Saturday, January 31, 2009

Not So Sacred Ground

Earlier this week, I talked about certain things inside of us making us feel as if we are bleeding out as the pain of the situation that we live with day after day can be so painful.

I talked about the need to sometimes voice these things; to be honest.  To admit how it is we feel. 

I always thought that there were some relationships that were meant to be sacred.  They are few and far between but there should be certain people in our lives who we can trust with the things we keep in our hearts; our insecurities.  We can't act on them in our day to day lives but sometimes it is so nice to put a voice to our true feelings; our frustration, our battleground.

But what happens when a person who is supposed to be one of our sacred people, one of the people we shouldn't have to worry about saying things that are politically correct all the time, decides to take every insecurity we have recently voiced and turn it into ammunition against us?  It was akin to having an open wound and this person took a handful of salt and unmercifully rubbed it into the wound again and again...and I never saw it coming.  Someone who I thought understood me apparently doesn't at all.  They want to believe that a calling is really an immaturity.  And they want to rub salt in my deepest wound, using my own words which I said in what was supposed to be a safe place as bullets that went straight to my heart.  Then to accuse me of doing things that this person doesn't do either.  Glass houses and all that.

Angry?  Yes.  Hurt beyond words?  Yes.  Betrayed?  Absolutely. 

I will not apologize for my feelings. I'm entitled to them; they belong to me, whether I like them or not.  What I am sorry for was feeling comfortable enough to say them to this person. 

Never again.

If superficial means safety, then sign me up.  I did theater for years; acting I can do and I will.

Bitter?  You betcha.

Some trusts should never be betrayed.

I am not perfect; far from it.  My post on Thursday was about the same situation that was thrown up in my face on Friday from out of the blue.  So DO NOT tell me what I do and don't feel.  You obviously don't have a clue.  And now you won't.

Have I changed since my surgery?  You seem to think so.  Well, if the changes are involving not simply sitting back and allowing anyone to belittle me, then THANK GOD I have changed.  Changed since surgery.  That was simply a convenient thing to say.  The thing that made you feel I had changed, I have been involved in for two years.  I had surgery nine months ago.  Sorry, your math is way off.

If you want something from me, ask.  Don't expect me to remember every little detail or for me to guess at what you want.  I'm not a mind reader.  My life is insanely full ; with a job, a husband, children, church involvement.  If I forget something now and again, sorry.  It happens.  The last perfect child is the one we worship on Sunday mornings, not me.  But if it makes you feel good to bring up every shortcoming you see me as having, then I don't have the time to be involved.

As far as you will know from now on, my life is perfect.  No problems here!  No siree.  If talking about them means I see them flung back at me with venom, then forget it.  I don't play that game.

And I would have never done it to you.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Have No Worry; Have No Fear

Not to worry, peeps, I'm okay.  Yes, I am struggling with something; have been struggling with it for five years and it never seems to get any easier, but maybe it just is what it is and there is simply nothing to be done.  It's either that or one day someone will hit me up with a great idea to try to resolve it.  Either way, there is nothing I can do about it right now, so I'm just going to leave it be for as long as I can.

Today is going to be insanely busy.  I need to high tail it to the YMCA after work today.  I lost another pound this morning, bringing my total so far to 102 pounds lost.  Yesterday, I upped my workout on the elliptical and found my ability to sweat once more.  I also did treadmill work and ran for two minutes.  I don't feel discouraged for only running for two minutes as if you recall, my first experience on the elliptical was ninety seconds.  It takes time to build up endurance and I have plenty of time.

After the YMCA, I need to go pick up ham for the youth group to make their sandwiches for their Souper Bowl fundraiser, then to Petsmart for cat food, then to my mother's to pick up her soup donation.  Somewhere in there, I'd like to swing by the library for a book they are holding for me.  Home then to bake two batches of brownies and vacuum the upstairs.  Then at 8:00 tonight, I am at the church with the youth to assemble sandwiches, dip soup and then have a lock in, so I will not see my home again until Saturday morning.  Thank God for air mattresses!

Not sure what the rest of the weekend holds other than dinner with friends on Saturday night.  I have also had a HUGE hankering for Pad Thai from Red Curry, but don't see that in my immediate future.  So yes, I still have cravings!

I have found reruns of The Biggest Loser on channel FLN, whatever that stands for, so I have been catching up on the seasons I missed.  I love this show.  I don't always love all of the competition aspects of it, though some of the challenges I feel push people past their comfort zone and prove to them that they can indeed do things they didn't think they could.  But the struggles of the players, the reasons they put on weight to begin with, it just cries out to me and at the end of almost every episode, I am in tears, just because I get it.  I so get it.  I often wish that more people who have never suffered with obesity in their lives, got it.  Many do, but so many don't as even on the internet, I see things from people such as "If they'd just get their fat asses up off the couch and exercise...." Yeah, like those words are going to help anyone.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Keep Bleeding, Keep, Keep Bleeding

Sometimes there are emotions and feelings that we keep hidden in the darkest recesses of our hearts.  We know that perhaps we shouldn't be having these feelings; that maybe they are not really acceptable or even understandable to anyone else.  However, our feelings are our feelings, regardless of what they are.  Sometimes these feelings can make us feel like terrible people and in that case it becomes an even heavier silent burden to bear. 

We can go over and over all the reasons we shouldn't feel this way.  We can try and try to come up with ways to remedy the situation, but when we feel like we are in so far over our heads, answers at best, seem vague.  It's like we want to grab hold of something that makes sense to us, but with each attempt, we grab at empty air. 

There are times when surely we must think that others can see how we are bleeding out.  They have to be able to see it, right?  We feel like it is pouring out of our very existence, leaving a tremendous puddle on the floor and somehow, someone will reach out and stop the flow of the blood before it drains anymore life from us.

Sometimes, we gather our courage to put a voice to these feelings.  To actually speak them out loud to someone.  We know they may not be rational and maybe even to someone else they may be petty and stupid.  But they are still ours.  We own them, whether we want them or not.  It takes everything within us to speak them aloud, to put them out there for others to judge or comment upon.  To speak it means that we are admitting we are not who we wish we were.  We are admitting that we don't have the answers for ourselves.  We are admitting that the wound is painful.  We know that the feelings may be wrong, but maybe we need a fresh perspective.  We don't need anyone to tell us that we are right, or wrong, or silly.  We just need someone to validate that they are our feelings.  We need someone to listen to why we feel that way and to minimally understand why we feel that way.  We need someone to understand that is what we need in the moment; someone to work through it with us, someone to help us come up with a plan for dealing with it, for correcting it, for making it better.  Somehow.

 We don't voice it because we feel we are right.  We voice it because the feelings seem wrong, yet we don't know what to do.  We already feel bad enough when our most intimate and darkest thoughts are not what we think they should be.  We wish we could just turn them off, turn them down, turn them around.  But we don't know how, which is why we try to find the courage to voice them. 

When the answers don't come, we quickly retreat to lick the wound again in private or to maybe slap a band aide on it to keep it from being so messy, hoping we can make people think that they never had a glimpse of it to begin with.  After all, it's safer that way.  No one to think badly of us.  No one to think we are being ridiculous.  No one to make us feel worse than we already do. 


Somehow I finally lost a pound this morning.  I had to get on the scale twice just to make sure.  Thankfully, hypothetical bleeding doesn't cause weight loss

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Enough!" I Say!

So life is still not back to normal as we are now on our second snow day so the kids are out of school, which means, no gym.  I have also been a bit lax on my eating, I think.  I say "I think" because sometimes it is hard for me to decide because even what I feel are my worst days, are so much better than my worst days as a pre-op. 

Winter is just a time when I feel trapped.  I hate the cold and when the kids are out of school and I have to work from home, I feel equally trapped as there is no time to think or plan and on certain days I am driven to distraction.  Probably not much different from what most parents go through, but some days my coping mechanisms are barely intact.  Some folks would probably love to work from home, but other than the perk of sleeping in a little, I would much rather go into the church where I can feel independent and much more productive and being able to hear myself think would also be a perk. However in looking at, tomorrow isn't looking good either as they are calling for more freezing rain and snow tonight.  Ugh!

I did do my exercise ball workout last night while watching American Idol, but it just feel like it is enough.  Plus I am doing it with Little Brother glued to me, so my concentration is way off.

I need to get down to 149 pounds to no longer be considered overweight. I am still in the obese range, though I think I have dropped the "super morbidly" part of that equation.  I need to get to 179 to fall into the "overweight" catagory. With a little ass busting, this is totally doable.  So, here are the things I want/need to accomplish as soon as the kids get back to school:

1. I need to up my cardio workout.  Sadly, my normal workout, which used to have me sweating bullets, is no longer doing that for me, which I assume (and C&P gals, tell me if I'm right) means my body has gotten used to the workout and is no longer being challenged.

2. I want to try my hand at running. This is going to involve a new sports bra, as I have not lost any of my boobage and a knee support for my left kneem which still give me some grief.  I would like to get over my fear of treadmill running and give it a go at the gym as it is too cold for me to run outdoors right now.

3. I need to get back off the carbs.  Since Christmas, I have been indulging in them too much, so this behavior stops now.  My body is starting to crave them again and the only way around that is to stop eating them.

4. Wine needs to be kept to a glass or two a weekend.  No, I am not transfer addicting, but I have always loved wine and enjoy a glass at night.  I need to stop this.

So there we have it; the goals for the moment.  And yes, I am still burping and my appointment is Monday, Thank God!  I hope we can schedule the surgery quickly as a month of this is about all I can take!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Interesting to say the least

So after working from home this morning due to weather, I got bored and watched "Super Size Me" on Netflicks. 

Now we all know that McDonalds' food is not good for us.  We also know that for the most part, it tastes good.  Yes, there are people who don't like it, and I was always a Burger King gal myself, but I did my Mickey Dee's time in high school mostly and then occasionally as an adult.  Now, Morgan, the creator of the film, ate MDonalds food three times a day for 30 days.  If it wasn't on their menu, he didn't eat it.  What he saw was that not only did he nearly gain 25 pounds in a month, but liver function test, cholesterol and maybe other blood work results went through the roof.  He developed a sense of addiction; feeling sluggish when he wasn't eating but getting a high when binging on his Big Mac and fries.  He only Super sized when the McDonalds' employee offered it which was only nine times during the month.

Even though McDee's claims to place healthy things on their menu, Morgan discovered that the "healthy" items tend to pack just as many calories and sugar as items like the Big Mac. 

I am late to the party with this, because the movie came out in like 2002 and I am just now seeing it.  I rather wish I had seen it seven years ago as it would have steered me clear of the golden arches for life.  No, I rarely frequented it in my adult years, but there were times when dang, a quarter pounder with cheese sounded good and they always had the best fries of any fast food place in my opinion.

What continues to floor me in this country is now much our sizes have indeed changed.  Even before my surgery, I was famous for To Go boxes because even with a normal size stomach, I was more often than not, unable to finish my restuarant portion of food.  Even to order a salad in a place like Uno's is insane; the salad is so massively gigantic that a normal person who is concerned about weight and nutrition should not be eating all of it.  We've become the fattest country in the world and it is so incredibly easy to understand why.

I think I told you all my story about all of my "lasts" before surgery; wanting to have just one more time the items I loved that I would not be touching again in my life.  One of my pit stops was Dairy Queen for a large chocolate malt and when they handed me the cup, I nearly died.  THAT was not what I had remembered a large shake to be.  This thing was huge.  Even as a super morbidly obese person, it was too much malt for me by about half.  In good conscience alone, I knew I should not drink it.  Thankfully, I couldn't finish it anyway though I tried. 

Sadly, until Americans take a stand and say "no more!" we are going to continue to be the fattest country.  We're busier now than we used to be, so we eat out more often and those of us who have been conditioned to be part of the "clean plate club" are going to be in trouble, because the plate and the portion are probably double now then they were ten years ago.  I'm sure there are real statistics for that, so this is just a guess.  We are conditioning our kids to eat crap simply by what they eat for their school lunches.  My kids are allowed to buy lunch twice a week and in my looking at the menus, none of it looks appetizing and probably little of it is actually made in the cafeteria, but comes out of a box in a freezer.

I still struggle with choices, so don't think I don't.  The things I loved before, often still look good to me. The difference is that now I am more aware of what those things did to me. I'd love to find an organization that fights for the rights of the consumer in this country, to help them make better choices and educates them on what they are eating.  It's almost scary how little we really know.

Monday, January 26, 2009

SOS (Save my Sanity)

First off, thank you all for your prayers for The Brit's safe return.  He is home, still a little jet lagged, but thankfully home.

Next up, huge thanks to Meg and Ruth for their insight with my eldest son and the mission trip.  I will be versing the other three adult leaders for this trip prior to it happening and setting up some boundaries for them to be aware of with the son and myself.  The experience you ladies have in the field, from two totally different perspectives, I may add, help me more than you know.

Now, I need more help as I am quickly running out of ideas and maybe there just aren't any other ideas.  Maybe what we are doing is just what we should do and we simply have to hope that one day things sink in with the oldest child.  Maybe this is just simple teenage rebellion and he is perfectly normal.  The problem is that with an ADHD child who is adopted is that I don't think I ever really know where the issues are stemming from.

The eldest child has been challenging the entire five years we've had him, so though there are new challenges, the fact that he is challenging is not new.  He is an honor roll student...until the last two marking periods when he has suddenly decided to get interim reports and pull a few C's on his report card.  For us, the fact that he has made the honor roll more often than not, tells us he is more than capable of doing it.  The incentive that has been kicked into place is that until his grades are up, he doesn't get his PSP (play station portable for those of you not in the know).  He has been without this video device since before Christmas and his latest report card also showed two C's.  He never has homework and per the teachers, they don't really give out homework, but more classwork.  We have been over with this child, that sometimes homework doesn't specifically have to be something that is assigned at home, but maybe a test he needs to study for.  The C's also come from not completing class work.  The PSP has been our best incentive as he seems to care about little else other than his video games.  We tried not giving an allowance and he couldn't have cared less about that, so that was a strike out.

The next issue we are dealing with are chores.  The basic chores the kids have each week is trash and cat litter, on Mondays and Wednesdays.  When we started this, Little Brother had litter, which he did fairly well and Oldest Son had trash, which he rarely did the way he was supposed to (not taking it to the curb, etc, so it didn't get picked up).  After far too long of trying to deal with the trash issue, we traded them chores, stating to Oldest Son that as he couldn't handle doing trash that he needed to have a go at litter.

Well, he has done no better with litter.  Again, constant battles for the job to get done correctly or better yet, at all.  Tonight he was caught pouring new litter on top of the old litter without ever dipping it.  At my wit's end with all this, I grounded him for a week.

The second chore he has, he just got when he turned 13 as there are things I think he needs to learn to do in order to prepare him for adulthood.  His chore is folding his laundry and putting it away.  I collect it, wash it and lay his items on his bed once they are clean.  We went over the expectations with this, which resulted in him throwing his clean clothes either A) back in the laundry basket or on the floor of his closet.  So The Brit and I picked our strategy that whatever was not put away properly, we would take and eventually he would realize he was running out of clothes.  In just three weeks, we had accumulated enough clothing to make about a yard high pile of clothing on the floor of my closet.  When he finally got his clothes back, I sat on his bed and chatted with him while he hung them all up, which took him well over an hour.  He is well versed in telling us what we want to hear, admitting that it was stupid for him to make all this work for himself when it would have only taken him a few minutes twice a week to put them away properly.

A week later, he is again depositing clothing on the floor or in the hamper when they are clean.  The new rule is that now, he doesn't get them back. They are put aside for when Little Brother gets older.

When asked why he doesn't do the jobs properly his response is always "Well, I don't like doing X."  We then explain to him that this is life and that given our choice, neither of us would work, or clean or cook, but there are just things we are required to do.

Where are we going wrong?  Should we be doing something different?  Why doesn't he learn these basic things that he has been in trouble for again and again and again?  Are we setting our expectations too high?  I don't think so personally as these are very basic chores he has.  I'm losing my mind with all of this and it just seems like there should be a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

All My Kids

So The Brit is now safely at his layover in Los Angeles, the long part of his trip home now behind him.  I have the house tidy, the kid's lunches for tomorrow packed and hopefully everything ready for a day off for me tomorrow as well.  I wish every weekend was a three day weekend.

I have to tell ya'll that I love, love, love my youth group kids.  Nothing in particular has happened to make me say that, but they are just such a blessing to me in so many ways.  I struggle so with my relationship with my eldest child, just trying to find some common ground or even getting him to open up about anything.  In the midst of all the madness, I get a text message from one of my girls that excitedly proclaims that she has gotten her driving permit and I find myself feeling so grateful to be a part of her life, enough so, that she texts me to tell her good news.  Another of my girls posted a photo of herself and her boyfriend on Facebook before a dance and I commented her with "Could you be anymore gorgeous?"  Her response was "Only if I were you!"  It made me smile because the kids have been so incredibly supportive of my whole WLS journey and even when I forget how far I have come, they don't. 

I always saw myself raising girls and well, that didn't happen, which is fine, but I still have a few girls on loan a day or two a week.  Now I'm sure if I was parenting these kids, my relationship with them would not be what it is now.  I'm not their parent and I know how my own kids relate to me, which is way different than how the youth kids relate to me.  I'm sure to parent any of them would be somewhat of a challenge.  But though I have my challenges with my own kids in the way of parenting, I don't have that with these kids.  I get to be that ear that is ready to listen if they have a problem, even when my own son is not able or willing to open up to me.  I get to be able to offer advice or another perspective for them.  I also get to enjoy the easy laughter that comes with them over jokes, games, situations, etc.  They are just this amazing blessing in my life that I cannot thank God enough for. 

I struggle a bit already with the fact that my oldest son will soon be old enough to join this group.  He will be on his first mission trip with us this summer as he will be getting ready to enter into high school.  How will he feel about seeing another side of his mother in the way that I relate to my youth kids?  I am not parenting them; mentoring, maybe.  Hopefully.  Where is the line drawn between parenting my son on a trip and mentoring him as I would one of the other kids?  This is a very confusing time for me as we prepare to enter into a new season in our lives.  Generally during a mission trip, we are divided into two groups and then our two groups are intermingled with other church groups to form a few larger groups.  My son will not be in my group as I feel that is the best solution.  I want him to experience his first trip without having to worry about what mom is thinking and what kid wants their mom hooked up with them all day long?  Of course, our church group is together for breakfast and then every evening for meals and Club and group activities.  So, together for the fun stuff; apart for the work.  Better that way I hope.  I think.

I know in my heart of hearts that I tend to be hard on this kid.  He has been work unlike any other job I have ever had before.  He makes fast food look like a cushy acting job.  He is hard work.  Really, really hard and has been since day one.  I keep hoping and praying that his becoming a teen and my ability to be able to relate to teens will somehow merge together into something more doable.  I know, that I will not have the same relationship with him as I do my other youth kids because I am his parent; I am not delusional about that.  But a teeny tiny bit of common ground would be so much appreciated.

How do you draw the line on a mission trip?  How do you draw the line with youth activities between being a parent and being a youth group leader to my son?  Where are the boundaries?  How do I balance this?  Anyone have experience?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Final Countdown

The little brother child will not leave me alone today and it is making me crazy.

I took them for haircuts and then we went grocery shopping and then they went upstairs to play for all of thirty minutes.  The eldest son is still there, but the youngest is playing the game of "let's see how annoying I can be while mom is reading so I can make her stop reading so she will let me watch television."

I am not a huge advocate of kids sitting in front of a television all day.  I prefer for them to take some time using their imaginations or playing games or something.  They watched television this morning and as they were upstairs playing after the grocery store, I went out in the living room to read, something I rarely get to do because of the interuptions that usually accompany trying to read.  Of course, 18 pages into the book, little brother (or in this case, little bother) wants to watch television, but I told him no, he needed to go play for awhile.  Thus the game began in trying to make it impossible for mom to read, as that way he figures his chances of being able to watch television are greater.  Well, the joke is sort of on him as though he did stop me from reading, I am still not letting him watch television.

The Brit comes home tomorrow night!  YAY!  It has been a long two weeks, but we have survived it; I knew we could I just wasn't really looking forward to it.  Pray for a safe flight as I assume he will be departing for the airport soon-ish.  It confuses me as though it is 2:23 on Saturday afternoon here, it is 6:24am on Sunday there and he has close to 24 hours in the air.  So, if we are leaving here to get him tomorrow night at 8:30 (an hour drive to the airport) then I assume he will be flying my time tonight.  Right?

Friday, January 23, 2009

If It Makes You Happy

So if you haven't known me very long or you only know me from blog reading, you probably don't know my rather uprooted childhood.

Both of my parents were from Maryland; dad from Baltimore and mom from Hagerstown and when they met, my mother was married to an abusive man.  So when my parents fell in love (I'm sure this is a much more involved story, but I was not yet born and I'm getting to a point here) I don't know if they elected to just move as far away from this man as they could or what, but they moved across the country, to Southern California, to a little town called Monrovia.  I was born in Covina hospital, which if memory serves, is not all that far from Monrovia. 

From there, the movie "The Stolins need a home" could have been born.  I think we moved back to Maryland at some point in my very early childhood and then back west again, where I started private school eventually at First Lutheran School.  For the next several years, things were stable for me and as most children do, I made friends. 

A few of these friends have very much stuck out in my mind over the years:  Renee, a pretty little girl who just a nice kid, Gina, my funniest friend, Brian, my very first crush in kindergarten and Karen, my very first friend.  We grew up together in our early years.  Renee's mother, my mother and Brian's mother, all worked in the school cafeteria, so they were all friends.  My parents used to drink beer and play cards with Karen's parents while we kids played somewhere.  Brian's family lived down the street from us and when my father's mother died, my brother and I stayed with Brian's family while my parents flew back to Maryland for the arrangements.  I remember having sleepovers at Renee's and Gina's houses.  I remember Renee's cat, Sheba, getting attacked by a blue jay and almost dying. I remember a fire at her house.  I remember that Gina was the biggest Steve Garvey fan (LA Dodger's baseball player in the seventies) I had ever known.  I remember chasing Brian around the playground at recess while he had a blanket tied around his shoulders, pretending to be Superman or Underdog, I forget exactly.  I could ride my bicycle to any of their houses, because our little town was safe.

These were my childhood friends.  These were the kids I sat on the playground with my cassette recorder and blank tapes and we imitated the commercials of our time, taping ourselves (and I still have this somewhere and have got to find it!). 

I forget how old I was; maybe 5th grade, maybe 4th, when my parents decided they wanted to move back to Maryland.  Some of my mom's kids were still there and her brother and mother were still alive and living in Hagerstown.  So our house went up on the market and we were soon packing up a moving van and a Winnebago to leave California.  Before we left, and this is a very sketchy memory, Renee, Gina and I think, Karen, all gave me a little gift.  I remember a ring being one of the presents but the rest I forget right now and I can't even remember who gave me the ring...and I think there was a leather bracelet (from Gina?). I think the items came straight out of their bedrooms, because none of us had jobs of course.  But I remember being both touched and heartbroken at leaving them.

We moved back to Maryland and bought a home and I kid you not, we lived there six months before my parents decided they wanted to move back to California.  They had placed me in a Catholic school because I guess they thought I was used to private school, but I was sure I was really in hell.  Catholics were nothing like my Lutheran peeps!  So, out of school we came, the house went on the market, and well, you know the drill by now; back to the other coast.

Picking up pieces of friendships can be hard because though we have moved away, life went on for my friends.  I no longer lived conveniently up the street from Brian.  I think I was able to rekindle my friendships with Renee and Gina (these memories are really sketchy as this was a long time ago) much to my glee.  We did baseball games and played tennis at the high school that I now lived across the street from.  We were now attending a different Lutheran School called Light and Life and I maintained old friendships and made new ones as well.

I forget how long we stayed that time; maybe a year, maybe less, but again, we packed up and moved back to Maryland where we stayed.  Goodbyes to this day are so hard for me, I think because of my childhood.  It was hard to get attached and I'm sure my California friends and their families had to think my parents were nuts.  But I never forgot the West coast friends and I re-connected with Renee and Gina briefly after I Googled Renee's name and found a website.  But emails are hard to keep throwing back and forth with lives being busy and soon we lost touch again.

Until Facebook.  On Facebook, I have reconnected with Gina, Renee and Brian.  Messages and kidnap requests are sent back and forth between us and the other night when Renee had set up a game of Wordscraper for the four of us, you know what?  I almost cried.  I was just so delightfully happy.  I felt like the childhood games I had been denied playing with them, due to being nomads, were now being played.  Gina sent me a message last night saying she sometimes travels to DC for her job and the next time she would like to hook up.  Finding Brian again for the first time was just so cool and I'm still looking for Karen as I haven't found her yet.

So there is some history on me and on the sheer joy I have found in the last few weeks with having the oldest friends I know in my life again.  It truly feels as if I am reliving a magical time that was cut too short a very long time ago and I am so incredibly thankful.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Okay, it's official....

....I miss my husband.

The first week was okay.  Yeah, I missed having another adult in the house.  I missed having someone else to help me keep a relatively calm household against the little people who strive to take over with bickering and clutter.  But it was okay.  The end of the first week was really good because I had three full days to myself.  Alone time is rare as I mentioned before and I ate it up. 

But yesterday, Wednesday, I really started to just literally miss HIM.  You know what I mean.  I've missed him the whole time, but it was still okay.  Sometimes whole weeks go by where the only thing we do together is sleep side by side, because he has worked late or something, so occasionally, like most parental adults, we can sometimes be two ships that are passing in the night or two people passing in front of the television.  I don't always like that, but it is life and how things go.

But now I am just kind of counting down till Sunday when he gets home.  Sunday night to be exact.  And I took Monday off work as he'll be jetlagged and home and the kids will be in school

I'm ready for life to be normal and at the same time ready for something to look forward to.  Not sure what the look forward to part of life will be but am hoping that something presents itself soon.  Winter is a hard season for me because I hate it and it feels like nothing happens and I am just holding on till spring.  I despise cold and bare trees, not having windows open, having to always wear shoes and/or socks because my feet get so cold and not being able to comfortably sit out on one of my porches or throw something on the grill for dinner.  HATE IT.  So I like having things to look forward to, preferably that involve warmth.  Going some place warm or just something that we are planning for spring or summer.  I have a mission trip on the calendar and my annual Women of Faith weekend which will be with Shell this year.  But those are like end of June and August, so that isn't all that close. 

One day I may have to move some place where it is warm all year.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Over it Now

So I am way ready for The Brit to be home now.  Two weeks is a really long time, even now that we are in the home stretch.

Today I got to reconnect with Leisl, a friend I haven't seen in like ten years.  We met before I met The Brit and I was living with a roomie and Leisl is the cousin of my former roomie's friend.  Anyway, we used to party together in the crazy day, but now we are both technically raising other people's children, so we had much to discuss!  Leisl married a widower ten years ago who had two sons and ya'll know I'm raising boys as well.  It was scary strange just how similar our stories are; both with kids and with life!  But it was great to get together and I look forward to our next lunch date!

I am now very PUMPED because "Revolutionary Road" will start at our movie house this Friday and I am there!  1:30 showing and I should still be home before Little Brother gets off the bus!  If anyone would like to tag along, those are my plans for Friday afternoon, though I am not bothered in the least to see a movie alone anyway.  Have done it before because really, how much talking do you do in a movie theater?  Whoot!  I am totally psyched!

Doesn't take much to make me happy these days!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Uneducated and Unpolitical thoughts on the Inauguration

So I did tape the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States and as I am not that political (but trying to learn more all the time) here are just a few thoughts I had while watching NBC's coverage, as I have nothing better to write about today.

Laura Bush I think is drop dead gorgeous for an older woman.  I mean, how classy is she?  She carries herself so well and I just think she is totally elegant.  I hope to look that fabulous when I am her age.

I was a bit in awe of Jimmy Carter but only because his was the first Inauguration speech I ever watched and I still have it on audio tape (taped with my very first tape recorder!).

Loved the President's speech.  I love how motivating he is, though we will stand by and see how he does with acting on his own motivating words.  Time will tell, but I love how articulate he is.  It's nice to hear a really good speaker!

My favorite blooper was the NBC correspondent who was commenting on the men wearing hats.  He said something along the lines of "Jack Kennedy almost destroyed the hat by appearing headless...."  He then corrected himself as he meant to say "Hatless" but headless is much more fitting.  Not having a head would pretty much destroy the hat as it would look stupid just sitting on a neck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Week Two

So thus begins the second and final week with The Brit in Australia.  Thankfully, though the kids are off school today and tomorrow, they are with grandma until tomorrow afternoon still, which still leaves me some downtime.  I'm not sure what my plans are for today, other than the gym after work and stopping by the store on my way home for two things I forgot at Walmart yesterday, one being Quik mix for the kids as no chocolate milk would be a disaster for them. 

I'm to the point that I will be so glad to get this gall bladder out of me!  I am sick to death of burping and though I am thankful it is my only symptom of the gallstone, it is nontheless getting on my last nerve.  Though surgery is nothing that excites me, I just want to wake up from it and like never belch again! 

It's snowing here, which makes me long for Spring all the more, even if it means more shopping on eBay for spring clothing.  I got myself pretty squared away with winter clothes, but everything I bought last summer is going to be too big by now, which also means selling on eBay.  Kind of bums me out because my bib shorts are my favorite pieces of summer clothing, but hopefully I will be able to find more. 

We joined Netflix and don't you know it, I can now not remember a single movie I wanted to see but missed at the theaters.  I'm further annoyed that I missed "Doubt" as it is no longer playing and "Revolutionary Road" does not seem to be playing here either and I really want to see it.  I'm hoping it may start on Thursday when the movies change over and then I can go see it after work before the kids get out of school.  The Brit would probably not be interested in seeing it as I think it qualifies as a "Chick Flick" but I'm a huge fan of Kate Winslet and I loved she and Leo in "Titanic".

Okay, that's it for me today unless something amazing happens, but around here lately it has been pretty mundane!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where does it go?

A weekend of blissful peace and it is gone already.

I love my family; my hubby and kids, but time alone is really hard to come by when you have children.  Seems like someone is always needing or wanting me for something and being needed is a wonderful thing.  But today, I got to set my own pace and spent most of the day just doing exactly what I wanted to do; a couple of little tasks, and then just web surfing and some writing.  I can't remember the last time I had a day like it.  Oh, sometimes we moms can steal a few hours here and there, but a whole day?  Not too often.

But now the grind starts again tomorrow though the kids will not be back until Tuesday afternoon.  Tomorrow I meet with Jerry again for a refresher course on the things he taught me before Christmas.  Then home for some more of not much at all.

I rather like it and it has been good for the soul.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Farce

Calling what I did last night a "sleep study" is really a joke.  Calling it an "awake study" would be much more fitting.

Honestly, I get there and read for a bit while waiting my turn to get wired up and then the tech proceeds to tape/paste crap to my face, my head, my neck, my chest, my finger and my leg.  Then he wants me to go to sleep.  Oh, and let me mention that they wanted this study without the CPAP machine I have been using for like 5 years!  Once he had me all wired, I told him I felt like a suicide bomber.

Then they really want you to try to sleep on your back.  Well, girlfriend here is not a back sleeper; I always fall asleep on my right side and sometimes I wake up on my back, but rarely.  So I attempt and manage to briefly fall asleep on my back, but it doesn't last long for me, so I have to roll over with all my attachments and wires and that cuts off my EKG line for the tech watching me in the other room, so he has to come in and wake me up to situate them again.  Then he decides as my skin is warm to the touch and this is making the tape for the EKG wires not stick well, to turn on a fan.  Can I tell you it has been between 6 and 18 degrees here lately?  I was freezing! The wake me up to readjust the wires happened like FOUR TIMES before my study was over at FIVE FREAKIN' FIFTEEN IN THE MORNING!  Then out to my cold car and home to take another Tylenol PM and go to bed until 11:30 am.  So today has been short, to say the least.

No results yet but hopefully this week.  I just hope I don't have to go back for another awake study with my CPAP. 

Please keep my dear friend, Kelly, her mom, Barb and the rest of their family in your prayers.  Kelly's stepfather was diagnosed with cancer right before Christmas and passed away last night, leaving the family probably shellshocked with the speed in which it happened.  I know they will get through this but it is so hard, as I've been there with my own father, only we had two years to prepare and this family did not.  So, your prayers would be very appeciated.

Friday, January 16, 2009

TGIF Finally!

For it only being 10:12 AM, it has already been a really long day!

The eldest son woke me up at 2:00 AM with an upset stomach, for which I got him out medication, which he didn't take and instead preferred to just go back to sleep.  Took me a little longer to get to sleep.  So when he got up for school at 6:00, I asked him how he felt and he told me he felt better.  That his stomach was still a little upset, but when I asked him what he wanted to do, he said he would go to school. 

Then he proceeded to miss his bus.  So I threw on a hoodie and slippers over my pjs and drove him to school, leaving little brother asleep in his room.  On the way to school, I again asked him about his stomach and he said it was better.  I told him that unless he started to feel really bad or threw up to try to stick it out as he only had a half day of school today so he is out at 11:30 because I really needed to go to work today to get stuff done for Sunday as I worked from home yesterday.  When he got out of the car at school (did I mention it was 10 degrees this morning?) he smirked, which I found odd, but let it go and went home to shower, dress, get little brother up etc.  I took the eldest son to school at 7:15.  At 8:05 the school nurse calls.  He was complaining of an upset stomach but he had not gotten sick and he had no fever.  When I talked to him (please understand, I was slightly annoyed as I gave him opportunities to not go today) I told him he could either come to work with me or stay in school till 11:30.  He elected to stay in school.

Now the smirk I feel was that he had every intention of trying to come home today, though I'm not sure of why.  Had there been no smirk, I would not be suspicious.

The other thing is that I would bet my weight loss that he neither showered nor brushed his teeth this morning (so this is a playing games morning for him which we have from time to time) because there are just clues.  Bath rug totally dry, shower barely wet, the new container of body and hair wash for men not even opened, no toothpaste spit in the sink, etc.  So either he suddenly became a neat freak about the bathroom (highly doubtful) or he did his trick of just turning on the water and never getting into the shower and then just wetting his toothbrush.

So I think it is time to change tactics as we have been fighting this hygiene thing for far too long now.  I plan on telling him my assumptions about his bathing/teeth brushing this morning, and will preface it with "I could be wrong".  I could be.  Don't think I am, but I could be.  Then I will tell him that I am no longer going to engage him in these argument.  He is 13 years old and old enough to know he needs to be clean, but if he elects not to be, then that is his prerogative.  I will also tell him that it is my prerogative that if he stinks (puberty is a smelly time when boys don't bathe, trust me) I can ask  him to distance himself from me so I don't have to smell him. 

I was watching Dr. Phil yesterday (Yes, I am a fan) and they had this 13 year old boy and stepfather arguing over the same kind of stuff.  I so identified with this as it could have been eldest son and I as we have had the same discussions.  This boy was giving the same token answers my eldest son likes to give (I don't know, I didn't, etc many lies, blah, blah, blah).  Now the stepfather dealt with him by a lot of yelling, which was not the way to go, but as the doc said "The tail was wagging the dog" in this relationship.  The kid was pulling the dad's chain all over the place.  The interviewed the kid on camera and the kid admitted to thinking he had won when he makes his stepfather angry or got him to engage in an argument.  It sort of makes sense to me, because when I do get angry with the eldest son, I am the one who is VERY engaged, while he just kind of stands there and says nothing.  So I'm all riled up and he is calm as a cucumber. 

So I am going to try to not engage over some of this stuff.  If he doesn't want to shower, he doesn't have to shower.  My hope is that if the assessment is true, once he can no longer engage me about it, he will probably more often shower than not.  I'm also going to advise him that it will only take one kid in one of his classes deciding he smells bad, for the whole class to know he smells bad, because we all know how most kids are at this age.  If they can pick on someone else, they are not the ones being picked on.  So, I'm going to try a little reverse psychology with him and see what happens.  What we're doing now isn't working.  So we need to try something else.

Dinner at Paula's tonight and then sleep lab...ugh!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


So as Meg is the queen of goals and rewards, I figure I at least need to come up with a goal or two to get myself back on the actual weight loss bandwagon.  Not sure on the reward part of things as The Brit and I are still working out the kinks on our Go to Vegas 100 Pound Weight Loss Reward. 

So,what I do know is that by Spring, I want to weigh under 200 pounds.  Technically, that should be easily do-able before Spring as I only have 16 pounds to go to get there.  I have fallen into a small place of stagnation briefly; happy with maintaining and too busy to hit the gym the way I want to, but starting Saturday, I am going to start hitting it the way I NEED to once more.  I don't like the feeling of getting on the scale and breathing a sigh of relief that I haven't actually GAINED any weight.  That is way too scary for me and I'm not going to live my life that way.  But working out generally assures me that I'm not gaining weight and generally assures me that in a relatively short period of time, I will actually lose a few pounds.

Now there are going to be a few kinks in this plan.  After speaking with Pat at Hopkins yesterday morning, I now know that my gall bladder is definitely coming out.  That is the plan, probably with a one night hospital stay.  That ordeal will probably keep me from the gym for minimally a week, though less would be a bonus, but I'm banking on a week.  But there are still at least three or four weeks before that surgery would happen, barring any other symptoms, which should easily get me closer to my 199 goal. 

Once I hit that, I think I am going to work in 10 pound increments to get to my personal goal of 150.  Again, less than that would be a bonus, but I think I could be quite happy at 150.

In other news, we have a snow day today.  We didn't get much, but supposedly, the temperatures are the coldest they have been in here in a decade (which is probably child's play for the people who live where it is REALLY cold), but I will take the day inside with not having to go out into it.  I'd love to not go out into it until Spring...when I weigh 199 pounds.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stress and Food

One day closer to Friday.  Did I mention that the kids are spending the four day weekend with their grandma?

I have been a little lax on the gym since about the time the insanity with the holidays started and I have been trying to get back into the swing of things.  With The Brit being gone and the kids more apt to test me, I don't like not being home when the eldest son gets home from school at 2:35 as he is the one who tends to look for trouble.  Though The Brit is not physically at home when the eldest gets home, I guess just knowing he is only ten minutes away is scary enough that generally there isn't trouble when The Brit is in town.  But with him in Aussie, there is just too much temptation, so yesterday when I had my sleep doc appointment, that took up enough time that I would have been unable to work out and then be home by 2:35.  I got there Monday and today, though today I had to cut it a little bit short due to having to go have my CPAP machine set back to 15 and purchase a gold plated new mask.  I figure for $120 there has to be gold in there somewhere.

I'll get to the gym tomorrow and plan to go on Friday after the kids leave and before my sleep study.  Monday I meet with the trainer, Jerry again, as I need a refresher course on the things he taught me before Christmas.  So, with all that being said, I continue to hold at 100 pounds lost, which is wonderful.

Only I'm not satisfied with that.  I don't want to be finished.

But I've been making mistakes.  Mistakes such as snacking on Reduced Fat White Cheddar Cheez Its and eating pasta more than once a week maximum.  Now compared to my life last January, in comparison, these things are not bad, but for my life, they are.  Part of it is emotional eating and I know that.  Single parenting stresses me out.  Being the only adult in the house at night, stresses me out.  Being the only parent the kids can bounce stuff off of, stresses me out.  I know, wah, wah, wah.  But it does contribute to my snacking and I know it.  Before I would smoke but I gave that up.  Now, I can at least still manage to eat a small portion of something I don't really need to be eating to try to counteract my stressers. 

Granted, again, a year ago, my comfort food for stress might have entailed a trip to Burger King or a stop at a convenience store for a chocolate fix, or even cinnamon stuffed pancakes from Bob Evans (OMG how I miss those!  But never again..).  But my new life also has things I don't need to be eating.  No, those things are not as bad as any of the above mentioned foods, but that doesn't place them in the catagory of "good" either. 

Life will hopefully soon be back to it's new normal, with all family members at home and the holidays now completely behind us.  In the meantime, I continue to work diligently to get myself back on course so I can continuing dropping weight instead of maintaining.

Sure do wish they could do surgery on our heads....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Peeps, i'm really sorry about the lack of content lately.  I'm diligently trying to continue Blog365 but at the same time, being the only parent for two weeks, I am so insanely busy that it is all I can do to write two sentences that make any freakin' sense. 

Today I saw the sleep apnea doc and I have a sleep study this Friday.  The Brit is gone and the kids will be gone all weekend (and it's a four day one) so I won't have to worry about them and I can also come home Saturday morning and sleep, as you don't get much sleep in a sleep study.  I will personally be very surprised if I can over go without my CPAP as some of you may remember, the day of my surgery, there was concern over my very narrow airway and I doubt any amount of weight loss is going to change my narrow airway.  But at least I will have an up to date sleep study, a new mask (as my face is thinner, mine is causing me pain by morning) and a lower setting on my machine.

Susan, I have not been in touch with the holidays and The Brit's trip, but I am thinking about you!  How are things going?  How much weight have you lost?  Inquiring minds want to know!

The rest of my blogging friends, bear with me.  I will get caught up.  Single parenting is hard and I salute all mothers who do it all the time.  You all are incredible.  I was not blessed with natural patience unfortunately and sometimes I have to draw it up from emptiness and it can really wear me out! 

So hang on for me.  We will soon be back to regular programming!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Has the jury arrived at a verdict?

Upon arriving home from the gym, I found this in my inbox:

Hi Kimberly,
So Tara, the other NP at our office, just paged me and told me that you do have gallstones. Dr. Schweitzer will be away the next two mondays, so please get on our schedule for 2/2/09. In the meantime avoid all fat in your diet. See you soon.

So there we have it.  Not sure yet if this means they try to break up the gall stones or if it means bubye gall bladder.  I have a gut feeling (no pun intended) that my gall bladder and I will be soon parted, given my RNY and the history of gall bladder issues after it. 

In the meantime, I will belch my way through to February 2nd unless something happens, like pain, which hopefully it will not!

I have spoken to The Brit a couple of time for short intervals but I can't seem to get through to his cell phone and for him to call me it is costing $2 a minute, so conversations seems to be short and sweet.  At least he is safe and finally adjusting to the time change.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

? and Me

So yesterday did improve after the morning bedroom session.  Apparently they are learning that mom means business!

Due to a scheduling conflict, we went to see "Marley and Me" yesterday.  Great movie, loved it, knew it as I had read the book a few years back (actually, the Brit and I listened to it on iPod on the way to New Jersey for a long weekend away but reading/ listening, eh, sue me).  So, here is what I have decided (only in fun, sort of as I am kind of serious but I don't know if it will ever happen):

I have a plan in my head that I have been making up since yesterday, despite what the youth group said today which I will get to in a minute.  I want a puppy.  A rescue puppy, one day.  A Lab or a Golden, but I will not pay a breeder when so many dogs, even purebreds need homes.  My plan entails my wonderful hubby getting me a puppy for my birthday some year as not that my birthdays have been bad, but just memorable.  We haven't gone away on any amazing trip or anything like that, as lots of people don't and though birthdays are generally pleasant, a puppy would be really, really memorable.  A male puppy.  Bailey (yes, I have even named him).  My little made up story in my head includes me going on walks now that I am in much better health with Bailey.  I would not be worried about strangers because Bailey would not allow anyone to attack me.  Yes, he would need to be housebroken and I would need to poop scoop and that is okay.  I will train him and love him and keep him for my very own, George (Robyn, what was that from???).  I'm very excited about my future puppy!

The youth group today, when I told them I wanted a puppy, said "Well, The Brit is away for two weeks, just let it be there when he gets home!  What's he going to do!"  Kirk said they got severa of their cats that way; when papa was away!  But I would not do that.

I also think I may look into seeing if I can volunteer an afternoon a week at the SPCA.  I was thinking of finding some sort of volunteer work anyway, but I don't know what their minimum time requirements are.  We'll see.

Does he not have my name written all over him?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Going South

So today has started much in the way that yesterday ended; with constant bickering amongst the kids.

Nothing annoys me more than yelling, complaining and tattling, all occurring at the same time.  What makes it even worse?  When dad is home it barely happens.

Last night started to go bad after an hour of them playing the Wii.  The eldest son likes to be in charge of the Wii which translates into "taking over and deciding when it suits him for little brother to play."  This leads to tattling on little brother's part and refereeing on my part.  Then when little brother see an opportunity to take over, ie, when big brother leaves the room, big brother comes back and says nasty things and throws remotes because he isn't getting his way...and yes, this child is 13. 

Last night, I finally couldn't take anymore of it and sent them both to their rooms.  I told them they could stay up late but not together.  This causes another problem, because little brother has a television in his room (no cable but DVDS) and the reason he has the television is that he has huge closets in which to keep it. The original plan at the start of the evening before it all went bad, was that they could play the Wii till 9:30 and at 9:30 they had to go upstairs to watch DVDs and not be seen nor heard from again by me until morning.  Then with the two hours worth of fighting, I separated them, so little brother went into his room to watch Knight Rider DVDs....and big brother decided to try to sneak into his room as since the Wii was now gone, watching movies with little brother would suit him just fine.  But I rained on his parade, telling him that if they can't get along down here, they aren't being together upstairs.

The night finally got quiet and when I went to bed, after talking to The Brit during his layover in LA, they were both asleep.

Surprisingly, they let me sleep in this morning but I kid you not, as soon as my feet hit the hallway floor on the way to the bathroom, the shouting from downstairs began.  They now had an audience, I guess, and though they could live in harmony while mom was asleep, now that she was up, all harmony was cast aside.  The way the night with the two of them ends is not the way the day with them needs to begin.  So, I immediately put them back in their separate rooms, which is where they are now.  They both tried to tell me what the other had done, but I refused to hear it.  The "audience" was not going to play the game. 

So what to do?  Is there another tactic I should try with them?  This is all a boundary pushing thing with mom because dad is away, I'm sure of that and a movie tomorrow hangs in the balance as I had told them yesterday afternoon that if they were good on the weekend, we would go to the movies on Sunday (that is also a treat for mom because they don't fight in a theater).

It's not looking good for the movie....

Friday, January 9, 2009


So how pathetic am I with my new little ticker?  The Brit has been in the air all of 45 minutes so far and I already have a countdown ticker.  In my defense, he did leave the house at 1:15 for the airport.

I like being entertained and I love adult conversations and right now the closest thing I have to an adult in the house is the cats.  Boys and mothers are a delicate thing.  I love them, but mom, they feel they can walk all over and dad?  Well, they wouldn't dream of it.  Now, so far, so good, but they have both only been home about two hours and we still have 16 days to survive.  It could be tight. 

I had my ultrasound this morning and of course, have no results yet.  I did speak with a very nice nurse from Dr. Schweitzer's office just now who is going to try to call the place I had the u/s on Monday to see if she can get results faster.  I also told her my CPAP theory and she said that is a definite possibility as well, so I will go forward with my appointment with the sleep apnea doc on Tuesday, unless the results come back Monday that it is my gall bladder.  But either way, my sleep apnea has got to be retested; I've put it off long enough.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


So I am all out of witty things to say about the burping saga.  Just know that it goes on...and on...and on....

The Brit leaves tomorrow, though I have barely seen him in two days as apparently going out of the country for two weeks means catching up at the desk job first, so he didn't get home till 1:00 am this morning and then was gone again before I had gotten up.  Just saw him briefly as the kids wanted to go to dad's work for awhile, so I dropped them off and now have some down/wine time.  Maybe have to go finished watching my DVR'd "Whale Wars". 

Tomorrow is my ultrasound and I am already annoyed with our new forced upon us insurance company.  Not only is Dr. Schweitzer not on their list of in-network doctors, but neither is the only other surgeon I know and trust locally, Dr. Wineberg. I hate this!  Why The Brit's company has to screw with insurance, I will never understand as I liked our last insurance company, dangit!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Belching, is thy name gall bladder?

So late this morning, I got this email:

Hi Kim,
Dr. Schweitzer feels that it could possibly be your gall bladder, so we need to get a gall bladder u/s. Please give me your fax number and I'll fax it to you. thanks

Great.  I know nothing about gall bladders.  If mine needs to come out does it need to be a right now kind of thing because The Brit leaves for Australia on Friday for two weeks.  If I wait till he comes back to have surgery, does that mean belching like a sailor for two more weeks or is there a med they can give me?  I am also starting to have some soreness around my tummy...almost feels like a pulled muscle.  Is this a symptom?  I'm assuming my RNY surgeon should do this surgery as he is familar with where stuff is in there now as he rearranged it the first time, so that means a trip to Baltimore.  Is it outpatient surgery or will I have to stay overnight?  How soon before I can workout again?  So many questions!

I emailed Pat back and asked her to call me but haven't heard from her yet and at this point probably won't until tomorrow.  She is impossible to track down by phone for though she is great at what she does, she floats between a few offices, seeing both pre-ops and post-ops.

This could not be happening at a worse time. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I am the belching queen

....loud and crude
not trying to be rude...

Anyway, the burping saga continues.  I spoke with the dietician who confirmed my feelings of there was no way it was something I ate four days later.  So, I called Pat back (nurse practitioner) and she has no idea what it could be as I have no other symptoms.  She is checking with my surgeon but said it may take a day or two for him to get back to her as he is in surgery.  So in the meantime the insanity goes on and on and on.  It is driving me insane, but I had a thought though it doesn't make much sense.

I am still on my CPAP machine for my sleep apnea and as a pre-op, I had the highest setting on it.  100 pounds later and I have not yet been retested, mostly because I don't want to go through another sleep study as I hate them.  So, what I'm wondering is that beings a CPAP blows air into my nose to keep my airway open, could it possibly be putting too much air into me now weighing 100 pounds less?  Stupid, maybe, but hey, no one else is offering me any answers.  I've considered going without my CPAP tonight though I can hardly imagine it as I am so used to it.  The other thought with this is that the setting of air has done some kind of damage, but I have no idea what that would be.  I am also surfing around to try to figure out how I might change the settings on my machine to lower it to see how it goes.

The mystery continues....

Monday, January 5, 2009

The noise continues

So the belching continues and the nurse practitioner wants me to call the dietician because it is probably something I ate.  ON SATURDAY??  LIKE OVER 48 HOURS AGO?  FOR REAL??  It kind of blows my mind a bit.

So the first day back at work went well and so did the first day back at the Y; I did my normal cardio and neither died nor passed out. I have also discovered that I am addicted to Facebook now.  I added about a kabillion new friends last night and it was awesome.  I also cleaned JJ's room today, ie, the pit of hell. 

With that alone, I am ready to call it a day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

So Annoying

So I don't know if I am having gall bladder issues or not (I hope it's not) but I have had burping issues for 24 hours now.  I am not a burper thankfully but suddenly at like 5:00 yesterday, it started and other than when I'm sleeping, it has continued.  It's a very odd thing for me.  No abdominal discomfort or anything like that, just this incessant and oh so not attractive belching!  What is this, C&P girls??? I have emailed the nurse practitioner at my surgeon's office but of course, won't hear anything till tomorrow when it will hopefully be gone!

Last night went really well and I hope things are now on the upside or at least getting there.  Yesterday was also a great day because I got to have lunch with a very old friend of mine who I had not seen in like two years.  So needless to say, it was a long lunch!  Lots to catch up on!  We are planning a dual family dinner when The Brit gets back from Australia so I am already looking forward to that.

Otherwise on the news front, I think I will be venturing back into theater for the first time in five years with "Grease" at the Apollo in Martinsburg.  A very good friend is directing it and other good theater friends are auditioning so providing it will not interfere with any vacation The Brit is thinking about, I plan on doing it.  Auditions are not until March, which will give me plenty of time to decide what parts I am most interested in.  There was a time I had always wanted to play Jan but now there is no way I could be cramming Twinkies in my face on stage! 

My vacation is over officially tomorrow morning and I will heading back not only to work but to the gym.  Both will be equally painful!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

There is not enough wine

So the weird friend situation I was dealing with seems to continue to be weird for reasons I don't understand.  Though no more has really been said, there is just an undercurrent; tone of voice, too few words, my gut is telling me things are still off. 

I have to walk into this situation tonight.

I'm hoping for the best and have decided that any strangeness or oddness is not going to be coming from me.  If things are strained I will make an early departure.  I'm hoping I am way wrong about the tension continuing, but again, that gut feeling....

I learned years ago to go with my gut.  I walked into a situation in my early twenties where people were angry with me for reasons I still don't completely get.  It sort of had to do with me spending time with a guy I had a huge crush on, S,  only unbeknownst to me, he was gay and spending time with another male friend of mine, J (again, that I did not know at the time was gay).  J was apparently angry over the time I was spending with S and J maybe got another friend of mine angry over it too.  I went over that night to return something with S, who was urging me to go return it, despite the fact that my gut was telling me not to do it.

I walked into a huge, at the time bewildering to me, confrontation, which ended with me upset, and S and J discussing things as apparently they had been seeing each other. 

I vowed to never walk into a situation again in which my gut was telling me not to.  But not going tonight could make things worse, if they are indeed already bad.  Again, I want to be wrong.  Again, I don't think I am.

I have prayed for this situation all day today; prayed that God could use me to start healing in this situation.  Prayer can do amazing things and I hope it does this time.  I've also prayed for the strength to get through it if healing is not yet ready to happen.

There are so much bigger things to worry about.  A friend of mine is facing her stepfather having cancer and another friend may be having a reoccurance.  I don't want to be worrying over petty crap and misunderstandings.  Life is short and there is just no time for this kind of stuff, especially amongst friends (thank you, Shell for that insight).  I am not going to dwell in this place of hurt (and yes, three of us were hurt in this situation) any longer and I can only be responsible for myself.  The rest of it is up to each individual.

Anyone who thinks blogging isn't therapy is sadly mistaken

2008 Remembered

I swiped this from Kim's blog because I liked it.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you�d never done before?
Fit in!  I fit in with myself, with more people and with new clothing!  Losing 100 pounds will do that for you and I ain't done yet!

2. Did you keep your new year�s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any last year.  I was all consumed with getting it done with surgery.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don't think so

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, a few members of the church that I liked, but wouldn't really call "close to me".

5. What countries did you visit?
I think I was in Canada in 2008...wasn't I?

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A published novel

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 15th-My surgery day. 
December 21st- for reasons I would rather forget.
December 29-30-The New York trip

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Losing 100 pounds definitely!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't know that I failed at anything.  There are things I could have handled better maybe, but failed?  I don't think so.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably the new camera after the old one was stolen.  I love capturing memories

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'm not sure.  No one did any major behaving changing this year, at least not in a good way.  We are who we are for the most part. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There were some situations that made me sad or that I could have lived without, but it is what it is.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Probably in fixing the boat, adding on a deck and revamping the kitchen!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The New York trip, losing weight, finding my energy and I am now excited about finding more of a purpose but I am still searching.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"I Want to Set the World on Fire"

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier...incredibly happy and no one is allowed to steal that from me.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner - but more important, healthier
c) richer or poorer? I am rich in all the ways that matter most

18. What do you wish you�d done more of?
I'm not sure.  This was such a full year for me.  Amazingly full and contented.  I wish I had done some theater, but hopefully soon.  I wish I had written more other than Blog 365.  I always wish I had traveled more because I love it.

19. What do you wish you�d done less of?
Taking on the issues of other people; taking them far too personally. 

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family and my pastor.  It was a really nice day. The wine didn't hurt either.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
In many ways, yes.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
My favorites are pretty standard: Brothers & Sisters, CSI Vegas, House, American Idol but I did add The Biggest Loser to my list in 2008.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn�t hate this time last year?
I try not to hate but there are people I strongly dislike.  I disliked them last year and I will probably dislike them this year.  However, I still pray for them.

24. What was the best book you read?
Kim reminded me..."The Shack" hands down!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Discovering that Patti Lupone live is just as incredible as I'd dreamed.

26. What did you want and get?
My surgery.  Hands down, it was the best.

27. What did you want and not get?
 Can't think of anything.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Holy crap, what movies did I see this year???  I just came to the horrible realization that the only grown up movie I saw in 2008 was "Changeling" and it was depressing and pissed me off.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I have no idea whwhat I did but I was 42.  I haven't had a real memorable birthday since I was ten.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not having it end crappy, but all in all it was a good year.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
New doors opening all the time!

32. What kept you sane?
Faith and my husband.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
FAncy?  I have this thing for Rob Lowe.  Does that count?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I get really stirred by abortion issues.  I just think it is too complex to take away a choice, despite the fact that using it as birth control sickens me.

35. Who did you miss?
I always miss my dad.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
My C&P girls and my new pastor and his wife.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
I've learned not to let people, family or friends, allow me to feel bad about myself.  Two major events with this happened in 2008 and from here on out, I will not allow myself to be placed in a situation that I am not comfortable with.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Everything's coming up roses

Friday, January 2, 2009

St. Paul's: The Tour

Directly behind Ground Zero, sits a little chapel built in 1766 called St. Paul's. 

I took this photo standing on the back porch of the chapel and the area with the blue barrier is Ground Zero, the former home of the World Trade Center. The day the planes hit the twin towers, one tree, a sycamore, took enough of the impact for the little chapel that not so much as a window was broken.  That was because, in my opinion, God had much bigger plans for this little church.

The story of St. Paul's interested me so much; it is, for me at least, the untold story of the aftermath of September 11, 2001.  Taken from this article

Strategically placed near what was now known as �Ground Zero,� St. Paul�s began functioning as a haven for the emergency crews and anyone else in need during those first terrible days. �People were eating, sleeping, and washing here,� says Fr. Harris, �and all this by candlelight and flashlight at first, until Verizon and Con Ed set up crude lamps for us so that people wouldn�t get hurt walking through the place.�

St. Paul's actually closed their doors to the public and remained open only for the rescue workers.  People did what we as a world should do more often.  They came together, and shared time and talents and a spirit of caring for those who during those dark days, had the toughest of jobs.  Rescue workers came to eat, to sleep, to sit in quiet meditation or to pour out all they were feeling to ears ready to listen.

People came and gave of themselves: massage therapists, cooks, podiatrists, musicians, chaplains.  People sent the things they felt were needed:  food, cots, eye drops, boots.  The relief project at the chapel was open 24 hours a day for nearly nine months and in that time, some 5,000 volunteers served half a million meals.  All meals, many gourmet, from some of the finest restaurants in the city, were all donated.  The entire chapel became a shrine, full of cards, letters, banners, from all over the world.  Candles burned 24 hours a day and messages of love arrived daily in many different languages.  Most of this has been taken down now,but some still remains. 

This was the story I so wanted to know.  The following pictures speak for themselves and if you want to know more about St. Paul's, you can read and view photos here.

(This desktop clock, ejected from the north tower, froze in time at the moment of impact)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Blog 365 2009?

There is no official Blog 365 2009, but a few other gals and I from the Blog365 site are considering it.  It's just that I'm in the blogging zone now after doing every day for one full year. Okay, not every post was from me as Laura did some guest blogging for me while I was in the hospital and when I was in Florida, Kelly and Kim picked up a post, but this blog had a post every single day in 2008!  I guess we'll see what the new year brings, in more ways than one, but I don't want to apply the pressure on myself in the event a night runs late and I know I won't get a post up by midnight.  I just know I love going to the blogs that I read and seeing a new post and I know that I am disappointed when or if there isn't one.  It's a fact of life; blogging comes second to actual life, but it is just my habit to check these blogs everyday.  I hope that maybe some folks check my little corner of the web everyday and if they do, it would be nice to have a post.

Not sure how it is possible that my vacation is down to its last few days, but here we are.  It will soon be time to go back to the problems that existed prior to my vacation and blah...not much in the mood for that, but "No time, dudes!" is the motto for 2009!  Tomorrow it is time to start packing away Christmas and I need to make a trip to the library. 

I have also come to another decision that should probably be a resolution.  Next Christmas, I need to find a purpose or a goal or something.  Some kind of place to volunteer some time to make the season feel more like Christmas for me.  I felt really out of sorts this year as it is all about the shopping and the wrapping and the baking and give me a break.  By the time the actual day rolled around, I was totally burned out.  With kids, the holiday is about their getting gifts for them and I just found it all exhausting.  "Did I get them enough?" "Will they be disappointed?" Blah, blah, blah.  I need something next Christmas to be for me, which translates into I need to do something for someone else who doesn't have much or who needs help or I need to make someone's life easier for the season. I have a year to explore my options and if any of you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave me a comment.  I want to find a right fit for me so I don't want to jump into this blindly.  I felt so little this Christmas as far as what the season is really about and if I am going to find my joy in this holiday again, something has to change for next year.

Okay, a few pics from New York!  There will be more in the upcoming days, but we took over 200 pictures, so I need to review them, pick the ones I want to share and then resize them. 

View from our very cold seats on the bus tour.  I love this city.  I look at this picture and my heart just pumps a little faster.  I love sitting in a little deli or bistro by the window and just watching the people as they go buzzing by.  There is just something beautiful about a place this big and energetic.

Again, from our bus.  the dudes there were setting up one of the podiums for the big New Year's Eve celebration.  The guy furthest away, when we got closer, he pretended like he was going to hop into our bus as he totally could have done it!

Some of the decorations inside of Saks Fifth Avenue.  They spare no expense apparently.

The Empire State Building taken from the bus.

The tree at Rockefeller Center. It was huge and beautiful and we got to watch the skater too briefly, but man, there were a lot of people there!  This was the day before New Year's Eve and they were coming into the city in hoards!

More tomorrow!