Thursday, November 29, 2007


So about half my To Do list is finished and now I feel like I'm getting sick.  Go figure.

I was reading an entry by a WLS patient that I have been following and she stated something that rang very true for me:

I didn't want people to think I was physically limited, so I worked extra hard to beat their expectations. I didn't want to acknowledge just how big a problem my weight was, so I felt if I could keep going and wasn't limited, then there really wasn't a problem.

How true it is.  I have always worked my ass off to not fit into the stereotype of a large person; I do major cleaning, I rake and bag leaves, I keep a very clean house, I went on the mission trip (and was exhausted through most of it) and kept up with teenagers all week.  Always acting like I was just as normal as the next "normal size" adult.  But the fact is that I probably have to work three times as hard as a normal size person because I am carrying a whole extra person on my frame.  It's like having to do all the stuff I mentioned above, all the while giving someone else a piggy back ride through my day.  Insanity.  But even now, with acceptance setting in that I cannot control my weight on my own, I still go at a hundred miles per hour through my day, to the point that tonight I am feeling sick.  I have always done this since high school; just ask my mother.  I go and go until I wear myself down to the point of illness, because anything less, in my mind, would be giving into the fat and though I may look like a fat person, I don't have to act like one, by resting.  I think I need to find a happy medium between couch potato and a manic "I'm not fat" maniac.

Still waiting on the next step with the surgeon's office.  One more month of WW (thank goodness!) and then we start Bayview's program mid-December.  I have set up our appointments with the nutritionalist and tomorrow will try to schedule our psyche consults as well.  All the ducks are pretty well lined up!

And now, I think I am going to put on my inner fat girl and call it night.  I'm tired, not feeling well, and going to bed early. 

Monday, November 26, 2007

I need a personal assistant

I am not so sure I could be anymore tired if I tried and I am still behind on every single aspect of my life.  Here's what my week is shaping up to look like as far as what I need to accomplish:


Do two advent bulletins without being able to run it by the pastor as she will not be in this week...fabulous
Get a council election ballot ready.
Have December's newsletter ready to go by Thursday morning
Figure out how to work the stupid bookplates for the new hymnals, type them up and get them inserted before they are placed out in the sanctuary for Sunday.
Work out a prop list for the teenager's Christmas skit


Finish Christmas decorating inside and outside
Grocery shop tomorrow
General cleaning
Sort out JJ's birthday party which is supposed to maybe be Wednesday and I don't even have a cake ordered yet (how horrible am I?)
Call Hopkins to schedule our appointment with the nutritionalist, which I've been meaning to do for THREE weeks.
Finish laundry
Sort out ornaments I just purchased for the family ornament exchange and have them ready to go by the end of the week so they can go out with my mom's mailing.

On the shopping front

Other than Walmart tomorrow, I have to get to the mall on Wednesday for a birthday gift (not my son's thankfully!  One I am already late on)
try to find a narrow bookshelf for the living room
Buy Christmas cards, so I can get working on those by next week.

Other odds and ends
Music and Worship committee meeting Wednesday night at 6:00, which I will probably have to forgo due to the birthday thing.
Praise band rehearsal on Thursday
Sunday, take the teens to see a show in DC.

Can someone tell me where sleeping for like ten hours comes into play???

And on another note...can someone tell me how this child is getting ready to turn eight years old at midnight?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hodge Podge

I am usually a great lover of Christmas.  Not only because I truly know what it is about, but even putting that aside for a moment, I love the decorations and the get togethers and the shopping (A license to shop; what could be better?).  Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the year as it holds the promise of things to come.

My deep love of Christmas has waned a bit since adopting the boys and not for the reasons you think.  I love our kids and they have made Christmas a brand new thing for me once again, but we have a unique situation with:

cast of characters:

Great Grandma (GGM)
Great Grandpa (GGP)
Grandma (GM)
Egg Donor (EG)
Sperm Donor (SD)
Cute Little Bio-Sister (LS)

I actually like all the grandparents but GGM and GGP (I think it is more GGM honestly) tend to push the envelope around the holidays especially.  Actually it started a little earlier than usual this year, at Halloween.  JJ was with GGM and GGP the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving and he came home with two bags of candy, one for him and one for Aaron and they were signed "From Daddy and Danielle" (Danielle is the new girlfriend and SD is in jail again last I heard).  I'm sorry, when you don't take care of your kids to the point that they go into the system more than one time and then they don't hear from you EVER, you lose the right to the name "Daddy".  JJ also informed me when he came home that he "Watched Bob the Builder at GGM's house and he hasn't watched that since he lived with her and his last name was __________ (insert biological last name here)."  Those words were not coming from my seven year old;  they were being repeated by my seven year old.

I emailed GM as she is sane and addressed the issues.  She in turn, talked to SD about not signing things "Daddy" and she told me she had talked to him and he was "okay with that."  I'm sorry, I don't give a rat's ass what he is "okay" with.  I'm telling it the way it is.  He can sign things by his given name or he can sign them "Love, your sperm donor" but that's as good as it gets. 

We have always allowed the Grandparents to have the boys Thanksgiving night as well and keep them for a few days.  So this time, GM informed us "You won't get them back till Monday" (this wasn't a threat or anything like that, nor did it come across as mean.  ) And I told her I needed them back on Sunday as they were rehearsing a Christmas program at church. 

Now, the problem is that though they are bringing them back Saturday evening, I have a feeling they will want them on Monday as JJ's birthday is next week and they'll want to celebrate it on Monday with "just the family".  Those words were used last year by GGM in reference to JJ's birthday and they left me trying to explain to JJ why his dad and I were not coming to this particular party.

The other recent problem I have is that GM had JJ Wednesday night as she was also getting LS for the night so the two siblings could spend some time together.  LS lives with the ED.  So when GM brought JJ back home yesterday, he was informing me that he now knew where LS lived.  When questioned, he said he did not go into LS's house, but HELLO!  Why wouldn't GM have brought JJ back first instead of driving him out to the ED's house??? 

The flip side of this whole thing is that I don't want to take the relationships of the boys and their grandparents away from either party.  I feel it is an important relationship to cultivate.  But with that being said, I'd like to feel like I can trust these people to play by the rules.  When they are throwing up ED's name or SD's name, they aren't that for my kid's sake, they are doing that out of their own sense of insecurity.  I wouldn't let my kids go with people I don't trust, so why should I have to allow this??  I know that I don't have to allow it all.  I am not required to let the boys see them at all, but if I stop the visits, then I'm the mean parent as they are not old enough or mature enough to understand the mechanics of this whole thing. 

So, on another note, I braved Black Friday briefly today to buy this.  WLS patients swear by them and this thing was marked 59.99 and I got it for 18.88.  I was very excited.  I generally don't shop on this particular shopping day, but I also love a bargain. 

Monday, November 19, 2007

Busiest time of the year

So it has started.  The Christmas shopping; I'm on it.  Shopping for Thanksgiving it.  Bought myself a new coat off ebay...done.  JJ's birthday present...covered.

I've been busy!  When you're a mom, life is generally hectic, but throw some holidays in there, and it becomes even more so. 

So, I just went in to check on my oldest son's myspace account.  This was the deal when we allowed him to have a myspace; that I had the password, so I could always make sure he was following the guidelines we set for him.  So, I went in and he has decided to change his myspace name to use his first name and his biological last name.  On further investigation, I found a very inappropriate message to the girl across the street. VERY inappropriate.  So, I deleted his account.  I don't know if it was the right thing to do or not, but the problem is that his uncle, who is like 14 years old is on myspace.  The uncle lives with Aaron's bio-mom and that is where I think the problems are coming from.  So, I eliminated the problem.

This is always the worst part of the holidays; dealing with biological families.  The boys don't see their bio parents but they do see the bio-grandparents and at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we just always have to be on the defensive to make sure that nothing occurs that should not occur.  I hate it.  On one hand, I love the fact that the boys get to see their grandparents; the Brit and I both felt that this was important.  On the other hand, there are times when our rules are stretched almost to the breaking point.

We've been told that we are "very nice" in allowing the kids to maintain these relationships.  I like to think of it as the right thing to do, but I also know it is not a requirement on our part.  Then there is the fact that I don't want to hold the boys up as pawns if rules are not followed. 

Maybe people who adopt from other countries have the right idea....

Thursday, November 15, 2007


So, Gina and Gareth are now airborn for the UK.

Interestingly enough, though the Brit and I have been married for nine years now, this was the first I have ever spent any time with my brother and sister in law.  The first time we met, they had flown over here for our wedding.  They arrived an hour or so before the wedding, so there was little time to really get aquainted then and then after our beach wedding, there was a two hour reception before the Brit and I were off for our wedding night. 

The next time we saw Gina and Gareth was seven months later when we flew to the UK for their wedding and that week was a whirlwind.  Again, there were wedding plans which left little time for just getting to know one another.  The next time we flew over was a few years later and it was only for a long weekend, and we shared one meal with them.  So this visit was the first time we truly got to know each other.  What I discovered is that I genuinely love these people and adored spending time with them. 

Gina and I are scary alike.  We like the same things, have very similar senses of humor, dislike many of the same things and have the same fears (heights, spiders, etc).  We both love to shop and this was a wonderful thing for me as I rarely have anyone to shop with.  So we spent a lot of time conquering stores!

A few of my favorite moments:

Gina: What's YO mean?

Me: It's a state.

(she was asking me about the American abbreviation for Yarn over, but if you say "what does YO mean?" aloud...well, you can see the mix up.)

Gina:  I love this song!  I know all the words to this song!

The Brit:  That's good as you sure don't know the tune.


Gina: What state are we in?

Me: Pennsylvania

Gina:  Ohhh, where the vampires live!

Gareth:  That would be Translyvania.

Gina: Well, I knew it was a ' vania'.


We had laughing fits in the car on the way to Canada over tomatoes and pringles.  She's the fastest knitter I know and will try anything once (she tried and loved Sushi).  She is the first Brit I have met to not detest peanut butter and she made a pumpkin pie from scratch while she was here.  Please note that she had never tried pumpkin pie before a store bought one their first week here and when I say "from scratch" I mean starting with the pumpkin.  She refused to believe that most people make "homemade" pie from a can. 

I not only got to know my sister in law, I made a new friend and I miss her already.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thanksgiving is for.....

....other people's families??

So, after a delightful trip to Niagara Falls with Gareth and Gina, we returned home late last night.  Today, I called my mother to let her know we were home and after a bit of chitchat, I was informed that she would be spending Thanksgiving with my brother's wife's family.  So essentially, my little family of four will be the outcasts for Thanksgiving this year.  I'm not sure what I did, unless it was not to consult anyone in October as to the plan for Thanksgiving, but I was, after all, planning a little reunion for the Brit and his brother, who had not seen each other in five years.  So, whatever.

Canada was fabulous and we did all the touristy things like the Skylon Tower, the Sky Wheel and the four males did a helicopter ride over the falls, which judging by the pictures, was incredible.  Gina and I prefer our feet more or less on the ground. 

Our hotel left a bit to be desired, which was a bit disappointing for a Marriott.  The first night when we arrived, exhausted, our room, and the entire floor was roughly the temperature of a dry sauna and no amount of air conditioning was helping it.  We called down to complain and they sent up a fan.  One fan for a two room suite.  Brilliant.  The front desk people were rude, it took us all three days to get a remote for the second room television that worked and they called and woke up my children at 12:20am on the last night.  Granted, the Brit's car window was down, but maybe it is just me, but either don't call me at all, or come knock on my door as you know I have children.

Anyway, so today has been quiet, other than laundry, and tomorrow, I go back to work.  NaBloPoMo is over for me, but I'm going to keep the little cat on the page for awhile because I likez him  

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I effed up NaBloPoMo.

So, I'm in Canada having a great time.  See ya'll sometime next week.

It's all Gina's fault.  Her and her red bloody wine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Road Trip!

So tomorrow afternoon we are heading to Canada for a couple of days.  Today was a shopping day and dang, do I love me some new clothes from CJ Banks.  However, I really need to stop buying them now until after surgery and weight loss.  They are kind of needed at the moment because of winter coming and I didn't have much in the way of sweaters and I am so all about the warmth! 

My sister in law is a speed knitter.  In the course of about five days, she knitted a cabled bag that needs to be felted, compared to my twelve inches of scarf in the same amount of time.  I love the way English gals knit; the way they rest the right handed needle between their thumb and pointer finger, while using the pointer finger to place the yarn over the needle, but I can't seem to get the hang of it.  Maybe it just takes practice.  I'm not sure I'll ever be more than a novice knitter, but that's okay.  I just love knitting and the way the wool feels in my hands.

After all, I am all about the warmth.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Consult

Apparently, no matter how organized one tries to be, one will get screwed over.  About six weeks ago, I printed all the necessary forms off of the surgeon's website, made a copy and then filled them out for both the Brit and I.  I then put it all neatly in a manila envelope, addressed it and sent Aaron down the street to the mailbox to mail it. 

Apparently, organization requires a copy.

We got to the consult to find out that they had none of the paperwork.  The excuse was that they got so many completed forms in the mail and those people often never schedule or show up for a consult.  So, we had to fill them out all over again...all twelve pages.

After that, things got better.  We met Pat, the nurse practioner and then Dr. S.  I had been warned that though Dr. S was one of the very best, he was not a "warm and fuzzy" doctor.  I really didn't have any issues with him at all.  He was friendly enough (he talks really loud for some reason), straight forward and honest.  The Brit asked why he had gotten into this line of medicine and his answer was that he was tired of putting a bandaid on the co-morbidities.  He would treat something that was caused by obesity, but not the obesity itself. He wanted to deal with the cause of the problems and not with the symptoms.  We discussed his complication rate and he went over the way he prevents leaks (as of January 2006, after 1000 gastric bypass surgeries, he had no leaks....this is one of the lowest in the world). I asked him if he'd had any patients die and he told me not on the table but that he had lost a couple of patients due to blood clots and those patients had a history of blood clots before surgery.  He answered all our questions honestly, told us we only needed about 4-6 between our two surgeries (now we have to decide who goes first) and gave the Brit a couple of options.

So on Wednesday, I plan to call to schedule our appointments with their nutritionalist and try to get it on a day where we will all ready be down there for our other structured diet meetings.  I need to find out how to pick a shrink to do those assessments in the event the one that Bayview recommends does not take our insurance. 

But all in all, a good day!

Oh, and i'm knitting on straight needles at the moment...can you believe it?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

If I pull this off it will be a miracle

Now I'm having my doubts about even finished NaBloPoMo!  I lose track of time in the evenings when sitting around chatting with Gina and before I know it, it is nearly midnight and I haven't blogged!  It's so nice to have another female in the house close to my age, whom I see eye to eye with on so many things, that I just want to take advantage of the time they are here!

Tomorrow we have our consults with Dr. S in Baltimore.  I'll let ya'll know how it goes!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Amish Country revisited

So we took Gina and Gareth to Lancaster today and had a wonderful time.  We took them to The Outhouse, which is always good for a laugh.  Then we hit a buffet for lunch at Hershey Farm, hit the Mt Hope Wineryfor some more of my favorite brand of wine (We got a case...woot!).  Then we went for a ride through the Amish countryside, courtesy of the Strausburg Railroad.  It was a bit chilly all day but sunny and lovely otherwise.  I took pictures, which I will try to download tomorrow for your viewing pleasure.  I  never get as much shopping in as I'd like to do in Lancaster, but one day it will happen!

Tomorrow, we're having a quick cleanup and start of laundry after church.  Then some shopping and a trip to Lisa's. 

I'm not sure if these posts would be considered "quality" but I'm trying!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Just under the wire

I'm thinking that nearly forgetting to blog on day two is not a good sign of things to come.

I have already given myself permission to not complete a novel in the month of November.  I have not given up, but given the fact that I am completely enjoying the visitors from England, I can't bring myself to cloister myself away to write and miss the two weeks they are here.  I will still strive to make the word count, but if I don't, so be it.  People are more important and being with the other daughter-in-law to my in-laws has been great fun thus far.  Gina and I have much in common, from knitting, to many of our likes and dislikes right down to our senses of humor.  Though it has only been one full day, I think I shall miss her terribly when she goes home.

Tomorrow, we are taking she and Gareth to Lancaster on a day trip (my ulterior motive is to purchase more of that wonderful wine we got in August!).  Next week, we are taking the kids out of school for a long weekend to visit Niagara again, as it is something Gina would very much like to see. 

That's it for now!  More soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

And so it begins

Well, I'm out of the starting gate.  I have written so far today, 2,691 words.  Can I tell you I'm terrified??

Here's a sample of today's writing.  Remember, lots of editing needs to happen!  The main idea is to get the thoughts down and they can be rearranged and made to flow beautifully later!!

I was eleven that summer and the day we moved into our new home, I got my first period.  My mother was so excited she called her brother to tell him that her little girl had become a woman.  I remember being really embarrassed by her doing that.  It seemed like such a gross, yet personal thing and it certainly wasn’t something I wanted anyone male to know!  Needless to say, my mother was the only one excited about it.  It was just one more thing that made me different in my eyes. 

When we had lived in California, I had attended a private Lutheran school.  Now, in our new town, there was no private Lutheran school, so I went into the public school system.  The little bit of teasing I had endured in California didn’t hold a candle to what I went through in Maryland.  Public school children here were so much different than the kids I had grown up with in my rather sheltered life.  On the west coast, I endured an occasional mean spirited comment about being overweight, while on the east coast, it was rare that a day went by without someone saying something to me or about me. 

I hated it and felt lost and alone.  The friends I made were in my neighborhood or on my bookshelves.  As a child, I had always been an avid reader and now especially, I could easily lose myself in such tales as “The Black Stallion”, “My Friend, Flicka” and “Misty of Chincoteague”.  I was completely infatuated with horses.  Maybe it was because they could run so fast and it didn’t matter what size the rider was, she could go as fast as the wind upon a trusty mount.  Reading also isolated me and protected me.  Books didn’t judge and they took me to wonderful places where friends were friends forever and always and no one moved away.

My parents soon realized that public school and I were not getting along quite so well, so they decided to try to give me a little of what I had always known, though it was one of the most misguided things they had ever done.  They enrolled me in private school…private catholic school.  Suddenly, I had to wear uniforms that consisted of a dress/jumper and a white blouse, knee socks and black shoes.  What was even worse was the fact that every week, each class went to a mass held in the church.  They went to confession and took communion, but I was not permitted to partake of any it because I was not catholic.  I would sit in the pew alone, while the rest of my class went through the familiar ritual.  I felt singled out and self conscious and everyone was aware that I was not permitted to participate.

I was struggling to make friends at this new school and it didn’t take me long to find out that either sixth grade girls or catholic girls knew a lot about sex that my little life had not permitted me to know.  One day, a few of the older girls cornered me on the playground to give me a “sex test” that consisted of a couple of questions.

I flunked.

They all had their laugh at my embarrassment and I went home and told my mother, who in turn, went out and purchased me a book with animated pictures of naked people in it that explained about how babies were made.  Ironically, I remember how the woman in the book was thin and lovely and the man had a bit of a beer belly. 

Another day, I was coming out of one of my classes, when Floyd, a boy who was known for being in persistent trouble, reached over, grabbed my breast and twisted it, while yelling “Titty twister!”  I was still one of a few girls who had even started growing breasts and for anyone to point out what I considered to be one of my shames was terribly embarrassing.  The school told my mother that Floyd was a bit of a special case and that they couldn’t do anything about it.

It wasn’t too long after that our parents put the house on the market, sold it, and we moved back to California in what was about to be another difficult transition.  Kids are fickle and when their friend moves away, their lives do not stop because they know other people and had no need to start over.