Friday, September 30, 2011

Taking Two Steps Forward...and Then Two More Steps Forward

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Ah, what a week it has been.  It's gone by so quickly, hasn't it?

It seems like just a day or two ago I was taking Butter back to the hospital from his weekend pass - and already it's the day to go pick him up again.  I'm so excited!

After work, I'm heading to the hospital to meet with his counselor.  I'm not sure, but I think today will be the day we start talking about discharge plans.  He's had two successful passes - the first being a day pass, and the second being a weekend pass.  He has another weekend pass for this weekend.  I'm not sure how many passes he gets before they decide to discharge him - but I've got a feeling it will be soon....and it makes me very excited.

I've spoken to him on the phone every night this week, and every night he's told me how excited he is about getting to come home again for the weekend.  It's amazing how true the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" really is.  I can hear it in his voice how much he misses being home.  I think this whole experience has given the whole family the chance to really realize how much help he needed - and has definitely made Butter realize how much he wants to be at home.

Not wanting to be at home was one of his biggest problems.  At first, I just couldn't understand it.  Almost every day I would hear how much he hated being in the house with us.  He would tell me how he wished I would beat him so that DHS would take him away and put him in a foster home.  He tried running away several times - even if he did only get as far as the neighbor's house.

In the beginning, I just put it down to him wanting attention.  Then I started believing that he truly hated me.  That lead to me thinking that I wasn't a good mother.  I doubted myself, my parental abilities.  How and why could a child as young as Butter have so much hate for his own mother?  Well, I've been given that answer, now.

His problem wasn't that he hated me, per say.  It was the fact that he knew things needed to change - but he felt that the only way things were going to change was if he wasn't a part of the equation.  He thought my life would be better if he was gone.  He truly felt that the only way to make things better would be to completely change his surroundings, get a fresh start....and that would mean a new family, a new home.  Heartbreaking, isn't it?

Now, with the help that he's been receiving, he realizes that getting a new family wouldn't change his situation.  He truly understands, now, that he has a medical condition - and the only way to get help was to go to the hospital, and understand that his condition is manageable...he just had to learn the tools he'll need to cope.  It's so much for a 10 year old to deal with - but my Butter is a warrior...and he's come through it stronger than ever.

Wow - I really hadn't planned on spilling that much... but I guess it was something I needed to get off of my chest.

Switching gears just a little....

Yesterday, I had an epiphany on how I can get some fitness minutes added to my weekly tally.  Remember me telling you that I was shooting for 15 minutes a day during the week?  Well, I got my 15 minutes in yesterday.  Check out my running log!!

Each day, the kiddos that haven't followed the rules are given laps to walk at recess.  It's a consequence to bad choices - but it doesn't take away the physical benefits that recess is all about.  As an education student, one thing that we were taught...continuously...was to NEVER take recess away from a child.  They need the time to burn off some energy.  So, at my school, if the kids don't behave - they walk laps.

One thing I've always tried to do for the kids that I've taught or worked with is to show them that whatever consequences they receive for bad decisions are not "punishments".  I think it's important to explain consequences versus punishment.  I explain that by often participating in whatever consequence I've given, right along with the students.  It gives me a chance to talk to them about their choices, and shows them that if I'm willing to do the time for their crime...that I expect them to make some positive changes.

Yesterday, I did just that.  While the kids were walking the track - I thought "hey, this is a super opportunity to get in 15 minutes of walking".  So, that's what I did.  I walked around the track three times with the kiddos (which is 3/4 of a mile).  I talked to some of them about their choices and their decisions.  I talked to them about the benefits of walking - using it as a release to think about what they've done, and how they can change things.  It was funny, because the kids that were only given one lap ended up walking all three laps with me.

It raises some concern that they're not getting the consequence value.  Some kids may think that if I'm walking with them then it's more of a reward than a consequence.  I disagree.  I guess only time will tell.  It's something I plan on trying out several times a week.  I think that there are several kids that will benefit from getting the chance to talk to me during their walking time.  If it appears that's not the case - then I'll walk with different kids, or by myself.  The point is - I get 15 minutes to walk...and that's 15 minutes I can add to my fitness tally each day.

OK, this ended up being much longer than I planned....I must be bubbly today or something.  What's happening to me?  Oh, yeah - I'm back in the game, baby!! That's what's happening to me.

Till next time. ;)
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Think I Can, I Know I Can, I Will, and I Won't

Yesterday, I told you about the Shrinkvivor challenge that I'm doing.  I told you all about the challenge, but never really explained what I hope to gain from the challenge....or my plans for the challenge.

Of course, it's obvious I want to lose weight.  Losing weight is the top priority... but there are other important factors that come in to play.  Setting goals always scares me.  If feels like once I type out the words, some evil force takes over that does something to me.  It's almost like a self sabotage demon.  I say I'll do one thing, evil demon proves that I'll do the complete opposite.  Don't worry, no priests or exorcisms will be needed... I don't think, anyway.

Instead of writing out all of my goals.  I'm going to try a different format.  I'm going to lay my goals out by categorizing them into things I think I can accomplish, things I know I can if I put my mind to it, and then the things I will definitely do to push myself into the right direction.  I'm also going to lay out things I won't hopefully help keep the sabotage demon at bay.

I think I can....lose 20lbs during this challenge.  I know, that's a steep number to pull off in 7 weeks.  It's almost 3lbs a week.  I have been able to gain 3lbs in a week - pretty darned easily, I might add - but taking it off will be much harder.  It's going to take a lot of work...but I think I can do it.  Losing 20lbs will put me back to just over 210lbs.  That's where I want to be...because that's where I was when I was the weight loss warrior. 

I think I can.... find a way to get in at least 15 minutes of exercise each day.  That's a very low number to shoot for - but it's for those days when I feel like I have so much on my plate, the last thing I want to do is exercise.  If I can just find something to do for 15 minutes - like some Yoga, or a quick EA Active Trainer session... I should be able to get on track.

I know I can... get my butt to the track at least twice a week.  On Saturdays and Sundays there's not a single reason why I can't get myself to the track and get some serious minutes logged for the fitness challenge.  Again, I'm keeping the number low.  There's not really any reason I can't go out to run or walk more than that... but by setting my goals low, it only leaves room to beat my goals.  I have a lot of stuff going on at work.  I'm going to be coaching Quiz Bowl on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, and I'm involved in a book study that happens on Wednesdays after school.  So, that's three days out of the week that I won't be finishing work until after 4pm.  Doesn't mean I can't run on those days - but the chances that I'm going to have the motivation (in the beginning anyway) to run after such a long day is slim.  I'm not going to set myself up for failure.

I know I can... make healthy eating choices without counting and logging everything I eat.  Even though this is breaking the number one rule of weight loss... I've proven to myself that I can do it.  The majority of my weight loss came while I was conscious about what I was eating, sticking to eating three meals a day with one or two snacks, and not logging or counting a single calorie while I did it.  When I was logging everything, I often got frustrated.  It was a hassle trying to remember everything I ate if I logged once a day, and it was an even bigger hassle to try and log everything right after I ate.  Wait.  When I say I don't count or log calories - I mean I don't put it all down on paper (or into a fancy online spreadsheet).  Before I eat anything, I check the nutritional information.  I set a calorie goal for each meal, and prepare foods that fall in that calorie range.  I just don't write it all down.  That make sense?  Not really?  Oh, well - I know what I'm talking about.

I will....drink lots of water.  No brainer, right?  While the first rule of losing weight is logging everything you eat - which I'm breaking - the second rule is to drink lots of water.  This rule I'm going to obey.  In fact, I've been doing that for a while, now.  I'm still not drinking as much as I should - but I've been getting in about 40ozs of water each day....thanks to the awesome water machine at work.  Yep, in the break room at work there is a crushed ice dispenser that also gives out cold, filtered water.  How awesome is that?  It's free to drink water - and free is always good in my book.  My goal is to drink a cup of coffee during my first class - and then drink a glass of water for each class after.  I have six classes a day, two breaks, and lunch.  I should be able to get in 64ozs of water pretty easily...if not a lot more.

I will....pack my breakfast and lunch each and every day to take to work.  Again, this is something I've been doing - so there's no real work involved with making this happen.  Being on a tight budget has had it's benefits.  I am buying and preparing my lunch at home to bring to work - so no fast food or cafeteria food for me!  Some days I bring leftovers, some days I bring frozen Healthy Choice meals.  I have been buying the frozen meals that are low on sodium, and low on additives.  There are so many "clean" options now, that it's pretty easy to find something healthy to take for lunch.  I'm also making sure that I take some form of fruit to eat either at lunch or for a snack.  My work breakfast has been the same since I was interning - a Greek yogurt and some form of fiber filled granola bar. 

I won' too hard on myself.  This is probably one of my biggest set backs.  Anytime I fall into a moment, or hour, or day, or week, or month of weakness - I dwell on it forever.  Then, once the dwelling begins, it's a constant downward spiral - as I've made apparent these past few months.  The key will be locking set backs down to moments - maybe days - but that's it.  If  I do have a bad moment (or day), I will just have to remind myself that I just start over the minute the moment has passed - and let it go.  Even though I have full intentions of taking this challenge very seriously, I just have to remember that not every day will be perfect.  I also know from experience that there may be weeks that I've put in a great effort, but the scale refuses to show that effort.  I just have to keep in mind that it will - as long as I stay positive and keep pushing myself.

I won't....make excuses.  A little over a year ago, I was the Queen of No Excuses.  This year?  I've been the Queen of Making Excuses.  Every single time I did something I wasn't proud of, I came up with a great excuse.  I can't find a job.  I'm stressed out.  I don't have time.  Wah, Wah, Wah.  Excuse after excuse.  It is now one of my goals to go back to No Excuses.  If I mess up - I must take responsibility, and learn from it.

I think I can do well in this challenge.
I know I can give it my best shot - and regardless of the outcome, keep fighting.
I will support others involved in this challenge.
I won't give up - quitting is not an option.

Till next time. ;)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Heading Off to Shrinkvivor Island


OK, so I'm not actually going anywhere.  No deserted islands, no ocean-front camp site, no cameras following my every move, no rationed portions of rice....although rationed rice would probably be a huge benefit.

The day has finally arrived.  It's probably the closest I'll ever get to being a part of a reality show.  Today marks the kick off of the Shrinkvivor Challenge hosted by The Sisterhood

Each week, I will be competing with a team to lose weight, and trying not to get voted off by doing challenges.  This is very nerve wracking to me, because...well.... I don't like to lose, and I especially don't like being voted off of anything. 

I am on the Bronze team with six other ladies.  Just like the real Survivor, I don't know these women.  I don't think I've even corresponded with any of them before all of this.  We are complete strangers coming together to do what we can.

We vote each week to cast off a team member.  This part will be hard for me.  The only way this is avoided is by a) my team winning the immunity idol or b) someone not checking in one week - which automatically gets that person disqualified from the competition.

If I get voted off, I immediately go to Exile Island, which is where the castoffs get a chance to form their own tribe and show the original tribes what they missed out on. 

As a part of the challenge, I have to take pictures of my beginning and ending weight.... but I figure, it would be a good idea to take a picture each week of my weight... you know, to hold myself accountable and all that.

So, I'm not proud to show this picture... but I know that this is day 1 and that it's up to me to make this number change significantly - go down...that's the only significant change I want.

I will be back to doing my weigh-in on Wednesday.  Each week, I will post the updated picture.  I will also be keeping a running record on the Challenges Page of the blog.

The fitness challenge each week - that has the potential of getting my team the Immunity Idol - is to record the number of minutes of exercise completed.  Actual exercise is counted - walking, jogging, cardio, strength training, etc.  Walking from the car to the building, walking around the school, and hauling groceries doesn't count... dang it!!

The only way that I have a real shot at being a competitor -compared to some of the mighty athletes participating - is to walk/jog/run every day for at least 45 minutes.  That would give me a nice amount of fitness minutes each week.....and that's not even thinking about the amount of calories I'll burn.  I'll be using my Running Log to keep track of the minutes and miles each week.

I really hope that this is the swift kick up the rear that I've been needing for a while.  I've mentally told myself that being on the pill had a lot to do with my weight gain.  Now the pill is gone.  If I'm right, then I should be able to do well in this challenge.  Even if the pill wasn't the blame - I've told myself it was...and it's mind over matter... I want to prove myself right, right?

You want to know something funny?  I don't even know what the prizes are for this challenge.  I don't even care, really.  It's not about what I can win - but what I can lose.  I need motivation.  I need support.  I need victory.  This challenge has the potential of giving this all to me - and that will be what I win, if I can pull it off.

So, here goes.  Wish me luck.  Having your support is a big deal for me - I know I've let you down countless times over these past few months... but I have a real chance of redeeming myself here. 

Let the Shrinking Begin!!

Till next time. ;)

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

True Confessions Tuesday

It's time to come clean.  It's time to confess.  It's time to share my dirty - and not so dirty - laundry for the world to see.  Yep.  It's True Confessions Tuesday.  

I confess that I was one irritated woman after leaving my doctor's office yesterday morning.  My appointment was at 8, I arrived at 7:55.  I sat there for 20 minutes, finally get called back by the nurse.  She does her business...weight, blood pressure, pregnancy test, then takes me to a room so that I can get naked from the waste down.  I get a thin paper towel to cover up with.  The room is freezing!!  I sit there, half naked until 8:45, when I hear the doctor...and everyone is greeting her.  She just arrived!!!  Icing on the cake?  I hear her tell the nurse, right outside my door, that being as I'm having a "procedure", she'll see do the "other pap" it will be quicker.  Urm, excuse me??  I'm no pap expert, but I know that every time I've had to endure one - it's taken forever.

I confess that I sat in that freezing room until 9:15.  Then, she finally come in to see me.  Of course, I wasn't freezing anymore - I was hot!!  She mistook my irritation for nerves, and told me that I will need to relax for the procedure.  It took her almost 10 minutes to get everything set up.  She then dug around in my who-ha for a few minutes...and then the "procedure" began.  She put in my IUD.  It consisted of what felt like a cattle prod being rammed into my cervix - and took all of five minutes to complete.  The whole thing was finished by 9:30.  Which, for the record, was a whole 5 minutes... much quicker than the pap she'd just done before me!!  I then had to wait another 10 minutes for the nurse to come back in and explain my after care...which seemed to take forever.  Then I had to wait to make another appointment for a month.  I finally got out of there at 10am.  Ridic!! Two hours for a five minute "procedure". *sigh*

I confess that when I have a doctor sticking foreign objects into my who-ha, the last thing I want to do is chit-chat about my kids, or Halloween, or Christmas...or any other subject for that matter.  I am perfectly content with awkward silence and only hearing the words "this may hurt a little" or "you're going to feel a lot of pressure" or even pure honesty - something like "this may feel like I'm ramming a hot poker into your cervix, try and relax".  Asking me if I've started thinking about Christmas instead of preparing me for the moment you're going to shove a 12 inch rod up there only makes the pain worse...and may cause some uncontrollable curse words escaping from my mouth.  My bad.

I confess that for the rest of the day, I felt like I had a bad case of hemorrhoids.  It was uncomfortable to sit down for too long - so I stayed on my feet.  I don't remember my last implant hurting so much - but then again, my cervix (along with the rest of my body) wasn't all tense from having to wait over an hour last time, either.

I confess that when I stopped at Wal-Mart on my way home last night, I may have bought a package of pecan pie tarts.  I then may have eaten three of those tarts after dinner while drinking a tall glass of whole milk.  I'm only following Dr. Oz's advice.  He said that whole milk is better than fat free milk - and he's apparently a guru or something.

I confess that I'm kind of scared about the Shrinkvivor challenge that's starting tomorrow.  What if my team doesn't like me?  What if they think I'm a threat?  What if they make alliances without me - and then vote me off for no reason?  Wow - I've seriously watched too much Survivor

I confess that I was really upset this morning when I read an email from Connect to Charity informing me that they were going out of business - and that the fundraising page I created for Kenadee was going to be shut down on September 30th.  Luckily, I only had one donation - and that donation will be sent to the Mitochondrial Association.  Now I'm going to start over - and really put my head to the grind to come up with a great Walk-a-Thon for Kenadee.

I confess that, as bad as this sounds, I think the email was some form of sign.  I may have gone about things too heavy handed.  I need to start with some basics - and really get the walk-a-thon off the ground, before I start asking for donations.  I am forever grateful for Val for being the sole donator - but will now be looking at more personal and smaller scale options to get this event into high gear.

I confess that I have to go - I've got a guest post to get ready....that I'm really excited about. 

Got something you'd like to confess?  Then - do it!!  Either create an entire post on your own blog filled with delicious, juicy confessions - or just pick one and plant it in my comments section, m'kay?

Everyone have a wonderful Tuesday!!

Till next time. ;)
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Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little Something for the Ladies

If you decided to read my blog today, based on the title....and you think that I've got a treat for ya - like some Eric Northman eye candy - well, I don't.

Wait.  That's not true.  I can do's the least I can do....being that what I'm going to make you read about today.

So, before I get down to business, here's some eye candy for you.  You're welcome.

What I really have to talk about today is for the ladies.  I mean, if there are any guys reading - you may want to close your browser now.  Run!!  Don't look back.  Come back tomorrow.  If you don't heed the warning - not my fault.

It's probably obvious by now that I'm going to talk about that wonderful time of the month....oh, and throw in a little birth control chatter...including hormones, bloating, and cramping gossip!!  Fun, right?

Let's begin, shall we?

Two months ago, you may remember me sharing the story that my birth control implant fell out.  Maybe you don't.  Maybe you missed it, or intentionally skipped over it.  In case you did, you can read about that pilava right here.

That was back in July....the beginning of July, actually.  A few days later, I went to the doctor and she put me on birth control pills.

Let me say right now, I hate taking pills.  Oh, I've said that before?  Yeah, well it's true.  Taking the pills hasn't been the worst part of the experience, though.

When I had the implant, I lost close to 100lbs.  Was the implant the cause?  Of course not!! My pedal to the metal, kick ass, nobody can stop me attitude was the cause for my tremendous weight loss.  Just four weeks before the implant fell out, I weighed 214lbs.  It wasn't my lowest weight.  If I remember right, I actually managed to get down below 210lbs at one point.  I started gaining weight around the beginning of June - the time the doctor thinks the Mirena became "dislodged".

Once I started taking the pills, my whole feminine world turned upside down.

While the implant was still firmly in place, I didn't really have many Aunt Flo problems... in fact, I hardly even noticed she was there when she did come.  My moods stayed pretty consistent.  There were the occasional binges - but nothing uncontrollable or out of control.

Once I lost the implant and switched to the pill?  Holy Mother of Time of the Month Hell!!

Aunt Flo came back with a vengeance.  With her she brought along cramping, bloating, out of control binges, and mood swings.....yeah, I'll admit it.  I was the Devil Woman during the time of the month.

Now, I weigh 231lbs.  That's a 17lbs difference - in a matter of three months.

Am I going to sit here and blame the weight gain on the fact that I lost my implant blanket and had to switch to hormone filled pills?  Not entirely.  I hadn't even really given it a thought until now.  It does start to raise some questions, though.

So, why am I bringing this all up now?  Well, because today - I'm going to get another implant!!

The one I'm getting today is different to the Mirena.  It's a non hormonal implant that lasts 10 years versus the 5 years that Mirena lasts.  Mirena did contain a small amount of hormones.  Nothing compared to the pills that I'm taking - but still a small amount.

This has set off an excitement in my head.  Will getting the new implant help cure some of the problems I've been having?  Will the cramps, the bloating, the headaches, the bitchiness all go away?  Will the urges to stuff my face until I'm on the verge of exploding fade away too?  Will I have more energy?

I don't know.  Yet.

I've known many women who have experienced significant weight gain while on the pill.  While I don't believe that the pill is the entire cause of the weight gain - the side effects can have some of the blame.  In fact, every time that I was on birth control pills in the past, I blew up.  My weight increased significantly.  Sure, there were other factors at play.... but it is a trend that I've kept up with over the years.

I got the Mirena about 8 weeks after Jelly was born.  That was 3 1/2 years ago.  In that time, I lost more weight than I ever have in my whole life.  Sure, I yo-yo'd a bit.... but for the record, it was the most I was able to lose and keep off for the longest amount of time.  Until those damn pills made an appearance, that is.

A 17lb gain in three months is a lot.  That's almost 6lbs a month.  There have been a few occasions when I've seen the scale go up to 234lbs during Aunt Flo visits, and sometimes the scale has gone down to 228lbs.  Monday morning, when I take my "official" weight, however, I see the same 231lbs that I've seen for the past couple of weeks.  Blah!!

Let's hope that today is a new day.  Will the coming of a new implant come the new surge of willpower and motivation?  Hopefully.  I know I can't put all my eggs into the basket.  The implant isn't going to suck the fat out of me... but it may help...just a little.

Can those blasted pills really be a reason that I've gained so much weight in 3 months?  Well, starting today - we shall see.  It will be my own experiment.  Only time will tell.  I sure as heck hope so!!

I want to know - have any of you gone through a similar situation?  Have you noticed that you gain more weight on birth control pills - or any other type of birth control?  Please share!!

Till next time. ;)
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Got to Set the Record Straight

I love getting emails from my blog readers.  I actually get more emails than I do comments, and I'm OK with that - it gives me the chance to be able to respond to that person.  It's a little more personal.  While I'm looking in to a different comment set up that will allow me to email the people that comment, and respond to comments individually - until that happens, emails from readers are great.

Sometimes the emails I get are positive.  Sometimes they are negative.  I don't mind either.  Everyone has the right to their opinion, and if they disagree with something I say - they have the right to tell me.  It's always nice to hear how much people enjoy reading.  So lovers and haters are always welcome.

Then, there are times when I get positive emails that make me feel like I've been given a back handed compliment.  I don't think it's intentional in the least - but the emails still sometimes leave me scratching my head and thinking....hmm, is that really what I sound like in my posts? 

Today, I want to touch on a couple of emails that I've received over the past couple of weeks.  I won't use the senders name - they will know who they are.  It's not to single out the people that sent the emails, it's to get some feedback and clear up a few things that have left a bad taste in my mouth.  Again, totally not their fault.  It's their perception of me - and if I've given off that perception...then I definitely want to set the record straight.

Email #1:

I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I love your blog.  I love how you are always so open and honest.  I wanted to let you know that you shouldn't worry about having such a hard time losing weight.  The fact that you're able to share how bad your life is - it's no wonder you turn to food as a comfort.  I know that once your life starts to improve, you'll find the strength to overcome your struggles.  I wish you the best of luck!!

Email #2:

Hi!! New reader here.  For the past couple of days, I've been reading some of your posts.  You have really put things into perspective for me.  I am having trouble trying to lose weight, too.  Even though I'm having trouble, I'm not going through half as much crap as you are in your life.  You made me realize that if you can still keep a somewhat positive attitude that you still plan on losing weight with what you're dealing with, then there's absolutely no reason why I can't do it.  While I'm not happy that you're having such a rough time in your life, I am happy that I've been able to see that I'm making stupid excuses.  Thanks for the inspiration!

Email #3:

Great post today!  I'm so sorry to hear about your son.  That on top of everything you're already dealing with is toughIt appears that life sure does like to throw you lemons, but I'm positive that you're going to be able to make a nice, big batch of lemonade soon.  Keep your head up.  Things will start looking up for you - and life will get better, soon.  From what I've read, you are a strong women - and even though you tend to get nasty curve balls thrown your way often, I have full faith that you'll come out of it all stronger than ever before.  Good luck!!

I received all three of those emails within the past couple of weeks.  They are nice emails - emails that I love to read.

It appears, however, that I have spent a lot of time painting a picture that my life is terrible.  I'm not losing weight because I have so much sadness, drama and stress going on.  Apparently, many of my readers are under the impression that I'm unhappy....and that my lack of progress in the weight loss department is justified.

Well, it's time to set the record straight.

Reading back over some of my last few weeks of posts - the emails are right.  Geez, could I complain or whine anymore?  Even though I think that I'm throwing in some positive stuff here and there....the majority of my writing is negative or pity seeking.  My bad.

While my blog is my outlet for me to vent my frustrations, share my failures, and discuss the feelings that I'm not able to openly share in real life - my intent was to never paint the picture that I'm some poor, unlucky, stressed to the max woman who's hanging on to sanity by a thread....regardless to the name of my blog.

If anything, it appears that I've laid the pity seeking on pretty thick.  It apparently worked.  I've been writing in circles for months.  I want to lose weight, I can't because this bad thing happens.  I get motivated to start over, and then something else happens - and that means that I'm not motivated anymore.

The way I write about it makes it much more worse than it actually is.  So, here are a few subjects that I've touched on in the past few weeks and months - and the reality of how I feel about it and what it's actually done to impact my life.

Issue #1:  Butter:  Having a son go into a psychiatric hospital is devastating.  It's hard.  Not having all three of my children here at home with me is never something I wanted.  HOWEVER, while he's been gone, the family has been mending.  Severe damage was done before he left, both physically and mentally to our family home.  He is getting help - we all are.  This is the best thing that could have happened for our family.  We are taking one day at a time - and this has been a time of comfort and healing.  Our family unit is tighter and happier than it has been in YEARS!!

Issue #2:  The Job:  Not being able to find a teaching job was another blow to my stress level, and my ego.  It really was devastating... back in August.  I was given the opportunity to take a teaching assistant position.  Was that my dream job? No.  Does the pay suck donkey balls?  Yes.  HOWEVER, in my short time in the school I have realized that this job was a blessing in disguise.  I'm teaching kids every day.  I'm being able to make personal connections with kids - and help them succeed.  I come home every day filling fulfilled.  Getting the chance to see all those light bulbs go off in their minds....when they've struggled with the switch for weeks...that's something that money can't by.  This is my half way mark to my dream job.  It may not be my own classroom - but the rest of my dream pieces are all there.  Even though it is still my hope that next year I will have the classroom (and the teacher's pay), I truly love my job.

Issue #3:  Anything Else:  I'm pretty sure that the majority of my pity points fall into the first two categories - but in case there's something I'm missing...I will plop them all into this one.  Despite whatever sympathy seeking spewage that I complain about on my blog... I have a perfectly happy life.  I have a man that loves me.  I have kids that are healthy and amazing.  I have a home.  I have a job.  There is always food on the table, electricity in the outlets, and water coming out of the faucets.  I have a supportive family unit.  I have close, caring friends.  My life, in a nutshell, is wonderful.

I know that you're wondering - if my life is so damn perfect, why do I complain so much?  That's a good question.  What I really think it boils down to?  Disappointment in myself.  I have a wonderful life, yet I still find it so hard to buckle down and do what I have to do to lose the weight.

When I'm complaining - I'm not lying about my inner thoughts or feelings.... I just think that they come off a lot more severe than they really are.  The only obstacles I have in front of me  I complain, I whine, and apparently it pays off.  Then I get emails like those above and realize how much I've misguided you all - and that makes me feel bad.

So, from now on - when you hear me whine and complain....take it with a grain of salt m'kay?   Let me have my moment to vent about it - get it out of my system - and then I'll move on.  Don't feel sympathy for me.  There are people out there much worse off than I am....think of those people.  While I always respect and appreciate your concerns - I will try better in keeping in mind how pathetic my rants sound.

Hopefully I've been able to set the record straight....and will continue to work on getting over my obstacles one day at a time.

Till next time. ;)
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

BYOC - Oh, How I've Missed Ya

It's been a couple of weeks since I joined in for Bring Your Own Crazy - so I'm so excited to do it today.  I get the questions from the FANTASTIC Drazil, and then answer them for you all to read....and learn more about me.  If you want to join in, please do!!!  You just have to copy the questions into your own blog post...

Alright, let's get started!!

1.  If you were a character on Friends, who would you be and why?
Probably Monica.  Even though I'm still trying to get through the weight issues... I hope to one day be able to say that I was "Fat Joanna"...just like she was "Fat Monica".  My OCD isn't as bad as Monica's, but there are other things about her I can relate to.

2.  If you weren't in your current career what other career do you think you would have done?
I've wanted to teach since I was little - period.  However, I know that if I hadn't of followed my career dreams, I'd still be working for the in the Corporate World.  I dabbled working in the legal department - loved that.  I worked in the health care sector - loved that.  I also worked in new business - loved that.  So, something in the corporate world, behind the scenes....not actually related to the sales.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 6?

A teacher.  Always have, always will.

4.  Do you think everyone only has one soul mate or true love? Or are there multiple people for everyone?
 As much as I love my dear Hubby, and believe that we are meant to be together.... I can't go out on a limb and say that he's the only person I should have ever been with.  I've never really believed in one true soul mate.  I believe that a relationship depends on personalities, compatibility, and attraction.  I have had these things in common with several men.  I think back in my life, and I can think of a couple of the guys I dated as being men that I could have spent the rest of my life with.  Things didn't work out that way - and I ended up with the man that I am meant to be with.  I don't think it's because he was my destined soul mate....other situations come in to play.  

5.  Repeat question.  Summarize your week in real life and in blog land.

Real life has been grand.  Job is going great.  I'm getting more in depth with the kiddos I'm working with - and seeing light bulbs go off every hour.  That's job satisfaction at it's finest.  While I may not believe in soul mates - I do believe that something brought me in to this job....some form of higher power, if you will.  I'm making a real difference in these kids' lives - and they're making a difference in me.  I'm getting to really apply the reason I've always wanted to be a teacher, one kid at a time....and it's the best experience I can ask for.

Also, Butter is home for the weekend.  I finished his room Thursday night.  I went and picked him up last night.  I was mean and told him that I didn't finish his room - and got him all prepared to see piles of trash and junk when he walked through the door of his room.  It was such a great surprise for him when he saw his room sparking clean, his toys out, and new art supplies on his desk.

Today, we're going to spend the day at my parent's house - so that Butter can spend some time with them before he has to go back tomorrow.  We still have no definite idea on how much longer he will need to be there - but I don't think it will be much longer.

Blog land has been meh.  I'm still I have been for months.  I have a new challenge starting next week, so I'm excited about that.  I've been babbling and sharing stories - but I'm having fun with it.  Hopefully this next week will be better.

Alright, that's it for me.  I hope you join in and do your own BYOC - then let me know you did so I can read it.

Till next time. ;)
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Fill 'Er Up Friday....Some Random Babblings To Prepare You For The Weekend

I made an attempt two Fridays ago to start a new feature on my blog:  Fill 'Er Up Friday.  I liked it.  So I'm doing it again.  It's just a post full of random nuggets of my thoughts and goings on.....which isn't much different from every other day here - but Friday is a day it gets a special title.

When it comes to road rage, I have my fair share of saying not so nice things to idiot drivers from the comfort of my car.  I don't, however, do anything that I would consider dangerous or stupid in order to make my point.  I just want to shout out a nice F U to the person who thought it appropriate to lay on their horn and then ride my bumper for a mile....just because I thought I'd be nice and let a person merge in to traffic from a turning lane.  Is this what the world is coming to now?  I can't be a courteous driver without ticking someone off?

I earned a Mommy of the Year award last night!!  I spent 3 hours finishing up Butter's bedroom ready for him to come home for the weekend.  It's now clean, organized, and it smells fantastic.  Please don't think of the fact that it's taken me 4 weeks to get off my behind and finish it....let me bask in the glory of it being done.. m'kay?

I applaud Facebook for their attempt at trying to compromise the unhappiness people showed with all of their new changes.  I now have the option back to see the recent stories.  If you want to the news feed to go back to the way it used to be - go to Account Settings and then Notifications.  Uncheck the box that asks if you want daily emails sent instead of individual emails.  Then go back to the news feed and click on those little blue triangles in the corner of your top few comments (you'll see a message pop up saying that stories like that will no longer be placed in your top stories feed).  Once that's done, the recent stories feed will come back.  You're welcome!!

While I'm on the Facebook topic, I would also like to point out that I'm fully aware that Facebook is a free service - that I don't have to use if I don't want to.  I do, however, still have the right of free speech - and the right to voice my opinion about changes I don't like.  It appears my bitching, along with thousands of others who shared the same concerns, was heard.  Facebook made some more changes to try and appease the situation.  I think constructive criticism is good to share.  Sending me ignorant messages how I shouldn't be complaining about a "free service" is not good to share.  That is all.

Today is the first day of Fall.  This makes me happy.  I'm ready for cooler weather, fall colors, and the beginning of the holiday season.... except for the fact that Christmas is coming a little too fast, and I'm broke, and I now have to come up with an amazing story to tell my kids as to why Santa is being stingy this year.  I'm thinking it's time to bring out the talk on the economy - and how Santa is dealing with some hard times.

I've made the executive decision that Oikos Greek yogurt is so much better than Chobani.  I understand that this blasphemous statement may cause a few huffs of disagreement...but I can live with that.  For the past several months, Chobani has been a staple to my daily diet.  Then, Oikos came out with a new fruit on the bottom version - and I decided to try it.  It's oh so creamy, has more fruit than Chobani, and costs less.  Sorry, die hard Chobani fans - but this fan is switching teams.

Alright, my brain has ran out of random nuggets of information to share this morning.  Time to get ready for work.  If you have a nugget to share with me - please post in the comments section.  Just share whatever's on your mind... maybe it's a rant, maybe it's a product suggestion, maybe it's just a random piece of juicy gossip... I'm always open to anything.


Till next time. ;)
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

You Want Me to Get Rid of What?

If you have children, then you know that they can be the cause of your most darkest of fears, trigger of frustration, and purist bundles of joy and happiness.

Kids, no matter what the age, have the power to say the one thing that can melt your heart or cause your head to explode.  It's a secret power....a magical power, maybe.  Whatever the situation, they hold the ability to make it the most wonderful moment of your life....or can leave you scratching your head and wondering "where did this child come from?"

I feel that I have been truly blessed in the kid department.  All three children are super smart, loving, caring, and independent.  Yes, there are times when they frustrate me.  Times when I want to lock them in a room together to hash out their differences - because I can't take one more "Mom, tell him to stop..." or "Mom, she won't leave me alone"... but at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade them in for anything.

Peanut has entered in to the age where I'm kept at a safe distance.  She wants time to herself.  She wants to go out with friends.  Even though she's spent all day long at school with her friends, she'd rather spend the evening talking to them on the phone or Internet than spend much time with me.  I try to respect that independence the best that I can - and it pays off during those evenings when she'd rather curl up on the couch with me and watch a movie.

Butter has definitely had his troubles - but he's pulling through them.  Despite everything he's been through, he still knows that the key to my heart is his smile...and no matter what he's ever said or done to me, I love him with all my heart. 

Now, my Jelly....she's quite the funny character.  She's a 14 year old child in a 3 year old body.  I kid you not.  She demands independence.  She demands that her clothes match, her hair is fixed a certain way, and that she get use of my phone when family calls.  She walks around with the phone talking to my mom or Butter or her cousins as though she was Peanut....apparently Peanut has been quite the influence.

She wants to listen to Lada Gaga, Katy Perry or Justin Bieber on the radio - and knows all of the words to several of their songs.  In fact, I don't think she knows the words to many nursery rhymes - but ask her to give you the chorus of Poker Face, she'll nail it every time.  She also enjoys watching TV shows like America's Got Talent, Hell's Kitchen, and Ghost Hunters.  Oh, don't mention Ghost Hunters around that child...she'll drive you nuts asking if she can watch it.  She knows it was on last night and that I DVR it, and I guarantee I know what today's car ride conversation is going to be about....all the way home.

Jelly doesn't throw tantrums - she negotiates.  If I tell her she can't have something or do something, she will try to haggle me. 

Every day at dinner time, I kid you not,  you're going to hear this conversation:

Jelly:  I don't want dinner.

Me:  OK, but you don't get anything else if you don't eat dinner.

Jelly:  How about I eat 3 bites?  Can I have something else then?

Me:  No.  If you have room to think about eating something else, you can eat all of your dinner.

Jelly:  If I eat all of my dinner, I won't have how about 3 bites?

Me:  How about you eat 10 bites?  10 big bites?

Jelly:  How about 4?

Me:  How about 7?

Jelly: How about 5? And I'll eat all of my green beans (or whatever veg we're eating).

I have to hand it to her, the kid has talent.  She negotiates her way through everything.  It's amusing to me - and it also reminds me that it's number I'm OK with it.

Jelly also still acts like a 3 year old...occasionally.  She gets whiny when she's tired.  She wants to curl up with me on the couch or tries to sleep in my bed....negotiations are often used for that scenario, too.  She loves going to preschool, and tells me all about her day in our car ride home.  She also enjoys going to the park, watching the occasional cartoon, and dragging every toy she owns out into the living room.

Last night, she had one of the most amazing 3 year old moments I've ever seen....and she's been 3 for 9 months. 

She was laying next to me on the couch watching TV.  The light in the living room was dim - preparing for her for bed time.  I notice that every few seconds, she smacks the couch.  I don't really pay much attention, but then the hits get a little more intense.  She starts pushing at the couch pillow.  I can feel that she's getting frustrated...and before I can say anything, she's swinging and hitting the couch yelling "Stop it!! Go away!! I'm not playing right now!!"  I ask her what's wrong....

Jelly:  Mom, tell it to stop.  I don't want to play anymore, I'm tired.

Me (completely puzzled):  Tell who to stop?  What are you talking about?

Jelly:  It won't leave me alone.  I'm trying to watch TV, and it keeps touching me....I want you to tell it to go away.

Me (a little concerned):  What, baby?  You want me tell what to go away?

Jelly:  My shadow!!  It won't stop touching me.  It won't go away.  I don't want to play right now... Make it go away!!

Me:  Urm...honey, I can't make your shadow go away.  If you lay still, though, it won't bother you.

Jelly tests out my suggestion....and of course has to move her arm around.

Jelly:  It's still there!!!  

Me:  It's not going to go away, your shadow is always with you....just lay still and it won't move either.

Jelly again tests the suggestion - this time keeping still.

Jelly:  OK.  (Looking at the back of the couch)  You better stay still and leave me alone.

So, it appears, that my 3 year old is still a 3 year old regardless of how much she acts like a teenager.  I tried so hard not to laugh - but how can you not with something as precious as that?  Of course, Jelly wasn't amused with my hysterical laughter.

Small moments like these make me realize that I'm so blessed.  I have fantastic children - and no matter how tired, cranky, frustrated, or upset I kids always know how to put a smile on my face. 

Till next time. ;)
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sometimes Change Isn't Good

You're all going to have to forgive me this morning.  I'm exhausted.  I'm running on 4 hours of sleep, and anything less than 6 will have me saying who knows what.  I can pretty much guarantee that there will be rambling, nonsense, and random blobs of words strung together in order to somehow come up with a blog post.

I've also only had one cup of coffee.  

You've been warned.

The reason I'm so tired - and didn't sleep much last night - is because I was out until past 10pm at the mock jury thingy I told you all about yesterday.  See, there I go...thingy?  I'm sure there's a much better word to describe it.

Despite how long we were was a lot of fun. 

Of course, I can't share anything about the case we heard... because the litigants were not actors, they were real people with a real case pending in court.  Not sure if it's really pending in court, yet, but you'll get the statement if you've ever watched People's Court.  My attempt at tired humor.  Hey, sue me!! You're getting what you pay for this morning.

There were 10 of us on the "jury".  The attorney acted as the mediator, providing answers to questions.  He was very friendly - and it was impossible to tell which side of the case he was on.  He kept a middle perspective throughout the entire deliberations.  We discussed our thoughts, shared our opinions, answered a bunch of questions, and filled out TONS of forms.

All of the juicy stuff lasted a couple of hours, and the last hour was spent actually deliberating the outcome.  We were separated into two groups of 5.  I was the foreperson for our team.  The deliberations were intense - like being on a debate team.  I had a blast.  Will definitely do it again, if the chance presents it's self.

So, getting back to not having much sleep....

I woke up this morning, and did my usual routine.  Shower, coffee, sit at my computer, get on Facebook.

Lookie, lookie what do I see?  Facebook has once again changed all their crap around....and this tired woman is NOT happy about it.

I just don't get some companies.  They get the tiniest bit of competition - and all of a sudden, they have to change everything so that their product is as close to the competition as possible.

Facebook is the success is it because it is what it is.  A social network site for people to connect, share photos, stalk people, see what's going on with their friends and family....and stalk people.  I have privacy settings so I can control who can stalk me....and when I share what I'm doing, I know that everyone on my friends list can read it.  If I didn't want them to see it, I wouldn't post it.

But to Facebook's dismay, Google+ opens up.  It catches the attention of a lot of people... but not a single one of my friends decided that it was any better than Facebook, and so I haven't even looked at Google+ since I joined several weeks ago.  Trying to keep up with circles, and who sees my status message, etc. was just too much hassle for me.  Yes, I'm apparently just as lazy in cyber world as I am in real life.

However, Facebook apparently got the wrong memo.  They somehow believed that all of their members were jumping ship or something - so they've decided to completely redo everything....and make it like Google+.  I don't like it one bit!!

I remember thinking the same thing after the last round of Wal-Mart remodels.  Living in the Wal-Mart capital of of the world....we usually get first dibs on new store designs and stuff.  My local Wal-Mart went through a complete remodel.  They wanted to look fancier, more upscale.  Cause, you know, that's what Wal-Mart is all about.  They completely forgot that their goal mission is to provide low cost goods to people....they were obviously tired of that, and decided it would be so much better to turn into a department store instead.

What did they end up doing?  They turned their stores into blue Targets.

Target's their biggest competition - so for some reason, they thought the only way to compete was to turn their stores into blue versions of Target.  The biggest retailer in the world - the store that should be setting the standards for others.....fell pray to the fear that not every single person in the world was shopping in their stores, and the only way to make that happen would be to turn their stores into replicas of their competition.  Ridiculous!!

What has the new fancy look (and prices to go with it) done?  Made me realize that if I am going to pay department store prices for Wal-Mart stuff....I'm going to shop at the department stores.  Target has now become one of my favorite stores.  I'd rarely shopped at a Target before the remodels.  Wal-Mart actually pushed me to them with trying to be more like them.  Shame, shame.

It appears Facebook is on it's way to doing the same thing. 

If people aren't happy - they're going to jump ship.  I'm not friends with everyone on Facebook, but I do have several hundred friends....and by the status updates I'm reading this morning?  Many of them are not happy.

If something is broken?  Get it fixed.  If something isn't going so well.? Make it better.  If you're the biggest social networking site in the world, and have millions and millions of users that made the jump from MySpace because of all the hinky stuff they started doing to that site?  Take a hint - and don't do anything!!

I really don't like not being able to see the recent status updates.  I don't like Facebook deciding which status updates I'll be interested in - and only showing me those.  I don't like all of the groups I've been placed in because of the information I've got on my profile.  I don't like having to decide who can and can't see my status updates. 

I'll admit it - I get on Facebook to see what everyone else is up to.  Like, the last time they posted a status.  Not a week ago, or two days ago, or 3 hours ago.  There's no way to refresh.  Facebook now decides which status updates I want to see.  How the frick does Facebook know what I want to read about?  If it's any indicator on the status messages I've read this morning - Facebook is WRONG!! 

So, with my sleep deprivation comes the naggy old lady syndrome that causes me to complain about stuff like this.  I guess I'm done complaining for now - Must. Get. More. Coffee.

What do you think of the new Facebook stuff?  Has it made you think about checking out Google+ more?

Till next time. ;)
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

True Confessions Tuesday

It's Tuesday.  Which means that Monday is over, and there's only four days left until the weekend.  It also means that it's time to clear my conscience and spill the beans of things I've done that I'm not so proud of...and occasionally proud of.  Call it a cleansing ritual, call it another attempt at making myself feel better about the lack of good choices throughout the week.  Whatever it is - you can join in too, if you want.  It's time for my True Confessions....

I confess that once I got in my car yesterday afternoon, and started driving home, I regretted passing up the opportunity to go for a walk.  The weather was beautiful.  I kept telling myself that I'd do it when I got home - and then I didn't. 

I confess that the reason I didn't go for a walk when I got home was because I was greeted at the door by Hubby with one of those looks that says "I'm not happy".  It took all of 3 seconds to see why.  My dog apparently has a stomach bug, and decided to use my entire living room as a dumping ground - literally.  Hold the gag reflex, folks.... there was doggy diarrhea and puke everywhere. 

I confess that I spent the next hour steam cleaning the carpet in the living room, and thinking how wonderful my life picked up on the sarcasm there, right?  I didn't even have a chance to take my work clothes off before I was scrubbing....I hate not being able to strip off my work clothes the minute I walk in the door.

I confess that by the time I was done, I had the same "I'm not happy" look - and even though a walk would have probably been the best thing for me....I decided to scowl around the house and curse at my dog under my breath.  I mean, it's not her fault so it wouldn't have been right to curse at her so she could hear me - but it doesn't mean I had pretend to be happy about it.  I was also reminded that I had offered to cook last night - what the heck was I thinking? 

I confess that after the whole incident, there may have been too much garlic bread eaten with dinner.  I said may have been...which you all know means I ate the crap out of the garlic bread, right?

I confess that I often wonder what the heck I'm thinking when I continuously volunteer to do everything offered at work.  No, wait....reverse that.  I know why I volunteer for everything - because I think that it will win me bonus points in getting a job.  That and because when I see an email that says "volunteers needed", I get this weird excited feeling....cause I'm weird like that.  Maybe it would be a good idea to read the rest of the email before I reply "I'll Do It!!"

I confess that, if you hadn't guessed, I'm nervous about something I volunteered for.  I volunteered to attend a mock jury session for a local law firm tonight.  The law firm is paying the school for participants.  At first I thought it would be interesting - I've never been on a jury before.  Now, as I sit here....I'm wondering how the heck I'll be able to stay away from 6-9:30pm listening to a mock case....when I have trouble staying awake on my couch watching my favorite shows every night.  I'm pretty sure I won't win any bonus points if I end up falling asleep...especially if there's drool involved.

Speaking of volunteering, I confess that I learned a valuable lesson last week, while volunteering at the school's annual Parent Night.  That lesson is to never take your own 3 year old when you volunteer for something.  No matter how wonderful and sweet she is 99.9% of the time - the minute you get her in front of people you work with....that 0.01% of spoiled brat will emerge.... in full force.   

I confess that I'm disappointed with the finale of Hell's Kitchen last night.  I won't be a spoiler, in case someone hasn't seen it... but I totally think the other person should have won.  The show is becoming so predictable....I'm seriously considering giving it the axe.  Sorry, Gordan Ramsey... you know I love you... but you're letting the American Producers call way too many shots - and it's hurting your rep.  With me anyway.

I confess that I'm fascinated about my Jelly and her new obsession with Ghost Hunters and Paranormal Witness.  Hold your judgements, people!!  Geez, I can feel the glares and hear the throat clearing - you're not fooling anyone.  I watch one episode a few weeks ago of each while she's sitting with me on the couch - and every night since I've heard "Can we watch the ghost shows tonight?"  Just seeing the commercials gets her all excited.  She's totally my daughter.  She won't sit and watch a Disney movie, but put on a marathon of GH and she's glued to the TV.  Love it!!  You know it's really bad when she's watching the show and says "When are they going to go down the long, dark hallways?"  Yep - that's after only watching 2 episodes.

I confess that for the first time in my life, this weekend I was actually glad to see Christmas decorations at Wal-Mart in September.  That was only because I had informed Jelly that morning that if she didn't get rid of half of her toys - Santa wouldn't bring her any more toys for Christmas.  I know, I'm bad - but it's true.  Santa thinks she has way too much stuff.  Then, we took a trip to Wal-Mart, and they pulled through with having the Christmas stuff out already.  Jelly took one look at it all and begged me to take her home so she could start getting rid of some of her toys.  Of course, by the time we got home - nothing happened.... but I'm set on starting the decluttering this weekend.  I came so close to receiving another Mother of the Year Award when she declared "I want my toys to go to other kids..." but the award was soon ripped from my hands when she followed it up with "so that Santa won't go to their houses, and will bring me more stuff".  All is fair in love and blackmail, apparently.

I confess that it was so nice to get a call from Butter last night - and hear the tone of his voice.  Since going back to the hospital, Saturday, he's been a little down.  Butter called last night to tell me that his doctor told him that he should be out by the first week of October.  I haven't gotten that news, yet, but it makes sense.  He has two more weekends of passes, and then he should be good to go. 

I confess that I have to wrap this up because I'm running out of time before I have to get ready for work - and I haven't checked Pinterest this morning.  My addiction to that site is getting worse.  It's even making me get a little more creative and crafty - YIKES!!  All I know is by the time I get my own classroom - and my dream house - I'll be set.  I have so many boards and pins now, it's a full time job just going through all the fantastic ideas I've found.  I'll also get to the recipes, eventually.

Alrighty folks, I'm done for today.  OK, so maybe not the juiciest of confessions - but what can I say when my life is an open book?  Maybe I should start holding some stuff in until it's time to write this post each week.

Now it's your turn.  If you've got something to get off of your chest, either write a comment or link up your own blog post.  I can't wait to hear them!!

Have a fantastic Tuesday!!

Till next time. ;)

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Two Pounds is Two Pounds... Regardless of How I Lost It

What a weekend.

There was good.  There was bad.  There was happy.  There was sad.  No, I'm not turning in to Dr. Seuss, as cool as that just sounded!!

Another week is starting, and I'm on the fence with how I feel about how my weight loss progress is going.  Actually, I'm more over the fence, with my pant leg caught causing me to dangle uncontrollably - it's quite the mental picture, right?

On Friday, I weighed 230.6lbs.

That means I'd gained 4lbs since September 5th.  That was the day that I declared that I was supposed to be starting over - remember? 

Then, I end up with some crazy infection thingy on Friday that caused my entire face to turn into a balloon.  I was scared to eat anything - even though the pain was gone by Saturday.  I did eat, though...but avoided sweets or anything too hard.  I ate things like Oatmeal, tomato soup, and tuna.

This morning, I weigh 228.4lbs.  I lost 2lbs in 3 days.

See what would happen if I had the mentality to avoid sweets and hard food every day?  I'd lose a killer amount of weight!!

The worst and best thing is, that number reflects me sitting on the couch most of the weekend.  I did do some cleaning yesterday - but nothing I would consider to be noteworthy.  I vacuumed and shampooed the carpet in Butter's room....oh, and moved his bed, dresser, and desk.  Maybe a little noteworthy.

I updated my weight loss counter this morning, and now I'm pretty sad.  Seeing that 69 puts me back so many steps.  I remember the day that counter boosted numbers in the 80lbs+ (closer to 90) lost range.

I've realized that I'm set on a collision course....I'm headed for the brick wall of Starting Weight.  The number I looked at almost two years ago. 

I know that 69lbs is still a lot - but the number has dwindled away drastically.  Only a few months ago, I sat a few pounds away from Onderland.  Now that goal is, once again, a long way off in the distance.

I'm so mad and disappointed with myself.  I've had so many opportunities to do something about it...urm, like every single day.  If I gave up the crap food once and for all.  If I took my butt outside and did some form of exercising - doesn't even have to be running.  I could just go for a walk...that would be better than what I've been doing...which is absolutely NOTHING!!

And so here I sit, once again, whining.  Whose fault is it?  Duh!  Mine.  If I put as much energy into my weight loss as I do whining - I'd set a record for the amount of weight loss a person can lose in a month!

All weekend, I made conscious choices not to eat anything bad - because I realized that if I did have an infected tooth, the last thing I needed was food that made the infection worse.  Now, if I just looked at my entire body being infected - maybe I'd have some results.

It's amazing to me that something like an infected tooth completely changes my outlook on eating.  Never mind that I can't fit in to my clothes, or that when I look in the mirror I see the girl who weighed almost 300lbs again.  You'd think those things would set a fire up my behind.  I worried about my tooth - but what about the rest of my body?

I'm infecting it every day. 

Every time I cram donuts or hot dogs or chips or ice-cream down my throat, I'm feeding the infection that's causing my entire body to swell up.  No amount of medicine is going to cause this infection to go away.  It's stuck in my head - and I'm going to have to fight it.  I'm going to have to use my own defenses.  I'm not going to lie - it frightens me.

I know what you're all thinking.  You've read and heard this all before.  Many, many times before. 

I know you have.  And I'm sorry.  I wish the story was different. 

I know that I have the power inside of me to change all of this.  The fire hasn't completely burned out - it's just been set on an extremely low flame.

Yesterday, I went grocery shopping.  I went without a list or a meal plan.  I hate shopping without either.  One thing that I have got myself set on is planning out the weekly meals.  Even though the meals haven't been the healthiest of options - I still prepare myself each weekend and make a list of the foods we'll be eating during the week.  That didn't happen yesterday.

Do you know what did happen yesterday?  I found myself skipping the snack aisle.  I bought foods that I enjoy - when I'm eating healthy.  I bought Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine meals to take to work for lunches.  I stocked up on chicken and lean meats for dinner options this week.  I grabbed whole wheat spaghetti, long grain rice, and brown rice without batting an eyelid.  I grabbed the multi grain bread without even giving it a second thought.

It all made me realize that my body is conditioned to lose the weight - it's just got to put all of the pieces together.  I know how to eat.  I know what to eat.  It's not something I have to think about or plan for.  Skipping the snack aisle was the biggest accomplishment.  That's been my biggest down fall.  Every week for the past....geez..months... there's been chips, cookies, and ice-cream in my cart when it's time to check out.  Not this time.  OK, there was ice-cream....well, it was frozen yogurt.  It was mainly for Peanut and Jelly, but I figured if I was going to buy something - it would be frozen yogurt in small cups.  Bonus points??  I think so!!

Maybe it was the teeny, tiny voice inside of me that's trying hard to break myself free of the fat jail I've locked myself into.  Maybe it was the back draft of the tooth.  I don't know what it was - but it didn't even dawn on me until we got home and I was unpacking the loot that I realized what I had done.

Whatever it was, it was a start.  A small step in the right direction.  Now, it's up to me to keep going in that direction.  I hope I can do it.  I want to do it.  I am the only thing standing in the way. 

Till next time. ;)
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rant, Rave, Rejoice!!

Don't worry, everyone, I'm still alive.

I was MIA yesterday due to personal reasons...that I'll get to in a second. 

Being that I didn't do my random post Friday, my BYOC post yesterday, and had a good day yesterday that I want to tell you all about, I figured I'd roll it all together into one big post.

I will rant.  I will rave.  I will rejoice.  All in the same post.

Let's start with the rant....cause that will really get my blood pumping for the rest of the stuff I'm going to talk about.

The health care industry in this country sucks major donkey balls.  There, I said it.  I have never been more infuriated at anything in my life - than trying to get some medical help Friday.

Friday, I posted about my swollen face.  I wasn't sure if it was an abscessed tooth or a sinus infection.  After comments and opinions from you all - one thing was clear, I needed to see a doctor.  There was just one problem with that - I'm completely broke, my health insurance doesn't kick in until October 1st, and the last thing I need is an ER bill adding to the monstrous pile of bills I already pay each month.

That in it's self angered the crap out of me.  I was in pain.  It could have been pretty serious.  The last thing I should have been worrying about was the fact that I couldn't afford to see someone.  That's not even the worse part, though.

I start by calling my doctor's office.  They tell me they are completely booked, and can't fit me in until Monday.  Urm, not really going to help me right now - and get me through the weekend.  Then, I call a couple of Urgent Care clinics - you know, the "low cost" quick clinics.  I call several, and I received "quotes" ranging from the cheapest of $69 to the most expensive being $175 (that's just the visit cost, and doesn't include any testing or extra services I may receive).  I know that some of you may be thinking that the prices aren't too bad - but to someone that has NO money?  That's a lot.  AND they requested payment in full at time of service.  UGH, that wasn't going to help.  Plus, that's not really any cheaper than going to see my regular doctor.

So, I do some research, and find a low income "free" clinic.  I call them, explain my situation, and the response I get?  "I'm sorry, but we only see established patients.  You will need to come in on Monday, fill out paperwork, and attend an orientation next Thursday to become a patient".  WTH?  Are you serious?  I'm in severe pain right now, but in order to be seen I have to attend an "orientation"?  I don't want a job, I want to see a doctor!!

What do I end up doing?  Researching online remedies.  It worked, for the most part.  The swelling is basically gone, and so is the pain.  I know I haven't fixed the problem completely, but it's the best I can do until I get paid on Tuesday.  I came very close to making the trip to the ER, but I just couldn't bring myself to rack up a bill that extreme just for them to give me a prescription for some antibiotics.  I know it's not right, but I figured if I could last a couple more days - I'd just go to my own doctor and pay the $75 office visit and get the prescription on Tuesday...when I have the money to do so.

Let's move on....blood is now pumping....the Rave and Rejoice segments are connected.  They are both about my sweet Butter getting to come home for the day, yesterday.

He got a day pass from the hospital.  It's a transition period he has to go through before he can be completely released.

After bitching about the health care industry in this country, I have to take a second to rave about the hospital that Butter is currently in.  Butter's insurance has been fighting tooth and nail not to have to pay for the services he's receiving.  Why? Well, that's a whole other rant - and I'm not going to get into that now, but.. despite his insurance fighting, the doctors at the hospital have also been fighting.  They've even agreed to lower and change the billing so that they get less money.  The level of care won't be affected, they are just willing to do whatever they need to in order to make sure that Butter gets to stay and gets the help that he needs.  I believe with my whole heart that he is getting the best care - the proof is in my boy.

Butter has done so well in the 3 weeks he's been there, he's starting his transition period to be released.  It's done slowly, so that Butter gets to adjust.  With Butter's diagnoses, that's very important.  This weekend he got a one day pass, next weekend he'll get a one night pass, and the following weekend, he'll get a full weekend pass - if they all go well, he should be released the following week.

I picked him up at 9am yesterday morning.  He was so excited - as was I.  The rules of his pass were that he was not to be "specially treated".  He was to come home and spend the day doing what we would normally do on a Saturday.  He was also required to be assigned a chore.

As soon as he came home, he wanted to get his chore out of the way.  I gave him the job of cleaning up the living room.  Everything else had been done, and I knew it would be pretty simple - I didn't want his one day home being spent doing chores.  He did it.  Without a complaint. 

The rest of the afternoon, being that it was pouring down rain, was spent playing cards.  I taught him one of my favorite games, and he taught me a game he'd learned while away.  We laughed, we joked, and we had a great time. 

After lunch, he had to take his medicine - which causes him to get a little sleepy.  So, he laid down on the couch with me - and slept for 2 hours.  I watched him while he slept for a while, and then laid down right there with him...and slept for an hour.

We woke up and ate dinner, played some more cards, watched a little TV, and then it was time to take him back.

The drive back to the hospital was a quiet drive.  I knew what was going on in my mind - and I could only imagine what was going on in his.

When we arrived at the hospital, the tears came - from both of us.

The nurse allowed us some time to say goodbye.  Through his tears he told me he didn't want to stay, he wanted to go home, but he knew he had to stay because he was getting help - he could feel the change, and knew why he was there.  He told me how much he loved me, how much he missed me every day...and that he was going to continue doing whatever he could to make sure he got to come home soon - for good.  I'll wait for a second while you go and grab a Kleenex.  If you're anything like me, you probably need one at this point.

I gave him a last kiss goodbye, and off he went.  My tears lasted the entire drive home. 

I was so sad for the rest of the evening - until the phone rang at 10pm.  It was Butter, calling to tell me that he was OK.  He'd spoken to the nurse after I left, felt much better - and didn't want me to worry.  He wants this week to go by fast, so that he can come home again - and I told him I wanted the same.  It was like a dagger to the heart - but I knew, deep down, that all of this is for the best.

I know that the last part doesn't sound like something I should be rejoicing - but I am.  If you knew the history that Butter and I have had the past few years, you'd understand.  Before going in to the hospital, I heard daily how much he hated me, how much he wanted a new family, how much he despised being in the same house as me.  He hit me, he cussed me out...and did it to others, too.  It wasn't his fault, but he needed the help to understand how to deal with it - as did I.  He is a completely different child, now - he's my baby again.  I rejoice that after so many years struggling to find a way to help him - he's finally receiving it...and he's back to being the sweet, caring, lovable child he once was.

Today, it's my goal to finish his bedroom.  I want it ready for his visit next weekend.  There's a lot to do - but I will work my butt off until it's finished.

So, there's my Rant, Rave, and Rejoice.  Hopefully, you're not a blubbering mess after reading this - like I am.

Till next time. ;)
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Friday, September 16, 2011

When I Thought About Wiring My Mouth Shut... This Isn't What I Had In Mind

Not having a good day, and it's barely after 6am.  Not a good sign.

It's my own fault - I jinxed myself.

A few days ago, I was stupid enough to make the comment "I need my mouth wired shut, then maybe I could stop eating junk food and lose the weight".

Little did I know that Karma was listening.  Ever heard the saying "Be careful what you wish for?"

Yesterday, I had a toothache.  Ache is an appropriate word.  It wasn't blinding pain - just a dull aching on the right side of my face.  It was across the top jaw line into my cheek.  It was uncomfortable - but tolerable.

I had a pretty good day at work, then spent the evening volunteering at Parent Night watching about 200 kids.  We were outside, and the pain in my face pretty much disappeared.  Until I got home.

When I got home, the pain was back - but still not anything major.  I finally broke down and took an Advil.  I didn't want to - I hate taking pain medicine.  But, I was worried I wouldn't be able to get much sleep, so I took the pill.  When I take pain medicine, it knocks me out.  Yep - any kind.  Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen - doesn't body's just not used to it.  So, I knew that I'd at least be able to get a couple of hours sleep. 

I went to bed around 9:30.  No big deal.  Fell asleep pretty fast. 

Woke up at midnight, and my face was throbbing.  I put it down to the fact that I'd been laying on my cheek - so I got up, swished some hot salt water (totally disgusting), and went back to bed to try and sleep.

Fell back to sleep, woke up at 1:30am.  This time, I knew something wasn't right.  I could see my cheek protruding from my face.  I ran to the bathroom to discover that my cheek was swollen.  It was pretty painful.  I spent the next hour swishing mouthwash, took another Advil, and holding a hot compress against my cheek.  At 2:30, I decided to lay back down again.

I dozed off, and woke up at 4:30 to blinding pain.  Pain from the top of my forehead to the bottom of my jaw.  My eye hurt.  My nose hurt.  My cheek bone felt like it had been broken.  My jaw felt like it had been smashed by a sledgehammer.  The skin all down the right side of my face felt so tight, I thought it might rip if I touched it.

I once again took the run to the bathroom to find my face looked like this....

It's kind of hard to see how bad it is in the picture - but just compare the left side to the right side.  Oh, and I'm not moving my nose - the swelling is so bad, it's caused my nostril to be raised on that side.  As much as I'd like to have full, pouty lips - those monsters are also a part of the swelling.

Nice, right? 

Needless to say, I'm not going to work today.  The last thing I need is all of my kiddos running in terror thinking that the Elephant Woman has escaped in their school.

I'm confused as to what it is... because I don't really have any pain in my mouth.  It's all in my face.  It could be a tooth, it could be sinuses.  Whatever it is - I don't have my insurance yet, and so a visit to the dentist is out of the question. 

Being that I can barely open my mouth wide enough to drink a cup of coffee - eating is pretty much out of the question until the swelling goes down.  If the pain doesn't subside with the swelling, it will be no hard food for a while.

The downside?  I'm in terrible pain, haven't had much sleep and I look like something out of a zombie movie.

The upside?  I can't eat. It's a liquid diet for me until I can get my behind to the walk-in clinic and get some idea what it is - and maybe some antibiotics.

Really, Karma?  This is your idea of giving me a head start at losing some weight?  I was only joking about my mouth being wired shut, you know.

Why is it Karma is only around listening to comments like that.  Apparently, Karma has better things to do when I'm declaring how I'd love to win the lottery.  

So I will be spending the day resting - hoping that the pain goes away and the swelling goes down. 

I'm hoping that today is the worst of it - because Butter is coming home tomorrow for a visit! 

He's getting a 1 day pass, and so he gets to come home and spend the day with us.  I don't want to look or feel like this while he's here.  This couldn't have come at a worse time.

Oh well, it's off to bed for me for a while.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed that this passes quickly, k?

Till next time. ;)
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