My Progress!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I'm headed out to celebrate with some friends and had Erik snap some pictures for my 6 month surgiversary! I'm feeling absolutely amazing and hopeful and SO ready to tackle 2011. Thanks to EVERYONE who has supported me and continued to read my blog. You guys will never really understand what your support has meant to me. I hope every one of you has an amazing new year and great things to come your way in 2011!

6 months

6 months

6 months

6 months

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas and Dating and pseudo-Anniversaries aside...

Ok, so the holidays I went a little nuts. I’m up about 5 lbs, but honestly I don’t really know how I gained that much because although I did indulge more, it wasn’t anything nearly as bad as what I have done in the past. I wasn’t eating all day long, but I did have more than my fair share of cookies and other carbs over 3-4 days. As of yesterday though, I am back on track which is a feat in and of itself.

In the past, anytime I’ve gone off a low carb diet for a few days, it has been incredibly difficult to get back on the wagon. Usually, it doesn’t happen until I had gained a substantial amount of weight (at least another 20 lbs) and had been off a diet for several months. So far, it hasn’t been that difficult to get back on program which is really encouraging to me. I’m currently at 328 and have been sitting there a few days. We’ll see how I do at next week’s weigh in.

Christmas went great by the way. Tanner and I went and put money down on his bike and I got some money from my SIL and MIL that I’m going to go put down on my bike. After I pay tuition and get my books, I’m going to see how much I have left to play with next month and hopefully make another payment on both bikes. I can’t wait until we can get out on them together for the first time!

I’ve also been playing around with some dating sites. I honestly don’t know why. I think I’m just curious about what is out there, but I don’t really think I’m all that serious about dating anyone just yet. I mean, I’m getting ready to start school and to top it all off, Erik and I aren’t formally divorced yet so that is kind of a kink in things. I've also always felt pretty strongly about getting involved with anyone before Tanner turns 18. I just feel like anything else is only going to eat into any time I should be setting aside for him, but part of me would like to get out once in a while.

I’ve joined a few meetup groups and I think that may be more my cup of tea. You can join groups and meet people with similar interests, not necessarily for dating, but for friendship, etc. I think I’m really just interested in expanding my social circle now that I can actually get out and do stuff again. The few dating sites I joined haven’t yielded the best results (guys typically looking for a hookup or just not what I’m looking for intellectually, etc.) So, I think I’ve just decided to try a few of these meetup groups now and then (when I have the time between Tanner, school and work lol) and enjoy my freedom for now.

I have no idea when Erik and I are actually going to formalize things. At this point, until we really decide to get separate households or start dating someone seriously I don’t think either of us feels the need to pursue a formal divorce. It will happen eventually though; no chance of us working this out for obvious reasons.

Incidentally, our 16th anniversary is this Friday although I think we both stopped counting three years ago when it was obvious our marriage was over. On some level, it still makes me a bit sad, but I’m not sure why. Maybe the impending “anniversary” is what has prompted my recent interest in dating? I would think it probably has something to do with it. I think part of me will always be sad that things couldn’t be different for us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “pining” for him and I definitely wouldn’t want that sort of relationship with him now, but I guess part of me (the part that meant my vows) feels cheated that there was really nothing I could have ever done to try to make our marriage work. It just really never should have been.

Part of me also wonders how in the world I’m ever going to explain it all to my next “love interest” if there ever is a next one. I just kind of feel like I was forced to carry all this baggage into my new life and most people are going to see it as a lot of drama they’d rather do without. Oh well, I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it.

All in all, I’m in a very good place. I’m loving getting up every morning and I’m enjoying wondering what this next year will bring. I’m nervous about starting school again, but excited about the challenge and about where I might be next year. I have lots of plans and goals and a future to look forward to!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cookie Hell...hell...hell...hell

They are going to be the death of me people. We decided we were going to do a bit of baking. I am used to doing quite a bit of baking around this time of year, but just didn't feel strong enough and didn't want loads of cookies around to tempt any of us for weeks before Christmas. Well, I MISS the baking :( I decided that maybe I could make my least favorites and then wouldn't be as tempted but could still have a little fun so we decided to make our traditional "Bat Balls" (basically chocolate rum balls), peanut butter blossoms, and erik is making his spritz cookies.

Erik went shopping Sunday. Tanner tore into a box of nilla wafers (which is an ingredient used in the bat balls...btw, if I haven't mentioned before why they are called bat balls...tanner called them that because he didn't know the real name for them, but remembered the bottle of rum had a bat on it ;) and I happened to see it. It's that time of the month so my will power is at its weakest and my appetite at its worst so before I knew it, I had inhaled 7. Now that is MUCH less than I would have binged on in the past, but later I went back for 7 more AND had about 5 chocolate kisses ZOMG! Guess the binge eater is alive and well inside me after all :S I immediately texted erik and told him to hide them from me when he got home (which he did) and we've put off the actual baking until tomorrow.

Last night, we went to a friend's to have her color my hair, but we ended up getting side tracked making sugar cookies and decorating them. Those are Tanner's in the picture up there...I joked that it looked like a sugar cookie crime scene. It was loads of fun, we had a few gingerbread zombies, gingerbread inmates (in orange jumpsuits and numbers across their chest, as well as several very flower-looking snowflakes. Throughout the whole process, I had 2-3 unfrosted cookies and later when we got home I had two more. I knew I had to get a handle on this. Otherwise, I've been eating the way I should and I'm sure that even with the crap I've allowed, I'm still well under 2000 calories a day, but its the BEHAVIOR that worries me. I'm even questioning whether to do the baking tomorrow or leave it all until the day before Christmas so the temptation isn't around as long.

Today, I decided that I was just going to NOT allow myself to graze which is basically how I managed to consume so much crap over the last few days. I'm allowing myself three meals and two snacks and if ONE of those snacks is a cookie...that is all its going to be ONE cookie. Today I had one cookie and managed not to inhale the rest, but it wasn't easy!

I'm down to 325/327 (been going up and down between these two numbers the last week or so) and I really want to be at 317 by the end of the month so trying to keep that in mind when the cravings get horrible.

How are you guys handling all the treats? Avoidance, will power, stapling your mouth shut? Please, spill your secrets!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My new Bike and other NSV's

The picture above is just for your viewing pleasure. I got some new fake eyelashes that I ordered online. Erik was at the store and after I got them on I texted him and said "OMG, just put some falsies on and I look like Mimi!" He came home and took one look and busted out laughing. Trust me, they look much better in pictures. In reality, I looked like a drag queen from the eyes up! looked like two spiders decided to camp out on my face...not the look I was going for, but I guess I can save them for a special occasion...say Halloween maybe?

Now for the rest of the story (mind you, I meant to post this on Sunday, so this all refers to events that occurred Saturday)

Yesterday, we all took a trip to Ride Away Bicycles and I put some money down on my bike. All Erik could do is laugh as I gushed about how beautiful it was! “Look! Even the treads on the tires are flowers!!!” They only had three of the really decorative bikes left, they’ve been so popular and two of them were ones I was interested in; The Fleur and the Blanc et Noir. I finally decided on the Fleur because, as I told Erik in my best Shelby (of steel magnolias) impression, “Red is my signature culah!” He is putting some money toward it for my Christmas present and we put it on lay-a-way so hopefully I’ll have it paid off in a few months. I can’t wait to ride it! Of course, I told erik it has been at least 20 years since I rode a bike so I’m going to have to get up at 3am to practice so that nobody sees me make an ass of myself while I’m re-learning to ride!

We are getting Tanner his adult trike for Christmas using some money from my grandfather and as part of our gift to him. We thought about giving him the money my grandfather had sent, but knew he would spend it on junk so I talked with him (and being the master manipulator I am) managed to talk him into putting the money toward his trike. When we were at the bike shop yesterday, he was cracking us up talking about how he needed a red helmet with a skull on the front and flames along the sides. Then, when he saw these “camelbak” bags he announced that he had to have one of them as well. If you’ve never seen these, they are most likely for people who bike long distances and have a reservoir in the bag that you can fill with water. When you need a drink, you just grab the tube thing and take a sip. Cool yes, for a neighborhood cycling trip, not so cool. Then he found the gloves, so of course he added those to the list of things he NEEDS and the more he added, the more my mind began to put together this hilarious picture of this uncoordinated kid outfitted in this badass helmet, riding gloves, and camel pack on this enormous adult tricycle taking a leisurely ride through our neighborhood. I will definitely get pictures for you guys if it happens!

I left the store on a high, but still kind of going back and forth about putting that kind of money into a bike. On the practical side, it is completely designed to be ergonomic and easy on the joints and back which I need. I also told myself that after losing almost 150 pounds, I deserved a little sum’n sum’n and since this was also going to be contributing to a more active lifestyle the better. I think I just have trouble spending money on myself, especially when we have been so strapped the last few months. This month we actually ended up much better off than I expected. I have no idea how it happened, but it’s been nice not to have to sweat about paying the bills over the holidays.

From there, we went to the cinema to see Harry Potter’s new movie. Loved it! The best part about it? I could walk down the aisle without needing to walk sideways AND I could sit in the chair without raising the arms! It was a great day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm in LOVE!!

Yes, I believe I have found the bike I want to get. I stumbled across this particular brand while scouting out prices on Tanner’s trike and fell instantly in love with Electra Cruiser Collection! Now, I just have to figure out which one is my favorite which will not be easy. So far, my favorites are the Fleur, the Koi, and the Red Betty with the Leopard accent seats and handlebar grips! I have no idea how much they cost, but I have to have one!




We have a shop just a few miles from where we live that sells them. I called them to see what the weight limit was on the bikes and the guy said “Oh, there is no limit, we’ve had 300 pounders on them!” I laughed and said “Yeah, I’ll be one of those.” But not for long right peoples!! Especially once I get ridin’! I’m really hoping that I can afford to get something before Spring starts (although in San Antonio, we could be out riding bikes now!).

Anyway, visit their blog and then go to their website and look at the cruisers. You can see all the cool designs they have. Report back and tell me which one is your favorite!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just your average Social Butterfly reporting for duty!

I was quite a busy girl this weekend. I went to TWO, (yep, count ‘em TWO) parties! I don’t really know what was more fun, going to the parties or getting ready for the parties. I’m still dipping into new clothes in my closet and finding that most are almost too big for me. I’ll pull something out, look at the size and think…hmm, this probably won’t fit, but I try it on and it does; with room to spare usually.

Last year I had invitations to various get-togethers and gatherings, but I bailed on all of them mainly because I was too embarrassed to see people, many of which who hadn’t seen me since my mother’s funeral. Some I hadn’t seen in even more years. Although I wasn’t much bigger than I had been at my mother’s funeral, my mobility and strength was much much less and you all know that I had a big problem with letting people see me at my weakest.

This year, I didn’t think twice about whether or not I’d attend the events I’d been invited to. I didn’t spend the weeks leading up to the events wondering if there were going to be chairs that could accommodate my weight or worrying about being the fattest person there. I probably still WAS the fattest person at both events, but in relation to the rest of the world, I’m kind of just your average fat girl now and that totally rocks!

The first event we went to was a Deaf fellowship party given by the church that Tanner’s big brother preaches at. Last year, he picked Tanner up and brought him home (because I “couldn’t” make it), but this year, he was just too busy. I had to work late, but I used my last 30 minutes to get my makeup on and once I was off, slipped on some new clothes and we were on our way. I’m including a few pictures from the event, but they were taken with my phone which makes me look about 50 lbs fatter, washes out all my makeup and otherwise makes me look like a pasty toad, but there you go.

When we got there, I walked in with confidence and didn’t once try to scan the room to see if anyone was noticing the fat lady arriving. No children stared in fascination and horror. Adults didn’t treat me like I was invisible. It was amazing to just enjoy being with other people, participating in the events at the party and just having a great time in general with Tanner.

The next night, I attended an old friend’s birthday party. We have known each other since middle school and our mothers actually worked together for several years. We reconnected a year or two ago and she has absolutely been one of my biggest (local) cheerleaders and such a great source of support. We don’t get to get together much because she has two very busy children, work, etc so I was looking forward to seeing her again.

I’ll admit, I was kind of nervous about going because Belinda and her daughter (and mom) were probably the only people I would know there, but I refused to let myself talk myself out of going for that reason. Once again, I enjoyed doing my hair and taking time with my makeup, I even wore fake eyelashes, the whole time imagining I was the most popular cast member of The Real Housewives of San Antonio (because, ya know its in the contract that you have to wear falsies to be on that show). Unfortunately, the falsies I got were the same length as my own lashes so they really didn’t do much for me. Next time I’m going to go super glam! I was just worried about looking like Mimi or Ms. Piggy if I went too long. I got dressed and made Erik take pictures of me and he joked that he has to take pictures of me every day I wear something new, which is kinda true, but it’s so fun to look at them afterwards because you see yourself so much differently in a picture vs. the mirror and I’m starting to like what I see staring back at me from both!

I left and on my way had to call Shannon, just to tell her how pretty I looked. She demanded that I take a pic with my phone and send it to her so when I stopped at CVS I asked the cashier to take one of me. Of course he looked at me like I’d lost my mind, but what was he going to say? Apparently my phone was too complicated for him because he somehow started using the movie feature instead and by then people were walking into the store and I didn’t want to be the idiot smiling for the cashier. So, I grabbed my phone from the wanna-be Martin Scorsese and thanked him for his efforts.

Prior to leaving my house, I realized that I couldn’t access facebook which is where Belinda’s new address was, but lucky for me I’m a master cyber stalker. I had managed to locate a record for her husband and whammo! Found their address. Of course, I couldn’t hide my lovely falsies behind a pair of glasses so I left them behind making reading street signs a real challenge, but somehow I made it to her house. I honestly had no idea if it was the right house; I just went to the building with the most cars in front of it and prayed it was the right place (I couldn’t see any house numbers). I got Lucky! It was the right house and before I knew it, I was inside chatting with Belinda’s mom, saying hi to her brother who I hadn’t seen since high school and ultimately making some new friends with some people from where Belinda works. Her house was beautiful and she had a spread like you would not believe…this girl knows how to throw a shindig! Her kids were adorable and her husband was a real sweetheart. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was so glad that I went, thanks for inviting me Belinda!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sights & Sounds of Christmas

Every December, San Marcos, which is a town about 45 minutes north of San Antonio has a Christmas event called The Sights and Sounds of Christmas. San Marcos is actually where I went to college at Southwest Texas State University which has now just become Texas State University and, when Tanner was about 3 or 4 we moved there so that he could start preschool at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin.

PhotobucketNeedless to say, San Marcos holds many special memories for me. It was the place where I finally discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up. Once I had that focus, it was like nothing could stop me. I could get through just about anything, including a Physics class that scared the crap out of me and almost kept me from pursuing my degree in Communication Disorders to begin with. My time in college was probably one of the happiest periods of my young adult life. I was thinner (not “thin” but thinner), in great shape, excelling in my academic pursuits and feeling great about who I was inside and out. I had a new found confidence that had been lacking through most of my earlier years and while I always struggled with insecurities, I think I was most sure of myself at this time. So yeah…good times.

PhotobucketLater, when we moved back there to shorten the commute to TSD, I found that I really loved living in a smaller town; especially as a young mother. I used to take Tanner to the park there and Erik, Tanner and I would often go to the river and walk the trails after he got home from work. Tanner loved to stop and watch the ducks (well really, he often used them as target practice using pebbles he found alongside the river, but luckily at the age of 3 he hadn’t perfected his aim). Sometimes, we’d just sit by the river and watch it meander past us. Nature was always something that calmed Tanner down and having moments where I could enjoy this challenging kiddo meant the world to the young stressed out mom I was at the time.

PhotobucketSan Marcos was also the place where my son went through his super hero phase, wearing a cape (which was really just a towel until he got the batman costume) AT ALL TIMES for at least two years straight. PhotobucketIt was also where I began homeschooling him when we discovered TSD wasn’t going to be a good fit. I have fond memories of homeschooling get-togethers and all the friends we made in that network. I LOVED exploring concepts with Tanner and discovering that we shared a love for Science.

I also remember attending the Sights and Sounds of Christmas with Tanner several times over the years and seeing the wonder on his face at all the lights, manufactured “snowflakes” that would rain down as you entered the event area, petting zoo and more. This was the first time I’d been able to go with him in 5 years. The last time I took him, I had a difficult time navigating the area, but I made it. This time, I still had difficulty and had to rest my legs, but only after being on my feet for well over an hour. Five months ago, I could barely manage 5 minutes on my feet before needing to sit down.

I was a bit disappointed, because after standing in line for about 15 minutes waiting for the bus to get to the entrance, then standing in lines for admission, tokens, carousel, kettle corn, and hot chocolate (yes I sampled the latter, but they were mainly for tanner lol), it had been over an hour on my feet. They had nowhere to sit, so I found a curb and sat down. PhotobucketI had gone with my friend Shannon, her daughter Jordan, and their cousin Jeff (who is from Canada and has an ADORABLE Canadian accent “Eh?” He’s also just plain ol’ adorable, but sorry ladies, he’s spoken for…) and although I really felt I needed maybe 10 minutes to rest my legs, I felt bad making them wait, especially since Jordan didn’t have a jacket and it wasn’t getting any warmer. So, ultimately they decided to head over to the main ride area without me. I think they planned on coming back for me, but once they got there, they said it was so crowded, they knew if they came back for me, it would be too late, so I basically sat there for about an hour twiddling my thumbs. I was worried if I went looking for them, we’d cross somewhere and then play hell trying to meet back up to leave (cell phone service was out for ATT users in San Marcos for some reason).

When they finally made it back, it was time to go and Tanner remarked that he felt bad that I got left behind. I assured him that I was happy that he had a good time and that next year would be WAY different! He was going to have to get in shape, because HE was going to be the one trying to keep up with me ;) So, although I didn’t have the experience I hoped I’d have on my first major outing post-surgery, over the weekend I discovered that it brought up lots of wonderful memories and was yet one more small step towards reclaiming my life. Walking under the lights with Tanner, sharing a hot cocoa as we people watched and admired the lights, and yes…even sitting on a curb for an hour breathing in the crisp December air beats the heck out of another night in my recliner which is probably where you would have found me this time last year.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

You better run to the bathroom and grab a drink before sitting down to read this monster!

Well, I was SO busy yesterday, I didn’t have time to even blog about my day so I thought I’d go ahead and update you on all the exciting stuff I did OUTSIDE MY HOUSE yesterday! I may bore you to tears because I really didn’t do anything all that exciting, but 5 months ago, there was NO way I could have tackled this day and actually enjoyed myself.

Of course, the fun starts just getting ready to leave the house because I really enjoy putting on makeup and picking out clothes to wear. I chose this pretty burgundy chenille sweater I’ve had for a few years that still had the tags on it and wasn’t sure it was going to fit, but when I put it on, it was almost a bit too big. Then I had to find some pants. The first pair of pants were a bit too small, well…not really small I think they are supposed to fit more like leggings and I’m just really not into that look. I just don’t think fat people have any business wearing skinny jeans, jeggings or leggings period. I wore them in the 80’s or 90’s (whenever they were last popular) but now I can see that it can make us look like a bowling ball precariously perched on a couple toothpicks…not the most flattering look, at least for me its not. I went ahead and tried them on and asked Erik for his opinion and he promptly mentioned the “skinny jeans” look maybe wasn’t going to work for me so I went back to my closet.

The problem is, the past couple of years that I’ve been purchasing clearance stuff in smaller sizes, they have mainly been tops, sweaters, etc. I don’t think I bought many pants unless they really caught my eye. I found a pair of black pants, put them on and they were WAY huge on me. I had to pull them up to my bra, just so the ankles weren’t around my feet and my legs were swimming in the pant legs, but we were running late and I thought they’d make do. I spent the rest of the day, hiking my pants up, rolling the stomach down, etc to no avail. These are definitely going in the “Can no longer wear” pile. The pictures below were taken as my 5 month progress pictures (again, not a lot of change that I see) and show the final outfit.

Once I got dressed, I went to pick out some jewelry (YES! I was getting all gussied up for my day of errands!). I chose one of my mother’s rings and another ring she bought for me that I hadn’t been able to wear for years because my fingers were too fat! Then I chose a necklace and earring set I got from AVON (which is half off at the moment if you like it. Just make sure you go to and then search for “Jet Accented Double Strand Gift Set” to order and I’ll get credit for it.) It is going for $9.99 right now and I can tell you, it is even prettier in person. Even Erik remarked at how pretty it was when I asked him to help me put the necklace on. On a side note, I’ve been VERY impressed with any jewelry I’ve purchased from AVON. To be quite honest, I kind of expected it to look great in the brochure, but look or feel cheaply made when I actually received it ( I know I shouldn’t talk like that since I’m a new AVON rep, but you know I’m always going to be honest with you guys even if I am selling the stuff). I have loved everything I’ve purchased so far.

Anyway, I completed my outfit with some sensible black shoes because I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking lol. They are basically kedd looking sort of sneakers and probably look orthopedic, but they are extremely comfortable. If you’ve never purchased a pair of Softwalk shoes before, they are definitely worth the price! The inner soles are kind of like those egg crate type mattresses…very comfortable. I won’t lie, most of their shoes have that “practical pair of shoes” look, but if you have a day where comfort needs to trump style, these shoes will definitely do the trick and lets face it, when you have Fred Flintstone feet that are about as wide as they are long…you can’t be fussy in the shoe department! If it fits, BUY it has always been my motto!

So, here are this month’s round of pictures. You can actually see all my progress pictures here as well. I’m going to see if Erik can get my measurements today as well because I’m due for those. I’m still holding right around 333, but I’ve decided my new goal is to *try* to get to 317 by the end of the month. That will put me at 100 lbs lost in the first 6 months since surgery and a total of 148 lbs lost overall! I’m going to amp up the exercise and see if that helps. It may be a lofty goal, but it will be fun to see if I can make it.





So, the first place we went was the community college downtown. I had been going back and forth about starting my pre-requisites for nursing school this Spring. After this most recent hospitalization, I almost trashed the idea for good (at least for the Spring Semester), but then thought I’d go ahead and give it a try. I really don’t want to delay it anymore so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that I stay healthy. I’ve registered for Chem 1 and Intro to Sociology. Both classes will be completed online, but I will have to go in once a week (Thursday nights) for the Chem lab and I may have to go in for testing too…still have to learn more about how that works. Erik is also going to be taking a few classes so that he can finish his Interpreting certification. If all goes well, he should be done by the end of next year. Once he completes his certification, he will be able to make more money and have access to more work as an interpreter for the deaf which will be good since we have discussed that he will need to carry most of the financial load while I’m in nursing school (as I did for the four years he was working on his interpreting degree).

We both had to go in to sort out our financial aid stuff basically. I can’t get any grants since I have a B.S. already and Erik has a bazillion hours accrued without a degree so he is ineligible for grants as well. We were turning in information and meeting with advisers in order to explain why we were going back to school when I already had a B.S. and in Erik’s case, why he had a bazillion hours, but no degree yet. Hopefully we will get approved for some loans at least. I have to pay for my classes by the 9th and was a bit worried that, considering how strapped we are right now, maybe that was going to be the deciding factor about whether or not I started in the Spring or had to wait for Summer. As a last ditch effort, I emailed a woman who has always been sort of a surrogate mom to me (I think I mentioned that she was also there for my surgery) and probably the closest thing I had to a mentor growing up. My mom actually used to do her hair once a week so I saw her every week for most of my childhood. She has a PhD in education and probably was one of the biggest influences on me in pursuing my own education beyond high school. I emailed her, explained my situation and how much my tuition was and asked if I could borrow the money from her and pay her back if and when I got a loan. If I don’t get a loan, I will work something out with her to pay her back monthly. Thankfully, she wrote back and said she’d be happy to help and would be mailing me a check immediately…LOVE her! Thanks Pat!

After we got done at the college (where I did quite a bit of walking, stair climbing, etc!), we ran to the library to return some books and pick up some new books I had on hold. I started reading “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman based on the recommendation of my good friend Melissa over at Must Read Faster. You can read her review here ( She is cute as a button both inside and out (although she would probably cringe hearing me describe her that way lol) and a good friend of mine and I love her blog!

After the library, we had to stop by the bank and then it was off to pick up Tanner so that we could go see his audiologist to see about getting a new earmold made for him. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but our rescue Pomeranian snatched his hearing aid off the coffee table and ATE Tanner’s earmold! We don’t call him “Stink” for nothing…every inch of that dog is a stinker! His given name is actually “Paxton” and he still refuses to answer to “Stink” or “Stinkaroo” as I like to call him, but he better get used to it or start behaving! Anyway, most dogs are attracted to earmolds because of all the earwax, but our sweet lab, Thunder has never ever ate his earmold so I guess we didn’t even think about Stink. A few weeks ago, I heard him under my bed, where he hoards his best “treasures,” chomping away on something. I had Erik get down to check and he pulled out Tanner’s hearing aid sans earmold…great! They are only $75.00 a piece and no, they aren’t covered by insurance (most hearing related products aren’t fyi) so we weren’t thrilled at this discovery. I told Tanner that we would pay for this replacement, but from now on, he needs to make sure he puts his hearing aid up where Stink can’t get to it, because the next earmold will come out of his pocket! If you are wondering why we haven't gotten rid of this rascally mongrel, I give you exhibit "A" below...he's too freakin' cute! BTW, Tanner and I were reading "In the Forest of Hands and Teeth" together and Stink jumped up on the bed and lay down just like you see him there. Guess he can enjoy a bedtime story too :)


We got to the audiologist and one of the guys in the room with us just seemed to be observing while they made the impression for Tanner’s mold. I asked him his name and discovered he was doing his internship to complete his PhD in Audiology. He looked all of 20 years old! Holy cow! I enjoyed talking to him though and told him my undergrad degree was in Communication Disorders and had contemplated going back to grad school to complete my masters in audiology, but ultimately decided to go back to nursing school. We talked quite a bit about how Tanner lost his hearing, where I studied, other topics in deafness and hearing loss, etc. When we left, Erik said “You were very talkative in there!” with an amused smile on his face he added, “You need to get out more!” Embarrassed, I asked if I had been annoyingly talkative and he said “No, he seemed to be enjoying the conversation, it was just funny to hear you chatting away like that.” Just for the record, Tanner got a earmold with swirled red, black and white colors although the audiologist jokingly tried to talk him into a pink glitter one.

After we were finished at the audiologist, we ran home, got something to eat and then I went to pick up my new glasses (see picture below). I put them on (after a year of not wearing them) and couldn’t believe the difference! I don’t have a very strong prescription so I can get by without them, but WOW, putting them on just brought everything into crystal clear focus. So nice to be able to SEE.


Have you actually read this whole post? If so, you must be a glutton for punishment or a die-hard blog reader lol! Thanks either way because even though the activities I described were far from compelling, the fact that I was able to DO all of this and enjoy my day is something I just couldn’t have done 5 months ago. I continue to be thankful for each and every step I take back towards a normal life!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cure for Whining & Moaning: Count your Blessings

This morning I am down to 333, but I was super bad about getting my liquids in yesterday so I’m probably a bit dehydrated. I’m going to work hard to drink more today and try to get my protein in…that is another thing I’ve been kind of lax on. I’ve just been super stressed about money and trying to grab a few shifts at my second job on top of the 10 I do there every week. This means that I often work my day job, get off when Tanner gets home, spend some time with him, make dinner, eat dinner and then do a few hours at my second job, go to sleep for a few hours, then get up to work a few more, go to sleep, then get up to work my day job and it just starts over again. I’m grateful to have a job (or three) to try to make up for the unpaid time I had in the hospital, but it seems to have become “the excuse” I use to NOT go walking with Tanner when he gets home. By the time I’m done with my first job, I’m just so worn out and knowing that I’m going to have to work several shifts later on just wears me out thinking about it. It reminds me of when I started working the graveyard shift and just never felt rested…which is really what almost signed my death warrant to begin with if you’ll remember.

I also haven’t had much of an appetite lately. I think I’m just bored with what I can eat and since I’ve been in the hospital and recovering at home, I haven’t felt much like experimenting in the kitchen. The guys are deviled egged out at the moment; I used to always have them on hand because they were such an easy thing to grab when I needed a little protein. I decided to make egg salad this weekend instead, and although they are eating it, I don’t think they are big fans. I’m going to make chili tonight, but I anticipate some grumbling from Tanner, but oh well.

Tanner weighed himself last night and he was up 6 lbs. which disappointed him, but I reminded him that when I was in the hospital, he and dad ate out a lot (supposedly out of stress, but I think it was more a good excuse to go off the diet really). I won’t lie, this annoyed me, mainly because I had told Erik that they couldn’t spend money (eating out) while I was in the hospital because we were going to be so strapped; the 6 lbs Tanner gained was just another negative consequence. To be fair, the several pieces of buttermilk pie he ate over the weekend probably didn’t help matters either (I made this to take over to my SIL’s house on Thanksgiving, but of course we never made it there).

So, because of our current financial situation, we are going to have to stick to the budget low carb lifestyle which means lots of eggs, bacon and other low cost protein sources like tuna, etc. We will be fine though I’m sure the guys are going to whine about it until my ears bleed. Hey, at least we are going to HAVE food to eat, a roof over our head, etc. Yeah, things are going to be tight which sucks right around Christmas, but again…things could be so much worse!

Once, when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself because everything that could go wrong seemed to be going wrong, I asked a friend how to break myself out of my funk. She answered simply “Count your Blessings.” My gut reaction at first was “WHAT BLESSINGS? Did you not hear that my entire life is in the crapper at the moment?” But then a few minutes later, I began to think about it and as I started to list out my blessings, I realized that I still had many things in my life that WEREN’T in the crapper. After just a few minutes, I had a handful of pretty wonderful things to focus on and guess what? Instant attitude adjustment. So now, when I start to get overwhelmed by things that are less than perfect, I make myself list my blessings and it usually gives me the swift kick in the tuckas I need :)

Things I’m currently grateful for:

1. Weighing 333 lbs instead of 465 lbs.
2. Not being in the hospital and apparently on the road to Wellsville.
3. The fact that both Erik and I have multiple income sources while many people are struggling to find ONE job.
4. Tanner is doing very good at school and while he drives us insane periodically obsessing about buying a new gaming system or games in general, overall, he is doing an AWESOME job controlling his frustration and growing into the young man I always hoped he’d be.
5. My family, although they live WAY too far from us for my liking.
6. I’m thankful to have Erik in my life because, although our relationship is far from traditional, he is still the best friend I ever had and I know that, no matter what, he will always be there for Tanner and I.
7. I’m thankful that I can now wash dishes and spit shine the kitchen without ever needing to take a seat mid-way.

I’m sure there are many other things I’m grateful for, but those are just off the top of my head! See…already feeling much better when before I was internally whining about how tired I was. Ok, so maybe the coffee I consumed while writing this post helped to alleviate the fatigue a bit, but this exercise helped with the mental fatigue ;) I hope you all have a great day and find many things to be thankful for!!