Thursday, July 31, 2008

Re-Introducing: Tivo (the dog, not the tv device)

Since my efforts to conceive another child for myself have continually ended in dismal failure...but my desperate need for a baby remained in full force, I felt I needed to take matters into my own hands and obtain a baby, for myself, in the only other way I knew how, I bought one!

Tivo (pronounced Teevoh) is just 7 weeks old today. He has auburn hair (oops, fur), blue eyes and weights 9.8lbs. Isn't he gorgeous? He's a purebred Siberian Husky. He is awesome...he is nonplussed by the cats...though they find him very interesting. (For those of you who had read this post formerly, we orginally named him Desmond after a favorite LOST character. Anyway, after 24 hours, this puppy is NOT a's too serious.) Last night, while we were watching a show we had Tivo'd, Robert said, "Hey, what about naming him Tivo?" And we all said (virtually in unison) "Yeah!".  So, Tivo it is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Time for some serious cuteness

Here are my two favorite breeds of dog. Samoyeds #1 & Siberian Huskies #2.  Samoyed are *hands down* the cutest puppies IN THE WORLD!  I grew up with Sammies and Huskies. They don't listen worth a damn, but they sure are beautiful and super friendly.

Above is a Husky talking. Gosh, I remember those days with my Husky.
Below is a video of Husky pups. Our dog Sar had puppies twice. We called them little cattle. They are insanely cute too!

One smart Sammy! My dog, Jamie, who I ADORED, looked just like this guy. And, oh, how Jame loved the wind.
And below is just was Jame used to look like when he ran through the canal behind our house. Yes! I grew up in FLORIDA with sled dogs. Methinks I wanted out of that state!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cute Catholic mom's inspirational weight loss story.

I love Jill's story because, though she may have started at a higher weight than I did, her issues were the same as mine...sick of looking crappy in clothes, sick of being exhausted, sick of mindlessly eating off the kids' plates or while watching TV. And I love, at the end, how she says she loves to run.  Plus, I started on a Wednesday too...and not even on a day that's easy to remember like the 1st or 15th, but the 16th. I just woke up 2 weeks shy of 42 and thought, "I'm done with who I have become because it's not me." 

 I swear it is God's grace that gives me the strength and determination to continue to get healthy. I couldn't do it any other time because I didn't want it for me.  A perfect example is, about 4 years ago, when Robert lost 55 pounds, I lost 20lbs along with him.  However, he figured a way to maintain and I just went right back to the way I had been, thinking that my 'diet' was over. I had to get to a place where I realized I couldn't just 'go on a diet' but I had to fundamentally change my life. It has not been easy, but it's been worth every difficult moment.

Also, I have to say, that 4 years ago I lost the weight following a low carb diet aka Atkins/Protein Power/Sugar Busters.  They don't work long term because eventually your cravings spiral out of control because people can't live on meat and salad. They go frickin bonkers! I'm Catholic and I find it highly interesting that God comes to me via BREAD & WINE (OMG! God comes to us using the form of carbohydrates) I think that is kind of cool since carbs are the energy givers and the Eucharist most definitely gives me a shot of spiritual energy (aka: grace). Jesus doesn't come as a STEAK or TURNIP.

Anyway, this time nothing has been off limits. Nothing. This time it's been about calorie and portion control. It is an illusion and dangerous to think one can cut out one of the 3 macro nutrients and think they'll be healthy. The only reason low-carb or non- fat works in the beginning is because if you analyze the caloric intake of said diets the calories are always low. I think this is really about not being a glutton. (This is coming from a glutton, so I should know).  Eating meat, butter, cream non-stop is gonna kill you. Not eating any fat or such low levels of fat is going to kill you too (one needs fish, avocados, and even some butter on occasion). Overdoing sugar or protein...same thing (have a hey day killing your kidneys and pancreas). There is a reason for the word: MODERATION. I am finally, FINALLY getting that message through my thick skull. And you know works!

P.S. The reason I am up so late blogging is because I had a regular coffee at 9:30 tonight on my date night with Robert. He said I would have a good (wink) reason to stay awake. Well, he was right!! And let me tell you *that* is a whole lot more fun, too, when you are thinner. :-) So, between the coffee and my late nite Hunny fun...well....I am wired.


And now for the coolest picture of the coolest guy (next to My Hunny, of course)

Watch out, he might just get you with his Sonic Screwdriver! Is he not *the* most Indie Rockin Doc ever? (I LOVE the suit and the red Chuck Taylors, ooh and that hair...amazing!). ACK! There are only 2 shows left for this season. Boo Hoo Hoo!!

Oooh! Now this cool 'zine has a blog.

I have always loved Faith & Family. I started getting it 4 years ago when I started FAMILIA. Well, FAMILIA is complete (4 years went fast!) and I need to renew F&F. In the meantime, they now have a blog, check it out.


Friday, July 25, 2008

My VERY hard work is paying off

I am swimming in my size 12 jeans and top. I was formerly a 14. I am shooting for an 8/10. (above)
I can see my cheekbones now and my chin! Woo Hoo!(above) The tummy is getting flatter!(below)

Look! I am now 21 pounds down and 14 away from my goal. I am still using Spark People but I did end up joining Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago for IRL support to be found at the meetings. I have been using WW along with Spark People this whole time, because I had WW materials from when I joined after having Autumn, but I didn't care much then, and only went a few times.  This time I just *knew* I would do it, because I really wanted to... for other reason. It has been a LOT of HARD WORK! But, dare I say, I am really proud of myself.  I am not one to committ to a whole lot of stuff.  My follow through has always sucked. This time, though, I realized I was worth the work and had to mussy up out....DISCIPLINE!  Now, if I could only employ that word better with my kids!

Tonight is 'Date Night' which we are resurrecting from the long dead after reading some posts by my friend, Rob. A friend of Robert's told him about the best Vietnamese restaurant in Atlanta. Oh, did I tell you guys my favorite Vietnamese place, 2 miles from our house, burned down?! No one was hurt but they are not reopening! SOB!! So, this other place is about 30 minutes away. It will cost us more in gas than it will to eat.
But I am psyched! This cuisine is high in fresh veggies, herbs, grilled meats, low cal, and so delicious!!! I am glad it's my favorite, because it won't do me in weight-wise.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Toonce -A- Lovin' - Time

That is my sweet Toonces.  He wants to be loved and wants his canned cat food. This is what he does to get my attention and it works! Look at that white belly. I call him my oreo because he has a white fluffy center.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Blast to the past

So Andrew just came home. It is 11:30 Saturday night. He has been gone since noon. His band, Iconoclast, has been recording, mixing and mastering a CD of their 4 best songs. I am listening to it as I sit here and Andy's voice is a mix between Ian Curtis of Joy Division and Andrew Eldritch of Sisters of Mercy, of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention that, of course, I can absolutely hear Paul Banks' (from Interpol) all over his voice and Andy's lyrical style. If I can get his songs on this blog I am gonna do it. Can I just say how happy I am that at least one of my kids has been VERY influenced by my taste in music. :-) (Because, of course, it is always *about* me!)

Depression sucks

I gotta say I know I am not the only one who deals with depression, but mine is very seasonal. And where most people who deal with seasonal depression contend with it during Winter, mine is RIGHT NOW! I figured I would be able to handle it better now that I know it's coming. The last 4 years I have had mini breakdowns in Summer. They were semi-short lived, but horribly intense. Last Summer's was particularly bleak. I am not a cryer, per se, but I COULD NOT STOP! Now, I just feel beyond crying. I *know* what is going on so I don't feel so blindsided this time, but, man, it still sneaks up on me. I am pretty sure having lost some weight and becoming active have helped me thus far, but it's still like a storm on the horizon. You see it and try to stay ahead of it, but it still catches up with you. Well, it's caught up. Though the storm metaphor isn't what I should use. I like the rain and storms. All last week it was fantastic (miserable to everyone else) weather. Personally, I would love to be on the beach of the above picture (which was taken somewhere on Long Island, NY).

Today it got sunny and hot and as the day has moved on the more morose I have felt. It is almost out of body because I can sort of see me and know all that I have in my life that is good, but everything still feels awful. It is also interesting how my faith just falters at these times. I start to feel (notice I don't say 'believe') that God and religion is just interesting spin humanity has put on suffering. Hey, we have to figure a way of making sense of the nonsensical, right?

What I find hysterical is that I take 'antidepressants' (hey, I got a crazy kid which is a pretty darn good excuse if you ask me). I can't imagine what life would feel like if I didn't take Prozac. The weird thing about depression is the bone depth exhaustion. It is quite overwhelming. The desperate need to just S L E E P. MY poor kids, what a fabulous legacy to leave them: depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, occasional mania...lucky them.

You know I would go out and walk but one of my feet decided to shred to bits from eczema. Woo Hoo.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How cute is he?

Here he Andrew. He is wearing his Trader Joe's shirt and showing his glow-green colored box cutter. He has already completed 2 days at work and he is really liking it. I am so happy he got the job at the place that was his first pick. The company is awesome. Robert and I have been reading more about it in Andrew's Part-Time Crewmember materials. Andrew will be working mostly at night. TJ's hours are 9-9, 7 Days a week. He will be working mostly 4pm-11pm. So, he will get to have fun running around, when the store is closed, joking with work mates as he restocks etc... He says that so far the people have been alot of fun. His boss told the new hires yesterday (there are 3) that they will never starve at Trader Joe's. They like the employees to have tried most everything. Andrew told me he is going to be quite the Foodie soon. I told him he is going to be popular in college. He's cute, funny, knows how to cook, has a cool job at a coolest foodie market around, and is a musician. He managed 1 date in high school, but I imagine college will be different.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A shocking epiphany

I know there is a really good chance my kids will read this someday, so it is probably not a good idea to write this down. Also, some may not like me as much for being honest but here it is: I don't like kids. I love babies and toddlers, maybe preschoolers, but between about 5 & 6 and 13&14 they could all be away at a boarding school and I think I would be happy. I think teenagers, at least the ones I know personally, are really cool. So, this leaves me with 2 kids who are 8 and 11 and in that perpetually annoying age. It drives me crazy how hungry they always are and what messes they make. It bugs the hell out of me that they are so easily bored and not easily amused. They are also demanding, especially Ben, and I don't always give in...but it doesn't matter. Andrew, in all honesty, is the most fun right now. He's old enough to have interesting conversations with, I love his sense of humor, his taste in music, and that he totally understands the value of a nap. I love seeing the person he is...who he is making himself into. Autumn and Ben (especially Ben) still don't know who they are and this in between time grates on me.

I love babies because their needs are so pure and basic...warm arms, boobs, sleep, clean diapers. I can do that. I am really good at that. Toddlers find everything fascinating. Preschoolers are equally as interesting as they move toward autonomy. But elementary through middle school age. What a pain. All the crappy aspects of ourselves we start to see: selfishness, greed, jealousy, arguing, sloth. Here I am a Catholic mom, who has thought she wanted more kids all this time, and now I am not so sure. Granted, I am 42 so maybe the effects of aging and impatience has caught up with me. I still love the idea of a baby though. But then I remember what happens around 5 or 6. Plus, I don't like to play. I mean I love the goofy playing you can do with babies and toddlers. I love going to concerts and talking about new music with my teen. But I don't want to play Barbies, stuffed animals, color for hours on end, read comic books, play shooter games on Xbox 360. This is my blog so I will say it: "I hate feeling like I have to entertain my kids", but at the same time am totally pissed that the youngest ones default to TV/Macs/PCs/Gaming.

Maybe I didn't have enough kids (and I am not kidding here). Maybe there are too few kids too far apart. They don't really have built in buddies. It is too late for me to do anything about that. Even if I got pregnant now, and we loosely use NFP so it is always a possibility, Autumn would be 9 by the time another baby was born, Ben would be almost 13 and Andrew would be 19! Andrew is not interested in Hannah Montana or Webkinz and he isn't into video gaming much anymore. He only likes gaming when he is with friends and they have a Halo shoot 'em up or Guitar Hero contest. Autumn's and Ben's only common interest is TV and swimming. Autumn is pretty girly and Ben is not into that stuff at ALL! Plus they fight like Israel and Palestine. I'm sick of trying to make peace and am strongly considering nuking them both.

I feel burnt out by mothering. I loathe the idea of sending Autumn to school, so I don't know what I am going to do. I wouldn't want to send Autumn to public school, but don't have the money to send her to a private school...Ben's issues have seen to that. I guess it's good that the Catholic Church says to be open to life, but that you don't have to have a ton of kids. Maybe this truth of mine, that I have been unable to really notice, until today, is the reason God has prevented me from getting pregnant these last 5+ years when I have really wanted another baby. Maybe he wanted me open, but knows me better than I do myself, and therefore gives lots of babies to people like my friends: Sara B., Rob, Leonie, Kath, Jennifer, Wendy, Melissa W. etc...

I find myself thinking of other things to do with my time instead of constant laundry, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, breaking up fights, cleaning, begging them to do chores, cleaning, grocery shopping, cleaning, prodding them to read or pleading with them to let me read to them, get the picture.

Maybe I am just having a crappy day. Dunno?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I really want to RUN

Tonite, after it rained, while it was still misty and thundering in the distance, I took a walk. On my way home I ran the last half mile or so. I REALLY love the feeling of running. It is just awesome. I remember running on the track team in high school. Okay, running in Florida is never fun, unless you run it the rain. However, my high school was in Palm Beach and we would run on the bike trail along the intercostal. I loved sprinting more than anything...loved it!
The deal is, I had to put the breaks on my beginning running program (that I devised myself from internet reading) because of my stupid hives. However, I took my Xyzal today. Then, tonite, when I walked about 3 miles and just *had* to run home, I did and "Look hives!" Granted I ran to the shower after getting a huge glass of water. I grabbed some of the ice out and ran it over my face and neck while I took a cold shower. That may have helped head off the hives too. Anyway, I am feeling kinda hopeful again. Yeah!


Lessons I am learning from my daughter

Unlike some friends I know, I have only one daughter (boo hoo...I would love more...oh well). Anyway, the one I have, I adore. She has taken to having late night talks with me in bed. Last night (or should I say very, very early this morning) we were talking about her taking ice skating lessons starting in August. I have taken her to the nearby ice rink and just set her out there on skates and she is fearless and just goes for it. Man, do I envy that. I was never a fearless kid. Well, maybe I was fearless until the teenager next door decided that he was going to experiment on me (read: molest) when I was 7. So, prior to 7 I was pretty fearless. I climbed and fell out of trees, I walked around the village of Southampton, NY (where I lived until I was 8). I wandered in the woods picking blueberries. But that fateful afternoon, trapped between a shed and a tall fence, everything changed and fear entered into my life and didn't leave for a LONG TIME. However, so far so good with Autumn. There have been no 'experiments' (Thank you, Jesus!) on Autumn and she is a fearless girl. She tries things I would never have tried. Because, you see, when the fear entered my life that day it spilled over into EVERYTHING in my life!

So, back to skating. Last night, after our talk, I told Autumn to close her eyes and imagine she was skating in an ice rink on her own doing all sorts of neato tricks and swirly things. Then she was in dreamland. I lay there listening to her deep, sleepy breathing and thought, "Rachel, why do you think you can't skate? You have been telling yourself that since falling down once outside on a pond when you were probably Autumn's age (8). Why are you putting limits on yourself without trying?" So, after thinking a while about my query to myself, I realized that the next time I take Autumn to the rink during public skate hours, I am going to give it a whirl. Maybe my sweet, beautiful, brave girl will teach me a thing or two on the ice. Maybe, I really can skate. Maybe I just have to try, try again.

Thank you, my sweet Tumnal Kitty, for teaching your mama to be brave. I love you! (Oh, and when I meant she was brave I wasn't kidding. Look at her below running from a T-Rex!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

The best combo: The Doctor & Muse

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me that I have a huge crush on David Tennant from Doctor Who & Matt Bellamy from Muse. I have a thing for Brits (tho David Tennant is actually Scottish, he's still from Great Britain) I ended up marrying a polack (sp) is beyond me. Anyway, I found UK You Tube last night and, boy howdy, did I hit the motherload of all things David Tennant and Muse. It's even better when they are together like this video. The fangirl who made it did such a great job editing it to "I'm Feeling Good"...that I feel good just watching it. If you have never watched Dr. Who, please Netflix it. If you like Sci-Fi and quirky British humor, you will love this show. Just a tip. In England they call a tv season a 'series'. When the brought back Doctor Who the first new guy to play it was Christopher Eccleston. He was great. He only stayed one year. David Tennant came on for the following years. Doctor Who is a Time Lord who can regenerate up to 12 times before finally dying. David Tennant is the 10th incarnation (and best, IMO) of the Doctor. He is in 'Series' 2, 3, and the current 4th season. If you really want to know what is going on start watching it from Series 1.


P.S. I said I was Catholic, but I never said I was a perfect one. I tend to be the passionate kind of gal so my sin issues lie with wrath, gluttony and lust. God has brought me VERY far in the Gluttony department. And because I am eating better and exercising, He's more able to temper my Wrath too. However, Lust, in all honesty, is going to be the last to go. I'm just being honest. And hey, I have no interest in hanging with any guy besides my Hunny (but I SURE like looking!) Oh yeah, because of this I am not the jealous type. So I have no problem with my Hunny's appreciation for Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovavich. Frankly, he's got darn good taste in women. (wink)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Woo Hoo! Andrew got a job at TRADER JOE'S

It took over a month and alot of persistence, but he finally did it. I tell you getting a job at Trader Joe's  is harder than Hilary realizing her campaign was over. Finally, the boy will start making his own money and forging his way in the world. Next comes registering for college. Oh my! 

There are only five Trader Joe's in Metro Atlanta and he will be working at the one a mile from the house. Yipee!

And to all my 'peeps' out there who have been praying for Andrew re: the Trader Joe's job, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you.

(Oh, did I say that he gets a 10% discount?  That means, while he still lives here, a 10% discount on groceries! SCORE!)


Friday, July 4, 2008

A sliver lining and A Happy Birthday

Well, I haven't been able to exercise like I used to. I am still getting it in, just not everyday like I had been doing. So, I get up and weigh myself. Yes, Friday is my weigh-in day. And I am pleased as punch to announce (even though there are still hives on my face...just milder) that I have now past my halfway mark. I have lost 17.5 pounds and now have 15.5 left to lose. I am itchy, but grateful. So, I guess it's true that in every dark cloud there is a silver lining.

So, Thanks Big Guy, for pulling me through one ordeal while allowing me to go through another. I am very psyched about this. And thank You for my amazing, beautiful, wonderful, free country. I am truly thankful to be an American.

Happy Birthday sweet land that I love!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Hero

So my Hunny (above, I know such a sexah thing) called my dermatologist this morning, after my attempts to get them to help me failed. While being very nice, just persistent, he got them to finally get a pre authorization for the medicine *they* prescribed but that the pharmacy wouldn't fill. I just got a call from Walgreens and the pre-auth went through.  So, now I get to pick my Xyzal and get rid o' these hives. Woo Hoo!  HB, you are my hero. I love you!

Harshing My Bliss

Okay I am back to whining. I am so frickin' pissed at this hive situation. Now I am getting them in my sleep...even if I nap. What!?! Am I not supposed to get too warm in my comfy bed now?! WTF!?! Here I am trying to change my life for the better. I am making better food choices, I am getting my butt to workout, and I *WAS* really enjoying it! Now I have hit a brick better yet...a big hivy, itchy, hot WALL! This is complete CRAP!

God, what is up? That's not a rhetorical statement, really God, what is up? I got Ben screaming down my neck to make him happy and find him something to do and I thought You helped me to find this place that I *was* in to help me through all this crap. Walking outside got me alone, in nature, with You. We even had some very nice conversations...or so I thought. Summer sucks for me, You know that, and walking and working out were really helping. Please make this go away. Don't let me be stuck here with no where to go when I need to have somewhere to go. I get the whole suffering thing. If I am not suffering due to Ben's issues, then I am suffering with some itchy allergic mess. I have offered this stuff to you, but I don't get it. Why cut me off at every pass? What do you want?
Oh, and lest I sound too ungrateful thank you for central air conditioning and benadryl. ~Amen~

Crankily yours,

In these pictures you can see a distinct redness in my face as opposed to my neck. What seems like acne on my face are hives that are what are called wheals (or welts) from bigger clusters of hives.  The worse thing, like anything could be worse than the maddening itch, is how flipping hot my face gets when the hives start. All I can do is hold a washcloth filled with ice against my face. It totally sucks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I am so totally over this...but it doesn't mean Jack!

So for the last few nights, when I am pretty sure I am not doing aerobics in my sleep, I wake up with an itchy (hives) face. I am assuming that said hives are now footloose and fancy free and have decided to just break out when ever they darn well please. FABULOUS! To top it all off, my dermatologist prescribed Xyzal (a new non sedating antihistamine) to keep them under control, but my stupid managed care drug insurance are being creeps about filling it because it is a non-preferred (read too expensive and new) medicine. The thing is the samples they gave me worked great! Claritin and Zyrtec both make me sleepy...not as comatose as does Benadryl...but sleepy nonetheless. So, I have to call my derm again and find out if they got the "preauthorization" in to the Rx company so that I can get my meds and be hive free! Man, what a person do these days...oy vay!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I just couldn't resist...yes, it's The Doctor!

He's a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He's 903 years old. If there's danger, he's the man who's going to save your life - and everyone on your planet. Got a problem with that?

What a fabulous quote!

"My education was dismal.  I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers." ~Woody Allen

 I found this over at Red Sea Homeschool.  I also found there this very interesting link called Busted Halo. In my case it would be busted and lost.  Oh, and here is a great one from me...have you ever read either of the Bad Catholic's Guide to...books? If you haven't then go out and get one or both right now. They are hilarious!

Oh, and regarding the pregnancy contagion in blogland, it sure isn't spreading over here, and I  would love to catch it. (boo hoo, sniff sniff)