Wow, really that long...

...since I posted last? October 2008? Crazy!

What has changed since then, LOTS! New job, new attitude, kids growing up and I think I have grown up a bit too.

My career path was touched by the economy. I got laid off from Hartford Life in early 2009, was able to go back to MassMutual Group but they transferred me to Springfield, MA which made me absolutely miserable. After 4 months of that during the summer of 2009, I was able to switch industries to Health Insurance and it was the best move I have ever made.
I now have a job with a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group which is local to my town/home so no more driving 45+ miles one way to get to work. My commute is only 5 minutes and I absolutely love that! My salary fluctuated a bit through all of this so we ran up some CC bills but those are slowly fading away.
Career wise, I am in a good place.

Kids are growing and growing. Michael is 16.5, earned his drivers license, was nominated to the National Honor Society & is going to his Jr. Prom in a month - he is turning into a fine young man. He is looking at colleges and is seriously considering the US Coast Guard's engineering program. He is making me very proud.

Matt is turning into his own person - really enjoyed playing Pop Warner Football last fall and can't wait for the program to start up again in July. He is playing Lacrosse this spring and I am his team's "Team Mom!" Not sure what that completely entails as of yet, but it should be fun. The season only lasts through May so it can't be too difficult. Michael is an assistant coach for the team as well so this will be a fun family activity.

I am still married but that went through some really rough patches during 2009. Between the added stress of the job instability and some issues with alcohol (me and him) I am somewhat surprised we made it out the other end. But we did, and it is still a work in progress but who said that all these years would be pleasant ones?

I turned the big 4-0 last year and I feel I have a new perspective on many things. One of them being my weight. I am at a comfortable place with it. I am still in the mid 180's but it doesn't seem to bother me like it did a few years ago. Of course I would like to lose 10-20 lbs, and now that the weather is getting better around here I do plan on getting outside more. So we will see where I take this - maybe just some simple changes will help me in the long run.

I will try to be more active on this blog, and get updates more often. Hope all of my blog friends are doing well and I want to catch up with you too!

Cell phone update

We are not activating Matt's phone as of now. He uses it for games and such that are already on the phone, but we explained to him that 5th grade is the year he will get a phone. Only 3 years away - it will be here before we know it!

Cell phones for kids...

How young is too young for a child to get a cell phone? Michael got his when he was in 5th or 6th grade which was 10 or ll years old. Matt is now asking for a phone and he is 7. The difference is he hangs around with a couple of kids in the neighborhood who are 9 and they both have phones, so he wants one too.

I recently got myself a Blackberry and my older LG Flip phone had some games that Matt plays on it so I "gave" him the phone to play the games and listen to a couple of songs & pictures that were saved to the phone's memory. He thinks it is his "phone" and takes it everywhere. We have explained to him that it is only for games and a few songs/pictures, but he thinks of it as his phone. We explained over and over again that it doesn't have calling on it and he has finally figured that out and is now asking for it to work as a phone.

We have a neighbor who's son is 7 (close to 8) and just got a phone. I have been trying to catch his Mom on the line to find out what was the deciding factor on getting him the phone, but I haven't caught her yet.

Matt has been very careful with the phone and when it is out of his sight he goes looking for it. He only lost it once for about half an hour and turned over his room to find it (he even fixed the room it once found too.)

What do you think?

Something fun
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Saturday cleaning day!

Saturday is cleaning day in my house. I once cleaned the entire house in one day, but that hasn't happened in a very long time. I now pick one bathroom to clean and one other area that is really driving me nuts to take care of.
Today - the hardwood floors on the 1st level of the house and the 1st floor half bathroom. That room sees the most traffic in the house and since I am having family over tomorrow it deserved a good hosing down.
I am a sucker for new cleaning tools too. So whenever I see something new on the shelf at my favorite Target store I usually pick it up to give it a try. Today my two new cleaning tools are:

Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber

I love this little tool!! If you have a stand up shower stall in your home, just bring this little guy into the shower with you and wipe down the glass doors and the walls with ease!! Love it!! It also did a great job on the pedistal sink in my half bath and the outside of the toilet. Even used it a little on the floor around the toilet. At that point the cleaning pad was out of scrub, so I went back to the old faithful Clorox Clean-Up. BEWARE of this stuff. If you are wearing any colored clothing - you will see bleach marks on them somewhere by the time you are done. But it also works great.

My other new gadget is the:

Shark Steam Mop

It was a little pricey at $79.99, but it assembled very easily and before I knew it I was steam cleaning my hardwood and tile floors. It worked well. The bigger & stickier stains took a little extra work from outside sources beyond the steam mop, but the usual mysterious spots came up very well. I felt good about cleaning with steam instead of the "hardwood safe" cleaners I have used in the past. I don't always find them to be so safe and we had the floors refinished earlier this year and I have been on the hunt for a good cleaner.

I figure with 3 men/boys in my house I deserve all the tools I can find to keep this house as clean as I can. I once had a cleaning lady named Veronica. She was nice but didn't speak too much English as she was from Poland. She was cleaning for me for about 2 years and at $100 a cleaning 2X a month - she took $2600 a year x 2 = $5200 + holiday tips from us. She left me last year right before Thanksgiving. Not the best timing for me or her. She bailed right before the holiday tipping season so I am guessing she walked away from about $600 just from our family. She was opening a Polish Grocery Store in New Britian, CT where she lives. If you know New Britain, CT you know that one more Polish Grocery Store would have lots of competition so I hope she is doing well and although I do miss her services I do like the extra $200 in my pocket each month.

I don't have a diet update because I have crashed and burned again. I briefly saw 179 on the scale but then I got hungry, so I am trying things on my own again. I am back into my size 14's and even a few big 12's, so will see how it goes.

181 - ready to break thru

Yea - checked in at 181 this morning. Yea! Can't wait to break through to the 170's - I haven't seen those in quite some time. This diet goes great during the day but at night it is a bitch. I just want to dive into my old vices and toss all the work.

Mike is actually keeping me on track. Yesterday I said I was craving a dish from Bertucci's and he talked me out of it. I yelled at him "you just want a skinny wife" and he just looked at me and laughed a bit. I get cranky in the evenings.

Its hot here!

I can't belive the change - it was in the 70's last week and just a couple of hours ago my little thermostat said 101.4 - in the sun - but that is HOT!! It may not break for a few days too - so we can only just grin and bear it. The pool is open and nice and cool - so we hang out there until the thunderstorms come thru like they are now!

Diet - 184.0 - good progress as I started at 188.5 last Saturday. I was down to 183.5, but I had a few drinks at the Yankee game on Friday night that weren't on plan.

Husband - he's been better but still drinking. Vicious cycle I guess. Stressfull week = beers in the house. He had quite a few yesterday afternoon and he is now searching the house for his cell phone. Lost it somewhere and I ain't helping find it.

Kids are well - baseball almost wrapped up for Matt and football is getting started for Michael - so they are busy.

Just wanted to check in!