never understand what it is to live within your means. I love her to pieces and being the only girl she really is my princess. But I have to do right by her and this feels like tough love. Am I wrong? Am I doing the right thing? Comments and suggestions are always welcomed. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lessons in Fiscal Responsibility

Probably the most rewarding and most frustrating job in the whole world is being Mom. Its has to be one of the few things you can do in this world that can take you from the highest of heights to a basket case of tears all in the same hour. My kids are no exception to this.

My sixteen year old, La Princesa, as my husband calls her, truly believes that we live simply to grant her every wish. Mind you...being the only girl, I am sure we have cultivated the Princess factor, but still.

A perfect example is how she recently took money from my not so secret stash. Really? The best part was she didn't tell me and she did it when I was out of town. But I usually know exactly how much is in there and after counting it several times the other morning I knew something was awry. Sure enough Princess had acquired the need for a new hair color, and Mom was easier than her own bank account. So she took what she believed was community money, not sure here. WTF? Really? Yes I am a bit incredulous because I thought I raised her better. Never mind the fact that she has a job! She makes her own money. Stop taking mine!

So I text her and phrase it so there isn't much room for a lie. I didn't ask her if she took money, I asked her how much did she take. Its all in the way you phrase the question. Thankfully she didn't lie (it has happened before) and she told me that she had "borrowed" some for her hair and a cab. However, she was going to give it back as soon as she got paid. Riiiigggghhhttt....and the check is in the mail.

So I decide to check the status of her account and I go to the bank. Because she is a minor we are both on that account so I have access to the information as well as the money. And guess what?  If you were thinking she was BROKE you are right!  The kid had $13 to her name. No small wonder she took my money. And I know that it sounds like I am bitching about the money, but I'm not. It's the principle of taking what is not yours. The feeling of entitlement that she has, that somehow her need for highlights was more pressing than anything I could be saving the money for, which incidentally is for our family vacation this summer. Her boldness at not asking if she could borrow it was startling.

To make matters worse, she has a past due bill for her cell phone (December's bill) and iTunes expenses. How much? Oh the whopping tune of $186 dollars. Of course her bills come out of our account to insure payment since we are the contracted individuals for the phone, but she was hell bent for leather to have an iPhone plan which here in Germany is about 60 euros a month ($79-85). So she negotiated with her dad and agreed to pay us back the monthly bill. Again, not about the money but about teaching children fiscal responsibility. At least that is what I would like to teach her.

I'm not sure I am doing a great job of that at all. Maybe I need to teach her a lesson in wage garnishments. I could go down and just relieve her of the burden of her paycheck, which should be in the account on Thursday. I could teacher her a lesson in repossession and take her phone away. Oh hell! That is funny! She might need life support if I pry that phone away from her. We tried it as punishment, ONCE. Emphasis on the ONCE. Because she HAS NOT gotten near trouble that deep again to provoke the NO CELL PHONE type of punishment.

I just want her to be a responsible adult who pays her bills on time. But then again, look at the lessons our government spending is teaching the world. Spend, spend, and then when the money runs out, spend some more. I would like to think that I set a better example at home.

Considering that January's bills is due in two days, and I still have not seen December's payment- I would have to say that I am not doing so hot with this one. Not so sure how to proceed on this one.

How do you teach a 16 year old to be money wise? How do you teach them to pay their bills on time? Suggestions welcomed.

A BCS Move (blog change of station)

Not really life altering, but blog altering. So there I was thinking of ways to improve my blog and make it more user friendly for my readers and me. I thought I would sort my blogs by topics. GREAT IDEA! *crowd cheers* Guess what though? Blogspot/Blogger doesn't have the capacity to do that. You can create pages...and I did. But then I realized that they are static. Meaning I can have one entry on it, not multiple entries like you can on the home page. Lovely!

Now my options are to continue as is, after I invested all the time and effort in making my blog feel right. OR I can uproot my blog and move it to another hosting site. Which means re-doing the entire blog and it not looking the same. Not feeling the same.... basically PCS-ing my blog for you military folks. You know how long it takes to settle in after a PCS (Permanent Change of Station). will take me that long to settle in after a BCS (blog change of station).

Uggh... its frustrating, and I am at a loss. Of course the more I post on here, the more I am going to want to just leave it here. Figures.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Renaming the Blog

So I feel like I need to rename my blog. Not because I don't like the name but more because I feel like it narrowly defines who and what I am about. Yes I am a mom, and damned proud of that! However, it isn't the only thing I am about, and having a blog name that has the word Mom in it seems so narrow. Am I wrong? Am I over thinking this? Its not like a have hundreds of followers. Hell I just hit double digits and I think I am subscribed to my own blog. Pathetic. Either way I want to rename it. I have a few ideas that I am tossing around.... let's see what comes of it.