Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back on plan

Now that we're back home, I'm back on plan. I'm not real happy about it---I liked eating all my favorite stuff, but it needs to be done. Before this morning, I haven't visited in a while, but I was happy to see its been updated a little since last time. It seems to be a little easier to use now. Maybe it is just me.

Brian got me a new snack today: Newtons Fruit Crisps. Check them out on Hungry Girl's page. I tried apple cinnamon and it was delicious. Its 2 points for 2 bars. I put it in the microwave for 5 seconds and it reminded me of a very skinny apple pie from Burger King or somewhere. Its yummy---you should try it.

Today I'm going to try to do some cooking. If I try anything new that is good, I'll be sure to post it. If you've got any new WW friendly recipes, pass them along.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Too see life through a cats eyes

Sometimes I'd love to view the world through Baxter's eyes. He was all by himself for three days while Brian and I were in PA. After we got home this morning, he spent a few relaxing hours lounging with us. Then he was bombarded with kids. Right now, he's hiding on the top level of his cat condo with a look of fear in his eyes. Brandon and Bella are playing bakery and they are running all over the living room yelling "Boston cream filling" and "would you like chocolate topping on that?" Baxter has no idea what's going on.

Realizing Monday is a government holiday I had to go today and drop off my Lt. paperwork so I can test in two weeks. By the time that was all done, I was smack dab in the middle of Friday DC holiday weekend rush hour with a touch of rain. It was lovely. It took me forever and a day to go just a few miles. Being sleepy, I decided to take a scenic route instead of sitting on 95 staring at the back of a car. I'm glad I did.

So, there was this SUV that passed me in the middle of a downpour. Resting on the rear passenger window was a big white furry dog head. Not only was he not phased by the rain, he looked at me and he was wearing goggles. I was laughing my ass off.
I felt bad for the second dog that entertained me on the way home. I was at a red light and looked to my left to see a dog tied to a car in a parking lot. All the poor little guy wanted to do was Christen a tree trunk with his pee. But, his owner tied his lead about eight inches too short. This dog was trying his hardest to get to the trunk. He stretched the lead until both legs were off the ground. He was barking and twisting and stretching some more. I guess he didn't learn he could pee without the tree. All the work he was doing he could have peed ten times over if he just squatted. The light finally turned green so I don't know if he ever got to pee. I watched him for a good 3-5 minutes trying though.

Poor Bastard cat. Now the kids are reenacting a scene from High School Musical where they drop a tray of food all over each other. Plastic Dairy Queen ice cream cones and cakes have hit the hard floor at least a million times in the last ten minutes. I think the cat has a clock hidden somewhere counting down the minutes til they leave. Or at least go to bed. And its only going to get louder before it gets quieter. Taylor is on her way here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The last few days

We left Tuesday morning to get to my hometown in time for my Grampy's viewing. It was kind of awkward walking in. I've only been to a handful of viewings in my life, and even fewer funerals. I walked in the funeral home with Brian like it was no big deal. My Godfather is the funeral director and always has some sort of smart ass comment. But Tuesday, he came up to me and was very serious and gave his condolences. It was weird to say the least. I shrugged it off like it was no big deal, then walked through the spacious room. I caught a glimpse of my family gathered in a huddle laughing and talking. "This will be no big deal," I thought. Everyone's in a good mood, this will just be a formality. That was until I saw to the right Grampy laying in a gray silver casket. He was dressed nicely in a suit. I think I've only seen him in a suit maybe three times in my life. He looked very peaceful with a rosary in his hands. I was very happy he looked like himself. I've been to a few viewings where people don't even resemble what they looked like alive. His old worn in white Yankees cap was cleaned up as best as it could be and resting at the end of the casket, along side of a new NY Yankees cap and a Don Mattingly baseball card. Everyone knew he loved the Yankees. I guess a guy named Butch who owns the local bar Grampy used to visit would yell, "here comes Mattingly!" when Grampy would walk in. It was only appropriate to have the Mattingly card laying on him. Butch got a kick out of it when he came to pay his respects.

We spent three hours there. There was a good showing. This was the first family member that died where I had to stand in the receiving line or whatever its called. I didn't really like that. Most of the "I'm sorry's" I heard were just as awkward as the "thank you's" I replied back with. It reminded me of my wedding where after I'd thank someone for coming I'd have to turn to one of my older family members to figure out who I just thanked. It was nice running into some people I haven't seen in 10+ years. And two of my closest friends came by to pay their respects. That meant a lot to me.

After the viewing we had a "party" at my parents house. My mom's friends set everything up while we were gone. When we got home there was all kinds of food, desserts, and drinks. Let me tell you, WW went out the window the last few days. The food was so delicious and the desserts were even better. I tried to keep my portions small, but I'm sure even those portions were high in points. I'm not stressing about it. When we get home tomorrow its game on for eating good and working out again. Brian and I have a Body Pump class scheduled for Saturday. (I'll have to tell you the story about the Spin class we did together, later.)

The funeral was yesterday. It was very sad to say goodbye for the last time at the funeral home. The service at the church was very nice. Father Albert is just so sincere and speaks directly to the family. There were a lot of tears shed, but Father had this way to make you feel better. I told Brian its like us going to the counselor and having her view a bad situation in a positive light. We were impressed at just how many people showed up for the service. The nice thing was all the people there were people who actually mean something to one family member or another. Grampy was 89 when he died, so honestly, most of his friends have passed years before. But, it was nice to see my family was supported in the way they were yesterday.

There was a nice buffet luncheon (God, do I miss PA food!) at a local restaurant after the cemetery. We have enough leftovers for the next week I think. We all needed a nap after that. Between being full and the stressful day that was had, everyone was at their breaking point.

Today, I'm meeting mom at Grampy's apartment. We are going through his stuff, really so I can find things that are meaningful to me. I want the "thumbnail" drawings we did. My dad said he found post cards I sent Grampy from school trips. Grampy was a pack rat. He threw nothing away. When we were Seniors in high school, Laura gave me a memory box as a gift. I've continued that tradition having one from high school, college, family stuff and hopefully starting today, one for Grampy. After collecting some stuff, Mom and I are going to a bead shop across the street to make jewelry. My mom is close friends with the owners. Their bead shop, The Portable Playhouse, is a non-profit business that lets hospitalized sick kids make jewelry. They used to just work out of hospitals, but recently opened the bead shop in town. If you are ever looking to donate money just because or in memory of someone, consider this organization.

Things are getting back to normal, today. Closure was definitely had yesterday and now we are picking things up and moving on. It's not going to be easy, especially for my mom, but she'll be okay. She knows both of her parents are with her now in spirit. She has good friends to support her.

Tomorrow, we'll be leaving PA at the crack-ass of dawn. We are headed directly to the kids grandfather's house in time to walk Bella to school. Her first day of kindergarten was Wednesday. We were were scheduled to work so we were going to take her to her second day of school. With all the events of this week we asked her if it was okay to take her on her third day which she was okay with. It will be an early start for us, but its worth it.

Side note, my moms cat is snoring. I've never heard a cat snore. Oh, wow, how could I forget? Yeah, so my dad went out in the garage last night without the lights on and heard some rummaging. Knowing he was the only one supposed to be in the garage there was something wrong. He went snooping around and found a baby skunk. Yeppers, a baby skunk was hiding in a corner of stuff. How the hell do you get a skunk out of the garage? He just turned the lights off and left the door open. We have no idea if it left but we didn't want to get sprayed by stink either. I looked for it this morning (Brian wanted me to get sprayed. Isn't he a nice boyfriend?) but didn't see anything. I'm convinced they sleep during the day. I think he'd be cute to see all little and furry. But then again, I don't want to be sprayed. So, who knows if he really moved out last night. I guess I should do some research to see their normal schedule of sleeping, etc.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'll miss you, Grampy.

Grampy died this morning. I got a message from my mom the other day saying he wasn't doing well in the nursing home. She stayed the day with him and the most he would do was moan slightly when they moved him. Yesterday was pretty much the same. She called me around 1030pm to let me know they were going to meet with hospice this morning to see what they could do to keep him comfortable until he died. This morning around 7, the nursing home called to say he was doing poorly and the family may want to come to be with him. My mom and dad and my Uncle Larry and Aunt Monica all came to his side. My mom said Grampy opened his eyes a little and she told him they all were with him and it was okay. He closed his eyes and died a few minutes later.

After the past few months of ups and downs with Grampy, I was concerned about my mom and how she would hold up. I'm impressed, she's doing much better than I thought she would. On the phone last night, she told me just talking about hospice made her feel like a huge weight was lifted off her. There would be no more wondering if they were doing the right thing. Everyone knew he wasn't getting better and it was only a matter of time til he passed. The new goal was to keep him comfortable.

I think the other comfort for my mom was that Grampy was ready to go. He apparently told my Aunt Monica he was scared to die because he's hated God for so long for taking my Grandma Jeannie. I think she was only 40, maybe 45, when she died of colon cancer. They arranged for our priest to come by his room, while Grampy was still lucid, to let him know it was okay to die and there was to be no fear of his past thoughts about God. Something happened with a new (bad) secretary at the church and the message never made it to Father Albert. A girl my mom went to high school with heard about the situation, went to 430pm mass that night and all but grabbed the priest by the hand afterwards to make sure he visited Grampy. By the time Father got to Grampy's bedside, he was already unresponsive. But Father still prayed with him and anointed him. Mom told me a few days or weeks ago Grampy asked her to take "one last walk down the road to Praise the Lord." (We think he had a stroke in the middle of all this so although he was of right mind, he used wrong words. Road/street meant the hallway.) At that point he was unable to walk, but he held my mom's hand for about a half hour. Then he looked at her, said something to the effect of "I'm ready. It will be okay" and let go. We think it was then that he was ready.

Grampy was Grampy. There was no one like him. First and foremost, the Yankees came before everything. When a game was on TV or the radio, all bets were off. Don't even try to talk to him. He used to sit in his chair to watch them on TV. Every few years we had to buy him a new Lazy Boy because he would wear out the arm cushions from rubbing them when he got nervous or mad at his team.

He was kind of a loner. Not because he was a hermit, but because he didn't have time for the drama most lives consist of. He'd come to our house for a holiday visit, but when he was ready to go he was ready to go. There were no frills about him. He by no means showed off or bragged about himself. He knew when he did good and he didn't need someone else to tell him that. He built furniture like a champ. He was cheap. No sense in spending money on lumber when you could break apart pallets or some old wood cabinet and salvage the wood. Grampy has built me multiple pieces of furniture. The nightstands in the kids rooms, a headboard, a buffet table, a coffee table and a little cocktail table. Before refinishing the cocktail table it was really the kids table where he used to draw with me. Grampy was an undercover artist. There were always doodles on every piece of paper around his apartment. He used to take construction paper, take his thumbnail and "draw" me a picture. I used to trace the imprint of his nail drawing so I could "draw" the picture.

His kitchen was like a diner. My family lived in his apartment with him while our house was being built. My parents business was in the storefront below. Every night at 5pm, there was a home cooked meal on the table. There was no such thing as frozen fries. He cut them by hand and fried them on the back porch. His coffee was black as black could be. Don't touch his mug though. I don't think he ever drank out of another mug in his life. He could turn the nastiest piece of meat into a delicacy with a tap. The joke was he tapped his meat twice with his fingertips before he cooked it. The taps made it delicious. Steaks, burgers, didn't matter. It all was delicious. And no matter what it was he made, he never ate with us. "You guys just eat." The white swinging door was shut and Grampy sat in the Lazy Boy and watched the news.

He was in love with Grandma Jeannie. I think its been 35 years or so since she died and he never showed interest in anyone else. He never remarried. Grandma Jeannie could sing and dance and play the piano. Everyone loved her. He told me stories about how they'd go the local bar and guys would come up to him while he was drinking a bar and ask if it was okay if they danced with Jeannie. He never cared. He liked that it was his wife that everyone wanted to dance with.

This may come off as rude to any of my family that may read this blog but I think he was my favorite person. He wasn't over lovey, but when he saw you, a big smile said everything you ever wanted to hear. He wasn't pushy or hovering. He gave you the perfect amount of attention. You knew when he had enough he had enough in general, it wasn't because of you. He got so excited to build me furniture. But most importantly he may have been my quietest my strongest supporter. He never came to any of my basketball games, but he'd say, "I read in the paper you did good at your game, I'm happy." When college came along he was just happy I was furthering my education. It didn't matter where or what I was going to school for. Just as long as I studied and tried my best. I got a Medal of Valor through work a few years back and he wasn't at my ceremony. But later on, he told me short and sweet how proud he was of me. He gained nothing from our successes. He didn't advertise or brag about us to anyone else like some people do to show off . He made sure we knew how he felt about us. No one else mattered. He was proud I worked and earned money and had nice things without going overboard. I was scared to death to tell him I was getting a divorce years ago, but he wasn't mad. He told me I had to do what I had to do to be happy and if its something we both agreed on then he was okay with it. I think he's the only one that I genuinely believed when that was said to me. People didn't have to agree with it. I just wanted them to support me.

I didn't know until a few years ago, but I have determined my dream guy is Grampy. Ok, not in an incestuous kind of way but a way that he'd tell you what he thinks, he's supportive, you knew he loved you and he was so in love with you there was no one else around. I feel that Grampy looked at Grandma Jeannie was "the one" for him. Its been 35 years and he still is in love with Grandma Jeannie. Ironically coming from a religious family, I've jumped off that wagon and have questioned religion a lot. I have no real view of what happens after you die. But, I pray so hard that he's with Grandma Jeannie again and not angry with God anymore.

I thought I'd be okay with this day. He didn't know it but I said my good-bye to him while he was in the hospital. Ironically, I said it when I did because the Yankees game was about to come on. There were priorities, you know. :) I'm glad he's in peace. I'm glad he's not sick anymore. He didn't want the hospital or the nursing home. He wanted his chair and a TV and a good cup of coffee. I pray he has all of that now and Grandma Jeannie. While we're down here on Earth crying and realizing we just lost something we can never get back, now its time for us to stop being selfish and let Grandma Jeannie have something she hasn't had in decades. Her "one."

So, Grampy, where ever it is you are now, please continue to be supportive. Send us a message every once in a while to let us know you're thinking about us. (He's already starting it. While I was typing this post, Brian was next to me watching a show on Travel Channel or something. I posted it, closed the computer and watched with him. Then I said, "Holy shit." Brian looked at me funny. I explained that in my blog I asked Grampy to send a message every once in a while. The building they were discussing on TV was called "Hootenannnie's." Grampy used to say that word all the time when we were younger. At the time, not having a huge vocabulary, I thought it was a word he made up. Later in life I found out it wasn't, but everytime I heard it I thought of him.)

I love you.

And with that, I want to end this with a smile (well, it will make me smile anyway). Grampy wasn't much of a singer, but there was one song he sang to us all the time when we were little. It was silly so we thought he made it up. That was til last year when I found out it was in fact a real song. It's a Polka called Too Fat.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maybe I need to focus on what I did do

I worked out today. Ok, so it wasn't the most strenuous workout I've ever had but it was a few minutes more than the nothing I would have normally done. Brian and I went all over God's green Earth today running errands. Around 5pm, we decided to go the pool at the gym. Once there, Brian got a bug up his ass and signed in for a cycling class. What did I do? I kept my fat ass planted in a pool lounge chair. I mean, come on, I was studying my General Orders for work. I was getting smarter. Because of that, I now know exactly what to do if I need to plan a fire department funeral. I sat poolside for 45 minutes and started to feel guilty. Brian was working out and there I was baking in the warm sun. Just then, I felt a hand in my hair and standing there was Brian, slimy and gross. And smelly. But, with a huge smile on his face. "I loved it. I'm coming back Sunday morning!" Ugh. That was not what I wanted to hear. I mean it was. Good for him. But he might as well just put me in a ditch and shovel "guilt dirt" all over me. Then he asked me what I was doing. Um...studying? Then I think he asked if I was going to workout. I think that may have been when my hand swiped across my lard ass and I heard myself say, "yeah, I'll study on the treadmill or something." Did I just say that outloud? That was supposed to be an inside voice. That was what I should do, not what I wanted to do. His reply? "Ok, meet you in a half hour." Half hour? You know how many seconds are in a half hour? Like a million. This was going to be bad. I was hoping the gym would suddenly close or something. Gas leak, water main break, power outage. Yeah, power outage. Treadmills don't work without electricity. Nope, all lights were lit when I walked in.

I went in the pool locker room to change. Bad call on choosing that locker room instead of walking upstairs to the female locker room. Someone had a serious case of shitty diaper. Even the toddler who owned the diaper said so from the stall. Mom had a frantic tone of voice trying to yell to her 4-5 year old daughter hanging out on the bench in the changing area to "hand Mommy extra wipes, RIGHT NOW!" Guess Mommy wasn't expecting anything exciting poopy man's drawers. So, then, there I and stinky pants' sister. Awkward. This little girl is staring me down. Like a 13 year old boy would be but not quite as excited. I'm trying very subtly to change around her. I kept covering myself was just awkward. I turned to take my bathing suit top off and put my bra on. I swear she was sliding over on the bench to be nosy. Go away!! I digress.

So, after changing the power was still on so I had no excuse. I got up on the treadmill with my big binder of General Orders and started trekking away. I was impressed. Well, until I almost fell off the back of the treadmill because my feet obviously weren't moving as fast as the belt, but after a minor adjustment I was all better. I picked a good speed, a good incline...I even started to sweat. Then Brian showed up and started talking to me. I, not paying attention, accidently hit the stop button on the left rail. Then I couldn't get it to start again and I started to cuss at it. That's when Brian said, "ok, I think you can go home. You got sweaty, you did more than you would have sitting outside." And he was right.

In counseling I'm learning all about myself and why I am the way I am. I was raised to do things well. I was raised with serious consequences if I didn't do what I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do them. (I was seriously grounded an entire school year once. Laura can vouch for me on that one.) Through my counseling we've determined I expect to be good at things. If it doesn't happen I quit. If I'm average, I have to be better than average. Its just the way I was taught by my family. You never know just how many lessons your parents "teach" you and how they affect your life. I hate the gym because I don't feel I'm good enough at it. Or, if I don't do what I'm "supposed to do" (ex. 30 min of cardio) whats the sense in doing it at all? Or, I'll schedule for a time when I can do the full 30 minutes (which never really happens). So, this is one of those things that instead of beating myself up over what I didn't do, I have to be proud of what I did do. Today I swam for 15 minutes and did 12 minutes of incline @ 4mph on the treadmill.

Be sure to read Sunday or Monday. Brian's trying to persuade me to take a cycling class with him. I'm kind of against it, but at the same time I think I should try new things. Especially since he had a big smile on his face after completing it. And, he didn't outwardly say, "Sarah, you'll hate it" which is something he'll do if he knows I'll hate something. I'm sure if I do it my ass will feel like its going to fall off, but maybe that is what needs to be done to lose the "lard ass" reference. After all, I do have about 10-15 lbs to lose before November's physical. WW alone isn't cutting it.

Speaking of procrastinating at the gym, I've now officially procrastinated enough on studying. I think Section 3 of my General Orders will be my bedtime story.

Patio update.

After a month and a half, the patio will be officially done tomorrow. We have fought back and forth with them I think everyday. We had the company come out last week to take pictures of the tiles that weren't planted down. That was when we found out the guy that owns the company (his wife came out and ratted on him) has no idea how to do stone work. He told Brian he subcontracted out because it was summer and he was busy. Anyway, they came out and fixed some of the stones but didn't do anything to secure the extremely lose tile on the step to the grass. Brian wrote a nastygram to them and yesterday they came out and fixed it but didn't "grout" the tile work that was done the other day. Ugh. Its so frustrating. Brian called and left a message yesterday and they are coming out tomorrow morning. Conveniently I will be working. So, Brian will be left to fight face to face with them. This whole process has been ridiculous, but we are happy with how it turned out in the long run. Brian's been working on rehabbing the privacy fence and built two little flower beds to either side of the step to the grass. We're planting flowers there and in the large existing flower bed, we are going to copy off Sydney and plant some vegetables and fruit next year. Hopefully it will save us some money next year. Produce has been crazy expensive around here this summer. Off the privacy fences we're going to have some flowers hanging. He's also talking about building a shed next year to hold the bikes and lawn stuff.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The excitement for today.

I think after many months of searching, I've found my "thing." And, I'm a little embarrassed to say what it is. Snood. Its this puzzle game online and its addicting. I shouldn't say its just Snood. At work yesterday, bored out of our minds, my partner and I found all kinds of games to help me become completely mindless and assist in any procrastination that needs to take place.

There was a big event in the neighborhood today. The neighbors house caught on fire. There's a firehouse less than a 1/2 mile down the street, so we always hear sirens going by our development. Today, they were particularly loud. I, being a smart ass, told Brian, who's ears were perking up to them, they were parking in our back yard. He yelled in from the patio, "yeah, they are, the neighbors house is on fire." Yeah right. That was til I went out and saw black smoke coming out their front door. We turned into those people we hate while we are working. We stood and gawked and watched the firemen run around and do what they do. Brian was critiquing them and trying to explain equipment to me. I was out there wishing I changed my shirt from what I was wearing when I went to bed this morning. (The fire happened minutes after we woke up from our nap.) I was wearing a Sinai Emergency Department EMS week t-shirt that I bought at Goodwill for $1.50. Brian had to point that out for me. I do have to say, to stand and watch a fire, it was great weather. The only place I'd rather be is at the pool. The fire was put out quickly and Brian went over to offer any clean up help this evening. They said they are getting it professionally cleaned tomorrow. Thankfully they didn't lose their house.

Other than that excitement, we've had an uneventful day. I went to the eye doctor which I've been postponing for way too long. I think my doctors a little weird, but he tries very hard to be personable. I'm impressed that for seeing me once a year, he always remembers my job and asks specific stuff about where I'm stationed. And as I sit down he always says he likes my hair. I'm starting to think he says that to everyone. The only other person I know that goes there is Brian and he isn't really sporting any hair to be complimented on.

Ok, its movie night tonight. I can't even remember what movie we are watching, but I hope its good.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The weekend

I don't think I'll be weighing in this week, as I work tomorrow. I'm not sure I want to anyway. I had a not so good week. Not like I ate everything in site, but a day or two into it I stopped counting points. My uniform pants are still loose, so I've got that going for me, but I just lost track of journaling. I started again today so everything should be fine. I have to figure out what we're doing for supper today. I need some leftovers for lunch tomorrow at work.

We had a nice weekend. The three kids came over and we spent Saturday at the pool. Its amazing how good of a swimmer Bella has become. She swam underwater the entire width of the pool. I tricked her. I told her to swim to me right before she went underwater. When she started I was standing in the middle. I kept backing up til I was against the opposite wall. When she finally caught me she was so excited to see that she made it all the way across. I was very happy for her. She sometimes gets pushed aside by Brandon's milestones, but this time she did something before he did. You could see just how happy she was. All she wanted to do for the rest of the day was swim back and forth with me. Brian helped Brandon with his swimming. You could tell he was jealous Bella was doing better. Its all part of growing up. He's just used to being the one that does everything before her which leads to him usually being better than her. Taylor, being the little guppy she is, just kept trying to swim between between my legs, as well as Brian's, and trying to flip us over. Oh, and we had our pizza lunch there too. I remembered to put the pizza in the car instead of on it this time. After the pool, the kids found their friend Kylee from next door and they were in and out of the house for an hour. We are actually happy they found her. Its nice having friends around for them. Most of the summer, the girls next door have been staying at their grandparents, so the kids haven't had their friends to play with. My friend Missy came for dinner, as well. It was nice to catch up and to spend a few hours with her. We really should do it more often. By the end of the night the kids were exhausted. We were happy. The girls slept in til 9am on Sunday. We should run them ragged every time we have them just for that purpose!!

Sunday, Brian wanted to go on a family hike and go to the library. Honestly, I didn't feel like a hike. Not because I didn't want to walk, but because I've already been destroyed by bug bites and I didn't feel like getting more in the woods. Brian mentioned Brandon didn't want to go either, so we decided we'd split the kids up. Brian owed the girls a "daddy/daughter" day which meant it was Brandon's turn to go out with me. Brian and the girls went on their hike and to Friendly's for lunch. I'm not sure if they ever made it to the library. Brandon and I went to Putt-Putt Fun Center to play mini-golf and hang out in the arcade. Well, that was after our little fiasco.

Baxter was in a cranky mood Saturday, so Sunday AM, I decided to open the bottom half of the kitchen window for him. He laid in it all morning. Brian and the girls left and then an hour later, we were ready to leave. I went in the kitchen for something and asked Brandon if he saw Baxter. He said no. I looked to the window to see if he was laying there and the screen was pushed out. I didn't think anything of it because, well, I don't know why. Then I realized Brandon said he didn't see Baxter, and Baxter wasn't coming running so I opened the front door and there was no Baxter. No where. I started calling his name and I couldn't find him. Surprisingly I didn't freak out. I knew he had claws so he could fight if he needed to. I prayed he didn't end up in traffic, and I know he loves me to death so he'd have to come home. :) I was more indecisive about what I should do....look for the cat or take Brandon on our day trip. Just when I was about to give up on the cat, I called his name one more time and he jumped out of the bushes. He sat on the neighbors porch and started pawing at their storm door. Then started the chase between he and I. He being smaller and faster was able to maneuver through bushes and weeds while I just looked like a jackass to my neighbors across the street chasing after something that no one can even see. I left the front door open, so Baxter finally got back inside on his own. Ugh, that cat will be the death of me---remember the episode where I thought I lost him in the air duct while I was painting.

Back to our day. In the middle of my cat search drama, I forgot to grab my wallet. So after we drove 25 minutes up to the Putt Putt place, I had no money. Luckily Brian was 10 minutes away so we met so he could give me some cash. Brandon and I finally played our game, in which he beat me. He played some arcade games and after that we had a phenomenal lunch at the Chinese buffet. Brandon picked it, I would have chosen a lovely salad bar or something. Ha. He did in fact pick it and it was delicious. (That was his second choice. His first choice was Bonefish Grill. What six year old picks that? When I was six, I would have picked Burger King or Zack Periwinkle's. That was our Chuck E. Cheese.) We both were so full afterwards and I don't think we really ate all that much. We headed home after lunch and Brian took the kids home. The rest of our day consisted of a nap, the Olympics, and a little bit of studying. Overall it was a very nice weekend.

Today, though, is an ugly Monday. Ugh, so much stuff to get done. We are working on it all and have been fairly productive thus far. We're trying to make it to the pool today, so I guess that is the motivation to get stuff done early.

I know I've posted and a few other people have posted about their skin breaking out. I've had a lot of issues with it over the past few months. I decided to invest in Clinique's Acne Solutions and its wonderful. I started using it 3 or 4 days ago and its wonderful. In just that little bit of time, I can tell a HUGE difference. It was a little expensive ($32 for 4-6 weeks work of product) but in my book, its totally worth it. That was the smaller size package. I didn't want to spend $50-60 on the stuff if I didn't know if it was going to work. But it seems to be working. Along with starting the face wash stuff, I started buying their makeup again. I definitely think its worth it. Its a little more expensive, but in reality its probably not as much as all the crap I've bought and never used. At least I know this stuff matches my face. Look into it, you might be surprised. I was.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weigh in #2.....

was a success. Even with eating 36 extra points this week and no activity really to speak of. I'm down 1.4 lbs which puts me at 4.2 total. Its amazing how losing only 4 pounds can make you feel so much better. Mentally its a great mini achievement but when it comes to my big girl uniform pants, thats a whole other story. They're loose. Not fall off loose, but they aren't quite the sausage casings they were last week. And in bigger news, I was able to go back to tighten my belt back up to the old hole. (Is that what its called anyway? I'm having a brain fart.) Whatever its called, I'm happy I'm back to the old one. I was even able to roll over in bed and not have my pants get stuck halfway up my butt. (I'm telling you those polyester pants are evil, especially when you add in the friction of the inside of a flannel sleeping bag.)

I'm debating how often I should do my weight loss pictures. Every week? Every month? What's normal?

Wedding bells are ringing

I just found out an hour ago my sister is getting married. On August 30th. This year. This month.

They were supposed to get married next July. Things were getting prepared and I thought were right on track. Apparently it wasn't and stuff was getting stressful, so they decided to cancel the wedding. Not the marriage, just the wedding. I knew they wanted to get married soon with a much scaled down event, but I wasn't sure how soon. I gave my parents house a call this morning and found out August 3oth is the big day. That, of course, falls on my hell weekend which means I have to work 11pm Friday until 3pm Saturday then Sunday for 24 hours. Not that its an easy shift to fill, its especially not easy on Labor Day weekend. Wish me luck.

Oh, BTW, anyone in the market for a David's Bridal terracotta colored dress? It will be new and here on Sept 1st. I can't even get my moneys' worth out of it and wear it to the wedding. How ironic.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Spiderman down

Sometimes I love my job. This morning we got dispatched for a possible pedestrian struck on a major highway. The text of the call read "male wearing full Spiderman costume on the side of the road." A later supplement to the call said, "advised he's laying in the grass, moving a bit. Looks injured." We responded along with a host of other units. My partner and I wondered why in the hell a guy would be dressed up in a costume, but we've seen stranger things, such as people legally changing their name to that of superheroes, so we didn't question it too much. Actually, in a sick, twisted way, we wanted to run a superhero. How awesome would it be to treat someone in a spandex outfit claiming to be Spiderman? A few minutes later, we were all put in service. "State police on scene. Says its a stuffed animal. Place all units in service." How do you confuse a stuffed animal and a man? And to go as far as to say he's moving a little, looks injured? Its hard to say if its a prank or if someone driving 75 mph really thought it was a guy. Only here. Well, then there was the guy a few years back who circumcised himself, although he was already circumcised. That was interesting. I need to start a journal or something.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Still OP

I'm still on plan. Ok, so all of my 35 extra points have been used up for the week, but I'm still on plan. I have 6 points left for today, so hopefully I can make that work. Luckily I'll be at work tomorrow so I will only eat what I bring. Next week, I have to start to work out. This week has been a little crazy and I didn't get up there. Yesterday Brian and I spent ALL day cleaning the house. That had to count towards a few activity points, but I didn't count them since I'm not really sure how many I earned. But, I'm quite certain I ate them all up last night. We met Laura and Blaze at Amicci's in Little Italy last night. It was very good and nice to go out with another couple. Friday, Brian and I went to a Cajun restaurant Friday and then sat out at a free outdoor concert. It was very nice, as well. So, with those two nights out, I kind of indulged a little more than if we ate at home. Luckily, we're on a budget now, so there's definitely a lot more cooking going on at our house which leads to less temptation to eat bad. My weigh in day is supposed to be tomorrow but like I said, we're working, so I guess I'll try to make it (on time) to the meeting on Tuesday and see if any progress has been made. Like I said, this week will bring the gym. Hopefully with two good OP weeks, I'll be pretty motivated to earn some activity points.

I mentioned we cleaned. Holy hell, did we. Its amazing how much dirt your house can hide. And its amazing how much better your place can look when its all cleaned up. We cleaned everything. Baseboards, under the bed, behind the furniture, was wonderful. (I like to clean when you see progress as you go.) I even organized the closets, linens, laundry, the basement, laundry room. We still have a little more stuff to finish. Right not Brian's outside painting the patio furniture we've decided to recycle instead of buy new. Its really turning out great and saved us a lot of money. I'm still having a hard time finding cushions for the outdoor loveseat. No one seems to have them---only chaise lounge cushions and chair cushions that are too small. So, we'll see how that works out in the upcoming weeks. The patio project is STILL ongoing. I'm not even going to get myself started on that. We're fighting with the patio people. I pray its over soon.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I rock.

I have been so on plan its not even funny. I did finally break down and let Brian take my "before" pictures. I told him I'm not posting them on here until I feel all better about myself and will be proud of my weight loss accomplishments. We decided the best thing was to take them in a bathing suit. The more I think about it, I'm sure Brian had different reasons for that than I, but whatever. I wanted to see how my body actually changes during this process. I just pray to God there are changes!!!

I love the water weight you lose when you start a new meal plan. I have no idea what the scale says but I've been peeing like a race horse. This is the first time in MONTHS that my big girl uniform pants have been baggy. I'm very, very okay with that. Its bad enough to be at work for 24 hours, but to be in sausage casings made of navy polyester...yeah, not good. Add the DC heat and humidity. I might just catch myself on fire from friction.

We are going out to an outdoor concert tonight. We've been talking about it forever, but tonight we're really going to do it. Its free and right down the street from the house. Tomorrow we are going to meet Laura and Blaze in Baltimore's Little Italy for dinner. I can't wait. I love the food there. I just hope between tonight and tomorrow I remember to keep myself on track.

My new fascination? Raccoons. I feel like I've been at work way too much over the past week. (I'm currently on my 34th hour straight as I type this.) Anyway, outside our bay is a dumpster. And the other night I saw a raccoon trying to get himself a little dinner. Then there were two baby raccoons trying to do the same, but they were too short to jump inside the dumpster. It wasn't for a lack of trying. Their little legs were kicking....oh, I'm a sucker to an animal with fur. So, anyway, I was all excited the other night because these 3 raccoons are sitting out back munching on some Popeye's chicken and Ledo's pizza when this way too skinny ghetto cat rolls up. I felt like I was watching live Animal Planet. The cat zones in on the raccoon family and starts to stalk them. I know Bastard Cat does that to me all the time, so I was hopeful there would be a fight. Not because I want to see animals get hurt, but because I want to see what cats do in nature, not what my cat does because someone in white socks just walked by. So kitty sneaks up and gets nose to nose with the raccoon. I don't know if they had some sort of silent conversation, but the cat just looked to the left then high-tailed it out of there. I'm was so disappointed. No fight. I've only seen one raccoon since. Everyone thinks I'm making it up, I think. I think I just need to go home. My entertainment is raccoons. I do have to say part of me wants to go pick it up and give it a hug, but they probably smell bad and I'm mildy afraid it will latch onto my leg and gnaw on it for a while.

I guess I've procrastinated enough. I need to get back to studying. Studying for this promotional test sucks. I feel like I've studied so much but the other part of me feels like I know nothing at all. I asked Brian for a few study dates. We'll see how that goes. Last time I asked him a question we ended up in fight with lots of expletives being said. Ha, it gave us something to talk about at the counselors though. Guess we have to continue working on that communications stuff.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm a little bit of an idiot.

I was determined to get to my weigh-in this AM. I told Brian I wasn't getting out of bed, but I finally did after a little encouragement. I got ready and drove 20 minutes to my meeting. I got maybe 3 minutes away and realized my meetings are on Monday's. Today is Tuesday. Ugh. Luckily this place is a WW Center, so they had a meeting at 11:30. They let me in and weighed me but I missed the meeting. Oh, well. At least I weighed in and I was down 2.8 lbs. I was very okay with that. I'm taking this very seriously. I went to Wal-Mart afterwards and stocked up on food for the next week or two or hopefully three for all the money I spent.

I told Brian I'd like him to take weekly pictures of me. I'm kind of embarrassed to do that, but I think if I can see my progress, little by little, that will help keep me on track.

Now I've got all this food and have no idea what to make for supper. Ugh.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Minor editing....

I just reread my last post. Change the 2nd postcard to the 3rd. The half naked Brad Pitt lookalike is not the reason why I don't want to stay in a hotel.


Every Sunday, I read the new postcards from PostSecret. I already have issues staying in hotels. Reading the second postcard now makes me never want to stay in one again.

So much to write, I don't even know where to start.....

This weekend we took Bella and Brandon to my hometown for an annual festival. We got there just in time Friday night to see the fireworks. Saturday, we stopped by Laura's flip house to see the progress that has been made. Laura and Blaze most definitely have a lot of work ahead of them, but it does look good. I hope I can see the final project in person. Afterwards, we went to my mom's store to see her as well as save a seat out front for the parade. I swear, I think Bella and Brandon liked the store better than the parade. They sat at the counter and "worked" for my mom. They wanted customers in the worst way. They all met the "kitty" of the store--a fat cat named Snickers that thinks she owns the place. Most of her time is spent in the storefront window watching people walk by. I guess while Brian and I went up to check out some of the food vendors, Bella went shopping, because we came back to find her wearing a crocheted "corsage" pin and had a cute new purse. Of course, since Taylor couldn't be there (she was with her family in Ocean City for the week) Bella went shopping for her. Taylor will soon be the proud owner of a fuschia satin purse. Brandon had a new American flag pin and a new snazzy visor.

When the parade started at 1pm, the kids wouldn't go outside because they wanted to work. My mom eventually lied to them and said the store closed during the parade. Brandon didn't get the memo my mom was lying to him. As he walked out and my mom wasn't looking, he flipped the sign to CLOSED. After the parade was over, my mom couldn't figure out why no one was coming shopping til an old lady said, "well, your store is closed." Back to the parade.....we all sat out front with my Nana and Pop, sister, and Uncle Jer and my 10 year old cousin, Brad. We quickly found out that besides the Santa parade we take them to every November at a nearby shopping complex, Bella and Brandon have never been to a parade before. They were amazed that people threw candy at them and gave them bags of goodies and balloons.

Brandon quickly attached himself to my Nana, which I know made her feel good. My family doesn't get to see them very often....actually, this may have only been the 3rd or 4th time---and since they aren't biological grandkids and kinda got thrown into three new great-grandkids, I don't think they really knew how to act around them. But anyway, Brandon and Bella were attached to Nana, Pop, my mom, and sister the entire trip. Brandon wanted my Nana (in her 80s) to go in the fun house with him. I don't think he realized she barely got up the hill--there was no way she was going in a funhouse. I think Bella just about peed herself with excitement when my Pop slipped her $5 in her hand so she could go play games. They both won goldfish at the ball toss stand. (Unfortunately, Brandon's fish didn't make it through the night.) Nana took all the kids for ice cream, so she definitely was their new best friend. When they had enough fun, all they wanted to do was go back to the store to work. (I can only imagine what the kids mother thinks of our trip....when they called her to say good night, they didn't mention the parade, but said "we worked at Sarah's mommy's store!")

Brandon played again in the mud and waited patiently for his "friend," Corey, my parents 7 year old neighbor, to come help him build a new mud road. Corey never made it over, but Bella and Brandon did end up swimming with him at his pool. We eventually had to force them to go to bed, which was already past their normal bedtime.

Each morning they got up and help Leigh and my mom make breakfast. They drew up personalized placemats for each person eating and yesterday they made handmade menus. The rest of the time, they were on a constant search for my mom's cats which were pretty smart and hid as much as possible. So, overall the weekend was very good. The kids didn't want to leave---they wanted to stay one more day, but I had to be back for work at 7pm.

In other news, my sister is canceling her wedding. Not the marriage, just the wedding. They just want to be married before Jimi is deployed again and don't want all the hassle of stressing out over wedding plans and money issues. I totally agree with them. I think if I Brian and I ever marry we'll be doing it in front of Elvis in Vegas. Ok, so I'm not really sure about Elvis, but it won't be a huge event. Weddings don't create a marriage. I am a little bummed that a week or two ago I ordered my bridesmaid dress---I don't think the order can be canceled. That's $150 I could use right now, but at the same time, I totally understand why they are doing what they are doing, so I'm not too worked up over losing out on $150.

I know I've posted this ten times over, but today I'm starting over on WW. Last week I weighed in at a new meeting, but to be quite honest, I didn't count a single point. I think I just wanted a reference point to "start" at. But yesterday, after coming home from PA I weighed myself at home and I was 181. Holy hell. 181. I haven't been that heavy in 4 years. Times up. I gotta get crackin. I have my physical coming up in a few months and I have to be 165 or less. Plus, the big girl pants are getting snug and I'm one of those weirdo people who think they look smaller than they are, til you see your picture....yeah, that happened this weekend and it wasn't pretty from my eyes. So, everything is new. New meeting, new leader, even a new login name. I want nothing from the old me. I can't fall back on the "I lost 70 lbs" thing anymore. That was years ago and I have to work on a new goal. I started journaling again. Its been so long since I've done that. I didn't realize what bad habits I've fallen back into. Like driving home from work this AM I wanted so badly to stop a Panera bread. Just as I got to the exit I remembered today was my start over day and I went home and had 3/4 c of Capn Crunch w/ skim milk and Brian made me two silver dollar pancakes because the kids wanted me to eat with them. I'll probably sleep thru lunch so I'm not worried about that. For supper I'm back to cooking. Brian's working OT tonight so I may cook for a few nights. I forgot how much I liked that WW cookbook from a few months back. I have to get back into some points friendly recipes.

I have to say, this is the most motivated I've been in a long time. I feel awesome. I have that attribute a lot of it to my medicine and sleep. I actually WANT to go to the gym today. How crazy is that? I'm hoping this is a new me and it will continue.

I think that is all my updates. Oh, the patio. Still not done. Well, the patio is, but the fill for the yard isn't here yet, nor has the patio people returned to fix the step. Brian's now has the mission to contact them and ream their asses out. This is ridiculous. Today marks week number 4. So much for a 3-4 day job.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Progress has been made, finally.

Progress has been made with the patio. Our steps from the house to the patio have been put in and they look good. We are going to have to stain the pickets for the railing but that's no big deal. The patio looks much "neater" than it did before. Its nothing spectacular, overall, but its what worked with our budget. We got to keep our flowerbed and Brian came up with a good idea to make two other beds on either side of the steps down to the yard. That way it adds some color and dimension. Although we'd love to have a fancy patio with some teak furniture or something we have to work with what we've got for now. I had two plastic/vinyl Adirondack style chairs from my apartment patio that came with me when I moved in here. We were given a really nice mosaic cafe style table and three chairs from a friends of ours that didn't want it anymore. And Brian brought a few side tables/plant stands and a loveseat from his old house---we just need to get some cushions. None of it really matches and looks kind of crappy right now, but our plan is to paint all the metal items (table base, side tables, cafe' chairs) the same color Rustoleum so it matches and its protected, as well as paint the ugly Adirondack chairs a color that better matches. They are so ugly now, but so incredibly comfortable (as was the price when I bought them).

We planned on replacing the privacy walls, but to save money, Brian is just going to fix whatever is broken, replace a few boards that are warped, power wash them, and then stain to match the steps.

We plan on sprucing up the existing flowerbed, and like I said, making two new ones. Initially we were just going to put flowers in it but after talking with our neighbor, we are considering doing a veggie garden, which would help us save some money next summer on vegetables.

I'm starting to get excited about it. I sat out there earlier tonight to talk on the phone and it was so relaxing. I can't wait til its all done.

You're an enigma

Brian and I went to my ENT appointment this morning. They took us right back and my Nurse Practioner, Doreen, came in and reviewed my case with a new NP shadowing her. She read my CT results, which consisted of a deviated septum with huge turbinates, an impacted wisdom tooth (not causing any problems) and a cyst in my sinus. Ho-hum, just another day in the ENT world. That is, until Doreen put my CT up on the light up board thingy, said, "Oh God!" and proceeded to talk medical talk to her shadow like we weren't even in the room. She went on and on about how horribly crooked my septum was. Then I think she all of a sudden remembered we were sitting three feet behind her. Doreen turned around with a big shit eating grin on her face and said, "oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to act like that. I just don't know how you can breath." She ran out and got a doctor in the office so we could talk about surgery. The surgeon, who was very nice, came in looked at the CT and repeated all the same "Oh, God, how can you breath?" phrases we heard already, did a quick exam and then explained how beneficial the surgery will be for me. She explained to all of us in the room what she planned to achieve during the surgery as well as what I could expect afterwards. The doctor told me I wouldn't have any packing but I'd be doublely splinted because my septum is so deviated. I thought Doreen was going to go nuts. She got a huge smile on her face and said, "you're going to double splint her?" she asked Dr. Day. By her reaction, you'd swear she was getting a million dollar bonus in her check next week. I asked her if I'm the weirdo every ENT waits for and she kinda smiled and called me an enigma. When we left the office, Brian hit it on the head. He said he felt like he was living an episode of Grey's Anatomy where all the surgeon's are fighting to get in on the good surgery. We figure they all went in the lounge afterwards and started pestering Dr. Day to assist in putting in my double splint or something.

I'm waiting on a phone call to schedule the surgery. I've been told it will be a week until I can go back to work but after reviewing some paperwork, it looks like I'll be off for two weeks. The paperwork says I can't bend, lift, or strain (including constipation) for two weeks, and that's everything I do at work (minus the constipation).

On a different subject, the patio guys are back. They are building our landing/steps coming from the patio door as I type, so I'm hoping that tonight I could get to my back yard without walking around the house. They are planning on bringing a ton of dirt to make the transition from the steps to the yard a little nicer. Brian and have been talking about it and after hanging out at his parents condo yesterday, we've decided we want the patio to be a sitting area as compared to an eating area. I don't like bugs/flies hanging out with me while I eat, but I'm very okay with sitting out relaxing at night. We've also talked about getting flowers that we can hang off our privacy wall. And once this is all done, we can work on the flowerbed that borders the one side of the patio. Brian wants to put all wildflowers in there. That might have to wait til next year but I do think it will be pretty.