My Progress!

Friday, September 25, 2009

On my own and Dorkin' out with my bad self

I got off work this afternoon and had the house all to myself. I grabbed my favorite CD of the moment, (I'm actually still listening to it, this song is playing at the moment LOVE IT!) ran downstairs, put it on our old Bose system and started dancing like a fool. Good lord, if you don't know what a 400+ lb woman looks like dancing, count yourself lucky! I'm sure it was horrendous, but I had fun and burned a few calories in the process. I only lasted a few songs, but it was a heck of a lot more fun than getting on the treadmill and I decided that I'm going to have to do that more often!

I then got busy sorting out some boxes Erik pulled out of one of our closets. I'm busy trying to get all my scrapbooking stuff out and organized (which I am miserable at...the organizing, not the scrapbooking). I decided that I was going to start trying to get some business doing custom scrapbooks. I've made several for other people in the past. The last one I made I charged close to $1000.00 for. I think you guys will enjoy the name I came up with for the business; well actually a good friend of mine came up with it, but it was my idea :) I'll tell you all more about it as I move along. Right now I'm trying to get some kind of a website up without having to pay someone to do it for me. I can barely do the HTML for this blog much less put a website together so I can't speak for how it's going to look when I'm done. I don't expect to make $1000.00 off every album, but I think I might be able to get enough business to help pay our legal bills at the least. Any little bit will help and this is something I really miss. I'm going to try to get some stuff together so that I can do a craft fair here in town this November. I have very little time to do it, but I think I could make a little bit of money at the event and get my name out there as well. I'm just looking forward to getting back into something I really enjoy. Another good thing about scrapbooking is that I FORGET to eat when I'm working, so thats a great side effect.

I have another post I'll be making in regards to some of the stuff I came across while going through the boxes. It was full of a hodgepodge of memories and as you can imagine, I found myself laughing at some, crying at others. Some things caught me by surprise...I guess because I thought I had moved on in so many ways; guess there are some things that never lose their ability to tug at your heart strings.

Erik and Tanner got home shortly as I was finishing up and I took a break to get up and dance with Tanner. I think he thought I'd lost my mind, but he was laughing right along with me. I went to "spin" him and, after going through boxes of mementos of his babyhood was, struck by the fact that I had to almost stand on tippy toe to allow him to make it under my arm :( I found myself experiencing happiness and sadness simultaneously as I realized how he really isn't my "little" boy any longer.

Speaking of Tanner, his speech language pathologist emailed me today to tell me what they were working on in his group speech therapy and took the time to include the following tidbit:

"Also, I wanted to tell you something positive that happened in one of his previous sessions. I was asking the students to all read a sentence at a time of a news report. One of the other students was very shy
about reading out loud. Tanner asked if he could help her, and even
asked to switch seats with me so he could be next to her to point out
the words. He was very patient with her and such a good helper!"

He's always been like that; such a nurturing and thoughtful kiddo. After my last post, I wanted to share that because it shows what he's really like. When I used to count my blessings, the fact that I had many lovely moments like that with him were always at the top of my list. I always felt as if they were God's way of giving me a window into his soul when I found myself getting overwhelmed by his challenges. I know many parents of children like Tanner often struggle to maintain a positive relationship with their children. It can be so easy to get lost in all the negative. I'm still so very thankful that I have MANY wonderful memories with him and I'm sure many more to come.

What else? Oh! I almost forgot. After weeks of going up and down within the same 2-3 lbs. I've decided to just go back to low fat eating. I don't know what I was doing wrong, but I just couldn't get past that plateau and I really shouldn't be plateauing a week into my diet which is about when the plateau started. So, I won't be weighing myself this week, because I expect to see some fall out from going from one WOE to another and I don't want to bum myself out.

Speaking of...I haven't eaten since breakfast (I know, not good either) and I'm actually feeling REAL hunger so I think I'm going to go and grab something to eat. Maybe I'll take advantage of the quiet (Tanner is with his Big Brother and Erik is out with a friend) to have another private dork out session! Today was a good day :)

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If you don't have something nice to say...

NOTE: most of this is bitchy and depressing Michelle. If you come for the laughs, skip to the bottom :)
So I kept saying I’d blog when I had something nice to say. Today I figured I better just blog. This is probably going to be one long rambling vent, but what’s new?

Let’s start with the fact that I am back up to 440 after finally making it back town to 436. Why? No clue. Outside of about 4 tortilla chips I had when we went with Tanner’s lawyer to lunch after the hearing, I have not gone off the diet at all. The Mexican place we go to often has whole grain tortillas that I’ve probably been enjoying a little too often, but I called them today after weighing myself to see what the carb count was; Supposedly its 3g. I don’t know if that is before or after fiber or if it’s even accurate. Let’s face it, they can tell me whatever they want really. Outside of that and a few low carb beers now and then, I honestly can’t tell you what might be doing me in. I haven’t felt like I’m in ketosis though since making the tortillas more of a staple in my diet so I’m going to just discard those and see how I do.

Erik and Tanner made a concerted effort to support me in low carbing by actually eating low carb, but then erik got sick a few days ago and I think it was maybe easier for him to throw in the towel. I can’t blame him really, I’ve thrown in the towel on a diet for less. Tanner hasn’t been especially pleasant to be around and he can be difficult to handle on a good day. When you are not feeling good, the last thing you want to do is argue with him about what he’s going to eat. I just told Erik that we can’t have him low carbing with one regular/low fat meal a day or his body will never get into ketosis which will mean him eating low carb occasionally is really just feeding him a high fat diet. He will gain weight unless we have him on a low carb diet all the time.

We’ll see what he does when he’s feeling better though…I really don’t think Erik wants to be on a low carb diet. He still acts completely puzzled about what he can and can’t eat and honestly, sometimes it just irritates me because I know he hasn’t googled “low carb” or tried to figure it out on his own. I’ve sent him direct LINKS to information and based on his questions and other things he “thinks” it’s ok to eat, he hasn’t read them. This is the first time he’s put this much effort into changing over to a low carb eating plan so I’m going to give him the credit and hope that he gets back on the wagon with me when he’s feeling better. I really do think he wants to support me as much as he can.

We had the hearing on Monday and will meet again in a month to see how the new options go with Tanner. We basically moved him into the AI classes (where most of the deaf kids are) to see if that helps. I’m kind of excited for him because I know he will pick up more signing and I think it’s important for him to be around other kids with hearing loss. I can’t tell you how glad I was when I walked into that hearing with our advocate. I’ve been to many many many ARDs in his educational life, but something about this one was intimidating. The man who was running the disciplinary hearing was an ass. It wasn’t so much what he said, but how he said it. He definitely didn’t care what was in Tanner’s medical file and had already decided that whatever was in there didn’t matter. He pronounced Tanner guilty and recommended 30 days in the alternative school which is basically the school equivalent to “jail.” I was very glad to have the advocate with us even if it meant we had to pull $300 out of our ass.

See, this is a dirty little secret I’ll clue you in on. Eventually, most of these kids wind up in jail. They spend their childhood ignoring them, passing them around in school, putting band-aids on things until the kid moves on and becomes somebody else’s problem. There is very little help for you when your child has mental illness or brain injury. If they were visibly sick and miserable, maybe we could make a commercial to solicit the help they and we, as parents, need. You know, something along the lines of St Jude’s or one of those “Feed the Children” ads; the sort of ads that reach into your gut and stay with you unless you pick up the phone to give a few bucks. We all know that’s really the only way we can get back on with our lives…give and forget.

Unfortunately, I don’t think our children would elicit the same response. If we invited a film crew into our home, they wouldn’t see a child who was weak and lethargic, fighting for survival. They would see children completely out of control through no fault of their own; trying to cope in a world that is inexplicably 100 times harder for them to live in than it is for anyone else, but of course it wouldn’t LOOK like that. They might see the parents struggling to hang on to their own sanity, struggling to make it through one . more . day…sometimes just trying to make it to the next hour. They’d probably shut off their televisions around the time they saw my son banging his head into our ceramic tiled entry way as hard as he possibly could after what had already been a full-day meltdown. If they weren’t around to witness that, they sure wouldn’t see me crying my heart out in the shower and dreaming about a myriad of ways I could just end it all. When you have all your hopes and dreams crushed and then the world continues to heap more shit on you, it’s very hard to “keep on keepin’ on”; especially when you know you really just have more of the same to look forward to tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after, and the day after…

Oh no, people turn off their TV’s for stuff like this; either that, or they tune in in droves, but only if it’s billed as “reality” programming. Then they can point fingers and wince and thank their lucky stars their kids are “normal.” They don’t like it if we try to get them to sympathize with us; oh no, because mental illness and these types of behavior disorders are one of the last great taboos. It’s why most of our children are filling the juvenile detention centers and prisons of the nation and the other half are walking the streets lost and homeless.

So, what happens to these kids when they are too old for the schools? We incarcerate them of course. It is supposedly much more cost effective to funnel them into the criminal justice system than actually PAY for the mental health care they need or the ongoing support they need. If you don’t believe me, read this .

In Texas, something like 75% of children in the Juvenile Justice system have special needs. If you really want to know what life is like when you are struggling to survive every day with a child like this (not to mention the actual child who is simply struggling to live their life the best they can with the very crappy hand they were dealt), read this too . The first paragraph basically sums up our lives for the last decade or more:

“The tragedies of school violence around the nation have alerted all of us to the risks our children face. While national consciousness of the pressures our kids confront has been raised, I worry that the enormous difficulties that children with serious mental illnesses and their families confront day in and day out, year in and year out, are being overlooked. The results of this survey of families with youngsters with disabling mental disorders show without question the barriers these families face just to obtain basic and necessary medical treatment. NAMI's survey reveals the struggles these families must endure to get essential education for their children and much-needed supports for the whole family. As the title rightly states, so many of these families are on the brink of survival. The suffering that this report gives voice to deeply saddens and outrages me, not only because these are the voices of mothers and fathers who must try to comprehend why their loved one, their child, has a brain disorder, but because they find themselves all too often having to fight for every shred of medical attention, school system support, and acceptance from their neighbors and friends. In the face of this struggle, they confront the unimaginable but all-too-real risks of family dissolution, financial bankruptcy,
wrongful imprisonment of their child, and even the prospect of having to give up custody of their child just to get him or her treatment.”

I’m sorry to be going on and on about this. I really hadn’t planned on getting on my soapbox. Believe me I had LOADS more I was going to bitch about in this blog. Perhaps it was having a creditor who is calling me every 15 minutes, all day long for God knows what bill immediately following the week my car is repossessed sprinkled with bits from the email I just got from our educational lawyers saying that they’d be happy to go on representing us; we just have to pay them $750.00 on top of the $300.00 we already owe them which effectively exhausts all money I had set aside to file bankruptcy. Sometimes, I honestly feel like I’m the ONLY person that even thinks about where all this money is going to come from and I am about to freaking SNAP. Of course we are going to find a way to pay them. This is our child we are talking about. This is his futureand unfortunately the government only cares about helping you out financially if you squeeze out a few more kids. If you are sensible and stop when it's obvious the one child you have birthed is going to be quite enough to keep you busy for one lifetime….well then you have to sort it out yourself. So, yes…I will work more hours, take on another job. Put off that trip to my grandfather’s, forget about taking the vacation I hoped I’d be able to take for my 40th. Once again, anything I might have been looking forward to will die a rather slow death and I’ll find a way to keep on, keepin’ on…because what choice do I have?

Needless to say, I went back on my regular dosage of crazy meds today. I don’t know if the way I’m feeling is the normal reaction to all of this CRAP (lord knows I should honestly be immune…this IS my NORMAL for the last 15 years), the dieting, or the reduction in my depression meds. All I know is that the meds are the ONLY thing I can do anything about.

And here I am apologizing because my life sucks. Apologizing for inflicting it on whomever might read this. WHY? I guess I may be guilty of some of the same prejudice I assume is in the rest of the population when it comes to mental illness. Somewhere deep inside I am ashamed of my own battles with depression and my son’s battle with ….well EVERYTHING really.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to use this as an excuse to fall off the wagon; even though I’m not losing a darn thing. At least not today. I DO have a few things going on at the moment that are positive and maybe I’ll feel like posting about them later in the week. For now, let me cheer you up with this humorous exchange between Tanner and Erik upon Tanner’s arrival from school yesterday. Hopefully it will help tide you over until I can work on the next Tales from the Scale.

Tanner gets home: “Hi dad! What are you doing home?”
Erik: “Oh, I’m not feeling good, how was school?”
Tanner digging in his backpack for something: “Oh ok, a girl gave me this today…” handing Erik a piece of paper that’s been folded over and over again. Looking at it, he sees that it says “Boyfrined” (sic)
Erik: hmm, “Who is this from Tanner?”
Tanner: “I don’t know, some girl at school.”
Opening it up, erik sees that it says the following:

Name: Tanner
I love you. Give Hug?
Yes or No

(For the record, “yes” was circled for him.)

Erik: “you don’t know her name?”
Tanner: I think it was “lisa?”
Erik: The note says “Jennifer”
Tanner: “yeah, that’s it. She wants me to be her boyfriend. I told her I’d be her friend, but she said ‘NO BOYFRIEND.’”
Erik: “So what did you say?”
Tanner: Shrugging, “I said sure.”
Erik: under his breath so only I can hear “Sounds like our love story ;)”

I would have smacked him if I hadn’t been thinking the SAME DAMN THING right at that moment LOL! No matter how shitty life is for us, I’m very thankful that we can make each other laugh; even if we are laughing at ourselves. I seriously think we would have lost our damn minds long ago if not for that. Maybe that’s why we ended up together.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

I've got a case of the grumpies

Note: This was Written last night. My apologies for not getting up. For the record, we had our hearing today and things were sorted for now. We just have to see what Tanner is going to do.
I’ve been super-extra-mega grumpy all week :(. I can’t tell what is causing it though; lowering my depression meds, all the crap going on in my life, or low-carbing. Really any one of those things could cause a mild case of the grumpies at the very least, but the three of them really is quite the triumvirate isn’t it?

I’ve blogged recently about how I’ve lowered my dosage on the depression medication I have been taking for years now. Previously, I was on a rather low dose to begin with; about half what doctor’s consider a “therapeutic level.” In the last month, I’ve cut that even further by half, so I suppose now I’m on a fourth of the therapeutic dose. Some positive effects of decreasing my meds are listed below:

• More energy
• More motivated to exercise and stay on my diet regime
• More “emotional” overall; yes this is a positive, much better than the same flat affect all the time.
• I feel the DESIRE to get my life back again as opposed to being frustrated with it, yet having no desire to really change anything.

Possible negative effects of reducing my meds:

• I’m grumpy/shorter fuse/less patience
• Sleeping less and not sleeping as good as I did before

I suppose listing them out like that, it doesn’t seem like that bad of a trade off, but then you guys haven’t had the pleasure of living with me over the last few weeks. Poor Tanner has asked me at least 4 times this week why I’m mad so it is obviously apparent to him as well. Of course, he’s one of the reasons I’m grumpy too :/ darn kid!

So, on to the next reason I might have a terminal case of the grumpies: Tanner. We went to have our hearing on Monday, but when they heard we were bringing our lawyers, they rescheduled for tomorrow. So, Erik and I have had another entire week to look forward to whatever is going to happen. Since then, Tanner had another meltdown at school. Luckily nobody was hurt, but he did almost destroy a computer after pushing it off the table and we were asked to pick him up. They suspended him again and he resumed his role as house slave until we can sort this out.

At this point, Erik wants to send him back to his old setting (he went half day to a school for ED kids and half day to a school for severely mentally challenged kids.) Neither one is probably that appropriate for him, but as always….nobody knows what the heck to do with him. He has so many different issues going on (PDD, hearing loss, static developmental encephalopathy, etc.) that he doesn’t really “fit” anywhere. I don’t necessarily want to send him back to the school for mentally challenged kids because he is a smart kid and functions at a much higher level than most of the kids that were in his classes there. He is having a hard enough time accepting his deafness at his age, being in a school where he can tell everyone is mentally challenged only affects his self image even more.

On the other hand, I’m not all that excited about sending him back to the school for the ED kids (emotionally disturbed) because he isn’t necessarily ED (although they’ve hung that label on him for lack of something else). Tanner isn’t the way he is because he’s had traumatic experiences in his life that have affected his mood stability or ability to interact with other people. He has BRAIN DAMAGE that causes his low frustration tolerance and meltdowns. Before he started going to this ED school, we hardly EVER had a problem with him cursing. Now, he has a whole lovely repertoire of words and gestures he employs when he gets upset. He hardly ever uses them at home, but apparently they hear them all day long at school. I just honestly don’t know what to suggest. I guess we will see what happens at the meeting tomorrow as that is something everyone in the ARD committee has to decide on.

So, we move on to the final thing giving me a horrid case of the grumpies….life in general. Getting my car repossessed was no fun that’s for sure. I’m upset because I had been paying on it and would have been happy to continue paying for it, but ultimately they said the only way I’d ever see the pink slip was if I paid off my car AND any other debt I have with them (a mastercard.) I am not proud of the fact that we are in the sort of situation we are financially, but I struggled for as long as I could while Erik tried to find himself and then it just got ridiculous. I’m not completely blaming Erik; a lot of our debt was due to circumstances beyond our control…having a kid in and out of a hospital, not being able to work, selling our house at a huge loss, etc, but it was also due to the fact that we lived beyond our means. It always felt like feast or famine with us. We’d have months where times were very lean and we were paycheck to paycheck and then when we got a little bit of extra money, we’d “treat” ourselves.

We had actually paid our debt completely off several times, it was only the last few years before all hell broke loose with Tanner that we allowed the debt to get out of control. As I mentioned, I was putting Erik through school and we counted on him having a decent job that would allow us to pay everything off once he was done. Of course that never happened so we found ourselves with a mountain of debt. I really think that if Erik had gotten a better job or at least a second job, the extra money would have allowed us to pay everything off, but he didn’t and working 80 hours a week started to wreak havoc on my health. Whatever…..excuses excuses. We all have them I suppose. All I can say is that I will NEVER get myself into this position again! Lesson learned.

I am grateful that at least we still have a car; even if it is a 2000 Toyota Echo that sometimes locks you in and makes me feel like a huge behemoth. I swear, I feel like I’m wearing the darn thing when I get in, but even that is a blessing I think. I’m not comfortable driving the car so it will be even more motivation to continue working towards my goals where my weight is concerned. It still makes me grumpy when I have to shoehorn my behind in the darn thing though. Did I mention it doesn’t have A/C either? Good times…

Lots going on this week, I hope to share some of it as we move along. Let’s just get through tomorrow and see where we wind up. As always, thanks for the support and thanks for reading!

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Want a good laugh?

Ok, let me preface this by saying that I made a post yesterday, got it all ready to go and then apparently didn't upload it. I'm going to add it shortly although it's a day late and a dollar short because most of it was about what was going on today.

THIS post is about a good friend of mine and a contest she is having. She's giving away a $25 walmart card, just because she's all kinds of awesome so head on over there and sign up. I really think that if you enjoy my sense of humor, you will love hers as well.

She is pretty amazing overall and was probably the closest thing I had to a "mom" when I was going through everything with Erik and the rest of my life was crumbling down around me. She's not much older than me so I hope she doesn't mind me saying that, but she definitely was there for me in so many ways. I love her too because she is NOT about coddling you, she's about getting you to a healthy place and taking off the blinders that might be keeping you in a bad situation.

So, even if she wasn't having a super awesome contest, I would have probably pointed you in her direction sooner rather than later! Here's hoping one of us wins the card! If not, enjoy a daily chuckle by visiting her blog on a daily basis!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Quickie, sorry guys

Yes, I'm a True Blood Fan. I was too lazy to write a "real" post today, so you know I was too lazy to find a "real" pic, but something tells me most of you won't mind. I mean, come on... Alexander Skarsgard is lovely isn't he? *sigh* Maybe he'll join me in my happy place...a girl can dream.

It has been a in our household. In the past 24 hours, my car was repossessed and Tanner was sent home from school for another meltdown (luckily nobody was hurt in the process, but he almost destroyed a computer). He will be home and restricted from everything for the next several days.Want to leave a comment? Click on the word "comment" below.

I planned on boring you all with the details, but ended up taking a nap and then had to work some more this evening. Despite all the stress I have still managed to stick to the diet although I was so close to having erik get donuts this morning. Yay me for resisting!

I don't know if you've been checking on my daily weigh in's but I had been going up the last few days. Not sure why, probably just the body adjusting to the loss, etc. Today I weighed in around 436.8 so headed back down. I'm wondering if I can get into the 420's by the end of the month....what do you think? That would be pretty awesome if I can swing it. Maybe I'll try to get my office sorted out and get back on the treadmill. That will probably help me work through some of this stress; especially since my xanax rx is almost done!

Alright people, see ya tomorrow! Keep on keepin' on xx

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Yes, it’s time for another installment of Tales from the Scale scale scale scale. Today’s tale from the scale is brought to you by the Special Olympics (They haven’t really endorsed this post, I’m just giving them a shout out). This tale takes us back about 5 years? Tanner was involved in soccer through the Special Olympics and we had been attending practice every week for months awaiting the big day when we would go to the actual Special Olympics to play against another worthy team.

Like most people I’m sure, I had never given much thought to the Special Olympics until I had a child with special needs. I was aware of it and figured it was a way for kids with challenges to take part in activities they might not have access to otherwise. We’ve all heard the stories about some of these other soccer & basketball teams; the ones where you hear stories of parents who get WAY too invested in their kid’s performance and go a bit nuts if there happens to be a child on the team who isn’t quite the sporting dynamo their child is. God forbid, they miss that catch or get caught traveling! I don’t get it at all, but apparently some people have less of a life than I do and feel their only alternative is to live vicariously through their 7-year-old. For these reasons, our kidlets are often not all that welcome in “regular” team sports. For our kids, it really is about having fun and quite frankly, sometimes they are just as likely to stop and smell the roses mid-field than make that winning goal.

Once Tanner got involved in Special Olympics, I began to see it for what it really was; a place for these kids to experience SUCCESS and ACHIEVEMENT in a world that persistently tried to remind them that life was just a whole lot harder for them than it was for the average kid. You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a child who, just that very morning, may have struggled to tie his shoes, standing on a pedestal and proudly accepting a medal for his/her team. It’s amazing!

Because of my work schedule, Erik had taken Tanner to his practices so I hadn’t had an opportunity to really get to know the kids on his team. I had heard plenty of stories though; particularly about a boy named Mark. Erik had really hit it off with Mark’s dad and he always seemed to come home with some funny story about something Mark did or said. Tanner liked him as well and I realized I was really looking forward to meeting this kid!

We arrived at the field after making the hour commute to Austin and opened our car doors to feel the sweltering heat of a beautiful Texas Spring wafting over our air-conditioned-chilled skin. I was sweating within a minute of exiting the vehicle. I was about the weight I am now, maybe a bit “smaller” and was not looking forward to the trek we had to make in traveling from the parking lot to where the soccer field was. Looking around, I realized there was no shuttle available to transport my portly behind to the soccer field and began to waddle along behind Erik and Tanner.

By the time we made it to the field, my face was beet red, I’m breathing as if I just climbed Mount Everest, and I had managed to sweat so much I probably could have entered a wet t-shirt contest; a wet t-shirt contest in which I’d probably come in DEAD LAST, but a wet t-shirt contest none-the-less. Realizing I could have skipped the time I spent on my shower, make-up, and hair regime, I found myself feeling less like your average soccer mom beauty and more like the overweight, overheated behemoth I was. Oh well, who was I trying to impress?

It was then that we spied Mark and his family. Tanner takes off across the field as I try to act as if I’m not about to experience a heart attack or stroke and search frantically for a place to sit down that won’t collapse under my more than generous figure. I pretend to tie a shoe that is actually tied in double knots until I get my breath back and then head over to meet Mark and Mark’s family.

When I get there, Mark and Tanner are having a chat and Erik introduces me to his family. I’m guessing their ENTIRE family was there because I stopped counting relatives at about 8. They were a nice group of people and we made small talk until Tanner drug Mark over to meet his mom.

From the moment Mark laid eyes on me, I could tell…I was in for some trouble. He had a curious look on his face and my guess was he had never seen anyone quite as corpulent as me. With a sly smile on his face, he surprised my mother-in-law by slipping a hand inside hers and sidled up to within a few inches of me. As he looked me up and down he asked, “You’re Tanner’s mom?” I could see those wheels working guys…I knew this was probably going somewhere hilarious, but I had the sinking feeling I was going to be the proverbial “butt” of this joke…”What’s New?” I thought. He was looking at me expectantly when I realized I hadn’t acknowledged his question so I said, “Yes, you must be Mark! I was looking forward to meeting you!” Looking me up and down one more time, he smiled a warm, innocent smile and said “Hi!” Thinking I might make it out of this unscathed, I asked him if he was excited about the game. “Yes! We are playing soccer!” “I know!” I answered, “I hope you boys don’t get too hot running around out there!” When I saw his eyes light up at the word “running,” I knew I had made a grievous misstep.

What I didn’t know was that Mark was a closet Scientist. He thought about things, formulated hypotheses and tested those hypothoses to prove his theories and today…he had a few theories about me and what better place than the Special Olympics Soccer Match to prove/disprove those theories?. “Can you run?” He asked innocently, again giving me the head to toe once over with his eyes. My internal dialogue went something along the line of “Oh crap” “Hmm, yeah I probably could run if I wanted to Mark” and in a desperate effort to change the subject in front of his entire family, I asked him if he liked to run. Being the dedicated scientist he was, he wasn’t letting me off that easy. He would NOT be distracted from his research!

Ignoring my feeble attempts to distract him he answered “You can?” In my head I’m imagining what must have been going through his mind. I could see he was already trying to wrap his head around the unlikely picture of me hauling my pudgy form around the field and the curiosity was definitely getting the best of him. There was absolutely nothing malicious in his prodding; he was simply amazed at my size and wanted to see just what my body was capable of. It was Science pure and simple.

About this time, his family tried to intervene. I could see the horror on their face and the embarrassment in their eyes as they tried to get him interested in something else. They vastly underestimated his fascination with me. He shrugged loose and turned back to me; it was time for him to test his hypotheses and nothing was getting in his way. Persistent in his research, he smiled sweetly and said, “Go ahead, Run!”

Oh Lord, help me.

“Maybe another time Mark, It’s bit hot for me to be running around as if I’d have no problem putting on a show for him if it were just a few degrees cooler, “I have to get Tanner ready, you guys have a game to win!” Changing tactics, he grabs my arm and asks “Can you jump?” Smiling nervously, I confirm that yes, I probably could jump if I had to; say if there were a million dollars on the table or a pile of scorpions between me and a turtle fudge cheesecake. I might be able to project my body into the air under those circumstances. Hearing this and taking it for consent to his little experiment, he smiles innocently again, eager to test this new hypothesis and flourishing an arm out to the side, in his best David Lee Roth says “Go ahead…Jump!”

At this point, I happen to catch Erik’s eye. I can see he’s barely holding it together; his eyes are bulging from his skull and the corners of his mouth are trembling to keep from bursting out with laughter. He was fine as long as we made no eye contact, but as usual with us…once eye contact was made, all bets were off. Immediately I was hit by the Saturday-Night-Live-sketch aspect of it all (or was it more MAD TV?) and I began struggling to maintain my composure. Erik did an immediate about face and headed off for parts unknown so that he could release the laughter he’d been holding for FAR too long. If I weren’t struggling myself, I probably would have milked that betrayal for all it was worth. Instead, I turned back to Mark, patted him on the head, and suggested that maybe we’d have a family Olympics some other time and wished him luck in the game. Ignoring the obvious disappointment on his face, I made a quick get-a-way and a mental note to avoid him for the rest of the game. Sadly, I was never able to fulfill his desire to see an overweight woman perform feats that defied gravity and endurance, but I secretly hope he never lost his sense of curiosity and passion for the Scientific Method.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ready for a quickie?

Feeling naughty tonight ;). I inadvertently went off my diet slightly, but it wasn't intentional and I didn't go crazy so it doesn't count right? I worked from 7am to 4:00PM then had a meeting with our advocate/lawyers to prepare for the hearing tomorrow. I hadn't had a chance to get lunch so while we were on the phone with the lawyers, I put in an order with wingstop online. Erik absolutely pitched a fit the last time we ordered anything from there because I ordered actual wings and not the boneless so this time I ordered the boneless. Who knew the darn things were BREADED??? I went ahead and just ate a few because I was starving and tired and just not up to making another decision about something else to eat. I had some celery and some baked beans which probably aren't the best low carb option, but hey...I could have done a lot worse right? One thing I will say is that I ordered the Cajun and WOW, they are spicy. I had ONE and my stomach is still on fire. Unless you enjoy feeling like your esophagus is going to spew hot molten lava for the rest of the night, I would not recommend this flavor. The garlic parmesan and lemon pepper are pretty good though.

So, If you checked the weigh in post, you will see that I'm up .2 pounds. Still happy with my overall weight loss for the week. Tomorrow makes it ONE FULL WEEK guys! Can you believe it after all my pathetic moaning since April? Please just cross your fingers I can keep on keepin' on. I'm feeling good though.

Well, sorry this is so short and so boring but my brain is seriously on auto pilot. I need to get to bed so that we can get to the hearing bright and early in the morning. I'm going to finish watching Mad Men and hope for delicious dreams about Don Draper and it definitely won't be a quickie ;) *sigh* I'll probably have another crazy asian greaser dream instead. Stay tuned folks!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009


You will soon see why I was too lazy to find a pic for today's blog. So I decided to introduce you to Matthew. Teresa joined me for a few cocktails in my happy place yesterday and insisted on TWO cabana boys. As long as she didn't have designs on mine, I said "have at it." Matthew is one of hers and, let me tell ya...he's a very nice addition to my happy place. If you ever want to join Teresa and I, grab a foo foo drink, a tiny string bikini and sexy cabana boy and join us!

OMG, trust do NOT want to know how this day went. I, once again, had started a post that was going to share some pics of my new hair, and then the Universe had to drop its pants and take a nice shiny dump on my day. The Universe seriously does NOT want me to show you how beautiful I am because every time I work up a post to share these pics with you, The Universe finds some new and interesting way to seriously make me regret being born. At that point, my hairdo just seems a bit...I don't know...beside the point? Don't worry, its nothing that a handful of xanax can't remedy.

I know I've sounded like a drug addict lush the last few posts...I promise you, I am not really a pill popper and "drinking" for me is like one beer. Trust me, I would LOVE to have another vice that didn't make my ass the size of manhattan, but no....My drug of choice is food, delicious food. Despite having another crapalicious day,I haven't had a drink tonight and BELIEVE ME...I need a damn drink ...or an entire cherry pie...either one would probably suffice.

Instead, I headed straight to bed after I got off work. We were supposed to go to a friends tonight for poker and good time, but about midway through my shift I had a conversation with my supervisor and while MOST of it went the very end, he had to dress me down AGAIN for missing a break.
{{{edited info used to be here}}}
I get off the phone with my supervisor just as Erik walks in the door to fax the paperwork to the lawyers. It is then that I realize I am going to have to disconnect my work phone to do it and since I'm working, I can't do that, but seeing as we have a meeting at 4PM we HAVE to get this info to them ASAP. Frustrated and seriously on the verge of grabbing a twinkie or a pistol to put in my mouth (I hadn't decided which), I tell him to go somewhere and fax it. F it, just get it done (and no, the "F" is not an abbreviation for "fax.")

Erik leaves, comes back and tells me that the fax wouldn't go through, but as he walks in, he finds me in tears and researching shore trips for someone's amazing 33 day Mexican cruise. Concerned, he sits down and lets me vent and yell and scream about all the pressure I'm under and how even going to do something fun tonight with friends is just more pressure to be somewhere and do something in the limited time I have. Poor Tanner must have heard me venting and comes in and all of a sudden becomes a "mini-me."

Tanner: Mom, whats wrong?
Erik: Nothing sweetie, mommy is just having a bad day and she's stressed out, its ok
Tanner: Mom, don't get so mad. Calm down, have you tried your breathing
(gee, this is deja vu, all of this sounds strangely familiar)
Me: Yes sweetie, I'm sorry, I'm not mad at daddy, Im just venting.
Tanner: Ok, well just calm down, you don't want to get mad and make a bad choice.
(oh, I see what is happening here. Apparently he has been listening everytime we try to talk him through a meltdown)
Erik: Mommy isn't mad really, it just helps to talk it out. I know for you, that isn't helpful, but for mommy it is.
Tanner: Ok, well try to not think about it right now ok mom?
Me: Ok Tanner, thanks sweetie.

How is it that children know the absolute PERFECT moment to parrot all your parenting back at you and why does it make you feel like such an idiot? Ahhhh, this kid God love him.

Hopefully you have made it this far, because here's a little good news for the day. I didn't use all this crap as an excuse to go off my diet. Today's weight loss is updated so take a look. It was the one thing that put a smile on my face today; that has to count for something!!.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Breathe In......and Breathe Out...... (preferably in between sips of some really good Rum)

I was totally going to do a feel good post today. I had even started listing stuff I had to be thankful for, then my day began to unravel. I got a call 4 minutes before work was over that took about an hour to take care of. Meanwhile, I have dinner in the crockpot that needed some finishing touches; I had also planned to try mock mashed potatoes with it, but it was obvious that was not going to happen this time around. Needless to say, this phone call put me an hour behind schedule. Just as I was logging out of work, I get IM’d by someone regarding some scheduling drama that I won’t go into, but it was a rather stressful conversation that left me feeling as if some might have felt I was taking advantage of “the system” when I was just doing things the way I was told *sigh*.

I finally get past that, and move on to trying to scan this behemoth of a document to send to the lawyers and realize my printer only wants to cooperate ONE.MOTHERFREAKING.PAGE.AT.A.TIME. The document I’m trying to scan in is about 70 pgs long. Seeing as I’m not into self-torture, I decide to fax instead. While I’m coping with all this, I hear Tanner and Erik get home from a doctor’s appointment. Apparently Tanner is perseverating on downloading something for his xbox 360 so that he can play a regular xbox game (he got his games back today after earning them back) so of course he expects the world to come to a STOP while we fix it. Anyway, you get the picture. We finally figure out that we can’t get this game to work on the xbox 360 and erik heads downstairs to finish up dinner.

In the meantime, I heard back on the third job I applied for asking me to schedule some time I can be shadowed (work with someone watching me like a hawk) so I went ahead and scheduled about 20 hours next week. This is 20 in addition to the 40 at my main job and the 10 I work each night at my second job. I know it’s insane, but with lawyers to pay, I really don’t have a choice.

Then I come down to find that Erik has dumped an entire bag of egg noodles into MY low carb crock pot meal :( Somebody hold me…. In all fairness to him, his brain is just as scrambled as mine and he did go and meticulously pick out all the noodles in my serving, but ARRRRGGGH.

Breathe in…….Breathe out……..and go to my happy place. In case you were wondering, my happy place happens to be on the beach. I’m about 150 lbs in my happy place so I look Smokin’ HOT in a tiny little red bikini. My body is completely immune to the effects of gravity so my chi-chi’s are pert and happy to be kissed by the sun, Breathe in……….Breathe out……….I open my eyes, lowering my sunglasses a bit to look up into the beautiful eyes of Jeffrey Dean Morgan who happens to be moonlighting as my cabana boy, isn’t that nice of him? He brings me the tastiest foo foo drink he has and sits down beside me to massage my tense muscles and doesn’t even try to stop after the first 5 minutes! *sigh* It’s a very happy place.

I feel a little better, but it could have something to do with the xanax I took about an hour ago. On the upside…I lost another pound today so I’m down about 8 lbs since Monday? I stuck to my diet, but need to start working some walking into my schedule. That’s the next thing I’ll tackle.

As for what I’m thankful for; I’m thankful that we were lucky enough to find some pretty amazing educational lawyers several years ago and I’m thankful that they are going to do all this work for ONLY $300.00 (at least through the hearing on Monday). I’m thankful that I had some money tucked away; even though it was the bankruptcy money and this is the third time I’ve managed to save it up only to have to spend it on something else. At least we were able to hire the lawyers as I do not want to do this hearing on my own Monday.

I’m REALLY thankful that Erik just got home from the store with a HUGE bottle of Vodka and Rum! I’m making a low carb cheesecake with a low carb chocolate rum ganache for poker night tomorrow at the Ochoa’s. Apparently, they were having a sale at the liquor store and miracles of miracles, Erik picked out two liquors with 0 carb count. Woohoo, party at Chez V! Who am I kidding, we’ll probably have one drink and be in bed by 8PM.

I’m also thankful for the new Imogen Heap album that always seems to put a smile on my face when I listen to it; Particularly this song at the moment. This one is pretty good too. I’m also loving this song by Iron and Wine. I love music and I really love that a really great song can transform my mood; even if its only for 3 minutes 37 seconds. The effect usually lasts a bit longer afterwards. What are you guys listening to? What songs do you put on when you need a pick me up or need to escape for a few minutes?

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Daily Weigh In Log

I'm going to try weighing in every day to see if that helps keep me motivated or at least accountable. I am now on day four of my diet, can you believe it??? I didn't weigh myself Tuesday though. What I will do, instead of having a sidebar showing my weight loss is update this particular post each day through September. If I keep it up, maybe we'll go for October too! My plan is to do my daily weigh ins here and then maybe update my side bar with the total loss for that month. I just hope I can keep from getting too upset when I see the fluctuations. For now, I need the accountability for sure.

Mon September 7, 2009 447.5 (+9.5 since April)
Tues September 8, 2009 n/a didn't weigh myself
Wed September 9, 2009 442.2 (-5.3)
Thurs September 10, 2009 439.6 (-2.6 total loss 7.9)
Friday September 11, 2009 438.5 (-1.1 total loss 9 lbs)
Saturday September 12, 2009 436.0 (-2.5 total loss 11.5 lbs)
Sunday September 13, 2009 436.2 (+.2 total loss -11.3 lbs)

Mon September 14, 2009 437.0 (+.8 total loss -10.5)
Tues September 15, 2009 438.6 (+1.6 total loss -8.9 guys?)
Wed September 18, 2009 436.8 (-1.8 total loss -10.7)
Thurs September 19, 2009 438.6 (+1.8 total loss -8.9 lbs ok wtf is up with these numbers? same four numbers in various combinations. I swear I haven't cheated ONCE guys!!)
Friday September 20, 2009 438.2 (-.4 woohoo! Hopefully it's on its way back down
Saturday September 21, 2009
Sunday September 22, 2009

Mon September 23, 2009
Tues September 24, 2009
Wed September 25, 2009
Thurs September 26, 2009
Friday September 27, 2009
Saturday September 28, 2009
Sunday September 29, 2009
Mon September 30, 2009


Tues October 1, 2009
Wed October 2, 2009
Thurs October 3, 2009
Friday October 4, 2009
Saturday October 5, 2009
Sunday October 6, 2009

Mon October 7, 2009
Tues October 8, 2009
Wed October 9, 2009
Thurs October 10, 2009
Friday October 11, 2009
Saturday October 12, 2009
Sunday October 13, 2009

Mon October 14, 2009
Tues October 15, 2009
Wed October 16, 2009
Thurs October 17, 2009
Friday October 18, 2009
Saturday October 19, 2009
Sunday October 20, 2009

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Doggie Diarrhea: The gift that keeps on giving (and other delightful moments in the last 24 hrs)

The crapfest that was yet another 24 hours in the live of the V household started late last night. Getting ready for bed, I remembered that I had to sort out my vpn access for work to ensure that I could login for work the next morning. They are implementing this super secret 007 security something or other that scans our computer every time we try to login. It looks for viruses and ensures that our computer has all the most up to date security updates as well as all kinds of anti-virus software. If one teeny tiny thing is out of place, you are DENIED and then have to spend hours of unpaid time (unless they decide the problem is on their end) trying to figure out why your computer is being shut out. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for the denial, but 9 times out of every 10, you are DENIED for God knows what freaking reason. This is the boring part of my post so lets suffice it to say that I couldn’t get in last night OR this morning and wasted about half an hour trying to figure out why. Ultimately I logged in through another VPN and started to work.

Tanner woke up shortly thereafter and unbeknownst to Erik, started playing a video game. We had decided that this was a definite no-no and Tanner knew it as well because he left the sound off…sneaky kid. Erik wakes up late and notices what he’s doing and tells him to turn off the video game. Of course he’s like 9 levels in and needs to get to the next level or he loses his progress. Do we care; not in the slightest. He orders him to shut the game down, trying for a gentle approach to begin with (we’ll discuss repercussions for playing the video game when he was told it was off limits in the morning later…after he gets home from school). To say Tanner wasn’t happy about turning off the video game would be a gross understatement. Things devolved into a full out throw down with yelling and screaming, hitting walls, pummeling his head with his fists…good times. GREAT way to start the morning when you’ve about three hours sleep.

Why three hours sleep? Oh, I forgot to mention that Thunder also had another poo party in the kitchen right after midnight. Once again, I smelled the lovely aroma wafting up the stairs and came out to find Erik cleaning it up at 1:30AM. There wasn’t much I could do to help him and when he’s pissed off, it’s best just to stay out of his way, but the tremendous guilt I felt about heading back to bed kept me awake until at least 3:00AM.

We finally managed to get Tanner in the shower, dressed and calmed down enough to take him to school. By the time they left, he had lost video game privileges through Monday, but we explained that he could try and earn them back if he changed his attitude and had a good day at school. Sometimes our optimism knows no bounds.

Erik goes to leave to take Tanner to school and comes upstairs asking me where the keys to my car are. I have no clue and I’m working so I’m not much help. He eventually locates the keys…in the ignition of my car… which is now completely dead. He takes the time to send me AN EMAIL IN ALL CAPS TELLING ME THAT I KILLED THE CAR and sets off for Tanner’s school in his car. You can imagine my joy at receiving the email and the subtle emphasis his capitalization afforded. I send off a quick reply reminding him that the life he’s currently living? Yeah! I get to live it right along with him so if he’s having a crappy morning, chances are I AM TOO! Cut me some slack since the day before I was trying to make it in the house, in the pouring rain with Tanner who acts like he melts in any sort of precipitation; forgive me if I had a brain fart with the keys.

I bet you think the awesomeness stops there don’t you? Well I can assure you it doesn’t! Erik gets home and sees a phone call from the school. Picking up the phone, he finds the Asst. Principal on the line with good news! We ARE going to have a hearing about the incident last week and it’s on Friday!! Yay, we have two days to touch base with our lawyers to see if they feel like providing their services free of charge or in exchange for some really awesome cupcakes as we currently are broke. Guess I know what I’ll be using my bankruptcy money for this time.

After hanging up with the lawyers, I put in an emergency phone call to my doctor explaining that I need some Xanax STAT! I give them a one minute update on what we were coping with TODAY and tell them that if I don’t get something to help me calm down, I’m fairly certain my head will explode. They take pity on me and say they’ll call it in as soon as they can. I hang up the phone and turn to Erik and say “Guess I chose the wrong time to titrate down on the old anti-depressants hmm?” He looks back and yells, “THAT’S WHAT IT IS! YOU ARE COMPLETELY F’ING WITH THE UNIVERSE TRYING TO REDUCE YOUR MEDS AND GOING ON A DIET AT THE SAME TIME! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!” I calmly remind him that I am also on my period which makes it the ultimate universe f’ing trifecta.

I wound up developing a migraine and slept until about 4:00P, more goodness during a conversation with the VP at the school which resulted in me informing him that Tanner would NOT be returning to school until said hearing and ARD. Tanner gets home from school, erik heads off to the store for some low carb beer and xanax so we can survive the evening. While he’s gone, Thunder takes a huge dump on the berber carpeting next to my bed…Good times. For those of you wanting more rainbows and hearts in my post…I’m pretty sure that’s how rainbows get borned…a nice hearty doggie dump bedside.

Through all this, I’m sure you guys are wondering…did she stay on her diet? You will be happy to know that I did, I also stepped on the scale and saw that I’ve gone from 447.5 to 442.2 since Monday so not much further to go before we can move past my last official weigh in of 438. Taking it second by second at the moment and hoping for the best.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

addiction dance

Hi again, have you guys OD’d on me yet? I know, I’ve been posting like a fiend lately; which is honestly about half as much as the rest of you, but I’ve been on a roll. See how much more fun I am when I’m not moaning all the time?

I have been thinking about starting a regular feature for a while just to keep things interesting and knew I wanted it to be something where I could share stories about life as a fat child, teenager, young woman, and MILF-to-be (that is my ultimate goal in weight loss after all). I was a bit worried that I might run out of material at some point because my memory is less than sharp, but who am I kidding? I have loads of material where this is concerned; I’ve spent my entire life FAT!

Some of the stories are so horrible they are hilarious and some are probably just horrible, but it is nice to look back, throw an arm around my former fat self (who is always skinnier than the person I am now) and give her a comforting squeeze. I hope that this will give a few of you some laughs, but more importantly I’m hoping that some of you young women struggling with your weight will find a way to laugh at yourself earlier than I did.

I know how devastating some of these moments can be; having someone treat you like you are invisible or worse STARE at you as you huff and puff in line or cope with some kiddo who has just spoken the honest to God’s truth in a VERY LOUD VOICE creating an awkward situation for all involved. I used to be humilified (my new favorite word..I like to think its a combination of humiliated and mortified) by these situations more often than not, but somewhere on my way to 400+ lbs. I just quit caring what other people thought (to some degree) and started laughing at the horrifying humor of it all. Life is so much more fun when you are laughing wouldn’t you agree?

So, for the inaugural "Tale from the Scale", I’d like to share a particularly funny incident that happened about a month after my mother passed away. This takes us back to December 2002. I weighed around 420 lbs, maybe a little less and, as you can imagine, was feeling less than festive about the upcoming holidays. I had lost three important women in my life that year (great grandmother, grandmother and mom) and given that Christmas had been their favorite holiday, the loss was made even more salient.

I had been thinking about how I could cheer myself up and found myself daydreaming about the days I used to accompany my mom and grandmother to get their nails done. As a child, I loved going with them and watching as the manicurist miraculously took nails that were way past their prime and transformed them by clipping, filing, building and polishing until they were restored to the beautiful shiny “pointers” I loved (As a child I remember thinking if I had nails as pretty as my mom and grandma, I’d point all the time). I can close my eyes and picture me there, head resting on my arms at one end of the manicurist’s table, breathing in what I’m sure were toxic fumes, artificial nail dust, and acetone as I listened to all the adult gossip that passes for conversation in a salon. It.was.magical.

Feeling even more nostalgic, I decided that getting my nails done for the holidays was the perfect way to celebrate both my mom and grandma and keep them close to me that Christmas. I even donned a few pieces of their jewelry to take them "with" me and imagined that every time I looked down at my shiny red pointers I’d think of them and smile. With that in mind, I went to the computer, put in my zip code+nails and called the first result, a place called “Model Nail.” I thought it was an odd name for a nail place as one or both words was crying out to be pluralized, but who am I to judge? You don’t need perfect grammar to make pretty pointers do you?

I called to make an appointment and after a few rings heard “Dis Mod-u Nail, how cam I hep you?” Now, I have to tell you a little something about myself. I may have a degree in Communication Disorders and a trained ear for various dialects and accents, but something strange happens when someone starts speaking to me with an Asian accent: my brain just turns off and refuses to decipher anything that spouts from the individual’s lips. Erik has always made fun of me because even when the context is obvious (ordering Chinese food and having them point and say “Wah kin’ ri’ you wan’?”) I stand there with a stupefied look on my face and ask them to repeat themselves until my slow brain catches up and translates for me. Usually I luck out and have someone with me whose brain is much more skilled at this sort of thing and can do the English to English translation for me. (side note: I realize this may be slightly offensive and I apologize…my inability to understand this particular accent has more to do with my own shortcomings so I hope it’s seen in that light.)

So on with my story…once I figured out what she was asking me, I asked if I could make an appointment to get my nails done. She explained that I could just walk in and suggested that afternoon was a great time as they were slow. I thanked her, patted myself on the back for not needing a translator this time around and grabbed my keys.

I arrived at "Model Nail" and went up to the reception area to sign in. The woman behind the counter was a very friendly woman who told me to have a seat and then shouted over her shoulder in what I assumed was Vietnamese to the young guy who would be doing my nails. Looking less than thrilled at the appearance of his next customer, he angrily shouted something back at her to which she answered with something else sounding just as annoyed and then gave me a guilty smile and told me to have a seat at his station. Of course, in my insecurity, I imagined all sorts of things that might have been said during their exchange:

Him: “What? I have to do her? What about the cute blonde on the end? Give the fat one to grandpa” (there was a much older man doing nails there too)
Her: “You know grandpa loves cute blondes! Stop being selfish, you have the rest of your life to enjoy the cute ones!”
Him: “Fine! Send the porker over”
Her: smiling guiltily “You can have a seat over there :)”

As I sat down, he yanked his nail tips from a drawer and asked me what I wanted. I explained that I just wanted to get new nails and showed him about how long I wanted them. He began measuring my nail beds, mumbling grumpily in Vietnamese the whole time. I have rather large nail beds and even though I’m fairly certain that being super obese has nothing to do with their size, I remember hoping he had an extra large in there for my thumb. He didn’t, but found a way to make the largest tip work on my King Kong-sized thumbnail.

Over the next hour, he proceeded to buff, sand, glue and paint me a new set of fingernails. Every 5 to 10 minutes, he’d ask me questions I’d later realize must be in a manicurist’s textbook somewhere because I’d be asked them every single time I came back for fills:

“You wor’ today?”
“You have boyfriend?”
“you have kid? Where your kid?”

You get the picture. Before I knew it, he was done. “You go wa’ ple’?” My brain begins to whir to life, trying to figure out what he’d just asked me to do. “I’m sorry? I go where?” “Wa’! Wa’! You go Wa’!” Even though he was pointing to the back of the salon where a line of sinks were, I found myself looking to my right in search of a translator. Luckily, the woman sitting next to me...we'll just call her Blanche, came to my rescue “I think he wants you to go wash your hands sweetie.” Embarrassed, I thank her for her help, smile at him and head over to the sink to “Wa’.”

After rinsing my hands I walk over to their paltry display of nail lacquer and proceed to pick out a lovely festive red fantasizing the whole time about the sorts of things I was going to be pointing out with my new red tips. I was definitely feeling much better, this was a GREAT idea I told myself; just what I needed!

I walk over and place the red nail polish in front of him and place my chubby hands back on the table. With a huge sigh, he looks at the manicurist next to him and says something in Vietnamese. They have an exchange that goes back and forth for a few minutes during which I smile at Blanche and hope for the best. He turns to me and says:

Him: “Why you wan’ pain’ yo’ nail?”
Me: “I’m sorry, why what?”
Blanche: “Honey, he wants to know why you want to paint your nails.”
Me: Stupified…why would I not want my nails painted? Turning to smile again “Well, I like to paint my nails and with the holidays I thought it would fun to go with a pretty red” I finish with a big smile thinking he’d now start painting away. I was wrong.
Him: “You don’ wan’ pain’ yo’ nail”
Me: Completely mystified I say “I don't?” and look to Blanche to see if I’m missing something?
Him: “Oh no, you don’ wan pain’ yo nail, you wan’ know why?”
Me: Again, looking at Blanch for help I turn to him and say “ok? Why?”
Him: “Well see, yo’ nail so little” his voice raises slightly as he emphasizes the “little” “Yo’ nail so little, but your fingah SO BIG!!! As if the loud emphasis and the fact that he dropped his voice an octave to adequatly project the word "BIG", he also used his fingers to grip the biggest part of my finger. I didn’t know whether to be proud of the fact he thought my nail beds were so petite or embarrassed that he thought my fingers were so fat.

Again, I look to Blanche, this time to see if she had heard his explanation for why it would be a catastrophe to paint my nails. I suspected she had when she took great pains to look everywhere but AT me.

Me: slightly annoyed with him and amazed at the cajones he was sporting, I answered “Oh ok, well I would still like for you to paint them.”
Him: with an exasperated look on his face he says “No, trus’ me honey. You don’ wan’ pain yo’ nail’.” And just in case I hadn’t gotten it the first time around, he proceeded to explain again why this was definitely a fashion DON’T in my case. “See I pain’, pain’, pain’, pain’ yo nail it jus’ make yo’ fingah look biggah! Yo’ finga’ so BIG! They so BIG! You don’ wan’ pain’ yo’ nail!” With each BIG he gets louder and more expressive and by then I am fairly certain that every one in the salon knows exactly how BIG my fat fingers are and how inappropriate he thinks it is to call any more attention to them than I already have.

I’m absolutely mortified for about two seconds and then I imagine my mom and my grandmother watching from somewhere in heaven and literally laughing their ASS off. Here I am trying to make myself feel better and, typical Michelle, find myself in the absolute opposite situation. Instantly, I’m trying not to laugh myself and channeling both of these strong women inform him that since I am PAYING HIM, he will paint my nails whatever color I put in front of him and smile doing it. Seeing I’m a lost cause, he angrily picks up the polish and proceeds to give me the absolute worst polish job I’ve ever had in my life. I could tell that I was going to have to remove it when I got home and do it over myself, but I’ll be damned if I was leaving there without him painting every last nail!

When he was done, I wrote my check and used one of my shiny red nails on one of my very BIG fingers to push the check across the desk hoping he’d notice I’d added one penny to the total for his tip. I grabbed my keys and walked out the door empowered with my shiny red pointers. Getting in the car, I grabbed my cell phone and even though I was on the way home, I called Erik..”You are never going to believe what happened at this salon…” As usual, we had WAY more fun laughing at the whole situation than I probably would have if it had just been your average venture to the salon and “Yo’ fingah’ so BIG” is now a favorite catch phrase among family and friends.

And with that, I will conclude with this video for your viewing pleasure:

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Day One Down: Looking forward to day two

I managed to make it through the day on program which right now is a feat for me. I'm low carbing this time around and I met most of my goals, but actually didn't eat enough, but I got a headache earlier and slept through lunch. Dinner was a few meatballs (Erik made spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread for dinner, sweet of him wasn't it?). I wasn't really all that tempted though. I dug the meatballs out of the spaghetti, made a salad and had a few deviled eggs. For a snack I had some sugar free jello and whipped cream. We'll see how I do on this. I usually do best on a low carb diet and it's what all my doctors have recommended given my PCOS. I need to get back on the glucophage though and that's always fun; if you like multiple trips to the bathroom fun that is...

Feeling good so far, keep your fingers crossed for me !!

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Dog Diarrhea: Nature's Appetite Suppresant

About 5:30 this morning I woke up to a sickly sweet stench in my nostrils. I had somehow incorporated it into my dream and my sleepy brain was trying to make the transition from clawing my way out of a pile of refuse to clawing my way out of a pile of blankets. My first thought was “What the heck is Erik cooking at this hour???” It’s kind of a running joke between us that whenever he cooks it smells like boiled dogs ass…ironically, I wasn’t all that far from the truth. (Forced edit at gunpoint: Erik is insisting that I stipulate that the smell comes from the burners and NOT from his cooking. Let's just humor him ok?)

Annoyed that he had chosen that ungodly hour to try a new recipe, I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but the smell was absolutely overpowering. It reminded me of the landfill we used to live near when we were in San Marcos. We were actually several miles from it, but on a bad day when the wind was just right, it smelled like it was right next door. The smell is quite distinctive and whatever “this” smell was…it was doing a bang up job impersonating a landfill.

The more lucid I became, the more I realized it probably was not Erik perfecting his Ina Garten impersonation and decided to get up to investigate. The smell was so strong, I was sure it had to be coming from my room somewhere, but what in the world could go that wrong overnight? I stumbled into the bathroom and spied a sonic cup that had been a delicious cherry limeade just a few days before. (Side note: I realize the bathroom isn’t the most likely place to enjoy a crisp fruity beverage, but a few nights before, I had brought it in with me to wash down my nightly handful of pills and there it sat.) Way past its prime, I suspected the limes inside were fermented by now and growing God knows what, causing the horrible stench that woke me up. I washed my hands and walked the cup out of my bedroom and set it at the top of the stairs to dispose of in the morning. On my way back to bed I realized that the Universe was pulling no punches in trying to ensure that I had plenty of fodder for new nightmares (if and when I actually got back to sleep) as it treated me to the lovely visual of “14-year-old-with-bed-head-peeing” *sigh* “CLOSE THE DOOR!!” I sign loudly to my deaf teenager as I stomp off to bed.

Closing my bedroom door I realize that the smell is not diminished in the slightest and grab my Gautier perfume, spray a bit on my neck and crawl back in bed. Great, now it smells like a French landfill! I pull the covers over my head, shut my eyes and manage to grab a few more hours of sleep.

Somehow I managed to sleep through the alarm Tanner rose upon discovering our dog Thunder, in his crate, covered in diarrhea. Even more amazingly, I managed to sleep through what I’m sure was an even noisier crapfest as Erik realized what had happened overnight.

When I did finally wake up and venture out of my bedroom for the day, I realized that I still smelled “French landfill” only now it was punctuated with notes of cinnamon. My first thought was “I can’t believe Erik made coffee cake! He knew I was starting my diet today! I venture downstairs ready to give him a piece of my mind when I see him sitting there with the “Don’t F with me” look on his face. I look towards the kitchen and see a candle going (notes of cinnamon) and quickly learned about the true source of the aroma at Chez V. All I can say is that it is a great way to start a diet as it makes an excellent appetite suppressant!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Caught Blue Handed!

Yep, it happened. Why Blue handed? Mostly because Erik and I (me after making it through an entire day and morning on program) resorted to our typical crutch when fate gives us another knee to the groin…FOOD! Just before we got the phone call from the school to pick Tanner up, I had shown Erik a picture of one of those cookie cakes someone had just posted in my feed on FB. I remarked that I felt posting of said picture by a supposed “friend” mandated immediate removal from my friend’s list because they obviously could care less that I was in sugar withdrawals and resisting the urge to cheat when every fiber of my being was crying out for a sugar fix. Then I realized that said “friend” was just innocently posting a picture of her nephew’s birthday “cake” and I should probably cut her a break since she probably had no idea I was back “on the wagon” for the eleventyith-hundredth time this year. Let’s just blame it on low blood sugar shall we?

So, we get this phone call from the school, Erik dashes off to bring our happy wanna-be-felon home, and I sit there in a daze reliving our last tussle with the law. The prospects were not at all humorous at the time, but I’ve had a few days and as we always seem to do, struggle to find humor wherever I can. No matter how inappropriate it might be for a parent to find humor in something so serious, if it keeps us from retreating to our beds for the next month it has to be worthwhile right?

Erik gets home with Tanner, we have a short talk with him where we try to discuss what happened but can see by the glazed look in his eyes that he is comprehending NONE of what we are trying to get across which is pretty typical. Seeing that isn’t working, we decide to restrict him for the rest of his life to the dog crate and tell him we hope he likes bunking with Thunder from here on out. That’ll learn him!

No….of course we didn’t, but it is honestly what I wanted to do with him when he got home…put him somewhere to keep other people safe, but also somewhere I can keep HIM safe as well. *sigh* This kid is going to be the death of me I’m tellin’ ya.

What we did do is take away all his earthly possessions and tell him he was going to be our slave for the next three days. He’s actually done fairly well and helped with all kinds of household projects including cleaning the kitchen, his room, organizing his closet and more. He did most of it with very little arguing even though he knew he wasn’t making a dime off any of the extra chores. One thing we both noticed is how much calmer he is when he doesn’t have video games and TV. This realization also prompted us to drastically limit his time on both once the restriction is lifted.

I’m sure you are wondering where the blue-handed thing comes in aren’t you? Well, once we got him home and up in his room, we were ready for lunch. At that point, I wasn’t feeling any kinds of humorous about the situation. I flat out didn’t care about my diet so I told Erik to go get BBQ for lunch. He came home with BBQ AND two of these HUGE cookie monster cookies (oh yeah, side story: erik read the blog from yesterday and said “Thanks for making me look like a lush! I EAT TOO!” so there you have it folks, Erik is a lush AND a glutton…so sorry to have given you a false impression that he only had one vice…he has two. Is that better Erik?). They were made out of TWO chocolate chip cookies, filled with icing and then topped with more icing in the bluest blue so that it looked like cookie monster’s face. They were probably full of way more trans fats than anyone should eat in a year, much less at one sitting, but WE DIDN’T CARE…I’m tellin’ ya..could care less!

After lunch, like two true addicts, we whip out the cookies and hearing Tanner getting restless upstairs, start to eat them as quickly as we can. Erik finishes first and runs to the bathroom to wash his hands (there was no way to eat this thing carefully ya’ll).
From the bathroom I hear

Erik: “Oh Shit”
Me: “Wha wrng?” I ask with a mouth stuffed with cookie monster cookie.
Erik: “My lips and teeth are BLUE! And it’s NOT COMING OFF!”
Looking at my hands caked in blue icing I utter some kind of non-verbal ???
Tanner from upstairs: Mom? Dad? What’s going on down there, you ok?”
Erik: “Holy fuckballs! He’s coming down, put that somewhere!!”
Sitting there with blue hands and I’m assuming a blue mouth and bright blue teeth
Me: “Where?”
Erik: “Forget it! I’ll go up and stop him and brush my teeth. Hurry up and finish and then take care of your face because you are one hot mess!”

We both start laughing hysterically as he races up the stairs and I try to destroy the evidence as quickly as I can (not before pausing to take pics for the blog though…always thinking about you guys :) I get my pics and then finish it off (you didn’t think I was being literal about destroying it did you?) and head to the bathroom to see what damage it did. Un..real. I looked like a freaking toddler having their first piece of birthday cake instead of the almost 40 year old adult I am. After brushing my teeth and scrubbing my face and hands, I still wasn’t able to get it all off. Luckily Tanner wasn’t being all the incredibly observant and we got away blue-handed! We just won’t talk about the rainbows our toilet saw for the next two days. That would just be gross.

Well shoot: I was going to insert a pic of my blue fingers here, but it's uploading HUGE! It isn't as impressive as I thought it would be anyway. You get the idea though ;) thanks for reading!