Friday, December 31, 2010

B.Y.O.C.

1. Do you make a New Year’s resolution list every year? Do you meet those resolutions, forget about them or never meet them?

I have never, not once, made a New Year's resolution.  This has to do with my previously discussed PSDS.  If I don't make one, then I can't fail at it, right?  But (drum roll please) I'm seriously considering venturing in to the world of New Year's resolutions this year.  I'm in a different place.  I'm working on really owning who I am and what and where I want to be - so let's stop doing the same old stuff and try on some new things.  What's the worst that could happen?  Okay - please, please, please don't answer that - I just can't handle going there.  But I'm thinking I may just put a few things down on paper - or maybe down in blogland.  And see how that goes.... we'll see.

2. If you could delete all the songs from existence from a certain singer, who would it be?

hmmm.  I really do like all kinds of music - but... Celine Dion comes to mind - even though I can totally appreciate her amazing voice - something about her grates on my nerves.  And really I think the group New Song (I just learned their name from Gilly's post) who sing the god awful Christmas Shoes song should be banned from singing just on principle.  If they could sing that song - I don't even want to know if they wrote it too - but if they can sing that song and still wake up and face their families in the morning... well they are clearly in the wrong business!

3. If you could have sex with any Superhero – who would it be?

Hmmm... this is a tough one.  I'm gonna have to go with Batman though, I think.  He's dark and mysterious and has an edge to him.  I think he'd be the guy who would lose control with you.  Grab you and drag you down to the first mostly secluded place he could find.  Where he'd rip just enough of your clothes away to get to what he wanted before he forced you to come over and over enjoying the power he had over you - before he finally.... uh.. oh.. oops.  Maybe I got a little carried away here - is it getting warm in here?

4. If it was free AND unlimited – would you choose to have a cook, chauffeur, or masseuse?

This is a total no brainer!! Hands down cook.  OMG  I'd give my left tit arm to have a cook.  I know my family would eat healthier and we'd waste less money on food and there would be actual food to eat that just showed up when we were hungry.... ahhh to dream.  And, I suck at cooking too, so maybe he/she (I'm thinking he - maybe someone who looked a little like Bruce Wayne (clearing my suddenly dry throat)) could give me private cooking lessons on the side or on the top or the bottom or wherever he wanted to do it.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week – in real life and blogland.

Blogland has been fairly quiet, but I agree with Draz, it's picking back up now that the holidays are over, which I'm thoroughly enjoying.

Real life has been pretty good.  I'm heading into my busy time at work and brought some work to do over the weekend, hoping I can avoid actually going in - but I don't even mind that much.  Christmas was lovely, except the kids got entirely too much stuff.  I really need to work on Brad before next year.  It's sort of embarrassing and I know it's not the right thing.  But we had a lovely, low key time here at home with my mom and step dad.  And then went to my mom's a couple of days later and had another lovely time with my Mom and sister and family.  I've got the 2 cutest nieces in the whole world.  I'll have to post some pictures of them one of these days!  And despite the more negative things I've said about my sister here, she and I usually get along great and we are very supportive of each other - we just don't always know how to communicate that.  We had a really rough patch at the end of the summer and we're both really trying to be better about it now - and so far so good.

I'm thinking about a list of things I want to do in 201.  I like the term New Year's intention list - vs resolution list.  It feels more like ideas than firm, draw a line in the sand kind of things.  It's less intimidating to this PSDS sufferer.

Happy New Year to all!

Weigh in day

Today is 196.2 which is up 1.6lbs from last week and down 38.8 in total.

Eh.  I'm okay with this gain as it makes perfect sense.  I ate a lot, and I do mean a lot, of junk over the Christmas weekend.  I got it back under control when I went back to work on Tuesday afternoon and was actually at a lower weight yesterday, but then we went and ate a super yummy (if MIL filled) dinner at a hibachi restaurant last night - can you say amazing sauces and lots and lots of salt.

I did have one tiny moment that sort of freaked me out though.  Last night as I went to bed feeling all kinds of bloated, knowing I was going to have a gain this week, I had this moment where I thought - hey, I'll just skip this week's weigh in.  I know I'll have a loss next week and we'll pretend like this never happened.  Now a part of me truly doesn't want to get so hung up on any one thing that to skip a weigh in would be a big deal - but that kind of thinking is a little frightening for me.  It's the bury your head in the sand kind of thinking that's helped me stay overweight my whole life.  If I just ignore it, then it isn't really happening.  The thought was fleeting - but still - it really surprised me to even be there at all.  And it frightened me a little that it's there.  I guess I can't expect all my old thought processes to magically disappear, but still... I thought it was best to get it out there in black and white so I can look back and remember - and so I can tell those negative thoughts to go fuck themselves.  You know what, I gained this week and I might gain next as well.  I'm okay with that.  It's a journey.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

MIL - Day 1 (living in sin and illegal aliens)

Perhaps a little chronicle of her time here will help things along....

I had it totally easy as I had to go to work today while Brad was home with the boys and his mom.  He took them all out to run a bunch of errands and I can only imagine what that was like... Picture 2 hyperactive boys with gift cards to spend and one older woman who doesn't realize the rest of the world doesn't revolve around her.

She strikes up the oddest conversations with anyone within earshot.  I've known her to corner Harley riding, tattoo and earring sporting tough guys, and 10 year old girls who don't know how to get away.  She'll talk to anyone at anytime about anything.  And she won't listen to a single word any other human says.  Not one.  (except maybe me.  She's a little afraid of me because I tell her to stop talking so I can answer her.)

But then tonight - we all went out to a Japanese hibachi restaurant - one of the things we always do when she's in town.  We were seated with another family like ours - mom, dad, and 2 boys (a few years younger than mine).  We all did the polite - it's nice to be eating dinner with you thing - which Ricki (MIL) took as a big huge invitation to start up a conversation (I used that term very, very lightly)  It went something like this:

Children these days should get a lot of toys for Christmas unless they are spoiled brats.  Because when I was younger we didn't have much.  My mom died after her 7th child and my dad ran away with us kids and my mom's best friend.  They were never married, lived in sin, (and yes - the word sin was whispered) and were really embarrassed by that, but they went on to have 3 more of their own, can you imagine that? (there was no actual time for the poor man to answer even if he knew what to say).  So at Christmas we all got one present from the family and one from the church.  We just didn't have a lot.  (deep breath so she could continue) But there was a lot of love.  And we were happy with what we had.  There's just too much these days.  (and we make it full circle) Kids get far too many toys at Christmas these days.

I got her distracted from the poor man and we went on to talk about a variety of mundane topics while we ate our food.... until she started whispering to me.  This is never a good sign.  She leaned in and held her hand over her mouth so no one could over hear. 

Read, I don't know what you think of this - but - what do you think of children who are here illegally - you know - illegal aliens - getting help from the government to go to college.

Um... What?  Weren't we just talking about the weather?  And how good the food was?  And whether or not I could get Teddy to eat some mushrooms?  Where the hell did that come from?  And no way in hell am I getting into a rousing political debate with her - especially not over a nice dinner.

Um, I said, that's a tough one...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PSDS and BFD and a goal

So for that last post, there was other stuff but I got totally derailed.

Anyway – let’s talk goals and milestones, shall we?

I am not a goal setter.  I think it’s in large part because I suffer from Perfectionist Self Doubter Syndrome, that’s PSDS to the rest of the world.  If I were to set a goal to clean my room that room would be frickin’ amazing when I was done.  You could eat off any surface, the drawers would all be perfectly organized, socks filed arranged by color, hanging clothes all equidistant apart and arranged by both color and how far from the bar they hang.  I could go on and on.  And on and on and on.  But the point it – over time this compulsion only got worse and for a while it kept me from cleaning my room at all because unfortunately life would continue on while I was cleaning so I could never get it “done”.  There was always laundry or something so all the socks weren’t in the drawer, and all the stuff wasn’t available to be hung up – and not being able to “finish” – that was a serious problem.  It would weigh on me for days, or maybe decades.  The perfectionist part of PSDS is a toughie.  Over time I learned to narrow the goal.  Clean the closet.  Organize the sock drawer.  That kind of thing.  The rest was way too overwhelming. 

This leads me to weight loss goals.  Never!  I’ve absolutely never ever set one.  And that’s the SD part of PSDS.  If I can’t be absolutely sure I will reach the specific goal at the appointed time well.. the world as I know it will end.  I don’t know what that means – but it’s a BFD.  (okay a tangent about my mom.  I’m in college and my mother (the woman who gave birth to me) comes to visit.  During that visit something happened that would have resulted in a college student saying ‘big fucking deal’ – My mom, who’s always been more kid than mom didn’t skip a beat and started miming.  Yes, I said miming.  She first put her hands WAY far apart, then made a circle with her left thumb and forefinger and repeatedly stuck her right forefinger in the circle and back out and in and out and in and out – I think you get the picture.  Then she mimicked dealing cards. – From that point forward that was how all my friends and I said B.F.D. through the rest of college – so now I can’t think of Big Fucking Deal without seeing my mom do that – okay end of tangent.)

So, no weight loss goals.  So like all of you, I’ve dieted and I’ve tried a variety of things with varying levels of short term successes, but I’ve done it all on the Q.T.  Shhhhh.  Don’t tell anyone – least of all me – that I’m doing this – because, what if I can’t.  What if I fail?  Then what?  That does not go with the P in me.  Failure is not an option – so that means goals are not an option.

I think I need to come out of the closet.  I need to be less hush hush and more clear – at least to myself – maybe not to the rest of the world – about some goals.  My first attempt was to join the Holiday Challenge.  I joined.  It was public.  Sure, none of you know me.  But some of you have read here – some of you would see my name; success or failure on the chart Kristin created.  I actively didn’t do anything special during the challenge.  It was really a whole different kind of challenge for me.  I wanted to see if my reaction could be a calm one.  Just continue to go on about my business – or was I going to freak the fuck out?  Was I going to immediately eat chocolate morning, noon, and night?  Because if I can’t succeed, I will fail spectacularly.  It will be the mother of all failures.  It will be the best, most impressive failure that’s ever been seen.  That’s really the whole PSDS in me – the mother of all failures – yup, that’s me.

Okay – the point is – I joined this thing, and I didn’t die.  I said it out loud.  I sent in my weights.  I did just fine.  God forbid I put some effort into it – that would have been way, way, way too much for my first little foray into the world of goals – but I did it and it was fine.  It was fun even.  I found a bunch of new blogs to follow – I was thrilled as others had big successes.  I rooted hard for those who were struggling.  It was a group thing and I liked it.  A lot.  Who knew?

Well I set this goal for myself.  I’m setting an achievable goal.  But one I’ll have to work for.  I think it’s okay to do this, because I truly think I’m okay if I don’t make it – and that’s the point.  I hope that’s the point.  I’m not hiding it.  I’m telling myself about it.  I have a calendar in my closet where I count down the days to some future thing and on it I track my weight and my exercise (sorely lacking in December, btw).  I’ve been doing this for years.  Well I’ve put my goal in black and white for me to see every damn day.  This is a huge BFD for me.  Seriously big.  But there it is.  My name is Read and I suffer from PSDS – the first step in getting better is admitting you have a problem. 

My goal is to loose 50 lbs by the 7 month bandiversary.  To weight 185 or less by February 2, 2011.  Now you know too – shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

Mothers-in-law, bands, and other heavy stuff...

So there are a few things I want to talk about and I’m going to steal from others with the whole bullet thing…

  • My MIL is coming today for 10 days.  She was here for more than 4 months in the early part of 2010 and we nearly didn’t survive.  As she installed all of my husband’s buttons she has an uncanny ability to push them in a way no one else can.  It’s truly amazing.  She’s perfectly harmless and always means well, but when she’s around, Brad turns into a completely different person – and that guy is just no fun at all.  Luckily my MIL loves me and thinks we are really close; more like girlfriends than anything else.  I’ve always been of the opinion that she gave me my husband and therefore I can tolerate whatever she hands out.  There’s no doubt we will survive 10 days relatively unscathed, but for me it means I have to gear myself up to having 4 children in the house – my normal two, my husband, and my MIL.  They will all need constant direction, entertainment, and periodic discipline.  Totally doable – but man what a pain to have to be the only adult in the house for a while (again I bow to all the single parents out there).  Maybe if Brad gets on my nerves too much I’ll lock him and his mom into a room for a few hours and see who’s able to walk out under their own power.  The boys and I can always just go see a movie.
  • I think this band thing is pretty cool once you start figuring it out.  It’s taken me a while as does every damn thing, but I think I’m finally getting it.  Over the Christmas holiday away from work, I took away all self imposed restrictions and ate whatever the hell I wanted to, whenever the hell I wanted to.  And man did I eat a bunch of shit.  But, and this is the key, I listened to my body – especially my band.  When I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t eat, or maybe just had a little taste of something yummy I was baking.  I stopped eating at the first hint I should.  I made sure I got my vitamins in and I did mostly attempt to eat a fair amount of protein, but if I wanted cookie dough for dinner – well, that’s what I had.  I gained a few pounds most of which is definitely water, but.. eh.  I felt really comfortable – really free.  I’m back at work and back to my more regimented ways – but I have a lot less fear that this is what I have to do for the rest of my life.  It’s more – I’m just a frighteningly anal retentive person who likes order in her life.  I like knowing what’s for lunch ahead of time, so sue me.  But I have this confidence now, that if a sudden party lands in my lap I will not die.  I’ll just enjoy myself and all will be well – it’s a very good thing (and just so you know – I hate Martha Stewart.)
  • Did I mention my MIL is coming?  My marriage was having issues for a while before she came in February.  Brad was in denial I think and I was trying to gently try this and that to help – it wasn’t awful it just wasn’t good.  I really think her staying with us for all that time was the beginning of the end for us.  Or the beginning of the – I’m no longer willing to ignore all this shit anymore.  When it was in his face – Brad got that he needed to fight for me – for us, but as time has gone on – I think it’s easy to just fall into the … she’s not yelling or crying or leaving so everything must be just fine now… frame of mind.  The lack of… anything from him has been weighing on me lately – Do I remind him I was serious?  Do I take his actions for what they are?  I can’t be in charge of all things good and bad – some of it has to come from him.  But is stepping back cold turkey fair to him, fair to our marriage.  I think not.  But I don’t know where the line is…. So back to the point – my MIL is coming and it’s bringing all these things back up to the forefront for me again.  And I know Brad’s going to be a basket case for the next 10 days and he’ll need me to help him get through this with his sanity and humor in tact and of course I’ll do that – but… who helps me get through it? or not even this it – I’m good with this it.  This it is 10 days long – it’s cake!  But what about the rest of our lives?....

So this took a turn I wasn’t really expecting.  Apparently I wanted to get that off my chest… I hope no one else’s MIL is coming for the next 10 days (unless you really want her there).  I'm looking forward to really getting back to my real life which includes more time in blogland - so (I'm raising my pretend glass) here's to all of you!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas

As is our tradition, we read the book right before bedtime on Christmas Eve.  Brad directed us to look like we were completely absorbed in the book for a silly picture.  And Jack being Jack went his own way and decided to check out how clean his nails were.  So very typical Jackson.

Weigh in day

Today is 194.6 which is down 2.4 lbs for the week (yay!) and down 40.4 lbs in total (super-yay!!)



My band and I didn't get along so well this week and that, no doubt, helped.  He (I think it should be a he despite the fact that I previously gave it a girl's name - I may have to rethink this) didn't think eating very much solid food was such a good idea this week.

On the other hand - the... uncomfortableness... I felt after a few incidents really kept me purely honest about following any and all band rules - and maybe for truly the first time ever I felt like I got it a little bit more than I had been.

Any way you slice it, though - I'm down 40 friggin' pounds and that's a damn good Christmas present!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

4 Things that frighten me.....

Brad: Honey, When I was out shopping I came across something I wanted for Christmas.

Me: I hope you bought it.

B: I did, and I'm really excited about them!

M: Fantastic!!  What did I get you that's so fun?



These are for him.  My 41 year old husband.  He's a little giddy.  I'm a little frightened.

I'm pretty sure it's not a good thing to be a man and happy about wearing underwear that say "Flash" on them... I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

An NS... V?? The cloak is loosing its power of invisibility.

So, first of all a big thanks
for all your comments in the last couple of days.  I totally would have eaten only mushy food anyway today as that's all my body could handle, but it didn't really occur to me that I might be swollen.  Not to mention the possibility that this morning's problems could have been related to last night's meal.  That possibility is completely gross to me, but makes a certain amount of sense based on how intense my reaction was this morning.

I mean, I know I'm tighter in the morning, so I was extremely careful about the two bites I took.  I purposely took the middle part of the squares of the waffles because they are so much thinner then the raised part - if you know what I'm trying to describe.  So in the end it was a square (well 2 actually) of waffle about an inch or less on each side and less than 1/2 inch in thickness - drenched in butter which I chewed until it was totally liquefied and now almost 12 hours later I'm still feeling the effects.  Definitely food for thought.  It's so great to be connected with people who have had the band for a variety of lengths of time and who have had a variety of experiences - so, seriously, thank you!!

And now for the... NS... S(omething)
I don't think it's a victory - though I guess it could be described that way - but it's definitely something and it's not related to the scale, but it is related to the weight loss.  I've talked before about how being fat makes you invisible and how being visible is somewhat frightening to me - well I'm starting to get visible again.

At work I've definitely been wearing different clothes, but not that much different.  So while I've gotten a few comments, they've more been like "Did you get your hair cut?" or "Is that a new outfit, I really like it?"  Which is absolutely fine with me - better than fine, in fact.  But I've been tracking down a costing mystery (I work for a manufacturing company) for a few days and ultimately decided I needed to go out back and count some inventory.  So on Friday I wore jeans and a black sweater knowing I was going to be digging around in boxes of wheels for part of the day.  The jeans are size 16W and fit me very well and do nice things to my curves.  Friday was also the day of our in house Christmas party in the afternoon.  So there I am running around in the shop - which I'm in at some point every day anyway - but I was there, digging and climbing and whatnot and dressed in very good fitting jeans.

Well the point is - On Friday I became visible to two different men - at different times, in different places.  Both of whom are total dogs when it comes to women and both of whom I see all the damn time.  Both sought me out to chat about inane things.  I see these men, one in particular, every single day.  We certainly speak to each other - exchange the normal pleasantries; weather, work load - that kind of thing.  But on Friday - they wanted to talk.  I'm not suggesting they were hitting on me.  They weren't.  But I suddenly became worthy of an actual conversation.  And that's the thing that used to totally freak me out.  So there I am on Friday and first Don is chatting me up - I don't even remember about what - in the shop and I'm thinking - man, what?  are you bored?  trying to pass the time till you can have a beer at the party?  Dude, I'm friggin' swamped today - don't you see me out here for hours, and today's the day you want to talk to me?  And then later, I'm at the party and Dan (yes Don and Dan) comes and sits next to me and he starts to chat with me too as if we talk all the damn time.  No idea what he was talking about - I think I fell asleep after a few minutes.  But somewhere in there it dawned on me.  OMG - I'm becoming visible again - shit!  The cloak is loosing its magic power.  What am I going to do now?

The first time it happened, 20 or so years ago, I didn't know I was missing these conversations until people started having them with me.  I'm not a shy wallflower.  I've always had lots of friends, plenty of things to do and people to play with - so I just didn't know that regular people (almost exclusively men) who I interacted with on a day to day basis were all but ignoring me.  Pleasantries had always been exchanged.  But when I lost enough weight back then - suddenly there were these conversations people were having with me and I didn't get it.  I'm just talking about normal day to day conversations people have - things that are more than 'wow it's damn cold outside'.  I had a part time retail job at the time, and at first I thought - wow, how odd to have so many oddly talkative men in the store day after day... what a coincidence.  But then as I watched - I'm a big observer - I realized what it was.  I just hadn't been, in their opinions, worthy of actual conversations before. 

Being visible to men is a good thing, I guess.  But the difference - the... I'm not sure how to act with this - is a little scary.  The upside - at least so far - and as I'm only 3 days into this new power of visible-ness - is that I'm not freaking out about it.  I've known it was coming.  I'm a lot more comfortable with who I am and what I want right now than I was even a few years ago.  When I lost weight a few years ago is when my next door neighbor kissed me - and talk about not being prepared for something - that totally wigged me out.  But if something like that were to happen this time around (the last damn time around) I'd be ready - to slug him in that case.

Anyway - that's my rambling description of my poor cloak loosing its power.  My reaction - so far - is truly a good thing for me.  The visibleness itself - is just stupid - it points out which ones are the stupid ones (as if I didn't already know).

Some words for this beautiful holiday morning....

slime
projectile
coughing
puking
Holy Hell
tissues
toilets

And three children (we have an extra one) running around wanting more waffles.  I had two, count them two, very small bites of butter drenched waffle (purposely butter drenched thinking the extra moisture would be good in the morning - and well, yeah... who doesn't love extra butter?)  But seriously... Holy Hell!

How does this work - seriously I ate an entire Qdoba chicken taco salad last night for dinner - the whole damn thing.  The shell and all.  And I was full as Hell and it gave me serious shoulder pain, but I didn't have the slightest issue getting it down.  And this morning - 2 tiny dripping pieces of waffle and if I don't die on my own, I may have to kill myself.  How does this work - I totally don't get it.

Okay - I'm done now.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Note to self...

Just because the stars align in an odd way and you are able to eat an entire Qdoba taco salad, shell and all, doesn't mean you actually should eat it the whole thing.  


I'm just sayin'

Friday, December 17, 2010

weigh in day

today was 197.00 which is down .2 from last week and 38 in total.

eh.  so I stayed basically the same.  I thought I was going to gain as my frenemy TOM is still visiting and well, I made the 6th batch of pumpkin bars (from Paula Dean) last night for yet another event today.  We'll see what happens next week - I think there are less events.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gilda, phlegm and the porcelain gods

I’ve got to tell you this sucks.  I’ve got a cold.  It’s just a cold people, but I swear it’s gonna kill me.  I’ve had it for more than a week and I’m getting seriously tired of it.  It’s just sitting there in my chest making all kinds of racket in my body.  If I’m not coughing up a lung I’m setting new snot producing records.  What the hell?  Okay, I get it, I’ve got a cold.  I should take it easy and have more vitamin C and whatnot – I’ve got, I swear I do.

And now I have my period – whine, whine, whine and so while this month I’m not in the bone crushing, mind melting, soul stripping pain that often accompanies my friend TOM (can I just say I never thought of calling it Aunt Flo or anything else like that, but on someone’s blog I saw the acronym TOM and from that point forward I had a new friend (Okay, really I hate him, but you get the idea))  (is it bad to like parenthesis and exclamation points as much as I do? Or dashes?)  So anyway – Tom’s visiting and while I’m not doubled over praying for the world to suck me into it’s (I’m really struggling with the word its here – it’s usually means it is, whereas its is an inanimate object – but in this case it’s is referring to the depths that belong to the world - it’s possessive; is there an apostrophe or not and where in the hell should it go? It’s… its’???) depths I am the absolute Queen and Supreme Leader of Spacey-ness.  OMG – I can’t think in a straight line to save my holy friggin’ life.

And Gilda?  What did I name my band?  I need to go back and figure that out – but whatever her godforsaken name is I’m alternately tight and loose like no one’s business.  Usually around this time of the month I can’t swallow my own spit (I’ve stolen that phrase from my friend Camille who has a band too and it’s not really true, but totally funny to me) but this time sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any change at all, and then I eat a tiny little cheese stick.  The same kind I had yesterday and the day before without so much as a blip and 3 minutes later I’m praying to the porcelain gods, which I had more than my fair share of in my younger days (not to mention during both my pregnancies…. Only lasts for the first trimester my ass….) and truly don’t need any more).

AND to top it off I forgot my phone today!  And on my phone is where my Christmas list is and I can’t call Brad to read it to me cuz there are things on the list for him too – whine, whine, whine.

Okay my rambling rant is over.  I hope everyone is having a lovely day – I swear I do – really I’ll just sit here all annoyed at my chest, and nose, and phlegm (the absolute best hangman word ever!), and head, and ovaries and that bitch Gilda (who I wouldn’t trade for anything) while hopefully you are all peacefully enjoying a calm and relaxing day with your feet up and small blue birds singing quietly to you. – See I told you I can’t think in a straight line today.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The sort-of yet totally amusing BYOC

1. It is negative degrees here. Today I drove 35 all the way to work because I followed a snowplow who was also salting the roads. It’s too cold to even go sledding or ice skating. The weather is downright nasty. It’s freaking Winter alright? Why then – may I ask – when driving home last night did I see not one, but two MEN – driving big “I’m a man with a small penis so I drive this HUGE truck with deer antlers on the front and playboy mud flaps and mufflers coming out of the box” trucks with their windows OPEN? Why do men do that?

I've always subscribed to the belief that their penises weigh their poor brains down.  We women (sorry to any men who may be reading this) don't have those things swinging free from our body and we don't do the completely non-sensical things like that that men routinely do.  A+B=C.  Sure we make up our own words from time to time, but only to add clarity or for entertainment.  And I'm not sure there's a correlation to the size of the penis and the brain drain it causes - maybe it's just the extra blood flow routing and not just the weight.  Cuz I'm with Draz that it's just those men compensating for certain things lacking that drive those SUVs super fast in the snow.  They help you go, sure.  But news flash, boys, they can't stop any better than anything else out there - and on ice that's not at all.  Is it true in the rest of the world as it is in MD that 90% of all vehicles off the road in a ditch during a ice storm are big SUVs with pissed off men standing next to them looking completely surprised?

2. Is Richard Simmons gay? Is he straight?  Has he ever come out? Does he have a lover?
Okay, I have no idea at all.  I guess I've always assumed yes - I've also assumed some of that, if not all has to be an act.  I think he goes home to his posh penthouse and throws highbrow dinner parties and then bathes in his money as he laughs at all of us for believing his schtick (is that how you spell that?).  Does anyone remember that SNL skit that was about President Reagan and how he was playing the bumbling guy who didn't always remember stuff, but then once the cameras were off, his "real" personality came out and he jumped in front of the commanders of the joint chiefs and laid out an eloquent, yet clear and concise plan for how to win the war.  I kind of think it's like that.  Richard flits off of Ellen's stage and flounces out to his waiting car and as soon as the door closes he says something in a deep voice, maybe with a New York accent like.  "Jesus, Bernie, I need a whiskey and make it a double, that was awful - but at least it pays the bills.  But now I barely have time to get in my tux and still make the curtain, but I'm not missing La Traviata again.

3. What’s your favorite Cmas song?
I have two and they are totally different, but I love these particular versions of these songs for the same exact reason; passion.  Both songs are filled with such passion and energy they touch me every time.  The first is Go Tell it On the Mountain as sung by Little Big Town and the second is What Child is This as sung by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige.  The Gift by Jim Brickman is way up there too!  But, I too have a 'round the clock Christmas music station on at work.  I'm lucky, though, in that there are a couple of us who have it on so we're surrounded by it.  (My least favorite, though no one asked is Christmas Shoes.  I hate that song with such a powerful passion that I have to turn off the music if it comes on and then I end up missing the next song too which makes me hate it even more.  You can't have a song designed to make you sad and cry for Christmas - I'm sorry to those who like it - but it's pure bunk!)


4. What is your most favorite and your least favorite Cmas movie?
I think I might be following with exactly what Draz said here - I love, love, love the cartoon Grinch - and when his heart grows 3 sizes I tear up every year.  I have to hide it from my boys or they laugh mercilessly at me, but what're you gonna do?  My least favorites are Rudolph because I find it really creepy and the one with the boy who wants the Red Flyer or the bb gun or something like that for Christmas.  I think he gets his tongue stuck to a pole at some point - Brad LOVES that movie and I think he's convinced the boys it's fantastic - it makes me want to tear my eyes out!

5. To all my corporate buddies out there….I have an important question. My brother is interviewing for jobs in the corporate world. He has an impeccable resume and good, long, stable job history with many impressive accomplishments. However – no bites after he interviews. He’s convinced they are checking his credit record – which is not great. Now I’ve heard places do that…but really how common is it? I mean I work in a place where our work is completely for the government and classified and export-controlled and deals with citizenship and such and we do NOT check credit scores. How prevalent is this – especially when the jobs he’s applying for are not even in the financial industry?
I work for a manufacturing company - not all that corporate, but not small and greasy either - fairly sophisticated as these things go and we've hired plenty of corporate types over the years.  That said, we do a full background check including a thorough credit check for every single person we hire; whether it's a person working in the shop or a new CFO.  Our CEO believes there's a direct correlation between credit history and ... uh... work ethic, or integrety (neither is quite right) but he believes it's important.  That said, each case it reviewed as a whole.  And unless we're hiring someone with direct access to our books or cash, bad credit is not an automatic no.  It is one piece of a puzzle.  And in this economy we look even more closely at credit and if someone can explain their bad credit to us, in a clear and reasonable manner - They got into trouble because of a lay off or a partner that lost their job, or they've been caring for a sick relative - that kind of thing - then it wouldn't really count against them.

Anyway - this was fun - so thanks Drazil!

Weigh in day

Today I was 197.2 which is miraculously down 1lb from last week (there was a serious amount of sweets left over in my house) and 37.8 in total.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

a little Christmas in pictures....

I loved Linda's suggestion of posting a little Christmas.  I wandered around and took some pictures with my phone.  The pictures aren't as good as they would be if I used the camera, but still - the color and feelings are there for the most part...

First of all I have to explain that I have a little bit of a Christmas decorating disease.  I can't seem to help myself.  I love my house decorated at Christmas - much, much more than I like it the rest of the year.  All the colors work, it feels so very homey - it's just a warm thing.  I have been working for a couple of years with some very slow success at finding things to fill my house the rest of the year to get some version of the same warm, homey, feelings.

The first step is admitting I've got a problem - but it's a problem I embrace (and luckily so does my family).

So first the trees.  We get one real one - that's the one Santa comes to and we have... cough, cough, ahem, a few others beyond that.  Then there are the little collections that I like to group together on top of shelves here and there; snowmen, more trees, Santas - that kind of thing.

I can't get the captions to work well so I'll just tell you up front what you're seeing; our Real tree is first, then a tree in the living room; a room that is surrounded in windows and so the tree can be seen from a lot of different places outside.  The 2nd row had the kitchen tree which carries all the ornaments the kids have made over the years and all Brad's geek ornaments (read: Star Trek ships) and a collection of trees on top of a shelf which I really like.

The 3rd row are two of my favorite 'pictures'.  On the left is from my friend Camille and I just love the sentiment - this is the first year I got to hang it up and I love it, the 2nd was made by my late grandma when my sister and I were very young.  We were her first two grand kids and she put our names on Santa's list and then along came my cousin Keith about 15 years later and she added his name.  Then his twin siblings came along and there wasn't any more room and my grandma was so mad at herself.  I think she looked at it and was a little bit angry for the rest of her life, but to me it signifies how much she loved that she couldn't let that go - that worry that she somehow slighted the rest of her very much loved grand kids who hadn't yet been twinkles in anyone's eyes when she had first created it.

Next is the snowman collection that greets you as you walk into our house and our stockings hung by the chimney with care (or by the gas fireplace still without a mantle 8 years later with 3M removable hooks - we'll get there).

Then the Santa collection, my beautiful Nativity set, my first attempt at a Christmas amaryllis, and my new favorite things above our cabinets in our kitchen - some big snowmen thinking of riding a bike.  And a couple of pictures of our house at night.  I do the inside and Brad does the outside.  There's no doubt where the party is as you round the corner to our house.  This year for the first time we used colored lights on the outside tree - I think I'm in love.  Happy holidays to all!












I need some advice about my wacko doctor...

When I was at my last disastrous appointment as a matter of course I made another appointment for December 22nd - which you might know is coming up.

I've been wrestling with whether or not I should keep the appointment and it just dawned on me - duh - that I could ask you guys for your opinion - so this is me asking...

In general, I feel like I'm probably at a pretty good fill level and I'm not having any current issues that I'd want to discuss with a doctor whether I liked him or not.

In the "don't go" column are the following;
  • I have no interest in him getting any more money related to me being his patient
  • I think he's insane
  • I'm not having any issues
In the "I should go anyway" column is;
  • What if something happens and I need a doctor soon.
  • I haven't yet found another doctor though I've been given a recommendation from my PCP and there's a FillCenter about 45 minutes away.  I just don't know if the recommended doctor will accept me - and I figured I'd deal with that whole thing after the holidays since everything seems to be going well enough band wise.
  • What if I can't find another doctor?
  • What if the FillCenter refuses to take me (I know that's stupid, but still)?
Really, I don't know that I mind going in that I'll just say - yes everything is fine, yes I'm eating correclty, yes I'm exercising... blah, blah, blah, and that'll be that.

Though I do have this recurring thought that I'll have lost enough weight that he'll think I need an unfill (as that's his only barometer) and we'll end up having an actual physical battle where he tries to force me to get one and I staunchly refuse.  I win, of course, in that little film that has played a few times in my head - but I leave and there is now no way he'd treat me anymore if there was an emergency. 

Yes, I get I'm a little paranoid about this and am way over thinking it - but... eh, it is what it is.  So, what do you all think?  Should I go just to keep him available in case something happens, or not since there is a FillCenter not that far away?

Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts!

Blogging with my iPhone?

I'm just seeing if this is possible. I know I'm a little behind the times here, but this is way cool!!! (a little thing like a small keyboard isn't going to keep me from my exclamation point love!!!)



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The party, a space cadet, insanity, and a bad case of the tights....

The Christmas Party
Was great fun!  Dare I say a big success?  Why yes, yes I do dare.  We added more groups of people this year like the parents of kids our kids play various sports with (well the ones we like anyway) and some old college friends I just discovered live in the area and there was an unexpected and totally lovely mix of people.  Several of the new people we invited knew people who come every year and so it was fun to see how people know each other – it really is a small world – okay – maybe not that small since the vast majority of the people who came all live in the same county… Still it was cool to see.  AND!!!  I got to have Bonnie come with her adorable husband Dave!!  I know you all are totally jealous as well you should be.  She’s so much more brave than I am to come to a party where she only knows one person (me) and we’ve only met in person one time before this - I'm just so impressed I can't stand it.  No way do I have balls that big.  I totally didn’t take any pictures but she looked totally fantastic and she brought some seriously yummy cookies and a killer rum punch.  (well I heard the punch was really good from a number of people as rum and I are no longer friends after a tragic college incident – enough said).

We had such a wonderful time!  We haven’t done a final head count, but we had 70 yes RSVPs on evite, so I expect it was somewhere in that neighborhood.  We’ll be doing the post mortem later this week where I go through everything I served plus everything people brought and make notes about what we needed more or less of.  I have found the list invaluable, but it’s truly something that needs to be done within a week or so of the party or our old brains start deteriorating.  My only real regret is that I didn’t have more time to sit and chat with Bonnie and Dave; they’re both so nice and fun.  We’ll definitely have to plan a time soon to have them over again and maybe watch our Ravens continue on though the playoffs!!


Space Cadet one to Air Head two
Last night was the 2nd of a two day middle school concert extravaganza – I know you’re all jealous again!  Day one (Monday) was for band; jazz, lower, and upper.  Teddy and Matt (our neighbor and his best friend) are both percussionists in the upper band. Then last night was for chorus and orchestra.  Brad’s going to take Ted separately to get there on time and I was going to follow with Jack a bit later.  Just as Teddy was putting on his coat there was furious pounding on our door.  I rushed to open it and it’s Matt in full concert wear and his mom Lisa.

Lisa: Space Cadet 1 needs to talk to Air Head 2.  Space Cadet 1 has no bell mallets or music for what they’re playing tonight?
Me: um… Playing?  I thought that was last night, they’re singing tonight.
L: They’re doing both.  I think Ted’s playing for two groups and Matt for one, but Matt needs to make sure Ted has the music for the thing they’re doing together and he’s managed to misplace his.
Me: (In my head I’m thinking…. No way in Hell does my air head have any music.  This was the very first time I had heard he was doing anything other than singing for the chorus concerts so I certainly have never once suggested he practice his drum parts for chorus – and there’s no way on earth he’d think to do it on his own…. We are talking about Teddy here.) but out loud I said – Come on in, he’s just putting on his coat.
Matt – (rushing in) Do you have the music?
Ted: (looking totally clueless) What music?
M: For the bell piece
T: What bell piece?
M: (big exasperated sigh) The one we’re playing with the 6th grade chorus.
T: (serious deer in headlight look…. Then) Oh. My. Gosh.  Dad!  We’ve got to stop at the school!! (the concert was at a different school).
Me: Um, honey, the school is long closed.
T: But we’ve got to!
Me: Not going to happen, you’ll just have to do your best.
T: (deep breath, then looking at Matt) Okay, we’ll be fine.

They sounded great and looked like they knew what they were doing up on stage, but later Teddy reported that they’d totally screwed it up…. oops!  Oh well, what’re you going to do?

Pure insanity
I can only comment on this because none of the people in my real life read this but… Holy Shit there are some intense people in the world!

So for a long time Lisa, Lida, and I have casually hung around together from time to time.  We live in the same neighborhood, we all have a son Teddy’s age and one other kid (though theirs are both older) and we’re all nice, sane, women.  Okay that last part is just no longer true anymore.  I still think they are both nice enough woman – but the sane part… ?  Not so much.  It would take way too long to go into the background story that got to what I’m about to tell you but…suffice it to say that Lida and Lisa are something like dysfunctional sisters who have finally gone too far.  Somehow Lida has give Lisa enough power to make her insane.  Both women have no doubt gotten caught up in stupid details and it made its way to a somewhat public she said/she said kind of stupid email trail – but really as insane and rude as I have no doubt Lisa was, the fact that Lida has given her such power over her emotions is on Lida at least as much as Lisa if not more (well, in my opinion anyway)…. Okay so now to the really insane part… I’m sitting with Lida at the concert last night and she starts to tell me the latest tale of woe between them which I try my hardest to stay out of, but she starts it with “I DESPISE LISA.  Seriously despise her.  I hate her.  I will never be in the same room with her again.  Ever!  She’s why I left your party early and I’m never coming back!! 

To my house?  Or just my Christmas party?  (I know it’s not funny, but it was all I could do not to laugh at Lida because I just so don’t understand that kind of passion or insanity or whatever it is... at least not past middle school).

The conversation continued on and for a while I was under the impression that Lisa had severely offended Lida at my house during my party and was not amused that no one had told me so that I could have dealt with it and gotten rid of the offender right then and there.  It turns out the supposed offending had happened earlier and all was well on that front, but I had reminded Lida about how - many years ago a seriously drunk neighbor had offended Lisa at this same Christmas party and how unhappy I had been that no one had told me then so I could have protected Lisa.  And here’s the new level of insanity my “friend” reached…. She said, and I'm doing my level best to quote her here;

“And I was the one who defended Lisa back then.  I should have let Mike go after her.  Let him go for her jugular.  Let him rip her to shreds so that she lay a limp and bloody, twitching pulp all over your floor.”

Alrighty then….

I swear to you I would have said Lida was a nice sane woman – a little intense sometimes, but OMG.  Who says that about another human being and with such intense passion?  I’m thinking I’m going to slowly back away from the scary women.

Is a case of the tightness worse than the runs?
So ever since I was introduced to restriction I’ve had the uber-restriction thing around my TOM.  And holy moly it’s coming again.  I’m due this weekend, but starting yesterday I was having trouble eating yogurt or other similar soft things.  Seriously, what's up with that?  I think I’m going to try to look at it as a blessing and really watch every bit of my intake (as if I have the remotest choice in the matter) – relying more heavily on protein shakes or things of that nature.  What’s a tough week each month?  Right?  Maybe?  We’ll see.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weigh in day

Today was 198.2 which is down 1.6lbs from the last weigh in (two weeks ago as I was on vacation last week) and 36.8 in total.  I'm thrilled - don't get me wrong - but knowing me and my pace in general - slow and steady wins the race - it's totally why I picked a turtle on my weight ticker. LOL

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A quick Disney recap - I'm totally missing all of you!!

We had an absolute ball!!!  It wasn’t too short or too long – just perfect.  We hit every park at least twice and also did one of their water parks and Universal too.  The weather was completely perfect.  It was roughly 80 degrees and sunny the whole week.  There was a very quick shower a couple of times, but when it’s 80 degrees who cares!  And we got a beautiful rainbow out of it too!  (if you look closely you can see it’s even a double rainbow)



I’ve decided I’m not doing enough pictures on this blog and that just has to stop right now!  Though because I’m still wildly crazed getting ready for the party (In. Two. More. Days.) I’m only going to post a few I took with my phone as I have them right here with me at work.

Oh, and on the last day as we were driving out of the Wilderness Lodge on our way to Epcot an honest to goodness bald eagle swooped down and landed right by the side of the road near us and then flew up and landed on a nearby tree branch.  I’ve never ever seen one in the wild before and I totally took it as a good omen of things to come!!  On the eating front, I ate far too much ice cream and a whole lot of really good salmon.  I gained a few pounds but there’s no doubt the majority of it was water weight as I’m back down below my last weigh in as of this morning.

I only had a couple of pictures of Ted from the whole week on my phone – he’s way, way, too cool for school these days but here’s one that he and Jack staged of Jack pushing him into a big fountain.

Here’s another of the two of them coming out of English phone booth while in the middle of a totally and completely cool Kim Possible scavenger hunt where various inanimate objects interact with you at the press of your super secret decoder receiver.  I think they’d just been given a golf ball by the phone booth here, though that may have been later.



We spent Thanksgiving dinner with Mickey and friends at Mickey’s back yard bar-b-q and this is Jackson dancing up a storm with Goofy.  This is now one of my all time favorites of him!


This next one is Brad being a good sport and a good dad participating in a little competition with another dad from the audience.  Both men had just had these cute little frilly aprons put on them and come back from back stage and Jackson had just yelled out to the world in general “Work that Apron!!!”  As you can see, both Brad and the host are laughing hilariously at it.  It was seriously funny!



I’ll leave you with a picture of the stunning castle all lit up for Christmas.  It was truly amazing.  So, so beautiful!


 
As soon as the party’s over I’ll really be back and will have time to catch up and everything!  At this moment, I’m spending every lunch hour at a store buying stuff and every evening decorating or staging stuff for the party.  It’s coming along and tonight, I’ll really be putting stuff; chaffing dishes, wine glasses, serving platters, etc out where they belong and we’ll just have to live around them for the next day and a half.

I hope everyone is having a great couple of weeks and I truly look forward to catching up!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am thankful for.....

  • My beautiful Teddy - though he constantly challenges me with his teenage attitude he never ceases to amaze me with his thoughtful curiosity and beautifully gentle ways (when he forgets to hide those parts from us).  
  • My amazing Jackson - his witty, dry, humor keeps us laughing even while he's creating the mischief only his warped brain can find.
  • My husband Brad - I'm not sure what the future holds for us, but I know confidently I'm a better person for having his kindness and love and support in my life and my children are truly blessed for having such a big kid as such a loving protector.
  • My life that allows me to be writing this from the Wilderness Lodge in the happiest place on earth while my husband and kids are wrapping up an early morning trip to the Magic Kingdom (letting mommy sleep in a bit) before we all head over to Blizzard Beach for an afternoon frolicking in the water before coming back to have a Thanksgiving Day bar-b-q with Mikey and friends before heading out on a pirate ship to watch the fireworks - who does this?  So much fun and we are so blessed to be able to do it!!!
  • My friend Camille who knows every part of me; the good, the bad, the perverted and warped, the goofy and deranged, the kinky, the scared, the hopeful and the doubtful and loves me for (not despite) all of it.
  • This blogging community that's been so delightfully supportive in so many fun and serious ways.
And so many, many other things I can't begin to single out - I am truly blessed and hope to take more time this year to appreciate every bit of it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hallelujah... I made it to onederland!

So it's been weeks and weeks since I first saw below 205 and was what I considered withing spitting distance of onederland, in fact I just went and looked - it was October 22nd.  So now on November 19th I finally see that one as the first number.  Thank the heavenly Lord above. phew. 

I'm really not good at goals.  I always do things to sabotage myself as I get close to any goal - It's the biggest personal flaw I want to change - but that's a whole different issue.  I had a very, very quiet - hush, hush sort of goal-lite of reaching this mark before we went to Disney (which is today).  I was too afraid to actually state it as an actual goal (even in my own brain) - but those little boxes in the back of my brain sometimes talk to me and there was a very quiet discussion - one I could totally deny if need be - about wanting to hit that mark by this date.

When I very quietly thought about that being a relatively easily achievable mark - I had more than 2 1/2 months to lose less than 15 pounds and I'd very easily beaten that mark before and it was near the beginning of this journey - when I was most ready to do what I needed to do - to learn what I needed to learn.  This was a no brainer.  The closer I got, the slower it went.  I had pretty much come to the realization that I wasn't going to make it (still in the very quiet, totally deniable kind of conversation I have within my brain). 

The difference this time, though, was that I wasn't getting discouraged.  I was still losing.  I was still totally and completely confident that I was heading in the right direction.  I knew totally and concretely that I'd get there and get to all the rest of the places I want to go - it just might take a while.  This band thing - it's giving me confidence.  This is a beautiful thing.

So in a few hours we're heading to Disney World to spend Thanksgiving with Mickey.  And I'm going to see what happens when I just relax a little and just follow the band rules.  I'll eat when I'm hungry, which I'm totally doing at home, but I won't have a house full of easy, protein rich, foods to grab.  So we'll just see what we'll see.  I think it's going to be all good. 

I hope everyone has a beautiful and inspiring Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I eat....

Lap Band Gal suggested we all comment on what we eat and I thought it was a fantastic idea!!!  Hopefully we can all get some good new ideas.

M-F, I'm very consistent.

On the way to work at about 8am I have 20-32 oz of water with a mix of 1 scoop of strawberry-kiwi protein powder and a powdered vitamin and powdered calcium.  It's yummy and 24g of protein and 100 cal and my vitamins and minerals all accounted for before I walk into the office.  If I feel I'm not getting enough protein I'll just up how much protein powder I add, so occasionally I'll add a scoop and a half or so for 36 g.

I pack an insulated bag with 2 cheese sticks (8g protein, 70 cal), Chobani Greek yogurt (14g prot, 140 cal), a little carton of Breakstone cottage cheese (11g prot. 90 cal), and 4oz of chicken salad (which I estimate at 250ish cal and 21g protein - I don't really know how much protein and cal so if anyone wants to help me out with that it would be much appreciated I'll post the recipe such as it is below).  Assuming my estimates are correct that's 62g of protein and 620 cal in the bag.    Before my last fill I also included 1/2 C Kashi Go Lean crunch which I added to the yogurt and it was my breakfast every morning, but I can't eat the cereal in the morning right now, so I haven't been packing it.

The protein water (as I call it) keeps me happy and satisfied for a while in the mornings.  Somewhere between 9:30 and 10:30 I eat a little something; either a cheese stick, or cottage cheese.

At about 12 or so, I have a little something else, perhaps the thing I didn't have earlier.  So by noonish I've eaten two pretty small things, but I do my best to listen to my body and eat as soon as I'm hungry, or I'll eat a cheese stick or something before I'm hungry if I'm going to head into a long meeting. 

Then I try to eat something a bit more, like either the yogurt or the chicken salad the next time I'm hungry, maybe at 2:30 or so. 

Actually I've been trying to eat the yogurt as the first thing in the morning, thinking it's more substantial with it's increased protein and then have the chicken salad for a late lunch, with maybe a cheese stick or two to round out the work day.

I never eat everything in the bag, there is usually at least one cheese stick and maybe the cottage cheese or the yogurt left over at the end of the day, but I really like having the variety of things in there that I can choose from - even if the variety isn't all that crazy.

For dinner I might have more chicken salad, or a boca burger with a slice of american cheese, or soup, or salmon.  Or whatever the rest of the family is having as long as it's not pasta, just in a small portion; maybe half of a chicken thigh and some broccoli.

I also try to eat dessert every evening; SF pudding with whipped cream, a weight watchers dessert of some sort, that kind of thing.

On the weekends I try to experiment a bit - I'm still figuring out what and when I can eat things with my latest fill.  I go for eggs or a warm spinach salad (with Gorgonzola, bacon and almonds) or fish or chicken.  I'm also much more likely to eat a little junk here and there on the weekends; which is why my Holiday Challenge weigh ins will most likely always be higher than my Friday weigh ins.


My chicken salad
Once a week or so I take a whole rotisserie chicken and make chicken salad.  I remove all skin and roughly cube all the chicken; white and dark meat.  To that I add celery and every once in a while a couple of pieces of very crispy bacon, and lite or fat free mayo and pepper and that's it.  Well sometimes I throw a cut up cucumber in there too.  I tend to make it a little more mayonnaise-y than I would have pre-band as I find this helps with it going down pretty easily.

Mom-of-the-Year.... The fish died.

We suck as parents; fish and otherwise.  My poor Teddy has lost every pet that’s ever been only his.  First there was the gecko; supposedly the easiest animal to keep as a pet.  I don’t even remember his name, but you have to feed the gecko live crickets, which is fine.  But that means you have to keep a cage for the crickets you haven’t yet fed him and feed the crickets.  Yeah, ok.  So we bought this gross gel stuff and fed the crickets and fed the crickets to the gecko.  Great, right?  Yeah.. well, we are useless.  That’s all I can say.  We didn’t read the bottle of gel cricket food.  It has to be refrigerated after opening (come on, seriously we have to refrigerate cricket food?)  Anyway, we didn’t do that and the food became “bad” and we fed the crickets anyway and then we fed the now tainted crickets to the gecko and he died.  Oops.  Teddy was heart broken.

Then there were the hamsters.  Two dwarf robo (I think) hamsters who he named “Dwarf” and “Robo”.  He’s very creative, our boy.  Now, I’ve got to tell you, Teddy is a space cadet.  He’s one of these kids that’s book smart, but wouldn’t know common sense if it hit him upside the head.  He was just not gifted with an understanding of how life works – how things fit together.  Things like… you need to give your animals food and water in order for them to live.  On the one hand we were preaching to him to check their food and water, but on the other hand we were thinking… he’s 11, he should be able to handle the responsibility himself.  Well… we suck.

One night I go in there for bedtime and check the hamster’s water; which I would have said I did regularly (maybe he gets his space cadet-ness honestly) and it was empty.  So what did Mom-of-the-Year do?  She started in on the lecture about how if you don’t give your hamsters water they will die.  This is your responsibility, Ted.  You convinced us you were old enough and mature enough to handle this…. you get the idea.  One of the hamsters was sitting there at his nearly empty food bowl shaking.  Ut oh.  They need water and they need it now!!!  I went to fill a little tray with water to put right in front of their mouths telling Ted to find the other one and see if we can get them in the same place.  I’m on my way back when Ted comes barreling into my arms hysterical. 

Yup, Mom-of-the-Year here.  None of you can claim the title.  It’s mine.  I had just asked my kid to dig around in his hamster cage until he came across the dead hamster.  OMG.  I know I haven’t survived that trauma yet, Ted seems to have faired a bit better.  What the hell was I thinking?  Anyway, the 2nd one died, a slow and I’m sure painful death about an hour later with Teddy and Brad looking on.  It was not a good night.  We did our best to back peddle and take all the blame so he wouldn’t be scarred for life, but, it was just another banner day in his life with pets.  Jackson’s are still alive and well.

And now it’s the fish. 
This time I do, in fact, think it’s totally Brad’s fault.  He desperately wants to care for a pet of his own.  We thought…. How hard could fish be?  Brad took him to the pet store and they came home with a tank too small for a heater and 2 balloon mollies; Tom and Joey. Of course the pet store people knew what they were doing and told them it was probably going to be ok.  But mollies apparently do much better in heated water.  And if you leave the light on all the time (in a non-heated tank it’s the only source of heat) then you encourage algae growth.  Yadda yadda yadda.  Whatever!  First Joey died and then Tom didn’t look so good, so Brad cleaned the tank and somehow Tom survived that and looked a bit better and then I went to the store for more supplies and this is when I learned that mollies are considered tropical and should be in a bigger and heated tank and yadda yadda yadda.  I bought the tank and Ted and I set it up last night.  I was told to let the filter and heater go for 24 hours before you add the fish, but we decided we’d just wait till morning because Tom didn’t look so good again.  Well he was dead this morning.  Teddy said he didn’t care at all in the way only a pre teen can manage.  We suck.