Thursday, December 27, 2007

It makes me uncomfortable

when I see people at work going into the bathroom with rolled up newspapers or magazines under their arms.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My first Christmas as the cook

was a huge success. There was way too much food for me and Jeff but then I don't have to worry about cooking the rest of the week.

(Click on the photo to everything we cooked)

All our Christmas photos are on Flickr!:

We tried getting some family photos:

Friday, December 21, 2007

More work at the condo

We did laundry at our new place last night and it was awesome. No walking down 3 flights of stairs, no counting out quarters.

Jeff also replaced the ugly bronze chandelier in the dining room with a black metal and frosted white glass one from Bellacor.

Friday, December 14, 2007

We are ready for the holidays!

Our stockings are out for Santa.

Unless this ruffian scares him away ;-)

Please tell me your husbands do things like this ...

What is this? The lower part of Jeff's back
What mauled him? A pair of scissors
Why? Because it itched and they were there


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holiday Dinner Dance 2007

So, another year has gone by at Lockheed Martin and we had another fun corporate "holiday" party last night. It was held at the Renaissance Hotel in the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

Good food, good friends, some good music. Bad photographer. She had an area set up for professional portraits and she had a plant. She would set up the guy next to the plant and the woman in front of him. In 90% of her photos, she cut off the woman's arm, so she could get the plant in the photo. Thankfully, we had our camera and we took photos of our group.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First Snow


We got our first snow of the year today and it was beautiful. I love watching the big snowflakes drift down from the sky. After you have some on the ground, it lights up everything as well.

It was Smokey's first snow. He was a little confused. Not too much. He went in, jumped around, sniffed a couple mounds and then peed on one. He'd vanquished this new foe.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We are homeowners!

As of today, Jeff and I owe a lot of money to some nameless bank for a condo.

We went there after lunch and did some little stuff there to make it look like ours. Photos are at: .

I am

at the top of the world
and so much more!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My sweet silent suffering baby

Where do I take a complaint about a vet?

Last Wednesday, I took Smokey to the local Banfeild to have his ears cleaned. The groomers had said he was too hyper for them to risk a pair of scissors in his ear canal. They suggested we take him to a vet where he'd be sedated and then his ears could be cleaned out.

So, I did. The doctor seemed nice enough, showed us how we could keep his ears clean of dreads by pulling out hair regularly. They said they'd call me once he was ready, around 3 p.m. I waited till 4 and called them to see if I could pick him up. They said sure.

vet wanted to see me one last time to show me how to clean hisI showed up 20 minutes later and waited almost 4o minutes before Smokey showed up. The ear. He also mentioned that there was a little bit of blood but Smokey was ok.

Here are photos of his ear as Jeff and I found it yesterday. He has so much hair that we didn't see it till I was scratching both his ears on Saturday and noticed that something was off.

The poor little guy didn't even cry about it. Its about a centimeter square piece of ear that's been cut off and is hanging off of the main ear. I am so angry!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Exciting things on the horizon

Just heard:

November 27, 12 noon: Settlement date on the new condo!

Oh my god, we are so excited. We will be in our new house for New Year's. And, we'll get money back from IRS next year, hehe.

June 6, 2008: Jeff's youngest sister gets married, very exciting.

June 2, 2008: 5 day cruise from Los Angeles to San Diego, Catalina Islands and Ensenada, Mexico. Jeff's never been on a cruise and I went with family a few years ago and enjoyed it. 5 days aboard the boat was my limit, so I figured Jeff and I would start off with a small cruise and still get to his parents' house a few days before the wedding to help with any last minute things.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day of grooming


Smokey and I both got groomed today. I got a pedicure, which is a yearly event for me. I also got a haircut, which also might as well be a yearly event. Smokey got fully groomed, bathed, nails clipped, hair cut etc.
My haircut took 1/2 an hour, his took 4 hours.
It's still a tossup on who's cuter!

Day of grooming

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Price is Right

Today was the first day I tuned into The Price is Right, since Bob Barker retired. I hadn't even known he'd been replaced by Drew Carrey. All I have to say is, it's so not the same! I love Drew but he's no bob!

Smokey guarding Jeff's clothes in the shower

Isn't that the cutest thing?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Day 1 fast forward to now

So, a smaller update on the rest of the days since the surgery

October 31st: Did pretty well. I thought I was really conscious all day, stayed up, read a novel, watched TV. In the evening, Jeff and dad came back, after a headache inspiring 1.75 hr drive. Anjuli, Mike and their friend from Australia Jaya visited as well. Now, during their visit, my energy started flagging ad after about 30 minutes, I had to bid good bye to the guests and another hour later, to the family as well. I did get up and go to the bathroom and walk around a bit for the first time since the surgery.

November 1st: I actually felt worse. I could not get comfortable, I couldn't read, I couldn't watch TV, maybe I was suffering from cabin fever. The doctor came and checked me out. They started me on liquids which ranged from passable to ewww don't ever show me that again.

November 2nd: Yay, release day! I wait and I wait and I wait and finally around 2ish, the doctor came for my checkup and declared me ok to go home. I called Brenda and after another hour of paperwork, signouts, IV takeouts etc. I was on my way home!

November 3rd till now: It's gradually gotten better. The first night home, I must have woken up every 1-2 hrs to re-situate myself on my bed and go to the bathroom. Last night, on the other hand, I only got up once. So, a definite improvement. I also drove with Jeff to Dulles last night to take my Dad there. I was a little worn out by the time we came back but overall I felt good at having walked around.

Today, I am awake before Jeff and doing small chores around the house and I feel ok. Here's a photo of me with the balloons that Brenda gave me:

Sunday, November 04, 2007

5 days post-op and still hanging in there

So, I figured it was time for a decent update.

October 30, 2007: We woke up at 6ish in the morning, since we had to be at GBMC - Greater Baltimore Medical Center - at 7:30. The way the scheduled worked was there was a surgery at 7:30 and then I'd be in at 9:30. As we're about 10 minutes away at 7 a.m., I get a call from the hospital asking if I could get there earlier as they could possibly get me in earlier than scheduled. Yay!

We get there t 7:10.

We sign in to the registration area and everything moves really fast; I sign a few papers, I pay my $200 deductible and I am sent to the prep area, with Dad and Jeff. They had me put on 2 robes, one the right way, one the other way so I wouldn't be mooning people, put in my IV, ask me a bunch of questions about allergies and medications etc. As I am sitting there, the lady scheduled for before me walks by and stops to speak to me. They realized that she had taken some medicine the night before that would have interfered with anesthesia and possibly killed her. That's how I got to get in early.

Something I found really cool and hadn't seen till now were mobile computers that all nurses had. They used those to enter all patient data in and it spit out a report that was put in a folder. The anesthesiologist brought the folder over and started going over some things. He said, "So you are allergic to blah blah, blahidy blah, and morphine?" And, my response, "Umm, no, never have been." So, he crosses that out and looks at another page. Says, "So, you are on medication zyrotimoferonium?" (A made up name but since I had no clue what it was, it sounded like that). My reply, "umm, no, never heard of that." Well, that caused an angry moment between him and intake nurse but they got things settled.

The walked me to the surgery room and within 2 minutes, I was out like a baby who'd been give some whiskey. When I woke up, things were very hazy. Dad and Jeff were there, I was moved to my room. I kept saying how there was pain and they handed me my morphine button, mmmm. I sent Dad and Jeff home because I was pretty sure I'd be out of it for a few hours. And I was. They came back at 7 and could only stay an hour because I fell asleep again.

Guess what? Typing all this has tired me out and I'm going to go lounge in a chair watching Jeff annihilate some enemy troops in Medal of Honor.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Am at home, post-op

Some pics up here:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Home inspection

We had a walk through of our new condo with a home inspector on Friday. The inspector was really good, Inspections by Bob . We would recommend him to anybody in this area needing a home inspection. He found stuff we would have never even looked for. He found mud caked onto our furnace and a bag of something inside the furnace door. I would have never opened up the furnace.

Here are some pictures from yesterday's visit: Home Inspection Photos.

We also went to Value City Furniture just to see some sectionals. Our new living room is a really open room with walls on 2 sides only and one of the sides is where the flatscreen TV goes. So, we have to be creative in how we furnish it. We didn't find any sectionals that looked good but we found our bar stools. I had seen this collection, Latte Bar Set. but I didn't want the table. Yesterday, we realized we could buy the bar stools by themselves. So, we did :-).

We also picked up an entryway table. It's white with a samll table that has one drawer for a phone book. On the top is a hutch that has 12 little cubby holes for letters and knick knacks. It was the perfect size for our entryway. I'll take a picture of it next week when I pick it up.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

October 30, 2007 7:30 a.m.

I have an appointment with destiny ... well with the GBMC to get prepped for surgery.

I had my dietary consult yesterday at the surgeon's office where we were gien a [retty comprehensive 10/12 page document detailing what we'll be eating and what we'll be avoiding the first month after the surgery.

Boils down to basically this:

1st 10 days: clear liquids, water, diluted juices and other drinks (sugar free), diluted brother, sugar free jello etc.

2nd 10 days: any food that can be blenderized. So, hmmm blenderized steak and mashed potatoes ... hehehe, no really, I can eat anythign as long as it can be reduced to the consistency of really thin mashed potatoes.

3rd 10 days: introduce solid food slowly. Cut into pieces the size of pencil erasers and chewed on forever, 6 1/2 cup meals a day.

After that, I can go back to 3 1 - cup meals a day with 2 1/2 cup snacks in between.

Some of you might say, if you did that now, you'd lose the weight without the surgery. Yes, I would. Except my body won't let me. If I tried this as a diet, my body would go into starvation mode, hoarde the fat, burn muscle and eventually crave food so badly that I would eat anything in sight.

12 days and counting ...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

1, 2, 3 done

Have you ever had a day where everything just goes right, specially when a doctor's office, a diagnostics lab and an imaging place are involved?

I did, today. The surgeon's office had sent me a list of pre-op things that needed to get done before the 25th of this month and I was getting worried. So, I dropped in at my primary physician's, thinking maybe I could get his prescriptions for all the lab work and get it done next week.

I get there at 3:45 p.m. and sign in. The nurse calls me up in 5 minutes and immediately takes me back for my E.K.G. As I am leaving her office, I ask if I can sign in at the lab and she informs me that the doctor has to sign the slip first for the lab that closes in 3 minutes. But, after a couple minutes, she tells me to go to the lab anyways and that she'll bring the slip in.

At the lab door, I knock and even though the lady is technically done for the day, she takes the 3 tubes of blood they asked for.

I go in to see the doctor and there is no wait time. He checks my vitals, signs a prescription slip for a chest x-ray. I run out of there to the imaging place and sign in. Not even a minute after I am done registering, the technician comes out to take me to the back.

As I was leaving the lab, I checked my watch, and it was 4:45.

One hour to get:

- an E.K.G.
- blood work for 3 different labs
- doctor's visit for a general health and history check
- chest x-ray at a different location

Not bad at all!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Surgery: an update

After receiving numerous emails form family and friends, worried about the decision I have made, I have to update my post.

Your concern #1: Repurcussions of this surgery are very serious.
My reply:
Yes, they are. I won't be able to drink or eat certain foods for a few months after the surgery and I'll have to control my diet seriously after that. And, that's exactly why I made this decision.

Trust me, I have consulted with my primary physician and the surgeon made me attend numerous sessions with a councelor. This was not a decision made lightly after a bad night.

Your concern #2: There are so many risks involved.
My reply:
Yes, but the risks get compounded as you get older. I am at an optimal age right now for this procedure. I am young, my body can heal itself faster. The longer I wait, the longer Jeff and I put off the decision about having children. That creates it's own complications as you get older.

Your concern #3: Why can't you try alternate methods? Wire your jaw shut, exercise seriously and so on.
My reply:
I have. I have tried every method possible and it did not work. It is a more permanent change than wiring my jaw shut or sending myself off to fat camp somewhere. Whereas in other types of surgery like the gastric bypass and stomach stapling, you can make it possible to overeat and reverse the effects, in this surgery, your stomach is permanently reduced in size, as is the small intestine. That works in dual ways; you eat less and your body absorbs less.

Some of you might say, if the final result is to eat less, why not just do that?
Because, it's not possible to do what this surgery will let me do. When you normally starve your body, you sufer from hunger pangs. Eventually, your body hurts you enough that you start eating whatever you can lay your hands on. You know what I am talking about.

With the surgery, my body will be full after lesser food. No hunger pangs. Of course, I can binge eat; but instead of the possibility of a lapband slipping or staples opening and my stomach returning to it's original size, I will just make myself very, very sick.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Life altering decision

A few months back, Jeff and I made a decision together that'll have some major changes on our lives and lifestyle. We made the decision for me to get Bariatric Surgery. The procedure that I am going to have is called the Roux-Y procedure. You can read about it at this website, which is also the doctor who'll be performing my surgery.

After going through years of fighting weight gain and trying anythign and everything possible from simlpy excercising to being on a physician monitored diet and weight loss program involving prescription meds, I have tried it all. Remember Herbalife? I did that. See the Nutrisystem ads? I did that; ask Autumn, the food does not look as good in real life as it does on TV.

With everything I tried, I lost the fight after a couple of months and gained all the weight back. I got to a point where I felt really low and if I hadn't had Jeff in my life to support me and to push me through everything, I am not sure if I'd be a drunk right now or majorly depressed but I wouldn't be as optimistic about life as I am. And realizing that suddenly, I am letting this weight problem define who I am, affect how I see myself and really affect my appreciation of things I enjoy - dancing, amusement park rides, swimming in the ocean - I decided to take a radical step.

And it wasn't a step taken in a minute. I have spent the last year with a good friend who had the same procedure done by the same physician. I have spent the year elarning about all the treatments available and the side effects and possible repurcussions. I have spent the year debating the pros and cons of the surgery with Jeff. I understand the risks but to me, the risks of not getting it done right now and taking control of my life are higher.

Initially, the insurance denied our claim for the surgery because I couldn't prove that I had been obese for the last 5 years. Apparently, in the year 2003, I didn't make any major doctor visits. A healthy year overall. After 2 levels of appeals, I got a phone call today from Jeff's corporate benefits letting me know they were allowing an exception in my case.

So, now the whole World Wide Web knows and all I am waiting for is the surgery date. Wish me luck.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Panic attack

So, when my laptop started acting up a few months ago, I decided I needed tos ave all our wedding photos form India, my school work from MI etc. I started moving all of this over to Jeff's computer.

A week later, my computer gave me the blue screen of death. No worries. JEff reinstalled Windows, software, drivers and we sold it.

Yesterday, I realized I never retrieved my iTunes folders. About 10000 songs, among them some old and some not so well known that I don't have the CDs for anymore. Gone. All gone.

I am upset.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We're an all Mac family

Yes, I've sold my Dell laptop and now we are a 100% Mac family. We also just bought the new iMac.

I love the 24" monitor. I can design in Dreamweaver and see my changes show up without having to switch between windows.

I love the skinny keyboard.

Above all, I love the new design of the keyboard; less chances of food getting under the keys.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Burgers for lunch, crabcakes for dinner

We're living big today!

I made crabcakes for the first time today. I will put it on my recipe blog the next time, since I am going to do it from scratch. Today, we found a pre-mix seasoning packet from Old Bay.

I added some garlic, minced and powdered onion. We had them on burger rolls with tartar sauce, wasabi horseradish, tomatoes, onions and lettuce. We loved them!

Case of the missing Baklava

When I went to sleep last night, this is what I left in the kitchen:

When I woke up this morning, this is what I found:

I do remember Jeff saying to me in the middle of the night, "Please don't make any more baklava, sweetie."

Friday, September 07, 2007

The condo

Update: Our floors were pulled up and we got to check the whole place out today to make sure there was no mold. We found none. So, hopefully they'll get the floors redone soon.
Our pavements are in and the retaining wall is up. Yay! We didn't get a lot of photos but they're at

Orioles vs. the Red Sox

We took my Dad to his first ever baseball game. It was a beautiful night for a game.
He seemed to enjoy it. Jeff explained most of the rules and nuances of the game.
Jeff and I enjoyed it as well. We had seats in the first row of section 344. So, we had to deall with the bars but we had good leg room and nice view.
Close enough to get some nice shots of the players.
Orioles park has this cool feature: Designated Driver. You sign a thing saying you swear not to drink any alcohol, you get a wrist tag and 2 free drink vouchers for non-alcoholic drinks.
Orioles lost 7 to 6 but it was an awesome game. More pictures at: my Flickr page.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Delayed construction

Last week, they ran water through the pipes to test them and there was a leak somewhere. They're going to replace all the florring and pull out the bottom quarter of the drywall and redo it to make sure there's no water damage underneath and no chance of mold growing.
More pictures from our last visit to the codo are HERE!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Believe in Global Warming, and do something about it!

Think Global; Act Dingell!

Please go to the site and sign the petition for Congressman Dingell from MI to take some strong actions as the Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Read more about this effort at:
Homeless Dave

If you haven't yet, also watch Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and read my review.

Monday, August 20, 2007

These are a few of my favorite lists ...

I have just realised that my brain works best with lists. Lists for running errands, lists of deadlines for work, lists of things to be done before we move to the new condo ...

I now have a list of

- all furniture that I need to find a place for in the condo and even the measurements
- all the kitchen appliances that need to go in the kitchen
- the things we still need
- projects needed to be done before we move in
- projects needed to be done after we move in and whenever we have money

I am sure these lists are going to increase in number as the day gets closer. It's already making the panicky feelings of not being prepared recede a little.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cabinets and floors down in the condo

Yay! Jeff and I stopped by the condo today and we have cabinets and floors everywhere!

Look at the photos here!

Monday, August 13, 2007

My dream ring! Update: Story behind the ring

The first ring that Jeff proposed to me with on July 4, 2005 was from Daniels Jeweler's online. I picked out somethign economical with a princess cut center diamond which I wanted. I also didn't want any small diamonds around it or on the wedding band but to go along with the cheapest ring found, I took the baguettes that came with the center stone. A few weeks after I got the ring, I woke up in MI to find one of the baguettes missing.

I emailed the company, very angry and they refused to refund the money. They offered to exchange it at one of their stores. After driving 2 hours to the closest store, we picked a ring that was ... eh, acceptable. Neither one of us were in love with the ring or had any emotional attachment to the company.

One day, last year, at Helzberg diamonds at Jeff's mall, we saw a trillion cut solitaire ... 1Carat @ over $5000. Out of our price range but the diamond wowed us. I tried it on and we both loved the way it looked and the uniqueness of it.

And, finally, we have a ring we both like, love and can live with. And, it doesn't have those pesky tiny little diamond chips on the sides.