Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thank you.

A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.

While home for Christmas my dad found out my results of my Lt.'s exam. I got exactly the response I expected from him. He gave his disappointed face and said absolutely nothing at all. We all sat in silence afterward.

Thanks to all of you that sent me comments or emails or had random conversations with me. The quote above is 100% true. You guys are my support system and I wouldn't trade you for anything. Although I didn't get to thank all of you personally, thank you. Because of you, I didn't have any problem telling my dad I was "dead last" and was proud of it. It didn't matter what he said or thought after that. I don't need his pats on my back when it makes "him" look good. I needed you guys.

Another no go.

The miracle drug Amitiza is no miracle for me. After a week of taking the samples, I'm in the same spot I've been for months. (I give the saying "you're full of shit" a whole new meaning!) I just spoke with my doctor and yet again, we are going down a new pathway of treatment.

The doctor now has two new ideas as to what could be wrong. (Where is Dr. House when you need him!?) Of course, I am like my patients that annoy me---the ones that take medicines but don't know why or are getting ready for procedures but have no idea what it's for. Anywho, tomorrow I have to schedule another test (I can't remember the name) where I have to swallow a series of pills, then for the next few days I will have to get xrays to determine where exactly the pills end up. His one theory is my colon don't move which leaves everything to sit. His other theory is that I have an issue with my pelvic wall. I do remember that condition ending with "disease" but of course, I have no idea what it was. I need to take notes when I talk to him. With the pelvic wall issue, he thinks everything makes its way to the poop shoot, but it can't get out because the muscles have gotten weak or aren't working for some reason or there is a new alternate route where everything hangs out for a while.

With this conversation, he started to sound a little more serious or concerned. I don't know if up til this point he thought I was just a scared girl who thinks she's got cancer because Gramma did. But today he sounded like he's being a little more aggressive. He still wants me to get the Lactulose Hydrogen breath test done next week. The doctor said there still could be bacteria in my small intestines that needs to be treated, but even if that's the case, my symptoms are not proportionate to that condition.

Tonight, he called in a prescription for some suppositories and mag citrate (ew) so I can get everything out of me. (Screw a book, I'm going to need to get a flat screen put in my bathroom or something. Although Brian did get me a Nintendo DS for Xmas--wonderful timing!!) Tomorrow, I have to schedule the xray test. The doctor told me if it turns out to be the colon or pelvic issue, "we'll definitely have to get that treated soon....." but tiptoed around what the treatment is. (We'll just test you and then discuss treatment.) I'm sure its not just with a pill. I don't think I'm going to like a surgery where my butt is involved or where I'm not going to eat. I have my priorities you know. :)

And so the never ending saga continues. And with great timing, as usual.

Oh, did I mention my sister's getting married Saturday at 5pm? I hope treatments/testing don't screw those travel plans up.

The newest addition to my cabinets

Meet my new mug:

My partner had to make a stop at REI yesterday to return something, so that left me wandering aimlessly around the store. Usually everything is crazy expensive in there, but I found this beaut sitting next to a sexy stainless steel wine glass. (You deserve only the best when you are roughing it in the wilderness.) I looked at it thinking, "wow, that's weird." But then I thought, "Oh no you're not. You are wonderful. You are thermal and on your behind you have distinctly marked how many ounces you can hold." Perfect for making hot chocolate from an instant pack....helps me keep track of my fluid intake.....keeps it warm when its cold out. How could I better spend $4.95? I don't think I can. Well, at least yesterday afternoon I didn't think so.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I love it

I love www.thedailyplate.com . Its wonderful. Very similar to WW, especially the online features, but its from a different perspective. Instead of points, we count calories. Instead of just calories, fat and fiber, we look at everything including sodium and vitamins. It lets me know how many more calories I can eat for the day to stay within my recommeded calories. Sounds dumb, but seeing how many calories I could eat was much more of a scare tactic than points are. It kept me from eating a doughnut this morning. And this afternoon, it caused me to order a large salad with my pizza slice to help fill me. Plus I needed more fiber. It charts everything. The activity list (similar to AP's) is endless. I swear they have everything up to breathing on it.

I think I'll do well on this. It even gave me a "prize" for logging in three days in a row. How nice. I like prizes.

I intentionally did not weigh in this morning, so don't expect to see my weight chart this week. I didn't want to be discouraged by the obvious gain from this weeks cookies. But, I'm well on my way to having a successful week.

Good luck to Laura at round 2 of WW. It takes some willpower, but I know she has it in her.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We are living in a cookie house

I love my sister. She's going to make me fat, but I love her. She made ALL of the cookies my mom used to make when we were little. Even the mint chocolate chip cookies! My new favorites are ricotta cookies. I could drool just thinking about them. But, she made like a gazillion of them. At least a gazillion. Maybe a gazillion and a half. Oh, they were so good. Brian and I pinky swore about three hours ago we're not eating anymore. If my mom forces us to take some home, we'll take them, but freeze them or take them to work where they will be devoured in minutes. We pinky swore and you can't lie on a pinky swear.

Brian and I went to Laura and Blaze's house tonight. It is so relaxing to go there. It's just so comfortable and welcoming and you don't feel obligated to strike up some sort of conversation. It just kinda natural to talk with them. They had quite possibly the biggest residential Christmas tree I've ever seen in their living room. It's like 10 feet wide or something. There always seems to be some sort of drama surrounding their Christmas trees. Like the year they brought the snow and slush covered tree in their old house and snipped the netting or whatever it is that pulls all the branches in....they cut the string and the tree came boinging out spraying snow and slush everywhere. The room the tree was in was covered with water everywhere. Actually, just about anything they do ends up with some sort of entertaining story. I love hearing them.

Laura and I were talking about her family party earlier in the day and how her Aunt lost 40 pounds. She told Laura she lost it by using www.thedailyplate.com. I've used that site before to get some nutritional information, but I never looked into the site overall. Laura said she thinks she's going to look into it and I said I would as well. She has just about all the same complaints about WeightWatchers I do and both are looking for a change to keep us on track. Anyone use it? Have anything to say about it?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm good at hiding stuff.

So good, in fact, that I lost all of the kids Christmas presents and stocking stuffers. I have their Hanukkah stuff, but no idea where the Christmas stuff went. Luckily they're not here so I don't have to scurry to find them by tomorrow.

Nana always told me to pray to St. Anthony when I lost something. I think its really supposed to be if you're a lost soul or something, but I may say a prayer to aide me in this search. And when I find it, of course, it was because of St. Anthony.

As for Brian and I? We're starting a new holiday tradition for Christmas Eve. We're going out for Chinese. Then, we have cookies to bake for his dinner at work and we're doing our gift exchange tonight. I'm very excited! I haven't snooped or anything for the gifts!! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lesser of two evils?

The doc wants me to try yet another medicine, Amitiza. I'm all for anything that will keep things moving in my belly. I started to read about it this morning, only to find out the side effects are the equivalent of the flu and chest pains. How wonderful is that?

So, my options are:
  • Don't poop for weeks at a time and deal with basically IBS symptoms everyday
  • Or, twice a day for 2-3 hours after taking my meds I can have the
    "flu," chest pains, shortness of breath, and fluid retention in my hands, but poop like a champ
They both sound like winners.

What am I thinking? Maybe I just need to start smoking a pack a day and drinking coffee non-stop. I think that get everything moving along just fine.

Lucky you're cute.

I didn't know it was possible for a cat to embarrass you. That was until ten minutes ago.

The plumber came by to fix the relief valve on our water heater. At the same time, Mattingly decided to take one of her massive, smelly poops that she, oh, so conveniently, doesn't know how to cover. Did I mention the litter box is less than six inches away from the water heater?

Good timing, little one.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Down 5+

Now, I'm sure I probably owe some thanks to Mr. Fleet and Ms. Ducolax from last week. Oh, and I can't leave out the GI doc and his willingness to do a colonoscopy....

Even though yesterday I created a new food group called snickerdoodles and hot chocolate and got rid of fruits and veggies, I am down this week. 3 pounds!!

1 177.4 2.6 2.6
2 174.4 3 5.6

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tree picture

It's a little lacking in the branch/needle department. I think it needs some Rogaine or something to grow the rest. I wish I still had the original picture without it decorated. That big metal pole going up the middle looks just like something you'd find in nature! :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our absolutely ugly, perfect, burned up Christmas tree

Brian and I were really bad about getting our Christmas decorations up. You'd think Brian, being Jewish, wouldn't really care, but I think he gets more excited than me. Starting Thanksgiving Day, all he listens to is Christmas music which drives me nuts. And, he's absolutely psychotic about decorating with lights. This year, though, we were running a little late with getting our tree up. We both prefer real trees over artificial. Every time we went out it was either raining or yucky weather. Or, we got to busy or didn't have the truck to haul it home. Thursday, we went to the local tree lot and found the perfect tree. It was almost $40. Since we are working Christmas Day and going to my parents for the weekend it was ridiculous to buy a $40 tree for four days.

Yesterday, Brian texted me while he was out to say he found an artificial tree on super sale in Target for $17. For that price, I was happy. He was happy to find a tree just in time for the kids to decorate it last night.

I worked last night until this afternoon. I got a call from Brian last evening saying, "we just put the tree together. The first thing Brandon said was, 'why does it look like the tree was on fire?'" Yeahhhhh. So, I guess you get what you pay for. He sent a picture to my cell phone once it was all decorated. It's the most pathetic looking tree I ever saw. Now that I see it in person, it's just as pathetic but in a good pathetic way. Now there's a story behind it and a memory....even if it is nicknamed the "burned up tree."

I'll have a picture later.....I can't seem to download it now for some reason.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


The colonoscopy went well. The worse of it was the mild allergic reaction/sensitivity I had in the recovery room to the pain medicine I was given. That was easily fixed with some Benadryl, though.

The doctor said he didn't find anything he suspected as cancerous or any polyps to remove. He did, though, find a small ulcer that he biopsied just in case. The doctor thinks it may be irritation from all the prepping yesterday. He doesn't think that has anything to do with what's been causing my belly problems. Apparently, my intestines are a bit more windy than normal, but that also should not be causing the problems, either.

That said, the doctor still doesn't know why I'm having pain and bowel issues. My blood work (with the exception of one celiac test) and my CT scan came back normal. I don't have Crohn's, diverticulitis/diverticulosis, etc. Monday, I'm going on a new medicine to see if that helps move things along, so to speak.The hope is it will increase motility and decrease the pain I keep having. I have to get another test done to see if I have some sort of bacteria in my small intestines which could be causing all of my problems. The good news is, if I have that bacteria it can be cleared up with two weeks worth of antibiotic and I'll be back to normal. I'm gonna be pissed (but happy!) if that's the case. Over a years worth of belly-aching and it could have been fixed with an antibiotic in two weeks.

I'm very much relieved the test is over and the primary cancer concerns have been ruled out. Everything else seems so minor now. I'm confident its only a matter of time til the doctor fixes me and I can be back to normal again.

After not eating for 1 1/2 days, Brian took me out for a breakfast date at Miss Shirley's. Cinnamon roll pancakes ended up on my plate and they were phenomenal. Not being able to eat real food for 1 1/2 days was a real eye opener. When I started to feel hungry, I found something else to do or drank water or Gatorade primarily because I had no other choice. I got through my "withdrawals" or whatever you want to call them just fine. With a little work, I plan on keeping that mentality, drink something when I think I'm hungry, and have another loss week like last.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm feeling better today....

in more ways than one. First off, lets get the lieutenant mess out of the way. After talking to some close friends and I'd even say mentors at work, I've started to come to terms with being in fourth place. I did not score the way I thought I would or hoped I would, but I'm still on the list. I still am (I'm hoping, anyway) eligible to become a Lieutenant, and accomplished that almost to the day of my fourth anniversary. All of the other candidates have 6+ years on, one having nearly 12 or 13, I believe. That's an accomplishment in itself. I was all concerned about what others would think and I was reminded I really only care about about a select few opinions. And those select people don't care where I score. They told me to look at the big goal. Being an officer is an overall job. What I took was a test, and maybe I had a bad test day. I'll get to prove to everyone what I am capable of once in the position. The best comment of the day? "I'd want you to me my boss." That person earned a sticker.

On to feeling better topic #2: I slept at work. That may seem like nothing to you but to those people on shift work or who are close to me, know that sleeping at a firehouse is crappy. You never get a truly restful sleep. That is especially true for me. I really can't recall a time where I woke up rested and ready to go about my day after a 24 hour shift. That was, my friends, until today. I felt awesome. I left workand spent a few hours doing some shopping on the way home. I wanted to stay out longer, but I had to get home to start prepping for tomorrow.

Ok, that was a bummer. That Fleets crap I had to drink--well, I think I drank 8 ounces of sea water. Oh, God, was it gross. Whoever thought "lemon and ginger" would be good with a bagful of salt needs their head checked. Anyway, two hours later the anticipated visit to the potty room was made. Sorry, a little gross I know, but there's a positive in all this. After that visit, my stomach didn't hurt. I think that might be the first time in months that my stomach didn't hurt. Maybe because its completely empty and I'm living off of Gatorade, Sprite (splurged for the real stuff too---no diet here!), and water. Food? I can't wait til tomorrow. My stomach is growling a very mean growl at me. And speaking of growling, I'm going to go tame it....with another 1.5 ounces of sea water. I can't wait. Ew.

The colonoscopy is at 7am tomorrow. Pray they find nothing. Or maybe something. I'm not sure which way to go. Pray they figure out what's been giving me problems, but say another prayer they don't find cancer or anything like that. I'd love to be like my Grandma Jeannie, but not in that way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm bummed :(

We got our scores back from our Lt. exams today. I was hoping or I guess expecting to do well. I ranked fourth out of four people. There were three phases to the exam--a written, a written practical, and a video practical. I did okay on the two writtens, but apparently not so good on the video portion. I walked out of the test knowing stuff I should have said and other stuff I should have left out. But, by that point it was too late.

The practical portion of the exam was a few hours long. I'm not making excuses because it is what it is. I know I could have studied more, etc. The only thing I wonder is did Brandon's party help distract me? I was very focused on the written part. The video portion, I kept looking at my watch wondering if I'd get home in time to get ready for the party and I lost my train of thought a lot. I probably shouldn't have scheduled a 7 year olds birthday party on the same day as the exam and have all kinds of family around visiting from everywhere, with some staying at the house. I know I was worn out after the test. I had to pull over to get a Diet Pepsi because I was falling asleep on the way home.

When I finally got home and walked in my house I was so overwhelmed with people that weren't even supposed to be there for another one or two hours. Of course everyone wanted those obligatory kisses and hugs. Everyone wants to help even when you don't need it, but they do it anyway. Knowing how stressed I was about the exam and the party, my mom pulled me aside and told me to go upstairs and hide for a few hours to relax because Brian had everything under control. Bastard Cat was up there already hiding/waiting for me. (He's a smartie.) I'd like to say I relaxed, but I wasn't able to. I kept reviewing the test at the same time as I wondered what was happening in my house while I was in our room. I colored my hair instead. It was mindless.

Like I said, I can't change the past but now I wonder just how focused I really was. If you can't tell, I'm aggravated with myself. My dad always made me be the best at whatever it was I did. And if I didn't achieve that "best" goal then that meant I didn't try hard enough or work hard enough according to him. I remember plenty of nights getting yelled at for screwing something up in basketball or him refusing to talk to me after I made an unpopular decision about college or my major. I never got that "I'm genuinely proud of you because you did something you set out to do whether it was good or bad," pat on the back. It seems like my successes or failures affected how "he" would look and we couldn't make him look bad. The sad part, the first thing I thought of today upon getting my score is my dad will be disappointed. And, quite honestly, I could give two poops about what he thinks. I'm more upset that I still think that way after years and years have gone by.

Sometimes trying for the best was a good motivator when I was in high school, but now, 10-15 years later, the effects are lasting. I am not okay with just passing even though I hopefully will get promoted. It just may not be as soon as everyone else. I'm not okay with not meeting expectations. I feel I have to be #1 or 2 or everyone will think badly of me. I guess I still have some esteem/confidence issues to work out. I just pray Brian and I don't do that type of thing to the kids, although I'm sure we'll do something to send them to therapy. I am confident every parent does. :)

On another note, my liquid diet officially starts now. :( I'm so not going to like tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Week #1 back on plan...

was a success! Being half on planned worked. I weighed in (at home, no more meetings) at 177.4 pounds. I'm down 2.6 pounds. It is not a huge loss, but its enough to keep me motivated. I'm finding more and more (not all the time, though) to think before I eat. Like, if I eat a half a bagel, instead of just devouring the whole thing without a second thought, I look at the other half and decide if I want it because I'm hungry or because it tastes good. I have turned down half a bagel to an orange, apple or banana on a few occasions this week. At work, I ate what I brought instead of ordering out. It saved plenty of points, and probably a couple of bucks too.

Speaking of bucks, I am so impressed at our holiday shopping this year. We are so below budget its amazing. Brian and I have made our shopping experiences into mini games of how much can we get for nothing. I don't want to sound like everyone gets crappy cheap presents. Its not like that. But, we are doing some good clearance and sale shopping. I used to make of my sister for coming home and showing off what she got on sale, but now I'm like her. Guess its not all bad. Just takes a little longer to shop/search.

We've got a busy week ahead of us. I have to work tomorrow and Brian does on Wednesday. Thursday, I've got the dreaded colonoscopy. That explains why I'm working tomorrow and not Wednesday. Colonoscopy prep......ew. :( I'm not looking forward to it, but I think after its over and I know what it shows, one way or another, it will put my mind at ease.

Oh, and this week I should find out how I did on the Lt.'s exam. I think Brian's more excited than me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Half on plan

I have to say, I'm half impressed with myself. The last few days I've been on plan (pretty much, anyway). Yeah, I've used a few of the weekly points, but I've made some good choices. Half of something instead of all of it. Add some fruit or veggies here and there. Water. I've been drinking it like a fish (except today---way too much Diet Pepsi). You know what the best part is? I have no idea what the scale says. I feel good. For all I know, I gained 5, but I know deep down this is the most on plan I've been in months, maybe a year.

The downfall? My last weigh in was 180.2. That means I gained an extra daily point. Good, right? That really is helpful. But, if I lose even .8 this week, I'm back to 23 points. Psychologically, that screws me up and I have REAL issues with 23 points. I'm not really sure why.

Why did my first line say half impressed with myself? The other half hasn't been working out. I was doing so well there for a bit, and then I fell off and was dragged behind the wagon. Wednesday will be week 3 with no visits to the gym. I should stop typing and go do a Firm DVD. But look, its 850pm and I have to go to sleep soon so I can get up at the crack ass of dawn to go to work. I can't be late either. I'm Brian's relief. I should be nice and get there early so he can get ready to work his normal shift. Tomorrow AM I'm not going to feel like being nice, am I?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My new favorite love

Dunkin' Donuts eggwhite flatbread sandwich with turkey sausage. Filling, tasty and 6 points.

Oh my God, what happened to your face?!

Yep. That's what I heard at 320am in the ER. And it wasn't being said to someone that just got their faced smashed with a baseball bat...it was being said to me. What?! I was tired, well, exhausted, but did I just hear what I thought? Yeah. Apparently my breakouts are so appalling, that's what an old co-worker said to me, "You used to have such nice skin when you worked here." (And I thought I was having a good face day.) Really, girl, you are not helping with any self-esteem issues I might be having at 320 in the morning. She then suggested I scrub my face with limes every day. "That's what we do in Jamaica." The conversation ended with, "maybe you just need sex." God, I'm so glad we got to catch up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Good or bad change?

So, I hear they are changing up WW....again. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Then again, I know nothing about it.


Anyone know of a good website in which you can find reviews for doctors? I'm trying to find a primary and would prefer not to just randomly picking a name off a list.

If anyone has a doc they'd recommend in the Baltimore/DC/Southern PA area, pass their name along. I want someone who looks at the whole picture and is interested in preventative health.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I am in love with Mrs. Something-ski

So, I ran this call today for a sick man. I asked the guy his name he told me "something-ski." Well, he didn't exactly say those words---his last name ended with a "ski" and I feel its inappropriate to put his name in here. Anywho....we were standing in his bedroom, his wife next to me, and we're trying to figure out why he felt the way he did. His wife was besides herself and kept giving me that "fix him" face. She definitely made it clear they were married for 50 years and, well, we better make him better. Talk about pressure.

We determined the patient wasn't really as sick as first thought, so to turn down the tension, I decided to make small talk with Mrs. Something-ski. She and her husband had a thick accents, so I asked where she was from. Of course, knowing full well with a name like Something-ski she was probably from Poland. She said she was from Poland and they moved to the US in '75. I said, "so, you make pierogies?" She got this hugest (really big) grin on her face. "You know pierogies?" Why yes, yes, I do. I left out the part about Pierogi Fest trip to Indiana and the Pierogi Man Legend from Forest City and just smiled cutely and said, "yes, I love them."

"Wait here, I get you some," she said. I tried to tell her it wasn't necessary but I quickly learned its not good to argue with 70 something year old Polish ladies. We continued treating her husband and quite honestly I kinda forgot about the pierogies. All of a sudden she walked in the room with this paper plate covered with tin foil, all put in a big zip loc bag. How freakin' cute is she? "Here, your pierogies."

I figure its a win-win situation. I got real pierogies from a real Polish woman and realized there are still nice people in the world. She was able to relax if only for a few minutes during maybe one of the most stressful moment in her life. Oh, the powers of the pierogi.

And Brian? Haha, he's jealous. I'm not sure if I'm going to share. I don't know if the old Polish ladies like to share with the Jewish type. Us Polacks and Slovaks and whatever other "laks" gotta stick together.

Make a deal.....I'll trade you one pierogi for a potato latke. Maybe then, we can talk.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Ryan!!

Uncle Brian, Aunt Esther, Taylor, Bella, and Brandon

PS---you better get cake all over the place!!

Barium shot #1

It wasn't the worst tasting thing I ever had. Definitely wasn't the best though. It tasted kinda tropically with a bit of a nuclear aftertaste. It was definitely better than the contrast I had to drink last year. That stuff was mixed with fruit punch. I couldn't drink fruit punch for a few months afterwards.

This stuff was like being at a bar and having a nasty drink, but you chug it anyway, knowing you'll get drunk and you can chase it with a chicken finger or fries or something. Only problem was I had to stop eating at 11am so no chicken fingers. And this was definitely lacking alcohol. Maybe some Malibu or coconut Bacardi would have made it better. At least I'd feel better by the time I had to drink bottle #2!!

I want to go on a trip

I'm not sure where. Well, Europe would be nice. I know I still have plenty to see in the US and will hopefully get to continue to visit various places. On the east coast alone there's a gazillion places to visit and that's without going west for a single turn. But, deep down, I'd love to go way east. For stupid things, of course, plenty pertaining to food. England for fish and chips. Italy for pizza and pasta. Germany for a beer (which I'm sure I'm not going to like). Sweden to see if everything is like Ikea stores here. More than anything, I want to go to listen to accents. Ireland is number one on that list.

Anyone ever gone anywhere far away? Was it what you expected? Know of anyway to get there cheap? Good websites?

Thanksgiving 2008

Now that I have a few free minutes, I can be a little more detailed about Thanksgiving this year.

Brian and I spent Thanksgiving at work. Most people would say that's crappy, but there's a little bit of benefit to it. First off, you're guaranteed at least two, if not more, Thanksgiving dinners that you don't have to make and you usually don't have to pay for. And they are all a little different. Like at my parents house, my mom makes a kick ass turkey dinner. But, each year its the same thing. Same sides, same desserts. All good, but all the same. At work, you get to experience other peoples versions. Like, a fried turkey instead of roasted. Or mac and cheese instead of rutabaga. You come to work wondering if you'll even eat that day and by 3pm you've got invitations out the behind and you're stuffed beyond belief by 530pm. I was only invited two places and we usually get some sort of dessert or side dish from a citizen of the county. Brian had four dinners I think that day. My ex used to get his catered by the Willard Hotel or some other big named DC hotel. Not shabby to get fed and paid holiday pay at the same time. And, you don't have to deal with any family bickering or anything. The firemen are happy because they are almost guaranteed a fire that day. You can easily figure out the people who cook once or twice (Christmas day is just about the same) a year because their ovens catch on fire or they try to fry a turkey in their living room. That's not suggested, by the way, unless you are in the market for a new house and a Thanksgiving dinner at McDonald's.

The downfall to Thanksgiving this year was that we were up all night. I didn't sleep at all in that 24 hours and it showed the next day. I was falling asleep driving home, so I had Brian pick me up on the way. We had to leave for my parents by 1030am, so it was a mad rush to clean up and pack everything in time to pick Taylor up. She was still hesitant about going, but once she got to PA she had a blast. Saturday we had a nice little Thanksgiving dinner with my family and just relaxed that night by watching TV and learning to crochet from my mom. Sunday, after a stop for some necklace and bracelet beading, it was time to come home. That definitely wasn't the most pleasant drive. A three hour drive turned into almost six thanks to snow, ice, freezing rain and traffic. I was like a little kid fussing in their car seat. I couldn't get out of the car soon enough.

I can't believe its December already. I used to be done shopping for the holidays by October. Christmas and Hanukkah are only days away and I haven't even started yet. Not only have I not started shopping, but I have no idea what I'll be getting!! Brian and I decided we're going out one day and do all the shopping at once. I think I'm actually okay with that. Its going to be a little bit of a game. We are going out with a few hundred dollars, I'd suppose, and see how much stuff we can get without going over our budget. We have fun doing that in the grocery store. I'm sure we can do it with a holiday list.


In an hour, I get to drink a delicious barium drink. And an hour after that I get to do it again. The radiology people lie. They say it tastes good. I searched the Internet for info about it and everything I read said it was close to puking gross. One girl I emailed said it was so bad it was starting to make her sick thinking about it. Science can clone animals and build new body parts from stem cells. You would think someone would have come up with some sort of contrast that tastes good instead of like a nuclear reactor. Ok, I don't know what they taste like, but I do know what the smell like and it wasn't pretty. This experience should be delicious!! Let me tell you, I'm counting down the minutes...only 56 more til my first chug. I'm so lucky I get to drink 2 bottles.

Last week I had labs drawn to see if anything showed up in bloodwork to explain my belly issues. I haven't heard anything back yet. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing. Today I have the CT of my belly. Next week or maybe its the week after, I have the pleasure of having a colonoscopy. That should be exciting. I took the day before the procedure off so I can "prep." After reading all the paperwork, I'm considering buying one of those TV dinner tables to stick in the bathroom with me and maybe a padded seat. I don't know what is going to be worse. All the prepping and testing or finding out what is really wrong with me.