First bit of information is that my gall bladder surgery is finally scheduled for February 24th! I am insanely happy about this surgery because I am so incredibly sick of the whole burping thing which has been progressively getting worse!
Anyway, onto questions. Jil asked about one of my favorite things, so I'll do those first as the answers are way easier! LOL!
She asked: "You haven't mentioned the theater in awhile...are you going anywhere with that?"
I love theater and have been away from it for close to six years now, since we decided to pursue adopting kids. When the kids were smaller, cutting out a couple of nights a week for rehearsals would have just been insanity. But theater is something that is in my blood and few things give me the rush that performing on stage gives me. I am actually going to be auditioning for "Grease" at the end of March at the Apollo Theater in Martinsburg, WV, which is only about 30 minutes away. A dear friend of mine, Mandy, is directing the show and several of my long time theater friends are also auditioning. The hope is that most of the auditioners will be adults, so Mandy can cast the show as adults. But if more young people show up to auditions, then the main roles will have to be cast that way, so everything is kind of up in the air. As the fat girl, I always wanted to play Jan, the Twinkie eating Pink Lady who falls in love with Rump and though I am not quite that girl anymore (still fat, but so much better than before!) I still think that is the part I will be singing for. I think Twinkie-like cakes come in those 100 calorie packs, so if I am careful, totally doable!
Jil also asked: "What is your favorite musical and why?"
I love, love, love musical theater and have so many favorites that it is hard for to pick just one, though I narrowed it down to two. "Les Miserables" has been a long time favorite of mine and I've seen the show somewhere in the neighborhood of seven times; most of the performances on tour but twice in Broadway. A friend of mine, Dawn Younker, auditioned for the touring company back in the early 90s and was cast as Eponine, which was both her and my favorite role, so while Dawn was with the touring company, I caught the show several times to see her perform (and she was amazing, btw). During her run with the company, the Les Miz head honchos came to NYC and fired what they considered to be many members of a "tired" cast. Dawn's touring company was the one selected to perform in NYC while that cast was being replaced, so I got to see my friend perform on Broadway as well, which was awesome.
My other favorite is "Rent". The music is amazing and the story so raw and real at times. I saw the original cast on Broadway right after it opened, which was when Dawn was performing on Broadway. The tickets to the show were sold out, but Dawn insisted we should wait in line anyway for any cancellations while our friends elected to go see another show. What Dawn knew but I didn't know, was that the theaters held seats for any friends of the cast until about 10 minutes before curtain. If no friends showed up, the seats are sold to those waiting in line. Many of the people ahead of us in line gave up and left, leaving Dawn and I with center, two rows from the stage seats. They were spitting on us and I loved it.
When The Brit and I got married, our first year together, he took me to England and we were able to see the London cast of "Rent" as well. So it is the show I have seen in two major theater districts. The movie version is also very good and has most of the cast in it that was spitting on me the first time I saw the show. They have also just released the final performance of the NY cast on DVD which I just got and watched last weekend. Also very much worth the watch. The show does have strong language, sexual implications and homosexual themes in it. It is also one of the best shows I have ever seen. The saddest part is that Jonathon Larson, who wrote it, never lived to see it open on Broadway, which makes me incredibly sad.
I guess I need to mention one other show from a performing standpoint. When it comes to musical theater, the best time I have ever had on stage was playing the Rev. Mother in "Nunsense" twice. Both times, I was able to do the show with some very good friends and it is one of the funniest shows out there, IMHO. If you ever get a chance to see this gem, go for it. I would eagerly do the show a third time if the opportunity ever presented itself.
Okay, on with the next topic!
Susan asked: "Please describe what you eat on any given day? I hope this isn't too personal but I 'm just curious."
Susan, this differs a lot depending on what I have in the fridge! My day though almost always starts out with Special K Protein Plus cereal, 1% milk and a banana. A serving packs 10 grams of protein, so I am all over that, and with a little Splenda, it's good.
Lunch can be anything from soup, to half a turkey wrap, to a Kashi Pumpkin Spice bar (another ten gram snack) and a yogurt with some blueberries mixed in. Dinner has been experimental of late because I got sick and tired of cooking the same things. I hate to cook, so switching it up is important to me not only from an eating standpoint but from a boredom standpoint as well. I love to slow cook (not much work and quick and easy cleanup) and in the colder months I will do beef stew and have recently tried beef stroganof though I try to go easy on the noodles in my own serving, but the kids love the noodles. Also did a cranberry pork this week in the slow cooker and it was really good but next time I think I need to make my own Splenda cranberry sauce to cut down on the sugar.
Other than slow cooking, I will do tilapia in the broiler, chicken, chicken tacos, shrimp quesadillas, etc. I recently purchased "The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook" and have been trying some of these recipes from there. Almost all of them have been good and the family likes them too. Soup is my favorite Friday night easy meal and I have just learned to make it this winter! 42 years old and didn't know how to make soup! Go figure!
Snacks are where I get into trouble, but if I'm keeping it real, the things I nibble on range from good days to bad days. Thank God for the gym on the bad days! Kashi Pumpkin Bars, Sugar Free Jello with a dollop of Light Cool Whip, grapes, cheese (a huge downfall of mine! I love the stuff!) and on a really bad day when it must be chocolate, I've been reaching for 100 calorie Swiss Rolls, which must stop. I buy them for the kid's lunch, but I think I am going to have to find a different alternative because having them in the house poses a problem for me. Basically, I know they are there!
Susan, this is actually a question I'd like to pose to my other C&P girls; not so much what they eat for meals, but what they snack on, on this is where I struggle.
Okay, Kim asked: "Have the boys said anything about the difference in you guys now that you've lost so much weight?"
My oldest is kind of oblivious most of the time, but he was a little shocked at the realization that The Brit and I were actually going to go tubing with them and not just watch from the sidelines. The younger one, he's my vocal kid and is constantly informing me that something I'm wearing or thinking of wearing is too big. So yeah, in one way or another, they notice.
And finally, Kim also asked: "How did you come to adopt the boys?"
We went through all the infertility stuff to a certain point where I just could not emotionally take it any longer. Everytime I wasn't pregnant devestated me, so we finally spoke to someone in church that told us if we wanted kids, social services was the way to go. We had looked at adoption agencies but the expense was insane (and why is that? If so many kids needs homes why not make it affordable to the average person?). So we signed up to foster and went through a six week class that honestly, in no way prepares you for the challenges you truly face with some of these kids. These are not your "normal" run of the mill children; these are kids who have been through the wringer because of their parents. The two boys were our first placement as we were signed up that we wanted to "foster to adopt". I didn't want a revolving door at my house. I did struggle a bit at first on if I wanted them and only because they were boys and there were two. I had always imagined a girl and two boys at ages 7 and 3, with problems felt like a like to take on at once.
We had to foster them for six months and during that time, we grew to love them and went through with the adoptions. I'm not going to say it has always been fun. Our youngest had no language nor was he potty trained at three years old. No one had ever enforced the latter for him, so it was really hard work to potty train a kid that old and we didn't manage with 100% success until he was nearly five. He just wanted no part of it. He would go in his pull ups and then to inform us he went he would bring us a clean pull up. He had the brains, but not the drive. His language was slow in coming and we had him assessed at Kennedy Keager at Hopkins after his Head Start speech therapist informed us that we needed to explore alternative means of communication but it couldn't be sign language as he has no digits on his left hand. I informed her that the child could make cat sounds, cow sounds etc, so he would talk. Sure enough, after talking to Hopkins we got him in with a real speech therapist and he took off. Has not shut up since.
My oldest has ongoing issues, as you all well know, but we are in the process of getting him in with a highly recommended therapist. The Brit and I meet with him next Thursday and I'm anxious to get a feel for the guy. I liked what I heard in our brief phone conversation though so I have good vibes thus far. I will keep you all informed.
Well, that's all the questions I have so far, so bring them on if you want more answers next Friday!