2013 2014 2015
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

April 30, 2013
I didn't wake up until 6:30 AM. Again, the plan was to wake up at 5 AM for a date with the treadmill. That didn't happen! Surprise, surprise.

Although no one made fun of The Boss's outfit I got a fair share of the Class 4 beat-down. I overlooked - hadn't even considered - validating the system before our meeting today. It wasn't because I was being sloppy. The system had been up and running since October 2012 and we'd validated that all was good. Additionally we've tested and validated every change made to it since go-live. It was an honest mistake (that will never happen again). But still, I didn't deserve the tone or the look he gave me. I didn't deserve for him to get all BSC (Bad-Shit-Crazy) on me. Especially not in front of my peer. Quite frankly I am getting sick of it. I bust my ass way too hard, too much. I'm too dedicated. He needs someone like the last analyst to run the project to realize that I am not half as bad as he made me feel or think today. I think it's time I drag out that bucket of Fuck-Its and use them until they are gone.

I am ready to get home. Today was just too shitty of a day. Days like today make me realize that this shit isn't worth the time away from The Family.

April 29, 2013
I never made it to the treadmill this morning as I had planned. But I did have a huge ass lunch at Hacienda that I didn't plan on having! Looks like it all worked out well.

Once the work day was over The Boss and I walked over to Park Meadows Mall. He was giving me a hard time about buying stuff and I told him that I wasn't going to buy anything. Well, he totally out-bought me. First, he was only looking for a dress shirt for his presentation tomorrow. We went into Express Men and I flagged down a dude to assist us. Before The Boss settled on the shirt that the dude picked out he asked, "The guy was gay, right?" I laughed. I knew exactly what he was asking.

"I assume he is. He looks like he is. So I'm sure he knows what he is talking about."

Then he decided he wanted a pair of dress pants to go with his new shirt. When we left the store he told me if anyone made fun of his outfit tomorrow he is going to give me a Class 4 beat-down. He said although I didn't pick out his outfit for him I was there to supervise therefore it would be my fault if anyone makes fun of him. I guess I'll just have to wait to see what happens tomorrow.

April 28, 2013
It is 1:40 AM and I am starving like a mofo. I popped two more pills in a desperate attempt to ditch The Migraine. It is definitely a bit more manageable now but I really want to send her a packing! She has definitely overstayed her welcome.

* * *

I woke up at 7 with no signs of The Migraine. Looks like she got the point. I flipped her the bird when she returned for a goodbye kiss. She reared her nasty butt and left. She better not come back!

I wasn't very productive today. It didn't help that I had to pick up The Boss from the airport at 3:30 PM. It was about 4:15 PM when I dropped him off at the hotel. That's when I decided to stop by the Outlets at Castle Rock since it was only 15 minutes away. I totally spoiled myself! Wouldn't you agree :
Maisee Xiong - Impulse Buy - Coach bags   - computer bag
- purse
- wallet
- travel bag

I also bought myself two pairs of shoes :
     - covered toes
     - peep toes

The Son got two pairs of denims from Ralph Lauren Polo. I think The Daughter is the one who got the short end of the stick for this trip. I think I only bought her 1 thing. I'm sure she won't mind as I know she will love what I got her.

* * *

I finally checked into the hotel, sorted through everything and now I'm laying in bed thinking I should be asleep if I want to get up at 5:30AM so that I can log some bonding time with the hotel's treadmill. Good-night ya'll!!!

April 27, 2013
I woke up this morning with my migraine in tacked. Suck balls, as my Sys Admin would say. I still decided to get on the treadmill and managed to get my regular workout in.

I also brought along a set of workout clothes and running shoes. I plan to keep up with my workout while I'm in Denver. I can't let the hard work from the last two weeks go to waste. April is nearly over and I'm 0.4 ounces shy from my -1.0 a month average.

I'm on the airplane now, on my way to Denver. I almost didn't make my flight. I thought I gave myself enough time to quickly stop by work and pick up a gluten-free cinnamon roll from Wheatfields for my Sys admin, but that apparently was not the case. I had 40 minutes before my flight time when I got to the check-in desk. Then the heavy-set TSA dude wouldn't let me get to the front of the line. Rules are rules. By the time I got through security I had 10 minutes to spare. Then 5 minutes to spare as I got in line for the B group to board. Thank goodness Epply Airfield isn't ginormous! I wouldn't have made it on my flight if it was!

* * *

I made it to Denver and I'm glad to report that my bag made it as well. Since I checked in 40 minutes prior to my flight the Southwest lady had informed me that it wasn't guaranteed my bag would make it on the plane. If that happened it would go on their next flight out to Denver. "We don't guarantee it but the crew is usually really good about it," she assured me. So when I saw my bag pop out onto the luggage belt, I has happy! Great Job, Southwest!

* * *

Super embarrassing moment! Before I get to that, my friend and I went shopping all day. We went to Colorado Mills Mall and spent the majority of the day there. It was a huge mall! In the evening, we drove south to pick up another friend and stopped off at the Outlets in Castle Rock. It was during this leg of shopping that The Migraine decided to greet me with her unwanted presence. What a bitch! I didn't have any meds on me. By the time we got home I was vomiting shit I had eaten well over 8 hours ago (now that's a way to get skinny - kidding!). My friend, Nicole, totally felt sorry for my ass. I'm sure she was definitely thinking, "This bitch better not die on me. I need her brain to help me with SSRS reporting." I totally didn't think The Migraine deserved that kind of attention. Again, what a bitch. Aside from the attention, I hated that my friend saw me at my weakest and saw the one thing that could and would cripple me. I hate that. I hate people seeing me like that. UGH.

April 26, 2013
The Husband and I took the kids fishing this evening. No luck. The kids got bored quickly. In a way, I think it was for the better since I still haven't packed, the laundry isn't done, and I still have a pile of dishes in the sink to clean. And yes, The Husband could tackle all of this while I am gone but there is no reason to make things more difficult by leaving him a mess to clean when he has got both kids. Ain't I an awesome wife? :)

And look at The Husband being an awesome dad! The things she can get him to do for her.

Maisee Xiong - The Husband painting The Daughter's toe nails

I hope that my new phone will be waiting for me when I get back next week. My boss has finally decided that it's time I get a company phone. It just means he'll be able to get a hold of me wherever, whenever he wants to. Still, I can't wait. I'm getting an iPhone 5. I can finally get rid of my iPhone 4, which at the moment the home button doesn't work half the time and the back is being held together with tape! My contract had been over of a while now but I just didn't care to replace it as I was still able to make phone calls and what not.

Next, it's time to convince my director to pass on her iPad to me since she got the new iPad mini. She asked me at one point if I wanted it but she hasn't come through just yet. Really, I don't need one though.

April 25, 2013
I wore my Hmong Pencil Skirt into the office today. This outfit will definitely be a repeat outfit and I can't wait until July 4th to go back to MN to look for another skirt. I'm not looking forward to the price though. I guess I'll just have to brush up on my negotiating skills.
Maisee Xiong: The modernized Hmong in the office   Maisee Xiong: The modernized Hmong in the office  

Some funny stories to share:

Let's start with The Daughter. About a week ago, The Husband told me that while he was watching the kids, The Daughter apparently cupped her butt and then said, "Jesus Christ, I really need to go poop." It was a bit hard to believe. Then yesterday as she was adding another lollipop into the bucket of treats she says, "Jesus Christ, we sure have a lot of candy." I did a double-take and then asked her to repeat herself. And sure enough, I heard exactly what I thought I heard! I guess I should be glad that she knows how to use "Jesus Christ" correctly in a sentence.

Now to The Son. Yesterday, The Husband took the kids with him to Burlington Coat Factory. One of The Husband's cousins work there as a seamstress. At one point The Husband hears the cousin talking and the notices that The Son had stopped walking, dead in his tracks. So The Husband continued to look at The Son to see what was going on. The Son stood quietly for about a minute or two and then says, "That person talking is Hmong." The Husband asked him how he knew that. His response was, "Cause that person said 'aws' and my Mom says 'aws' and my Grandma says 'aws'. So that person has to be Hmong." The Husband and I laughed so hard.

BTW, The Husband was at Burlington trying to find dress clothes for his new job. He is required to wear a tie to work. He went from a company that has a lax dress code to a company that required casual dress, and now to a company that requires him to dress up and wear a tie. He went from one end of the spectrum to the other within a 6 month time period. It made me a little sad that he stuck to Burlington when I'm doing Banana Republic and Ann Taylor. It's not like he can't do any better than Burlington. He just doesn't want to and is settling. I told him that since he has a job that requires him to dress up that he needs to look just as good as I do. Ha ha. I'm going to have to put some effort into filling up his closet with that he really deserves.

Speaking of Ann Taylor, I should share this article with you guys: I think I've Officially Aged Out of Bebe. Here is a piece taken directly out of the article that I couldn't agree more with:
Obviously trends have changed, and thankfully so has my taste level. I remember the first time I walked into an Ann Taylor store to find a "good pair of slacks" as my mother calls them -- never just slacks, or a pair of pants, but "a good pair of slacks." I thought the place was were old ladies went for their boring life uniforms. Now I'm one of them. But come on, what's there NOT to love about a good sheath dress or some pants that cover your booty valley?

The other day I asked a friend, "I mean, is it just me or has Ann Taylor gotten waaaay more cute?" We looked at each other and laughed. Because it is just us. We've changed.
Here is another article: How Not To Be A Dick To Your Short Friends. Now this, I can totally relate to.
As a woman of minute stature, I've been called "feisty," a "firecracker," and a "tough little cookie."

* * *

Weight: 113.2, -0.2 since April 1, -3.4 since January 1. I've been working so hard just to get down to where I was at the beginning of April. Insane. Five days left to go. I wonder if I'll be able to make my -1 average for the month. We'll just have to wait and see.

April 24, 2013
Weight: 114.0, +0.6 since April 1, -2.6 since January 1.

April 23, 2013
Maisee Xiong: The Daughter nappingI wish I can just forget about everything and take a nap whenever I want to! She fell asleep watching YouTube on her iPod. And when it came time to wake up to get ready for dance practice she did not want to be bothered. She was really mad that I woke her up.

The Husband is finally home and I can now recover a bit after having The Kids all to myself while he was in Southern California enjoying the hot weather. It is totally not fair. I do get to go to Denver this week but the weather there is nothing compared to what he had. And my trip isn't for pleasure. It's for work. I guess I should just be glad that no work will take place over the weekend while I am there. But then when Monday and Tuesday rolls around I will have to mingle with hot shot lawyers. How fun! I hope the sarcasm came out.

* * *

Weight: 113.8, +0.4 since April 1, -2.8 since January 1.

April 22, 2013
Weight: 114.0, +0.6 since April 1, -2.6 since January 1.

April 21, 2013
I didn't wake up this morning until 10. No kids. No husband. I had the whole king bed to myself. At one point I was sleeping parallel to the pillows. It felt great! As soon as I woke up I went for a morning walk. I didn't decide to run the cul-de-sacs cause my legs were pretty sore from the Friday and Saturday's walk/run. I may get on the treadmill tonight if The Kids will allow it. Or I might do some weight lifting. Not so sure yet.

I just experimented with the soft-shell crab and it was quite delicious. I'll have to make it again tomorrow as the coconut milk I used only has a 2 day shelf life in the refrigerator once opened. I did buy some papaya and green mango while I was at the Asian store. Perhaps I'll make papaya salad and stuffed chicken wings when The Husband is back from Southern California.

* * *

Weight: 113.4, +0 since April 1, -3.2 since January 1.

April 20, 2013
The Kids helped me make waffles this morning. It is starting to become a routine to have homemade waffles for breakfast. The Daughter and I are both hooked on them. Then again, it does put the waffle iron I purchased to good use. I'm totally getting my money's worth out of it.

I'm thinking that my next purchase will be a NuWave Infrared Oven. I saw a similar oven in action and was rather impressed. Since the kids want to spend the night at Grandma's house tonight, I might stop by Nebraska Furniture Mart to see if they have any and pick one up. Then I can experiment making stuffed chicken wings tomorrow when I have the house all to myself. Tonight, I will experiment making the crab dish my brother's girlfriend made. Except, I will be using soft shell crab instead.

I'm totally starting to see a trend here. I stayed at my friend's house while I was in Colorado and I came home to purchase a waffle iron. I stayed at my brother's girlfriend's place and I came home wanting to purchase a NuWave oven, which I know I will eventually buy one. Owning a juicer seems to be in my near future as well. Horrible! What is even worst is that I don't settle for good-enough either. I have to have great quality products. Not top of the line great, but definitely not low quality either. It does kill the budget at times. But honestly, I think it's worth it. Take my KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer for example. I spent a fortune on it and nine years later, I still have it and it's still in great shape.

And sheet pans? I don't even bother with the stuff from Walmart anymore. Go to Williams-Sonoma and pick up this Clearshield Nonstick Half Sheet Pan. That thing will not warp or rust and will last forever - I've had mine for at least 7 years. DO NOT buy the Durashield line of sheet pans and cookie sheets from Williams-Sonoma. In my experience, they warp. And I don't know about you, but when I'm spending $15 or more on a single sheet pan I don't want them to warp. If you want something more affordable with excellent quality, you can also go to a restaurant wholesale supply store. The aluminum sheet pans there don't warp or rust either. They are much lighter compared to the sheet pans from Williams-Sonoma but are just as good. I have a couple that I purchased from Hockenbergs here in Omaha and love them just as much as the ones from Williams-Sonoma.

I will continue to share more later. Just know that you will want to cook more if you have great quality products to work with.

* * *

Weight: 113.8, +0.4 since April 1, -2.8 since January 1.

April 19, 2013
Maisee Xiong: Sous Chef The Daughter

My little Sous Chef The Daughter. She is helping me make banana bread for The Husband. He usually doesn't request for anything and pretty much just eats what I make. But this time, he specifically asked me to bake some banana bread. It was my pleasure to comply. And lately, The Daughter has been asking if she can help with cooking. She apparently loves to help and I can't say no either. I just have to adjust and tell myself it will take slightly longer than planned.

And with all the mixing and baking I have been doing lately I decided to spoil myself with a few items from Williams-Sonoma:
Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids
Williams-Sonoma Traditional Finish Loaf Pan
Stainless-Steel Silicone Spatula

* * *

Weight: 113.8, +0.4 since April 1, -2.8 since January 1.

April 18, 2013
Maisee Xiong: Jolie-Pitt WineMy Jolie-Pitt wine is finally here. The funny thing is that I don't even care for wine. But when I heard about this I had to get my hands on a bottle - and that I did! When it came to the door The Husband asked what it was. When I opened it and he saw what it was he said, "Now you'll have to drink with me. You bought it for me so you have to."

I looked at him and said, "I didn't buy this for you. What makes you think I did?"

He rolled his eyes (in a friendly way) at me when I told him why I had bought it. It was totally expected anyway. Now that I have it I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I highly doubt I will drink it, nor will I let The Husband.

Maisee Xiong: The Son snacking
* * *

The Daughter totally messed up my night. She made me lay down with her in her room because all of the rain and thunder we've be having had frightened her. And that only meant that I fell asleep, which only meant that I totally missed the work that my Sys Admins were doing this evening. The good thing is that they didn't need me; I just like being online for moral support. I did manage to get online in time to send out the all-clear notification. Really convenient, right? Right.

* * *

Weight: 114.0, +0.6 since April 1, -2.6 since January 1. I just need to to lose 1.6 lbs by the end of the month in order to keep my -1 lb a month average. Can I do it?

April 17, 2013
Maisee Xiong: The Son XiongI totally checked these denims this morning and I know for sure that they did not have holes in them nor did they look worn out at the knees. I asked The Son how the holes got there and he gave me a smile and said, "Because I was crawling on my knees."

"Well. Will you please stop crawling on your knees? You keep that up and I'm going to take money out from your allowance to buy you new pants."

The Husband grunted. When I walked over to him he said, "That's almost like telling him not to breathe. You got to be smarter than that."

Okay. Okay. I get his point. But I'm sure The Son got my point as well. The Spring and Fall are the two seasons that we go through the most denims for him. It's still cold enough that he needs to wear denims, but warm enough for him to go play outside which means he's constantly on his knees on the blacktop. And of course I'm not going to send him to school with holes in his pants either. I now understand why my dad used to line my brothers' pants with rough fabric: my dad wanted to make sure that my brothers' knees hurt rubbing against the rough fabric when they were on their knees. It was a painful reminder for them to not crawl on their knees. Of course I'm not going to thatThe Sonrest. I'm just recalling a memory from my childhood.

Speaking about worn clothing, the Nike Sphere Bomber Women's Running Jacket that I ordered finally came in. I got both the red and black one. I couldn't decide so I got both. Now I can definitely chuck my 12+ year old Ralph Lauren jacket. My next focus will be on running shoes. I cannot wait to be outside. I'm starting to get bored of the treadmill in the basement.

And of course I got on the treadmill this evening. It didn't help that I was accused by The Kids at two different times tonight of having a baby in my belly. The Daughter even poked my belly, like as if I was the Pillsbury Doughboy, and said, "Mom, your belly is so pah-pow!" I really needed to be told that! Kids are the most honest creatures in this world. It is true though. Not the part of having another baby in my belly but the part about having a big belly. Refer to my post on April 11, 2013.

The Kids and I played restaurant for a while this evening. I was the customer. The Daughter was the waitress. The Son was the chef. They brought me all sorts of dishes. They even gave in to all of my demands. And then when they couldn't fulfill my demands, they were actually being polite. Case in point, The Son said, "I'm sorry ma'am but we do not have any black pepper." Sorry? Ma'am? I must have put some good shit in the meatloaf I made for dinner tonight! Ha ha. Anyway, when it came time to clean up my mess because I was done eating, neither one of them wanted to be the bus boy. Imagine that! Kids!

* * *

I asked my manager this morning if he thought I should have my work email set up on my phone. He gave me one hard look and said yes. Of course he would say yes. I'm sure he knows that I will monitor that phone like a hawk and then respond to the users whenever I get an email. It's just another means of providing excellent service to the users. And this is all in regards to after-hours support. Then again, its like what I've said to my brother several years ago when he made a comment about how I was on vacation and still working, "It's why I get paid the big bucks." No. Not really. I'm sure we all feel underpaid, right? Right.

* * *

Weight: 114.8, +1.4 since April 1, -1.8 since January 1.

April 16, 2013
Weight: 114.4, +1.0 since April 1, -2.2 since January 1.

April 15, 2013
Maisee Xiong: The Son with Gary (SpongeBob)I took the day off today because I was extremely exhausted from the trip. I didn't just sit on my ass all day though. I ended up doing work around the house. Actually, the day started with me rushing to the grocery store to pick up a dozen eggs. The Son's teacher had signed me up to bring in a dozen hard boiled eggs. I didn't realize how hard it was to boil eggs. I thought I would be efficient by boiling my water while I ran to the store to pick up the eggs. It turns out that cold egg + hot boiling water = cracked egg. How was I suppose to know? It's not like I hard boil eggs every day! And yes, The Husband made fun of me.

I made a little time to pick up a collar necklace and earrings for my new Hmong pencil skirt. The white shirt I would like to wear with it was dropped off at the dry cleaners. I still need to pick up a pair of black stockings since The Husband seems to think that the outfit won't look right without it. I'm so excited. I'll definitely have to take a picture of my outfit. And yes, I plan to wear it to work! Modernize the traditional Hmong outfit and take it into the American office. I wonder if I can pull it off. We'll have to see about that.

While I am on the pencil skirt topic, if anyone is looking for that pencil skirt, you should check out the Welt Pocket Pencil Skirt from Express. They came out with the "Studio Stretch" and "Ultimate Double Weave" versions also but to me it is all the same. I have this pencil skirt in gray, white, black, red, blue, and tan. Yes, you read it correctly! I absolutely love this line of pencil skirts from Express.

Moving on. I have 12 days before my CO trip and I still need to get a few things tailored at Sy's Tailor Shop. This is going to be tricky as The Husband leaves for California on Saturday. I could just wear what I already have. That may be the smart way to go. Speaking of The Husband and California, I'm quite jealous. He's L.A. bound. It is totally not fair. Then again, I don't have anyone down south. Everyone I know is up north in Sacramento. Still, maybe it's just the thought that he is going to CA that is making me jealous.

* * *

Weight: 115.8, +2.4 since April 1, -0.8 since January 1. Yes. I totally fucked up! I ate everything I shouldn't have. I drank everything I shouldn't have. Now I need to get serious. Back on the diet and watch what I'm eating. It really didn't help that my brother's girlfriend made some super awesome stuffed chicken wings. And, she even sent some home with us! UGH. Not good. Oh, and as if it can't get any worse: I learned that The Husband knows how to de-bone chicken wings. That only means one thing: The MX is going to be making stuffed chicken wings this weekend! But before I do, I'll need to get myself a NuWave Infrared Oven and a juicer! Oh, the bad habits I learn when visiting people!

April 14, 2013
Maisee Xiong: The Family: Sleeping

Some time during the night, The Daughter took The Son's pillow and made a little fortress wall. Then I ended up sleeping on his pillow with my body diagonal to the mattress. The Daughter had flipped 180 degress as seen in the picture. And, with no pillow, The Son ended up sharing his dad's pillow. Notice how all the blankets were abondoned. I'm just glad I didn't get a foot to the face or that thing The Daughter does with her feet. If you sleep too close to her she will dig at you with her tiny little feet. And it hurts. Who would have thought that tiny feet like hers can hurt so much when they are digging at your rib cage.

Maisee Xiong: The Daughter and stuffed animalsThe Daughter absolutely adored my brother's girlfriend's stuffed animals. She especially loved Hello Kitty. In fact, Mai told her she could keep Hello Kitty. And when I told The Daughter she couldn't bring it home she started to cry. I know it was really generous of Mai to give The Daughter Hello Kitty but at the same time I don't want my kids to think that they are going to get something every time they visit someone. I just don't want them to have that expectation. Then again, The Husband had a point. It's not like The Daughter asked for Hello Kitty. It was given to her and it is a common thing for someone to gift things to the kids on a first visit. So I let it slide. I don't think Mai was going to let The Daughter go home without it anyways.

Only this time, The Daughter. Just this once!

April 13, 2013
We started our trip to Minnesota as scheduled but not without some drama from my work. I hadn't wanted to take work with me on my trip but that was not the case. We stopped by my work to pick up my laptop and for the rest of the day I was in constant communication with my Sys Admin. Lovely way to start a trip. The good thing is that my Sys Admin is reliable so she was able to handle the work while I was on my way to Minnesota. I've had my iPhone for at least 3 years now and I've done a great job refraining from putting any work related stuff on it. But I'm starting to think that, at the very least, I'm going to need to get work email setup on my phone for times like this. The good news is that by the end of the day, my reliable Sys Admin was able to fix the issue and all is good.

Maisee Xiong: The Son and Mr. Rabbit watching SpongeBob on the iPad

The next drama during the trip were the kids, especially The Son. As soon as we were on the interstate he was nagging for his iPad (well, the iPad was mine, but like all electronics around the house, he has taken over it). And then, within the first hour of the trip he was already complaining that his butt was hurting from all the sitting he was doing. Seriously! The Daughter on the the other hand wasn't so bad. It could be that the irritation from The Son totally trumped whatever she may have been complaining about.

Maisee Xiong: The Kids @ Culver's We stopped at Culver's in some hick town so that the kids could eat. The first thing The Son said when he saw Culver's was, "Hey. They don't have chicken strips in there. They only have ice cream." What a memory! He ended up eating very little. The chicken strips weren't bad at all. Not quite sure what his issue was. Maybe he just didn't care for it. Once the kids were done we drove over to KFC to get some lunch for The Husband (he didn't eat with us at Culver's because he was trying to power nap...he works graveyard and had decided to drive). As soon as The Son got a whiff of The Husband's food, he was like, "Dad? Can I eat some of your food."

I said, "The Son. You cannot do that. You already ate your food; you need to let Daddy eat his food. You can't eat Dad's food ALL THE TIME."

"Mom. I can share with Dad. I'll save him some. I promise." He sounded really sincere.

And just like the awesome Dad he is, The Husband gave up his food. As promised, The Son did save some for his dad. But what was saved was just scraps! Kids! The Husband and I just laughed it off.

We eventually made it to Mall of America where we were to meet my brother and his girlfriend. Except we never actually made it into the mall. There were LOTS and LOTS of cars. Come to find out, MOA was hosting some sort of Robotics competition/event.

Instead, we went to the Hmong Village in search for some fabric pre-printed with the pattern of a traditional Hmong skirt. I didn't have much luck there. Then we went to Hmongtown Marketplace. No luck there either but I did find something much better. Before I get to that, I've been searching for this fabric for the last several weeks. The goal was to get a pencil skirt made with this fabric. So, there I was at the Hmongtown Marketplace ready to exit the building when several racks of clothing that caught my eyes. It was definitely not what I was looking for but I figured I'd check them out and then ask the vendor about the fabric. I started digging through the racks as the lady was finishing up with her other customer. Then I saw it; that "something much better" item: The Hmong Pencil Skirt.

Maisee Xiong: Hmong Pencil SkirtI was so stoked! I didn't find the fabric but I found the skirt. That meant, I wouldn't have to pay someone to make the skirt for me. The only thing left was to try it on. I was nervous. This skirt had to fit. It was the only one. It was the one! After sucking in my gut and wiggling a little bit, I got the zipper up and looked in the mirror. Scored! It was coming home with me!

The skirt was perfect in the not-so-perfect way. There were some flaws in the cross-stitching. The red and pink ribbons were sewn in with little precision and they definitely don't have a clean look to them at all. They have more of a vintage look to them. And this skirt wasn't made from pre-printed fabric. It was made from the same materials of a traditional Hmong skirt. But these are all the reasons why I feel in love with this skirt. There was only 1 thing that I didn't like about this skirt: the price. The lady was selling it for...get this...$85. I'm not even joking. At that point, I really wanted the skirt, but I didn't want to pay that much money for it. So I started to negotiate with the lady. I ended up walking away with the skirt for $70. Still overpriced, but I saved myself $15. I was happy.

We did more shopping at Albertville Premium Outlets where I picked up several things at Banana Republic Factory Store and ended the night with some bbq from QFanatic BBQ and Grill.

April 12, 2013
I got a new waffle recipe from my friend. It only took her an eternity to give it to me. I had to threatened her for it: no waffle recipe, no more SSRS help! :) That did the trick. I tried it tonight and it was awesome. The Daughter loved it too. I know it's a great recipe when The Daughter eats every single bite on her plate. Awesome. I have enough batter for another round of waffles tomorrow. The Daughter is definitely looking forward to it! Me too! I will definitely post pictures.

Once again, work is getting in the way of my fun time in Colorado. I've decided that I'm going to head out to Colorado early so that I can hang out with my friends over then weekend before going into the office. Unfortunately, it has been decided that work must be performed over the weekend. And that means I have to be nearby a computer! The last time I was in Colorado it was the weather that prevented me to do what I wanted to do. Maybe it just isn't meant to be!

Speaking of work, guess what I am doing right now? Working. Waiting for stuff to replicate from one document repository to another. I hope this doesn't take much longer. I am ready to go to bed. I will crap in my pants if this foobars and I have to get my Sys Admin on the phone. I will be very very sad. Waiting...waiting...waiting...This is not good. I have my Sys Admin's attention but perhaps I should let this one sit a little longer before opening a ticket with the vendor. Boy, does this suck.

* * *

Weight: 114.2, +0.8 since April 1, -2.4 since January 1.

April 11, 2013
I started a new book two nights ago called Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. I'm almost done with the book. It was that entertaining. I just couldn't put the book down. I kept thinking: "Wow! She's right on." "I know what she means!" "Been there. Done that." There were some really funny parts in there too. Below are a couple excerpts of the book that I thought I'd share:

Parenting book: My Stomach

Alright. I can totally relate. What woman can't? I don't even know how many times now The Son has asked if there was another baby in my big belly. He seems to really want another sibling but more importantly, he has realized how big my tummy is when I'm full or when my stretched rolls are bundle up in front of me when I sit down.

Here's another. Being a mama is hard work! Better recognize! :)

Parenting book:

* * *

The hail storm left behind some damage to the house. The entire north side of the house will need to be rewrapped. Several pieces of siding on the east and west side of the house will need to be replaced. If the vinyl we have has been discontinued, however, that will mean that the whole house will need new siding. The gutters will need to be replaced. The roof. The slide on The Kids' swing set. I'll have to call The Insurance Company tomorrow to file a claim and get that ball rolling. Oh! The joy of being a home owner.

I finally got around to ordering the Nike Sphere Bomber Running Jacket that I've been wanting. Ordered myself a black one and a red one. Good thing I waited, too, because I ended up paying $71.97 for each instead of $90 for each. I am not a fan of paying full-price! Once these two jackets come in, I can get rid of my old-ass Ralph Lauren jacket that I've had now for 12+ years. I suppose I can keep it just for fishing when the weather is not so warm. Then again it will just be one more jacket I have to keep track of! We'll see when they get here.

* * *

Weight: 114.2, +0.8 since April 1, -2.4 since January 1. NOT GOOD! So much for having the whole week to recover. Part of it is the weather. I got a taste of what it is like to walk/jog outside and now I don't want anything to do with the treadmill and the weather is not cooperating. *SIGH*

April 10, 2013
Weight: 113.8, +0.4 since April 1, -2.8 since January 1.

April 09, 2013
Crazy Hail Storm 2013

Crazy mofo weather! The Husband and I will need to assess the damage on the Suburban tomorrow morning. I highly doubt we will do anything about the damage though. For one, the car lives outside. Another crazy storm and we'll be back to where we are tonight. Second, that car's days are numbered.

Both kids are in our bed but now The Daughter is awake because of the storm. I told her she'll be OK since The Son is sleeping with her. She started crying and told me she wanted an adult to sleep with her. Unfortunately, I have to tend to work. So she's laying down on the couch while I work. I have to say though, that we need to have more storms. It's the only time the kids will let me hold and cuddle them. Otherwise, I have to beg and bribe them to let me hold them. Makes me want to have another baby! Not really.

Speaking of babies my mom told me that she wanted me to have at least 2 more boys and 2 more girls. She said she will help me watch them free of charge. I told her she was crazy. I'm convinced that it doesn't even have anything to do with having a free babysitter or not. I just don't see life as needing to pop out kids left and right. But there was really no use trying to explain that to her. Again, I told her she was crazy and I quickly changed the subject.

* * *
I wrapped up Six Years by Harlan Coben in three days. It was a great book. There was really no good place to stop

* * *

Weight: 113.8, +0.4 since April 1, -2.8 since January 1.

April 08, 2013
Maisee Xiong   So I need to put this out there and then bury it...

Apparently, people should be cautious of me because I'm stingy, greedy, frugal. You get the point. The sad thing is that I've NEVER had anything negative to say about Person A. Not even when I saw and heard with my own eyes and ears how two-face of a person Person A was. Of course, I had my guards up once I noticed this...it was only natural for me to do so.


If not allowing someone to short-change me means I'm all of the above, then so be it.

If not being able to feed every living soul in town means I'm all of the above, then so be it.

If not decimating an entire pack of livestock means I'm all of the above, then so be it.

I am not a person of wealth. I have priorities and my priorities may not be the same as yours but that makes me no less stingy, greedy and frugal than you are. But if it does, then so be it. I know who I am. I'm being true to myself. I'm strong enough to say fair is fair; strong enough to not have to buy my friendships.

I guess I didn't do a very good job cleaning house the last time. I definitely think it's time to throw more people off the island. And I'm not even sad about it either. I rather be alone on this island than have to deal with low self-esteem people who will attack me without being provoked by me.

And, Thank You! I really appreciate that you made this very easy for me!

* * *

Weight: 114.2, +0.8 since April 1, -2.4 since January 1. Slowly making my recovery from Saturday.

April 07, 2013
Here are The Kids at the Red Barn Park at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. They couldn't get enough of the Fossil Dig Site. That was until The Daughter heard the music from the Wildlife Carousel. She popped up from the dig site like a Prairie Dog and pointed in the direction of the carousel. Shovels, buckets and brushes went flying and before I knew it we were standing in line waiting for the carousel doors to open. The Son, on the other hand, popped up like a Prairie Dog as soon as he heard the whistle of the train. The Husband and The Son ended up riding the train instead of the carousel.

Maisee Xiong: The Daughter and The Son at the Omaha Zoo Maisee Xiong: The Daughter on the Wildlife Carousel

And here they are, pinching their noses at the petting zoo. I thought it was hilarious that they waited patiently for the petting zoo to open but as soon as we entered all I heard was "It stinks. Let's get out of here."

Maisee Xiong: The Son and The Daughter at the petting zoo

And of course, we couldn't leave the zoo without a picture of Mom and Daughter!   Maisee Xiong: Maisee Xiong and Daughter

* * *

I opted for a walk through the neighborhood instead of the treadmill this evening. I ended up doing a bit of running here and there. I'm thinking that I'm going to need a good pair of running shoes if I do start to get into jogging/running. I'll definitely want one before the Invest In Yourself 5K event. The Husband is unsure about the event but I'm sold on it. It is just a matter of registering at this point. I also mentioned to The Husband that we should probably get started with biking once his schedule changes in the next couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to that this summer.

I'm not 100% sure what has gotten into me. I don't ever recall being this driven to lose weight, to exert a lot of energy towards physical activities, to want to dress up for work. Maybe it's because I've actually set little goals for myself and now I've realized that none of these activities take too much effort to do. And now that I've found my rhythm or routine everything seems to be so much easier. It could very well be that I simply feel better about myself because I've come to terms that I do have depression and am doing something about it. Whatever it is, I feel great and I'm happy! :)

* * *

Weight: 115.0, +1.6 since April 1, -1.6 since January 1. The scale is totally broken. Actually, I went out with a friend last night and I totally over did it. Then I came home and stuffed my face with Petite Palmiers. I didn't do any better today. I had a migraine today and ended up stuffing my face with food. That's usually what happens when I get a migraine: I graze, horribly! No worries, I have all week to recover!

April 05, 2013
The Husband just got a job offer! I'm so stoked for him. That means he'll be back on day shift and won't be so tired all the time. This totally calls for celebration. Hopefully this headache will be gone by the time we go out.

I haven't had a migraine since March. Now twice in 1 week. The first one wasn't so bad. It was just annoying. Today's is more intense. I'm very certain that I'm just dehydrated. I did 30 mins of jogging on the treadmill last night and didn't drink enough water. I may need to lay off the jogging and stick to walking until I can commit to consuming more water.

I haven't started on the toning process yet. I'm thinking that I will wait until I get to 110 lbs before I start. At the rate I'm going it will be June before I will start, seeing that I'm averaging -1 lb a month. That's just rediculous!

* * *

Weight: 112.8, -0.6 since April 1, -3.8 since January 1. I've been stuck on 112.8 for 4 days now. I'm still meeting my goal but that will not be the case if my weight doesn't drop by tomorrow morning. Then again, I may just be backed-up with poop! LOL.

Maisee Xiong: Weight Graph

April 04, 2013
Maisee Xiong: The Son's Morning Hair   We get to wake up to this every morning! His hair is just super crazy! And he loves it. I love it. Everyone loves it! I will definitely need to get a picture of him right before he pulls his shirt past his head. All you'll see is a patch of thick hair shooting straight up. It's crazy! This definitely reminds me of how my brother's hair used to be.

And don't ever tell The Son that you got to see this picture. Right before I snapped it he said "Don't show it to anyone, alright." But I couldn't resist!!!

* * *

Weight: 112.8, -0.6 since April 1, -3.8 since January 1.

April 03, 2013
I woke up early this morning and got my exercise in. I did 30 minutes of jogging without taking a break. I was so impressed with myself! But then I negated that workout with the bowl of yummy spaghetti and meatballs I had for dinner. It was so good. I'm glad that i only made just enough noodles for 1 serving for each of us. Otherwise, I could have easily devoured a second bowl. I cannot wait for another bowl tomorrow!

We also took the kids out to the park this evening. They made a new friend at the park. Her name was Emma and she was in Kindergarten. Emma was already at the park when we had arrived. Throughout the whole time that we were at the park, Emma's mom sat in her car. Her head was down as if she was reading a book. There were certain times that I felt anyone could have snatched Emma or wrong her in any way and her mom would be oblivious. At one point, Emma walked clear across the field to the smaller play area and her mom didn't even notice. I think Emma's mom definitely deserves the "Mom of the Year" award.

The Husband, too, made a new friend. He struck up a conversation with a mother who had came to the park looking for her 10-year-old son, Thomas who was playing soccer with The Son and The Husband. It turns out that Thomas plays soccer in the same club as The Son. What a small world. Then again, The Husband is a total extrovert. Whereas I am an introvert. I DO NOT like socializing with people I do not know. I mean, I am talking about the dude who, within 2 hours of being at a dealership:
1. Finds out that the sales rep and him had mutual friends from their high school days
2. Finds out that the lady also waiting in the waiting room with us had most likely been a substitute teacher for several high school classes that he was in.

Small world, right? It's fucking crazy.

* * *

Maisee Xiong   Day 1 of dressing up for work this week.

I figured I should get a few pictures taken to document my efforts! I felt a bit out of character asking The Husband to snap these pictures since I don't really do pictures. I'm sure The Husband was curious about the high I was possibly on. I have to admit that this was rather fun though.

I should make pictures of me a habit. On second thought, maybe it's better to limit myself. I get tired of seeing my face all the time. I'm sure you guys would too! LOL.
  Maisee Xiong

Maisee Xiong & The Husband   I also took the opportunity to get this photo taken. I was dressed up for work and The Husband was dressed up for an interview. It's very rare to see him dress up, let alone wear a suit, so I totally took advantage of it. Plus, we don't have many pictures of us together anyway. We probably need to work on that.

And yes, he is wearing a lavender colored dress shirt. I'm sure that had I bought him this shirt he wouldn't dare wear it. In fact, he probably would have told me to take it back. Apparently, this shirt was suggested by the sales associates at the Men's Wearhouse. I'm definitely thinking that this is my invitation to buy him feminine colored dress shirts. This could be fun!

And last, but not least, here are a couple of pictures of the two troublemakers. Don't let their cute faces fool you! Actually, they both are pretty well-behaved. They know that I do not tolerate much so they do their best to stay out of trouble. They're awesome. I love them LOTS! And here's The Son with a message to the old lady Walmart shopper who gave me crap for picking at the strawberries!

Maisee Xiong: The Kids Maisee Xiong: The Kids eating strawberries

* * *

Weight: 112.8, -0.6 since April 1, -3.8 since January 1.

April 02, 2013
The Daughter. She is so awesome. I went to Paradise Bakery for lunch today. I brought home the chocolate chip cookie that came with my meal and gave it to The Daughter. She generously allowed me to take my first bite. A few minutes later I asked for a second bite. She says, "No, Mom. This is mine."

"But I gave it to you. Will you please share?"

"No, Mom. It's mine. I earned it!" she exclaimed.

Apparently, she felt that she had earned it because she kept herself busy at school and simply because I gave her the cookie. *sigh*

* * *

I don't think I was very nice today. I was at Walmart, minding my own business, picking through the strawberries because I wanted to bring home a good batch. As I turned around, a lady in her mid-60s says without looking at me, "Did you pick all the good ones?"

I could hear the unpleasant sarcasm in her voice. My eyes followed her. When she finally did make eye contact with me, I gave her a big fat smile and responded with, "Why yes. Yes, I did!"

She was not happy. I kept my eyes open for the lady as The Daughter and I made our way through the store looking for the stuff we needed to buy. When the lady and I crossed paths again in the electronics section I gave her a huge-ass cheesy grin. Oh, this pissed her off even more!

I generally do not like confrontations. But when someone makes a smart-ass comment towards me, especially when 1) it was within earshot, 2) I was minding my own business, and 3) I don't feel threatened, I'm not just going to let it go. I mean, for crying out loud, if you're going to say it so that I can clearly hear you, please, say it to my face. I would have so much more respect for you. If anything, at least have the balls to make eye contact with me. Don't wait for me to stare you down and make you uncomfortable before gutlessly raising your head to look at me. You said it, fucking own it! If she had approached me and said "Please don't do that" I would have probably responded with, "You know what. You're right. I shouldn't have. I'm sorry."

Maybe she was grumpy because she hadn't gotten laid for awhile. Of course I say that about anyone who is grumpy. Ha ha.

* * *

Weight: 112.8, -0.6 since April 1, -3.8 since January 1. :) Actually, I'm happy but I'm not happy. Since January 1, my goal has been to lose 1 pound a week. So far I'm averaging about 1 pound a month. Pretty soon, Thanksgiving will be upon us and so will Christmas. I'll be fat again before I even make it to my goal weight. UGH. SMH.

April 01, 2013
April 2013 Challenge:

1. Eat a salad per weekday
2. Exercise every other day
3. Dress up 2x a week for work

* * *

Happy April Fools Day! I totally got The Son this morning. Like every morning I went into his room and told him to roll over into my arms so that I can carry him over to my room. His eyes stayed shut. As I'm walking to my room with him in my arms I told him that there was no school today. Immediately, his eyes opened up wide and I said "April Fools!" He smiled.

"Do we really not have school today?" he asked.

"The Son. Don't be silly."

He is so eager not to go to school. He is a typical kid. When he knows there is no school he is awake way too early. But when there is school, I can probably douse him with cold water and he wouldn't even budge. Ha ha.

* * *

The Appointment today didn't go well. They usually never do. But things took a turn this evening. The Daughter walked into the house from school saying, "Look! Daddy's so handsome." Apparently he had an interview. I think I helped smooth out the tension a bit by offering my contacts inside the company as a reference point. He went to nap much earlier than he usually does but didn't leave without giving me a kiss. I was surprised, but very glad at the gesture. He also mentioned earlier that he was tired of the arguing. With a heavy sigh I told him I was too.

* * *

This Nike Sphere Bomber Women's Running Jacket caught my eye when I was at Dick's Sporting Goods the other day. I'm thinking that this will be a suitable replacement for my Ralph Lauren Jacket that I've had for at least 12+ years now. In fact, it was during my last trip to CO that I realized how old the jacket had become. I've just never been able to part with the damn jacket. But, I'm thinking that its days are definitely numbered.

I would even consider this Run: Two To Make It True Jacket by lululemon if it weren't for the thumbholes. Yes, I'm definitely being quick to judge since I haven't even gone to the store to check out the jacket. Maybe I'll be able to do that this weekend. Maybe even during my lunch hour. I will definitely say though, that at $138, I better love everything about the jacket or else it's not coming home with me!
  Maisee Xiong: 12 Year Old Ralph Lauren Jacket

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Weight: 113.4, -3.2 since January 1.
Maisee Xiong