Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Today I got a very pleasant surprise when I stepped on the scale. I have lost two whole pounds! I was so excited I ran out into the dining room still wrapped in my towel (much to the horror of my children) to share the news.

Most people would not risk a Public Indecency ticket to proclaim the joy of a measly two pounds, but (as always) there's more to this than just 32 teeny ounces. First of all, I realized that the towel, when wrapped around me, actually covers up all of me at once. I was so elated I had to share! You see, as I have gotten bigger over the last few years, one of the most depressing parts of life was not having a towel go all the way around my body. I used to be able to fit a regular bath towel around me without any naughty bits showing. However, as the pounds crept on, I was forced to use the extra BIG sized towels to preserve my privacy in the dash from the bathroom to my own bedroom. Lately, I've had to use the goofy printed beach towels or risk scarring my poor children during my morning race down the hall. Someday I will have a shower in the master bathroom and I will no longer be forced to cringe and shuffle down the hall covering myself with meager scraps of terry cloth, praying the neighbors don't choose that moment to stare into my curtains. Ah... someday.

Sure, you might say "Just use a bathrobe!" And I would say back, "NO!" Around here we have two seasons - Below 90 degrees and Above 90 degrees. Or, what the rest of the world likes to call "Summer" and "February." When you add on the humidity, having to wrap up in a bathrobe when I'm still damp only makes me feel hot AND sweaty, completely negating the entire getting-clean-in-the-shower thing. Now, I wouldn't DARE complain out the weather here (that is a sure fire way to attract a twister during the next thunderstorm.) MY part of this lovely state isn't NEARLY as bad as some others. Take Houston, for example. I hear the kids down there are starting to be born with gills so they can breathe the "air" more easily. That's some crazy stuff down there by the coast...

Anyway, the happiness I decided to share in my near-buff glory was about much more than JUST two pounds. It was actually about more like EIGHT pounds. When I started seeing Dr The Mann a few months ago, I was looking at 60 pounds or so of weight that needed to be lost. As daunting as that is, I have to look at it in smaller chunks to be able to face it down. Basically, every pound counts to me. When I stayed the same weight for an entire month, it was really depressing. When I finally started losing and I saw three pounds go away, it was like Christmas morning! Then, I started to gain again (I'm still not really sure why) and I ended up with TEN POUNDS more. This past week, I have been trying really hard to be good and exercise and it has totally paid off.

Ok. I lied. I haven't done anything more special this week than the week before. Well, except for being so sick that I really couldn't get out of bed. And the cold medicine makes me sick to my stomach. So, I guess I could say I was eating better and exercising, if by "eating better" you mean 1/2 a pb & j and a can of cola being the only thing I consumed in an entire day. Technically coughing and blowing your nose takes up calories, so maybe that would be considered "exercise"?

Well, whatever the reason for the loss, I will take what I can get. Right now, that means I am back at Square One. The same weight I was when I started seeing Dr The Mann. Strangely enough, I am just fine being here because I am at least heading in the right direction. As long as I don't go all Hollywood on the three cartons of ice cream  in my fridge, I should be ok.

Come to think of it, I'm still not really sure HOW I ended up with three cartons of ice cream in there anyway. All I remember was mentioning to DH that the girls had been promised a treat for something (that part is pretty fuzzy) and the next thing I know, there are three cartons of BRAUM'S in the freezer. One of them happens to be my Ultimate Weakness (aka Peanut Butter Cup.) Suddenly, I  remember why I do the grocery shopping around here. Every time. Even for just a gallon of milk. Because, "Honey, we are out of bread." turns into $100 of junk food later.

It appears I am off my game. My tenuous grip on the smooth running groove of the house is slipping away. The laundry is piled up (again), the dishes need to be done (as always), and we had take-out for dinner because of a school function that soaked up EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of my evening. Had I been on top of things, I would have thrown something in the crock pot so that we could walk into the house and eat whenever we ended up getting home tonight. That would at least have fixed one of those things.

Clearly I need to work on my focus. If I am going to keep the pounds at bay and keep the kids in line.

Speaking of kids, I have to brag on my Evil Genius for a moment. That school think that took up the whole evening? It was because her project was one of 10 in the whole school that was chosen to be presented at the Big District Genius Kids Show-Off. (No that actually isn't what it is called, but it's an appropriate description.)  Every school in the district brought the top two from each class and EG's fabulous toy that she worked very hard on with DH made the cut. I got pics and I will probably post them once I find a decent one.

Good night all!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Better is Relative

Today is Day 4 of The Nasty Cold. It started with my own girls, I think, then spread to my sisters kids, who got it BAD, then they passed it back to me. Yay. For a solid week I could feel it waiting to pounce like a cat in the weeds. I had a sore throat and nothing else, but I knew it was coming. Did I stock up on cold medicine? No. Not soon enough, anyway.

Now that I have the proper OTC's, I am feeling much better. But, "better" is a relative term. Right now, "better" means that I am out of bed and wearing clothing, as opposed to being in bed all day still wearing my PJ's. I managed to actually eat my dinner without feeling like I was drowning in snot. Chewing with your mouth closed when you can't breathe through your nose is just not pretty. I should have thought of that before going into the public to eat. Last night we went out because DH is the best husband EVAR and just knew how icky I felt. He suggested it was an IHOP night. I agreed so fast I was out the door before my kids found their shoes. This may or may not have had anything to do with the drool dripping down my chin after seeing a commercial for the new steak and eggs meal. Or my attempting to bribe the kids into cooking because I was too freakin' beat. Or the fact that kids eat free right now.

Even beyond DH, the whole family has been very kind this past week. Chores have been getting done (to some degree) and there hasn't been an unusually large amount of sassing. At least not to me. When things DON'T resemble a war zone around here, that makes me less stressed, which means I am nicer, which usually rolls downhill. By some miracle, the younger two girls have kept their bedroom clean for TWO WHOLE WEEKS! I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that it only got clean because the youngest nephew broke some glass in there and so my sister and I had to clean it well enough to vacuum. It probably has nothing to do with the threats of bodily harm I made after finishing the clean up.

Since things were already running pretty smoothly, Easter was a much better holiday this year than usual. The eggs were cooked THREE WHOLE HOURS before bedtime instead of me setting the water to boil at 8:00 Saturday night. Now that the girls are older, the whole egg decoration process is much faster and involves far less swearing and frustration (on my part.) Even though we let the girls stay up late to finish a movie before we started, the eggs were finished, the mess cleaned up, and they were showered and in bed in record time (for an Easter Eve.) I might have gone a teensy bit overboard in filling the baskets this year, out of sheer gratitude.

One of the awesome things about holidays like Easter is that I have the excuse to cook a feast and I usually have WP over. It had been weeks since I had seen my dad, so I had kind of been missing him. I got really used to hanging with him a few times a week when we lived in the country. Since moving back to the city, I just don't get to spend as much time with him and that makes me sad. I am so thankful that I have pretty good relationship with both my parents and my in-laws. In fact, we've been so close for so long that I feel kind of isolated now that the in-laws retired to Colorado, my mom moved to Ohio, and WP is back in the country.

Family is a funny thing. I know a lot of people who, once leaving home, have tried to stay as far away from their parents as possible. I feel so fortunate that I am not one of those. Even though we have very different views and lifestyles, I still get along with my brother and sisters. I get so jazzed seeing all the cousins running around together acting like the best friends they really are. I love when we are all together and the house is full of grown-ups and the yard is full of kids. The kitchen is full of food and there are Dr Pepper cans and coffee mugs everywhere. No matter how awesome friends are (and mine are pretty darn cool!) there is just something cozy and connected about a family gathering.

I just got word yesterday that my littlest sister will be coming in for a visit during Memorial Day weekend. I am so excited I could just burst! She is finally sporting a baby-bump and I can't wait to rub the belly! Never has a rug rat been more anticipated than this one! I have volunteered to put them up for a night and so I will get to host another big family get-together. If I'm lucky, I can get all of us here at one time for a big, backyard, BBQ Family portrait. That is going to be one awesome shot, I tell you!

Now I'm off to plan the menu and wrangle my own girls into shower and bed time. Then I can head to bed with my new best friend - Nyquil.


Monday, April 9, 2012

My Story

I've had a pretty long stretch of writer's block over the past few months. It isn't that I haven't been writing. I write something nearly every day, whether in my personal journal or on my computer. My block sometimes comes from feeling like my stuff isn't "good enough" to post. Or, more often, a piece that I am inspired to write is left unfinished, and when the moment has passed I find it hard to go back to it to complete it.But, whether I publish it or not, I still write it. Probably, no one will ever read 9/10th of what is typed or written. Still, I write it.

Writing itself can be difficult for me. I hurt everyday and writing and typing often makes it worse. My hand coordination is severely affected and I often spend more time fixing typos than I spend actually writing. Also, I need to rest and sleep far more than most people do, or have the luxury to. By the time I have taken care of my kids and family (poorly most of the time), I have taken care of myself, and I have taken care of the thousands of other things I have to do, the amount of time I have in the day for ME is tiny and fragmented. Still, I usually choose to use it to write.

Writing has become my therapy. All the ugliness, fear, and hate along with the happiness, joy, and love swirls together and forms words that end up on the screen or on the page. I have literally dozens of journals that are filled with my final thoughts of each day. If I don't write these things out, they end up keeping me awake or turning up in my dreams as nightmares or as uncomfortably vivid dreams that hang around in my head for days. Sometimes a thought lingers long enough that I feel the only way to make it go away is to share it.

Publishing any thoughts never fails to give me a minute of panic or so. My audience is pretty narrow and I  don't often even get comments on the pieces I put out there. Still, I always pause over submitting them. Is this something I want to share? Will  someone be offended by it? Will it make someone's day or make someone feel sad? Is this ALL really something I want to share, knowing that there is a chance (however tiny) that a stranger could pick this up and send it on to even more strangers? Do I really want to release this out to the Universe, knowing it might come back to me someday?

I really need to start saying "Yes!" a lot more often.

Maybe everything I write isn't perfect. I'm not doing this for awards or notoriety. Nothing I have to say is deep or original enough that it would need to be opened, uncovered, or shared with the rest of the world beyond my little circle. If anything was found to be worthy of that sort of attention, I will gladly allow it, but I am grounded enough to know it isn't likely to happen. I'm not doing this for money. I probably will never see any sizable income from it.

I guess I'm writing for selfish reasons. I want to put my thoughts out there so that maybe, just maybe, someone will read what I have written and think, "Hey! I feel like that too!" And then, if I am supremely fortunate, that someone will let me know that I have helped them feel less alone. Then, suddenly, I don't have to feel alone anymore, either.