Friday, January 10, 2014

The Status of My Stripes

Back in September I mentioned that I had started a new crochet project. At the time, it looked like this:


And then like this:

And now it looks like this:

ZOMG, you guys. This thing is taking me FOR.EV.ER. But I seriously love it.

I made the rookie mistake of not following the pattern. Guys: when she says chain 250, chain 250. Don't think "man, this doesn't look very long - I'll just add a few chains" and end up with 271 chains and rows that never fucking end. I would probably be done with this thing by now if it weren't for those extra 21 chains that make this afghan not an afghan anymore. Seriously, this thing fits either way across my king-sized bed. And the longer you make one side, the longer you have to make the other in order for it to be a proportionate rectangle, so, here I am. In it for the long haul.

The pattern is called "Vintage Stripe", and you can find it just by googling those two words. The version I went off of is here though. While that lady was using this pattern as a stash buster, I decided to pick out all new yarn (much of the fun of crocheting is in purchasing the yarn) in 7 colors. And you *can* do this afghan in completely random color patterns, but I chose to do white every 5th row. There's no other real color pattern to it than that, although I keep a running tally of how many rows I've done in each color so that I don't go too long without one.

Anyway, I'm sure so many of you couldn't give a flying flick about my crochet project. But you get this update anyway. Because I miss you, and I love it, and, well, just because.

Hugs!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Focusing On Time and Other Things

Well hello there, 2014! Glad to see you!

2013 was a very "meh" year for us. Aside from moving in with the in-laws, there wasn't anything terribly exciting about those 365 days. Many people I know had a really, really shitty year, so for them, I'm happy to see it go.

I'm feeling optimistic about the year ahead. I'm not making any official resolutions because it seems to me, as soon as you attach that word to it, you fail. But I do have a few goals in mind and I'm pretty optimistic that I will be able to see them through.

Focus On Time - More specifically, what I'm doing with it. There will always be a few major areas of my life that demand my time and energy: being a wife and mother, work, school. But I feel like I've not really been putting a lot of valuable energy into them. I mean, things get done, but I've just kind of been going through the motions and vegging out a lot. I want to be more actively involved in those areas.

School - I recently switched programs from Elementary Education to Human Resource Management. Truthfully, at this point it doesn't matter what words are on that little piece of paper - I just need the degree. Going into the HRM program is a much more efficient (and therefore cost-effective) choice. My goal is to finish the 22 courses I have left by the end of the year. It's a very lofty goal, but if I manage my time more effectively (see goal number 1) I think I can totally do it.

House - I want to be living in our own home by Christmas. The hardest part about this goal is that whole, "you can't change people" thing. I can only do MY part toward getting us to this goal, which is watching my spending and not encouraging or suggesting The Hubs' spending. However, a large part of this goal is on his shoulders - the finding of a new, closer, better-paying, career-type job. Without that, we're living with his parents indefinitely. So part of this goal is me remembering to focus on what I am able to do to get there, not what I wish HE were doing.

Health - Not just weight and lap-band related stuff, but I would like to work on improving my general health overall. Which means finally filling out/mailing in the paperwork needed to get myself another steroid injection for my lower back problems, finally going in for the diabetes blood work I was supposed to do back in October, finally finding a new, closer dentist and scheduling a check-up since it will soon be a year since I've had one. And also, of course, getting a fill to try and figure out where I need to be with Tim Gunn, eating better and moving more. This whole working from home thing is HELL on my exercise levels. I (very literally) am in my bed 95% of the time between waking up and 5:30 pm. This needs to change.

So that's where I am with the whole new year, new beginnings thing. I'm feeling pretty good about things and motivated to work. What I really need is to figure out a way to keep the motivation up, because when I'm motivated, things happen.

Happy 2014 all! I hope you have a tremendous year ahead!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stuff

Hodge Podge Post Alert:

Not sure if anyone's reading anymore, but I'm-a gonna write anyway. I know it's been a bit since I wrote anything of substance - and I'm not claiming anything herein will be substantive - but I have things I feel like saying, so I will say them.


  • My lack of accomplishment by the time of my Bandiversary is weighing heavily on me. My first instinct is to blame the band, but I know deep down that's not where the blame should lie. (At least not much of it.) 
  • My new work-from-home arrangement is nice, but a full-on enabler of laziness, overeating, snacking, and general sloth-ness. I'm sure it's not what's best for me, but I don't want to give it up. (Hmmm...sound familiar?)
  • The Hubs and I are in discussions about baby #2. If that's going to happen, I HAVE to get myself in better health. 
  • My job is good - I enjoy my co-worker and my boss(es). One Project Manager that I work closely with makes me want to slide down a banister of razor blades into a baby pool of alcohol. 
  • I'm possibly switching programs at WGU - from Elementary Education to a BS in Business - Human Resources. The process to switch has started, but it's not very far along and apparently involves serious hoop-jumping. Blah. 
  • My kiddo turns 3 in December. I just can't imagine it. 
  • I miss you all - if there's anyone out there reading. Hugs to you, and I hope you're all enjoying your journeys. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

365

11/07/12: 257.2
11/07/13: 251.1

6.1 pounds down in 52 weeks.

That. Is. All.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Hey! Remember me?!

Thought I'd drop by and pretend like it hasn't been a zillion years since my last blog. So, let's all just act like nothing ever happened and everything is normal, mmkay?

So here's what's been up, in a completely non-linear, rambly sort of way:


  • After an x-ray and an ultrasound, it seems my port pain is apparently all in my head. Even though I know it's not, they can't find anything wrong with it. Bah. 
  • I got a fill last week - 1.5 cc. I can definitely feel a difference and it makes me happy. Sticky McStickerson was actually able to get my fill on the first try this time! I must have made the karma gods happy that day for some reason. 
  • I started a new crochet project and it's my FAV. Like, I just sit and stare at it, it's turning out so lovely. 



  • We had family pictures taken a few weeks ago. I am bummed that this is the first time we've been able to do them this year, but they turned out AMAZING!

  • Let's take a closer look at one of my favorites, eh? A day in the life with a toddler...

  • There's a Fitness Studio about 5 minutes away from the house and I'd been thinking about checking it out. I "liked" their page on the Book of Face and saw that they were having a sale for Labor Day - 10 classes for $50. I bought a pass for 20 classes and have gone twice. It's super fun! The first class I did was Zumba Gold (for beginners and "active seniors") and it kicked my ass. Then, this past Saturday I said what the hell and did a regular Zumba class. HOLY HELL. But I did it. I made it through. And I have 18 more to go. They have all different kinds of classes (yoga, piloxing, R&B line dancing, etc) and I can do any of them. I'm super excited. 
  • I joined another DietBet today. The pot's almost  $31,000. Hopefully this one goes better than the last! 
  • My new job is going well. I'm basically working from home full time now - I can't remember the last time I went into the office. It has been really nice. 
I guess that's everything for now. Hugs to you all! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Alive and Kicking (Kind of)

I think it's Thursday...I just can't keep things straight anymore. But even if it is, there's no way I could come up with ten things for a TTT. So you just get my randompantsness for now. Lucky you.

Okay, seriously. I need to figure out how to get my blogger reading list to show up on my phone now that Google Reader died. Any ideas? Because my ability to follow your blogs depends on it!

Busy and sick. That's how I've been. I had full-body chills all day yesterday. Came home to find out I had a fever of 101.6. Took a super long, super hot shower and slept for 13 hours, only to wake up in the middle of the night to change my clothes and bed sheets because EVERYTHING was drenched in sweat. I lost 4.2 pounds yesterday alone.

Today I'm feeling a bit better. No more chills and no more fever, but still sore and achy all over and just. plain. EXHAUSTED. Luckily, I was able to work from home today, so I've been resting a lot.

Speaking of work - I got the job! (Can't remember if I already told you that.) I started on the 22nd and it has been gung ho ever since. They are just THROWING information and projects at us - they hired two of us for the position - and we've just had to pick things up on the fly. It has been hectic. My boss is based in Atlanta, so even though I interviewed with him over the phone and have exchanged emails with him, I didn't actually get to meet him until he was in town this week.

My co-worker is nice. Young. Skinny. And a complainer about being skinny. Makes me want to barf, but I don't think that will affect her ability to do the job, lol.

And in other news, if I can get over being sick, The BFF and I are having a girls' weekend in Columbus! My 2nd NKOTB, 98 Degrees and Boys II Men concert (her first) and a day at the Ohio State Fair! Can't wait!

Guess that's all for now. Miss you all bunches!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

TTT

Thanks, adorably pregnant Laura Belle! Ten Things Thursday, commence! 

1) It's been FOR-EV-ER since I posted last and I haven't been a good blog reader or commenter. Blame a combination of being insanely busy at work, insanely busy at home, and Google Reader disappearing (so I can't check blogs on my phone until I figure out another option. Suggestions?)

2) I GOT THE JOB! It's the same type of work I was already doing (training coordinator stuff) but now it's for a national company with about 20,000 total associates instead of a regional company with less than 450. The division I will be working for has about 5,000 associates. I start on Monday. 

3) I took a week off between jobs, so this week has been a whole lot of errands, doctor's appointments, and hanging out with the most adorable 2.5 year old known to man. 

Graeter's Peach Ice Cream. The BEST ice cream ANYWHERE. 
4) Not technically a doctor's appointment, but I had to go get x-rays done yesterday. ON MY PORT. Something has felt wrong with it for a couple months now - like it's getting irritated and hurting me so much that I can't lay on my right side. They want to do x-rays and an ultrasound before making any sort of plan. If my port is effed up because of Pokey McPokerson, I am going to be PISSED. 

5) Last Wednesday I did my first Wednesday Weigh-In in a while. I didn't have access to a scale for a long time, but finally bit the bullet and pulled mine out of one of the zillion boxes still packed in my in-laws' garage. The number was 250.0, which isn't great, but it's pretty much what I expected. 

6) I'm currently typing this with only my left hand because The Kid has hijacked my right arm as a pillow while we watch Dispicable Me. This is the life. 

7) It is hot. I am sweaty. That is all. 

8) The Hubs and I get to go on a date this Saturday! Maybe I'll get lucky. ;-)

9) I hate shopping for bras. Seriously, is there a more torturous item of clothing to shop for? And you can't just pick one up and buy it. You actually have to wrangle yourself into each and every one. It sucks. And in the end, Lane Bryant quit selling the ones I like in the store, so I had to order them online anyway. Even with buy two get two free, I spent $92. RE-DONK. 

10) We desperately need a bigger car. The Hubs wants to go all out on a 2014 Equinox. I want to save money for the house and get a less expensive car. Negotiations are breaking down. Blah. 

Hugs to you all! I'm going to try to catch up on reading and commenting over the next couple of days.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pictures and more...

I got back in town on Tuesday night from a seriously fun trip to Gatlinburg, TN with (almost) all the women on my Dad's side of the family. There were 13 of us, ranging in age from one-and-a-half to 53. It was A BLAST.
The view from our chalet in Pigeon Forge.
We had a huge, 7 bedroom chalet with a great view of the mountains. We were right up the mountain from Dollywood, so we got treated to a free fireworks show every night at 9:30 pm. Not too shabby! 

The first night there, we all went to dinner at Calhoun's, which is a restaurant in downtown Gatlinburg. Then we walked a bit and checked one of my GB must do's off the list, the Sky Lift. 

Downtown Gatlinburg
That picture is basically half of all there is to see of The Parkway. Gatlinburg is only about 3 miles long, but it's jam packed with restaurants, stores, and super kitschy attractions. 

The second day we were there, everyone basically split up and did things they were interested in. Some people went back to The Parkway, some people went to the chalet's pool, some people just hung out. My Bonus Mom and I decided to drive through the Arts & Crafts trail, which is outside of The Parkway. It's an 8 mile long loop of sporadic stores that house mostly locally made artisan crafts, pottery, jewelry, etc. It's always my goal on a vacation to buy something that is locally made and unique. And boy, did I find it there. 

Buy all the things! 
I found a woodworking shop with all handmade wooden things and bought two ornaments and a bowl. Then I bought two dip mixes (Strawberry Fruit Dip and Onion & Garlic Dip) at "Santa's Claus-et", which is just as kitschy as it sounds. I found a handmade small mixing bowl with mini whisk at Alewine Pottery, and had to have it. Then, I found a pair of turquoise and sterling silver earrings handmade by a Cherokee. 

Later that night, we headed to dinner at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, which also has a cute shopping area. I got two more pairs of earrings - one gold filigree style, and the other black filigree wooden earrings. I also got Logan a magic t-shirt that turns colors in the sunlight. I bought myself a small white and gold bracelet and then picked out some taffy and fudge. And oh, holy hell. If you are ever in PF, go to the candy shop at The Old Mill and buy them out of Tiger Butter fudge. Vanilla, peanut butter and chocolate swirled together. Mouthgasms all around. 

After dinner, we headed back to the chalet for games. I brought my all-time favorite, Catch Phrase, and we had a blast! We also played Truth or Dare Jenga, which was fun, if not slightly awkward to play truth or dare with family that I haven't spent a lot of time with. 

So. Much. Fun
The above picture is of two of my cousins and an aunt. I just think it shows how much fun we were all having. (And, hi, Amber!) 

The next day was our last full day in town, so my Bonus Mom and I did the last couple of must do's on the list: lunch at The Apple Barn and a trip to The Incredible Christmas Place. I bought two more ornaments at the Christmas Place. Four ornaments. One trip. Worth it. 

A small group of us had dinner at The Park Grill, which is also usually a must do for me, and then my Bonus Mom, my cousin Sarah and I went to Old Smoky Moonshine in Gatlinburg. Remember on my last trip how The Hubs and I sampled the White Lightning? This time, we stuck with the flavored moonshines - all eight of them! 
Bottoms up! 
The Apple Pie moonshine was SO GOOD. Both Julie and Sarah bought a mason jar full. I bought a jar of the Blackberry because The Hubs' boss requested it, but didn't buy any for myself. I did get The Hubs a t-shirt there, though. At this point, I think I was just feeling guilty for all the money I had spent! 

We got home and watched the free fireworks show, then played a couple rounds of Scattergories and Catch Phrase, but everyone was pretty beat. The next morning, it was back to Cincinnati with my Bonus Mom. 

That night, though. Woo, buddy. It was NKOTB time. Boys II Men, 98 Degrees, and New Kids on the Block with My Friend Natalie at US Bank Arena. Second-to-last row, but I TOTALLY DON'T CARE. 

90's kid and proud. 
Seriously, so much fun. The next day, I talked the BFF into getting tickets to the show when it comes to Columbus in August. Can't wait to see it again! 

So that was the last week of my life. Other quick notes: I got a 2cc fill on Wednesday. Pokey McPokerson only had to stick me twice this time! Woot! And also, I have an in-person interview for a job I really hope I get next Tuesday, so cross appendages, please! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wanna Know a Secret?

I have absolutely NO IDEA what I weigh right now.

I told y'all I was going to avoid the scale while I am mostly unfilled. It was pretty hard in the beginning because I still had my bathroom scale staring me in the face every single morning. Plus the big ol' doctor's scale in the fitness room at work.

Turns out, not weighing yourself is much, much easier when you have no access to scales. Who woulda thunk?

Apparently I work with a bunch of imbeciles who can't be trusted to act like adults, so the fitness center went on lock down shortly after I got my unfill. Only people who sign in to work out are allowed to go in there now, and they check the electronic door logs (you have to swipe your access card to get in), so I couldn't just sneak in to check my weight.

And then the Packing of the Things happened and my bathroom scale went into a box. Which is currently at the bottom of a pile of boxes in the in laws' garage.

No scale for me.

For a while, it was so nice to not think about it. It was so nice to not have to be accountable. But now, things are feeling snugger, and I can tell my body shape is changing in some areas, and I'm starting to wig out a little bit.

I want to know, but I don't want to know, you know? I don't want to step on that scale and find out I've gained a ton of weight back. I expect to have gained back some, since I have no restriction whatsoever, but it terrifies me to think I could step on that scale and see ANYTHING over 250.

I was able to schedule a fill for next Wednesday, so I guess I'll find out then. It's a double-edged sword, though, because a gain will suck personally, but will up my chances of getting a fill. Blargh.

I'm excited to get back in the fill/restriction game, though. Slow and steady, nothing too big. I think I'm going to ask for 1 cc, which I think would only put me in the area of 5 cc total. One bummer, though: when I called and requested Kristina instead of Kim, they told me that Kristina took another job in the office and doesn't do fills anymore. My only option for fills is poke-poke-pokerson Kim. Oh. Dear. Jeebus. Help me now! We did take photos of the "successful" stick from the last time, so hopefully that will help a little bit.

So anyway, that's what's up.

(Oh, and I've had two phone interviews and scheduled an in-person interview for a job! Fingers crossed!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

TTT

Thanks, Laura Belle for Ten Things Thursday. A lovely way for me to ease my toesies back into the big blogging pool.

1} I hate my job. i HATE my job. i hate MY job. i hate my JOB. (Really, I could make this all 10, but I'll spare you.)

2} I had a lovely girls-get-together with my fabulous friends Heather and Sarah. I know Sarah through knowing Heather, and I know Heather through working closely with her at the job that I hate. Heather is the friend I've mentioned previously who is a sort of consultant for the company I work for. Anyway, we ate at Franco's, which is a family-owned Eye-talian place near downtown Dayton. Dinner was good, but conversation was even better.

3} The job market is RE-DONK-ULOUS right now. I've put in well over 40 resumes in the past two months and nada. Dying here.

4} I leave in 9 days for a sort-of-impromptu weekender to Gatlinburg with the females on my Dad's side of the family. They've been planning the trip for a year - it's the fact that I'm joining them that is impromptu. My Bonus Mom is amazing and offered to share her room in the chalet with me for free, and we're driving down together. I get back in the afternoon on the 26th, just in time for...

5} Unashamedly loving the 80's and 90's and rocking out at the New Kids On The Block/Boys II Men/98 Degrees concert. Can. Not. Wait. SRSLY.

6} While I'm down near the City (City with a capital C = Cincinnati. I'm not really ready to call Dayton a city just yet. Hrumph.) I'm going to try to schedule my first fill since the unfilling happened. Hopefully they'll have some time for me. I'm going to ask for Christina because I just don't think I can handle anymore of Kim's poke-poke-poke-ing. It's a shame, since I like Kim's personality so much better.

7} The worst part about living with my in-laws so far is that The Kiddo absolutely refuses to let anybody but Grandma do ANYTHING for him. I know he's not doing it to hurt me, and I know she can't do anything to stop it, but still - the feelings are hurt. Especially when he gets a boo boo and screams bloody murder if I try to hold him or make him feel better. Dammit.

8} I have eaten out so much since packing/moving/having everything in boxes that I'm seriously craving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There is not a restaurant in the area that sounds even remotely good to me right now.

9} I'm obsessed with a silly little game on my phone called Bakery Story. So not good for my sweet tooth.

10} I'm super excited to be back in the land of the bloggers. I really have missed you all!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Move

Hey y'all...I'm back! (Although I was never really gone...I've been lurking and commenting when I can.)

So, we're moved, but only in the simplest definition of the word, wherein all my stuff went from one place to another. Very few things have made it into their rightful spots as of yet, and the entire house looks like a storage unit. But things are indoors, which is an improvement over moving day.


This is the view from about 8 pm that evening. We had brought everything from our apartment up to the house and our helpers had taken everything out of the truck and staged it into two areas - one for what was going into the storage area (basement) and one for what needed to go somewhere else in the house. This picture really doesn't do it justice. Literally everything I owned was on my in-laws' back patio. (Those 70's-tastic brown and orange folding chairs aren't mine, btw.)

Now, the obvious question is: why did we unload everything on the patio instead of just taking it into the house where it was supposed to go? And the incredibly frustrating answer is: we had no stairs. 

When we first decided to move, we knew that there was a bunch of stuff that would have to get done to the in-laws' house for it to work. Namely, they needed to gut the basement storage area in order to have a place to store our apartment full of stuff. Somewhere along the line, the guys decided that the stairs to the storage area were unsafe and needed rebuilt. And both of those guys are handy. They're able to build a lot of things. But stairs was never something either of them had attempted. Suffice it to say that the stairs gave them a run for their money. 

And thus, all my belongings sat in patio purgatory. Luckily, we had pretty good weather that day and there wasn't much of a rain threat, or I definitely wouldn't have been able to handle this as well as I (think I) did. The stairs were finally finished around midnight (!) and the four of us moved ALL of that furniture either into the storage area or into a nook/cranny of the house. I got to bed around 2:30 am. 

And by "bed", I mean that I slept in a spare bedroom and The Hubs slept on a couch. Because the room that we were supposed to be moving all of our stuff into looked like this:


This is The Hubs' old bedroom. After he moved out to live with me, his mom turned it into a "scrapbooking room", which I guess is code for "the place we put all the stuff we have no other room for." And because she had been helping us by watching our kiddo a lot, I guess she didn't have time to clean it out by moving day. To her credit, though, she had it cleaned out within about three days of us moving in, so we were able to set up our bed and such. 


The Budweiser neon (a leftover from when this was The Hubs' "bachelor pad" lol) is coming down, along with a giant American flag that you can't see on the other side of the window. And we're going to paint the room from the institutional bright white that it currently is. I'd go even crazier if I had to stare at those crazy white walls for the whole time we live here. Ugh. 

As far as everything else, it's still in boxes. Stacked to the ceiling in the garage, the living room, the dining room, and the hallway. Furniture landed where ever there was room for it, and it hasn't been touched. The Kid is still sleeping in a guest room because his bedroom still has a giant bed and dresser in it that need to go down to storage. 

But all our stuff is indoors and we all have a place to sleep. I guess that'll have to do for now. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Impromptu DIY Project

I'm off work for the move. Don't go back until next Wednesday, and couldn't be more thrilled. While my time would be most productively spent packing up my house, I still wanted to get some last minute visiting in with the friends that I'm moving far away from. 

MFN (My Friend Natalie) and I decided to meet up for lunch at Red Robin today, and as always, had a FABULOUS time. After we had finished eating and were just sitting around talking, I somehow mentioned that I've been wanting to make a chicken wire earring holder. My earring situation was a HOT MESS up until today, so it was definitely something that needed to be done. I'd seen some on Pinterest that I really liked:

Source: Pinterest
And showed it to Natalie. She really liked the idea, so I half jokingly said, "Let's do it today!", and to my surprise, she agreed. Off we went to find the supplies. 

Neither Lowe's or Home Depot had small chicken wire, so we opted for "wire cloth" instead. And we found our frames at a local Meijer. (Which is a grocery store/supermarket chain here in the midwest if you didn't know.) If you do this project make sure to buy a wood frame. Natalie bought a cute plastic one and we realized later that there was no stapling into that. Luckily, she had a couple extra frames sitting around her basement, so she ended up using one of them. 

DIY Framed Wire Earring Holder

Supplies:

Frame (I bought an 8.5 x 11 frame and it is currently holding about 20 pairs of earrings with a tiny bit of room to grow.

Chicken Wire or Wire Cloth - you can find this at Lowe's, Home Depot, or any home improvement store.

Wire cutters

Staple gun (In our case, the staple gun wasn't working so we ended up using the heavy duty staples and a hammer. Worked like a charm.)


Take the back off the frame and take out the glass and mat. Then cut out a piece of wire cloth bigger than the frame itself. We decided to put the wire cloth in at a 45 degree angle to give it a little style. I highly recommend this. 


Stuff the chicken wire into the frame. Gloves are highly recommended for this part. We didn't have gloves and now we have scars. Womp womp. Cut out "V" shapes from each corner. This will help you get the wire into them. 


Use a staple gun to staple the wire to the inside of the frame. As I said before, our staple gun wasn't working, so we ended up hammering the staples in place. It worked pretty well. Oh, and we used pliers to hold the staples in place while hammering. 



Once you've got the wire secure, trim off the excess and voila! You've got a super easy, super quick, super cute earring holder! 


Here's mine after I got all my dangly earrings in it.


Too cute, right? My frame was $13 and the wire cloth was $11, but we have enough wire cloth left over to make at least four or five more of these. Love it! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sentimental

On Christmas Day of 2010, my new little family was cleared to leave the hospital. A day early after going through an "easy" c-section that resulted in the most precious, gorgeous, adorable, ten-pound baby boy you ever did see.

Because that beautiful baby boy wasn't born to the smartest parents on the block, we drove, without any pain medication (it's hard to find an open pharmacy on Christmas Day) more than two hours straight from the hospital to The Hubs' family Christmas. And then from there, we drove another two hours in the opposite direction to my family's Christmas. 


We wanted everyone to meet this amazing little creature that we had somehow miraculously created. Joy practically bubbled from my skin because of that little boy, who was somehow able to overshadow Christmas - the highest of holidays - so much that pain barely registered from eight inches of stitches placed not 48 hours previously. 


After what turned out to be one of the most happy, yet exhausting days of my life, we finally headed to our apartment. I made sure to have our camera at the ready as my husband unlocked the door and carried our newborn son into his new home. We walked in to the glow of twinkle lights on our Christmas tree, as it's our tradition to keep the tree lit all night on Christmas Eve so Santa can see where to put all the presents. As we settled in for the first time as a family, my Christmas present slept peacefully on my chest. Santa had outdone himself that year. 


Eventually we all tucked in for the night, our entire world wrapped up in blankets in a pack and play near our bed. Sometime around four a.m., he awoke with a cry. As my brain shifted instantly from sweet dreams to "red alert!", I shot up in bed. That was the beginning of my life as a person who can't sleep through the night. Who wakes at the slightest breeze. But if that's what it means to be somebody's Mama, then I don't need to ever sleep again.   


I assumed that he was hungry, since so much of being a parent is just guessing and hoping you're right. So I prepared a bottle and brought his ten-pound tininess into the living room, where the twinkle lights still cast a soft glow on our Christmas night. I sat down on the couch and rocked him - my whole heart had taken the shape of a person. Ten fingers, ten toes, blue eyes and a head full of dark hair. A version much improved from that weird red thing thumping in my chest. 


As we rocked, I couldn't take my eyes off him. The world could have been crumbling down around us and I never would have known, since he was my world, and he was right there, perfect. 


We rocked and he ate, and I told him all about Christmas Day, and that he was the most special gift I could have ever received and I was so thankful. I told him about Santa and elves, and reindeer and presents for good little boys. I sang Silent Night on repeat. Eventually, he fell asleep, and I did too. 


Time has passed. We've had two more Christmases full of twinkle lights and presents for good little boys. We've had birthdays with balloons and Halloweens with pumpkins. We've had trips to the playground and pulled the bark off of countless trees. (Sorry, trees!) And we have lived. As imperfect as this too-small, crappy-neighbors, bad-parking, inept-management apartment is, it has been home. Steadfast shelter from storms, a place of our own to lay our heads down at night, a place perfectly suited to nourish and grow those sweet memories that make up a life. 


Last night was the last night for that beautiful little boy to sleep in his crib in the place he has known as home for the entirety of his existence. While I know that he cares much less about this than I do, and that he'll transition smoothly into sleeping in his room at the new place, I can't help but shed a few tears that those "firsts" are over and it's time to say goodbye. 


~~~


A very smart and talented writer/editor friend of mine is also moving from her house of "firsts". She wrote this beautiful poem, which sums up perfectly how, somehow, a building made of bricks and mortar can become a part of the family, too. 

To the New Owners of Our House

By Heather Martin

The ghost in the big closet 
flickers the light in the back
once in awhile.
Just to keep you looking up.

Afternoon sun spreads 
wide onto the family room floor.
Nap there some saturdays.

Front deadbolt won’t budge?
Put your hip into it and push harder.
Also—don’t WD40 the squeak
out of the kid’s room door.
It’s an excellent alarm.

Backing out of the driveway
won’t always feel like threading a needle.
And there are 16 steps
from the living room
to the second floor.
You don’t need the light.

Oh, and the office floor slope
drags the chair away
when you stand up.
So look before you sit.

Please: Finish the basement
we almost started.
(The paneling is as awful as it looks.)
But fix the avocado green rotary phone
hanging off the hook
under the laundry chute.
It’s closer than dashing up
two short flights to the kitchen,
and it puts a little mystery back in the ring.

Speaking of the chute: It’ll choke
on two pairs of jeans at once.
Take your time.
It’s only wash.

Some evening,
in the pauses between
the groans and creaks
of your new old house,
you might hear the burp of the box
closing on a Trivial Pursuit night
that outlasted a fifth of Maker’s
and more than one bottle of Merlot.
A mouthy black cat
complaining down the stairs.
Or the lingering exhale of parents
bringing their only
through the door for the first time.

Soon, though, these spirits
will move down the road,
Clearing space for your story.

Tell a good one.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On the Subject of Moving

So, we're moving. In with my in-laws. And I don't want to.

This is so not a good time to be in my marriage right now. I am miserable at the thought of having to move in there. For so, so many reasons that my husband just doesn't "get". I've been independent my whole life, and the thought of moving in with family when we truly don't have to is just killing me.

Not to mention the fact that I just don't feel comfortable there. It's not that they try to make me uncomfortable, it's just that it's not my house, you know? This might seem stupid, but they don't have a living room or family room area with a couch and a tv to just veg in front of. And vegging in front of the tv is one of my main activities. LOL. When we move in, if I want to watch tv, I'll either have to do it in our bedroom (where I can't be watching Logan if he's awake and running through other parts of the house), or in the eat-in part of the kitchen, where their only public tv is, while sitting at the dining room table. How can you really get comfortable and veg out while sitting at the dining room table?

And the other thing? I know you'll all find it absolutely shocking, but I'm not a Miss Mary Sunshine 24/7/365. (Gasp!) The Hubs' parents are very much a "let's not talk about anything upsetting or bad or get in an argument in front of anybody" kind of people. I've known them for seven years and never once seen them come close to arguing. And there have been times when (in my OWN house, mind you) I've said something to The Hubs about something I don't agree with and the MIL has been there, and she's openly scoffed at me for saying what I've said or expressing my feelings in anything less than a Miss Mary Sunshine way. I can't go for the next year (at least) without expressing my feelings or opinions to my husband. I. WILL. EXPLODE.

I am on the verge of an anxiety attack because I'm imagining all the ways in which this is going to suck. It's not that I don't see the positives. There are some. But the selfish part of me sees all the positives for everybody else, and none for me. The Hubs goes back to living at home (which he did until he was 30, so he's completely comfortable there.) He gets to be taken care of by his mom again. He gets to be closer to the shop (a big garage on their property with every tool imaginable) so it will be easier for him to fix things. He gets to be closer to his friends. My MIL gets to have her baby back in her house, with the bonus of her grandchild (who she acts like more of a mother to). She won't have to drive 45 minutes each way every day to watch our kid anymore.

What's in it for me? Saving money for a house, which was the premise I agreed to? Not really. You know, surprisingly, you don't really save a ton of money moving in with someone. Especially when we were super lucky to have extremely low rent at our apartment. And the money that we're saving will go to paying down our debt first, which we won't even fully be able to do in a year. So to me, it's looking like I get to be completely miserable and uncomfortable in a place where I feel constantly judged, for no benefit. We'll basically be slightly less in the hole than we were when we were living on our own, with no savings to speak of for a house down payment.

This is me whining.

I. DO. NOT. WANT. TO. DO. THIS.

/end rant

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

M.I.A.

I know, I know. I'm sorry.

Just a quick update to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking. Work is ridiculous right now, plus I'm packing for the move, plus attempting to finish some school work, plus being a mom and a wife and a daughter.

Starting week 3 of the unfill and loving almost every minute of it. Except for the ones where I shove all the food in my face because I can. Working on it, and excited to get to the point in a couple weeks when I can start filling Tim Gunn back up again. SLOOOOOOWLY. I will have reached the one month mark on May 21st, but I'm not sure I want to start filling back up just a few days before we go through the moving process. Stress plus all that physical activity...I'm concerned about feeling too tight during the move, which just doesn't sound fun. I'll probably hold off on a fill until the 28th or so.

I'm trying to keep up with all your blogs as best as I can. I may be few and far between on the comments right now, but just know that I love all y'all and I'm thinking about you and your journeys.

Hugs!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Stressed But Happy

Hodge Podge post here, kiddos.

> The unfill was the best damn thing I ever did. (Besides getting the LapBand in the first place, of course.) I have not had one stuck episode since, and I'm feeling light and free. IT IS WONDERFUL. I'm allowing myself to check the scale one time per week, which is a good deal of improvement over checking it once a day, or three times a day, whatever the case may be. And when I checked it this week, I was down almost 3 pounds from before. It seems counter-intuitive that I'm losing weight while eating more, but of course there are all kinds of reasons I can attribute to it. (i.e. being able to eat better quality foods like proteins again, not scarfing down candy bars and cookies because I'm hungry and they're the only things that will go down without incident, eating more calories so my body doesn't think I'm starving and hold on to all the fat, and also being able to eat a decent meal so that my body {and my brain} both feel more satisfied after a meal so I don't get the urge to snack quite as much.) All in all, I'm very happy with the choices I've made and I'm excited to see how this all plays out at the end of the month.

>We're moving at the end of May. It totally sucks now that I'm not used to doing it every year.

When I was growing up, I used to joke that my family's idea of spring cleaning was to pack everything up and move to a different house. We moved A LOT. Every year, sometimes. I went to several elementary schools, but somehow managed to stay in the same school throughout middle and high school. (Not the same house, mind you, but the same school district.) Even though, for my Freshman year of high school I technically didn't live in the school district and had to literally ride the "short bus" to and from. I had to pay several dollars a day (out of my own money once I got a job at 14 1/2) to take a county public transportation system bus to school. Sophomore year, though, we moved and were once again back in my old school district.

Within a month of graduation, I "chose" to move out of my mom and step-dad's house and moved in with my grandparents. Less than a year after that, I got an apartment with a co-worker. After a year there, I moved in with my Dad and Bonus Mom for a few months until I moved into my dorm at the University of Cincinnati. A couple years later, it was out of the dorm and into an apartment with my BFF. Then after that year's lease was up, a different apartment with the same BFF. Then I met The Hubs.

After the lease was up on the apartment with the BFF, The Hubs and I moved in together. That was in 2007, and we've lived in the same place ever since. It has been so weird to live in one place for an extended period of time. I hate where we live, but at the same time, I'm incredibly sentimental about it being our apartment of firsts. Our first apartment together, the place we came home to after our wedding and honeymoon, the place we brought Logan home to, etc. It's sad.


What is also sad? The collected masses of junk that we've accumulated over the past six years. Moving for one person was a breeze compared to moving for three. That picture above was most of the stuff pulled out of our linen closet, which, ironically contained very little "linen". I threw away two bags full of expired medicine and random gark, and now all of that junk is scattered about my living room floor in sort-of-sorted piles. I didn't have the energy to do much more than that last night. 


I did find a little treasure in all the trash. This is my baby ring from when I was probably three or four years old. If you squint really hard you can see a bit of diamond, and there's probably about $5 worth of gold in the darn thing, but I love it. Please ignore the dirty and chewed off fingernails. I still haven't kicked that habit.

Who wants to come to my house and pack everything up this weekend? Pweety pweeease? (As Logan would say.) I'll love you forever and share my wine...




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Time To Heal

Remember last week's five pound gain and the frustration that went along with it? Yesterday I was finally able to get to the office for my unfill.

If you'll remember, I got a 1.0 cc fill a little over two weeks ago (on April 6th) wherein I couldn't even get water down for most of that weekend. Five days later, I went in for a slight unfill of 0.5 cc. I was afraid to take the whole 1.0 cc out because I didn't want to have paid for nothing, and I felt like I truly needed a fill at the time. 

Suffice it to say that 0.5 cc was not enough. I was PBing at almost every meal. I was unable to eat any sort of meat. I could get down liquids and most soft/mushy foods, but I'm not a person who can live like that for extended periods of time (And you shouldn't have to with the band. That's not how it's supposed to work.) So I would keep trying the meat - small bites, chewchewchew, eat slowly, and still get stuck and PB. Almost every time. So what was happening is that my band/stomach/pouch/esophagus were constantly inflamed and angry with me because they were never getting a chance to heal from all the PBing I was doing. 

So like I said in my previous post, I went into this appointment yesterday with a plan: unfill A LOT and stay that way for a month to allow my body to heal. Fortunately, Kim wholeheartedly agreed with my plan. Unfortunately, Kim was the one who was going to perform my unfill. 

OH. MY. JEEBUS. 

But I'll get to that in a second. 

According to their numbers (which I don't agree with) I had 8.75 cc in my band. My calculation is that I actually had 10 cc yesterday before the unfill. But anyway, we were going off of her numbers, so I told her that I'd be okay with her taking half out. She agreed to take 4 cc out of my band and thought it was a very good idea to give myself a month to heal at that level. 

And then, out came the needle(s). 

Kim's first several fills with me were painless. One stick and in and out in a matter of seconds. Then something happened and she just wasn't getting it right. Several sticks and lots of mini pokes while the needle was in my stomach, but not in my port. And lots of alarm-raising scraping of the plastic sides of my port. Trust me, that feeling is NOT something I wish to repeat. And yet, every time I see Kim, I get to repeat it. 

For my first unfill (on 4/10), she had to stick me twice, and did the zillion-little-sticks thing and scraping-the-plastic thing for a bit before she was finally able to get in my port.

I noticed afterward that she was sticking me right above my port scar each time that she was having difficulty. Previously, when she (and Kristina) were able to get my port in one stick, the spot was right under my port scar. So, hoping to not have to go through this un-fun process, I mentioned this to her. Luckily, she's a nice, fun lady and didn't take this as me trying to tell her how to do her job. She seemed really surprised and felt around for my port again. She kept saying that it felt like it was right above the scar, and I kept telling her that all I knew was that when they're successful, the sticks are right under the scar. 

She stuck me once - and got nothing. A zillion little sticks and scrapes later, and she told me I could put my feet down (they have you lift your legs a couple inches to make the port easier to find) and rest for a minute. Raising your feet a few inches off the table for a sustained period of time is a surprisingly tough workout! 

She stuck me twice - and got nothing. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. At one point, she told me to relax and we were talking, and I didn't realize that she hadn't actually taken the needle out of my stomach. I looked down as we were chatting away, and there it was, just poking out of my body (with her holding on to it, of course). Strange. After resting for another minute or so, she tried again. Still nothing. 

She stuck me three times - and got something. Unfortunately, the something that she got was the plastic side of my port. She jammed the needle right into the damn thing! After pulling on the syringe and not getting any liquid, she realized that it wasn't in the right spot and went back to her usual practice of a zillion little sticks and a zillion little scrapes. 

Eventually, she found the damn thing and I (very literally) breathed a sigh of relief. She took out 4 cc, and all of a sudden I started feeling a really painful pinch in the area. I kept saying "Ow! Ouch! What are you doing?!" and she looked at me like I was crazy. Turns out, what she was doing was pulling the needle out of my port and stomach. The BENT needle. Ask me how it feels to have a bent needle pulled out of you. Go ahead. 

IT FUCKING HURTS. 

Apparently, when she jammed the damn thing into the side of my port, she did it hard enough to bend about a quarter of an inch of the tip of the needle. After she pulled it out, she kind of looked at it, then looked at me, and gave me this sheepish little "oopsie!" kind of smile. 

Oopsie, my ass. 

She did have one small shard of brilliance, though. After she shredded my insides pulled out the needle, she circled the blood spot with a pen and asked me for my phone so she could take a picture of the "successful" spot. Successful here is a VERY relative term. But at least she'll have a picture to go off of if she ever touches my port again. Which I'm very doubtful of, since I think I'd have better success if I gave my two-year-old a syringe and said, "go at it!"

 

You can see two teeny tiny pokes very close to each other at the top, which are from 10 days ago. Then the three other pokes are from her blindly playing pin the tail on the port yesterday. You can see how the one on the bottom is bigger than the others - that's because of the bent needle. And the redness to the right is what happens when you give me a band aid. Is anyone else "allergic" to the adhesive?

And as a side note - I'm so glad I'm a good healer! Look at that pretty scar! :-)

In any event, I feel so much better after having 4 cc taken out. I haven't had any trouble eating or drinking, and it almost felt "weird" to me to not get stuck. It's amazing how, even though it's so uncomfortable and unpleasant, you can get used to a feeling like that so easily. 

For now, I'm taking a month off of fills and weigh-ins. And I'm feeling very good about that.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ask and ye shall receive...

Apparently I intrigued a couple of you (hi Cheri and Frances!) with my frog-making capabilities. So I borrowed an extra set of hands and had my lovely husband tape it for you! A couple of things - I was thinking earlier about it and it kind of looks like an ostrich or snake, too. So that's why you hear me emulate those animals (to the best of my ability - ha!) in the video.

I honestly have no recollection of learning this, and yet, of all the things that could take up space in my brain, this stuck. And as a side note: I showed Logan that I could do this the other night and now he requests the frog and various other animals. It's really hard to explain to a two-year-old that I know how to make a frog with my hands but can't make a cow, piggie, or sheep.

Enjoy! (ribbit ribbit)

video

Trying Something New

Less at Less of Less turned me on to Friend Makin' Monday, which is put on by Kenlie at All The Weigh. It's a series of questions posted every Monday that a blogger answers and then links back to in the comments on All The Weigh. This week's fill-in-the-blank style tickled my fancy, so here we go:

I like romantic comedies.

I don’t like movies that make me cry. Even in the "good" way. 
I love my husband and son. A shocking, surprising, and unbelievable amount. 
I dream of travelling to every state in the union. 
I wonder if this weight loss thing will ever really click for me. 
I know how to fold my hands into the shape of a frog's face. If I had three hands, I'd take a picture to prove it. 
I went to Austria for 10 days during my sophomore year in high school.
I think about everything way too much. 
I plan to become an elementary school teacher. 
I regret everything related to my first go-round of college. 
I do night-night time with my son every other night. It's my absolute favorite time of the day.
I drink amaretto sours or moscato when I'm in the mood to imbibe. 
I wish on falling stars, repeating numbers on the clock, necklace clasps that have turned to the pendant, wishbones, loose eyelashes, and birthday candles. Two wishes if the clasp on my wishbone necklace turns to the front. 
I am a music lover. 
I am not an adventurous eater. 
I need to stop being lazy. 
I hope the earth doesn't implode (either by natural or man-made causes) before my kid has a long, full life. 
I want a decent job for my husband in his chosen field. 
I sometimes sit in the bathtub with the hottest water I can stand pouring down on me from the shower and just cry. 
I always find the positive. Eventually. 
I can crochet. 
I cannot dive head first into water. 
I avoid people I owe work assignments to. 
I will finish my freaking degree, for once and for all. 
Wasn't that fun? If you want, you can participate in Friend Makin' Monday by answering all the questions on your own blog and then returning to All The Weigh to leave your blog link in the comments for others to check out. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

TTT - Pet Peeve Edition

So thanks to the lovely (and pregnant with a sassy baby girl) Laura Belle, we've got Ten Things Thursday - wherein I get to cheat and still feel like a productive blogger. Love it!

I've been stressed lately, which usually makes annoying things stand out as even more annoying than they would be on a regular basis. So it's not very hard for me to come up with a Ten Things Thursday full of things that annoy me. Here goes, in no particular order:

{1} People who "pimp" out their babies on Facebook for "I'm the cutest baby in the whole, wide world" contest votes. I don't care how much I like you, or how cute your baby is - I'm not going to go vote so that he/she can "beat out" other one-year-olds for the title. Quit asking me to!


{2} People who drive on the shoulder when traffic is stopped on the highway. Unless someone in your car is having a baby or a heart attack, get your ass back in line and wait like the rest of us! 

{3} People over the age of eight who shuffle their feet when they walk. For some reason, that irks the crap out of me. Pick up your feet, it's not that hard!

{4} People who say/post things (on FB usually) to fish for attention. There's one girl on my friends list who does this constantly with status updates like, "Heading to Children's with DS", or "OMG, I am so stressed out and I just don't think I can take any more of this!", which comes off to me like you just want somebody to ask what's wrong with you and give you sympathy/attention. 

{5} My husband, who, after putting The Kid to bed last night promptly fell asleep in his clothes with the lights on in our bedroom. I came in and laid down while checking blogs and FB on my phone. After about half an hour, I woke him up to tell him that he needed to set his alarm because I was going to bed. He says, "You're going to bed?! I thought we were going to talk about X,Y, and Z?!" Um, yeah. We were going to talk about those things before you spent the past hour passed out. Now it's WAY past my bedtime! Gah. Men. 

{6} The fact that a fricking salad costs me eight dollars at Panera. Or anywhere else for that matter. Who in the world decided that it was fair to charge $8 - $12 for a few ounces of chicken and a bunch of lettuce? How many bags of lettuce could I buy at the store for that money?! Ugh. Also, {6A} that I can't buy Panera's Honey Tangerine dressing in the store and there doesn't seem to be anything similar on the market. I need it in my life and don't want to pay $8.08 every time I feel the craving. 

{7} Being on the weight loss teeter-totter. I really can't handle all this bouncing around. I just want to be able to post some sort of loss consistently. I am beyond frustrated by this. 

{8} That people/society seem to be in a pretty big hurry for MY son to grow up. He should have been off the bottle the second he turned one (he is off the bottle, but it was more like 15 months when we kicked the habit completely - gasp!). He should be off the pacifier by now (we just did this one a few weeks ago, at 27 months - gasp!). He should be potty trained by now (we're not even close to trying this and I'm not even remotely concerned about it - gasp!). He should be sleeping in a "real" bed by now (my kid likes his crib and I like the safety of it. he's not moving out of it any time soon - gasp!). Stop it! Stop trying to rush my kid into being an adult! This time is already flying like crazy, and I don't feel the need to pressure myself, my family, or my freaking two-year-old into thinking that he's falling behind already. He has been a person for all of two years, for jeebus' sake. Give the kid a break and let him (and me) enjoy being a baby for the short time it lasts. [End Mama Bear rant.]

{9} That my grocery store NEVER has enough lines open. I went grocery shopping last night. Two lanes open - that's all. Srsly? Ugh. 

{10} That money makes the world go 'round and my dreams of being an intrepid world traveller/travel show host/owner of my own far away island where I can run naked on my own damn beach (in slow motion, Baywatch style) and get sand in unspeakable places will never happen. Oops, did I say too much?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Over it.

Last Week: 239.6 lb
This Week: 244.6 lb
Gain: 5.0 lb

And I'm over it.

Especially over it when I gained back five freaking pounds and yet, I'm still PBing at almost every fucking meal.

I can't eat "normal" foods. I can't live on protein shakes.

I'm calling for a serious unfill today. I want it out. Everything I just got and more. 2cc, 3cc, I don't care at this point. I just want to get to a point where I know for sure that I'm not going to be PBing on anything.

And I am going to stay that way for a month. And during that month, I'm not going to weigh in. The weigh ins have just become something I dread, and something that makes me feel like crap. So I'm not going to do them for a while.

This sucks.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Unfill

I decided yesterday to see how lunch went before I made any unfill decisions. So when I couldn't get down more than four bites of some chili, my decision was pretty much made for me. 

Luckily, someone had cancelled their 3 pm appointment, so I was able to get it. I noticed as I left work and was driving there that I was starting to feel some uncomfortable tightness in my chest. Not quite the same feeling as being stuck - I'm guessing what I was feeling was my esophagus/stomach feeling swollen and inflamed from everything that has been going on. Yet another sign that an unfill was necessary. 

I ended up seeing Kim yesterday. She's the nurse I originally liked going to, but not the nurse who did my fill on Saturday. We discussed what was going on and she mentioned that she would probably take 0.5cc out. I said that I was thinking more along the lines of 0.3cc because I didn't want to just end up paying for more in a couple weeks, but I also conceded that I've never been in this position before so I don't know what kind of relief I would get for 0.3cc vs 0.5cc. 

Kim said that we would see "what her syringe told her" and make a decision as to how much to take from there. I gave her a really puzzled look and she explained that if you're really irritated, as soon as she gets the syringe in the port, the saline will start coming out on its own because of the pressure from the swelling and irritation. So she said that she could gauge how irritated I was by how much and how fast saline pushes up into the syringe. 

Huh. Who knew?

If you'll remember, last time Kim did my fill, she ended up sticking me three times and jabbing at the side of my port a lot. It was not the most comfortable fill experience. On Saturday, Kristina got my port in one single, quick stick, which was wonderful. Well, I don't know what's up with Kim, but she ended up doing the same thing this time! It is so painful! She does the initial stick, and then a zillion tiny sticks while she's in there, hitting the side of my port and trying to get in the right spot. I'm not sure if I want to keep going through that with her, even though our personalities mesh. 

Once she actually got the needle in the right spot, she said, "Yeah, you're really irritated in there. It's coming right out." I had over 1.5cc push its way out into the syringe on its own, which I guess is a bad sign. Kim struggled for a bit, trying to figure out how much to take out - she even said at one point that she wanted to take the whole 1.0cc out, which I had to practically beg her not to do. 

In the end, she took out 0.5cc and I'm on liquids/soft & mushies through today, plus an ibuprofen regimen to reduce the swelling. 

I think it's going to be a few days before I'm going to be able to get a true read on where I'm at because of all the swelling and irritation. Right now, I feel much better because the general tightness in my chest is gone, and I'm doing fine with liquids - they're going through like nothing. I'm just going to baby things for a few days and then start paying really close attention. 

I'm glad I got the unfill, but I'm sad to think about how the weight loss isn't going to be so stellar. But in the end, it's more important to keep the band & my body healthy than it is to have quick, awesome weight loss, so I feel like I did the right thing. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday Weigh In and Thoughts on My Fill

Last Week: 245.2 lb
This Week: 239.6 lb
Loss: 5.6 lb

Yes, you read that right. Five point six pounds. And after struggling for weeks and weeks bouncing up and down the same few numbers on the scale, surprise! Here are the 230s! Which puts me this many pounds down from my HNPR weight:


On one hand, I'm super stoked to have lost that much, and super stoked to be in the 230s, which my brain just isn't quite registering yet. On the other hand, this fill is STILL rough. I made it through lunch yesterday without an issue, but can't say the same for dinner. Nothing stayed down. A little while later, I tried some cereal because {1} I was hungry, dammit, and {2} I just wanted to chew something. The cereal slid right through, as I had hoped it would, which was such a relief that I really had to work to limit myself.

If I'm honest with myself, I think I need a tiny unfill. Maybe 0.2 cc. At the same time, though, I'm enjoying the benefits of being where I am. I haven't been snacking nearly as much - partly because I'm just not hungry, and partly because I'm scared to death that whatever I choose to snack on will make me miserable in five minutes. I haven't been eating breads, pastas, rice, etc. because I'm afraid to. And knowing I'm teeter tottering along the red line has made me super cautious as I eat (which I should be anyway, but am not the best at remembering). So there ARE good habits that are being forced upon me by this restriction. And there are also not-so-great consequences, like the fear and possibility of PBing up every single meal. (Which mentally makes me feel bulimic, and that's definitely not the mindset I should get from the band.)

I just know that I need to make a decision soon, because I've been told that if I go in for an unfill within 7 days of a fill, it won't cost me anything (I haven't tested this out yet, and am skeptical, so I guess we'll see). So I have to go back before Saturday if I'm going to do it. And what I want to do is just say, "oh, well, let's see how lunch goes.", and then if lunch goes fine, "let's see how dinner goes", and I'll just keep doing that until Friday night when a free unfill isn't an option anymore. I just need to decide, but I don't want to. I don't want to give up good weight loss numbers and go back to jumping around the scale for weeks on end. But I also don't want to PB every other meal and be hungry, but miserable at the thought of eating anything.

I just want to make smart decisions. What's best for my band, my body, my bank account, etc. It's just not an easy decision to make. I don't want to go back and get some taken out, only to need it back in a couple weeks and have to pay another $75 to get what I already had.

And now I'm rambling and talking in circles. So I'll take that as a sign that I need to end this and just hit "publish" and let all my wonderful bloggy pals comment to help me figure all this out. GO!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Two Things...

ONE) I can't believe I forgot to send some blog love to my dear Cheri at Staying In The Pink. She's joining the banded sisterhood today, so please stop by and send her some love!

TWO) I was able to (mostly) eat lunch! I'm currently completely obsessed with Panera, and have been getting their Classic salad (no onions!) plus Chicken with the sweet, sweet nectar of the gods that is the Honey Tangerine Dressing. I ate super slowly, finished most of the chicken, and ate probably only about 1/2 cup of the greens total. And I had two teeeny tiny pinches of the inside of the baguette. But I was able to eat! I started feeling a tiny bit stuck after about 5 minutes of eating, but just waited for a few minutes and it passed. And, rather unfortunately, I've just discovered that my band has ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM letting Whoppers (as in the malted milk balls, not the Burger King sandwich, eww) slide right down. I'm cutting myself off. Right now. (Okay, I just popped one more in, but seriously. Right now.)


Fill No. 4 (A really long post.)

Holy moly, chickadees. This fill has been an experience.

A tiny bit of background: my surgeon used to be a private practice. Shortly after having my surgery, he joined a large, university-based group. So now, a lot of things are done "centrally" through the group, like making appointments, etc. Last week, he moved his office to a different building in the hospital/surgery center/medical building complex that they've been in. Previously, the office was in a section of the complex that was similar to a strip mall type set-up, where each doctor's office had it's own outside door and was it's own individual space. Now, they've moved into one of the medical buildings, so you have to walk into the big building and then find the "suite" for your individual doctor.

So on Saturday, I arranged for MFN to watch The Kid and I went to the new building to get my fill. My appointment was at 1:30 and I showed up at 1:20. I walk up to the building doors and...they're locked. I knock, nothing. I do that whole hands covering the sides of your face as you creepily peer into the building thing. Nobody. I notice that there's another set of doors directly across the atrium on the back side of the building - maybe those are unlocked? So I get back in my car, drive around the building to the back side, park, get out, go up to the doors, and...locked. WTF? My next thought is to call the office, so that's what I do. Only, remember how I mentioned that as a part of this new group everything is more centralized? Yep, I get an automated system saying that the group's normal business hours are Monday through Friday, blah blah blah, thank you, good bye.

Again I say, WTF?

Seriously, what do you do in that situation? I know the office is on the second floor, so it's not like I can go all peeping Tom in the windows to try and find somebody. I can't get in the doors, and I can't call. What the hell?

Very luckily, as I found out later, the receptionist had been taking two other women back to their appointments and heard me knocking on the door (Even though she couldn't see me because they were up on the second floor of the open atrium. She could hear me, but couldn't see me) so she came down to let me in. I only had to wait about five minutes. As opposed to the two other women who had just been taken back, who had been waiting and knocking outside for more than an hour, with everyone inside completely oblivious to the fact that the doors were locked. The receptionist and my nurse apparently just thought that those two ladies didn't show up for their fill appointments, and the consensus was that the doors must have automatically locked on a timer because other people were able to get in earlier in the day.

I finished all my paperwork and paid my $75, then sat down to wait for my appointment. At this point, it was already 1:45 - 15 minutes past my original appointment time, and had we been at the old location, I would have been in and out by now. But since the other two ladies waited outside for the entire duration of their appointment times, I now had to wait for both of them to have their fills before it could even be my turn. I finally went back at 2:20, almost an hour past my original appointment time.

My fill was with a different nurse - not the one I prefer to go to. But to be honest, that preference is really based off of "inside tips" from other people who heavily suggested I not let her do my fills. I, personally, didn't have any problem with her on Saturday, so maybe I won't be so selective in the future unless I start to see things that worry me.

I told her about what I've been eating and how my weight isn't going anywhere. She told me that according to their records, I had lost 8 pounds since my last visit in February. Not sure where they're getting those numbers from, because my records show that I had only lost 2.6 pounds in that time. I weighed in at 245.2 fully clothed on her scale.

We settled on 1.0 cc, which was the maximum I was willing to get. She said that since I'm getting up there (I'm now at 10.4 {probably really 10.5cc) in my 14cc band) I would probably start getting 0.5cc or 0.2cc fills after this one. And that's FINE BY ME. Oh, and if you're Lap Band Gal's friend on FB, you'll remember some recent conversation about a photo she posted of a recent fill where her surgeon didn't wear gloves to administer it. My nurse didn't wear gloves for my fill on Saturday, either. And I can't remember them wearing gloves any other time. Do yours wear them? Are you grossed out/worried that some don't? I'm not, but now wondering if I should be. LOL.

The fill itself was painless - nothing like last time. She found the port in one stick and was in and out in less than a second. Sah-weet!

However, afterward, this fill has been ridiculous. As I've come to discover, for me, my fills are SUPER tight for the first 2-3 days, then they tend to relax. Well, I think I'm getting close to my maximum comfort zone, because the first two days with this fill have been seriously RED ZONE for me. Saturday, I couldn't even keep down water. Sunday, for lunch, I made it through about 5 spoonfulls of chicken noodle soup and then had to stop. Finally, by Sunday night things were relaxing a little bit and I made it through some protein - a cookout at my Dad & Bonus Mom's house where I had about 1/3 of a hot dog, no bun, in TIIIIIIIIINY bites, a couple bites of hamburger patty with ketchup, no bun, and a few bites of baked beans. Other than eventually having to PB up a bunch of slime, the food never came back.

I felt HORRID yesterday. Dehydrated and exhausted from no calories or protein. Obviously, that's not the way you're supposed to feel with the band. That's obviously RED ZONE behavior. And I'm considering going in for a slight unfill if things don't loosen up today or tomorrow. Like I said, I can tell that things are relaxing a bit because I was able to eat some protein yesterday, and I had a protein shake this morning just fine. We'll see how lunch and dinner go today and then I will make a decision.

I kind of feel like you have to find your red zone in order to find the green zone, you know? Like you have to hit a point where you can say, "WHOA. Too much. That's my limit." so that you can then back it up a tiny bit into the green. I'm not saying you should do crazy fill amounts to try to get red, but that hitting the red, while uncomfortable and unpleasant, is actually pretty helpful in terms of gauging where you're at in the process. I think being red during my initial fill phase tells me that once things settle down, I'll be pretty close to green. Of course, if I'm not able to eat any real food at lunch or dinner today, I'll be going back in to take it down a notch. But for now, we'll see how it goes.

There is ONE thing to say about being in the red: it's conducive to weight loss. I weighed in at 239.8 this morning. Obviously not the optimal, sustainable, or healthy way to go about weight loss with the band, but I'm not gonna lie: seeing the 230s this morning was kind of awesome. I'm sure it will bounce back up a bit once I'm able to eat again, but fleetingly, I'll take it.