April 30, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: Entertaining Me

This week for the Thursday Thirteen, I'm going to tell you all about the things that have been entertaining me lately! I don't feel compelled to write full review posts for all the movies I've watched, so here are my quick and easy opinions!

Thirteen Things Entertaining Me Lately
  1. The Haunting in Connecticut I was really nervous about watching this one because I'm a little bit of a wuss ever since I saw "The Ring". I used to love scary movies, but now I am just completely ridiculous. I admit that I did watch this movie mostly with my hands over my face. Despite all that, I really liked this movie! I am a little picky about scary movies, I like there to be a plot and some kind of redeeming part of the story. I liked this one because there was an ongoing story and it all fit together and made sense. I thought that the actor who played the son who was the main target of the haunting was amazing. I am curious about the "based on a true story" aspect, and spoke with someone afterwards who'd watched a documentary about the family. She said the movie took a lot of creative license with the plot, and I'd be very interested in seeing the documentary if I can get my hands on it! I would definitely recommend this one for fans of scary movies who don't like gore with no payoff!

  2. Monsters vs. Aliens Sam's Grandma took him to see this one, so we didn't see it for a while after it came out. We decided to go and see it on one of our date nights, and I LOVED it! I was so impressed by the animation, I just can't help but be amazed, especially when I sit down to watch "The Little Mermaid" or "Beauty and the Beast" and compare what the new animated movies looked like when I was growing up. The animation itself was more than enough to keep me enthralled through the entire movie, but then it was also funny! I love Seth Rogen and he was great as the blob, and I thought that all of the characters were well cast. A great film if you've got kids, or if you don't and just want a laugh and something cool to look at!

  3. Sunshine Cleaners I saw previews for this and it reminded me a little bit of Little Miss Sunshine, plus I thought the concept looked really interesting and quirky and funny. I really liked it! I was surprised by the fact that the person who really stole the show for me was Emily Blunt, as Amy Adam's sister who is snarky and searching for herself. I thought that she did an amazing job in this one, and outshined Adams, who was also good.

  4. Hannah Montana: The Movie Yeah, I totally went and saw this. I took my 10 year old sister to see it when I was in St. Louis last week. Yeah, yeah, if you know me you totally knew that I was going to see this whether or not I had a convenient excuse! Of course, I really liked it! I am a big fan of Miley Cyrus. There's just something about her. I think that she's really talented, and I hope that she won't get caught up in some Britney-style shit because I think she has major potential. Coincidentally I read an article about Miley, Billy Ray, and the movie in the American Airlines magazine on the way to St. Louis. It talked about how in many ways the movie is biographical, and that the director was absolutely blown away during the scene where Miley and her dad sing "Butterfly, Fly Away". It made the movie that much more interesting. There is something visceral about these movies involving boys and girls coming into their own. There's one scene where Miley breaks down because she's trying to do too much, and in the midst of losing her own boyfriend, she overhears her Dad and realizes how much her life is affecting his ability to be happy and explore new things of his own. Maybe it's just because I have a lot of empathy and tend to be a crybaby, but when I see this kind of thing, it hurts to remember feelings so lost and not knowing where life is going. It's a good hurt though, it reminds me what life is all about, we make it and we grow stronger.

  5. 17 Again We went to see 17 Again on another one of our date nights. I may have mentioned after seeing High School Musical 3 that I suddenly realized Zac Efron? Um, yeah, hot. And he's totally not quite jailbait... he's 21. Anyhow.... I always love movies that involve magical transformation to a younger/older age or people switching bodies and having to play each other. So of course I liked this! Warning, my husband was somewhat creeped out by the sexual tension between Zac Efron & his wife while he was in his 17 year old body. I wasn't that creeped out, because I knew that he wasn't just one of her son's friends, but it was a sort of crazy situation! If you like movies like '13 Going on 30" and "Big", you'll surely like this one too!

  6. Crank: High Voltage Yeah, I sort of debated about whether to include this one on a list of things that "entertained" me. That was 2 hours of my life I can't get back. Okay, I didn't HATE it, but I didn't really like it either. My husband went to see it on Monday, and thought I'd at least find it interesting for the filming and cinematography style. I like Jason Statham, but this was basically a schizophrenic violence, tit and ass festival. The thing that I did like was Amy Smart as his sort of dumb but hard as nails totally addicted to him girlfriend. I thought she was pretty hilarious! Anyhow, I suppose if you liked the first Crank, you'll like this. Otherwise, don't bother.

  7. 30 Rock So, this is nothing new, but I NEVER get tired of telling people about 30 Rock. I think that it's absolutely one of the funniest shows on TV right now, every episode makes me laugh out loud more than once. Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin are so completely hilarious and who could fight lines like Alec Baldwin saying he used to know the postmaster general, but they had a falling out over the Jerry Garcia stamp: "If I wanted to lick a hippie, I'd return Joan Baez's phone calls"?

  8. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of years, and it's been brought up at book club a couple of times, but we've never chosen it as one of our reads. I read last year in EW that they were making a movie so decided it was about time I read it! It's the story of Julie Powell, who decides that she should cook every recipe (524 of them) in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year. I thought it was great. I think one of the things I liked most about it is that Julie was just a normal young woman. As the book went on, I could see more and more how much I liked Julie, I'd like to hang out with her. She didn't have culinary experience, so she is appropriately skeeved and simultaneously fascinated by having to extract the marrow from a cow bone. An entertaining read for anyone who has ever bitten off more than they could chew, gone on a journey to find themselves, or is just interested in cooking and food!

  9. Magic Street by Orson Scott Card Card is one of my husband and my favorite authors. He's on the 'short list' of authors whose books we still buy in hardback when they come out. My husband read this a while back and has been trying to get me to read it, I started it earlier this year and then lost it. A couple of weeks ago I finally found the book under my bed, I guess it had fallen and gotten kicked under the bed when I unpacked it after my trip in January. I had a little bit of a hard time getting into it, but once I got a few chapters in I was hooked. The story works in Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and becomes totally fantastical and magical beyond what you see in the beginning. I was also super impressed by Card's ability to write characters so well who are not really... in his life too much? I mean, he's a Mormon from Utah and this book takes place in a black neighborhood in L.A. I thought that the characters were really authentic. I am constantly amazed by the things that Card is able to come up with. I hadn't read any of his stuff before meeting my husband, and now I have made my way through a good portion of it and it contains some of my favorite books. This is a departure from the Science Fiction genre, and purely in the realistic fantasy realm. I'd highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of Card, or who is just looking for a really good story. I listened to the first half of it on audiobook, and really enjoyed the author's voice (sometimes that's a sticking point for me). I also enjoyed reading the afterward of the book, where Card credits friend Roland Bernard Brown with goading him into writing a novel featuring a black hero, which seem to be a little lacking. Very interesting, and a good read. This would be a great one for summer reading!

  10. Hunted by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast I discovered the House of Night series after I had read the Twilight books, and was looking for something to fill the void so to speak. I love shopping in the Young Adult section, and have been pretty happy about the emergence of more 'horror' (vampires & werewolves, yay!) books in the section. I was totally sucked in to these books from the start. They take place in a reality where vampires exist - it's a trait that stays dormant until adolescense, and when it emerges, teens who are afflicted must go to one of the House of Night schools to be with their kind or they will die. I love the vampire mythology in these books - it's all based on a Goddess, and it's a culture all it's own, and doesn't involve hunting people or being really bad. It's very, very female-centric and features very strong female characters, which is wonderful. The latest book in the series didn't disappoint - in each book the story gets more complex and rich, and I will eagerly await the next one from this mother & daughter writing team!

  11. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare Another Young Adult title, this is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series. I got this one from a friend who shares almost the exact taste in books that I do, and really liked it. At first glance it looked long, but since it's a Young Adult book it reads easy. One of the things I like about reading Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy is that they are often VERY character driven. This one was no different, underneath the magic, there is a young girl who is discovering a past she didn't know she had while searching for her missing mother. The description from Amazon (courtesy of School Library Journal) reads: Grade 8 Up–When Clary Fray witnesses three tattoo-covered teenagers murder another teen, she is unable to prove the crime because the victim disappears right in front of her eyes, and no one else can see the killers. She learns that the teens are Shadowhunters (humans who hunt and kill demons), and Clary, a mundie (i.e., mundane human), should not be able to see them either. Shortly after this discovery, her mother, Jocelyn, an erstwhile Shadowhunter, is kidnapped. Jocelyn is the only person who knows the whereabouts of The Mortal Cup, a dangerous magical item that turns humans into Shadowhunters. Clary must find the cup and keep it from a renegade sector of Shadowhunters bent on eliminating all nonhumans, including benevolent werewolves and friendly vampires. Amid motorcycles powered by demon energies, a telepathic brotherhood of archivists, and other moments of great urban fantasy, the story gets sidetracked by cutesy touches, like the toasted bat sandwich on the menu of an otherworldly restaurant. The characters are sporadically characterized and tend toward behavior that is both predictable and slightly repellent–Clary finds out who her real father is about 200 pages after readers will have it figured out. Despite the narrative flaws, this version of New York, full of Buffyesque teens who are trying to save the world, is entertaining and will have fantasy readers anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.–Heather M. Campbell, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Fans of Twilight, the House of Night Series etc will probably like this book. It's another one that would make a great summer read!

  12. Panic in Level 4 by Richard Preston I'm a big fan of Richard Preston. The Hot Zone is one of my favorite books. Okay, maybe it is a little weird that I am totally fascinated by Ebola and other level 4 viruses. Whatever. I recently found my copy of The Cobra Event and started re-reading it last weekend during my garage sale, and am enjoying it just as much the second time around. I stopped at the library last week to pick up something to listen to on my drive to Seattle, and since I had Sam with me I didn't have much time to make a choice. I grabbed this one because I've liked Preston's stuff in the past, but I had no idea how interesting it would be! Preston has been a writer of essays for the New Yorker for many years, and this book is a collection of some of those essays. I was immediately drawn in to the story of two brothers who built a super computer in their apartment to try and calculate Pi to millions of digits. This is one of those books that I'm so glad I picked up becasue it's so well written and I am just absorbing information that I never would have come across otherwise. Preston writes so intelligently and captures his subjects so well. It's a great read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who loves learning new things and is curious about the world around us.

  13. FMyLife.com I don't know how I discovered this website. Maybe through Twitter? But it makes me laugh every day. Some of the stuff is stupid, but every once in a while you run across some real gems. Like... "Today, my boyfriend thought it would be sexy to throw me against the wall and kiss me like they do in the movies. Being all aggressive and smooth, he grabs my shirt and pushes me. He pushed a little too hard and my head was thrown back into the wall. I was knocked out for ten minutes. FML" and "Today, at lunch I was running to my group's table with my friend. She accidentally tripped me, and I slid across the café floor face first on my belly. The whole cafeteria was silent. They then broke out in hysterics when the head janitor ran up to me and yelled 'SAFE!' like a baseball umpire. FML". I'm sure that some part of my soul is dying from laughing at other people's pain, but it's still funny.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

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April 28, 2009

Week 13 Update: FIVE PERCENT!

Current Weight: 252
+/- this week: -3.0
+/- total: -15.2
Short Term Goal: 250
Long Term Goal: 150

What. The. Hell.? Unfortunately I missed meeting this week because Justin got home from work really late that day and I couldn't call him to make him come home earlier because my cell phone crapped out. Sigh... Anyhow, I drove over there to at least get weighed, and I lost THREE pounds?? I didn't go over my points last week, but also didn't really work out much at all. Like, I got less than 10 activity points. My body is a conundrum.

So, that means I got my FIVE PERCENT weight loss this week! Plus 2 pounds! Which means that next week at meeting I'll get my 5% star and get to put my name up on the wall at the meeting center. It also means that I am only 2 pounds away from my short term goal of 250! How exciting. Reaching my first goal will be really cool, I'm feeling a sense of accomplishment again.

Well, I'm tired so I'm off to bed - I'll write more soon!
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All in Good Time

I had a plan. It involved writing down everything that needed to get done this week and then doling them out over the days so that I could get them all done. I'm pretty sure that writing some blog posts for the rest of the week was one of the things I was going to do last night.

But, last night rolled around and I was tired. I felt like lying on the couch and watching TV then going to bed a little earlier than normal and getting a good night's sleep. I spent a lot of time over the weekend outside - we participated in a county wide garage sale - and it was really sunny on Sunday. It was warm and sunny again today and I took Sam to the park to run around for a couple of hours. There is definitely something glorious about being outside in the sun, but the transition from spring to summer can be hard - those first days frolicking in the warmth leave me sunkissed and tired.

I have random thoughts in my head tonight. My stepmom and little sister are coming to visit for a few days this weekend. I need to get things together for Sam's birthday party on Saturday. My baby is going to be three years old. When did this happen? He's tall, and when I look at his face I notice that he's losing his baby nose and starting to gain his true appearance. We're re-trying getting him to go to bed on his own in his room without us staying until he falls asleep, and it's working much better this time. He's definitely behind on his speech, but he's still always adding new words and showing me that he's changing and growing.

I don't have anything together. I think my 'day off' this week is going to be full of shopping and housecleaning. I have laundry piling up. I need to straighten up the house and clean the bathroom. I still haven't figured out my plans for Friday and trying to spend the day with my stepmom and two sisters in Seattle.

I have had ideas in my head, they want to be written about. All in good time.
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April 27, 2009

Learing Something New

Last Sunday, there was a knock on the door around 11:00 in the morning. It can't be the mail, because it's Sunday, and we weren't expecting anyone. I opened the door to see two familiar faces - two Jehovah's Witnesses who had been at my house about a month back and left me with copies of The Watchtower and Awake. I didn't look at them too much, but flipped through.

They're not pushy at all, they're very friendly, and they just told me they wanted to drop off the new issues. I thanked them and took the materials. I used to hide from them. When I saw them walking up my sidewalk in their suits and ties, with pamphlets in hand, I would duck away, go downstairs or into another room. Often times if they hadn't seen me, I would ignore the knocks and wait for them to go on their way. Somehow, now that I have my own faith, that I understand the feeling of believing that we are not alone, and wanting to share that, I don't get annoyed like I used to. I opened the shades to let the sun in, and flipped through the magazines, reading a couple of the articles as Spongebob played in the background.

I don't know if you've ever taken the time to sit down and read the publications the Jehovah's Witnesses leave, but they're not bad. They have interesting subjects, and as a Christian myself, there's nothing offensive or that I don't agree with in them usually. They seem like a good resource for people, and share some really good bible knowledge. So I got to thinking...

Do you know what Jehovah's Witnesses believe? Perhaps, like me, all you really know is that they didn't stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance in Elementary School, and they didn't participate in the birthday celebrations at school or have birthday parties. And they knock on your door in suits and give you little magazines, which you promptly drop into your recycling bin.

I decided that if I was going to decide that they weren't worth considering, I should do a little research, so I started reading up on what the Jehovah's Witnesses believe. I'll tell you, Wikipedia? Amazing. It's just incredible and wonderful that you can go online and get basic information about anything you want - it makes it so easy to educate yourself and get more information when you're curious.

I read a couple of articles, and was a little surprised to find that there is not a ton of stuff I object to. They are Christians, and believe in God, and Jesus Christ as the son of God. They believe in the Bible, in fact, their religion is heavily based on it, and Bible study is a main tenet of their beliefs. Which, in a way, is cool. It's the reason they're able to publish these things and have discussions where they can use the Bible to give you references and background.

The main things I objected to? The first is that they believe that theirs is the one true religion. Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jehovah's Witnesses alone represent true Christianity and for that reason they refuse all ecumenical relations with other religious denominations (from Wikipedia). I know that a lot of denominations or faiths believe that they are correct, but I don't believe in being intolerant of other religions, and I think that the more we get together, the better. We can accomplish so much on our own, but working together the possibilities are endless. I believe that God can present himself in many ways to many people. Every religion has fundamentalists, but I think that for the most part, people who are truly faithful do not foster intolerance.

There is also the fact that they don't believe in higher education. "Jehovah's Witnesses are instructed to make their preaching work the top priority in their life. Higher education is discouraged because of the futility of planning secular advancement in a world they believe faces imminent destruction, as well as fears about succumbing to "worldly thinking" and concerns that advanced educated might lead to a lack of humility." I believe in living in the world we're in, in educating ourselves, and in leading fulfilling lives. If this is fulfilling for them, that is great, but for me personally, I want to learn, expand my horizons, and support myself and my family. I believe that God put us in this life for something more than preaching about what he is going to do for us. Helping others is extremely fulfilling, but it's hard to continue doing it if you are preoccupied with being unfulfilled in other parts of your life.

The there's the "the man is in charge of the household and gets the final say", which just isn't how I live.

All in all though, I wasn't hugely put off by much that they were saying. Despite the fact that they might not believe in joining together under the umbrella of Christianity, my faith allows me to respect other faiths. I think that people find their light and faith in different places, and that the underlying goodness that comes from many denominations is what really matters. I believe that the value of Jesus lies largely in striving to be like him, to respect ourselves and each other, and to support each other in all ways we can. I know that they visit because they care about what they're saying and the words they are sharing.

So, despite the fact that I know I can't join them, I'll continue to smile and greet them at the door, to take their literature and read through it, and to learn something new when I do.
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April 24, 2009

Love

Haiku Friday

Sometimes, life is hard
I struggle to pull myself
up and fly again

Happiness comes though,
every day in hugs, kisses,
and conversations

Some days are special,
shining blindingly bright in
front of me, warming

The people in my
life are the beacons of hope
my love is endless

I read for as long as I can, until the motion of the bus invades my stomach and the vibration of the page is too much.

I mark my page and switch off the tiny light. The result is total darkness, I lean my head back and reflect.

Hours spent with friends today. Two in particular, our time in the car full of conversation, camaraderie and confidences. My heart swells with my love for them, puffing out like a marshmallow in the microwave, filling my chest and the corners of my mind.

My confidants. My supports. These are my women.

I see my life as it is. There are holes, uncertainties. But some things remain - friendships like a light in the dark, they take me away and let me fly.

For more Haiku Friday posts, click here!
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April 23, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: Things I said to my 10 year old sister last week

I haven't been participating in the Thursday Thirteen every week, but I was definitely inspired during my trip to St. Louis last week!

I'm a natural list maker as well, so given the opportunity, why not?! If you want to join in the Thursday Thirteen, see the information below my thirteen!

Thirteen Things I Said to My 10 Year Old Sister in St. Louis Last Week
  1. You can't just turn left on red because there are no other cars visible. We went to a movie, and on the way home she got on my case for getting too close to a car because she couldn't see their back tires, then two minutes later, she wanted me to turn left on a red arrow. At an intersection of two four lane roads.
  2. You do realize that hobos are hungry, cold, don't have bathrooms, and are treated like less than nothing, right? For some reason, my 10 year old sister is obsessed with hobos. First, she kept talking about there being hobos in the town she lives in, and I explained that hobos ride trains, and that they're not just homeless people. Now she keeps saying she is going to be a hobo when she grows up.
  3. If you keep saying that until we get to the car, I will punch you in the face. Said in the most teasing of sisterly manners of course. She kept repeating "shotgun" over and over, and I didn't even care that much if she sat in the front. Although she obviously did care. A lot.
  4. He only hurt people he knew, his family. We saw a giant "Wanted" billboard with the person's picture on it. The charges were domestic violence and criminal assault. She was asking questions, and asking where he was, saying she was scared by it. We were explaining that the charges meant that he'd only hurt his family, that we didn't know why. That sometimes people had problems and needed help.
  5. They still smell like farts! We played some trivia at a restaurant we were at. Lianna named our team "The Beastinators". We tied for first against a team called "Smells like Farts", but then they got re-scored and they beat us by one point. So I comforted my sister by reassuring her they still lived up to their name.
  6. You smell like onions and slime! During a wonderful back and forth text messaging insult conversation as we sat right next to each other in the living room.
  7. Sometimes when someone doesn't want to be your friend anymore, it is really hard. My Dad had a friend who he liked a lot, and she wasn't interested the same way. Now they don't talk much anymore, and he mentions her in conversation. I was trying to explain to her that it can be really hard when you want to be friends with someone and they don't want to be your friend, and you don't really know why they just don't like you anymore.
  8. Scrubs are the blue clothes doctors wear. She asked if I watched Scrubs, then wanted to know why it was called that.
  9. Stop whining! Really? She's 10. Do you need an explanation?
  10. You can't call shotgun until you can see the car. After the incessant "shotgun" shouting.
  11. I don't CARE! Trying to get the point across about my relationship with the backseat.
  12. Don't tell Dad! I hit a curb while turning right, and laughed then blurted this out. She immediately texted him and told him.
  13. See you in a couple weeks! This is my favorite one! She is coming with my stepmom on the 30th and will be here for Sam's birthday! Yay!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

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April 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: St. Louis






Click to enlarge & view full size. That last one is my favorite picture of me and my Dad since I was a kid.

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, click here.
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Not easy

Fear and hopelessness go hand in hand. Like siblings, egging each other on, they creep and join together.

I try to stay positive. I know that even though I am not losing weight like I wish, I am healthier. Here, lately, I've mostly written of triumphs and motivation. But the truth?

THIS. IS. HARD.

When I don't go over my points and I get a whole bunch of exercise and I go to a meeting and see a +, I want to quit.

When I am so sure I can drop the fucking 0.2 pounds to get my 5% and go in the opposite direction? It really, really hurts.

I feel like my body is betraying me.

Logically, I know that the average of losing 12 pounds over 13 weeks is good. A pound a week is nothing to turn my nose up at.

But it's just so damn hard. No matter what I do each week, I never know if my weight is going to go up or down. I can't find logic behind it.

I work out like a maniac some weeks, and other weeks don't, and it doesn't seem to be the deciding factor.

I try to stay positive. For the most part, I am proud of myself. But it doesn't prevent these moments of doubt.

I know that I'm getting better. I know that at some point, even if it takes 2 years, I'll be there.

Sometimes, it just seems a long way off.
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Week 12 Update

Current Weight: 255
+/- this week: +0.6
+/- total: -12.2
Short Term Goal: 250
Long Term Goal: 150

Sigh...
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April 20, 2009

Week 11 Update

Current Weight: 254.4
+/- this week: -2.6
+/- total: -12.8
Short Term Goal: 250
Long Term Goal: 150

Why did I lose 2.6 pounds this week? NO CLUE. But I'm not complaining!

I started this post a week ago and then went on vacation to St. Louis to visit my Dad and little sister, so I'm finally finishing it a week later.

So... sorry about that lapse of posting. I lost 2.6 pounds last week. That's a lot. I don't really know why, but it was awesome. This week I should reach my 5% goal, 13 pounds. If I don't, it's going to be silly. Because I'll have lost less than .2 pounds. But I'm hoping. Meeting & weigh in is tonight!

Also, I started a new 3 months journal thing today (the ones they sell @ WW to track your food). I had only measured myself once - at the very beginning. They have you measure your upper arm, waist, hips & thigh. Here's what I discovered when I measured this morning:

Right upper arm
Start: 17.5 inches
3 mo later: 16.5 inches
Loss: 1 INCH!

Waist (1 inch above navel)
Start: 50.5 inches
3 mo later: 49 inches
Loss: 1.5 INCHES!

Hips (at the maximum width)
Start: 58.5 inches
3 mo later: 58 inches
Loss: .5 inch

Right Thigh (just below the buttocks)
Start: 31.5 inches
3 mo later: 30.5 inches
Loss: 1 INCH!

That's something concrete, isn't it?! Crazy. I'm shrinking. Slooooooooowly, but surely. I'll post again today or tomorrow with my week 12 update!
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April 17, 2009

Normal is relative

Haiku Friday

My whirlwind tour of
St. Louis is half over
I wish it wasn't!

Sitting next to my
sister - 10 years old and lives
across the country

Dad sits on the couch
sharing bits and pieces of
todays New York Times

Sun is out today
birds chirp outside the window
It feels so normal

But I know that in
two days, it's back to life as
it normally is

I know I will miss
them. Sometimes, I cry at the
airport after byes.

So for now, I sign
off - there are gardens and zoos,
butterflies to see

For more Haiku Friday, click here!
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April 16, 2009

My 'Where the Wild Things Are"

So, it's been all over the internet since the day it was released - people are really excited about the trailer for the new movie based on Maurice Sendak's book "Where the Wild Things Are". People posted that they were absolutely in love with it, and that the preview made them cry. I saw the trailer at the theater, and I thought it looked pretty good, but I didn't get all crazy over it. But then, two previews later....



"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"? Only my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE children's books. I watched the trailer, and I'd heard they were doing a movie, but when I realized what it was I gasped in my breath and got SO excited. I so can't wait to see this movie! Also, I just looked at IMDB and it has the voices of Bruce Cambpell, Mr. T and Tracy Morgan. Score.

What is your favorite kids book? What storybook would you love to see made into a movie?
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April 15, 2009

I still hate Wal Mart!

While I'm off whooping it up in St. Louis, Megan of Newly Wed, Newly Bred was nice enough to stop by and entertain you. I discovered Megan's blog late last year, and she cracks me up! Also, she has a totally adorable and ginormous baby. Head over to her place to ogle at his cuteness! - Rachael

I hate Wal Mart. This is not new news to anyone who follows my blog, follows me on Twitter or Facebook, or (gasp) knows me in real life. I hate the dirty grimy floors, the jam packed aisles, the never stocked shelves, the apathetic employees. I could go on and on. But, I have a small gigantic baby now, so I'm all about one stop shopping. Oh, and cheap prices. And I personally feel Target is snobby now. So, that leaves me at Wal Mart.

Each time I go grocery shopping, I literally circle the parking lot, trying to steel myself against the horrors within. The rudeness, the smell, the crowding. Sometimes I huddle in my parked car, saying a prayer that I don't get stabbed, and can get out within a 4 hour window of time. It's just that bad.

What happens to people when they cross that metallic threshold? Something grabs hold of them and rips out any semblance of politeness they ever came in contact with. I'm not kidding! You had better wear a cup (for the guys) and full body pads, just to wrestle away the last can of corn from that freakishly strong old lady.

I have had two experiences in the last week that just sent me over the edge. The first was a simple trip. I had to run and get baby Motrin for Chunky Monkey, as he is sick. And the hubs requested a chocolate malt cup. So, here I am, no cart, no hand held basket. Just a box of Motrin and 2 malt cups in hand. (You didn't think I wasn't going to get one, too, did you??) I gaze at the sea of people and checkout lanes in front of me. Every lane that is open, is about 3 people deep. With huge, overflowing carts. So, I find a lane that looks promising, and I see somebody else with the same look of determination on their face. She starts making a break for the line, pushing her 300 pound cart. And cuts in front of me, while knocking me aside.

Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME??? She has eleventy seven bags worth of groceries. I have a 60 second transaction with THREE items. Three. No matter where I am, if somebody like that gets behind me in line, I tell them to go ahead of me. I know how it is. You need to run it, get whatever, and get out. I'm more than happy to use COMMON COURTESY, and allow that person to do this. Not this asshat. So, there I stood for 25 minutes with melting ice cream, to buy $6.48 cents worth of items.

The other incident was also check out related. I had done major grocery shopping, so I had a pretty full cart. I just got in a line, and starting unloading. It takes a while to unload 2 weeks worth of food, but usually whoever is in front of me is done before I have an empty basket. Not this time. I finish and happen to glance up. The cashier caught my eye and mouthed "I'm sorry". So, I started paying attention. The mammoth whale in a muumuu and houseshoes delightful eye candy in front of me had a pretty full cart of groceries. And a pile of 317 price ads. Thats fine. I understand Wal Mart price matches. I am too lazy to do it myself, but more power to those who do.

I start listening to the conversation, and the lady is arguing over the price of every. single. item. For instance: she brought up a 3 pound pre packaged bag of onions I think it was. I won't even get started on what one needs with 3 pounds of onion, but whatever. So, it's a prepacked net bag. She tells the lady it's .39 a pound (or whatever price it was, I don't remember). The cashier (nicely) asks to see the ad. The woman grumbles about it, shuffles through the ads and hands it over. The cashier begins explaining that the price is only on single onions that you purchase and sack up by the pound yourself. As in, get a plastic produce bag, and pick 'em out yourself. Not the prepackaged bags. The customer about freaking lost it. She is arguing, arguing, arguing about the fact that there's no difference, and it's still 3 pounds, and she's too old to pack up onions herself. This went on for 23 minutes, each time a new item was rung up.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? If you want to price match, fine. Do it. But stop trying to rip off a store (even though I hate it) that is nice enough to allow price matching. If you have a legitimate price match, great. But stop making up your own, and saying you lost the ad. Stop trying to substitute stuff that isn't on the corresponding ad. And stop spending a half hour arguing about prices. Don't be an asshat. That is the moral of the story.

So how about you? Do you hate Wal Mart? Or, are you one of the people that I mentioned above? If you are, and I ever happen to chuck a can of refried beans at your head, I'm not really sorry.
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April 14, 2009

Tribute to Maddie

Tribute to Maddie arranged by Mrs. Schmitty.
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Meet me in St. Louis, Louis!

Today's theme for Heads or Tails Tuesday is "Reason". Perhaps we should start with the reason I'm blogging before 8 am today. It's 7:37 in the morning, which is way too early for me to be up and showered, as evidenced by my semi-upset stomach. Urgh. I figured out long ago that I'm a night owl. No matter how many years I worked at jobs that got me up at 6, it will never be okay for my body to get up before 8.

Today I'm flying to St. Louis to visit my Dad and sister. I am very excited, but have also been feeling more apprehensive than I usually do about traveling. For some reason, I'm having a harder time leaving Sam than I usually do, even though he's been sort of a pain (tantrum city) the last few days.

This morning I realized a possible reason for the way I'm feeling. I'm traveling, which is not anything new. However, today I'm traveling ALONE. I started thinking, and I can't remember the last time I flew anywhere alone. I know when I was 18 I flew to England by myself for my study abroad. There may have been at least once since then that I flew to visit family by myself. But for my entire life, I've always traveled WITH someone. Either my sister, my husband, a friend, or my son. This may only be the 3rd or 4th time I've flown by myself, and I don't even remember the last time.

Why that would freak me out I have no idea. But it could be one subconscious reason that I'm feeling really antsy today! So, keep me in your thoughts today! I'm taking my laptop and since I'm going solo - no Sam - I will be able to post a little bit, plus I have some awesome guest posts lined up!

To read more Heads or Tails Tuesday posts, click here.
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April 13, 2009

Jumbled Head

Right now, my head is so jumbled. I'm leaving tomorrow morning to fly to St. Louis to spend some time with my Dad and little sis Lianna. I'm really looking forward to it, I've never been to St. Louis! But today, I'm feeling really discombobulated. I still need to pack my suitcase, and pack stuff for Sam, who will be going to his Grandma's house while I'm gone so Justin doesn't have to take time off work. I'm trying to get my blog all squared away for while I'm gone (and will have three fabulous guest posts while I'm gone!). I'm trying to get my kid to let me change his diaper without freaking. And I can't really THINK!

If you were around last week, you read about Maddie, here and at many, many other blogs. There was even a story about Maddie in the LA Times! I'm still thinking about her a lot, and just heard about another tragedy. So, I think the perfect thing for today is to post some prayer requests and update my prayer request list. I also found this great article at Roots & Sprout about what to say and do when a parent loses a child. There is another great one where babylost parents talk about what helped them at Glow in the Woods.

- Please pray for Heather & Mike Spohr. They lost their beautiful daughter Maddie last week. She was only 17 months old. Their story has been everywhere, and I am speechless as the outpouring that has come - from the tweets, to going purple for Maddie, to the posts (391 and counting...), to the news articles written, to the $20,000 donated to March of Dimes in her name, to the formation of teams in her honor to walk in the MoD March for Babies, to meal arrangements, to thousands of dollars donated through paypal (send to: formaddie@hotmomreviews.com) to her parents to help with all the expenses, to a WHOLE website just for her. So much love. But Heather & Mike still need us to pray for them. It makes it easier in some ways, but nothing can make it easy. I'll be wearing purple for Maddie tomorrow as I fly to St. Louis!

- Shana at Gorillabuns need us now too. Thalon was almost 4 months old, and he died on Saturday night. Thalon had an ear & throat infection and died unexpectedly in the hospital. I never read Shana's blog, but read about her son today and my heart is going out to her and her family.

- Kori at See Kori Rant and her daughter Hannah need your prayers. They are currently awaiting trial for a man who molested Hannah several months ago. Money is tight, and Kori is a single mom who can't seem to get a break, and I love her to pieces. Note: Kori's blog is going to go private for a few days, but it should be back soon.

-
Kim from Zoot lost her father a couple of weeks ago. Please pray for peace for Kim and her family.

If not for the internet, and my involvement in blogging, I wouldn't have heard these stories. I wouldn't have been in tears all day last Wednesday, and I wouldn't be heading back to that place right now. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. These stories, they are not unique. There are people out there every day who need help, who need whatever we can give, whether it's a kind word, or a simple act of support, a prayer, money to help with funeral expenses or buy food for their remaining kids. I don't always feel like I have that much to offer, but I do what I can.

Some people might wonder why I care about these people I barely know. The truth is, I like to FEEL. I love the joy that children bring, I love reading about other people and the things in life they hold most dear. But along with that comes sorrow. There is no way to avoid sometimes losing the things we love the most. That's an important part of life too, and a terrible one at times. This is humanity. If one little thing I do makes someone's day a little more worth living? What else could I ask for?

Who are you praying for today? Please leave prayer requests and links in the comments so I can add them to my list!
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April 10, 2009

Center of my World

Haiku Friday

Home from date night, at
ten p.m., and through the window
I see a blonde tuft

'He's still up' I sigh
as we walk towards the house, I
see him on the couch

On grandma's lap, in
only a diaper, we walk in
'I tried my darndest'

He cries when they leave,
was fussy while we were gone, and
now overtired

I lie with him on
the couch, he zones out to the
soft sounds of Spongebob

I wrap my arm now
around his waist, and feel his
hair tickle my face

Only moments now
until his breathing deepens
and slows, tiny snores

I don't feel annoyed,
not today. I only feel
thankful for his life.

I get to hold him
close to me, he won't be a
baby forever

It's been a tough week,
emotions have run high, and
thoughts have gone to dark

Now I try to hold
every moment, slow the clock
fill my heart with love

My little boy, my
love, center of my world, I
can't breathe without him

Yesterday was one of the quietest days I've experienced in the blogosphere since I started blogging and filling my reader and twitter with friends and people I admire. I think that the bloggy world was tired, hundreds of moms and dads spent the day on Wednesday crying, imagining, and trying to figure out how we could help do something - anything - for Heather and Mike Spohr.

My son was at the babysitter, and I spent the day relaxing. After the babysitter, my Mom was over to watch him for date night. When we got home, I was bummed at first that he was still up. It was WAY past his bedtime, and he should've been asleep. We came into the house, and he'd been fussy the whole time we were gone. He cried when we left. He didn't eat dinner. And he wouldn't go to bed. I guess we learned our lesson about doing Babysitter & Date Night in the same day - too much!

He cried when Grandma left, but quickly climbed onto the couch, and in minutes we were lying under a blanket together watching Spongebob with my arm around him. It was only moments until he fell asleep. Today, I didn't feel anxious. I didn't feel upset that he was still up. Instead I just savored the feeling of his warm skin, the touch of his hair on my face.

These are moments that will be engraved in me forever. Hopefully I will grow old with a healthy son, and hold these moments as only a few of the ones I cherish, remembering the old days as I cherish the new. Right now, all I know is that I love him. That one day, we'll grow apart as all parents and children must, but for now I will hold him while he sleeps, listen to his breathing, and thank God for the gift of this wonderful little person.

To read more Haiku Friday posts, click here.
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April 9, 2009

WW Week 10 Update: 10 lbs!

Current Weight: 257
+/- this week: -0.8
+/- total: -10.2
Short Term Goal: 250
Long Term Goal: 150

This week's update is a few days late. Last week, I worked out five times. I earned 40 exercise points. I stayed within my weekly points, and I felt really good about it. I knew I was going to get my 10 lbs, I only needed a 0.6 loss to get it. But I thought that I was going to get at least 1.5 or 2 lbs with all the work that I'd done.

But I forgot that I had a thyroid problem. That I have other health problems. So at weigh-in I was faced with a loss of less than one pound.

This is where I've always gotten caught up in the past. Working SO hard, and not seeing nearly the result that other people might. And I was disappointed. Why do all that work when the week before I hadn't earned as many activity points, and had the same amount of weight loss? It's just really frustrating.

I should have known when I got the call from my doctor with my bloodwork results, saying she was upping my dose of Levoxyl by 50%. That means that it wasn't working the way it needs to yet. Between that and the insulin resistance, is it really any surprise that I'm not losing weight like a 'normal' person?

It doesn't make it less. The disappointment is real, and whether it's rational or not doesn't really enter the picture. But I'm going to keep it up. I'm not giving up, I'm not stopping. I just KNOW that this time around, it's going to work. It has to. There isn't another option.

Ten pounds might not feel like a lot right now, but it IS something, and it's ten pounds more than I've ever been able to lose before. I'm getting healthier, I'm getting into better shape. If nothing else, I have my motivation image to remember. This is 10 pounds of butter:

And that's how much extra I'm not carrying around now. So, woot for that!
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God at Work

I had a different post to write today, it was all planned out. But I spent the day yesterday in a weird place. There were a lot of tears, and a lot of imagining, and a lot of reading. A lot of heartache.

I realized that I was witnessing one of THOSE moments in time. You know that moment when you know that you're involved in something important, that you're witnessing a higher power, something that gives life meaning? Like... voting for the first time. Or the first moment you hold a newborn baby and become a part of their life. Or when you look at a peacock in the sunlight. Or inventing an alternate energy source. The point is, something was happening that was slowing down your brain and making you think and appreciate the world we live in.

I had that moment when you realize that you are seeing God work. That we do what we do for a reason. That even in darkness there is hope. Yesterday morning, I woke up and went about my business. When I sat down to check over my feeds and see what was out there today, I noticed a name in the title of several posts. 'Maddie', 'Madeline Spohr', 'Madeline Alice' . I started reading, and I started crying. Heather Spohr's daughter and only child Maddie, who was only 17 months old, had died suddenly the night before.

I looked at Heather's tweets. Sixteen hours ago, there were jokes about cafeteria food. Twenty one hours ago, there was a sudden intubation. Twenty three hours ago, a Tweet with only a single word: Madeleine' and a link. Her daughter was gone. The fact is, for many parents (myself included), the mere imagining of losing a child will bring us to our knees. So trying to imagine ACTUALLY experiencing something like this? Unbearable.

And I cried. I cried at the pain, which started immediately, as I read through tribute posts one after the next. I read the voices of many people out there all crying and praying for the same person. We had something in common - we opened ourselves up on the internet. We had something else in common if we were parents, empathy and imagining pulling so hard at our heartstrings. And we mourned. We cried. We felt. We hugged our children extra tight. And we strained to lift up the people who needed it right now. Scary Mommy said it best: "Before I was a Mom, the loss of little girl I’d never met would have been tragic, but today I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut."

I cried. I cried because this doesn't just HAPPEN. People from all over the place reached out and gave what they could to ONE person who needed it AT THAT MOMENT. Countless prayers and words. Tears and heartaches. $20,000 in one day to Heather Spohr's Walk for Babies March of Dimes Walk sponsorship. Over $1500 to Heather and Mike personally to help with the medical and funeral expenses in this already trying time. This is truly a miracle. If we could all support each other that way in the world, how much good could we do?

The day went on. There were more tweets. There were more posts. There were photos. There were people everywhere helping in any way they could. I spent the day refreshing Twitter and Google Reader and contributing, re-tweeting, whatever I could do to contribute a tiny bit of love at this little girl's family. At the end of the day, at A Mom, Two Boys had set up a tribute page and listing of posts about Maddie, and it held 199 entries.

I know that there are a lot of people out there who think the internet is BAD. They think that everyone on there is lying, cheating, or trying to hurt you in some way. They could never conceive of the concept of dating someone you met on the internet. But yesterday, I saw God working there. We don't have community like we used to. I don't know any of my neighbors by name, and we rarely talk. We have friends in life who don't understand why we choose to open up to strangers online.

We do it because it is our community. In my generation, there is a group of mothers who gather online, seeking out other mothers with whom they can be completely themselves, without worry of how it will feel to look that person in the face next time at the grocery store. When a child is hurt, people rally. Yesterday, hundreds of people online reached out across countries to lift a family up.

You can say what you want about the kind of people you find online. You can imply that those aren't real friendships, or that we don't connect the same way we do with people face to face. But the kind of people I find online? I just hope that if something were to happen like this to me, that I would not be alone, that I would have so many prayers coming to me. It's amazing. And I thank God for it.

Here are the posts that showed up in my feedreader yesterday supporting the Spohrs:

"April Showers...April Tears: Madeline Alice Spohr November 11, 2007-April 7, 2009"
Barking Mad



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April 8, 2009

Peace for the Spohrs

I wrote about Stellan today. Then this morning, I read that Maddie had passed away last night. At some point, you'll be able to read Maddie's story at The Spohrs are Multiplying, but right now her Mama Heather's website is down because of the high traffic.

I look at Maddie's picture, and can't stop the tears from coming. She was just sick. And then she was gone. I look at my child on the couch and thought he is healthy, I know that life is uncertain. It could be any one of us.

I don't have money to give right now, but I can offer my condolences. I don't know the Spohrs personally, but I will be sending my prayers in this unimaginably hard time. If you've got the means, you can donate in Maddie's name to March of Dimes. March of Dimes helped the Spohrs during Heather’s pregnancy and Maddie’s hospitalization after premature birth.

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(Almost Really Not) Wordless Wednesday: Stellan's Story


Have you heard about Stellan? That's him, up there sleeping.

When Stellan was still warm and snug in his Mama's tummy, he was diagnosed with a heart problem. They said he wouldn't live, and would be born still.


Stellan made it full term. When he was born, his heart problem was gone.


When he was two months old, Stellan got RSV. That's when things started to turn. Stellan couldn't breathe. Stellan ended up in the hospital, and they were very worried about him. But he managed to avoid getting intubated, and was able to go home a few days later.

Stellan was at home, playing with his adorable brothers and sisters and charming the pants off of all of us until March 23. He got sick again. He couldn't breathe, and it wasn't RSV this time, or the flu. Then they did an EKG, and Stellan's heart rate was almost 300 beats per minute. Stellan was back in Supra Ventricular Tachycardia, the same state he was in when he nearly died inside his momma.

Since then, Stellan has been in the hospital. He was in SVT for a long time, then started flipping into V-Tach, Ventricular Tachycardia, which is potentially deadly and more dangerous than SVT. On March 27, Stellan got a central line installed, and you can read all about that and a lot more about what SVT is in this post at My Charming Kids.


Stellan is still in the hospital. He is still going into SVT a lot, though he has had bouts of more normal heartbeat. This week, Stellan got some new doctors, and they're making a plan.

Stellan's momma is MckMama. She is absolutely amazing. This week I read through all of her blogs about Stellan. I had heard of him before, and thought he was a sick little boy, but his story is so much more rich. That he was even born was a miracle. He was at home for nearly six months living like a normal baby. But now, Stellan needs our prayers. MckMama's whole family does - her other kids who have a sick brother, and her wonderful husband.

I read through Stellan's story and I cried. I was brought to tears, and humbled by MckMama's posts this week. I can't help thinking that Stellan is doing as well as he is because he is surrounded by the amazing faith of his family. To go through all of this, and to be able to speak of God and believe there is a purpose... it's absolutely amazing. It makes me feel small, and at the same time lifts me up and fills me with awe at the amazing love that exists in this world.

Prayers for Stellan
I'm praying for Stellan. I hope you will too.

For more actually wordless Wordless Wednesday posts, click here.

*All pictures are taken by MckMama, who also just happens to be an amazing photographer, and are linked to the posts on her blog where they appeared, where you can see them full size.
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April 7, 2009

French Cooking, Demon Hunting, and My Little Ponies

This week's theme for Head or Tails Tuesday is 'List Three'. You may have noticed before that I love lists, so it was hard to pick one thing to write about! I finally decided to write about three ways I've been relaxing and entertaining myself lately!

1. Reading. I love books, I love to read. Last year I reached a goal of reading 50 books that year, and decided from then forward that my ongoing goal is going to be to read 52 books every year. It doesn't actually work out to one book a week because some weeks I don't read and other times I devour books one after the other. I just finished reading 'Julie and Julia', a book about a woman who decided to undertake cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year. I'll be posting a full review on that later, but I definitely enjoyed it. Right now I'm reading 'City of Bones' by Cassandra Clare. I love Young Adult fiction, especially science fiction. Loved Twilight, love the House of Night series. I think that part of the reason is that the Young Adult books are always really character driven. I'm about to start reading 'The Lost Girls' for book club, and am looking forward to that one as well. People sometimes ask me how I have time to read all those books... it's just like anything else - you have to make time for it. Learn to steal a few pages when you're waiting for the water to boil or the rice to cook. Read a bit at night before bed. Forego TV one night to just settle down with a good book. There are NEVER enough hours in the day, but we can decide how to spend the ones that exist!

2. TV. I have no problem admitting that I love watching TV. I follow an absurd number of shows, and I don't apologize for it. It's something I love, it helps me unwind, and I love looking at things with a critical eye. Right now, I am loving Supernatural. It's one of my favorite shows, and I look forward to it every week. I like it that there are ongoing story arcs, but they do get wrapped up and new ones are started each season. To me, this show is VERY reminiscent of The X-Files, which is one of my favorite shows of all time. Also, Jensen Ackles is hot. I've also really been enjoying the new show Eleventh Hour with Rufus Sewell and Criminal Minds.

3. Coloring. I KNOW, adults are not supposed to plop down with 100 crayons and a coloring book on the couch. Do I care? Not really. I love coloring. I have several coloring books. I love the Dover coloring books, because you can get ones that are more complex or intricate. I often use colored pencils for those ones. But I also like stupid, silly coloring books that give me pretty things to decorate, like Barbie and My Little Ponies. There's something about using that creative part of your brain to pick out the colors, then looking at the finished product that is just so fun! I think that when we grow up, we lose too much of our creativity - we give up making up stories and adventures, we don't do as much art, we don't give ourselves permission to use glitter and crayons. But why not? It's still totally fun!

So, those are a few of the things I've been up to. What have you been reading, watching or doing to relax lately?

To read more Heads or Tails Tuesday posts, click here.
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April 6, 2009

Health Update: Thyroid & CRP

I had blood drawn last week to check my TSH levels and see how the Levoxyl is working for my thyroid. They did some other tests that they do on all patients at my endocrinologist as well.

I just got a call from the doctor's office. They are increasing my Levoxyl from 50 mg to 75 mg per day. This means that even though I've been feeling better and losing some weight, my thyroid is still not at full function. The good thing about this is that it probably means I'm going to feel EVEN BETTER! I feel like the weight loss is going very slowly, but I am trying not t obe impatient. This might help. Who knows?

The nurse also said that my CRP is elevated, which has something to do with your heart, and that the doctor wanted to talk to me about treatment options at my next appointment (which is in June). Obviously it's not something urgent since I don't need to come in specifically to discuss it, but I didn't know what it was, so I did a little research.

CRP stands for C-reactive protein, which is a protein found in the blood in response to inflammation (an acute-phase protein). CRP is produced by the liver[1] and by fat cells (adipocytes).[2] It is a member of the pentraxin family of proteins.[1] It is not related to C-peptide or protein C. (from Wikipedia). Get it? No, me either. So I decided to look at some other websites!

From About.com: CRP is a protein released into the bloodstream any time there is active inflammation in the body. (Inflammation occurs in response to infection, injury, or various conditions such as arthritis.) Evidence is accumulating that atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease) is an inflammatory process. The fact that elevated CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack tends to support the proposed relationship between inflammation and atherosclerosis.

From Web MD:

High levels of CRP are caused by infections and many long-term diseases. But a CRP test cannot show where the inflammation is located or what is causing it. Other tests are needed to find the cause and location of the inflammation.

A C-reactive protein (CRP) test is done to:

  • Check for infection after surgery. CRP levels normally rise within 2 to 6 hours of surgery and then go down by the third day after surgery. If CRP levels stay elevated 3 days after surgery, an infection may be present.
  • Identify and keep track of infections and diseases that cause inflammation, such as:
  • Check to see how well treatment is working, such as treatment for cancer or for an infection. CRP levels go up quickly and then become normal quickly if you are responding to treatment measures.
What Affects the Test

You may not be able to have the test or the results may not be helpful if:

I also found an article that said that anger, hostility and depressive symptoms have been linked to high C-reactive protein levels. Interesting.

Here's something: I am overweight AND I did just exercise before going to the lab, although I didn't mention that, and of course didn't know that just now when I talked to the nurse. So, next time I get blood drawn, I'll make sure that I DIDN'T just exercise and then we can see if it has an effect on the test results.

I'm not worried about it, but it will be interesting to see if it really is high or if it was just because I'd just come from working out! If not, then we'll go from there. I will also talk to the doctor about whether we should do treatment for my Insulin Resistance at my next appointment.

For now, I'm feeling healthier, and I've got more energy and am actually starting to enjoy exercise! So, things are going in the right direction for sure!
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It Wasn't Me!



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. Also, thanks to Megan at Newly Wed, Newly Bred, which is where I discovered Not Me! Monday - her Monday posts ALWAYS make me laugh!

My theme for my very first Not Me! Monday is 'What I did didn't do this weekend'.

It was not me who let my kid watch several hours of TV on Friday morning. I would never let him watch a bunch of TV just because he is in a super cuddly mood and wants to sit on the couch on my lap snuggling all morning.

I definitely didn't sing a bunch of songs on Karaoke at our Mom's Night In on Friday night. During the time we were singing, we were averaging scores of 300,000 - 500,000 (this was on the X-Box). I certainly didn't sing several songs, discovering that I didn't know them as well as I thought. A couple songs led to scores of 1,000,000 for me and other ladies (Soak Up the Sun). It was NOT me who got the highest score of the evening by 300%, scoring over 3,000,000. And I DEFINITELY did NOT get that score singing Bust a Move by Young M.C. Nope.

On Sunday, it wasn't me who got annoyed that it was taking so long for Sam to go to sleep. No, I wouldn't do that because spending that time together is a gift, and I wouldn't want to rush it. I definitely didn't wish he would just fall asleep already so I could go watch TV.

When I came out, I definitely did not act annoyed at my husband because the internet/TV wasn't working because he was doing something to set it up. Nope. I wouldn't let out annoyed sighs, especially on a day when he spent hours doing maintenance work at his Dad's house, mowing our lawn, doing the dishes and cooking dinner. I am not a jerk...

What did you not do in the last week?
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April 1, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Last Weekend

This week's Wordless Wednesday has to have a few words, all pictures are from our fun weekend! Click any photo to view it large.

What happens at my house:

He wore the things for like 30 minutes at least, even got his diaper changed with it on. And no, I don't know how his skinny neck could hold it up!

This is my best friend's daughter, Kiki. She had her 7th birthday party this weekend. I'm not sure how it happened that she is 7. I remember when she was a baby I was afraid to hold her because she was so small. She is awesome.

This is Kiki's sister Ann. She is adorable. She is 16 months old, and I love this picture because really? What says 16 months better than "I'm going to look completely adorable while I stand in front of you and shove this toy in my mouth"?

This is the birthday cake we made for our niece Tempest's birthday. It's a My Little Pony. It's no Yoda, but she's only four. She loved it anyhow. The cake was white cake we put food coloring in to make it pink, and Justin somehow remembered that Rainbow Chip is my FAVORITE icing. It was delicious.

These are the 3 miniature horses at my... um... sister-in-law's parents house. They are totally awesome. I love this picture of the three of them.

I immediately decided after visiting with the horses that we needed to go in the house and see if there were any apples or carrots. When we walked in I noticed a giant bag of carrots on the kitchen floor, so I made Justin ask if we could feed the horses. We even got Sam into it! You can see he was a little timid by how far the horse is having to stretch it's neck to reach the carrot.

This is Tempest, our niece. She is freaking adorable.

This is an awesome picture of a starfish that's in the fish tank at the in-laws in-laws house. I took it because I was watching the starfish move around the tank and thought it was awesome because you see them sort of gliding across the glass, but if they are on the right side of the tank, you can see how they are really moving - tons of tiny suckers!

This is how we all felt after last weekend:

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, click here.

Also, something REALLY awesome happened to me yesterday at the gym. Read about it at Unconventional Fear.
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