Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, darlings!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

First and foremost, thank you for all of your encouraging words after my last post.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, you all are the bomb.

We are keeping the appointment with the Developmental Peds clinic of our local children's hospital set for March 10, 2009, and also pursuing having a more extensive assessment done by our local school system.  Hopefully this will happen by the end of January.  I don't think there's an actual developmental delay or problem, but more an issue of figuring out how to redirect his attention and focus.  During his parent/teacher conference in the fall, the teachers mentioned that boys mature at a slower pace than girls do, which I'd heard and read before, so I'm sure that's part of it.  On top of that, I'll be the first to say he's watched way too much television for his young age, and although I don't think he's lapsed into A.D.D. or A.D.H.D or anything like that, it will be good to have someone(s) who is more of an expert give us the scoop.

Initially, of course, I freaked out about all of this, but I have since calmed down.  Can I just say that I find motherhood rather intimidating?  I'm sure this doesn't come as a shock to you.  The responsibility of it weighs on me like...  I don't know... an aircraft carrier sitting on my chest, let's say.  Hopefully I'll be rid of this by the time he's graduating from college and ready to be out on  his own...  but right now I am skeptical...

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm tired. 

I'm ready for the holidays to be over.

I'm on vacation the week between Christmas and New Year's - hallelujah!  When I leave work on Christmas Eve, I don't have to be back until January 5, 2009.  When I think about that, it makes me happy.

I'm concerned about the boy.  Easter Seals evaluated the kids at the preschool back in November, and they had some concerns about his fine motor skills development (or lack thereof).  We were expecting that.  Kindergarten testing is getting closer and closer, and he has yet to really start writing his letter...  or using a pen/pencil in general.  He shows absolutely no interest in learning this.  He has no interest in coloring or drawing.  For the kindergarten assessment he has to be able to write his name (I thought that was something you learned in kindergarten - silly me), and he's nowhere close. 

We think he's going to be a lefty.  He tends to favor his left hand when we are able to get him focused for 10 or 15 minutes on using the crayon or pencil.  Maybe this makes it harder to learn?  I don't know (although I asked the mother of a friend who's raised both a left and right-handed child, and she didn't remember having any difficulties unique to the left-handed child versus the right-handed child)...  I feel like I'm grasping.

So, our pediatrician, whom we love, took a look at the evaluation and referred us to the developmental pediatrics unit at the local children's hospital.  After several phone calls back and forth and filling out a packet of paperwork, we were advised that their first available appointment is March 10, 2009, which really did not make me happy.  But I took the appointment.  Our other option is having him evaluated through the local school system, which we're now also pursuing.

Why is this stuff so hard?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The nasty, icy weather is here.  I know I have no room to complain, as those of you that live extremely west and north of me have already experienced severe winter weather this year.  I empathize.  I still appreciate the beauty of a neighborhood blanketed with ice and snow...  but as a person who then has to go out and drive in it, it totally irritates me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh the times, they are a changin', in the house of Ruth Speaks Up.  The husband, after what seemed like endless searching, has found a job and started yesterday.  Is he working as a medical coding or billing specialist in a plush doctor's office?
He is, in fact, working as a driver for our area's Regional Transit Authority, for their Project Mobility program.  Folks (or caregiver's of folks) who meet certain qualifications under the American's With Disabilities Act can arrange to be picked up/dropped off by a mini-van, equipped with a wheelchair lift if needed, emblazoned with the RTA logo.  The mini-van's cover the same area that the RTA does with the 'regular' busses, so yes, he'll potentially be going to the bad section of town, he'll potentially be picking up or dropping people off at bars, he'll potentially be dealing with drunk people in his van.
I know...  some of you out there are saying, "But Ruth, wait!  This means he'll have to talk to people, to be social, to interact with people he doesn't know!"  It's true, his track record shows a definite... awkwardness in situations such as this.  In all honesty, though, I think he's very well suited to this kind of job.  He likes to be out and about, driving around.  He really is a friendly, personable person.  And, after taking care of his mother who had MS (while he was a teenager), I think he has the respect for someone with a disability that this kind of job calls for.
It was great having him home with the boy for these almost-3 years, but it's good that he's finally getting back to work.  He is a good father, but not everyone is cut out for stay-at-home parenthood.  The boy will be spending a lot more time in daycare now, which breaks my heart, but it will all be okay.
He gets to wear a cute uniform with a tie (the husband, not the boy), which we thought was going to be a problem, because he doesn't know how to tie a tie, until we found these, which I am just fascinated by.  They warned him that, being the new guy, he'll get the crappy shifts, which could start as early as 4:30 am and end as late as 1:00 am.  He'll also get the overtime, and could potentially be putting in 60+ hour weeks for a while.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Oh yes, Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws was just as bad this year as it was last year.  When we finally got in the car to go home, the first words out of the husband's mouth were "You're cooking next year."  So, the food was bad, and I'm pretty sure my mother-in-law insulted my son...  but I'll get to that later.

Quick things you should know, since I've been so neglectful here:

  • The husband FINALLY has a job, which he started today.  It is not  in the medical
  • The boy was evaluated by Easter Seals, who expressed some concerns on his fine motor skills, specifically the writing (or lack thereof).  At their suggestion, and with the help of our pediatrician, we're making arrangements to have him more thoroughly evaluated by an occupational therapist.
  • The boy wowed us yesterday by, for the first time, peeing (into the toilet, of course) STANDING UP, instead of sitting on his potty chair.  As gross as it might sound, I almost took a picture, because it was just too precious for words.
  • With the husband going back to work, we're all making adjustments in our schedules at the Ruth Speaks Up house.  My boss is not being to agreeable on this, which is pissing me off.
There's my quick-hit for today.  More to come...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So here we are again, at the day before Thanksgiving.  We will be heading to the in-laws again this year, which strikes fear into my heart as I remember last year's meal.  If our house weren't perpetually a mess (which I fully blame on having an almost-5-year-old), I'd have them over here.  It's just not worth the hassle, though.  I'm sure that my mother-in-law is offended by this in some way, but frankly, I just don't give a shit.  I'd be happy to just stay home tomorrow with the husband and the boy, in pj's, on the couch.  But whatever.

There feels like so much to tell, and I am hoping to have the chance to do so at some point during this long weekend (at least the Casa de Insurance is generous enough to give us the day after Thanksgiving as a paid holiday, shock and surprise!). 

I'm sure you sit waiting with baited breath, right?

I'm such a tease...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tales of a Paranoid Mommy

I've talked before about how paranoid I am when it comes to the boy.  Since the day he was born, I've lived with fear in my stomach that something will happen to him.  The line, for me, between cool, laid-back mommy who can handle or deflect anything thrown at her and OCD mommy that won't let  him out of the yard unless he's tethered to me with a rope is very thin, and I work very hard not to cross it.  It's only been within the last year that I've overcome my anxiety about taking him to the park by myself (for fear that we'll be attacked); trust me when I say that was a BIG step.

It doesn't help, either, that I'm a devotee of Law & Order: SVU...  yes, that's the version that deals with all the rape and child molestation.  What can I say?  I just can't look at Christopher Meloni enough...

Can you blame me?
Anywhoo...  about two weeks ago, I was at the public library with the boy.  Let me digress for just a moment and say that the boy loves the library, absolutely loves it, can't get enough of it, which thrills me.  So we're in the children's section, which has a nice window-bench seat that runs along the entire length of one wall.  I'm sitting at one end of the bench looking through a knitting book, and the boy is laying next to me on his stomach, flipping through at Thomas the Tank Engine collection.  I notice a tall, heavy-set boy plop down on the opposite end of the bench, about 20 feet or so away from us.  He looked to me to be about 13 years old, and I thought it was somewhat inappropriate that he laid down on the bench, but I didn't really pay much attention to him beyond that.
After a few minutes, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, him stand up and adjust the front of his shorts in an odd manner, and start walking towards us.  As he walked past the boy, he paused, and reached down to ruffle the boy's hair.  What older child does that to a younger child, I ask you?
It was at this point that the hair on the back of my neck stood up.
He walked past us into the stacks of children's books... and now keep in mind these are little children's books, not even the middle children's books.  A minute or two later, he walked back to the bench with a book, and sat down right next to the boy.  He started flipping through the book in a way that, to me, seemed as if he was trying to get my son interested in what he was looking at.
I put down the knitting book I'd been looking at, and just blatently stared at him.  The boy was still laying on his stomach on the bench, with his head next to me and his feet towards this... person of interest.  Was it my imagination, or did this freak just adjust the front of his shorts again while glancing at my son's backside?  I can't even begin to tell you the scenarios that started flashing in my head.  By now, the boy was up on his knees, trying to get a look at the book the freak was looking at, and the freak was mumbling something about it being a really good book that he loved when he was a kid, blah, blah, blah...  and all I could think about was if he offered to take my son to the restroom, I'd kick him in the raisins, grab the boy and run.
He stood up after a minute and started to walk away.  Abruptly, he turned around and asked if we ever took home the books on tape that come with the storybook for the kids, so you can listen and read along at the same time.  They're really great, he said... then he blurted out I'LL GIVE YOU THREE GUESSES TO GUESS HOW OLD I AM!
Heaven help me.  Would it be improper to say 'I really don't give a shit' in the middle of the library? 
I guessed 13.
I guessed 12.
Closer, but still no.
I guessed 10.
Low and behold, I was right.  Now, call me cynical, but this kid was pushing 5'10", and had to weigh 180lbs.  At ten years old?  I find that hard to believe.  But who knows.
The boy decided he wanted to look at the kids videos then, and the freak followed us.  "What kind of videos are you looking for, little buddy?" he asked my son.  No joke...  he actually called the boy 'little buddy'.  I'd had enough, and told the boy it was time to go. 
I told the husband about the incident, and of course I'm not on the look-out everytime we walk into the library (and we go there a lot...).
Maybe it really is time for Xanax...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I know that we don't all agree when it comes to the political arena...  and I know that many people are disappointed by yesterdays results and fearful about the future, and if the situation were reversed I would absolutely feel the same way.  This is why I hate all things political, and why I don't talk about it much. 

I do think, though, that it's exciting to be around for such an historic event.  As my boss said during lunch today, it's as if this will move the country to the next level, and it seems the time is right for that.

So, that's it.  No more politics.  The next post will take us back to our regular programming.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My father taught me not to talk about politics and religion, as those two subjects normally result in arguments, no matter who you're with.  He also took the fact that we vote by secret ballot very seriously, and although my gut feeling is that he leaned toward the Republican, I'll never know for sure.  What I do know is that he taught me to take this civic responsibility very seriously (along with imparting the wisdom that if you don't vote, you can't complain about the way things are!) and I can honestly say that I've voted in every election, voted on every issue, that I've been eligible to vote for since I turned 18 and registered at the library in the town where I grew up.

The polling location (the Methodist church several blocks away) where I vote now, where I've voted for the last 10 years, is notoriously unorganized.  The same four individuals have worked my precinct for the last 8 years or so, and I feel for them, because many of the other rednecks residents of my precinct are quite impatient.

Today, I did an historic thing, and cast my ballot for a black man.  I cast that ballot because I feel deeply that there needs to be serious change.  I cast that ballot because the only jobs being offered to my husband are part-time, minimum wage jobs, which I believe is the result of the horrible state of things at the moment.  I cast that ballot for the future of my son, who has his entire life still ahead of him.

Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you voted today.  Now, I'm off to watch the election returns...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Catching up...

I do not have gallstones.  This is a good thing, but leaves us in the position of not knowing what's causing the intermittent nausea and vomiting.  I'm a little fed up with my doctor at this point, because every time I call to give an update on how I'm feeling, it's duly noted and I'm told to call back in 10 days.
The husband did not pass the medical office coder certification test (he came very, very close, but close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades).  He has been diligently searching, but still does not have a job.  The temporary services will probably be next.
We had a parent/teacher conference for the boy today.  It's been scheduled for several weeks... perhaps my nerves leading up to this are what caused the latest round of vomiting?  It went better than I expected, honestly.  He's still somewhat immature compared to some of the other kids, but that's typical in boys, and not surprising considering we've never had him in daycare (ie. not a lot of exposure to other kids until preschool).  His fine motor skills are behind, but we knew that.  We're making a concentrated effort now (FINALLY) to sit down with him in the evenings to work on this, to reinforce what they do at school.  The husband and I have done the boy a great disservice in not concentrating on this sooner.  We've let ourselves get caught up with the stress of other things going on, which is inexcusable.  The school has people from the Easter Seals organization come in every year to evaluate all the kids, which will determine if we just haven't worked hard enough on the motor skills, or if it's some kind of actual developmental delay, so that will be helpful.
And so it goes in our little corner of the world...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I suppose I should confess (if I haven't already) that the total pounds lost number to the right includes 3 pounds that I lost during the elliptical debacle of the summer of 2007...  but hey, it's weight that I've lost and kept off, so I'm counting it. 

I go in an hour and a half for the ultrasound that will show the doctor whether or not I have gall bladder issues.  I won't get the results today, of course, because the imaging center I'm going to will forward the, well, images, to my doctor's office for him to read and interpret.  The doctor's office said they'd call once they have the test results, probably in a day or two, to set up an appointment.

Hurry up and wait.

The doctor feels the other possible causes for my stomach woes are (best-case scenario) gastritis, or (worst-case scenario) something called gastroparesis.  The ultrasound for the gall bladder is the easiest test to start with, though.  To diagnose gastritis they do an endoscopy.  I gag brushing my teeth, so the thought of them sticking a camera on a tube down my throat is particularly troubling.  All in the name of health, though, right?

I'll keep you posted...

Monday, October 13, 2008

This is not shaping up to be a good week...

When it rains, it pours, right?

This past Thursday, I found myself, for the second time in a month, stricken with stomach cramps, nausea, dizziness...  I won't go into further gory details.  Let's just say it wasn't pretty.  Recall that I also came down with the same symptoms the weekend of my friend's wedding to the redneck truck driver.  I have only just in the last week felt as if my appetite was coming back, and I'm down again.  It doesn't help, either, that I've been hearing and reading things lately about one of my diabetes medicines possibly causing pancreatitis; how can you not be concerned when you hear something like that?

I yakked twice at work, then left...  yakked twice more at home, and spent the rest of the day in bed.  I also called the doctor's office, concerned about the fact that there seems to be something seriously wrong with my digestive system.  The doctor didn't seem too worried about it, though, and told me to check back in today (read he was taking a 1/2 day off Thursday and all day Friday, and wouldn't be back into the office until today).

Understandably, I didn't eat much over the weekend.  I had a good workout Saturday, but skipped Sunday.  I went for my usual workout this morning, and decided as I was leaving that I just couldn't face going into the office this morning...  not to mention the fact that I might have to leave early if the doctor decided he wanted me to come in.  Working from home is why they give us laptops, right?  I came straight home, and left a message for my boss that I was still down, working from home, blah, blah, blah.  I'm sure she won't have a problem with this, but I really don't care.  I'm exhausted by and fed up with working at/for the Casa de Insurance, but that's a topic for another post.

The doctor did have me come in this morning, and after talking for 10 - 15 minutes about what I've been experiencing, he said...

... that he would like me to go this week for an ultrasound to determine if I've developed GALLSTONES!!  Apparently, when you've lost 'a lot' of weight (and he didn't define 'a lot', but I have lost 48 pounds, yay me!), it's not uncommon to develop GALLSTONES.  I'll spare you the icky details he gave me on why they speculate this happens.  If, in fact, I have developed GALLSTONES, I'll likely have to have my GALL BLADDER removed. 


At least this is an outpatient procedure, and probably would require nothing more than a long weekend off work.

On the other hand, the flexible spending account for our healthcare needs for this years is used up, and it's only October.  Guess that's what I guess for buying the warehouse-club sized bottle of Advil...  and Zyrtec...  if it turns out that I do need to have my gall bladder removed, I may ask him if it can wait until after the beginning of next year (ie. once the spending account is replenished).

If it's not gallstones, then we'll go to the next likely cause of my digestive woes.  I go Wednesday for the ultrasound.

Fun times...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

VOTE! (warning: video contains strong language that might be offensive to some...)

If you're not registered, get registerd! If you are registered, don't forget to VOTE!

Except for Twyla, that is, since she doesn't live here... but Twyla, you could move here... and probably find a nice house cheap!

Monday, September 29, 2008

And now for something completely decadent...

I've started drinking coffee.

How grown up of me, right?

This started in earnest probably five or six months ago, in an effort to save money and be a little healthier. Before this, the day just did not begin until I'd had a 20 oz diet Coke. I've replaced this with a 16 oz car mug of some sort of flavored coffee with plain creamer, yay for me.

I ran across a recipe for a homemade pumpkin spice latte recently, appropriate since we just passed the Autumnal Equinox, that's supposed to rival what Starbucks makes (wouldn't know, never had one). I made a few modifications (to keep the diabetes gods happy), and O-M-G, I am now HOOKED on this stuff, and have it every weekend.

This makes 2 servings... or 1 1/2, a 16 oz car mug for you, and an 8 oz coffee mug for your significant other.

1-2 TBL canned pumpkin

1 cup skim milk

1/2 Splenda brown sugar blend

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups strong brewed coffee (If you can handle it. I'm a bit of a wimp, so I just brew it regular.)

4 TBL creamer

4-8 tsp Splenda sweetener (sweeten to your taste)

In a blender, puree the pumpkin, milk, spices, brown sugar and vanilla. If you're feeling really sassy, throw in a squirt of sugar-free maple syrup, too. Pour this into a small saucepan and heat over low heat until the milk is warm and begins to froth slightly (about 4-5 minutes).

For each serving, pour 1/2 cup of the pumpking mixture into your coffee mug. Add 2 generous TBL of creamer. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then add 1 cup of the brewed coffee. Sweeten to taste with Splenda. And if you're just crazy enough to do it, top it off with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg (I haven't taken it quite this far yet!).

While you enjoy this, I'm off to find a similar recipe for the Starbucks Carmel Machiato...

Friday, September 26, 2008


Well hot-diggity, another weekend is finally here. I feel as if I spend all my time wishing my life away, waiting for the weekend.

My friend's funeral was this past Tuesday, and it was hard and easy all at the same time. My assumption is that this was an overdose of some sort, as this was what she tried in the past. The flowers were lovely. Her casket was pink. I feel horrible for saying this, but she looked bad. There's always something unsettling about viewing the deceased, but this went beyond that. I hadn't actually seen her in about a year; our communication of late had been mostly e-mail or text message, with an occasional phone call. I knew she'd gained a bit of weight, so I wasn't startled by that... but she was very heavily made-up, which wasn't her in life at all... and her mouth was set at a funny angle, like that of a person who's had a stroke. It was very odd, and made me wonder if perhaps, as a result of the overdose, she'd had a stroke at some point. I was glad that they had a nice display of photos of her in her better days. After just these few days, the memory of what she looked like, laying there, is already starting to fade... and I'm glad of that.

I've been to more funerals than I'd have liked in my 38 years, and this time I really sensed the feeling of saying goodbye to someone, of setting their spirit free to soar high into eternity. Jennifer was tortured by demons, both real and imagined. She was an exquisite person, but took everything too much to heart. It was wrenching to see her in her darker moments, agonized by what was going on in her head. At the same time, though, she knew yet refused the only kind of help that would have healed, or at least helped her manage, what she struggled with. It's hard to watch someone you care about hurt like that, maddening to sit while they do nothing to help themselves.

Of course I mourn for my friend, mourn for the daughter she left behind, and wonder if I couldn't have done more. But she truly now is finally free, which is what she wanted most. How can I be sad or angry about that?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's always easier to leave than to be left

I found out yesterday that a friend passed from this life into the next by her own hand this week.
I'm more heartbroken than shocked, because even just since I'd know her, she'd tried this twice before. She was beautiful and sweet and kind but tortured, and impossible to reach when it came to convincing her to seek the only kind of help that would have moved her past the demons that sometimes consumed her. She was my Dave Matthews buddy. She was the one who dropped everything at work and drove me to the hospital the day I got the call that my father was in cardiac arrest. Her daughter is just 13, and I wonder how she'll ever come to terms with this.

Rest in Peace, Jennifer. You will be missed, but I hope you finally feel set free.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

She lives!

Although my lack of posting lately speaks to the contrary, I am here and all is well.  You've probably seen/heard/read the last day or two about the windy remnants of hurricane Ike that swept through my part of Ohio this past Sunday (although not nearly as bad as what Texas got, to be sure).  Many areas around me are still without power; we were very lucky at the home of Ruth Speaks Up in that our power went out for about 20 minutes, but then came back.  We also were very lucky not to have any damage to our home, although folks at just the other end of our street did not fare as well.  I've been itching to get out with my camera, to get some pictures to post for you...  I'm sure you can imagine what a wind-toppled tree looks like, but still.
Moving on...
THE WEDDING of my best friend to the gassy, redneck truck driver took place, as scheduled, this past Saturday.  WHAT I SAW OF IT was lovely...  here's what happened...
Friday, I spent the afternoon and evening helping my friend and her family get things set-up at the wedding venue.  The groom-to-be was there, also, and let me tell you, I've never seen a more nervous groom.  He did... absolutely nothing toward the preparations for the day.  He wandered around outside the lodge they'd rented for the festivities, drinking beer and playing cornhole with his buddy.  Every so often, he'd run in frantically, quiz my friend about this, that and the other that needed to be done, then run back out.  Nice, eh?
I got home about 8pm and went straight to bed.  About 9:30pm, I was struck with some sort of vile stomach/intestinal bug that had me doubled over with cramps and in and out of the bathroom for the rest of the night.  I made it to the wedding venue by 9:00 the next morning, and told my friend what was going on.  I made it through the ceremony and one round of pictures, then had to lay down.  Lucky for me there was a cot in the room where the girls got ready.  I was down for about an hour, then had the husband take me home.  At home, the thermometer told me that my temperature was 101.8.  I crawled into bed and stayed there, save for desperate runs to the bathroom, until about noon Sunday.  Bummer, eh?
Okay, back to work!  Although the winds took our sign that used to sit at the main entrance to the parking lot, the Casa de Insurance closes for no one!

Monday, September 08, 2008

After the Montessori school debacle of Wednesday, and the decision by the husband and me that we just weren't going to send the precious boy back there, I told my boss on Thursday that I'd be taking Friday off, to find another place for the precious boy. The fact that this time next year he'll be starting Kindergarten, and all that that entails, is weighing somewhat heavily on me right now. There's lots he needs to work on to pass that Kindergarten testing next spring, so not having him in preschool isn't an option.


To make a long story short, he started today at the preschool at a Baptist church that's about 2 minutes from our house. If we could cut across the field that our backyard butts up against, we'd have a straight shot from our house to this church, that's how close it is. We toured the place Friday and met the woman who teaches his age group. We confirmed later that afternoon with the director that they have spots available, and picked up the paperwork. They have preschool and daycare, and even before- and after-school care for elementary school kids. They have a lovely and large fenced-in playground outside, and a full-size gymnasium inside for days when the weather's bad. His teacher was very nice and sincere, and eased our fears about the precious boy having a hard time adjusting to being away from daddy before we could even bring the subject up.

The precious boy started today. Needless to say, I sat here at my desk at the Casa de Insurance feeling the urge to vomit from 9 am to 12:30 pm, when the husband finally called to give me the report. Well...

The kids were playing outside when the husband got there to pick up the precious boy, and the precious boy was having such a WONDERFUL time that he didn't want to leave. His lovely, sincere teacher reported that he had a GREAT day, that he sat nicely in circle time with the other children, that there were a few times he seemed like he just wanted to be on his own, and that was fine and they let him, but for the most part he participated and was a perfect little gentlemen.


I'm sure he'll have bad days. All kids do at some point; as his parent I'm quite biased, but I'm not afraid to admit that he's a typical kid who probably has been a little spoiled by daddy, so I'm sure we'll run into issues at some point. But isn't it curious how this teacher and her assistant were able to handle him, and the others weren't?


And in case you're curious, we have yet to have any response to the e-mail I sent to them last Thursday, or the phone message the husband left for them last Friday, to find out when we could pick up the precious boy's stuff. Snobby Montessori bastards...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

So... obviously Montessori isn't the program for us...

--- On Thu, 9/4/08, Ruth Speaks Up wrote:
From: Ruth Speaks Up
Subject: Our precious boy, and the awful day he had yesterday
To: The Montessori School we decided to try
Date: Thursday, September 4, 2008, 1:43 PM
Dear director of the Montessori school we decided to try:
I'm sorry to say that after our precious boy's disappointing day yesterday, and after our discussion with his hag of a teacher after school, we've decided that the your tiny school, up on top of the hill, isn't the program for our precious boy.  And I must say, quite honestly, that our talk with his hag of a teacher left us with the impression that she felt the same way.  While we understand clearly that the Montessori method is not at all like a 'traditional' school program, and that the children work on their own with very little guidance or supervision from the teacher, we didn't anticipate that he would be expected to 'get it' his very first day in the classroom.  Although our precious boy was in preschool during the 2007-2008 school year, this is quite a change from being at home with his father all day, every day, which we brought up when you gave us a tour of your tiny school, up on top of the hill.  It's to be expected that there might be a rocky transition period as he adjusts to a new environment.  After prompting her for a recommendation of what our next step would be, his hag of a teacher did immediately suggest taking our precious boy to half-days, but frankly we did not get the feeling from her that she was interested in helping him adjust to this new setting.  Her comments that "he just doesn't seem ready to learn" and "this is a school, not a daycare" also left us quite taken aback.  Our precious boy is a very bright child, and in the right setting and with the right encouragement and guidance learns new things quickly. 
While, after hearing so many good things about your tiny school, up on top of the hill, we had very high hopes that this would be a wonderful learning experience, we must ultimately do what we feel is in the best interest of our son and his education.  Please let us know when a convenient time would be for us to pick up the items our precious boy left - boots, snow pants, etc.  We also hope for at least a partial refund of the $100 deposit/activity fee that we paid with his enrollment forms.  If it's more convenient, please feel free to mail these items to our home address.
Thank you,
Ruth Speaks Up

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So I suppose I'll say here now, officially speaking if you want to put it that way, that I'm postponing indefinitely the gastric bypass surgery. I'm not saying I'll never have it - who knows, maybe I'll get down to having just 100 pounds to lose and be so tired of the whole business that I go ahead and have it (because to qualify for the surgery, you have to be at least 100 pounds overweight). On the other hand, if I get to that point and I don't have the giblets to go the distance on my own, it would be pretty pathetic.

I'm just keeping all my options open.

The mother-in-law asked about the surgery a few weeks ago, and I related all this to her. I'm just really jazzed that I'm having so much success with all this... I mean (not to toot my own horn) I know it's my hard work that's doing it... but I'm still really excited about it. So I was telling the m-i-l this, and that I just couldn't see the point of having the surgery as long as I'm having such HUGE success on my own, and she actually seemed disappointed that I wasn't going to have the surgery. Seriously, what the hell is that about? I really just wanted to tell her to go screw herself, but didn't.

You would think that, after 12 years, I'd have given up by now on trying to figure them out. Knowing my luck, I'll probably get more vibrating slippers for Christmas.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm just all over the place right now.

I've apparently developed tendonitis in the Achilles tendon of my left leg, and let me tell you, it hurts like a bastard. My exercising for the last week and a half has been not-quite-up-to-par, which resulted in me gaining a few pounds this week. I'm pissed about that, but I categorically REFUSE to change that number over to the left, there... Derek showed me a few stretches that have helped tremendously over the past few days. And while he was showing me how to do them, he rubbed my ankle for a minute, so that was the highlight of last week.

There's been some jerking around by the in-laws of late, particularly the father-in-law. Not really worth going into here. I'm sure it will come as NO surprise that my father-in-law is one of those people that is absolutely impossible to argue with, as he will never admit that he's wrong. Also last weekend I learned that the mother-in-law is a huge ABBA fan, when she took me to see 'Mama Mia'... cute, but I hope to never have to listen to Pierce Brosnan sing again. And it was very unsettling to sit next to my mother-in-law in a dark theater and listen to her sing along to the songs.

And life is about to change, ie. get more stressful, as the husband prepares to go back to work. He finished up his classes in June, and now has his certificate as a Medical Office Coding Specialist from the local community college. This Friday, he goes to take some kind of national certification test, and after that will start looking for a job. Which means we have to find childcare for the boy.

Now, he's heading into his second year, and we do feel he's perhaps a bit behind in learning the fine motor skills. I'm happy to say, though, that he was rockin & rollin with his alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes before he started his first year of preschool. Yesterday, we visited a Montessori school close to us that goes from preschool to grade 6, and it looked just wonderful. They offer a full-day preschool program, with options for childcare both before and after the school hours - one-stop shopping for both our learning and daycare needs. We've enrolled him, and are now plowing through the thick stack of paperwork handed to us. The next hurdle will be figuring out the logistics of dropping him off and picking him up... heaven help me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lessons in Parenting #357

Per the nurse at the Poison Control Hotline, the only hazzard posed to your child by Play-doh that has been ingested is the possibility that it will get stuck in the throat/esophagus/food pipe when going down. If you find that your child perhaps has eaten some, give them something to drink. If it goes down okay with no problems swallowing, they're okay, and the Play-doh will eventually work its way out... naturally... you know what I mean.

I consider it a minor victory that the boy is 4 1/2 years old and I've only talked to the Poison Control center once...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yes, folks, I am still here. Like others of you out there (and you know who you are), I supposed I've just been in a little bit of a funk lately. But nothing to be concerned about. I've got a lot of thoughts tumbling around in my head right now, that I'm trying to sort out into one... or two... or more... meaningful posts.


Monday, July 07, 2008

On a happier note...

Here's some pretty stuff to look at... we took a jaunt to the local arboretum this weekend. Their butterfly house is open for the season, and I snapped these lovely (I think!) pics...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sometimes, enough is enough...

I'm sure you were hoping for stories of the weird-in-laws-picnic when you stopped by, but more on that later.

Pax Romano has posted some stunning photos of a stunning exhibit on the personal cost of the Iraq war here that I feel you must check out. Normally I try to keep things quite light and airy here, but images such as these... and talking this weekend to the father of a good friend from high school, whose son (my friend's younger brother) is on his third tour over there, watching this man who served in Vietnam (so he knows how bad it gets) cry as he tells me about the latest he's heard from his son... these things make me pause.

There is nothing anyone can or will ever say that will make me support what the pathetic waste of space that currently occupies the Oval Office has done; HALLELUJAH that we only have to continue to endure him for a short time. We impeached Bill Clinton for getting a blow job while on the job. A good decision on his part? No. Do I condone his behavior? Absolutely not, and here's why: 1) He's married (although a sham-marriage it may be, they're still legally bound) and 2) Right or wrong, I hold the leader of our country to a little bit higher standard, as I feel he (or she) should be an example for the people he's (or she's) leading. But a little slap and tickle seems tame to what's happened these last 7 1/2 years. Bush used the patriotism felt by so many after 9/11 to further his own agenda, plain and simple, and look where it's gotten us. This isn't a war on terrorism, this is a war to finish what his father started back in the 80's... and if you support it, shame on you.

Bring our boys home...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Have a safe and happy holiday. Don't lose any fingers or toes and don't put an eye out shooting off fireworks. And pray for our troops, that this madness will end soon and they'll com HOME.

Pollen is my enemy. I have been miserable all-week-long.

Yet I have continued to exercise. It hasn't been quite as vigorous as it normally is, but I've done it so I don't get out of the habit. I think I should get extra points for that, for whoever's keeping track.

Today we will go to the annual husband's-side-of-the-family 4th of July picnic. Even my father-in-law thinks these folks are weird, and it's his nieces that organize the whole thing.

Should be a good time!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm somewhat sad about the fact that I haven't had a good story about my in-laws for a while. Or about Right-Wing-Conservative-Girl, but I haven't spoken to her much lately (which isn't neccessarily a bad thing).

The exercising is still going well, although I was completely un-inspired by my treadmill yesterday, but pushed myself and did 30 minutes. Today I did my (now) usual 60 minutes, so I'm proud of that. I've been listening a lot to Lenny Kravits during the recent workouts. No idea where this came from, but for your listening pleasure:

We had dinner with the in-laws tonight, and they seemed a little taken aback when I said I was skipping dessert. The husband skipped dessert, also (after being told by his dad {my father-in-law} one day last week that he was really getting fat and needed to start losing weight). It was amusing to see the looks on their faces at that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pay it Forward...

A friend who posts on Xanga (and who comments here as Just Me - I'd link her here but she's had stalker issues and prefers to keep things private) posted this challenge on her blog. I agreed to participate, so I'm posting it here -

The principle (if you’ve never heard of PIF) : Here are the rules: I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange, and who make the same pledge on their own blogs. I have an idea of what the gift will be, and you'll receive it within a month. You have to be willing to send me your mailing address to participate - if you're game, leave a comment and send me an e-mail with your address!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I ate a candy bar today, and I'm trying not to kick myself in the ass too much about it... slightly impossible, though, as I'm saddled with the guilt of a good Catholic (even though I'm Presbyterian).

I blame it on my boss.

She returned to work Monday from a 10 day trip to Ireland (she sucks). She brought back a gift each for my co-worker and I, a hand-made chocolate bar from some fabulous chocolatier in Dublin - what the hell?!? It lasted a day and a half on my desk before the 'I'll only have a small piece...' crap started... 5 minutes later, it was gone.

I just finished an hour on the treadmill to (try to) make up for it.

I remain cautiously optimistic that I can do this on my own, without having the bypass surgery. I was just reading some inspirational stories yesterday of women my age, older, and younger who have lost the same amount of or more weight than I need to lose, and did it on their own. If they can do it, I can too. I've decided that the only proper way to do this is to give myself some good incentive... after all, when you've got (clears throat to cover up actual number) pounds to lose, you need something really good to look forward to at the end...

I've spent quite a bit of time the last few days here, perusing their offerings, and think I've finally landed on this, if I can take off this - okay, I'll say it - 200 lbs on my own. If achieved, and provided they still offer it, I'll order this to be worn on the middle finger of my right hand - won't that be fabulous?

Yes, it's a decent chunk of change... but I'm worth it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

For Lori

Ah, memories...

And while searching for a picture of the Stay-Puft marshmallow man, I ran across this:

... which is just f-ing scary...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Cool foto editing

I wish I could take credit for manipulating the photo below. I found online a tutorial that walks through the steps to do something similar with Adobe Photoshop Elements, but I got to step two and decided it was too involved and I didn't have time. I'm all about instant gratification, you know.

So after some hunting, I found Foto Flexer. I have most of my pictures uploaded to Flickr (as evidenced by the photostream to the right), and Foto Flexer can connect right to your Flickr account. A few clicks of the mouse, and I was able to turn this

into the pop-art masterpiece you see below. I e-mailed the new image to myself to download into my picture files, and there you have it.

Of note: Foto Flexer does give the option to upload pictures right from your computer, without connecting to a Flickr, et al, account, but I was not able to get this to work.

Happy foto editing - be sure to post your results!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The job interview went very well, and, in fact, he has another one this coming Tuesday.

I become more and more obsessed with my digital camera and the endless editing possibilites that come with photo editing programs each day...

Hope you all are having a great Sunday!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The husband has a job interview in exactly 54 minutes (which would be 2:00 pm, EST). One of his professors has been passing on job postings to his class these last few weeks (classes don't end for another two weeks, actually).

This is his first job interview in almost 12 years.

I think I might throw up...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How freaked out should I be that the boy has started referring to himself in the third person? Say, on a scale of 1 - 10?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Well THIS was certainly unexpected...

After much, much, much thought and consideration, after much talking to my doctor and talking to a surgeon, and looking at things on the internet, and all of that...

I have made the final decision to have the gastric bypass surgery.

I know, I know... it's a scary prospect, and their are risks involved, and practically everyone has a friend who has a relative that had the surgery and ended up dying for one reason or another. I appreciate the concern, but quite frankly I take a bigger risk driving on I-75 southboung through downtown Dayton every morning on my way to work than I do with having this surgery.

Believe me, this is not a decision I have made lightly. I'm sure many of you recall what I have now come to think of as my fat manifesto that I posted here in December '06. I truly never thought I would ever consider something like this... but I have to face reality. I am 38 years old, and I have 180 - 200 lbs to lose (I can't believe I just typed that number here...). I have tried it 'on my own', and obviously haven't gotten very far.

I also can't ignore it when I read things like this and this. I would qualify for the LapBand procedure, but for people with type II diabetes, the positive results are much greater with the gastric bypass than with the LapBand.

So there you have it. I'm sure there will be more posting to come on this, and I walk through the steps to meet the qualifications so that my insurance will cover this. Oh what a fun ride this will be...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday at the farm

We smelled like a barn when we got home, but we sure had a great time...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Okay, I'm over it now.
Maybe not.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I'm back.

I'm tired.

I have a headache.

What an odd trip that was... my first business trip, and if I had anything to do with it, it would be my last... but I'm sure that won't be the case. The whole thing just had a really weird feel to it. The rides up and back to Nowhereville, IL were excruciating (9-10 hours each, because we had to stop in Chicago at O'Hare to pick up two folks who were flying in from New York for this special occasion... bursts of conversation followed by long, long uncomfortable silences. There's only so much small-talk you can make with people that you don't know very well, and who aren't all that willing to talk back. I spent quite a bit of time staring at trees... and farm fields... and the occasional group of cows.

The school mascot of the town we went to is the pretzel. The 'fighting pretzels'. I can't make this stuff up.

I have come back from this trip rather befuddled, though. Befuddled in a way that I just don't want to talk about right now. Befuddled in a way that has broken my concentration... with one thought stuck in my head right now that won't go away...

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The car ride from home to Nowhereville, IL was endless.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Casa de Insurance, in their infinite wisdom (note sarcasm), is sending me to our office in Nowhereville, IL this coming week - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. My first business trip... glory, hallelujah. I am driving there with my manager and co-worker. We leave tomorrow morning at 9am, drive to Chicago to pick up two co-workers flying in from New York, then continue on to the office in Nowhereville (two hours outside Chicago) for two days of 'teambuilding'.

What a colossal waste of time.

So, see you later this week. Think of me as I spend hours, and hours, and hours trying to socialize with my co-workers... God help me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The pressure's on...

Soccer has started. Kind of. We were supposed to have practice last Saturday, but Program Coordinator Dave cancelled practice 10 minutes before it was scheduled to start... after most of the parents and kids were there... because there was rain coming... which never came...


We had a little time to meet the coaches and all that kind of thing. So far, they seem okay. They did, however, pass out the dreaded snack schedule. Each family is responsible for bringing a snack and drinks for all of the kids on our team (10 total) once during the 10-game season.

Did any of you watch 'Everybody Loves Raymond'? Remember the episode where it was Debra & Ray's turn to provide the snack for their sons' t-ball team, and Debra brought pretzels but pretzels weren't on the 'approved' snack list, which caused BIG PROBLEMS? My mind, as did my husband's, IMMEDIATELY went to this when we were handed the snack schedule. The pressure on us, though, is especially great, as WE are responsible for the snack for the FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON. Do you realize how huge this is? WE are setting the precedent for the snacks for the rest of the season. This is big stuff. Those of you that know me really, really well will instantly know that this is a big thing for me. I agonized for several days over what we would take.

Little bags of chips? But who knows what each kid might like. The little individual bags of apples that you can buy in the produce section now? Or would that come across as too snobbish somehow? It has to be just right... because when it comes down to it, people have to like me, and bringing just the right snack will make them like me.

I was at the grocery last night, and bought a box of individually-wrapped (because, when I asked if there was a list of 'approved' snacks (and YES, I DID ask!) the coach only said that they had to be in individual packages, one for each kid) Rice Krispy treats and Minute Maid fruit punch juice pouches.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pass the Rocky Road


I have completed the first step on the bariatric surgery journey, which is attending the informational seminar given by the doctors. Talk about a fat fest!! And hey, I'm fat, so I can say all this.

After sitting in a room with these people for 2 1/2 hours, and I'm talking about fat people here, I feel pretty good about myself. I walked from the parking garage to the conference room with a lady that probably weighed 500 pounds. She asked me if I ever got out of breath, and I actually felt bad telling her no (which is the truth...).

We learned all about the different surgeries available. In fact, I would be a candidate for the LapBand surgery, which made me feel better. People asked endless inane questions, including the woman sitting just a few seats to my left, who asked if you can have the LapBand if you've already had the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass... and she asked this WHILE SHE WAS EATING A BAG OF POTATO CHIPS!! No joke.

I have a one-on-one appointment with the surgeon at the end of this month, which is my chance to really drill him with the questions I have. I also, to meet my insurance company requirements, have to have a psychological evaluation (yeah, I'm screwed there) and be on a physician-supervised diet for 6 months... in other words, this won't be happening anytime soon.

On an odd note, my mother-in-law is VERY excited that I'm pursuing this, so much so that she wanted to just hug me with joy when we dropped the boy off over there yesterday. One of her comments was, "You'll be fighting off the guys with a stick once you lose all this weight!!" Irritating enough because, let me reiterate, I'M NOT DOING THIS TO LOOK BETTER, but she's apparently forgotten the fact that I'm married to her husband's younger son.


Friday, April 04, 2008

What a crap-ass day.

It's gray and rainy here, and will be until probably sometime in May. Welcome to Spring in Ohio. Winter is bad enough with the cold and the snow, but I think Spring can be even worse at times.

My aunt (my late-mom's older sister) called last night, and in the message she left on the answering machine let me know that my uncle (late-mom's younger half-brother) died yesterday morning. I want to say he was around 8 years younger than my mom, which would put him in his late 60's now, if I'm doing the math correctly. We weren't close. The last time I saw or spoke to him was just a few months after my dad died back in 2005, and before that the last time I'd seen or spoken to him was at my mom's funeral in 1998.

But still.

My aunt is now the only surviving member of my mom's side of the family, which has to be a horrible feeling for her. My dad was the last one in his family to go. I'm not really any closer to my aunt than I was to my uncle, and not for any particular reason... we just kind of lost touch after my mom died, and you know after a certain amount of time passes, thing just feel... awkward, you know?

Of course, this for me dredges up the multitude of unresolved feelings surrounding my brother and the fact that I, for all intents and purposes, don't really seem to exist for him any longer. Shouldn't siblings cling to each other once both the parents are gone? Or is that just the fantasy that I've made up in my head?

Maybe tomorrow there'll be sunshine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TWYLA always finds and links the NEATEST things on her blog...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

However you celebrate

Whatever you believe

Have a wonderful day with family and friends!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The dichotomy of life with my father-in-law

Ever get a song just stuck in your head? This has been in my brain all-after-noon, as I was writing this post (started at the Casa de Insurance, about an hour before I left work, because things had quieted down and I didn't feel like working anymore)... So for your listening pleasure while you read:

Does it every get easy? Life, I mean. I promise I'm not whining, because I know I'm far from the only one that goes through the just-when-you-think-things-are-looking-up-something-else-comes-along thing, but good grief.

So finally we approach the final quarter of school for the husband, and what a long, hard road this has been. The T.A.A. program is wonderful, for those that are able to cut through the red-tape and take advantage of it, but can I be honest and say that I think it almost caused the end of my marriage? We've been through some crap since we got married back in 1997. I would give you the laundry-list of events, but I just don't feel like it, and I'm sure you wouldn't want to read it.

These last two years, though, since the husband lost his job and subsequently started school... I just don't know. They were different. They were hard. They were disappointing. There's a rift, at least for me, that's really just starting to heal... like a bad cut that the scab has just fallen off of, and there's the new, soft, pink skin exposed for the first time. I remember the night almost three years ago now, when he came home from work and told me that he'd be losing his job, and we stood in our kitchen, both of us crying, and made a pact that we wouldn't take our stress out on each other, because we knew if we stuck together we could get through anything, because look what we'd already been through up to this point... that, I think, lasted about 8 months or so.

I've had friends... good friends... close, trusted friends, who have told me that I should just pack it in. That I've put up with too much. That it's not worth it, because I'm not happy. That I should leave. But I can't. He hasn't abused me. He's lied, but he hasn't cheated on me (and mean as it might be to say, I don't think he's suave enough to pull anything like that off). I just can't throw this all away because of a few rough years.

At Christmas, his sister-in-law, who's a big-wig in medical records management at one of the area hospitals, told him to give her a call when he was close to being done with school (by the way, he'll have a certificate in medical coding when he's done in June, in case I haven't mentioned that before), and she'd talk to Human Resources about getting him on there. She really is not the type that says things "just to be nice", so this semi-promise of help with finding a job has motivated him to approach these last two quarters of school with renewed energy and interest, which is definitely a good thing. The light at the end of the tunnel is finally getting brighter.

Last week - HALLELUJAH - he registered for his final four classes. Today, he got a phone call from the community college where he's attending classes, asking him if he realized that his benefits under the T.A.A. program are finished as of the end of the quarter he's currently in (which he takes his final exams for next week), so paying for the Spring quarter is up to him. I'm sorry, what? He called his T.A.A. rep, and sure enough, time's up in two weeks... which also means his unemployment benefits stop then, too, with one quarter of school left before he's ready to take the medical coding certification exam. It's really not worth going into the long, bullshit explanation that he got. The bottom line is that everything stops in two weeks, period. I tell you, he told me this and I almost threw up on my desk.

Now, stay with me, because I promise I'm almost finished with this. You've been with me long enough now to know that I'm the first one to point out to my husband when his father (my father-in-law) is being a pain in the ass. I make no secret of the fact that I think he's a weird old man that's irritating and hard to get along with. He quite often can be rude and overbearing, such as when he told my husband (early in our relationship) how much he should spend on Christmas gifts for everyone, based on the salary of the job he just started... or the two times that he's cut the boy's hair without bothering to ask... or offering much un-requested financial advice... and quite often you ask me how or why do I put up with it, without saying anything, and here's why:

Surprisingly, the first phone call the husband made after receiving this doomsday news from the school was to his father. And after the situation was explained to him, his father (my father-in-law) said, without the husband asking, that he would

pay the tuition for this last quarter of school -and-

pay for the books the husband needs for this last quarter of school -and-

give us money so that we don't drown too much, financially speaking

I think about people I know, or even the panhandlers I pass most days on the highway exits, and think how utterly helpless it must feel not to have anyone to turn to... and that really we are so lucky in the fact that (however irritating he may be) we do...

Now, of course, we can't tell my mother-in-law (who is actually the father-in-law's second wife, so not the husband's mother) about any of this, but we'll save that for another post.

And so it goes...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'm sure all of you have seen this story by now. There are few things that render me speechless, but, I have to say, this did it.
So first off, the story says this took place in a mobile home, and I've never seen a mobile home with more than one bathroom, so I want to know: Where was he doing his business after his girlfriend took up residence in the john?
One report I read quoted someone from the police or hospital as saying they weren't sure yet if there were psychological issues that prompted her to do this. Hello?!? My medical expertise comes mainly from watching "E.R." and "House", but I feel pretty safe in saying that perhaps the lights are on, but nobody's home with this chick.
And from the boyfriend:
"She is an adult; she made her own decision," said her boyfriend, Kory McFarren. "I should have gotten help for her sooner; I admit that. But after a while, you kind of get used to it."
You will recall that in the past, I've said life with my husband is sometimes like being married to Elmer Fudd, but COME ON, MAN!?! "But after a while, you kind of get used to it." At least I can rest easy in the fact that my husband isn't THIS stupid.
I'm not sure what part of the story is sadder (more sad?) - the obvious issues this woman has that sent her to live in the can for two years, or the fact that her boyfriend was too stupid to do anything about it before now. It's cruel to say, but let's hope they haven't procreated.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the innocent

Well I've gone and done it. I've let people at the Casa de Insurance in on 'my little secret'. And of course by 'my little secret', I mean the blog here. Only one person knows. I'm not sure why I chose now to let someone in on this, but there you have it. His name is... Big Daddy 'C', and we'll see if he's got the walnuts to leave any comments (and of course I say that to draw him out).

Oh, and he's a whore. But he knows that, so it's okay for me to say.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I don't know about you, but I need me some sunshine

It's hard to believe that the start of Spring is just a few short weeks away. Here's some sunshine to get us in the mood... or I suppose you could call this the start of my Ansel Adams phase.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

We're snowed in!!!

I think in the last 36 hours we've received a total of approximately 12 - 15 inches of snow. From late last night until 4pm EST this afternoon, we actually had a blizzard warning in effect, and had winds going up to 30 MPH. The deepest drift we were able to measure in our backyard was 22 inches.

This used to be my '03 Saturn Ion. What a bitch this is going to be to dig out tomorrow. I feel it's important to note that there are 4-5 houses within sight distance of our house that use snow blowers on their driveways, including the two houses across the street that you can see in this picture. Do they ever offer to clear of their neighbor's drives, though? No. Selfish bastards.

Snow overhang on the back of our house

Send help soon!

The boy's first snowman

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Damn Girl Scouts and their damn cookies...

Monday, March 03, 2008

It's bad enough to return to work on Monday, after having been off work the week before... but to return and find out that your counterpart is out because she broke her leg, which means you'll be twice as busy as you normally are, REALLY SUCKS.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Let's cut to the chase - the doctor says I don't qualify for the LapBand surgery because I have too much weight to lose, that if anything, I'd have to go for the gastric bypass or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This makes me nervous, but at the same time, it can't hurt to take the referral and talk to the surgeon, right? Talking to the surgeon, asking questions, and gathering information doesn't lock me into anything. I'm not signing a contract by just sitting down and talking to someone.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I go to see the doctor tomorrow for 3-month check-up/talk about the blood sugar levels/get prescription refills visit (blood work only at every 6-month check-up, hurray). I'm a little nervous about talking to him about the LapBand surgery... I don't know why, but I am.

I was diagnosed with the Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent) five and a half years ago in August 2002; my how time does fly. I exercised, ate right, got the blood sugar levels under control, and in eight months lost 80 pounds. I was at church one Sunday morning, and a woman I've known all my life - mom to kids around both my and brother's ages - said to me, "Oh Ruth! If you keep losing all this weight and get skinny, you just won't be you anymore!"

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

I wasn't quite sure how to respond to her. I think I said something like, "You don't have to worry about me wasting away, Mrs. Robinson..." That just ranks right up there with "But she has such a pretty face" and my great-grandmother's favorite "She'd be so much prettier if she'd reduce".

I just feel the need to make it clear... when I was younger, losing weight was about liking myself and being attractive. Let's face it - boys don't ask the fat girls out on dates. When you ask a boy what he thinks about a fat girl, he'll tell you she's like his sister - someone he can really talk to. Somewhere along the line, though, I stopped worrying about what people thought about me. I am me, take me or leave me. If you don't like me, well then, I'm only one person and I can't be all things to all people, now can I? Losing weight now is about getting healthy. Losing weight now is about making sure I'm alive to see my son graduate from high school. Losing weight now is about saving literally thousands of dollars a year on medications. Losing weight now is about getting enjoyment out of taking my son to the park to run and play. If only I'd come to this realization before the age of 38! In the past, when I thought about 'weight-loss' surgery, I'd instantly feel like a loser for even considering it. Now when I think about it, it feels like the right decision.

As a co-worker said when we were talking about it last week, being hot after the surgery and resulting weight-loss is just a bonus.

Monday, February 18, 2008

So... I've been doing a lot of thinking...

I know, I know... you immediately think, "God help us all, nothing good can come of this."


So I've been doing a lot of thinking, and a lot of contemplating, and a lot of weighing the good against the bad, the pros and the cons, and all that, and I think I've come to the conclusion that, when I go to the doctor at the end of this month, for my regular every-three-months-blood sugar-check up-get refills-appointment, I'm going to talk to him about having the LapBand surgery (Short version of my opinion on this - I would never have gastric bypass, which permanently alters the size of the stomach and all that, but the LapBand, to me, seems like an alternative that I could live with. The recovery time is short, and it's covered at 90% by my insurance [Yes, I've already checked.]). I realize this is in direct contradiction to the fat girl post from some months back, but here's the thing: I've reached the point.

Am I throwing my beliefs to the wind? Probably. Do I care? Not really. I waffled a little after the fat girl post, and got myself all fired-up to get healthy. We bought the elliptical at Sear's and got it all set up. Remember my impressive string of 30-45 minutes/day, 5 days/week for three months on the elliptical last summer? This resulted in a total weight-loss of - are you ready? - 4 pounds. Yes, I went for my regular appointment last August, all ready for a triumph on the scales, and found that I'd lost




Talk about taking the wind out of my sails. Honestly, I have not really been able to motivate myself since. I mean think about it... I ate right and sweated my ass off, and lost only four pounds. At that rate, it would take me about... FOREVER to lose the amount of weight I need to lose, to get off all, or at least most, of the medicine I'm taking for the diabetes (most notably the insulin). I think the insulin is what's causing me the grief, because (as we've discussed before) although it helps control the blood sugar, as a hormone it leads to weight gain. The doctor, though, is unwilling to take me off of it, or even lower the dosage until I've lost some weight, because of the negative impact it would have on my blood sugar levels. So really, then, what am I supposed to do?

I mean really? What am I supposed to do? Tell me, and I'll do it. I tried Weight Watchers for a while with Right-Wing Conservative Girl (RWCG) - that was a nightmare. Our desks were across from each other, separated by a cubicle wall. If I had an afternoon snack, I'd chew slowly and quietly, so she wouldn't hear me, because if she heard me she'd say 'Ruth, are you eating? What are you eating? How many points is it worth?' Good Lord!!

A personal trainer would be phenomenal, but I don't have the money for that. Jenny Craig is way to expensive, and even if it weren't, the commercials are absolutely too irritating for words. What is it with the girl that felt compelled to go from a size 10 to a size 4. When did being a size 10 become unacceptable? Good God! I'd kill someone to be a size 10.

But back to me - I am desperate. I am miserable. I am 38 years old and I feel like I'm running out of time when it comes to this. I skimmed the recent article in People magazine about the girls that lost bazillions of pounds all on their own, and that's wonderful. But I hereby officially give up. I give in. I admit defeat. I want to feel good about myself. I don't want to groan inwardly when my son wants to go play in the yard, or at the park, because it takes to much energy (and I'd rather be parked on the couch watching 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent or SVU reruns on USA).

I want to not continue taking 3 shots and 5 pills everyday to control my blood sugar levels.

Bottom line: I want to feel normal.

Well, my version of normal, anyway.

So there you have it.

That's my decision.

Right or wrong.

Good or bad.

There it is.

Another week at the Casa de Insurance

Monday's suck.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Is the mini-van included in the registration fee, or do I have to pay for that separately?

We had the boy's first parent/teacher conference week before last.

Who knew they did parent/teacher conferences in preschool?

You know me - if I don't have something to worry about, I don't know what to do with myself. And since they scheduled the conferences about three weeks or so in advance, I was practically beside myself when it was time to actually go in and talk to the teacher. I know... I am off-the-charts neurotic about everything when it comes to having a child - What if the other kids think he's weird? What if she says he's mildly autistic? What if someone snatches him when we're at the park? What if we find out he has some horrible disease? What if he gets hit by a car? Kids are such a crap shoot. He's only 4, but there's so much out there it scares the hell out of me. I was reading a news story online at work yesterday about this choking game that kids are playing, and how more and more deaths are being attributed to it, and I almost threw up. It's a wonder I let him out of the house at all.


The conference was good. His teacher is absolutely wonderful; one of those teachers you wish they could have all the way through school. She confirmed that, of course, he's a genius. Before he even started preschool, he recognized the letters of the alphabet and (if he was in the right mood) could count up to 29.

Side note here: You may be asking yourself why 29, because that seems like such an arbitrary number? He gets to 29, pauses to think for a few seconds, then continues on "twenty-ten, twenty-eleven, twenty-twelve..." Hey - you've got to give a 3-4 year old credit for using logic like that.

Back to the conference - he needs to practice cutting with scissors, as this is apparently am important skill that develops the muscles and coordination needed to learn how to write. Again, who knew?!? I have reservations about giving anything that can cut to my sometimes-hyper 4-year-old. We sat down to practice the other night with our newly-purchased blunt-tipped scissors, and two minutes in he was asking if he could cut my hair. Need I say more?

But we'll work on it. He's most definitely exhibiting signs of being a lefty (you're welcome, Lori!), which is cool because we all know southpaw pitchers are worth more when it comes to the major league baseball contracts.

The other major area that he needs development in are the socialization skills. This wasn't a shock. He's never been in daycare. There aren't any kids his age in our neighborhood. If he was maybe 7 years older he'd be in luck, although the kids I see running around often look suspicious to me, so I'm not sure I'd let him out of the house with them even if he was the same age. His cousins are older and don't live close, and there are no plans for any brothers and/or sisters... other than church once a week (say 2-3 Sundays a month), preschool is his first real exposure to other kids his age. He's as excited as he can be to be around the kids in his class, but he's awkward when it comes to actually relating to them. He's still trying to get his mind around the concept of using words to talk to them, instead of just going up and hugging or trying to tickle them... here we go... mommy neurosis in overdrive... they're going to think he's weird...

We were talking to the teacher about ways and places to get him around other kids more, when the teacher dropped the dreaded word. Are you ready for it?


"I know the city has a soccer league that plays in the Fall, and I think the YMCA has a league that plays in the Spring."

Sports are inevitable these days, I suppose, and really that's fine. Obviously the exercise is good, and learning how to be part of a team, and all that. Somewhere in the backs of our minds, the husband and I were kind of hoping to avoid organized team sports, as neither one of us is athletic at all, but what can you do?

So, starting mid-April, I will be a soccer mom. Granted, at this age (according to the teacher) it's not so much a group of kids playing soccer as it is a group of kids running up and down the field in a clump. I'm just having trouble getting my head around it. Soccer, if I remember correctly, was just really starting to gain its popularity here when I was in high school in the late 80's, and in college in the early 90's. The soccer players and their families, at least the ones I knew, were... (that dreaded word from the 80's) preppie, which I, most definitely, was not and am still not today. I have no understanding of the game, other than kick the ball down the field into the net-thingy (is there more to it than that?). I have more bad-hair days than good ones. I don't own pearls, and I've never owned an Izod anything. I'm not very good at small-talk, so I tend to be quiet around people I don't know, which I'm sure gives people the impression that I'm either weird or stuck-up.

And the thought of my boy in a little uniform almost breaks my heart, because it means he's growing up, which we all know is really what all this is about.

Oh what an adventure this will be...