10.13.2007

Holy Gore, where does the time go?

So, in the space of time that I've been away from my blog, Al Gore wins a Nobel Peace Prize. Well, good for him. In the end, God sorts out everything and He will put to rest whether global warming was really a serious threat or not. I tend to agree with Michael Crichton with his novel State of Fear. I think something is definitely going on with our world, but we need to be good stewards about it and do what our parents and grandparents taught us: don't be wasteful.

Kids at school have suddenly realized that I'm not out to get them. I can be funny. And they can actually learn something. Although, one honors freshman wrote that schools are just basically here to house kids until they turn into adults. I think she may be bitter about something.

I don't really have a lot to say--except I do say it in my head and think once in awhile that I should put it on my blog--but then I forget about it and then the next thing I know almost two months have passed by. I think I'll work harder in getting my thoughts down.

8.30.2007

Is this from hormones???

Okay, I'm way pissed off, and a sane person shouldn't feel the need to be this angry. So, my impassioned rhetoric is that I am either 1.) not sane, or 2.) hormonal, or 3.) Both.

We were at a girl scout informational meeting tonight. And to be honest, I just don't think I see our lives abandoning all hope and going that route. First off, there was no troop leader for first graders, so we were met immediately with "If you'd just 'step up'" ... okay; I'm turned off right there. The speaker of this meeting's favorite phrase the entire time was "step up." Give me a break. I've stepped up to more things before she even eats breakfast.

But, bless their hearts, two ladies decide to be leaders. Of course, they want to meet on the one night that we can't. Okay. That sealed it for me, but apparently, not for Dale. He asks Emily to go get a yellow sheet on another table with more information.

Oh boy.

Emily doesn't want to. And we've been working on her for the longest time to do things without us, to be more independent, especially if she wants to even remotely have a chance to join G.S. (BTW, she only thinks she'll be going camping.) We're working with her and working with her to go get the yellow sheet. I guess the mother across from us gets tired of us working with our daughter, gets up and grabs a few and spreads them out on our table.

It's just like enablers like that that make dependent brats. I guess the uppitiness just royally ticked me off. I bet she does the same thing when she's told her kid no, but the kid please-pleases her to death until she just changes her mind. We saw evidence of that type of behavior, too.

I was done with this girl scout business, but let Dale make the determination for himself (got to make him think he's making the decisions, ha). We'll find other things for her to do that will help build up leadership; apparently the mother wasn't thinking about that little tidbit, but it's a good thing that she decided to not be a troop leader.

Perhaps I'll feel better later. Or with carbs. Or a smack-down.

8.23.2007

I'm writing a letter of complaint

Two days after that idiot doctor at Wichita Clinic diagnosed me with a virus, my real doctor said that I did have a spot of pneumonia on my right lung. Apparently SHE had spoken with the x-ray technician. I can only conclude a few things about I.D. (idiot doctor):

1.) He didn't want me to be right (God Complex).

2.) He didn't even look at the x-rays and/or didn't consult with the x-ray technician.

3.) He doesn't know how to read an x-ray (I really doubt this one).

4.) He relied on his own hearing with the stethoscope, ignored the patient's complaints, ignored everything except what he understood it to be and needed to get rid of this "problem" by dismissing me with a "virus."

No matter how you look at it, this doctor was neglectful, and more serious harm could have resulted from this if I didn't consult my own doctor. Perhaps that's what the i.d. was counting on--> that I'd bother someone else anyway. I could have had two days of antibiotics under my belt if he had just been a doctor.

8.18.2007

Immediate Care

I don't get sick very often, but when I do, it's pretty bad. It was so bad yesterday, in fact, that I called my doctor's office around 4:10--not a good thing on a Friday afternoon. I've been coughing for several days, and I was afraid that I had gotten the same thing that Emily had (pneumonia), and if that was the case, I wanted medicine pronto so I didn't have to deal with a substitute for school. I also thought it was suspicious that I had the same symptoms that Emily had about ten days after she did. I showed up at I.C. (Wichita Clinic) at 5:15 and I didn't get out until 7:15 and home at 7:30.

I will never go to Immediate Care again.

I waited 30 minutes before a nurse saw me to take down my symptoms (I had a low-grade fever, my blood pressure was up and my pulse was 93--bp and pulse too high), then I had to go back out to the lobby to wait another 15 minutes. In the meantime, as I'm just trying to hold onto myself because I want to lay down so badly, two very large ladies come into the waiting room. One is in a very large wheelchair, and the other lady wheels her right in front of me and blocks the exit in case the nurse should call on people. We'd have to go around the long way. Okay, no big deal--I'd just work through it and go out the long way, hoping I don't faint along the way, thinking the whole time, why can't she see where she is? Cell-phone guy is chatting away on his phone, and I want to take it and smash it against the wall. But I didn't have the energy to do that. Finally they call me back. I wait and wait and wait.

And then the doctor comes in, and after talking to him, I wished that I had just over-dosed on NyQuil and called it a night. The guy was the three-letter word for butt.

He asked me why I thought I had pneumonia. I told him because my daughter had it and I thought it was contagious. He looked at me funny, and then berated me for being around kids if I thought I had a contagious disease. I told him that I didn't know what I had and I was just run down. Then he told me that pneumonia wasn't contagious. He said a few more things that I just can't remember. He listened to my back and made me breathe, and then he said my lungs sounded fine. Why couldn't he just tell me that I probably had caught a virus and I needed rest, water and Tylenol? Instead, he ordered a blood draw and a chest x-ray.

Blood draw. Oh boy. I'm not usually nervous about a needle, and I wasn't this time either. Apparently my veins are super small, and the nurse stuck me hard, and then wiggled the needle. That's when the world starting going gray. I asked for a drink of water. He said that I could have one, of course, and then he dug into my arm some more. I told him that that hurt (holy cow, that was awful!), and then he called over another nurse to try to "stick" me. I asked for the water again, and my speech sounded like it was slurring. I got the water, but the grayness was thicker, and I bent down to put my head on my lap. The other nurse asked me if I needed to lay down, and I nodded. They had to get me on the cold floor before I fainted. The doctor who saw me came by and gave the nurses a chair to put my feet on to get the blood flowing back to my head, and then they gave me cold presses to put behind my neck and my forehead. After about five minutes of that, a nurse brought a wheelchair to get me to a room (that another nurse had given away to another patient), and they had to find another room. They did, and I had to lay there for ten minutes before I could get blood drawn.

I was freezing, btw. Absolutely shivering. Finally the nurse came in, took my blood. She was very nice. I told her that the world wasn't gray anymore, and she worked her best to get the needle into my vein. She said I had extremely small veins, but bless her heart, she didn't hurt me like the other nurse did. After she was finished, she made me lay down for awhile, and then the x-ray technician came in to get me and escort me to x-ray. After that was finished, bless the x-ray technician's heart--SHE got me a blanket.

Then the doctor came in. His demeanor seemed to have changed a bit. He told me that my chest was clear, but my white blood cell count was too high or too low--whichever direction is the bad direction (I just can't remember). He said that I had a virile infection and there was nothing that he could prescribe for me. Just rest, water and Tylenol.

Sooooooooooooooooo -- two hours later, I was back at square one. He did ask me if I was okay to drive home. I felt I was. And when I got home, Dale and Emily were in her room waiting for her to say prayers. I got home in time for that. I hugged Emily's legs ( :) ) and told her that I didn't want to give her my germs. I told Dale the whole story, and he got angry for me. He wants me to write a letter of complaint to Wichita Clinic. I had forgotten about one of the times we took Emily and we told that doctor (different one) that she was allergic to amoxycillin and she prescribed it anyway. We spent $60 on medication that we didn't need. I did take two Tylenol PM last night and slept until 8 a.m. this morning, so I think that helped. I probably will write the letter, but I feel like I need a nap after I've written all of this.

8.11.2007

Waiting for the Big Buggers

It's been a hurry up and try to get the classroom situated along with all of the other beginning of the year plans going inbetween meeting after meeting. There's the freshman advisory meeting, the hall-duty meeting, the mentor meeting, the scratch-your-butt meeting ... I think I have my syllabus finished inbetween all of this and some sign-in/sign-out sheets. I think I know what I'm doing the first week of school, but I want to get it down on paper this weekend.

On the workout/fitness front, I am one pound away from having lost 10 pounds this summer. I have 10 to go.

8.04.2007

Pneumonia?!?!

Although my eating was spot on yesterday, my heart just wasn't in it. I spent most of the day worrying (watch those cortisol levels!) about Emily's cough and fever. I got her into the doctor after spending 2-3 weeks with a dry cough that just became worse and three days of low to high fevers. The doctor listened to her lungs, then said that it was probably virile; i.e., bronchoialitis/bronchitis. BUT, I was to immediately call if her temp got up to 101 to 102. About 3:10, it got up to 101.3, and by 4:00, I was back at the doctor's office with getting Emily to X-Ray and lab for chest x-rays and blood drawn. She was a very brave girl when it came to getting a needle stuck in her arm! And when we (myself and the blood people) told her how cool her blood looked, she even giggled a little bit. Plus, she got a really cool red band-aid (that is now ripped off as of this a.m.). We met Dale at home, and I just wasn't in the mood to forage for food, so we went out. When we came home, the doctor had a message for us to call her on the service. She was going to prescribe a medicine. It looked like a little bit of pneumonia in her lower right lung.

It took me a friggin' hour at Wal-Mart to get the medicine, and then of course, the medicine tasted horrible, so it was a fight to get it into Em's gullet. She took it with some probing with some sugar bombs (Dots), and then off to bed.I am happy to say that she has no fever this morning, so the meds seem to be just the trick. I am also happy to report that I was able to not totally blow it on the nutrition plan, nor did I blow it even one little bit. Amazing. Stress did not get me--BwaHaha!

7.29.2007

Pirate in Training

Emily has been eating up the book Pirates Don't Change Diapers, and although she can read, she wants one of us to read it to her because we do The Voices. There's especially a funny line in the book when the main character, a little boy, asks the captain to babysit his baby sister. The pirate replies, "Pirates don't sit on babies!" The funny part is when the chorus of other pirates holler out:

"No sittin on babies!"

To which Emily breaks out in hysterics.

This book has prompted the family room to turn into Pirate Training Camp. She had a plank set up with pillows and a tube that used to have posters in it that served as the plank. She had her stuffed puppy dog with her who was named "Baby Scurvy Dog," and there were no sharks in the waters, because alas, it was only training camp. Baby Scurvy Dog had to slide down the plank rather than walk the plank to see what it felt like, but again, since it was only training day, only sliding was necessary (and because Mom said).

I'm just waiting for her to say "Aye!" instead of yes from now on, especially now that she's looking into the pirate book that came before this one. I've promised her that we would look for it in the library, but I'm thinking that I may just have to go to Barnes and Noble to get her her own set.

* * * * * * * *
We were at the Y yesterday for gymnastics, and this was the day that I decided to take off from working out. One day. I stay in the gym with my book, half reading and half watching Emily. She's not having much fun with it today. The mean girl is back and the fun guy is gone. The fun girl is working with the older group, which is a shame, and the new girl doesn't have a clue as to what she's doing yet. That's Emily's experience. MY experience is a little different.

On the right of me sits Mean Mom. She has a two-or-so year old who has gymnastics for toddlers during the class right before Em's. She is the Golden Child. The girl's sister is in the same time gymastics as Emily, but she's at a higher level. Mean Mom repeated yells out this girl's name very gruffly and at one point calls her over to yell at her. I felt so bad for this girl. Mean Mom told the girl that she needs to get better, do what the teacher says and try harder. IF M.M. had been watching her elder daughter rather than stuffing her young one with crap food, she would have seen she was doing exactly as she was doing. I just wanted to tell both mean-girl gymnastics teacher and Mean Mom to lighten up! Good grief--if you want your kid to be a gymnastics star, go somewhere else. The Y's great, but they need a lower ratio of gymastics' instructors to kids for these little people to become so-called gymnasts.

Okay, that was my right side.

On my left was a young boy and an older lady who were going through the story of Harry Potter from what was probably book one all the way through to book seven. I almost wanted to say, "Harry dies. What a shame." But I held it in. They talked for the entire hour, and the little boy (8 or 9 years old) spoke very loudly because he apparently just loves H.P. I, on the other hand, do not. Talk, but for pete's sake (or Harry's sake), tone it down a bit, take a breath once in awhile.

At the end of the gymastics' class hour, Emily gets her stamp in her book, trots over to me. I ask her if she had fun, and I see out of the corner of my eye that Mean Mom's head just snapped towards me.

I wish I had said, "Fun? Do you remember that?" to her, but I don't. We gather our things and leave.

7.19.2007

Welcome to Post #100

Ahhh, post 100. What do I win; what do I win?? I win a great big heapin' helpin' of nothin. :)

My Title should read: How to Be Nice and Not Be a Complete Jack*ss About It.

As we were driving to Wendy's tonight (I was not cooking, and I wanted one of their salads), traffic piled up on Greenwich Rd. I was in the proper turn lane and being patient. One guy was kind enough to not pull all the way through so that I could turn. He waved me through. <--That's the end of his niceness. I would have pulled through to acknowledge his niceness, and I would have waved my thanks to him, but I couldn't turn. In the other lane came barreling up an SUV. The man waiting just for me waved more vigorously and then more vigorously when I wouldn't budge. The SUV came closer, and if I had gone when the man waiting had waved me, then I wouldn't be writing this and my family would be visiting us in the hospital or making arrangements for the other possible event. Unfortunately, the man waiting was more concerned with his chivalry than our safety and he was upset and frustrated that I wouldn't go. The SUV passed and the man still wouldn't move. He was absolutely pissed off now and he was going to be chivalrous even if he were angry about it. I went, but I wanted to wave my thanks in a different way. I hope he had a nice hissy fit on the way to wherever he was going and got it over with. I'm sure he was thinking about how nice he was and how people treated him when he was just trying to be nice.

Being nice is one thing, but have some common sense by taking a look around you at the same time.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I forgot to report about the absolutely most hideous fit I have ever heard by a child. Thankfully, it wasn't mine. And if it had been, I wouldn't have said something asinine like, "I'll talk to you about it later when you're happier" like this mother did.

Excuse me??

The girl, who was probably 7 or 8 years old, was SCREAMing at the top of her lungs in the Ladies/Girls' locker room about how her mother kept buying her swim lessons and that she could just do this on her own. She keeps paying for her to be serious, is what the girl said. Weird. The teacher must've wanted the girl to do something that the girl didn't want to do, because it sounded to me as if the the girl is used to getting what she wants.

The tirade lasted the entire time we were putting our things in our locker, going to the restroom, digging out swim goggles. Emily just looked at me like the girl was crazy and she couldn't believe this was happening. And then the "talk to you about it later when you're happier" comment hit, and Emily laughed. Later, she told me that the girl needed to go to her room! That mother has taught that child to talk to her like that in a public place--I'd hate to be one of the girl's teachers come this August. Calling home will not do a thing. I did have my own teacher moment and really wanted to step in and tell the mother to take her darling out and behave like a mother, so she could raise her daughter to be a good adult and not a self-indulgent one.

But that didn't happen.

I clamped my mouth shut. As soon as we were out of ear shot I asked Emily, "What would I do if you acted like that?"

She said, "I wouldn't act like that."

7.18.2007

Colorado + Kansas = BFF

BFF = Best Friends Forever

After swim class today, Emily told me that her regular teacher would be going to Colorado for a few days. I asked her if she knew where Colorado was, and of course, she didn't yet. I pointed west and told her that if we drove west for a really long time that we'd eventually get there, and it sits right next to Kansas.

"You mean they sit with each other?"

"Yes, they do."

"That means they're best friends! They must have assigned seats together."

And this is the very short story of why Colorado and Kansas are together and why they will always be BFF.

7.17.2007

My British Accent

I've been doing a little research project that I've entitled, "Why my tummy is so bloated and gassy that I'm doubled over in pain, and is it all of these damn vegetables that are doing it to me?" That little project has lead me to my Greens+ product and the fact that I could have overdosed myself on vegetable intake at such a high rate. A 3 tsp. serving = 6 cups of vegetables. I, after reading the label, took the 3 tsp's in an ice cold cup of water, just like the directions said. What the directions DIDN'T say was that I should start out with just a 1/2 tsp. serving in order to get used to the product and then increase the dosage. Aww, crap. And that's just what I wish I could do to get rid of this horrible bloating. Burp or Burp from the Bottom--I don't care.

Anyway, I'm researching G+ and then run across information about organic vegetables and the debate whether they're healthier than the conventionally grown. I've always believed that vegetables came from the same place: a seed sown into the ground, it is watered and then it grows with the right elements and then it is sprayed so the bugs won't eat them; the farmers pick it up with their big machines, they take it to the grocery stores, the stockers put it on the shelves, consumers buy it. I buy it, I bring it home. I stock it in our refrigerator, and promptly forget about it. Then, I notice the stinky smell. I clean out the refrigerator of the produce and throw it in the garden to hopefully reconstitute itself as some other vegetable form. I call it the cycle of life. Okay?

My research has sometimes taken me to the UK and their web sites. I know this because they have a dot-uk in their web addresses. And I'm reading the information, and I notice in my head that I'm reading it in a British accent. It's quite wild. American web site=I think English. UK web site=I think English, only it's the other English. It makes research so much more entertaining.

7.16.2007

Praise be to God for the Breathe Right Nasal Strips People

I am so like my dad that it's scary. I apparently snore, walk in my sleep, as well as talk in my sleep. The key word here is sleep, because although I do all of that snoring, walking and talking, there was very little sleeping actually going on. I am not sure I'd gotten a good six hours of straight sleep since 1995, I think. I'd trudge through each day, and when I started exercising and eating right, I was promised bounties of bundles of energy. I nevered received my bounty. Last week, Dale suggested that since I've been gasping for air many times during the night that I could have sleep apnea.

"Try one of those nose strip thingies," he said. "And I want the covers back." I had apparently taken those every night, too, in my quest for dreamland.

"Ooohkaaaay"--which is exactly how Emily sounds when she thinks she's doing something naughty and getting away with it in front of her parents.

I put one of them over my nose and thought, "This is so attractive." It was just a good thing that it was dark.

And the breath that sustains life entered my body. And yay, though I walk in stuffiness during the day, I breathe and dream at night.

And Dale has the covers back.

* * * * * * * * * *
If one should ever decide to have Clint Miller and group build you a home, make sure that you have different plumbers than their contracted plumbers check out your hot water tank and their connections. We discovered the just plain wrong connections when the hot water tank sprang a leak. That leak lead to the dumbfounded discovery of the plumbers connecting the cold water to the hot connection of the tank and the hot water to the cold connection to the tank. The knob that shuts off the water to and from the tank turned for eternity without shutting anything off. I realize that this has been eight years and anything can happen to that knob in eight years, but the wrong pipes? The other thing that ticks me off is that the inspector who inspected the plumbing signed off on it.

Once the new water tank was installed, we could tell the difference right away. It used to be that I'd have to fill our bathtub almost halfway with whatever came out of the hot spiggot, wait 30-45 minutes and then finish filling if I wanted an almost-hot bath. NOW, I can fill the whole thing all in one shot and have a glorious too-hot-to-handle-it bath.

SO.

IF you should have C.M. build you a home, or if you buy a C.M.-built house, have another plumber come out--it'll be well worth the expense. You might want to get an independent inspector, as well; I wish we had.

They used Armstrong Plumbing.

7.12.2007

Chicken Dance

I will never eat regular chicken leftovers again, just like I won't be regular chicken again if it doesn't tell that it hasn't been shot full of hormones. I had my leftover chicken-hypothesis breast for my second meal of the day, and it was just as good as it was fresh. No funky taste, no foul (pun, haha) smell, just blessed white meat.

No-Lid Chicken
You need a whole chicken (filled with hormones or not)
You need a roasting pan
You do not need the roasting pan lid
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Spray the roasting pan with non-stick cooking oil
Place the whole chicken into the pan
Cook for approximately 2 hours

It should come out very juicy and tender with golden skin. Do not remove the skin prior to cooking--that's what keeps it juicy and tender and is the "lid."

* * * * * * * * *
Blue Angels
The Blue Angels will be here this weekend for a show at McConnell, and so they were practicing (I think) today and yesterday. We have the best spot to watch the Angels from our back deck since they usually fly right over our house and backyard (awesome).

Today, I hear more airplane noise than I'm used to, and I notice it's a blue jet. I point out the window and holler to Emily, "The Blue Angels are here!"

She looked at me, her eyes crinkled, and she was obviously very confused. She hesitated for a moment, and later she told me that when I told her about the Blue Angels, she thought that I mean that there were angels from heaven here who were blue. I guess she didn't really want to see anything quite that up close and personal from heaven, yet, so she hesitated. After she realized what they were, she was very excited about watching them out of our kitchen window.

7.11.2007

Chicken, the Pope, and Emily's now a Fish

Chicken.
I have a theory. I have always hated the taste of leftover chicken--hated it so much that I've had to plug my nose and force it down, or cover it with something else that had stronger flavor to it, like garlic, onion. And also have something repulsive-smelling next to me, but not AS repulsive as the chicken, like dirty socks worn while I've mown the lawn and I've stepped in something ... bad.

Well, we decided to have company over for dinner one night, and I was going to fix NLC, which is No-Lid Chicken (an inside joke). I bought it at Wal-Mart, I cooked it. We ate it. It was delicious and juicy. The next day, I needed something to eat protein-wise, and I needed something fast, and protein powder wasn't going to cut it. I sighed. The only thing would be the chicken I saved. I save it for the rest of the family, but not me. I had to have something. I don't hold my nose this time, but I did decide to eat it pretty fast. I didn't gag, and I certainly didn't spit it back out. In fact, it was almost as enjoyable as it was the previous night.

It hit me later that the bad taste I taste (redundant, I know) was that I bought a no-hormones-raised chicken. It was "All Natural." Just cut off the head and feet, pluck the feathers and put it in some water, wrap it up in a chicken condom, slabel it (short for slap a label on it) and let me have it. I'm putting my hypothesis to work. I bought some of the same type of chicken, and I grilled it this morning. I ate half of it already for one of my meals and TOMORROW, I'll try out the second half.

Emily's a Fish
Emily's been taking swim lessons for about two months now. She had been afraid for the longest time to put her head under the water. She finally did it two days ago and she didn't want to stop. In fact, she insisted I fill up the bathtub later so that she could show her daddy that she could really do it. Then the next day after that, she was playing in the wading section and she was kicking, putting her head in, but holding onto the ground of the pool. I told her to stretch out her arms when she did that.

"Okaaaay," she said, like she was going to be doing something conspiratorial.

When she came out of the water after having FLOATed, the look on her face was priceless. Her little mouth was twirled in an O and I knew that she was about to ask me if I had just seen what she had done. I told her to do it again, after I high-fived her.

I signed her up for two more weeks of lessons so that I could teach her more stuff. ;)

The Pope
All I have to say is that the Pope may want to watch what he says about who's a Christian and who isn't. Yikes! Scary territory there. From CNN.com:
//www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/07/10/pope.churches.reut/index.html?iref=newssearch

and Kansas.com

//www.kansas.com/502/story/118597.html

Especially interesting from the above link was: "Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation." I thought Jesus was the only true path to salvation.

He's calling a lot of people who are Christian not Christian, and I thought that was a huge no-no.

7.05.2007

Stuff Outta My Head

I made the best non-traditional breakfast this morning, at least, I thought it was great in my own mouth. I made a pancake batter of Eggbeater type stuff and fat free cottage cheese. I added minced garlic and oregano. I cooked those like pancakes. Once those were done, I put them on a cookie sheet and put sliced tomatoes and low-fat romano cheese with a smab of olive oil. Broiled it for about five minutes. GREAT breakfast for pizza-holics like me. I could survive on this stuff forever.

Workouts are going great. A co-worker ended up two ellipticals down from me, and when I noticed him, he told me that I "was sure tearing it up." Later as I was getting Em from her activity, the custodian said, "You sure were tearin' it up on that machine up there!" The music on my MP3 player really helps me. I start out with Chris Daughtry's "What I Want," then INSX "Pretty Vegas," Jet's "Cold Harde Bitch," then to Kelly Clarkson's hits. By the time I'm finished with all of this line-up, the machine is spanked, and I'm sweating worse than Richard Simmons. I really used to hate cardio, but if I don't get my fix in now, I'm really grouchier than I used to be.

To Al Gore III: Way to go being green.

6.25.2007

I don't know what I was going to say.

But it was something really good.

I was kind of sad this morning. I hate going to the dentist, and this morning I had to drag not only myself, but Emily, too. The last time I went for the regular check up much like this morning's, I was told that I had to get a crown. So, I got the crown. Only the hygienist didn't do something right and the glue pretty much closed the gap between the crown and the tooth next to it. The dentist had to do some heavy-duty work to work a gap back in just so I could floss. He yanked my head all to pieces, and I remember thinking that I'd happily give up flossing if that would make him stop yanking; I swear he was going to slice my head in two with that stupid piece of string.

I am happy to report that not only did Emily get to have her teeth cleaned and checked out without mom, but that we are both cavity free.

***************

I was kind of sad this morning. My normal routine was completely blown (see above), and I'm such a creature of habit and schedules. Plus, I kind of felt icky. So, I finished the novel I was reading, watched part of Season 3 of Celebrity Fit Club--it's the one with Gunnar Nelson who was seemingly skinny when he came on the show, replacing Jeff Conaway who had gone into rehab. I absolutely adored Nelson and everytime Gunnar appeared, I'd sing, "I can't live without your love and affection ...." I have that TAPE somewhere downstairs along with all of my other 80's music (Sharon, I should suggest that to your 80's spandex guy).

Anyway, I think that I'm going to set up a Celebrity Fit Club in my laundry room. That's where my scale is. I'm going to pretend it lights up when I step on it, and then I'm going to have pictures of Harvey Walden, Linda Papadopoulos and Dr. Ian lined up on the backsplash of the folding table, which coincidentally, happens to be right in front of the scale. I'd be facing the pictures as I weighed. Dr. Ian is going to tell me what a fantastic job I've done and ask me what my secret is; Linda is going ask me how the psychological impact of weighing is and how I can have help in not fixating on a number, and Harvey can tell me anything he wants. No, really, he will tell me that I'll need to lose four more pounds by next weigh-in and to "move your *ss."

6.23.2007

Horse Anatomy

For her last birthday Emily received a couple of plastic horses with the correct anatomical features. This was an accident, the buyer not realizing just how "real" the horse figurines really were.

Today, Emily was playing with them during her rest/play time (which is really Mom's rest time in disguise). She came down after cleaning up and said, "This one's a boy and this one's a girl." I did not ask how she knew that, but like Paula Abdul, I let it be what it was and kept my mouth shut. Then, Emily says, "And I don't know how the babies get the milk from their mommies if they don't have a spout like this one."

Okay, if you were me, what would you say? Holy spout, Batman. I hid my mouth behind my cup and kept repeating it in my head so I'd remember.

***************
On the exercise front:

Emily had swim lessons and gymnastics today. During swim, I sat and talked to another kid's mom. The kid had been in Emily's same kindergarten class, and then is going to the public school the same as Emily, too. She's such the leader. During the hour-long gymnastics' class, I just had the voices in my own head to listen to while I was on the elliptical trainer. It seems that the water bottle I packed to go with Em's snack between sessions was a leaky little sucker and the insides of my bag were soaked. When I took everything out, there was a puddle of water at the bottom of the gymbag, including the MP3 player. I carried it around with me while watching Emily swim, then let it dry at the table during our snack, and then for the moment of truth, I try turning it on and nothing happens.

God bless America! (because I don't say the other naughty part that many people say.)

I get it home and plug it in with the charger, and it took several seconds for the player to come on, but it did come on. My husband suggested I let it sit out in the sun for awhile to let it dry out completely. I am happy to report that 1.) the player is fine; 2.) Emily didn't cry at gymnastics this time, and 3.) the voices in my head really aren't that weird, afterall. They told me that if I didn't lose weight with all of this extra cardio I'm doing, that there is something wrong with me, and it's not them.

6.21.2007

Pink

My husband walked into the newly-coated bedroom and said, "I feel like I've fallen into a bottle of Pepto Bismal."

I smiled and said, "Yep." It's a great color--great for girls and I told him that if he were a girl for most of his life, that he'd love the color.

It's too bad that the encouragement I get comes from my own brain.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Today was supposed to be a day off. Apparently I don't understand that concept as I'm mowing the very large lawn, spraying for weeds and wayward grass, getting the gas can for the mower refilled, planing flowers and then painting the Pepto Bismal room. Tomorrow I'm back at it with the planned exercising, like today was a planned off day. Ha. Next time I take a day off, I really need to mean it.

6.20.2007

Wimpy Wednesday

Holy crap, I am so tired. My calves are killing me from the step class from yesterday and today there was much gnashing of teeth during my PHAT class. If that instructore told me to pulse my abs one more time, I was going to show her a pulse up close and personal. My abs and hips were screaming for me to stop, and once in awhile I did, but got right back into it to burn them up some more. Wish I had my Angry Kelly Clarkson music to egg me on during this class, and thank goodness it was only a half-hour class. As if that wasn't enough, I smoked my legs even more afterwards with leg presses, leg extensions and ham curls. I was even throwing insults at myself to stop the madness.

It was great. Can't wait to do it again next week.

Tomorrow's my planned day off, and I'll be back into it with a body design class for more torture on Friday.

And after all that, I came home, mowed the lawn and then sprayed for weeds. Oh, and I painted a room. Actually, I'm only half done, so it's half pink (new color) and half blue (old color).

6.19.2007

Tuesday Talk

I've been having the darndest time writing lately. I am not lacking in ideas, so I guess I have been doing some sort of writing in my brain. I just wish I had a tape recorder up there so I could recall easily all of these terrific pieces of literature I've been coming up with.

For now, I'll just stick with the Shout Outs:

To Nancy P: Are you working out yet? Are you inspired? I'm hitting the cardio pretty heavy and I can feel a huge difference in my pants--I think it's my butt. Hehe. I've been having fun at the Y - M - C - A (I hear the music in my head, too) taking all sorts of classes that I've been scared of taking before. I'm empowered, and I may turn into a cardio junkie. I've done Body Design, PHAT Camp (Pretty Hips And Thighs), Step, and Boxing so far.

To The Good Anonymous Commenters: Thanks for your comments and encouragement! It's such a nice gift to receive just a line or two of what you all have posted.

To the Not-So-Nice Anonymous Commenters: You kind of remind me of Dustin Diamond from Celebrity Fit Club. You accuse someone of something, back off, and then wait for the explosion. It's very interesting behavior to watch. Thank you for allowing me to see this behavior (though very mild) on my own personal blog, too. (View Anonymous Comment and my response.) Or perhaps I've read the comment wrong. I'm very capable of doing that, too.

To My Dog: What up, Dog?

Okay, that's it. I'm going to see if I can write my story ideas down somewhere rather than leave it up to chance that I'll remember it.

5.28.2007

RO v. EH

I finished watching Ro's weblog from May 26th, which is the Saturday after she quite The View and after the now-infamous fight. You could see the weblog here:

http://www.rosie.com/blog/2007/05

Scroll down to "No Ja-Hero." I warn you, it's a little mundane (just like my words can be, I'm sure). Ro doesn't really address the Hasselbeck stuff until almost smack-dab in the middle of the entry where she says that she and EH have exchanged emails briefly and that Ro doesn't really plan on talking to EH any further. If I were Elizabeth, I'd take that as a blessing. But, I don't really like Ro. I used to. I thought she was hysterical as a comedien, and I suppose when she took her mainstream funniness to the political side, I lost interest. And in this "debate" between the two women, I believe it was very smart of EH to not support Ro. When Rosie comments about how the media spins them as "Big Fat Lesbian Loud Rosie attacks Innocent Pure Christian Elizabeth," it puts El at arm's length again. It also alienates people like me who really do want to like Rosie (I have the inane need to want to find something good in everyone), but with comments and defenses like this, I just don't. But, she's not really into winning people over at this stage of the game. El should have told Ro that she would talk to her in private about the matter rather than going head-to-head with Ro. Besides, El doesn't need her cortisol levels so high while pregnant.

Anyway, my point is, if I had something or implied something stupid, MY friends would have probably asked, "What are you thinking???" in private. IF they agreed with me after I responded with whatever I responded with, they'd probably say okay, and leave me with my own opinions. They may even support me out loud and say that "Tracy thinks such and such." If they didn't agree with me, they'd probably say that they've known for a long time that I was a nut case. Now they'd have proof. Ro says that she's defended El for whatever reasons in the past, but Ro is part of whatever group who likes to tear El a new one for her beliefs.

You can see part of the Great Episode here on Youtube.com:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uE_l8QYAWZM&mode=related&search=

It looks like it's gotten close to 2 million hits.

5.19.2007

Ending the School Year

I am so proud of my little freshman buggers. They have done an awesome job on this last project, and they're having a blast. I had them create board games for The Odyssey, and they had to include Ancient Greek gods, goddesses, monsters and heroes, at least 25 questions and answers included somehow in their game, as well as the elements and characters from The Odyssey. The kids were really creative! Several made Monopoly-like board games, where others created games totally from their own imagination. I had each group go around the room and play each others' games for about 20-25 minutes and then fill out a critique form on the game to help make the design or game play better. Many are accepting the grades their peers are giving them (B's and C's) while others aren't happy and are reworking their games to try to get A's. I told them that their peers were assigning the grades, and I'd take the average of their peers grading for their final game grade.

The kids also think it's great that we have "game day" right before their Odyssey test.

Nutrition has been spot on despite the hurdles. Dale made brownies last night to take to a game-party. He wanted to know if I wanted one.

Nope.

Later that night he asked if I wanted any ice cream--he was hungry for that--only he said, "How hard do I need to twist your arm for ice cream." I think he was thinking that I'd say something like, "Oh, you had me at cream."

I replied instead, "HARD."

I had a protein brownie with Ultra Size instead.

YAY ME.

I had nothing but a Diet Coke at the game party, and when I went out to eat twice this week, I had spinach salads with grilled chicken. I think going out to eat was the toughest, but I persevered with a plan and followed through with it.

And the plan has resulted in me feeling much better energy-wise and clothing-wise. I still haven't weighed myself, but I did have Dale take my before pics last week. I'll have him do that every two weeks so I can have a visuals (as icky as that may be). When I

5.11.2007

Takin' a Day

I am taking a day off from school today. Part of the day is for a Mother's Day tea at Emily's school and another part is so we can go get our hair "done." We're both getting our hair wolloped for the summer, and I can't wait to get this mess off of my shoulders. Em's just tired of the tangles, so she'll be sporting a new bob for the summer.

I have warned my freshmen that if the substitute has to write down anyone's names for acting bad, that they will have to deal with me and their administrator when I return. I hope I put the Fear of All That is Mean Education into them, because substitutes don't deserve that crap. And what else is crappy is our 2007 senior class. The prank (and I realize not EVERY kid in the class of 2007 deserves to be in my You Are Crap category) was pulled off by the graduating class of 2007. Last year, the prank was baby oil in the main intersection of the school. 2006 people were then going to stage a fight to get administrators, teachers and security running then sliding to the fight. Thank goodness no one broke any bones! If I remember right, someone tipped off administration. THIS year, the prank was toilet papering the trees around the school, egging the school and then breaking some windows of the school. Some school spirit, huh? Perhaps evil spirit, one could say. Whoever did it, prank or not, should be arrested for vandalism, and then if caught before next week's ceremony, made to sit it out.

5.10.2007

Stuff

Emily turned six on Tuesday, and I (but I'm supposed to say "we) bought her a ballerina outfit with a ballerina necklace. Unfortunately, when she tries to dance, she's more clompsome than graceful. It doesn't matter, though. I'll have the video to bribe her when she's a teenager.

5.08.2007

Are we still here?

Kansas has been whacked pretty hard by spring weather this year. Greensburg is barely on the map anymore and several twisters landed a couple days/nights ago in surrounding counties. Tornado siren malfunctions kept the hubby and I up most of the night, and last night, the electricity went out. We knew it was back on when we heard a crisp SNAP and "Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh ... " Emily's little bedside lamp automatically started with the fresh surge of current into it. Almost like a Pooh Poltergeist.

I leaped out of bed before too much awake-damage was done, and there was Em, looking quite startled.

I explained as best as I could at 2:30 a.m. why I had to suddenly turn off her lamp. She in turn wanted to snuggle. I rubbed her back and gave her "Wendy," a giant stuffed girl Grandma Reed had given her eons ago.

Another night of sleeplessness for me when I finally fell asleep somewhere in the 3-3:30 range. Alarm off at 4:00 a.m. Alarm turned off at 4:00.01 a.m.

I feel bad, but probably not nearly as bad as those folks in Greensburg who have completely different places to lay their heads. So, whatever I've/we've gone through, I have to be thankful--and I'll catch up on sleep some other time.

4.01.2007

Sex Lives of the Roman Emperors

The last day of spring break vacation and the whole thing barely seemed like vacation at all. Dale worked, and I played stay-at-home mom. I did the mom thing: laundry, vacuuming, food, taking care of every need of the child who seemed directly attached to my hip bone. And of course it rained almost the entire time.

My husband, bless his heart, had vacation the following week (he goes back to work tomorrow). On my last day, he tells me that he and Em will do something and I can have an afternoon to myself.

ShutUP!

They left the house. I stood in the middle of the living room and thought, "What is it that I do on my own, anyway?"

I finished a movie I had started during naptime. I read two paragraphs in a book; whereas, before with The Child, I'd only have made it through two sentences before hearing, "Mama, look at this," or "Mama, see what I did."

I went to the protein powder store.

And then I went to Barnes and Noble. I didn't feel the rush that I usually felt when shopping there. I mean, what's the point? It would take me two years or so to read a book two sentences at a time. I've had a new Stephen King book since Christmas and I think I'm only on page 25. Absurd! But as I headed out the store and into the bargain book section, a title struck me: Sex Lives of the Roman Emperors. You should have been in my head!

What a curiosity!

If I pick up that book, will one of my students suddenly be here. They'll see the book, assume I'm reading it and I'll never hear the end of it.

If I pick up that book, do I really want to know about the sex life of an emperor?

If I pick up that book, will I find out if someone really made that statue that's pictured on the cover?

Oh, look, there's a Knitting for Dummies right over there.

Crap. I don't need to know anything. School starts tomorrow.

That's the synopsis of the most important junk that was going through my head. Intriguing, I know. The week back at school was fine, except for dealing with the Monday blues. Kids were angry that we actually had school on a Monday.

3.14.2007

Oh the insanity

So it's essay week for us in freshman English class, and everyone has since forgotten how to write. Those who haven't forgotten how to write have forgotten how to bring a writing untensil. Those who haven't forgotten how to write, haven't forgotten how to bring a pen or pencil have forgotten how to get out their materials and just sit and stare at me as if I just asked them to smell my toes.

I haven't.

I would, though, if it would get them to move.

In light of the information above, a miracle would seemingly need to take place to get kids in high school to reach state standards. We've been talking about and practicing and discussing thesis statements, and it's not like we've not ever written essays before March, because we certainly have. We've even discussed thesis statements before, too. So today, after they've written their thesis statements during the last class period, I simply state that I would like their thesis statements to be at the end of their introduction.

They looked at me as if I had just spoken to them in alien-ese. The Mars variety, not a bordering country.

I said it differently: "Your thesis statements should be the last sentence of your first paragraph."

My mistake--I used "first" and "last" in the same sentence. They didn't get that one, either.

I said a third time, pointing to each student's paper, "This (pointing to the thesis statement) needs to go HERE (now sweeping my finger dramatically down to the end of their introductory paragraphs)."

Eureka, we have a winner!

Many of them had chosen to write on the topic of using cell phones for texting during class periods, arguing that it didn't interfere with education. This is an age where they get all of their information from MySpace.com or YouTube.com at lightning speeds. Perhaps if those web sites had academic standards, students could attain them.

2.11.2007

Zig-Zagging--whew, getting dizzy here.

When all else failed with the weight loss "issue," I have decided to get extremely serious. Not that I wasn't serious before, because I--though am very funny--am also very serious.

I raised that a notch last week.

I read Jillian Michaels book entitled Winning by Losing. She's the lady who bullied a team to lose a billion pounds on The Biggest Loser. And it's just her kind of bullying that I like. In her book she has recipes for desserts, breakfasts and main meals, as well as twelve weeks' worth of circuit-training workouts. I finished the first week of the workouts, and I loved it. On the eating side of things, I always had the excuse that I didn't have time to log in my foods (I use DietPower) and that I would get days behind and I wouldn't write down anything and I wouldn't keep track of what I ate, yadda yadda yadda and blah blah blah. I really don't have time to write down my foods during the school day, but I am making time, and no matter what those ladies at church say, I am important. And in so doing, I have figured out my Active Metabolic Rate (AMR as opposed to BMR) and have come up with this list of calories:

Monday: 1600 calories
Tuesday: 1400 calories
Wednesday: 1500 calories
Thursday: 1200 calories
Friday: 1600 calories
Saturday: 1800 calories
Sunday: 1200 calories
=10,300 calories per week

This amount of calories SHOULD have me losing 1 - 1.5 pounds per week. My AMR includes my activity level and to maintain my weight, I should be eating 2,223 calories per day. We'll see. I'm always up for experimentation. (Flexibility and Experimentation should have been my middle names). {Thanks a lot, Mother.} :p)

I am also checking out whether I am a fast oxidizer, slow oxidizer or a balanced oxidizer. If I'm balanced (oh, please let it be so!), then I need proteins, fats and complex carbs at every meal and more on the carbs than protein. After a week, I don't feel bloated, pig-like or as tired, so this is great so far.

*** *** ***

TEACHERS: Check out https://www.chompchomp.com for grammar activities that kids (middle school and high school) can do online at his or her own pace. Activities include comma splices, run-on sentences (the site calls them fused sentences), subject-verb agreement, etc.

2.03.2007

I don't do singing

I've never been one of those people who like to sing. And you have to be really, really good for me to want to listen to someone else sing. Even when Emily was a baby, I tried my hand at singing to her, but I thought it might hurt her fragile eardrums, so I quit after "bye" in Rockabye Baby.

Thursday night Emily came down with a fever. Her little eyes glassed over and she just dragged. I sent her off to bed early and laid beside her waiting for her to either fall asleep or waited until Dale came home from the "barber shop." (That's a story for later). I kept thinking about what other moms would do in this situation. Many would want to calm their sick child by singing to them. I rubbed Emily's back, I kissed her hot cheek. And then I sang the only song I could think of:

My baloney has a first name, it's

Only I didn't get that far.

Emily shook her head and said, "No, mama."

"Okay," I replied.

Whew. Perhaps in another five years, I'll try again.

1.23.2007

From an email I received today:

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't teach."

To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest What do you make?"
Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?" (she paused for a second, then began........)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental..."

"You want to know what I make?" (she paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)

"I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions. I teach them to write and then I make them write. I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math. I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, because we live in the United Sates of America. And finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life".

(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued) "Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant... You want to know what I make? I make a Difference! What do you make?"

1.13.2007

This Slang Ain't For Sissies

The slang of the 80's--my slang--was pretty simple:

Rad: great, all right
Totally: I understand you, man. I get it. Or, I'm right there with ya.
Gag-Me-With-A-Spoon: (you can probably surmise)--very gross--I cannot even imagine the grossness of it because it is so gross.
As If: I would rather not, thank you
Dude: The opposite of Dork--someone who is cool.
Awesome: Extremely good
Bitchin': Excellent
Chill Pill or Chill: You need to relax or to relax
Fer Sure!: Absolutely I want to meet Simon LeBon--fer sure! Sometimes preceded by "like."
Cool Beans: Very nice
Heinous: Awful
McFly: If you're called this, you've just done something stupid.
Don't Have a Cow: Another "relax" term
Gnarly: Excellent
That's the ticket!: You've got that correct
Gross me out: Icky
Trippendicular: Something that is totally awesome.

Innocent, right? The slang of today's time doesn't even come close to being innocent, but at least there's a dictionary to help us old people out: www.urbandictionary.com. Please note, that this web site is not for the faint of heart. And if you're offended at the F-word, the Sh*t word or worse, you should not visit, and then you can be blisfully unaware of what the kids are saying around you. If you knew, you'd probably faint dead away, and if you are like me, I became very hostile when I heard one of my students trying to get attention by saying "Slumber Party" over and over while the kid next to him kept whispering to him to just shut up. The kid should have shut up, because I looked it up (the behavior was too suspicious), immediately called his mama--although I was too shocked and embarrassed to tell her the exact meaning--then I alerted the administration. The shear shock of it made me very angry, especially since the girls in the room probably knew what the term meant before I did. If you dare to look it up, I can tell you that it is not totally rad, nor is it bitchin', fer sure, but it is totally heinous.

1.02.2007

My Muskles Are Killin' Me!

What a great feeling to know that I kicked some butt in the (home) gym yesterday morning. Today was a cardio day, and I kicked less butt, but I did kick some. I'm going to go for an afternoon session on the elliptical for some short bursts, too.

***

Dale was supposed to work until 6 p.m. last night, so at about 2:45, I pack up Em and head to G & G Reed's house. We take our time with our visit, and my dad even suggested I go shopping with my mom and he'd watch the kid. Emily and I get home around 5:45 and Dale's car is in the garage. I try to be flexible with change, but I had to dinner to fix, yet and now I'd be on double time since I had planned on not having it ready until 6:30...blah blah blah. The idea of dinner totally escaped me as soon as I stepped through the door.

When you enter your home, it's supposed to be one of relief and not a place that is frigid and cold.

Now I speak literally and not figuratively. I opened the door and stepped from a cold garage into my home the refrigerator. Dale was sitting on the couch watching Trading Space and the house was a friggin' ice box. He had all the windows open in the basement and a window open in the family to "whisk the smell right out of the house."

He knows how I feel about being cold, and I'm sure the fact that I haven't been warm since October didn't cross his mind. He commenced a mild-mannered chat about how our days were, and I cut him off and said, "Can we close the windows now?" He seemed mildly amused that I didn't see the genius in his plan to "whisk the smell right out"; the smell being the polyurethane. Either I was too high on fumes to even notice it, or --I was too high on fumes to notice it anymore.

Why can't we just be N o R m a L ????

1.01.2007

Happy New Year!

So far my day has laughably been about a little girl bouncing from one couch to the other and me saying,

"Do you need to go potty?"

We ask this of her because Emily would rather spend her time trying to wrap one leg around the other to cut off whatever flow she is about to feel rather than just going to the dang bathroom. And it wouldn't be so bad, really, except when she's trying to wrap herself, her rate of speech seems to triple, and it's like she's going to spin off somewhere into space.

Bounce - Bounce - Wrap - Bounce - Zweeeeeeeeee!

"Mama, stay there, I have to go potty."

"Really?"

***

I've taken the last two weeks off of weights and have just done cardio only. This morning, I did a full upper body workout and it was great feeling my muscles ache again. I had to lower my weight amounts, but not by much, and it was still a good workout. Tomorrow is cardio and Wednesday is lower body. Eating is going great, too, despite the holidays. I'm back into the full swing, am switching up some meals and am going to try to stay in the 1500 calorie range for a couple of weeks. I'll then up it to 1700 and then down again.

***

Last year, my resolution was to make no resolution. I missed being involved in the fun of it, so this year, I'm jumping in to the fray.

1.) I'm going to drink more beer.

Just kidding.

1.) I'm going to see more movies with my dad.
2.) I'm going to lose more fat.
3.) I want to run a 5k
4.) I am going to say no more often (already started that yesterday)
5.) I am going make the students do more work, rather than me.

My original #1 resolution sounds pretty good now, though. I think I want that one back.