January 30, 2009

Tuesday, Too Soon


If you read many blogs, you've probably seen this already. If not, here it is. There is a little girl named Tuesday, and you can read her story here. She is only two years old. The same age as my son.

Tuesday is dying. She was diagnosed with cancer last summer, and her family just found out that it's too advanced, it's not responding to treatment. It was time to take Tuesday home to be with her family in her final days.

Two is too soon. No one should be having their final days at two. No mother should watch her toddler fade away. It's almost too painful to write.

So as I sit here with tears streaming down my face for Tuesday, I will pray for the only thing I can. Comfort for her family. Comfort and love for her in her final days.

And I will be thankful for what I have.

Please pray for Tuesday.

Still lovin' Fringe, even with the giant slimy spiky slugs

I just watched episode 11 of Fringe, and I am still really loving this show. The night before I watched it my best friend told me that it had reminded her of "one of the grosser episodes of The
X-Files", so I knew I would like it, and I totally did!

On a random note though, that professor who was on that got sick in front of the lecture hall and died? Does anyone else in the world think of him as Cass from Another World? Because I totally think about that EVERY TIME I see him.

"They supersized the common cold, which, as it turns out, is disgusting.". My favorite quote this episode. I like a show that can gross me out AND make me laugh.

Points and Corners

Haiku Friday

My son, he has these
supernaturally sharp
body parts on him

He climbs up (when did
I become a jungle gym?)
knees digging in hard

He rides on shoulders
hands make mommy a chin strap
as his chin drills down

Cuddling on the couch
he shifts, supports himself on
elbows like ice picks

When did my squirmy
cuddly little guy become
all points and corners?

Seriously people. When we're playing or wrestling and he puts all his weight on one of his extremely pointy elbows, grinding it into me? It makes me feel like he is literally drilling a hole in my skin! He inherited the pointy chin from his Daddy - sometimes when we're hugging if Justin puts his head on my shoulder I have to make him move it because his chin will dig into me so much.

Sam got some new clothes while we were on vacation. They're 3T and the FIT HIM. How did this happen? How is he going to be three years old in only three months? I just can't believe how much he's grown!

Right now we're in the midst of Operation Big Boy Bed, although I have to tell you it's been pretty uneventful so far! We got back on Friday, and were so tired that he and I crashed in Justin's and my room. The next 2 nights we put him to bed in his bed and waited until he fell asleep before leaving. Since then, we've read some books and then put off the light and told him it was bedtime and left him in there to fall asleep on his own. And it's been fine! He doesn't get up (so far) and cries for like a minute then stops. It's awesome. One day he got up in the morning, but today Justin told me he woke up, turned on his music (he knows how to push play and adjust the volume on his CD player now) and then lay in his bed and hung out until Justin went in and got him. How cute!

So, we're keeping our fingers crossed it will continue to be an uneventful transition! He's also been really good about waking up in the night and soothing himself back to sleep, so Justin and I have been able to get good nights of sleep as well!

For more Haiku Friday participants, click here.

January 29, 2009

Top Chef NY: Week 10 - "There is no reason to eat vegetable when there is meat and fish around."

Well, I'm back watching Top Chef. I watched the episode from Jan 14 the other day, but it's been two weeks, and then unfortunately my DVR did NOT record the restaurant wars episode while I was on vacation, so I missed it.

Oh well, back on the bus with last night's episode. First off, wow, drama in the Top Chef house! Hosea and Leah heatin' things up... I don't really remember the last time this happened on THIS show (if it ever has). I'd have to assume that it has - how could all these people live in such close quarters and never have things like this happen?

Also, that pinata shirt Hosea was wearing last week? The on that said "I'd Hit That"? My husband totally has that shirt because when I saw it on the rack I couldn't stop laughing.

Anyhow, it looks like I missed a good episode (bummer). Stefan was the winner and Radhika was sent home. I'm not sorry to see her go - Id on't feel like she was very passionate, and she didn't seem to be putting herself into it full force like some of the other contestants are.

Quickfire Challenge

Pair whole grain oats with food group (chosen blind) to create an original dish (sponsored by Quaker Oats).

Fabio: "There is no reason to eat vegetable when there is meat and fish around". Quote of the week.

What a weird challenge. And, at this point, no immunity anymore, but they'll start to get some more interesting prizes for winning the quickfires. I can't wait to see what they do with the oats. Jamie's shrimp idea impressed me, it sounded pretty good!

Stefan... banana mousse with oatmeal didn't sound appealing to me. Fabio's dish DID look funny. It looked like those no bake cookies. But he wasn't happy the guest judge chuckled at it. Oh well. It IS a funny challenge. Stefan ended up winning with his little desserts. He really is on a roll with winning challenges.

Elimination Challenge

Top Chef Bowl?! And they're competing against past season competitors. Andrew (season 4), Josie (2), Andrea (1), Spike (4), Camille (3), Nikki (4) and Miguel (1). The challenge is to compete against one of the previous contestants in a head to head contest based on the regional cuisine of a football team. Stefan got to choose which region he wanted to make AND which chef he wanted to cook against as his advantage for winning the quickfire. Also they only get 20 minutes, 2 hours to plan.

I liked seeing Andrew back, I actually really liked watching him compete during season 4. Anyone who loses their head to head will be up for elimination. I have actually come to like Carla too. She still has crazy eyes, but I've come to like those crazy eyes! She seems genuinely nice and like a cool person. Actually, out of the seven contestants left, there is no one that I really dislike, which is interesting to me. Usually there's at least one person I can't stand. I'm not a huge fan of Leah, so I guess she would be my first choice to leave. My favorites are Hosea, Carla and Jamie. Although I do love Fabio for giving me post titles every week from the things he says.

Leah v. Nikki (NY) - Ew. Chicken livers. That didn't play out well. Leah gets the touchdown (7 pts), but Nikki gets the field goal (3 pts).

Hosea v. Miguel (Seattle) - Salmon was a good choice as far as regional. I thought Hosea's dish looked mroe appealing, and a salmon roll is definitely Seattle-ish. Hosea wins (7 and 3).

Carla v. Andrew (New Orleans) - They both cook crawfish. I thought that Carla's gumbo idea was GREAT, and that it was definitely more football-ish than Andrews raw crawfish. I thought she got the regional part head on. Carla wins (7)! Andrew gets 3.

Stefan v. Andrea (Dallas) - Prime rib, sounds good, but for the football I thought the chili idea was great. It's a tie, so it's fan's choice, and Andrea wins. I felt so bad they were all acting like he must be joking about losing, but he wasn't!

Jamie v. Camille (San Fran) - I thought that Jamie's dish was visually way more appealing. It looked so pretty! I liked that she had the sourdough too, since that's such a big San Francisco thing. It's another tie, so the crowd chooses, and they choose Jamie for all 10 points.

Jeff v. Josie (Miami) - I thought ceviche by definition was cold? But Josie made a hot ceviche. I dunno. I thought Jeff's dish looked pretty. Josie wins out with the judges and the audience.

So at this point it's ALL up to Fabio. As long as he wins the crowd, he'll be okay but if he loses all 10 points they lose.

Fabio v. Spike (Green Bay) - I liked Fabio's dish - cheddar & venison both very regional. He was being so funny, they definitely put on the best show. Fabio gives me another classic - "If your food is as big as your mouth, you'll win for sure!" The judges go with Spike... and the crowd goes with FABIO! So, the home team wins!

I didn't expect Fabio, Stefan and Jeff to be the ones on the chopping block. Of those three, I am hoping Jeff goes home because I think Fabio and Stefan are just way too entertaining to me, and Stefan has been doing so well.

In the end, Carla won (crazy eyes!) and she gets to go to the Super Bowl (super crazy eyes!)! It's so uncomfortable when the contestants get into it with the judges. Stefan's apology and calling the judges sir is more the attitude I'd probably take! Jeff argued with the judges too. And Jeff it was. He's out. So, we're down to the final six!

Leah, Carla, Jamie, Hosea, Stefan and Fabio. I thought Fabio's comment to the judges was gracious, and I'm glad he said it.

Next week... eels?!

Picture Tag!

Mimi over at Screaming Mimi tagged me with this picture tag game just before I left on vacation. Well, I'm home now, with my computer, so I am finally able to do it!

The instructions are to go to my fourth folder & pick out the fourth picture. No cropping or editing allowed, so here it is.


That's my husband Justin on the left, and his best friend Tim on the right up on top of Chuckanut Mountain a few years ago.

Now for the fun... tag four people to do the same!

Rachael @ Little Bites of Heaven

Jaci @ Ravings of a Mad Housewife

Mama Bee @ Mom to Bee

Scary Mommy

Looking forward to seeing their shots!

January 28, 2009

You Thought You Were Cold?

Well, this week it's (almost) Wordless Wednesday for me! I got these pictures through e-mail and was so impressed I need to share them. So, if you think you are cold where you are right now, look at these and then decide! Scroll all the way to the bottom for a couple of links with information about the pictures, taken at Lake Geneva, Switzerland in January 2005.



Snopes Link

Ice and Wind on Geneva

To look at more Wordless Wednesday posts, click here.

January 27, 2009

Heads or Tails: Quieting My Brain!

This week's theme for Heads or Tails Tuesday is "Loud". Well, the one thing that's really loud here right now is MAH BRAIN! I got back from 'vacation' on Friday needing a vacation from my vacation, and have all these thoughts screaming and rolling and running around inside my head. So, this is my chance to quiet the thoughts by dumping them out here! Without further ado, here's what I've been thinking about...
  • I saw several commercials for 'Madea Goes to Jail', the new Tyler Perry movie. I don't get it. I just don't understand the appeal of these movies at all. I am not trying to sound ignorant, and DEFINITELY not racist, but is it because I'm white?
  • Is there a moment more hopeless than the moment when you are sitting in an airport hallway with your two and a half year old son screaming and crying on the floor as you sit nearby and cry because you just can't hold it in anymore and you don't know how you're going to be able to physically get him to the gate or onto the plane?
  • How does my body do it? As soon as I got back from vacation, 24 hours passed and I was overtaken by a virus that kept me layered under 5 layers of fleece blanket and clothing on my couch shivering. And during the whole thing I was miserable, but also thanking God it didn't happen while I was on vacation.
  • Speaking of which, I realized that I sounded completely ridiculous trying to describe my illness to my husband including the following: "I feel like I'm shivering inside my skin", "I'm cold, but I can feel that my hands aren't cold, but they FEEL cold", and "My muscles need to move". I wonder if they're the same things he feels when he's sick, but he would describe them totally differently?
  • Is there a moment more terrifying than looking in the backseat to see your two and a half year old son barfing up absolutely everything he's eaten and drunk that day ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT? Where you will be traveling on planes for 7 hours? Luckily, the flights home went very well, and there was NO barfing on the planes or anything.
  • We are currently undergoing Operation Big Boy Bed. While I was on vacation, the bed arrived, and Justin put it together & into Sam's room. The first night home, I was so exhausted that he slept in our bed. The second and third nights, he slept in his Big Boy Bed (twin) after Justin read to him then stayed in there until he fell asleep. The fourth night (last night) I read him stories in the bed, then told him it was time for me to go. He whined a little, but FELL ASLEEP IN HIS NEW BED. Without crying for more than 2 minutes. Without getting up. Awesome! Knock on wood.
  • This is to be expected, but I am totally enamoured with the Obamas. I loved Michelle's dress at the inauguration, and those little girls are just adorable. I am waiting to see how long it will be before I feel giddy at the sound of President Obama's voice.
  • I bought a container of cut watermelon at the store because it looked so red and juicy. It cost $8. It was totally worth it.
Okay I feel better now. To read more Heads or Tails Tuesday posts, click here!

January 26, 2009

Grey's Anatomy is BACK

Finally. The last 2 episodes of Grey's were so good! Here's why.

I was TIRED of Christina and Meredith fighting. It sucked. The way they resolved it was awesome, FINALLY something that was more important than a petty fight. And way to go McDreamy for bringing them back together.

I was TIRED of stupid even-smilier, giddier than usual Izzy and her hallucination of a boyfriend. I love you Jeffrey Dean Morgan, I absolutely do, but I was getting really tired of the dead fiance sex. I am SO glad they are finally getting to the reason.

I am loving the Lexie/Sloan thing. It's interesting and new.

I still love Bailey, that is one amazing actress, and a lot of times she's the real star of the show.

I loved Eric Stoltz guest run as the prisoner and the situations he created.

I can't wait for the McJourneyman/Christina thing to flesh out, and that scene where he was in the shower at her place nearly broke my heart.

Yay!

I Am Overcome

It's hard not to know if the emotions I'm feeling are my own, or if it's a result of all of the hormonal storms I know are happening constantly inside my body.

I went to see Bride Wars tonight. I take myself to a movie that's supposed to be silly, entertaining, and funny. Uplifting even. And I find myself in the theater at the end of the movie in tears, wanting to sit there and just cry until I can't anymore.

Is it because the movie reminded me of my own lost friendships that I wish I had back? Is it because I remember the story of four girls who thought they'd be friends forever, but ended up split up by a silly incident, and were not at each other's weddings? Is it because I'm exhausted from being on vacation and taking care of Sam without the support of my wonderful spouse for a week? Is it because I miss my husband? Is it because I was disappointed about not being able to see my closest cousin more on this trip?

I can't say. I can't say why after watching a comedy, I get into my car and cry. It's a little scary, and very disconcerting. It goes the other way too. Some days I am hit by an unexpected wave of love for the person I'm with - my father, my stepmother, my husband. I know that I feel that way about them. I love them all more than I can say. But it's a little weird to be suddenly overtaken with this wave of such deep emotion that it almost moves me to tears.

I wonder how much of this is how I'm really feeling. I was recently diagnosed with several things, and am waiting to get home from vacation so that I can see an endocrinologist. I have been diagnosed with PCOS, High Testosterone, Insulin Resistance, Vitamin D Insufficiency, and Hypothyroidism. It's not something I've written about here, I have a seperate blog for that. It's called Unconventional Fear, and I'd love it if you visited me there.

The original purpose for Unconventional Fear was to have a place to write about my struggle with being overweight. I started it last year because I had decided that I needed to lose weight, to be healthier for both my own sake and for Sam's. It's a very emotional and sometimes very negative area of my life, and I didn't want to post about it here because it's not necessarily the tone I want for this blog, and I wanted to have a seperate record of that journey.

When I found my new doctor and found out about these other health problems, that blog changed a little, so now it's a record of my journey of being overweight AND of trying to get healthy in other areas as well. There's a little feed over on my left sidebar where you can see my latest posts, and a link at the top of this page as well. Come join me on my journey - I need all the cheerleaders I can get, and I hope that my blog might someday inspire someone else and give them the push they need to get healthy as well.

January 24, 2009

You once were lost, but now you're found... well, you're still LOST.

Oh my God, Lost, how I have freaking MISSED you! I FINALLY got to watch the first two hours of the season after getting home from vacation on Friday.

I love the blatant supernatural-ness of "think of time as a record, and that record is skipping". That either the island is moving or they are. RIGHT back into it with the awesomeness of that which is Lost...

The first episode was so well done, I feel like the mystery is back. How can this show be so good??

Hugo telling his Mom what REALLY happened during the 2nd hour? He DOES sound crazy. Actually, he sounded exactly like what I sounded like when I tried to explain to my Dad what this show was about once.

And of course, then come the questions... Why is the island stuck in a loop? When did the loop start? Do they ever jump back to before the hatch, or is it contained? Like, would they ever go back to dinosaur times?

I can't wait to see what happens next. For more awesome thoughts and questions, here are some great posts/websites:

The Chronicles of a SAHM
Sussing Out Lost
Long Live Locke

January 23, 2009

I'm Not Ready

Haiku Friday

Seeing as how this will be posted on Rachael’s Haiku Friday, I feel I must dig deep and compose one. You have been warned.

I am not ready

There is tremendous pressure

To post a good blog

Yes, I know. Not up to the usual entries that you all have come to expect from here but hey, I’m just a guest.

I am still new to this whole blogging thing. Starting up just a few months ago, I really should have given more thought to what I wanted to put out there into the Great Blog-o-sphere. But I have no unique talents. I have no interesting aspects of my life that I felt I had to share with the world. I just wanted to empty my head.

And believe me, even for a ditzy blonde, there is a lot of crap floating around up here.

Lately, my thoughts have been consumed with age. I do not consider myself old…not yet anyway. And it’s not really my age that is occupying my limited thought processes. It is my son’s. Next month, he will turn ten. Ten! It’s not till the end of next month but I have been quietly freaking out about this for about six months. I’m pretty sure that by the time his actual birthday rolls around, I will have my first gray hair…or five.

I’m not ready. I’m not ready for him to be older and off on his own and having girlfriends who I have to be nice to.

I’m. Not. Ready.

For hormones and puberty and braces and being wrong! I’m the Mom! I’m never wrong!

I’m. Not. Ready!

I’m not ready for him to be smarter than me and the-rolling-of-the-eyes because I said something that was sooo uncool.

I’m. Not. Ready.

I’m not ready for ten years old. I’m not ready for him to be too old to hug me and not embarrassed to give me a kiss.

I’m not ready for my baby boy to grow up.

I’m. Not. Ready.

To read more Haiku Friday posts, click here!

********************
The last guest post of this vacation comes from Shana over at Utterances. I started reading her blog because she's a fellow Washingtonian, and look forward to her posts every day! We have a similar sense of humor, and knows what it's like to be a Mom in all it's... glory? I'm so happy to have her, now go over and check her out! I'm also honored to be her FIRST guest posting experience!

January 22, 2009

Weight Watchers!

When I went to my doctor the first time, she recommended Weight Watchers. She gave me a small packet with a coupon for a free month, but after that it ends up being about $40 a month, and I just can't afford that.

Well, we had Christmas today with my Stepmom & Little Sister, and guess what my Dad and Stepmom got me? 10 weeks of Weight Watchers! It came with a whole starter kit with point guides and everything. So, they expire in April, but between that and the free month, if I start it at the beginning of February, I could get in 12 free weeks. My Stepmom said that they didn't want me to not have the opportunity to do it if I was willing to commit to it just because I can't afford it, and she said that after the 10 weeks if I am doing well and like it, that they would keep me going with it. I'm really touched - it's not necessarily a conventional Christmas gift, but it means a lot to me to have this kind of support from my family. Between my Stepmom & my Mom (who pays for my gym membership) I just HAVE to get this DONE this year!

So, as long as the endocrinologist agrees that Weight Watchers is a good way to go, I'll find one near my house and get started. The nice thing is that if my husband wants to do it with me, we'll have all the resources so we can kind of get 2 for 1. It will be more difficult for him with his gluten free diet, but we could probably kind of rig up our own system if he wants to do it.

Speaking of the endocrinologist, I DID call them yesterday, but they hadn't received my referral yet. They said when they got it, they'd call me to make an appointment. I called my regular doctor and it turns out they only sent over my info on Tuesday (even though my appointment was almost 2 weeks before that). I might not have a chance to call and check if it's been reviewed tomorrow since I'll be travelling with Sam all day (going home), so if not, I should DEFINITELY be able to make the appointment on Monday. I'm hoping to get in fast, that they'll be not too busy and be able to take me soon so I can get started.

Oscar Nominations Are Here!

So, Oscar Nominations came out this morning! Woo hoo! I've included a list below of the biggest categories for your reading pleasure, and here are my thoughts on it...
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button came out of it with 13 nominations. That's a lot. The record for number of nominations is a tie - both All About Eve and Titanic had 14 nominations, and they both won Best Picture.
  • Milk also had tons of nominations, and Slumdog Millionaire had 10.
  • I was surprised that Revolutionary Road only had 3 nominations (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design) after the number of Golden Globe nominations (and wins) it got. I haven't seen it yet, but I want to.
Movies I am DEFINITELY going to see before the Oscars:
  • Doubt
  • Milk
  • Frost/Nixon
And, movies I am going to TRY to see before the Oscars:
  • The Visitor (I hadn't heard of this one, but I watched the preview on it's website, and it looks very good)
  • Frozen River (I wanted to see this when it was out, but didn't have a chance)
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • The Wrestler
The first three are already out on DVD, so that will make it more likely I'll actually get to see them!

Below is the list of nominess, and I've highlighted those available on DVD with blue text.

2009 Oscar Nominations

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Richard Jenkins--The Visitor
Frank Langella--Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn--Milk
Brad Pitt--The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke--The Wrestler

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Josh Brolin--Milk
Robert Downey Jr.--Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman--Doubt
Heath Ledger--The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon--Revolutionary Road

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Anne Hathaway--Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie--Changeling
Melissa Leo--Frozen River
Meryl Streep--Doubt
Kate Winslet--The Reader

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams--Doubt
Penelope Cruz--Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis--Doubt
Taraji Henson--The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei--The Wrestler

BEST DIRECTOR
David Fincher--The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard--Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant--Milk
Stephen Daldry--The Reader
Danny Boyle--Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frozen River
Happy-Go-Lucky
In Bruges
Milk
Wall-E

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Eric Roth--The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley--Doubt
Peter Morgan--Frost/Nixon
David Hare--The Reader
Simon Beaufoy--Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
Wall-E

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

January 21, 2009

Hotel for Dogs

*Spoilers* So, I have been known to go to kids movies from time to time. But when I saw the previews for Hotel for Dogs, I thought it looked a little... idiotic. Also, it kind of freaked me out that the main boy in it is played by the boy who voices Diego on Go Diego Go, because I knew I would be conscious of it for the entire movie.

Well, this week I found myself on vacation in New Jersey. With a 10 year old sister. Who I wanted to take to a movie. Next thing I knew, I found myself at Hotel for Dogs with two kids. Of course, being the tweens they are, I was not sitting near them. They sat in the back row and I was instructed to go and sit further up front.

You know what? When it got to be about 3/4 of the way through, I was FREAKING glad that I wasn't sitting near them. Why? Because I was crying like a big flippin' baby. You know those idiotic previews? The ones where all they showed was silly inventions for feeding dogs and playing fetch with dogs? Well, what they didn't show you was that the two main kids in the movie are a brother and sister who are in FOSTER CARE. With HORRIBLE foster parents who put locks on the cupboards so they won't "steal food" and feed them nasty crap and play horrible "music" together. They also don't tell you that partway through the movie the foster kids get in big trouble because of the hotel in which they are keeping dozens of stray dogs, and GET SEPARATED. As in, you have gone through too many foster parents, no one wants some siblings as old as you, now go live in some group homes. WTF? That is when I started crying. Then, all the dogs were sent to the pound. Where we were witness to two evil dogcatchers talking about how it was going to be a BUSY DAY the next day (you know, because they'd be killing all the dogs), and the other one said that he could USE THE OVERTIME. More tears.

What the hell kids movies? I wonder what goes through 10 year old kids heads when they watch these movies. It's obviously not as upsetting to them as it is to me. To me the idea of being seperated from your only living relative, your sibling who you are incredibly close to, perhaps to live apart forever, is DEVASTATING. Horrifying. Definitely tear-worthy.

In the end it all goes back to fairy tale land when community donations allow them to actually open and run a hotel for dogs/boading service. And the wonderful social worker (Don Cheadle) and his wife decide to adopt the children.

Truthfully, when I saw Don Cheadle's name in the credits I thought that it might not be so bad. And I was right. It was a cute movie, but if you're a total softie like me, you might shed some tears. If you have a younger person to watch it with, I'd recommend it. It was a cute movie, and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

A Letter to Myself at 18 (by Auds!)

Awwww, back in the Pacific Northwest again! I can thaw out for a bit out here and get my fill of Twilight land and get a chance to chill at Rachael's place whilst she's on holiday. Rachael has an awesome flat! She's got more movies than anyone I know and she was thoughtful enough to make sure there was a ice cold 6 pack in the fridge for me. OF COKE!

Rachael, thanks for letting me hang at your place today. I love my visits here and am so flattered you let me guest post for you!

Dear 18 year old Auds:

Looking back, there are so many things I want to tell you. Not many people are given the gift of getting a swift kick in the ass from their older selves…don't take it for granted and LISTEN to what I say!

First and foremost, dump MRF! Seriously. And when he tells you that if you give that engagement ring back; you'll be reading about him smashed into a million pieces because he drove his truck off PCH 101, call his bluff. Stop the madness with MHF now before it irrevocably changes your life in ways you'll never heal from. Getting married at 18 is stupid. You're too young and immature to handle the myriad responsibilities and challenges life is going to throw at you. You've already made one monumental mistake while hooked up with him... Another loss looms large and painful unless you get rid of him.

Dumping MRF means you can take advantage of those mad archery skillz you have. Bring it girl! I promise, if you do, you'll bring home a gold medal. Maybe not in '88 but definitely in Barcelona in '92!

If by some chance you do end up marrying MRF after all, when you do divorce him, oh and you will, it's only a matter of time, fight like hell to keep the kids. Don't believe what anyone else says about your ability to parent your children. You know better! Don't back down. Don't take the threats of others...they are just that, threats!

Get rid of the asymmetrical hair cut. Either grow it out, or even it out. Better yet, just don't do it in the first place. Oh and whilst we're talking about your hair…you're going to be tempted to start colouring your naturally gorgeous golden brown hair. You're going to pick up a box of black hair dye. PUT IT BACK! Just step away from the hair care shelves and forget about it! The "Morticia Look" was not a good look for you. When asleep, you could have been mistaken for a corpse.

Write to G more often. One of these days you're going to marry this man. He is wonderful! I can't say that loudly enough or often enough. By this point you two have been pen-pals for more than 6 years. You have an amazing friendship. You'll come to a point into your life where you really understand things better. Oh and get this…when you do finally hook up with him, you'll finally discover what all the hoopla over sex is about. You only thought you knew what it was like before. Take my word for it…you didn't! By making more than a once monthly effort (seriously Auds, he sent you three, sometimes FOUR letters a month!), when you do finally realize you've been kissing too many toads and that Prince Charming was standing there all along, you'll be ready. However, you won't be ready until your 30, maybe older.

One of the best times of your life will be sharing the home in Bothell, WA with the three male roommates you had. Take more of their advice. They knew what they were talking about. And don't be afraid to hang out and have fun with them every once in a while. How many other women get the opportunity to share a home with three guys who aren't all trying to get in her pants and help her ward off the ones who are?

You work too much. Two, sometimes three jobs, and school? Sow some wild oats. Lighten up. Don't take yourself so seriously. Let loose. Party a little, but keep your head on your shoulders. Hardcore partying never fascinated you; don't let it start now.

Oh, and for God's sake, take CFs advice and don't let radio be your entire world. At some point you're going to become disenchanted with the suits behind the music and you won't want to play the "branding" game. It won't be about the music any more. Be prepared for when that day happens. And whatever you do, don't stop writing. You're going to be presented with opportunities to publish several times. Don't let fear of rejection and others not liking your work influence you to say no. When someone wants to publish what you've written, say YES! Say it loudly and proud!

Oh and Peter Steel? Babe, he is not all he's cracked up to be. You DO NOT want to have sex with him. The opportunity will arise…just say NO! Don't just say no, wear track shoes and run like your ass is on fire as far away from him as possible. Yeah, he's scary. And not in a good way!

Be flexible, patient, and tolerant.

Smile more.

Worry less.

Sleep more.

Learn to accept compliments with grace and gratefulness rather than awkwardness.

Talk less.

Listen more.

Take care of your body. Take care of your voice. Your voice is what you're going to get by on for almost 15 years.

Write. Write everything, everyday. It's always been part of your soul. Feed this talent, tend it like you would a prize winning garden. Take care of the special place in your heart and soul where this talent resides.

One day, when you're ready, you're going to give birth to some amazing children. They're going to be beautiful, smart and the best things in your life. Hold onto them with everything you have. They are your center and you are theirs.

Auds

********************

Guess what? This is Auds second time guest posting for me, which makes her extra special! You may not be surprised to find out that I love her - I DID ask her back, didn't I? Auds normally resides over at casa Barking Mad with her gorgeous daughters Megawatt & The Little Imp. Sometimes she's funny, sometimes she makes me think, but she's always honest and real. Plus, even in her times of darkness, she has been sweet and supportive of me when I needed it as well! Basically, she rocks.

January 20, 2009

Anatomy of a Guest Post

Part I: This is the introduction. It’s supposed to go something like, “Ohmygod Rachael asked ME to guest post! Little old ME!?! Can you BELIEVE it?!?!?” And it’s really sweet and complimentary and self-deprecating.

Hi. I’m Bejewell. I love Rachael and she is awesome but I am too, so fuck all that self-deprecating nonsense.


Part II: This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you about how worried and stressed I’ve been over trying to write something that doesn’t suck, because I don’t want to embarrass myself, kill Rachael’s blog, blah, etc., blah, etc., blah, etc., blah blechh blaaaahhhh.


Worried? Stressed? ME? Pfffffft.


I have no sense of accountability. It’s Rachael’s own fault for inviting me to post here.


Part III: This is the part where I’m supposed to launch into some kind of story. Something cute and funny. Nothing too offensive, because I am, after all, a GUEST here.


Unfortunately for everyone involved, I’m all out of cute and funny.


I tried to mine my old list of ideas for a post that wouldn’t suck, but my list of ideas went exactly like this:
      • Timesheets Are Ruining My Life
      • A Phone Call to My Boobs
      • Ugly Nanny: Looks DO Matter When You’re Watching My Kid
      • The Space-time Continuum is Totally Fucked Up
      • I Want to Make Out With William Shatner
      • Why Chocolate Chip Pancakes Were Sent By God
      • Naked Pictures of Avitable
See what I mean? I don’t have shit. The naked pictures of Avitable might have worked but I don’t actually have any of those, just that one that graced his guest post over at Sarcastic Mom a couple of weeks ago, and I really don’t need to draw attention to how much better HIS guest post was than MINE.

So instead you get this. You’re welcome.


Part IV: This is the part where I’m supposed to summarize what I’ve written and crack a few more jokes for those of you who got bored with this dumbass post and skipped to the end.

Of course, the need for this summary assumes that you actually came back after viewing that picture of Avitable, instead of getting lost in the fantasy like I did.

In case you did, here’s what we’ve learned from this guest post:

  1. Rachael is awesome.
  2. I am also awesome.
  3. It’s kind of amazing that anyone reads my blog at all.
  4. It IS possible for back fat to be sexy.
  5. I have a few issues that should probably be worked out in therapy.

Part IV: This is the conclusion, where I’m supposed to (a) thank Rachael for letting me take up space on her blog, and (ii) subtly mention that I also have a blog and point you in that direction, in case you’d like to read more of my silly little posts.

(a) Thanks, Rachael. Have I mentioned that you’re awesome?

(ii) I really suck at the art of self-promotion, so instead of playing up my blog The Bean, which is really rad and can also be found at http://themusicalfruit.net, I’ll just say Sayonara and Good Luck and Best Wishes and Adios and Feliz Navidad and Whatever, and then I’ll return to my own little corner of the Blogosphere, which happens to be named after my awesome kid and is located at http://themusicalfruit.net.

See you there.

Or not.

Either way, this post is all Rachael’s fault.

Love,

Beej.

********************
I love Bejewell. She is hilarious. I was immediately drawn in to her blog when I saw her web address for her blog, The Bean - themusicalfruit.net. Seriously, could a blog title be any more perfect for my sense of humor? Okay, that was a little embarrassing to admit. Let's move on. Her little boy is adorable, and she cracks me up almost every day then every once in a while she comes out of left field and hits me upside the head with a heartbreaker like this. How awesome.

January 19, 2009

Chase it Down

It is palpable.

It is alive.

I can feel it crawling from within me, creeping electricity over my skin, tingling and sharp.

Today the anger is so strong that I feel on the verge of losing control.

I want to run.

I want to escape this heaviness of responsibilities, of worry and counting only on myself.

Right now love is overshadowed by this white hot blistering, and I don't care anymore.

I don't want to be around the boy, because I don't want him to see me this way. I don't want him to think that I'm angry at him. I don't want him to take my anger on and have to bear it.

I don't want to be around him either. I almost can't stand to look at him, to try and have a coherent conversation at this point is so completely futile that I don't even want to try.

I drive.

I smoke. I admit it, I light up and try to puff this stress out the window into the chilled air as I drive on into evening.

It doesn't matter where I'm going.

This burning trickle that's taking me over requires aloneness.

But it can't last long.

I mustn't show it.

Before I can take a step, before I set foot before foot to return to the world of home, the reality of family, I must sweep this away.

Somehow I must pull the strength to act as aloe to my burn, I must push all of this inside so deep that no one sees it.

I chase the anger down with loud music and slow breaths.

I park and ready myself...

and I am home.

PS I wrote this a while ago, and was waiting for the "right time" to have an opening for it because I really wanted to share. I am not angry about anything right now :-)

Sorry I'm Late, Golden Globes!

Okay, obviously I am late here, but the Golden Globes happened a week ago, and I wanted to post the winners. I have seen some, but there are a bunch of movies on the list I still really want to see. Movies I've seen are highlighted green, movies I want to see are in red. I might see some that I'm not THAT interested in, like Frost/Nixon, just because they are getting nominated for awards, and I'm that kind of gal. The winners are in bold.

You may notice that Vicky Cristina Barcelona is not red or green. That's because I CANNOT bring myself to watch it, despite the number of awards. The problem is that I freaking can't watch Woody Allen movies. I've seen like four in the theaters, and every time I hate it. Afterwards I think, hey, I should never do that again. But then the next one comes out and the previews make me think maybe it might be okay this time. Then I watch the movie and come out feeling like Woody Allen thinks I am a complete idiot. So, I won't do it. Also, I'm undecided about Doubt.

Best Motion Picture - Drama
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire - *WINNER

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas – I've Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road *WINNER

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler *WINNER

Best Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy
Burn After Reading
Happy-Go-Lucky
In Bruges
Mamma Mia! (Personal Aside: Really? Best Picture? Really?)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona *WINNER

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Rebecca Hall – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky *WINNER
Frances McDormand – Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson – Last Chance Harvey

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy
Javier Bardem – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell – In Bruges *WINNER
James Franco – Pineapple Express
Brendan Gleeson – In Bruges
Dustin Hoffman – Last Chance Harvey

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams – Doubt
PenĂ©lope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis – Doubt
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler
Kate Winslet – The Reader *WINNER

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes – The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight *WINNER

Best Animated Feature Film
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
Wall-E *WINNER

Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Country of Germany

Everlasting Moments (Sweden, Denmark)
The Country of Sweden and The Country of Denmark

Gomorrah (Italy)
The Country of Italy

I've Loved You So Long (France)
The Country of France

Waltz With Bashir (Israel) *WINNER
The Country of Israel

Best Director - Motion Picture
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire *WINNER
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
David Fincher – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes – Revolutionary Road

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Written by Eric Roth

Doubt
Written by John Patrick Shanley

Frost/Nixon
Written by Peter Morgan

The Reader
Written by David Hare

Slumdog Millionaire *WINNER
Written by Simon Beaufoy

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Composed by Alexandre Desplat

Changeling
Composed by Clint Eastwood

Defiance
Composed by James Newton Howard

Slumdog Millionaire *WINNER
Composed by A. R. Rahman

Frost/Nixon
Composed by Hans Zimmer

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
"Down To Earth" – Wall-E
Music By: Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman
Lyrics By: Peter Gabriel

"Gran Torino" – Gran Torino
Music By: Clint Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens
Lyrics By: Jamie Cullum

"I Thought I Lost You" – Bolt
Music & Lyrics By: Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele

"Once In A Lifetime" – Cadillac Records
Music & Lyrics By: Beyoncé Knowles, Amanda Ghost, Scott McFarmon, Ian Dench, James Dring and Jody Street

"The Wrestler" – The Wrestler *WINNER
Music & Lyrics By: Bruce Springsteen

Best Television Series - Drama
Dexter (SHOWTIME)
House (FOX)
In Treatment (HBO)
Mad Men (AMC) *WINNER
True Blood (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama
Sally Field – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay – Law & Order
January Jones – Mad Men (AMC)
Anna Paquin – True Blood (HBO) *WINNER (NOTE: Way to go, True Blood!!)
Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer (TNT)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama
Gabriel Byrne – In Treatment (HBO) *WINNER
Michael C. Hall – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jon Hamm – Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie – House (FOX)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers – The Tudors (SHOWTIME)

Best Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
30 Rock (NBC) *WINNER
Californication (SHOWTIME)
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
Weeds (SHOWTIME)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
Christina Applegate – Samantha Who? (ABC)
America Ferrera – Ugly Betty (ABC)
Tina Fey – 30 Rock (NBC) *WINNER
Debra Messing – The Starter Wife (USA)
Mary-Louise Parker – Weeds (SHOWTIME)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock (NBC) *WINNER
Steve Carell – The Office (NBC)
Kevin Connolly – Entourage (HBO)
David Duchovny – Californication (SHOWTIME)
Tony Shalhoub – Monk (USA)

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
A Raisin In The Sun (ABC)
Bernard And Doris (HBO)
Cranford (PBS)
John Adams (HBO)
Recount (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Judi Dench – Cranford (PBS)
Catherine Keener – An American Crime
Laura Linney – John Adams (HBO) *WINNER
Shirley MacLaine – Coco Chanel
Susan Sarandon – Bernard And Doris (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Ralph Fiennes – Bernard And Doris (HBO)
Paul Giamatti – John Adams (HBO) *WINNER
Kevin Spacey – Recount (HBO)
Kiefer Sutherland – 24 (FOX)
Tom Wilkinson – Recount (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Eileen Atkins – Cranford (PBS)
Laura Dern – Recount (HBO) *WINNER
Melissa George – In Treatment (HBO)
Rachel Griffiths – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Dianne Wiest – In Treatment (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Neil Patrick Harris – How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Denis Leary – Recount (HBO)
Jeremy Piven – Entourage (HBO)
Blair Underwood – In Treatment (HBO)
Tom Wilkinson – John Adams (HBO) *WINNER

January 18, 2009

Vacation

Sorry I haven't posted in almost a week, I've been on vacation in New Jersey visiting my Stepmom and little Sister, and will be here until Friday, so I'm not updating as much. I'll get back to posting regularly when I'm back in Washington, at home, with time to write!

Went shopping at Kohl's with my Stepmom today. Found a fleece shirt and a sweater that were WAY on sale, and was treated to some FLEECE SHEETS by my Stepmom, which I absolutely can't wait to put on my bed when I get home. Unfortunately, I also found two other totally cute sweaters, which in size 2X were still too small. :0( Sigh...

I need to call on Tuesday and make an appointment with the endocrinologist.

January 17, 2009

Vacation brain - I has it

  • The Crayola Factory is not in fact a factory. It is a giant arts & crafts funzone. Which is really fun for 10 year olds, but not so much for 2 year olds, 30 year olds, or 50 year olds. Especially the later two, who really wanted to see ACTUAL crayons being made ala that Mister Rogers episode they never forgot from years earlier.
  • Being in a different house with no childproofing and too much excitement = daily tantrums.
  • I want a dog.
  • I think I discovered the definition of "tween". My 10 year old sister has an I-Pod that contains tracks from the following: Elmo, Sesame Street, Kidz Bop, Hannah Montana, The Jonas Brothers, Rihanna, Britney Spears (Womanizer), and TI. GAH?!

January 16, 2009

True Blood Season 1: Love at First Bite

*Spoilers*

So, last week I finally watched the rest of the first season of True Blood, which basically involved watching 9 episodes over a couple of nights. I've been a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris for a long time, and have read the first five or six, so when I heard this was in development I was WAY interested. Then I heard that Anna Paquin had been brought on to play Sookie, and I was... well, disappointed. I didn't think the casting was right for the character. But I decided I wanted to give it a chance anyhow, because I liked the books and because in general if there's a new vampire or supernatural series out I want to support that.

After the first two episodes, I still wasn't sure. I still wasn't feeling Anna Paquin. Also, I REALLY don't like the title sequence and have to fast forward through it. It totally creeps me out.

But then I got four or five episodes in. Paquin started to grow on me. I thought the casting for Bill Compton was really good. Stephen Moyer comes across wonderfully - he's got that longing, that sadness that comes from losing the people you loved in life and experiencing multitudes more life than one person is meant to.

I loved watching the scenes with Tara, and think that Rutina Wesley was a perfect choice to fill that role. I loved the casting of Pam from Fangtasia. Perfect. The only casting complaint I have is Alexander Skarsgard as Eric. I just don't think he's right for the role. He's not big enough or tough looking enough.

I knew for sure that I was ABSOLUTELY hooked after watching episode 6, the one where Sookie & Jason's Grandmother is murdered. The last 10 minutes of that episode just blew me away. The parallel storylines, the music, the filming, it drew me in and made my heart race and break all at once.

It made me cry. It made me laugh. I mean, holy crap, that scene with Bill and the girl he was forced to turn was hilarious. That girl was so funny, how she went from emotion to emotion. Hilarious. Then it comes to Tara's mother and I'm just knocked down by the complexity of Tara's emotions and the longing she has for her mother to be right.

If you're a fan of the books, give it a chance. You may just end up loving it, like I did. If you're a fan of vampires in general, what's not to like? I can't wait for Season 2!

Haiku Friday: Good Food & Memories

Haiku Friday
Maggie, this is everyone... Everyone, this is Maggie!

Howdy and hello
to all of Rachael's readers,
thanks for having me!

Guest post in haiku
I asked Rachael for ideas,
things I love, she said...

...like foods or good times,
memories of joy - so then,
on with my haiku(s).

~*~*~*~*~

good food and mem'ries
go hand in hand together
making life sweeter

friend dressed sweet in white,
then new fav'rite wedding cake:
butter cream frosting

"home" to chicago
hot dogs topped with kitchen sink
pizza melts my heart

summer mem'ries crave
cotton candy carnivals
corn dogs at the fair

cure for any funk:
pancakes, butter, bacon, eggs
breakfast for dinner

reno's lobster bisque
cost more than the entree (oops!)
delicious mistake

thick prime rib dinner
(with lobster tail = bonus points)
you'll "get lucky," too ;)

drive through fast food fries
sit down, fancy dress up fare
either best with you

To read more Haiku Friday participants, click here!

********************
See what I did there? I just got SOMEONE else to do Haiku Friday for me! Seriously though, Maggie is my favorite haiku-ist (shut up it doesn't matter if it's not a word, you know what I meant). She usually posts her beautiful prose over at Maggie's Mind, a GREAT blog which has been filled with much joy and excitement lately due to the end of the apartness. Want to know what I'm talking about? Go over and visit!

January 14, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

*Spoilers* When I first saw previews for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I wasn't sure if I wanted to see it or not. I hadn't read the book, and the movie just looked really sad. Then my Mom saw it and said it was the best movie that she'd seen in years. And my husband said he wanted to see it. So we did.

And, it was incredible. It's long, at almost three hours, but so worth it.

One of the things that I found really funny was that I am not commonly a Brad Pit fan. But after watching him in "old man" mode for the whole beginning of the movie, when he finally got to be 'regular' Brad Pitt I couldn't help noticing how young and attractive he was. It made me giggle.

This is a great story. I wish I could say more about WHY I liked it, but it's such a fantastical story, I don't WANT to dissect it. I thought it was great, and I think you should see it because of that. I don't want to talk about the cinematography or the directing. I just want to remember it as an amazing movie that I really enjoyed.

I am also a HUGE Cate Blanchett fan. She is hands down one of my five favorite actresses, and gorgeous to boot. She is just incredibly versatile and I loved her in this movie. She was gorgeous and she manages to morph perfectly to fit the time period of whatever piece she's performing in.

There was ONE plot point I didn't understand/like. At one point as Benjamin is aging backwards, he leaves his family. Later, about 10 years later maybe, he shows up again. First off, it didn't make sense why he left to me. He was still a fully functioning adult who could have been helping raise his daughter and spending time with her. I find the idea of leaving your child to spare them an emotional attachment to their real parent who loves them slightly repugnant. Secondly, if he WAS going to leave, why the hell did he go back? No good could have come of it, only pain.

So, now that that's out of the way... you should go see this. It's unusual. It's a great story. It's got some great actors. The ending is heartbreaking and wonderful. It makes you think about things that you never would have considered. And I think that it's going to win some awards.

Wordless Wednesday: Bathtime Edition

1 Grandma + 1 Grandpa + 1 Grandson + Soap + Bathtub w/Jacuzzi Jets =






















You know how sometimes you see a picture and you love it so much you just want to stare at it for like an hour and it makes you all happy and warm and fuzzy? This IS that picture for me. Sam & his Grandpa Paul:






















To see more Wordless Wednesday Participants, click here.

January 13, 2009

So Much Overlap: Trying to Sort Out the Symptoms

I've been doing some research online, and wanted to post about some of the things I've found. To recap, I have been diagnosed with the following:

1. PCOS
2. Hypothyroid
3. High Testosterone
4. Insulin Resistance
5. Vitamin D Insufficiency

I've been doing a little reading on the internet, mostly to look for information on the following:

1. Symptoms of each diagnosed problem
2. Causes of each problem
3. The relationship between these problems and weight gain/trouble losing weight

It's so weird to look all this stuff up because so many of the symptoms are overlapping. Here's some of what I found relating to symptoms I am experiencing...

Weight Issues
  • Weight gain / Obesity (Vitamin D Deficiency)
  • Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight,body stores more fat (Insulin Resistance)
  • Weight gain or obesity, usually carrying extra weight around the waist (PCOS)
  • Weight gain, despite diminished appetite (Hypothyroidism)
  • Obesity, Weight Gain, Fluid Retention (High Testosterone)
Skin Issues
  • Acne, oily skin (PCOS)
  • Greasy skin and hair and acne or pimples (High Testosterone)
Cycles/Infertility
  • Infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding (PCOS)
  • Infertility (not able to get pregnant) because of not ovulating (PCOS)
  • Ovarian cysts (PCOS)
  • Decreased sex drive (Hypothyroidism)
  • Infertility (Hypothyroidism)
  • Menstrual irregularities (Hypothyroidism)
Mood
  • Depression (Hypothyroidism)
  • Depression (Insulin Resistance)
  • Snappiness, anger, frustration, impatience (High Testosterone)
Energy Level
  • Low energy, constant tiredness (Hypothyroidism)
  • Fatigue (Insulin Resistance)
  • Sleepiness (Insulin Resistance)
Other
  • Increased blood triglyceride levels (Insulin Resistance)
It's just so weird to me, and astounding, that there are so many common/overlapping symptoms. It makes me wonder which things are causing what symptoms, or if they're all just happily working together to fuck me up. I wonder which things the doctor will consider to be more strongly to blame, or if it will have to be a medication balancing act until something starts to improve. One thing that is good is that my cholesterol is okay, because high cholesterol is a common symptom as well. My HDL (good cholesterol) is a little bit low, normal range is 40-60 and mine is 40.

I've also found some useful sources and interesting information. The lab that did my bloodwork had a listed normal range of 0.34 to 5.6. for TSH (not distinguished between a male and female subject). However, according to this article, it is now believed that a normal range is between 0.3 and 3. Mine is at 4.46. My doctor said it should be between 2 and 2.5 to be normal for me.

I believe that this is all interconnected. According to another article on high testosterone in women, "in women to elevated testosterone levels... they do in fact have higher than normal testosterone levels but their whole hormonal system is out of balance. Not only do they have high testosterone levels, but they also have poor insulin sensitivity as well as high insulin levels. Often these women have a metabolic problem of insulin resistance-which is associated with obesity."

Speaking of insulin resistance, here is a great explanation (the first two words are a link to the original article): "Insulin resistance does not allow a body to use its own insulin with efficiency. Basically, those with the condition become desensitized to insulin’s effect on the cells. More insulin gets produced with fewer results. The pancreas goes into overdrive and the body stores more fat. This condition, if gone untreated, can lead to a host of ills including Diabetes Mellitus..."

So, that's what I've found. I'm trying to absorb all of this information and compile a list of questions for the endocrinologist. If you've made it this far through this, you can tell WHY I'm feeling completely overwhelmed.

Other Helpful Links

Excess Testosterone
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D Insufficiency Linked to Increased Body Fat

Symptoms of IR
Losing Weight with Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
PCOS Weight Loss: Composition of Diet Might Not Matter
What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

Asta La Vista, Washington!

Today I'm not around. Today I am braving one layover, two airplanes, and three airports with a 2 1/2 year old. If you're reading this, please pray for me. Or whatever you do. Cross your fingers. Knock on wood. Send me some positive energy. Because I REALLY hope this all goes well.

I'm off to New Jersey for 10 days to see my stepmom, super-cool 10 year old sister, my dad, and various other family members who can be squeezed in. I can't wait for them to see Sam, the haven't seen him since August and he has grown SO MUCH since then. I can't wait for them to get hugs and kisses, and to hear how much he talks now!

While I'm there, I'll be able to attend my little sister's band concert, which I am quite looking forward to. I will also be there for Obama's inauguration, which will be an amazing day. I'll be trying to keep up with my reader, but I have learned the hard way in the past that thinking I will be able to keep up with blogging while on vacation has another name. FOOLING YOURSELF! So, I have lined up a few posts that I've already written as well as having some REALLY special guest bloggers who I am super excited about!

If the flight goes awesome, I might post a one liner or a twitter. If it's awful, there will proably be a full post in the next day or two so you can laugh at my pain.

Doctor Recommendation

One of you asked who my doctor is in the comments, but didn't leave an e-mail so I wanted to post a link to her.

Her name is Michelle Ingram and the reason that I chose her was because although she is listed as OB/GYN/Infertility, she deals with women's health as a whole including:
  • Comprehensive Annual Exam
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Diagnostic Ultrasound (in-office)
  • Preconception Counseling
  • Breast Exam & Mammography Referral
  • Teen Transition to GYN Care
  • Menopause Dignosis and Treatment
  • Sports Physicals
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Colposcopy for abnormal Pap smears
  • Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding
  • PCOS
  • Fibroid diagnosis
  • Management of fibroids
  • Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer
  • Testing for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pelvic relaxation and urinary incontinence
  • Treatment of Depression and PMS
  • Birth control pills
  • Depoprovera
  • IUD insertions and removals
  • Tubal Ligation Referral
  • Diaphragm fitting and counseling
  • Emergency contraception
  • Vasectomy Referral
  • Nuva Ring
  • Ortho Evra patch
  • Early Obstetric Care and Referral
  • Pregnancy Testing
  • Early Pregnancy Ultrasound
  • OB care to 5 Months
  • OB coordination and referral
  • Couples Counseling
  • Sexual Issues
  • Trauma
  • Grief and Loss
  • Personal Growth
  • Life Transitions
  • Infertility
  • Infertility Evaluation
  • Ultrasound Evaluation
  • Saline Infusion Ultrasound
  • Ovulation Induction
  • Intra-Uterine Insemination
  • Coordination of care for IVF Cycle
  • Early IVF Monitoring
  • Donor insemination coordination
Impressive huh?

Her office is called Birchwood Women's Health and it's located near St Josephs Hospital in Bellingham. Here is a link to the website. I've only had 2 visits with her so far, but I felt comfortable right away, and felt like she really listened/cared and would try to help me to be a more healthy person and not just treat one thing.

January 12, 2009

I Can Hear You Breathing

I know you're out there. I just heard you suck in your breath and start to hold it, trying not to make a sound as you lurk there...

Well, knock it off! Today is Delurking Day! That means it's time for you to leave a comment and say Hi! I love all you guys out there who read, some of you I know, and some I don't. So, leave me a little note, introduce yourself, tell me how your day is going, or link to a favorite post you've written on your blog lately. Whatever! Just tell me you're here!

Thanks to Kimberly, Aimee, Maggie, and Mrs. Flinger for alerting me to this super-important blogiday.

So Unsure

Relief.
Hope.
Motivation.

These are things that I feel like I SHOULD be feeling. I finally found a doctor who listened, and gave me a diagnosis. I finally have SOME kind of answer for the things that are making me so tired, why I have trouble losing weight, the things that are causing my irregular cycles etc.

Instead, I feel tired. I mean, okay, I sort of feel tired all the time at this point. But still. I feel anxious, I feel stressed out. I feel like I'm broken, defective. Getting a diagnosis with several different things that can be causing fatigue has made me look back at the last month or two. I feel ashamed that I have so little energy and can't play with Sam the way I feel that I should be. I know he watches more TV than he should, that we go out less often than we should. I just don't have the energy. By afternoon every day, I feel like taking a nap.

For some reason, instead of having hope that after I see the endocrinologist, things will get better, I feel scared. I'm afraid that they'll medicate me and nothing will change. I'm afraid that I'll just be broken forever and be a bad mom and be fat and unhealthy.

I'm still doing research. It all makes sense. But I think that until I can get in to see the endocrinologist I'm just going to feel unsure. I have so many questions, there is so much information that I want to get. I know it's all tied together, and I need someone to tell me what is causing what, which things I need to work on first, and how the hell I can do that.

My doctor told me to be careful about what I read on the internet. I know why, it's easy to get sucked in to reading the BAD stories about anything, to scare yourself. I have read about how sometimes people with PCOS or Hypothyroidism end up never really being able to lose weight. I've read that for some people it takes an incredible amount of exercise (60+ min/day). I've read that I might have to cut out carbs, which for me would be very difficult.

Answers are only bringing more questions.

I won't be able to get into the endocrinologist for at least two weeks since I'll be on vacation until the 23rd. I don't know how easy or difficult it will be to get an appointment. But, I feel like it can't come soon enough!

Self-Made Man

I just finished reading Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man by Norah Vincent. What an amazing and seriously intriguing read. The description on Vincent's website:

"Shrewd, sympathetic, and courageous, Self-Made Man is one woman’s take on just how hard it is to be a man, even in a man’s world. With an ever-present five o’clock shadow, a crew cut, wire-rimmed glasses, and her own size 11 ½ shoes, Norah Vincent spent a year and a half as her male alter ego, Ned, and reported back what she observed incognito. Narrating her journey with exquisite insight, empathy, and humor, Norah ponders the many remarkable mysteries of gender identity as she explores firsthand who men really are when women aren’t around. As Ned, she joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women (and men), visits strip clubs, and even manages to infiltrate a monastery and a men’s therapy group. Absolutely engrossing in its reporting and surprising in its analysis, Self-Made Man is a thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism."

I got the book on a lark on one of my new favorite websites, Paperback Swap. I thought it seemed like an interesting concept, but I had no idea how revealing it would actually be. In the introduction, Vincent discusses the process she used to become Ned, and how the whole book project came about. Then she dives right in.

In the first chapter, Ned joins an all-male bowling league. Although Vincent doesn't specify which chapters/events take place in which of the 5 states and various cities she visited, the bowling league seemed to me to be somewhere in the Mid-West. At one point during this chapter, she describes a scene in which all the men stop bowling to watch one of their league-mates bowl a perfect game. I would never have imagined that could have me in tears, but it did. The way she described the scene from the inside out was just incredible.

I think that the reason this book was so amazing is because as much as a man could try to write about the inner circle and workings of male relationships, it's just normal to them. They wouldn't be able to describe it in the same way as someone who is used to female relationships. It also gave Vincent a lot of insight into how women can be perceived by men, and why.

The last adventure Vincent went on as Ned was to join a Men's Movement meeting and then attend one of their annual retreats. The insight she gives into the state of men today, the difficulties they face, and the ignorance most of our society has about it is truly eye opening.

I found the book fascinating and touching. In the end, Vincent ends up having a breakdown and committing herself to a mental hospital. The stress of pretending to be someone else, worrying about being discovered, and the guilt of deceiving people day in and day out did her in. The last chapter, where she describes the unforseen early end to her experiment is insightful and passionate.

Fun with Google

As I sat at my computer today, fumbling and stumbling around the internet and trying to come up with a good idea, which is somehow not happening, I decided to have some fun with google...

Rachael is the prettier version of Rachel.

Search: "Rachael is"
  • Rachael is the picture of health.
  • Rachael is Awesome
  • Rachael is going to get some rest tonight.
Rachael needs to learn to accept things even if she does not like them
Search: "Rachael needs"
  • Rachael needs a late night dessert snack
  • Rachael needs a miracle
  • Rachael needs to get a life and there is nothing funny about her, she is just simply annoying and too loud. (wow dude... I must suck)
  • Rachael needs numbers, because i got thrown in the pool at work!
  • Rachael needs your numbers cause she lost her phone!
“I’ve always had the dream since I was a little kid that I wanted to own my company,” Rachael said. “I wanted to be the big shot. I wanted to be the boss.”
Search: "Rachael said"
  • rachael said if the supers dont end it before may31st, hill can take the fight into the convention.
  • When asked if her feet hurt, Rachael said: "Listen, I’m a restaurant..."
  • "All in all," Rachael said, "it was the perfect way to play the game."
  • UCLA showed an interest in her before anyone else, Rachael said
  • "Well," Rachael said, straightening up suddenly, and with resolute courage
  • Here, Rachael said, "There is a community of belly dancers and I think it will catch on in time."
  • Rachael said: “I have got to just get on with things – there is nothing else to do."
Rachael is made of tiny little oompa loompa's.
Search: "Rachael is made of"
  • Princess Rachael is made of entwined wire points of 2 Swarvoski AB clear crystals topped with a freshwater potato pearl .
  • Rachael is made of win and awesome.
  • Rachael is made of carbon as she is a carbon-based being
How do you think Rachael feels at not being able to see her friend?
Search: "Rachael feels"
  • Rachael feels that pets often mirror their owner’s emotions and feelings and act them out for the owner.
  • It can also, at times, be difficult to meet sales targets and Rachael feels that sometimes these are set unrealistically high.
  • Readers may find out how Rachael feels about the fetish.
  • Rachael feels that she works too much to be an appropriate parent, and she has said that she feels like a bad mother to her dog on some days.
  • Rachael feels that she is always right, and defends herself to the death when someone tells her she's wrong.
  • With its regular in-and-out flow of kindly old people, Rachael's feels just like grandma's kitchen.
  • Rachael feels the work she does is worthwhile, and it is this type of. validation she finds extremely gratifying.
Yeaaaah.... have your own fun with google, then amuse me by leaving the best & funniest ones in the comments!