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!