Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Gettin' Real Now, Folks.

It's finally to the point I can't hide my head in the sand like an ostrich and pretend time is passing by and I get to hide from it.

Paige found out this past weekend that she was accepted to the college of her choice.

She came running down the stairs Saturday with wide eyes and holding her phone in front of her like it was on fire but she wasn't going to let go because she was on a mission to show me something.

I looked and there it was on the screen. The status saying : accepted.


We shared the wide eye'd look with each other and then got ten kinds of excited.

My baby is going to college. My 3 lb. 7 oz. baby who has fought for her way in this world since the day she was born is going to college. All by herself.

I am nothing but a mass of emotions now. I'm so thrilled and proud of her as she gets ready to start a new and exciting chapter in her young life. I'm sad because she's leaving me and if I know this kid, she won't look back when she walks out the door. She's that independant and ready to take on the world.

I should have been more mentally prepared for this, people. I've done her Senior ad in the yearbook. I've ordered her cap and gown. I've picked out the caterer for the reception at my house after graduation. I've told people what date everything is happening so they can put it on their calendars.

But, college?

Big Girl and Big Boy school? Where there's parties, and a lot less adult supervision. Where many great first loves are found. Where many hearts are broken for the first time. Where lives are planned and futures started.

Now, The Man and I have to go attend an orientation and see exactly where our child will hopefully live for at least four years and graduate. I have to go check out this place my baby girl will call home ... a home where I'm not living.

And on top of all of that?? The child has had her license for a year now and has become this tremendous help with errands and such since then. Now, I've got to go back to doing all the running around on my own. She ENJOYS running to W*lmart for bread and milk. ~sigh~ Life, you are so flippin' funny. You get my kid grown to where she can do all this amazing stuff, then you take her away. Well, I'm not laughing, Life. Not at all.

Ohhhh...before I forget to tell you. My doctor's office had a Ladie's Night this past Friday night. It was a meeting of WLS patients who could bring a  friend or family member to see vendors and such and have a nice stress free meeting. I was humbled and awe'd by the success stories I heard and saw with my own eyes. Paige went with me because I just didn't want to go there all by myself. Yeah, I'm not usually so wimpy, but I wanted to spend some time with just the two of us. Afterwards, we grabbed a late supper and sat and chatted while we ate. It was a wonderful time and a  memory that I will cherish with her.

And...................we took some pictures in the car before going in!

Had to take the "pretty" picture. Really like this one.

Annnnnd you get this. Cuz it's how we roll.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ups, Downs, the Good, and How It Is

I have many different ranges of issues going on over here. Some are mental and others are physical on the old body. I promised I would keep it real and that's how I roll...on a fairly regular basis.

The loss thus far is 84 pounds. Not so shabby for five months (well, on the 18th it'll be five months), right? I still feel like it's not good enough. Many of you scoff and snort and wonder why on earth I would think that. I think that because right now I am consumed with my eating, with my pouch, with my protein intake, with my water intake, and that blessed set of scales in my bathroom. I hope I can make 100 pounds by my six month surgiversary because, People? I still have a long ways to go to get where I need to be. I stall out on a regular basis once a month. You do the math on that one. Yay for being a woman. For a solid week, I crave chocolate and every morning that stupid butt scale sits right there on the same number. The first couple of times it did this, I would call Neighbor Debbie all upset and carrying on about having this surgery for nothing and all kinds of hormonal rantings. She would listen like the friend she is and offer whatever I needed to hear that moment. Now, we've put a pattern to it and I'm not allowing myself to carry on until I'm absolutely positive my stall has nothing to do with my hormones. Fair enough.

I have lost around four sizes in clothes. Pants are what astound me the most. I have, at the moment, four pair of regular pants that fit (one of those being a pair of jeans). I have three pair of work out pants that I have washed nearly to death. And fashionistas out there? Kiss my entire still big butt. Yoga pants are the flippin' bomb and I big as you can get pink fluffy heart them. They are comfortable and flatter what I got going on here. Shirts are starting to get a little scarce, too. I went to an outlet this evening with the hubby to buy a couple of shirts to see me through for a while. I have found myself shopping in my daughter's closet and there might be a few shirts that didn't make it back to her closet after laundry day. I'm just borrowing, man, that's all.

While losing sizes in clothes, the fat is falling off of my face somewhat. Yeah, about all of that. Every day finds me discovering a new wrinkle. I know I'm now officially in my forties. I don't need a reminder, thankyouverymuch. I knew this was coming by having RNY. What I didn't expect was the turkey gobbler I have hanging from my neck. Oh, sweet Baby Jesus! I hope this issue under my chin gets a tad better. IT'S FLIPPIN' WRINKLED!  I am moisturizing like a fool and I secretly sit on the stool in front of my bathroom mirror pulling back my skin on my face just a smidgen. I'm trying very hard not to be vain about the new wrinkles emerging or the turkey gobbler hanging down on my neck. I am a female, though, my friends. While I am thrilled beyond belief that I am down from a half dozen chins to around two to three-ish....what I got going on just isn't attractive at the moment.

Let's talk about jewelry, shall we? I am now wearing my wedding rings on my middle finger so I don't lose them. My poor ring finger looks naked and it has this pitiful indention on it where I wore my rings no matter what size I was and if those suckers got tight in the summer? I took it like a woman and kept wearing them. I was able to wear a ring yesterday my parents gave me for Christmas ten years ago. I loved that ring and hated to put in the jewelry box when it wouldn't even go past the first knuckle of my finger. Out of curiosity, I picked it up yesterday and when it went all the way on my finger, I may have done an unwitnessed happy dance in my room in front of the jewelry box. I told my husband that when I get to the weight where I'm supposed to be, I may need a new wedding ring set. He hasn't disagreed. My father in law informed me that I could get my rings re-sized. I told him that no, I couldn't. He must have thought I misunderstood and told me again that I could get my wedding rings re-sized. Again, I told him no, I couldn't. Once more he tried to explain that the rings I was wearing that were too big could be made a smaller size. This time I responded, NO, they can't because I need a new set. His reply? Oh.

I keep waiting to lose a shoe size. I read where everyone has lost up to two shoe sizes. My feet must be hanging onto every bit of weight they can. Only one or two pair are a tad loose now and I am just wondering what's going to happen there.

The gym and I will never be good friends. I know this and accept this. The forums I frequent where RNY people gather all talk about how they LOVE going to the gym and working out and blah and gag and whatever. I don't quite hate the gym, but I sure don't skip out to the vehicle when it's time to go get on the dreadmill. Since I got that virus back around Thanksgiving, it's been hard to get back into a hard groove. I'm still going but it's just a chore, people. When I'm there, I don't skimp and put in almost two hours of cardio and weight machines. I figure if I drove there and am wearing the cute work out clothes, the least I can do is get my money's worth and try to tone up the bat wings my arms are carrying. I tell people I know the gym is a necessary evil to help me get to the good side. Being able to drop two medications because of exercise and weight loss keeps me motivated. Yes, I know this is something I need to do forever and ever, amen, in order to maintain weight loss and health. I just don't think I'll ever be one to skip with happiness to the gym because I get to work out and sweat.

There's an idea I'm toying around with, but am not sure I will go forward with putting it in action. First off, I appreciate all the comments on my FB (book of faces) after blog posts. (You all do realize you can post at the bottom of each post, right? You click on the word comment and you can talk to me all day long. Bloggers love comments about as much as they love the counter on the side and seeing where everyone is from. That's just a rumor I heard.) What I appreciate more is the private messages I've received from people who have family members who have had WLS (weight loss surgery). Messages from people who have thought about having the surgery their own selves. Now, this is where some of you will think, "OMG, she's talking about me!" I've received no less than a dozen of these private messages. I try to respond in a positive honest manner. Some people have even come out of the WLS closet and admitted that they've had a WLS, but have told no one. All of the above has touched me and I want you all to know that my "door" is always open for anyone that needs/wants to talk about this subject. Because of this, I am toying with starting a FB page for my blog so people can like it and really talk to me if they want to do so. This is for those who aren't my BFF on FB (and the military thought THEY had the corner on acronyms) and might have a question or comment they wish to share that's private. I'd appreciate some feedback on this if you don't mind.

I am such a slacker. I didn't put up my Christmas decoration pictures. Ya gotta give me some sympathy here, please. I'm a little hyper-focused on my self right now and it's hard to shake that. I also kind of can't shake it right now because I HAVE to stay that focused in order to make all of this a success. My children aren't being neglected, nor is The Man. If I'm not thinking about how much fluid I've drank so far that day, I'm eye'ing my living room trying to figure out what color I'm going to paint my two story living room this Spring. (I'm thinking a nice neutral green that's not too dark or minty bright- any suggestions?) I'm also shopping online at the moment for a foyer pendant light because the one I have is awful and I can't get it on Gregslist fast enough. I will give that bad boy away. See? So many things going on and not enough time to get it all done before my itty bitty baby girl graduates high school in May.

I'm still here and chugging right along in my new life journey. Again, all your positive remarks and encouragement have helped me more than you could ever know. This is hard and it's not easy, and when I feel a little down? You all help me up. Thank you.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

New Year, New Goals, and a New Car!

I hope you all had yourselves a grand Christmas and New Year's Eve. My husband got home and had time off until the New Year and I sat back and enjoyed him tremendously. This year my Mom and Pop in law got to spend Christmas with us. It was so nice and it was also the first time my husband has had a Christmas with both parents in ten years. I won't bore you with the Santa goodness my children received. Suffice it to say, Santa is a flippin' loon at our house. My kids don't get stuff all year long. They get birthday presents and maybe one other little thing around Labor Day, but other than that? Nope. My son doesn't even get to peruse the toy aisles at stores during the year except at his birthday and in November (to get ideas for Santa). He doesn't even ask to go look because he knows he won't get anything. I won't let him look and suffer because his Mama is a hard case and won't give in to the "I want" mentality kids get when going through toy aisles.

My favorite gift from Christmas was a medic alert bracelet. Yep, no kidding. It is highly suggested that bariatric surgery patients wear one because we have a few new issues. I'm not supposed to have a blind NG tube now. (That's when they shove the breathing tube down your throat.) Shoving one in blind can rupture my pouch (stomach) if it goes down the wrong way. The tag has my name, surgery type, a few details, and my husband's cell phone number on it. I know some of you are thinking, "those bracelets are so unattractive". I beg to differ! Miss Hope's is all fancy-like. My husband ordered mine from Lauren's Hope.  I do love me some jewelry, friends. The joy of these bracelets is that I can use one tag and get many many bracelets to jazz it up. This one is what he got for me that I love love love! He also got this one so I can change things up a bit. Of course, I've been shopping a little bit and found a few more that I think would be excellent additions to medic alert bracelet collection. It has been decided that we're going to get one for him since he has a little bit (understatement) reaction to penicillin. I am not being paid to advertise for this site...I just love the product.

Between Christmas and New Year's Eve, we had to go buy a car. The teenager is ecstatic she now has the Loser Cruiser (2000 Chevy Impala) to call her own. She has a few stickers purchased at the beach on vacation last year that she is dying to put on the back window and now she can.

Our vehicle buying expedition was fun. I love to go car buying! My husband had researched vehicles the whole time he was up North in class and he was ready to go decide which one was going to be his very own. I went along as The Negotiator. Oh, yes, my friend, Miss Hope steps in and stares down a salesman and his manager without blinking.

We had narrowed our selection down to two vehicles by the second day. The Nissan Altima and the Hyundia Sonata. Mr. Sonata salesman started out on the wrong foot.When we arrived at his dealership, he walked right past me to shake my husband's hand. *blink* *blink* I then said, "What's your Mama's name?" He paused in shock and told me before he even thought about it. I told him, "Well, I am going to call her because you walked right by me, THE LADY, to shake my husband's hand when you should have come to me first. Are you from around here??" The poor guy, still in shock, told he was from the area. I then sniffed and said, "Then you should have known better."

I think it turns my husband on when I get into negotiating mode. The salesmen and managers try to talk to him and here I am, leaning in to get into their line of sight, making them look at me, and talk to me. My husband sits back in his chair and doesn't say a word, but grins this smug grin at them. Many times I caught them looking at him with this "is she for real??" look on their faces. I flat out told them that we were going to drive off of a lot that day with a new car. It could be their car or their competition's car down the street. The manager comes in to sit down behind the desk in front of us. He was just precious with his big bald self. He starts into the re-sell value and such. I put my hand on the desk and politely said, "That's all fine and dandy, but I have a vehicle at home that is going to be twelve years old. I don't intend on buying a car and turning around and selling it in two weeks, Let's move past this conversation, please." After a few more minutes of extolling the virtues of the Sonata, he was back to holding its value. I looked at my husband then and said, "Are we back to THIS tired conversation??" He then stopped with that thread of thought. He finally conceded to my stubborn self and put down his absolute best offer. As the manager, he threw in car cleaning and detailing twice a month for however long we own the car and one year of free oil changes. That made me raise my eyebrow in appreciation because my husband is NOT one to keep his vehicle clean which drives me and my teenager insane. I stood up, shook his hand, and told him if we were buying his vehicle, we'd see him again within an hour or two.

The Man and I rolled down the street to the Nissan dealer. We had been there the night before and had gotten an idea of the offer they put on the table. We strolled in and waited for the guy we had spoken with the night before to come in. I must also mention that the night before, I also told him we were going to be purchasing a vehicle within 24 hours and he needed to give me an offer that would knock my socks off. I left with my socks still on my feet. Great offer, but still wearing socks. Since our guy was busy, the manager came over to talk to us. I flat out told him we were down to his car and another and he could make the difference. He asked me what he needed to do and I told him I was glad he asked. I told him that I wanted a car cleaning and detail once a month. The other place had offered twice a month, but I would be satisfied with one visit a month to keep the car snappy looking. I also wanted a year of free oil changes. He sat there a second and left to crunch some figures.

That morning before we left out to make our final decision, I found my husband at the breakfast table with some consumer magazine in one hand, laptop in front of him, and USAA on the phone for insurance quotes. The man knew what a decent price would be for both vehicles and really? Both vehicles were comparable in price and features. I asked him before we reached the dealership what a fair price would be per all his research and he told me. Those were the prices I was aiming for and maybe a tad lower.

Mr. Nissan Manager came back with what I asked for and an even lower price than the night before. I looked over the paperwork, asked a few questions, and stood up to leave. I told him that my husband and I were refusing to make a snap decision and we were going to go to lunch to discuss it. If we went with his car, he would know in about an hour.

We sat down to lunch and grinned at each other. The Altima had beat the Sonata by over $3,000. Maybe the Sonata had a couple of features that were cooler than the Altima, but really? My 6 foot tall husband fit better in the Altima and felt a little bit more comfortable riding in it. It didn't matter to me as this was going to be his vehicle to carpool with and only mine a little on the off days to drive to the gym. I told him to go ahead and call our sales guy and tell him to start the paperwork and get fog lights (a must for my husband) installed.

By the time we arrived back after lunch, the fog lights were installed and it was about to be taken to be detailed. I was bored then because I had done what I was there to do. We got the paperwork taken care and my husband had to take off for a doctor's appointment. I got to drive the new car home. Oh, and I got the car cleaning and detail work once a month and FOUR oil changes (with no time constraints) in writing to go with my paperwork.

This year is going to full of negotiations (in February we will have TWO teenage girls under one roof), new situations (said oldest teenager heading off to college), and who knows what else?? Maybe I need to up my nerve medication until next New Year's?

I am doing well with my new lifestyle in the eating world. I am now down 81 lbs!! I still have a ways to go, but I'm seeing results and smaller sized clothing. The holidays were hard with food, as I'm sure they always will be, but I made it through to the other side. I saw my surgeon a few days before Christmas for a check-up and we got along much better this time. I don't know if it's because The Man went with me so as to meet him and see his face, or if both he and I were in a better place. I got kind of whiny over missing rice, bread, pasta, and sweets. He shrugged and told me it was okay to TASTE something. Oh yeah? Then he told me I could have apples and I kind of zoned after that and a few minutes later I told him, "I'm so excited over apples, I can't hardly think straight right now!" I think the ability to taste something has helped me out so much. I know I can't have a piece of pie, or a huge helping of mac-n-cheese. But, I can TASTE it!! Since then, if I feel I "need" to, I get one small taste, just to get the flavor on my tongue and in my mouth and I'm perfectly fine after that. I find that I don't want a big helping or half of a cake. I just want to literally taste it and I thoroughly enjoy that little taste and have been fine. I was told to keep my carbs at no more than 18 grams a meal. Yeah, Miss Hope can't go that high without getting really sick feeling. Keeping it at around 10-12 keeps me from getting sick so that's where I'm going to stay for now. Doc told me to eat steak. I wrinkled my nose and told him that was like eating a sock. Apparently, that's normal and I have to work past it because steak is good for us WLS people as it's good protein and will stay in the pouch longer and provide that "full" feeling. We'll see how that goes.

I'm going to head on out of here. Neighbor Debbie and I have plans to catch up on some shows this morning since I'm waiting to go to the gym this evening with Paige. I'm kind of doing that so the B12 shot I got yesterday will have enough time to really kick in and give me the boost I need to work out. I have been a hot mess the past week waiting to get that shot yesterday. Now, my doctor is out to figure out a way to help me out. More details on that later. You all take care of yourselves now. It's been chilly out!