I love google.

Part of what I love most about my blog is seeing the stats (yep, I’m a nerd).  I like to see what kinds of things people are looking for and what brought them to the site.  So I thought I’d share some information with you that quite possibly only I find interesting:

My favorite searches that brought people to the site:

  • my friend thinks he’s smart.  he said that the onion is the only food that makes you cry.  i threw a watermelon at his face.  Awesome.  How that lead to MyCrunchyLife, I’ll never know.  Well actually I think it’s because I have one page that has several posts and within that page, the words onion, watermelon, smart and cry all appear.  I really don’t understand why someone would google this. Unless they heard this as a joke and didn’t get it.  They were from India so maybe that’s why.
  • Angry Incredible Hulk.  Also awesome because it’s referring to a ridiculous comparison of my daughter to the Incredible Hulk
  • Can babies get hyper from mum mums or puffs.  Yes.  Next question.
  • What could you make from a bag of pretzels.   Uh…a bowl of pretzels?
  • gDiapers addiction rare.  No, gDiapers addictions are not rare.  Apparently it strikes many moms.  It’s like the crack of diaperhood.  That makes me a crack ho.  Perhaps the queen crack ho.

Most common searches:

  • smiley
  • how to make ladybug pretzels
  • straight face
  • smiley face
  • my crunchy life

The ladybug pretzels post actually brings in quite a few visitors.  Unfortunately they never come back.  Well, it might be fortunate for them.

We also have visitors from all over the world.  Naturally the most come from the US but there are others:

  • United States (73%)
  • United Kingdom (8.7%)
  • Canada (2.7%)
  • India (1.8%)
  • The Philippines (1.7%)

In the US, here’s the breakdown of traffic:

  • California (24%) – I suspect a full 23.5% of that traffic is me and my husband.
  • Texas (5.2%)
  • New York (5.1%)
  • Florida (3.3%)
  • Guam – haha just kidding.  Wanted to see if you were reading.  Although we have had a few visitors from Guam…
  • Illinois (2.8%)

Waste Management

Earlier this week, baby girl and I went with some folks in our local MOMS club chapter to take a tour of the Waste Management facility in our area.  Sounds weird, right?  Well, I thought it would be interesting to understand what happens to our waste once it leaves the house and honestly, I had a bunch of questions to ask about recycling.  So I decided Miss K and I would go too.

It was quite interesting and at times a little gross but all in all, not as bad as I thought it would be.  We started by getting everyone in a safety vest and some of us in hard hats.  The vests were a little silly for the kids because they were adult sized and of course all the kids were three and under and pint sized.  Here’s a blurry shot of Miss K. in her vest.  She wouldn’t sit still.

Then we went across the street to see their transfer facility.

The transfer facility is where Waste Management temporarily stores trash before it goes on to the county dump.  It is also where the recycling is sorted and packed up.  Basically once a garbage truck is full, it brings its trash here and dumps its contents out into this big space and returns to the route.  Big bulldozers push the nasty trash onto large eighteen wheelers that haul that trash to the county dump (also located in our fair city).  The trucks bring them here rather than to the dump out of convenience, because it’s faster than taking the trash to the dump, or because they need to stop at the station for servicing or whatever reason.  All trash must be moved out of the transfer facility within 48 hours.  They have misting machines in the roof of the facility that periodically sprays odor reducers over the trash.  We were lucky.  The trash wasn’t overwhelmingly smelly like you would expect.

The pile above is a pile of recyclables.  Recycling trucks also dump their contents in this facility (into another pile).  Humans pre-sort the recyclables, mostly looking for stuff that clearly doesn’t belong.  Waste Management uses optical recognition machinery to sort the recyclables further into paper, cardboard, metals, glass, and plastics.  Once sorted, the items are bundled up and sold.  For example, all the cardboard boxes are baled up into huge bundles and are then loaded onto eighteen wheelers.  The container on the eighteen wheeler is driven to San Pedro and then put on a cargo ship and taken to China.  I thought it was so interesting that it is more cost effective to ship these boxes all the way to China and recycle them then it is to make new boxes.  But I am thankful for it (and it does makes sense) because that means they’re not plowing down more trees.  Apparently the glass, plastic, etc. is also sold off for recycling.  Waste Management makes money on that and is able to offer recycling services to the residents of Irvine, and we’re keeping crap out of the landfills.  Win-win.

I learned a lot about recycling here.  I learned that you can recycle pretty much any paper that rips.  All plastics are recyclable AND you don’t have to rinse out the stuff you recycle.  It just has to be empty.  So I don’t need to rinse the old sour cream container that’s past its due date but I do need to empty its content in the trash first.  Sweet.  All tetrapack packaging is recyclable – there was no symbol on it so I wasn’t sure.  These are the packs that you get soy milk or broth in.  Almost everything is recyclable.  So I’m going to recycle even more!  Basically, no food waste or human waste is allowed in the recycling.

I also learned about the landfills in our area.  Prior to the tour, I didn’t understand that Waste Management is just an independent company that partners with the County of Orange.  They’re responsible for moving the trash but the landfill itself is owned and operated by the county.  The landfill in Irvine is the largest in Orange County and is filling up.  It is expected to be full by 2054.  This estimate was even sooner but recycling efforts have helped to slow down the filling up of the landfill.  After that, there will be no more landfills in Orange County.  Yikes.  Recycle!  Bags in our area are not shredded so I do think that buying biodegradable bags is a good idea out here.  Because otherwise the contents of the bag (even if they are biodegradable, will need to find its way out of the bag before it can biodegrade.  Here’s a bulldozer moving trash.

We also got to check out a trash truck.  Learned a lot about those, too.  Each trash truck weighs 17 tons and costs $335,000.  WM tries to keep them in commission for at least 10 years.  They are now switching from diesel fueled trucks to natural gas powered trucks (woohoo-less emissions ftw!) moving forward.  Each truck can hold up to 10 tons of waste.  So let’s think about that – these trucks weigh up to 27 tons…my advice for you:  Don’t cut off a trash truck.  He will not be able to stop and you will not win.  Our local WM has 192 routes and 200+ drivers and trucks.  Each truck can hold between 800-1000 homes’ trash.  Basically the trucks go out on their routes and pick up as much trash as they can, dump it at the transfer facility and then head back out to finish their route.  Trucks are washed every Sunday and must be emptied before they can be parked at night.  Here’s a picture of our cute little friend in a garbage truck.  He was a pro in there with the horn!

Interesting, right?  It renewed my desire to recycle.  It also made me want to look further into composting at home.  I would love to cut our trash down even further.  Right now, we typically have more recyclables than trash but now that I know how easy it is to recycle, I’m going to do even more.  This tour also made me thankful that we cloth diaper.  We produce so much less waste as a result.  I was surprised at how much obviously recyclable goods were being dumped out in the trash.  So many boxes and paper that could easily be recycled.  We can all do better.  Anyhoo, as weird as it sounds, consider going and taking a tour of your local facility – it’s really interesting!

Meal Plan Monday – Week of March 18, 2012

It seemed like we ate out a lot last week.  It started on Sunday.  We were out all day and went through the drive thru at Taco Bell.  Tried to make up for it by cooking Monday-Thursday but Friday and Saturday got away from me.  I had wanted to clear out some stuff I had in the pantry so I did.  We made enchiladas with fruit and salad on the side, Pad Thai (cleared out the noodles, pad thai sauce, some peanuts) with crispy garlic broccoli and a Spinach Ramen salad (cleared out the ramen noodles – I love this salad but ramen noodles aren’t exactly healthy and man, are they processed), Quinoa Khichadi, 10 bean soup (used a can of Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, an old Knorr soup package I had as well as some dried beans!).  I’m glad.  Next time I make 10 bean soup, I’ll make it with spices from my cabinet instead of the old processed soup packet.  We ate out on Friday and Saturday and on Saturday we ate out at lunch too.  Unfortunately they weren’t just eat outs…they were bad eat outs.  I’m definitely having fast food more often than my goal of once a month.

This week hasn’t been good either.  Went out on Sunday for lunch and dinner too.  Geez.  So we’re going to get back on track starting today.  I wanted to go with the other moms in the MOMS club to El Pollo Loco for lunch but instead came home and had a falafel salad.  It was delicious but ended up being higher in calories than I would like.  Here’s what we’ll be shooting for in our dinner plan:

Sunday:  Ate out.  Fast food.  Bleh.

Monday:  Avocado Pasta and Bruchetta

Tuesday: Pizza (have one last pizza dough mix package I need to use up), Salad and Fruit

Wednesday:  Some sort of light quiche with Asparagus on the side

Thursday:  Poker night

Friday:  Burritos and Salad

Saturday:  Quinoa bowls with spicy broccoli

2011 and my new life

2011 was so drastically different than any other year I’ve ever lived.  The biggest change is our daughter, of course.  But I realized that I’ve learned so much in this year of staying home with her.  Hell, here are 10 quick things that I learned about just myself:

  1. I didn’t lose my mind staying home.  I kinda like it. I miss working in an office but staying home with my baby has been dandy.
  2. I can cook.  I tried so many new things this year and I’m happy that I’ve been cooking more at home.  It’s fun and feels good to know we nourished ourselves.  Not everything I make is a winner but I’m glad I try sometimes.
  3. I am HORRIBLE at home maintenance.  I wish I were one of those people who just always kept things neat and tidy but I’m not.  A mess builds up, I clean it.  Meanwhile, other messes are starting.  I hate that I’m like this but I’ve accepted that I tend to make mess.  I have not accepted that my life will be full of clutter so I’m gonna work on it.
  4. My ego has a hard time living with the fact that I’m bringing home no bacon.  My husband is the sole bread-winner these days.  I’m the bread eater.  I don’t think we’ve really changed our lifestyles much because of this but it is still a hard pill for me to swallow that I’m not providing financial independence for us.  It bugs me that it’s all on my husband’s head.
  5. I can multi-task like a mofo!  It’s crazy the kind of stuff I’ve done while holding or feeding Karina.  I’m not saying it’s always been the best choice but I can do it…
  6. I like writing.  This blog is fun for me.  I didn’t think I’d have enough to write about but the thoughts keep coming, random and pointless as they are sometimes.
  7. I am horribly out of shape with bad eating habits that I’m trying to fix and I no longer take care of myself.  I realized the other day that I never really look in the mirror.  At first I told myself it’s because I don’t care about my appearance.  But it’s not.  It’s because I’m frightened by what I see.  My looks have aged a lot this year and so has my body.  The lack of exercise and on and off sleep schedules have really done a number on me.  I don’t know what my body is now, so I don’t know how to clothe it.  And part of the reason I don’t know what it is is because I am not ready to accept it for what it is right now.  I know it’ll never go back to way it was pre-baby but I know I can do better than what I am today.
  8. I have the foundations to be a good mom.  There are PLENTY of areas I need to learn and improve but I’m proud of my husband and myself for what we did this year.
  9. In general, I make good choices in life.  This year, more than any other, I am proud of  the life we’ve built.  I picked a good spouse.  We made financial choices that put us in a position to allow me to stay home with our baby.  We live in a safe place and drive our baby in safe cars.  I’m so happy to say I have virtually no regrets so far in life and those that I have are really no big deal.
  10. I AM able to get joy out of the little things in life.  I dunno.  The last few years had been so so hectic with my work and travel and other things. I was scared that I had lost the ability to enjoy little things but I’ve found that some of my most memorable days this year weren’t the crazy trips or events, they were the little joys…my husband driving us to Target in our electric car when Karina was 4 days old.  It was a sunny day and we were happy.  Karina “helping” me with laundry and laughing her head off while playing in the clothes.  My nieces and nephews all running over to say hi to my baby.  The look on all four of her grandparents’ faces when she chooses them to hug.

Given I had zero formal training this year, I’d say I learned a hell of a lot.

The Holidays: Still Crazy

Just now I saw someone post their status on Facebook about how much they hate that their birthday is so close to Christmas.  Then they had like seven follow up comments going on and on about why.  Well, mostly whining.  I think that’s so sad.  I’m sure it does suck when you’re a kid and everyone’s happy about Christmas but it feels like no one cares about your birthday.  And everyone’s partied out.  But when you’re an adult, why would you let that get to you?  I never got to have a birthday party with my classmates because I was born in July.  But it’s still my favorite month and I love that it’s so hot on my birthday every year.  There’s got to be a bright side to everything, right?

Today I went to Macy’s and Miss K did pretty well, considering she was stuck in her stroller for a while.  Towards the end, though, she started to fuss while I was waiting to pay for my items.  Unfortunately they were awkward boxes that weren’t easy to juggle while taking care of her and for some reason, the store was really warm, so I was getting antsy.  The part that kinda bummed me out was that I was waiting in line for a while and then an elderly woman stood next to me.  She asked me “Are you waiting?”  I said “Yep, we’re next in line.”  I wanted to make sure she knew that she was after me in line, not next to me.  She told me my daughter was a doll and we chatted.  Then the cashier finished the transaction he was working on and she stepped right up to the counter, despite my crying child and my pleading with baby to hold on for just another minute or two.  As if I didn’t exist or matter.  I didn’t say anything because she was older.  Eh, who am I kidding, I probably wouldn’t have said anything anyway because despite all my life’s experiences it turns out I’m still a doormat.  On the one hand, she’s just an old lady.  No big deal, it’s just a few more minutes.  On the other, how come I don’t matter?

This afternoon I need to make one more trip to Toys R Us to pick up some presents for my nephews.  I’m a little anxious about it.  I have a feeling it will be crazy there.  Wish me luck!  I hope they like the gifts.  That will absolutely make it worth it.

In general, I think most of the people I shop for are easy.  Hubby’s not.  But he helped me this year by telling me something he wanted.  But then last night he said “You haven’t bought it, right?”  Awww, man.  I hope I didn’t screw things up but I’m prepared to return the stuff if he doesn’t like it.  I wish I could figure out what to get him to make him happy.  Even when I get stuff I don’t love from him, I still love that he spent some time to get it for me.  Maybe he’s just not built that way.  He doesn’t seem to mind that he didn’t get a gift.  He’d rather just get what he wants himself.  But the thought of everyone opening gifts and him not having one just breaks my heart a little.  I guess I need to get over it, it’s more of a drag to have stuff he doesn’t want than it is to not get a gift.

One last whine and then I’ll stop.  I checked my web stats today.  One visitor.  For ten seconds.  How sad.  That’s ok. This blog is still an outlet for me.  🙂

Meal Plan Monday – November 21, 2011

It’s a special week this week, THANKSGIVING!!!!  This year is a little different than most in that we’re planning on having a very small Thanksgiving dinner and we have a wedding to go to that will keep us pretty busy.  This year Thanksgiving will be at our house and it will be Mr. Crunchycake, Miss K, and both sets of our parents.  So just seven of us chowing down this year and baby hardly counts because she still eats so little.  It’s going to be a non-conventional holiday meal for us; my husband and I are the only ones who would be eating turkey and neither of us LOVE it so we’re going to skip the turkey and make a vegetarian main dish (blasphemy! – I know.)  It feels a little weird but it just makes sense.  Three of our four parents are vegetarians and the fourth doesn’t eat much meat.  So might as well spend efforts on food that we’ll all be able to enjoy.  Sadly I still don’t know what that main dish will be.  I better figure it out today!  It’s a busy week so I don’t know how much cooking I’ll be doing outside of Thursday…

Sunday: Refrigerator clean up!  Need to make room for food on Thursday!  We had salad, enchiladas, pasta, grapes, and rice from earlier in the week and cleaned up some tupperware.

Monday:  We’re driving down to San Diego to see some friends and meet their new baby.  He’s only a couple months old.  So I’m not sure what we’re going to do for dinner.  Probably catch something on the way back home.

Tuesday:  Eggrolls and Salad

Wednesday: Wedding Events start at 6:00 pm so I think we’re eating there.

Thursday:  Need to figure out the main dish!!!!  EeEEkk!  Mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, butternut squash, roasted yams, garlic bread, pumpkin donuts, and possibly pecan pie.  It seems like I’m missing some sides so I’ll clean this up a bit.

Friday: Wedding event during the day, not sure about dinner so if we eat at home, I’ll just make a pizza and some salad

Saturday:  Wedding reception

The Best Part of 11/11/11

The best part of 11/11/11 is that my nephew made his big debut!  He’s just perfect.  HIs mom went into the hospital on 11/10/11 and about 30 hours later he was here.  From what we can tell, this guy is pretty awesome.  I’m so excited to be an aunt again!

Just look at that face!  Karina’s excited about her little cousin brother.

Karsin Orlando Furtado, born November 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm in Newport Beach, CA, weighing 6 lbs 1 oz and 19.5 inches tall.

Thank You Veterans

Today is Veterans Day and I can’t help but feel thankful for all the men and women of our armed forces who are serving and have served our country in the past.  I remember seeing an interview with several soldiers who were fighting the war in Iraq and the interviewer asked one “When you go back home and you’re having a beer with your friends, what will you tell them about the time you served?” (or something silly like that).  To which the soldier replied “I’m not old enough to drink, sir.”  It made me cry.  He was just a baby and he was off in a foreign land, fighting a war, doing things that no one should have to do.

I was once on a flight with 8-10 soldiers who were on their way to being deployed.  One young man sat next to me and he was on his way to his second tour, this time to Afganistan.  He was 23 and was trying to be charming.  We chatted for an hour and a half and he told me about how it was hard to come home last time.  He said the quiet of it all weirded him out.  And that he found that he got really anxious and uncomfortable in odd ways – like he couldn’t be behind too many other cars on the freeway – he needed to be in front so he could see what was going on.  And you should have seen the way he got animated about simple stuff that we take for granted: Wal-Mart – “You can get EVERYTHING there!  I can get an XBox and Twizzlers and a case of Coke, all in one place!”  He was just a boy and he was going out there, risking his life.

These men and women sacrifice so much and I just have to put it out there-thank you.  Thank you.  Thank You.


Update Sunday – October 2, 2011

Updated how we did against last week’s goals:

#11 – No Soda

#10 – No Fast food

Meal Plan

I’ll update how I’m doing against the single use bag goal at the end of the month.

Was an interesting week this week.  Ate dinner at home SIX times this week – yay!  And only ate out twice the entire week!  Hubby ate at home four times (he was out at poker night one night and traveling another)!  Not too shabby.  Had one soda and a fast food run once this week, just had a bad lunch on Monday.  Miss K is going through some nighttime sleep difficulties and this has left me worn out, both physically and mentally.  It’s times like these that I look to (bad) food.  So it was tough resisting the drive-thru this week but I did it.

I guess I was still looking to compensate because instead I binged on sugar.  I’m not so proud of this but I had about 500 calories in candy on Thursday.  On Saturday I went to a donut shop and had a chocolate cake donut.  Ok fine I had two.  I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.  Now that I’ve been writing about this, it’s incredible how clearly my emotions correlate with my poor food choices.  Which two nights were the hardest this week with Miss K?  Naturally Wednesday and Friday.  Not a coincidence that the following days I made poor food choices.  At least if I understand it, I can do something about it.  Due to the sugar overload, this week I get a straight face.


Let’s see how this week goes.