Saturday, October 30, 2010

Would You Like a Check with That?

I am blogging at the GED Center while the students are taking their tests.  Please check out the article linked above.  This is not meant to be a bashing post, but my personal take on things and how it relates to my journey out of obesity.

McDonalds has been a huge part of my life.  I had my third birthday there.  (That was back when it was THE premier place to have your birthday party.  I even got to see Ronald McDonald.)  My mom did most of the child rearing, as my dad typically worked second or third shift, and was always doing odd jobs (primarly painting) for my uncle to supplement our family income.  My mom did the best that she could, but many nights we had McDonalds for dinner because she was too tired, or we had to stay late for a school function.  Part of my blog has been about personal ownership of what "I" did to get to almost 400 pounds.  I couldn't help my upbringing, but I made a lot of poor choices when I from 18-27 that skyrocketed my weight to 393.6 pounds.

I don't think the man should be able to sue McDonalds.  I understand there might be pressure to drink the kool-aid and eat there everyday, but after some time you just have to get TIRED of eating the same thing everyday.  If I didn't want to say it was for my health, I would say it was for lack of variety/boredom with what I was eating.  I do think that he had a choice. 

I had a choice.  I decided to eat McDonalds twice a day a least 3-4 days a week.  I always supersized my coke and fries.  I got things to dip my fries into.  Heaven help me with those 2 for $1 Apple Pies!  (Funny, now apple pies are the only thing I will get from McDonalds.  The smell of the restaurant physically makes me ill.  Even when I am not eating it, I cannot stand the smell.  I am happy for big miracles there!)

Late to the Game with this One...

Marie Claire's article "Should Fatties Get a Room (Even on TV)?"  You have got to be kidding me?  I'm glad she held back and didn't tell us how she was really feeling.  I believe the aology at the end of the story was half-hearted trying to cover her tail. 

Also, Fooducate's "Not All Calories Equal, Indeed?" and "Forty Percent of Kid's Calories Come from Junk Food."

I got the image below from Glam, Glitz, and Gutz....

And for the teachers out there....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

High School Memory Lane Trip....

We were watching (I was grading papers...sigh) Queen of Kings tonight.  He was at a pep rally reliving his high school glory days.  I started to chuckle as told HH our high school had so much "spirit" during pep rallys that the eachers would threaten us if we didn't have more pep, they would send us back to class.  Ah, the good old days!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I promise I'm going to stop writing these mass messages about what has been going on in our life, but here is yet another one!

On Friday, we went to the hospital, and then to a Beat-Nick Poetry Night.  We were trying to find their house, and HH thought he recognized the truck of a friend.  We walked into the wrong house.  Ha!  We did make it to the right house the second time!  It was good seeing some old friends.  Some people had some really deep poetry...not me.  I kept it all light.  I was proud to support some great elementary school poetry!

Saturday we taught GED, then went to Alex and Rachel's house.  Rachel has been sick, and she needed some help cleaning.  HH really dug his hands in and cleaned for a long time.  I ran out of steam long before he did.  Rachel called around 10 and asked if we could come over.  I had this major freaking out in my mind.  Let me explain...

I am a very structured person.  I really like schedules and a sense of normalcy.  In my job, they always expect us to be so flexible...there seem to be two or three unexpected things that come up each week.  I have to roll with the punches.  Within my classroom, we have certain times that are never intruded upon: Guided Reading for example...runs like clockwork.

Ok...back to yesterday's revelation.  I like my weekends and evenings following the mental plan I have.  When things change, I get really cranky.  I let it ruin the rest of my day, instead of just embracing the change.  I have to learn some flexibility.  This will help spare my sanity. 

My BIL has been moved to the stroke floor.  This floor is less intensive than the ICU, but more intensive than being admitted traditionally.  He is now in a semi-private room.  He is still battling fever and infections.  They are trying to locate the source of the infection.  The doctors had mentioned that in a few weeks he may be moving to a brain injury rehab facility, even if he is not out of a coma yet.  I was really leary of this, but after talking with some people, I could see how this would be a good asset for his recovery.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Long Time No Blog...

I can't believe it has been almost a week since I blogged!  I'm going to start turning that around.  Things are starting to settle into a more "normal"....even though my BIL is still in a coma in the ICU. 

BIL Update:
My BIL had hip surgery on Monday.  He was "healthy" enough to do this.  This is a big step in the right direction, because they had first said he could sit there for six weeks before they would fix it.  Basically, if it wasn't life threatening, they were not going to perform the surgery until things stabalized.  They did not have to replace his hip, but repaired it with screws and plates.  My dad went back with my sister to see Matt before the surgery.  A doctor and nurse were in the room making final preparations before wheeling him downstairs to surgery.  His breathing was very high, and so were other vitals they were monitoring.  My sister went up to him and started talking, and all the levels started dropping.  My dad said it was the wildest thing.  He said had he not been there to see it, he would not have believed it.  The doctor said that was a good sign.  They are removing his drain from his head.  (They may have already done this....I just know that it was scheduled.  He had two in, but the swelling/pressure has been normal for long enough to not merit this.)  He is also making "purposeful movements" instead of just responding to pain.  The next surgery will be for his broken jaw, but there is no time frame set for that one.  He is still in the coma, and the doctors say he could be in that for a few more days or months, that every injury is different.  My sister went back to work tonight, so that was a good thing in many ways.

Eagles Concert:
I had a major case of selfishness about four days before the concert.  I am a big time daddy's girl.  I wanted to buy this exxtra special concert ticket for him for Father's Day.  The tickets were quite a bit of money, but I was happy to do it.  Then Dad says, "Would you mind taking your sister to the concert?"  (This is because he wanted her to get out of the hospital, etc.  Which I totally understand....yet, she doesn't even know ONE Eagles song...not to mention this is something special I wanted to do with my Daddy!!!)  Her response was comical, "Uh, No.  Trust me, Dad will have a MUCH better time at that concert that I would."  Haha!  HH stayed at the hospital, and my mom took my sister out to dinner and Target.

The YUM Center was amazing!  The Eagles were the second best artists I have ever seen live!  (No one will ever beat Amos Lee, and I'm counting the seconds down to the release of his newest album, and when he will be 300 miles or less from my house!)  They performed for over three hours.  There were several songs I had forgotten were theirs.  During the whole concert, there were only 4-5 songs I didn't know.  I noticed that they really enjoyed performing together, and it really shined through.  The musical and vocal talents were not matched by any in my generation that is for certain!)  My dad said the only person that beat them performance wise was Elvis, and he saw Elvis in the prime of his career.  Now to start looking for that next perfect gift for my dad with Christmas and his birthday right around the corner.

I've graded papers for two hours, so I'm going to chill out and have some Count Chocula cereal.  I love this time of year!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I had a parent who had many tattoos.  That didn't bother me.  I'm actually a great appreciator of tattoos....but seeing a TEAR DROP TATTOO freaked me out.  Then he wants details on how he can go on field trips with his son.  Ummmm.....NO.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BIL Update...

This post is written by Tiffany's husband- the one she calls "HH".

Matt's condition is stabilizing, and he is getting better by the day.  He is still comatose, of course, but that is to be expected.  It is probably good that he remains unconscious, since he would probably be screaming if he were awake.

His temperature, which was extremely feverish, has gone down to almost normal.  The pressure on his brain is roughly half of what it was yesterday.  His wounds, though numerous, are healing without any infection.  When a tape recording of his children is played near him, his vital signs show that he becomes very excited (we don't do that very often, since he doesn't need to be excited right now).  When he is pinched, he moves his arm up in an attempt to stop the pinching.  But the best news has come in the last 24 hours.

Matt has begun shifting his arms around without any stimulation from anybody.  Maybe he's dreaming.  Maybe he's adjusting himself to get more comfortable.  Maybe anything.  But I know he wasn't doing it before.

Also, the nurses report that he is coping much better with being moved.  Actions that once produced a life-threatening change in his vital signs are now barely causing any disturbance.

Also, the doctors have turned down Matt's ventilator-because he doesn't need it as much as he did!  His body is definitely recuperating.

Lots of people are praying for the healing of his body, and also the salvation of his soul.  The prayers seem to be being answered.  I hope you will add yours to the ones that have already been offered.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mallory's Third Birthday Party

Last night we celebrated Mallory's birthday.  Amber was not there, which is understandable.  Her step kids were able to come.  Here are a few of our pictures...

This is Matt's son who was in the wreck last Sunday.  He told his dad the other day in a voice mail message to get feeling better and to have fun at the hospital.  (He got a sheriff's badge, etc while he was at the ER being checked out.  He loved his hospital experience.)

 My daddy and me:

HH taking a picture of my mom taking a picture.

I love this shirt, and it comes complete with a lion's tail!

Party hats are FUN!

My brother and I making grumpy faces.

HH says, "I'm lactose intolerant," as he stares down the mammoth piece of cake in front of him.

Tonight I will post an update on my BIL.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Teach: Tony Danza

My mom told me about a show where Tony Danza taught at a high school in inner city Philadelphia.  I watched an episode last night.  There were many things that I could relate to, and I remember many of those first year woes he candidly showed last night.

Chi Town Girl's Visit

ChiTown Girl came to visit, and we had a great time!  I know I talked her ear off!  It was so much fun talking with another city school teacher.  She is one amazing chick!

Two of America's best urban teachers:

HH and I with our Chicago coffee mugs ChiTown girl got us!

I had a great time with ChiTown girl!

Last Friday

Backlogging here to catch up on life!

Last Friday we met my brother and his wife to celebrate Mallory's 3rd birthday.  We went to the smae place we ate at last year.  Traditions are fun.

She loved all of her gifts.  The portable doll house was the biggest hit.  She was explaining all the pieces to us.  It was really precious.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Update on BIL

I went into work early (today was teacher meeting day), and got my stuff ready.  I took off.  HH and I went to the hospital, where we stayed for about five hours.  I was glad to be able to come during the day, as that is when a "lull" in visitors usually happens.  HH stayed in Matt's room quite a bit.  It took a bit for me to get used to, but I ended up in the room probably five times.  My sister is in good spirits.  He is breathing around a 24.  The ventilator will give him 12 breathes a minute, so that means he is doing the other on his own.  His respiratory rate changes when we talk about his children.  He did flinch his legs twice while they were trying to get a pain response from him (they pinched him to see if he would respond).  The doctors are happy at the level of swelling.

My dad is asking my sister all kinds of questions.  I know someone has to think about logicistics, etc....but give her a week.  Lets see that he makes it to the end of the week.  My dad went to the wrecked car to get some things out of the trunk, and he said he couldn't believe that he survived.  There was a good bit of blood in the car, and from how he saw it, it appeared as if Matt's side of the car took the bulk of the hit.

Please also pray for my brother.  He is feeling a lot of guilt because he didn't really like Matt all that much.  We are all hurting in our own way.

I'm getting ready to pick up ChiTown Girl!  Wooo Hooo!  I don't feel bad about not being at the hospital, because I know many people are going to come up after they get off work this evening.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

In the Blink of an Eye....

I was having a girls overnight with my best friends Penny and Mandi, and the next thing you know I am on my way home (two and a half hours away) to the hospital.  My BIL was in a head on collision this morning in which both drivers had to be cut out of their vehicles.  He was stat flighted to University Hospital, where the most significant traumas in our region go.  He was in surgery for eleven hours.  First there was a neurosurgeon, then a team of plastic surgeons.  The doctors were excellent, but minced no words about how he was far from being out of the woods yet, and this still could be fatal.  He will need other surgeries, but those will not be decided upon until his condition stabilizes.

I've briefly touched on here about some personal struggles I've had with my sister and her husband, but my heart is breaking for her.  I held her while she sobbed today.  I would appreciate any prayers you guys have.


Friday, October 1, 2010


and adulthood too!  No work today, off to a doctor's appointment, then going to enjoy having nothing to do!