Ok, I am into my second full sick day. It started Friday night, and I still don't feel well. I've got a lot of stuff going on with the nose and throat area. I've slept in the recliner to be able to breathe better. Outside of making HH that box cake yesterday, I've done NADA. This is the first weekend we've really done nothing in I can't tell you how long (ummmm, maybe since before we starting dating!). I have ZERO energy. You know it is bad when you are giving yourself a pep talk that the trip to the bathroom really isn't that far away. Yet, it still takes you a good twenty minutes to motivate yourself to get up.
HH has been the sweetest, as usual. :) I will still hold to the fact that I'm not a fan of being sick on weekends. (Although the alternative is typing out a 5 page sub plan that they will NOT follow, and come back to random papers that students didn't even try to do well on.)
Here is HH's homemade Valentine's Advent Calendar. The sign is compliments of my student Elizabeth. :) Each day has a special mini activity for us to do together. HH really liked this.
Here is HH's cake that I made. I finally used the rubber dishes that I got as a wedding gift. I was skeptical, but it baked the cake very well. I did crack the cake when I took it out. Luckily, icing covers a multitude of errors.
Much to my husband's delight, I told him that I wanted to make him a cake tomorrow. He is so happy. This is one area I really like to "spoil" my husband is through cooking (and starting to learn to bake).
I'll post more on the results tomorrow. Also, I put up my homemade Valentine's Advent Calendar. (Will post a picture tomorrow.)
Challenge for Days 1 & 2 are to greet your husband at the door when he comes home. Give him a hug and a kiss. Let him know that you missed him. Don't yell from another room, etc.
HH is home when I get in, and usually rushes to greet ME. One thing that I did differently was to not be on my cell phone. I talk all the time while driving. I ended my call when I pulled up the car to the condo. I wanted to be able to greet him without being on my cell. I didn't get much of a reaction from our normal greeting, but I know not being on the cell phone while greeting him shows just how important he is in my life.
I am looking forward to continuing this challenge.
Ok, I start out this morning by CRYING to HH because of how tired I am. I wish that I could say that this was the first time this has happened this school year, but I know it has at least happened one more time (perhaps another two....my memory fails me). HH was such a good sport, because I was seriously tired and cranky.
My student teacher had his first solo day. He did a great job. I told him that most of my comments would be able discipline and classroom management type things, because if you don't get these things down, teaching is absolutely miserable. I think you can become a good teacher over time, but the most perfectly crafted lessons mean nothing if you can't control your group of kiddos. I bought him a card to congratulate him tomorrow.
I got an email this afternoon that was an answer to prayer. In February, I was going to do GED classes on Monday and Saturdays. The boss told me that I still had the Saturday class, but the other girl who teaches had requested teaching it. She is doing this as complete income right now. I'm just doing this as a supplemental thing, and it is not critical to pay any of our bills. I told her that the other girl could have it. I would hope that if I was in the same situation someone would do that for me too. This frees up my Saturdays, and I'm happy about that.
Cooking class rocked again tonight. We learned all about beef. I found out that my chef cooked a meal for JULIA CHILD!!! WAY COOL!!! The meal is still a go for Sunday with the parents and HH, but we are playing things by ear based on weather.
Tomorrow is SNACK day at work. I seriously love snack days at work. It breaks up the pace, and is a nice change. I am making my tortellini appetizers that were a huge hit at Christmas.
I picked up this book for HH and I to read together, because we are both HUGE Bill Cosby fans. We have seen him live together and separately. Seeing that the book was by Bill Cosby pretty much sells itself, BUT the back cover sealed the deal...
"My mother and father ate oink. And they loved oink grease. Lard is what they ate. And they soaked up grease with a biscuit. And they loved butter too. And they sopped up and drank and ate grease. Sausage. Bacon. Ham. The oink. They loved it. Fatback. Salt pork. Oink. And I was born with lard all on my head, in the cracks of my arms and the back of my leg. So now my cholesterol is 741. So what? It doesn't bother me that it's 741. You eat what I eat, it's supposed to be. Every once in awhile my left arm will go numb. Okay. But if you shake it, it'll go away."
Last night, HH read the first chapter called "Oh, Baby!" about the first years of marriage. We were both in stitches laughing so hard.
Tonight is cooking class. I missed last week due to our plane flight and a mandatory meeting I had to attend. I've not slept well at all this week, and have been pretty tired, but cooking class has been one of the big highlights I've been looking forward to!
It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get to work. The roads were very icy. Would it have killed our sup to have a delay? We had kids that didn't get to school until after 10am. There were 10 bus wrecks, including one that involved students going to the hospital.
I started to think about it from a personal financial perspective yesterday: It is not worth it for me financially to go to work in bad weather. If I have an accident, I will have a car insurance deductible to meet, along with a health insurance deductible. Trying to make it to work could very well cost me $1000-$1500. I realize that the school system has to make the decisions that impact their bottom line, but I need to also start doing that personally.
In other news, my school is number one in suspensions, third year running.
HH went down to my parents house yesterday to pick up his new Blackberry, and he brought back our proposal song framed. I loved how my mom made this in a shadow box. It looks so awesome. Now, we need to figure out where to hang it.
Tonight is the only night this week that I can cook for HH and I. I hope that I can fight the laziness factor and cook.
I was reading tonight from People magazine about the after affects of the Hudson River landing on those who were on the flight, and was very intrigued by some of the effects.....
* a couple who had been dating forever decided it was finally time to tie the knot * a corporate power couple decided to stop trying to climb the ladder, and build a family * a man decided to run that marathon he had talked about for oh so many years * two strangers decided to give love a go, and are now engaged
I was impressed about how your life changes after such a traumatic event. While things can always have a negative effect, often great change comes from tragedy....change for good.
This made me reflect back to my decision almost three years ago, to have surgery. Yes, there were risks involved, but at the point I was at, any thought of a possible life better than what I was living was worth that risk. Now, I am trying new things and taking risks that I never would have thought of before.
I didn't survive an emergency landing on the Hudson River, but I am a survivor of being morbidly obese for so many years. I let it chip away and away at my physical and mental health.
Don't live life on the sidelines folks. Don't. Don't wait until a near fatal incident to decide to make the decisions that you need to make.
This is a suite that you can reserve in Indianapolis. Two friends of mine at work have made reservations. I am still terribly self-conscious about being viewed in public in a bathing suit. This way I could avoid the whole issue all together. If we end up not being able to go out west (We have definetely decided if we go it will be Grand Canyon/Sedona), I want to book three nights here. The bonus would be that during the week it is cheaper. What is interesting is that I've never been to a hotel where that was THE main attraction, and not wanted to leave my room. This place could certainly keep my attention. I have a feeling this might be part of my goal for saving with the GED courses that I have been teaching.
HH and I ate at the Cork and Cleaver restaurant in Evansville, Indiana. How cool is that their menu is actually on a meat cleaver? This is the second picture showing me holding a dangerous object. I might need to slow down with these types of pictures.
I am happy to annouce that my craving for good BURGERS has returned. For the longest time, I just wasn't feeling it. They are a great source of protein, and a good food for my particular diet.
The church HH preached at was really nice. I loved how the church had many couples that were our age. I also loved the close access to a decent size city. We have two churches that we both like and they both like us. It will be interesting to see which one we end up at.
On the way home, HH and I began talking about a vacation. I wanted us to take one more nice trip before he gets started in the ministry. I think the first year of ANY job is difficult, and the learning curve is so steep, I want us to be able to go somewhere prior to that starting. Also, with the thought of trying to get pregnant in the next year or so, it will be our last "easy" trip to go somewhere without planning for a sitter, etc. The strong contenders are: The Grand Canyon/Sedona or Disneyland/Legoland. I am hoping we can take this trip during spring break.
If you could choose any American person to be on a coin/dollar bill who would you choose? HH and I had this discussion after I read a blog entry about someone using it in a math unit in their classroom. We decided to opt out of choosing governmental figures. My choice was Jackie Robinson and HH's was Bill Cosby. Who would you choose?
At my American History meeting on Thursday night we were discussing how many of the women of the revolution have stories that are in trunks and attics around the US and England. He asked in our group of thirty-five how many people had a grandmother's journal, and only two people did. Then, the question was posed on who was keeping a journal NOW for the future generations in their family. No one raised their hand. It was not brought up about blogs, but I would certainly consider that my journal. I have even considered doing the blog to book so it would be in print format. I type much faster than I can write, I like including photos/links, and also the comments of others. One lady in our group said, "Well, I guess I would have to print out my year in status messages from Facebook for my grandchildren."
Shopping has been a new found love for me after losing a lot of weight. Prior to losing weight, I mainly had two online sources that I could shop from (at highway robbery prices) because of my size. I have never been able to afford having a full closet, because my clothing would wear out between the legs, or I could only get an outfit at a time.
Places I Don't Love: Going to the GROCERY! Thankfully, HH does this for me almost exclusively. I am spoiled like that. I don't mind going to speciality grocery stores, because then I can slowly look around for things that I might like to use in my cooking.
The area that I could go CRAZY in is kitchen gadgetry. The only things that are stopping me now are: I don't have an unlimited amount of funds, my cabinets are packed to the gills, and I have little usable kitchen counterspace. When HH and I do buy our first place "together", I will most likely solely base my decision on the kitchen (or the potential of the kitchen).
At the Rochester Airport....HH is so good about posing for pictures for my benefit.
We decided to have dinner with Alex and Rachel (I brought Moes since they were eating Indian food). It was a nice celebratory dinner, as Rachel has just finished up some medical procedures. Afterwards, we went to Comedy Caravan to hear our preferred substitute do comedy. This isn't our first time hearing him. He sure doesn't disappoint. What is a real hoot is that he gets a decent portion of his material from my school, so that is always fun.
Posing outside with the star himself. :)
Don't let HH's solemn face fool you....he really loves Sprinkles.
A note on bball in the hood: It is postponed until further notice. Turns out last week after the game there was a good amount of vandalism done to the church property. TVs torn up, etc. Keep in mind this church is letting us use their facilities for FREE. I don't know if any of my kids were involved in it, but I know some students in the other fifth grade class were.
Rachel and Alex are going with us to the "Relive Your Prom" event on Valentine's Day. I need to work on getting my dress!!!
I have a new obsession....APRONS. I love so many aprons. They are so cute. I want a zillion of them. I only have three right now, but I can see that changing.
I can also see myself becoming obsessed with kitchen gadgets. I am already drawn to them frequently. I still need a few good basics, so I am trying not to waste money on small things now that I might not necessarily need. I need a good stock pot, cast iron skillet, and of course the Kitchen Aide Mixer!
Today is going to pretty much be a wash at work. We have our first field trip. I'm just coming back from being gone for three days. We'll get back at twelve, have lunch, take a test, read a bit, and the day will be over. At my old school we used to switch our prep period with another grade, so even on a field trip day you never missed a prep. They don't do that at this school, so I get no planning.
What Tonight's Plans Might Include:
1. BBall in the Hood 2. Celebration Dinner with our friends Alex and Rachel (not sure with schedule) 3. Comedy Caravan 4. Sitting my tail on the recliner all night long
I'm feeling drawn to number four right now personally.
I made a quick power point to show the kids some of the pictures of HH and I together. I'll show it during lunch.
Just one of many cool forms of art that I saw while going to HH's various appointments. We didn't get to take the self guided art tour, but there was awesome art everywhere!
A bit on efficiency: I so want to meet the person behind the curtain here at Mayo. I LOVE how efficient they were at everything. There was so much that seemed effortless. I realize that it takes WORK for things to appear so effortless. (People have commented about this in my classroom management/organization skills, but they don't understand it takes A LOT to get it to run at that high level of efficiency. I am always looking for a way to make things better.)
Here is the Barnes and Noble that is part of the theater. It was very cool. HH and I enjoyed cupcakes there last night as he read to me, Revolutionary Mothers. The book was very interesting, but I will say it is HH'sinsistence that I complete this book that kept it coming back to the table again and again.
Behold the giant naked man statue. This is where HH and I were supposed to meet if we were to get lost from one another. (HH lost his blackberry, so we couldn't simply call one another.) I am going to inquire from my insurance to see if I can go to Mayo next year with HH. I thought it would be really good to have all my bloodwork drawn up here by one of their endocrinologists.
This picture didn't turn out as well as I would have liked. When I was a nanny for three girls, they loved getting Blizzards from DQ. I never understood how each of them would always "save" half of their blizzard and put it in the freezer to eat at a later time (not just later that night either). I now get it. This blizzard is about 75-80% full (although the picture doesn't really show it). I could be a blizzard saver like they were. While it was great, it was simply too much to eat.
We really didn't get to much off of my big list, but I am ok with that. I think the biggest part was that I had crammed our weekend so full with things, I just hit a wall where a nap was in order. We did manage to make it to Newt's Bar, where I enjoyed one of Rochester's best burgers (seven years running). They also had these fried mashed potato bites that were OUT OF THIS WORLD! My favorite foodie experience here was by far Daude's Bakery. They had an amazing pizza that was made from bacon, carmelized onions, and muester (spelling?) cheese. I had three pieces of this, and don't regret it at all. (Note: The three pieces were spread out over a long period of time. I still can't eat a large volume of food in any one sitting.) I am actually going to the bakery this morning to see if the pizza is available for me to take with me. :)
The Doctor did tell HH that he needs to lose weight. When we came up to Mayo, we had decided on a new going out to eat policy. I never finish my food. Usually, I eat about 40-50% of what is on my plate. HH has now started to finish what I don't eat. This will cut down on our dining out bills, and HH will cut down on his portions too.
We are here in Minnesota. We had dinner at Michael's last night, and looked around at a few shops. HH's first appointment is at 6:30 this morning. I am tired, but trying to wake up. I crashed pretty easily last night.
HH lost his blackberry at the gas station yesterday. We called back, and of course it is gone. We do have insurance, so another one will arrive at my parent's house today. We seem to have the worst luck with electronic devices.
I'll post more of my Minnesota adventures (with pictures) this evening.
HH really like the loaded mashed potatoes at Fridays! REALLY! (I actually was joking with him since he was scraping the bowl with his spoon that he should just lick the bowl, and he decided to do that. When I said, "PAUSE," he immediately responded with....."This is going on the blog isn't it?"
I love Snoopy!
HH being silly! We posed by the Einstein signs as we know someone in the company. We wanted to send him pictures of us being silly.
I heart Einsteins!
Ok, going to take a short walk around before getting on our last flight. This flight is supposed to be really short.
It's the new year, and people make goals, often financial. Our grocery budget for two people is $125 per week. GASP! I know it sounds like a lot. I'll try to explain:
1. I eat a larger quantity of food. Not all at once mind you, but I eat about eight times per day. (HH likes to say, second lunch, second dinner, etc.) 2. I must try to consume high quality proteins for my medically altered body. 3. I won't buy things just because they are on sale. I actually buy things based on whether or not I will USE them. (For example: This week I bought 40 cans, 20 of cream of potato soup, and 20 bean and bacon soup, because I like to make two different soups out of these, so I know I will eventually use the cans.) 4. I subscribe to a few money saving moms blogs, and seriously, you would have to NOT BE EMPLOYED to have the time that they have to scan the circulars and make decisions based on what was on sale, what you needed, etc. 5. I am into trying new recipes, and I know this effects the grocery budget of our household, but right now it is a small way we can splurge. 6. I like certain high quality ingredients, and will not take substitutes. (Ex: Kraft Parmesan Cheese in the Infamous Green Container, verses REAL Parmesan cheese= NO SUBSTITUTE!) 7. We also buy incidentals there too such as deodorant, cleaning products, etc.
One thing I am committed to this year is changing the place that I grocery shop. I recently found out about a locally owned grocery store chain that does a lot of great things for the community. I found out through word of mouth from a lady who had been a recipient of some of the things they did, not from the store shouting it from the rooftops. I am impressed, and feel like I should give them more of my money.
So, what is your grocery budget? How many members of the family does that include?
I've never been to Minnesota, but that will change as of this afternoon. I will also be going to Massachusetts this June. I need to add more color to the WEST. It looks so sad being as white as it is. Don't you think? (I just noticed that I forgot to shade in Missouri. I have been there several times.) I would love to fly to Oklahoma City, rent a car, and do a national parks tour. At present time though, more than four hours in the car kills my back.
I have to go. I must be IN the dentist's chair at 7:45. I'll post more about my mouth when I can.
HH and I at dinner at The Merchants Bar and Grill on Music Row.
We passed this sign outside a honky tonk on our way to the arena.
Check out our seats!!! We were ONE ROW from the glass, at the GOAL!
Here I am posing with a W to celebrate the Leafs win!
Interesting conversation with HH during one of the breaks in the game: He says that after my skin is removed I will be SMALLER than the cheerleaders out there on the ice. He says for me to stop and let that sink in a little bit. My mind seriously cannot wrap around that fact.
I've not seen my parents since Christmas day. I miss them, but life is busy right now. We talk daily, but I still want to see them. I am planning a very special dinner for them on Sunday January 31st. I'm even going to send them a fancy invitation with a menu included!
After watching the Frog and the Princess, we went to Jack Fry's for dinner. The Jack Burger deserves every single award it has gotten. I told HH that it burgers like this that make it EASY for me not to eat McDonalds burgers and other crap like that. When I want an awesome burger, I want an awesome burger. Since having my WLS, I am not willing to compromise quality for quick access, cheap, junk.
The Happy Couple! :) We have spent a good day reflecting on our special day last year, and all the good things that have come about since then.
We are watching Ice Age 3 now.
I'm meeting my best friend Wendy for lunch, but first I must stop in and get the new Vera Bradley pattern (in a purse, wallet, lunchbox, school bag....hey, I like to coordinate).
My left jaw is killing me! I have had a habit for years and years of popping my left jaw. It never has hurt me. Today it started really hurting. I called my dentist on her emergency cell phone, and asked if I could see her on Monday or Tuesday. She is going to try to work me in on Monday. I asked if she would take an x-ray just to make sure something isn't really wrong.
View of where we will be sliding down in our snow tubes.
HH is getting nervous since I am taking him on yet another activity that requires a waiver. He said, "The last time I signed a waiver with you I lost a layer of skin." (When we went whitewater rafting, HH got a really bad sunburn.)
This is my favorite picture. I was pretty scared going up, and each time I rode with my tube attached to his. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!
The best part was when our group went down all together (all nine of us). We get up there, and they have this little skinny girl who is supposed to get us started down the hill. Another guy in our group turns to me and says, "Look at that girl, she doesn't have enough *ss to get us started down this hill." The poor girl ends up going down half the hill with us, and we all kicked her with our boots as we passed her by. It was really funny after I knew she was ok.
YPAS Madrgial Dinner:
This was a wonderful event! One girl had a beyond amazing voice, and I leaned over to HH and said, "I wish I could sing like her." He replied, "And she wishes that she could be as beautiful as you are."
Now we are sitting at home relaxing, watching The Proposal.
I came home to this SERIOUSLY organized pantry that HH did on Friday. What a way to a girl's heart? Yes, that is a whole lot of protein powder on top. I know the flavors I like, and while I don't need them everyday, I do like to keep it on hand. (Putting the protein powder up there actually freed up two entire SHELVES in the pantry.)
Bball in the hood went well....we won! :)
Picture with Nyelah....she is the hardest worker, and I love this girl!!!
Two more of my students....
Why does HH have his eyes closed? His personalized M&Ms came in, and I couldn't wait to show him. We are going to wait to eat them on Valentine's Day. One has our picture, then there three different personalized messages. The picture turned out really nice.
Lyn, over at Escape from Obesity, wrote this post titled "Breaking Point."
What really resonated with me....she says....
"Everything has a trade off. For a long time Big Macs and french fries were *worth* the limited life I got in return....You just have to reach a point where it is not worth it to YOU anymore. Where you want the rich joyful life instead of the candy bar. It really is a trade-off for me. One I am now willing to make."
I think of all the things I was trading my good health for....huge to-go meals at Outback, a large pizza with breadsticks and a 2-liter, coca-cola like crazy. I am worth more now. Somedays I still question myself, but I want a better life than what I was living. I now know how miserable I was, since I was so heavy then and had been for so long, I didn't know what life could be like. This side of life is wonderful. I want to keep it.
I guess I am a bit scared of the reaction I might get from Kelly's Korner readers, as many people feel that I took the "easy" way out. I have struggled with my weight all my life, and when I reached 393.6 pounds, I had weight loss surgery. I've learned a lot about myself as the weight has come off.
1. I can NEVER drink Coca-Cola again. EVER. I was a major addict having between 4-6 per day. I have been "clean" since the day of surgery. I can do pretty well without thinking about it for a long time, then every now and again, I think, "I'd kill for a Coca-Cola." Then I proceed to obsess about having one for the next thirty minutes. No other thought can enter my brain. I recently had that experience over the Christmas holiday one night while HH and I were out to dinner. When I had that "attack" I talked with HH wondering if this is the feeling that former smokers have. I've met many a person that have not smoked in twenty years that say they could light one up right then. Like the craving never completely goes away.
2. While I have a very forgiving surgery (as I malabsorb 80% of the fat I consume), I do not go out and have fast food very much anymore. Actually most of it, the smell makes me nauseous. I do enjoy Moe's Southwest Grill, and that is a "go to" food for me when I'm out and need a quick bite. The more I learn how to cook though, I really enjoy preparing meals at home. It gives me a real sense of accomplishment. I've made some bombs for meals, but I've also made some really good stuff too.
3. I weight myself everyday. This is a love/hate relationship, because I often know it is water weight, but I still let it get to me mentally. I need the number on the scale to make sure I don't go back to where I was.
4. I wear "real" pants....as in pants with a defined waist, no elastic. When you get up to a 36W like I was, there is really not that much you can wear. I need the boundary of knowing I need to ease back on things.
5. I've become much more discriminating in my food choices. I used to just eat candy because it was "around"...now I have certain favorites like Peanut Butter Dove Chocolates, but I don't waste my calories on things that I really don't savor.
If you are interested in knowing more about my weight loss journey, the majority of it is under 2007-2008. Please feel free to read it. I am also willing to answer any questions you might have.
On Wednesday night, HH engaged me in a lively reading of "Revolutionary Mothers" while I was making Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam muffins. Don't these look awesome? I managed to make them without eating the whole jar of Smucker's Jam. (I did have a few bites of jam though!)
I also made Black Bean Soup for HH. This was for dinner for Thursday night. Something just doesn't seem right about me going to cooking class each week, and leaving him to fend for himself and have Taco Bell for dinner. HH sees no problem in getting Taco Bell on that night though. The soup did have just a bit of kick to it, but it was mild enough for me to enjoy.
COOKING CLASS: BASIC TRAINING 101
I am posing with my new chef's knife. Tonight I learned lots of knife skill techniques. I have to admit that I am really scared of using the knife, and I chop/peel things very slowly. (I am taking an extra knife skills class later on this month, just to become more comfortable with it.) I made a veggie and fruit tray, black bean dip and hummus. I really think that I can be a fan of hummus. (There are many things that I've not become a fan of until adulthood.)
I am posing with my cookbook from class. I cannot tell you how excited I am about taking it! The one big surprise was that the men outnumbered the women in our class of fifteen!
HH has been a lifesaver this week in the fact that he cleaned out the plastic container cabinet, otherwise known as the cabinet that completely purges itself onto the floor every single time I open it. Today he took on the pantry. HH is in the middle of it, but wow what an improvement he has already made.
HH had a phone interview tonight for a church in Virginia.