Sunday, October 30, 2011

Curse #32- Elvira

Ever since I was a little girl, I have hated Halloween. Was it because I had a strong religious conviction against it? Not exactly. I hated Halloween because of one person...Elvira.

For some strange reason, I have always been terrified of Elvira. She was my boogeyman...boogeywoman. When I was little, every Halloween meant lots of Elvira commercials. Inevitably, when every Elvira commercial came on, I would scream, shake, run around, cry, and just go plain ol' hysterical.

One year, the grocery store put out a life size cut out of Elvira. My mom innocently drove our buggy right by it. After my meltdown on aisle 6, my mom went way out of her way to miss the cut out until Halloween was over.

My brother definitely did not help the situation. He would sneak in my room, and simply say...

Chad (my brother): Elviiiiiiira.

me: Chad, I know that's you and it's not funny.

Chad: Elviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiira!

me: I said it's not funny.

Chad: mmm boppa mmm boppa mmm boppa mow wow

me: I promise I will hurt you. As soon as it's light outside and not quite so scary, I will hurt you! (tears, tears, tears)

To this day, I still hate the Oak Ridge Boys for that awful song. Of all the women they could have chosen to sing about, why did they pick Elvira?

Last week, I was innocently watching tv, when a commercial came on for a show's very special Halloween episode. Guess who was in the episode? That's right. Elvira. As soon as she popped up on the screen, my stomach jumped and I instinctively closed my eyes. Yes that's right. I am 29 years old, and I'm still scared of Elvira. In fact, I would have included a picture in this post, but I was too creeped out to google her picture.

As excited as I am to get my candy tonight, I will be very happy to see Halloween and Elvira, go for another year.

Friday, October 28, 2011

50 for 30 - Week #3

Last week, I blogged about my harrowing experience on the doctor's office scale...OK...Maybe "harrowing" is a strong word, but humor me.

Once I decided to make a change, I knew exactly what I needed to do. Throughout adulthood, I have tried many different plans to lose weight. I've tried shakes, but I just ended up drinking the shake and eating a meal. I bought the Wii Fit Plus, and much to my surprise, you have to actually work out on it. I thought the pounds would come off just because I spent so much money on it. I worked out at the gym, and suddenly became "too busy to go" just a few weeks later. I set out to run a 5k. I think I made it 2 days, and about 500 feet. The only plan that has ever worked for me was Weight Watchers (I lost 30 pounds on WW 4 years ago).

Many people don't like the points system, but I, being a numbers person, love it. When food is a simple number, portion control makes much more sense to me. Also, with WW, I can eat the same meal that my family eats. I use the "Recipe Builder" tool to figure out how many points a portion would be.

Although I can't make it to WW meetings, I am doing WW online. (I love the WW app for Shad's iPod touch.)

I don't weigh myself at my house at all. If I weigh myself and I've lost, I will slack off the rest of the day. If I weigh myself and I've gained, I get discouraged. To solve this, I go to my doctor's office every Thursday for a weight check. The doctor's office doesn't charge for a weight check, and it gives me a uniform reading.

Week #3- 2.4 lost

Total weight loss- 8.9!
You'll have to excuse me as I do my happy dance...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blessing #90 - An Aunt Ruthie Voicemail

I really don't like to talk on the phone, but one person I do talk to on the phone is my Aunt Ruthie. Aunt Ruthie doesn't text, scype, email, or have a cell phone. In fact, Aunt Ruthie is the only person I know that doesn't have call waiting. If you want to talk to Aunt Ruthie you have to call her.

One thing I like about the phone is an Aunt Ruthie voicemail. In July, I blogged about the awesomeness of an Aunt Ruthie breakfast, and an Aunt Ruthie voicemail is just as good (but not as tastey).

All Aunt Ruthie voicemails sound generally the same. (you need to read this with a southern accent to get the full effect.)

"Hi Stephie,
I didn't need anything, and you don't have to worry about calling me back. I was just thinking about you and the boys, and I love you. Hope you have a good day."

Many times, I just listen to the first 10 seconds of a voicemail, and then I delete it. However, I listen to an Aunt Ruthie voicemail twice. The older I get, the more I realize the value of having someone that loves you.

Aunt Ruthie is currently in the hospital, recovering from an accident, and right now, my heart really wants to be with her. Although, the miles separate us, I think I will follow her example and leave her a voicemail today on her answering machine (if she cut it on before she left) just to say "I love you."

**photography by Brandon**

Thursday, October 20, 2011

50 for 30 - Week #2

Remember when I went to the doctor with the boys and it didn't go so great? The boys definitely made it memorable, but something else made that trip memorable the...


I have managed to avoid weighing myself since Collin was born, and I was good at ignoring the fact that my clothes were getting tight. Surely my dryer was just shrinking all my clothes. However, during that doctor's visit, I couldn't avoid it anymore. When I stepped on the scale, the cold, hard truth stared back at me in red glowing numbers.

Honestly, when I first saw those glowing red numbers (which I will not be posting on the blog), I thought, "Hold on...Let me put Collin down," but then I realized I wasn't holding Collin and every bit of the glowing red numbers was me.

Next, I had a moment of inner meltdown that was a mixture of sadness and anger. Some of those thoughts were...

"Hold on...Let me try that again without my shoes. My shoes have got to way at least 2...or 30 pounds."

"Seriously, there must be something wrong with this scale."

"I bet this scale wasn't even made in America. It was probably made in a country that uses the metric system."

"Why do these numbers have to be red. Why not a happier color like yellow?"

"That's my seven months pregnant with Brandon weight....but I'm not pregnant" (wail, sob, sob, sob)

In that moment though, thanks to the glowing red numbers, I realized I could no longer deny it (or blame it on my dryer). I needed to make a change.

With my 30th birthday approaching next May, I thought a great gift to give myself would be to lose 50 pounds by my birthday. I sat down and charted it out to make sure it was feasible in the time I had, and if I lose 1.5 pounds a week (average weight loss), I will reach my goal by my birthday. You know me. I had to make sure the math worked.

Week #1- 5.3 pounds lost

Week #2- 1.2 pounds lost

Total weight loss is 6.5 pounds.

Next week, I'll share what I am doing to make these changes, and I'll also share some pictures.

Curse #31- The Elephants in my Brain

I haven't been able to blog for about a week.

***pause for shocked gasps***

I know! Right? A week without blessings, curses, projects, or any creativity is a long week for me. I've attempted to sit down and write several posts, but every time I do I have a mental block because there are two giant elephants in my brain, and I just can't get around them 9I think that's a run on sentence).

Elephant #1: I'm trying to open an etsy shop, and failing (for now)

I've been wanting to open an etsy shop for about six months, but every time I try something happens: I get sick, the computer crashes, etc. It's been discouraging, but I'm just getting more and more determined to do it.

Elephant #2: I'm trying to lose weight.

I have been debating whether or not to blog about this. I have made arguments for and against it.

I don't want to set myself up to look stupid.

I don't want to make anyone feel awkward (or maybe I'm the only one that feels awkward watching the Biggest Loswer as I'm shoving a brownie into my mouth).

Ultimately, I decided to blog about this new journey because blogging will give me a greater accountability.

I don't know much about life, but I know the quickest way to get rid of elephants in the room (or brain) is just to be honest and say, "There's an elephant in the room." Tomorrow, I will start a weekly post about my weight loss journey, and my etsy's getting there.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blessing #89 - Mom across the miles

I've been sick this week.


I mentioned that already?

Well, I have been sick, but good news the results from the chest x-ray came back and I don't have pneumonia...yeah? For some reason, that news did not make me feel any better, but something else has been bothering me all week. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I was...well...ill. It's a good thing I'm the one blogging this and not Shad. I have a feeling he wouldn't be quite as delicate about my cranky state.

Anyway, I couldn't figure out what was bothering me. Sometimes, I'm not so good at figuring out my feelings, and I just didn't know why I was so ill. Yesterday though, the reason for my cranky state hit me like a ton of bricks...

I want my Mommy!

When I first realized this, I couldn't believe it. Seriously? After all I've been through, after all I've accomplished, a little sickness and all I can think is, "I want my Mommy?" I thought I was a grown woman?

Yes, it is the cold hard truth. I am a 29 year old grown woman who wants her mommy when I get sick.

Right now though, my mom is 12 hours away, and rather than wallowing in the fact that she's not here to take care of me and the growing pile of laundry, I have done the next best thing. I call her, and here is how our phone conversations have gone this week...

me: I feel terrible *wheez wheez* Like a big pile of poo *cough cough*

Mom: I'm sorry. You do sound bad.

me: Yeah. *wheez wheez* but I need to get up and make supper, and clean the kitchen.

Mom: What you need to do is rest. It's not going to hurt the boys to eat McDonald's tonight, and your kitchen is going to be fine.

me: Well *cough cough* I guess you're right.

Mom: I know I'm right. I told you not to go to the doctor with the boys, and look what happened.

me: I know Mom. Who uses their daughter's blog comments just to say, "I told you so." *wheez wheez* That was an all time low.

Mom: You just need to rest right now.

me: Ok *cough cough* I really do feel bad. Like I got hit by a mac truck and drug a few miles. *wheez wheez*

Mom: I know. I'm sorry you feel bad. You just rest.

me: Ok. If you say so. *wheez wheez*

With my mom, I don't have to be strong. I can be the big 29 year old baby that wants her mom when she's sick, and that's okay. Somehow, across the miles that separate us, my mom manages to do something only she can my mom.

****P.S. Friday is Shad's birthday, and he's had kind of a bummer birthday week (I'll talk more about that next week.) If you are his facebook friend please stop by and wish him a happy birthday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Curse #30 - "I can handle it"

This week, I have been feeling not so hot, and by "not so hot" I mean feel like a pile of trash run over by a truck "not so hot."

Saturday, I had what might have been an asthma attack, the second I have had this month so I made a doctor's appointment for Thursday. However, I kept feeling worse and worse like there was a rubber band across my lungs constantly preventing me from taking a deep breath. Yesterday, I decided I couldn't take it anymore, and I moved my appointment up. I knew my mother-in-law was busy, and I knew if I called her she would help me out. However, I decided there was no reason to bother her...I could handle it.

As I entered the waiting room of the doctor's office with the boys, all I could think was, "Let it be empty. Let it be empty." I didn't want the boys getting sick because they came to the doctor with me. Fortunately, there was just one other person in the waiting room and he didn't look contagious.

As we waited, Brandon pulled out a notepad and pen and opened it up.

B - "What's wrong with you Mommy?"

me - "I can't breathe good."

B - "Are you going to die?"
(with a strong emphasis on the word die)

me - "No, I just need to get some medicine."

B- "Good, cause I didn't want you to die."
(with a strong emphasis on the word die)

The other man in the waiting room heard the entire exchange, and I can only guess what he thought.

When a nurse took us back to the examining room, B walked in with his notepad and pen, and stood where the doctor normally stands. Before the nurse could ask me what was wrong, B spoke up, "She can't breathe good. See here, she has skin covering her nose (points at picture of a scribble in his notebook). Mommy, you need one of those strips that goes across your nose." (He's seen one too many Breathe Right Strip commercial). The nurse of course laughed and said how cute my boys were.

When the doctor came in to examine me, I held Collin the entire time. I didn't want him touching anything in the room, much less crawling on the floor. I talked with the doctor about my situation, and she checked me out. The entire trip to the doctor was flawless (at least flawless for us) and the boys were amazing, but then the doctor said, "I'm going to get you a breathing treatment."

We had to wait about 20 minutes because the machine was in use. For twenty minutes, I bounced the boys on my knees, and we played every game I could remember. At some point, I had to put Collin on the floor, and I prayed a little "Lord please protect my baby from all these germs" prayer.

When I finally started the breathing treatment, the boys stared stunned and still for about two minutes marveling at the machine. Then they looked at each other, and I think their eyes said, "Mom, can't move much...PARTY!" They started wheeling around the doctors stool, so I got off the exam table and sat on it. They started wheeling around the machine that checks all your vitals. With the breathing treatment in my mouth, I tried to say, "No no." but it sounded more like, "Oh oh."

When the breathing treatment finished, the doctor came back, checked me again, and then said, "I want to get a chest x-ray just to make sure it's not pneumonia."

**Life lesson 398,336,943: If anyone ever throws around the "p" word..."silent p" word in reference to you, you will immediately feel 10 times worse just hearing that it could even be the "silent p" word.

Anyway, the chest x-ray place was across the street, but I went home. I was wore out, and radiation and toddlers don't really go together. When Shad came home, I went in and got my x-ray all by myself.

Although I don't know exactly what's wrong with me yet, I did learn a valuable lesson.

Life Lesson 398,336,944: When I say the words "I can handle it" I will be proven wrong... every time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Curse #29 - The small noises

I can handle loud noises. I taught high school, and now I have two loud little boys.

High pitched screams

Banging on pots

Repeating “Mom” over and over again

Loud electronic toys


Those loud noises don’t faze me at all. They are simply the background noise to my normal day. However, some noises drive me crazy. I’m not normally an angry person, but when I hear these certain noises it takes all I have not to yell at someone.

chips being crunched

gum being smacked

soda being slurped

a spoon hitting teeth

Although I can handle loud noises, these small noises drive me up the wall. Almost every argument my mom and I have ever had started with me freaking out and saying, "Could you chew any louder?"

The other night, Shad and I had a playful disagreement (not a full on argument, but a playful disagreement). As I sat on the couch, I heard a loud, "Sluuuuurrrrrp." I looked only to see Shad looking straight at me. I glared at him and he said, "Yeah, that was just for you."

When my dearly beloved, sweet, little five year old son, eats chips, I think I am going to lose my mind. I feel like the worst mother in the world that this would even bother me, but recently, I learned that my quirk has a name, misophonia. You can read about it by clicking here. Although I'm not normally a hypochondriac, I am self diagnosing myself as a misophoniac. Strangely, it makes me feel a little better that there is a name for it. Now I just have to find a name for the "I have to have the sheets perfectly straight before I can go to sleep" disorder.