It’s Friday the 13th

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I should have known never to plan a birthday sleepover on Friday the 13th. Let’s just say it didn’t go well. I took 6 ten-year-olds and my younger daughter to see Cinderella in the IMAX theater. About halfway through, my daughter told me she didn’t feel well. Then she threw up on the way to the bathroom.

She didn’t want me to tell her friends until the movie was over, but in the meantime I was texting all the moms that the sleepover needed to be canceled. My poor daughter. She was crying and so worried her friends would be upset, but she has some super sweet friends. I’m praying she’s not up all night throwing up. She’s been asleep since minutes after we got home.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog, and truth be told, I’ve been a bit depressed. I set my sights on getting a puppy and that took over my life for about two weeks. Adopting a rescue dog is no joke! It took over a week for us to get approved for a dog…well, the dog I wanted. The local rescues approved us quickly but they didn’t have what I was looking for.

I wanted a fluffy German Shepherd mix. I applied for a puppy in a Texas German Shepherd rescue. His pictures weren’t great, but there was just something about him. I felt like he was the one. We got the approval for him over a week after we applied. They called references, our vet, did a criminal background check.

Anyway on February 28th we found out that we were approved to adopt the puppy (pictured above) who has named Benson at the rescue. We spent the next three nights in family meetings discussing his name. No one could agree on anything. All our pets are named after foods so we wanted to keep that theme.

The kids came up with Root beer, Colby (cheese), Chip, and I liked Schnitzel. Schnitzel was immediately shot down. After days of negotiations I felt like we needed to find a new choice and I was driving by a Dunkin Donuts (if you don’t live in the northeast, it’s a huge donut and coffee chain). It hit me…Dunkin is a great name and it’s still a donut!

So they all agreed and we hoped to get him by the middle of the month. Because he had to be neutered we needs to wait a week for the transport to be scheduled. Then they said it would be March 18th. Ok, I could work with that. Then they emailed that the transport on the 18th was canceled and I lost it. I don’t want to miss the puppy stage.

Long story short, he is arriving in CT on March 28th. I wasn’t thrilled, but I can’t do anything to change it. The vet he saw in Texas pushed back his age three weeks making him ineligible for transport. I certainly don’t want to put him in a situation to get sick, but the waiting is killing me.

I’ve second guessed getting him about 100 times. I want a puppy, but I’ve never gotten a dog online. You don’t really know what he looks like or anything. I mean he looks cute in the picture, but what if he’s not what I was dreaming of?

I think focusing on the puppy has taken the true focus off what’s been bothering me. I know I’ve mentioned this before but I’m turning 43, the age that my mom was when she died. As it gets closer to March 30th, I’m falling further into a funk. It’s just a very weird feeling. I know the 30th will not be an easy day, but the fact that we will have Dunkin will help me focus on the positive.

My rheumatoid arthritis has been tough. This winter has been so cold and it’s like once my hands are that cold, nothing warms them up. I’ve woke up the last few mornings with swollen hands and what looks like a lipstick mark in different spots. The first day I saw it I tried to rub it off because it truly looks like a lipstick stain. It didn’t come off. Then the next day it was in a different spot. Today’s was large enough that it concerned my husband. He took a picture of it to show my doctor.

I am thoroughly disgusted with the way I look. I think that’s definitely adding to the depression. I look hideous and I don’t fit in anything. I am getting back to my Ideal Shape products and did well today. I definitely like the chocolate shakes better than the vanilla, which surprises me. Usually I like a vanilla shake with added fruit. This one smells like Play Dough to me, HAHA!

I am also forcing myself to exercise every day. It’s tough on the high pain days, and on those days I’ll just do abs or something small. If my hands are swollen, holding weights isn’t an option.

Once the puppy comes, I will be walking more…and hopefully by then it will be warmer.

I’ve also had some pretty horrific migraines in the past three weeks. I’m not sure what that’s about, but it has been awful. I use my prescription migraine medicine, Maxalt, so sparingly because even the generic is darn expensive (with insurance). I had to take three in the past three weeks. Usually I can fight it off with Excedrin, but these weren’t going away.

Anyway, I know that my next two weeks will be emotional and hectic. Right now my main hope is that my daughter doesn’t end up puking all night. She’s been sound asleep for a while. Praying she sleeps it off. Gosh, it’s awful when your kids are sick.

I’ll try and be better about keeping the blog up-to-date. I feel like it’s therapy for me.

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Storm Juno: A Bust!

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Though the winds were howling most of the night, we only got about 7 inches of snow, compared to the 30 they were predicting. I know other areas of CT and MA got hit a lot harder, but luckily we were spared. As I mentioned, as long as we didn’t lose power, I didn’t care how much snow came down.

The kids have a 2 hour delay tomorrow, and I’m glad they opted to decide that tonight rather than wait until the morning. Because there is still a layer of snow and ice on the roads and it’s supposed to be like zero again tonight, it was a good call. The kids get to sleep in a little, so they are pleased.

It wasn’t a great day for my diet again, so tomorrow I’m going to buckle down and re-start. I’m beginning to think I have an addiction to sugar. I was feeling good with out it, and today I had a cookie and a brownie and it became difficult not to go back for more.

I did stick to my small meals and shakes, though. Dinner was chicken sauteed with onions, mushrooms, spinach, and kale in a wine sauce. My portion was decent so it’s a start. I’m making the decision not to get down on myself about it. I workout out tonight and did a lot of arms and abs because my class was snowed out this morning.

Tomorrow I plan to get back on my strict routine, and I’m prepare for the first two days to be tough again with my sugar cravings. I’m ready.

Today was also a little more difficult with my fibromyalgia and/or rheumatoid arthritis. My hands were very stiff, as were my hips and back. I was able to take a nap with everyone home, which is shocking, but the kids were fantastic all day. I know I’m lucky. My older daughter really wanted to bake, so that’s why there were brownies in the first place.

She’s been into cooking lately, I just wish she’d eat more. This sounds hilarious but today she tried a sandwich for the first time. For whatever reason, the kid never ate bread until recently. I have to pack turkey or ham with no bread for her lunch, so this is a huge breakthrough.

I’m ready for bed early tonight, and I can only blame the exhaustion on the fibro. I didn’t do enough today to be tired, but for some reason I really am. I think as a mom, you just get used to ignoring when you feel tired. I don’t know a mom out there that isn’t exhausted, but it is a different type of exhaustion with an autoimmune disease. I can feel my body saying rest now or pay for it later.

I push sometimes when there is something I really want to do, but in this case, I’m just and relaxing. There will be time to finish up things tomorrow (while I’m dealing with being hungry).

I hope you all survived Storm Juno unscathed. I could use some positive vibes for getting back on track with my Ideal Shape tomorrow. I need to do this.

Still Dieting

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It’s day 4 of my Ideal Shape diet. Yesterday was easy, but today I had to go to brunch for a family event. I probably ate more at that one meal than I would have if I were home, but I skipped an extra meal today and only had four. I’m probably not supposed to do that, but I really wasn’t hungry.

Interestingly, what is the most difficult is getting all the water in. That’s a LOT of water, definitely way more than I’m used to drinking. I’m wondering if my headaches will improve a bit with all the extra water. My brother-in-law is a neurologist and he always said dehydration is a major cause for headaches.

I got to go to dinner last night with an old friend and that was good therapy for me. She is one of my oldest friends. We met in kindergarten. I think I needed the therapy session with someone who knew my mother. We went through a lot around the same time, first with my mother being sick and dying of cancer, and then she had her own family issues a year or two later.

When you’ve known someone that long, inevitably you have a lot to reminisce and laugh about. It was a good night.

We are now expecting a huge snow storm. Depending on who you listen to, it’s either starting tomorrow morning or after 5pm. They keep moving it up…and increasing the amount of snow we’re supposed to get. I stopped listening when the amounts were over 18 inches.

I braved the grocery store with all the nuts getting their bread and milk this evening. I like to cook when we’re snowed in, so I bought a roast and snacks for the kids. And, I stocked up on cat treats for the furry children. Heaven forbid they go without.

I don’t mind the snow when I have nowhere to go. It’s kind of nice being snowed in, as long as we don’t lose power. Our electric company has already sent a robocall about power outages. So basically, people are going insane.

Typically we don’t lose power that often. We survived Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickers, but everyone else on our road was out for over a week. We’re on a different power circuit (that’s about as technical as I get). We do have a wood stove, so that will help should we lose power. I have my crocheting, board games, cards, etc. We’ll keep busy.

I just signed up for Netflix. I might possibly be the only person that hasn’t joined until now. I’m hoping that will be something the kids and I can do tomorrow. I was looking all over for the movie West Side Story to show it to my daughter. She’s all into musicals and I know she’d love it.

So that’s the plan for Snowpacalyse. Stay tuned. Hopefully I can survive baking cookies, etc. with my diet!

 

Diet: Day 2

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I survived another day. Some good news to report: the Ideal Shape vanilla shake was just as good as the chocolate one. They actually are quite filling, but today I was hungry around 4pm-5pm. You are supposed to weight 3 hours between meals, and that was a little tough tonight, but I did it. Hopefully it will get easier.

I’ve been chugging water all day as well. On Fridays I tutor a man with autism at an office for a nonprofit that works with people with disabilities. I’ve never left him alone before. I walk him to the bathroom and back, etc. With all the water I’ve been drinking, I had to get him started on a word search just so I could run to pee. I thought my stomach was going to burst.

I did forget to weigh myself today, but I’ll try and remember tomorrow. I need a starting point so I can feel encouraged if I lose some weight.

I got some tough news about my dad today. He is going in for open heart surgery to replace a valve on February 10th. It’s major surgery and he’ll be in ICU for 2 days and then in the hospital for 5 days. My dad isn’t a talker. He’s not Mr. Emotional, so it’s tough. We all got an email from my step-mother, who also included that they found another spot on her lung that they are watching. She had lung cancer a few years ago and went through surgery and chemo.

Sometimes I get upset with my family because I wish we were closer. We see each other. We love each other, but we don’t talk about emotions. My mother was the emotion person. She just exuded love and you never needed her to tell you she loved you because it was obvious, but she told you all the time anyway. I’m like that with my kids. You can never tell them you love them too much.

So I’m stressed about that. If you’re the praying type and you could spare a prayer for my dad, I’d sure appreciate it.

I had my son’s PPT today and it went very well. They are going to test him again for Auditory Processing Disorder. He had testing done three years ago, and at the time, they just told me he didn’t have it and we could rule that out, but the speech pathologist at his middle school explained today that you need to fail in two categories to get diagnosed with APD. My son failed in one category and in a second category he passed by two points, so she had concerns that this might be what’s going on.

Three years ago I researched APD and diagnosed my son with it (I’m a total Internet doctor). So when they completely ruled it out, I went in another direction, which was that he is dyslexic. His father and aunt are dyslexic, and I still think he is, but he is so in line with APD. I’m actually eager for them to do the testing. This means I’ll likely throw myself into another round of APD research.

We’re getting snow tomorrow. It’s getting a lot colder tonight. My hands are a mess. Even after 30 minutes on the heating pad, my fingertips are still ice cold. Raynaud’s is no joke. Hopefully, after I get some cleaning done, I’ll have a relaxing day of going nowhere. I can get back to my crochet blanket or some other craft project.

They haven’t canceled my daughter’s audition class yet, but we did get an email saying not to leave in the morning without checking email to see if the class is on. I’m going to say it’s doubtful. The class is about 45 minutes north of me, and they are slated to get more snow up there.

Ok, I popped an Ambien and I just finished my last “meal” of the day–a gluten free rice cake with peanut butter. I have to say, as long as I can have peanut butter every day, I might just make it through this diet. So far so good.

I’m going to end the blog for the night before I get crazy. If you’re in my neck of the woods, stay safe tomorrow in the sleet and snow.

Diet: Day 1

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I’m still alive…a little hungry, but still alive. My Ideal Shape order came today and I’m pleased to say, so far everything tastes really good. I bought a supplement that goes along with the program and I think tomorrow I will take it in the afternoon because I’m feeling way too much energy for the night. It might be an Ambien night over here.

I was able to stick to the program and drink all the water I was supposed to. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom from all the water, but other than that, it was all good. I was trying to go to bed without a snack, but I was pretty hungry so  had a gluten-free rice cake with peanut butter and so far so good.

I think I’m just excited to get started. Tomorrow I will step on the scale so I can get back to weighing myself weekly. I’m not looking forward to that, but I need to do it.

My migraine from last night lasted well into the day. I actually had to lay down with the TENS unit running to loosen the muscles in my neck. I was able to kick it for the most part, but it definitely affected the majority of my day. I’m trying to get another round of editing done for the last book I have on my plate this week. I believe two of them will come back for another round and final proofing, but it was a good feeling to completely finish a military fiction novel.

I had a tough time getting into the novel at first, as military fiction is not really my thing, but much to my surprise, I love the way it turned out. I really got into the story, and the author is such a fascinating veteran. It’s always a great feeling to finish a book, but I get a little weird about it…like I’m afraid to let it go. No matter how many times I read something, I always want to make little changes. It’s hard to say, “This is done.”

The three novels I was working on this week are all very good. I’m excited for the authors. It’s nice to be a small part of their book. I did let one almost-client know that I didn’t want to work with her…something that isn’t easy for me. I edited a sample chapter and she sent it back saying that she didn’t want to add commas (I added commas) because they are “obsolete.” That was enough to send me over the edge, so I told her I didn’t think we were a good match.

Earlier in my career I would take on any author. I thought I could help anyone, but I’ve learned to not take on people that I don’t get along with on a personal level…and especially not someone who thinks punctuation is becoming obsolete. I almost had to pop a Xanax!

The other thing I accomplished today was doing a resume for my daughter. Did I mention she was 9? I felt a bit like a freaky stage mom, but she wants to try out for a part in The Sound of Music next month and they require a resume and headshot. I’ll be taking pictures this weekend. I’m ridiculously proud of her that she is eager to try out for a part. She is so she and gets so nervous. I just give her so much credit for even trying.

She was pretty disappointed that she didn’t get a role in her school’s fourth grade play, but the thing is, she can really sing, but acting might be a struggle. Since she is so shy, I’m not sure how the audition went. She has a stutter sometimes, and I know that’s always on her mind when she’s speaking in public.

Anyway, she’s taking a class this weekend on how to audition and I’m hoping this helps her. Part of the problem is that she is not a competitive kid…at all. She needs to be a little more competitive if she wants to do plays, but if it doesn’t happen for her this year, she will get there. This is a kid who didn’t talk to anyone in kindergarten for several months because she was so shy. The fact that she’s auditioning at all is so huge. I just want her to get a role so she builds confidence in herself, even a small role.

So she’ll be auditioning for the part of the second youngest Von Trapp kid. Fingers crossed. I’ll probably be puking from nerves when she goes in to audition. Clearly she gets her fear and panic fro her mother.

I have a PPT for my son tomorrow that I’m starting to feel stressed about. If you don’t know what a PPT meeting is, chances are you do not have a child in special education. Two of my children are dyslexic, and tomorrow is my son’s annual meeting. Last time, we had to adjourn the meeting and I came back with my co-worker, who is an advocate. It’s funny, I attend PPTs with clients all the time, but when it’s your own child, it really helps to have someone else there with you that you feel is on your side. It often feels like an us against them thing.

Other than that, there isn’t much else going on here.

I Feel a Migraine Coming

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Those of you who get migraines know exactly what it means to feel one coming. While I know everyone is different, for me it starts with trails of light as I move my eyes. I don’t have the pain at this point, but I know it’s coming.

While we’ve had a little reprieve from the freezing cold weekend, we are getting a little bit of snow tonight and a lot more is coming our way on Saturday. While I can definitely relate my migraines to hormonal changes (period week is hell), I find that the pressure with storms really affects me.

The more I read about and talk to people with fibromyalgia, migraines are a common thread for many of us. While my fibro and rheumatoid arthritis cause me a lot of pain, nothing compares to a migraine. When it’s bad, I can’t function at all. I’m useless as a mom, editor, parent advocate, etc. Just plain useless.

I’m hoping to head this migraine off by taking some Excedrin. I don’t want to pull out the Maxalt just yet. I’m like a crazy person. I feel like I have to hoard those for horrific migraine days. I didn’t take Melatonin earlier tonight because I thought I’d be exhausted. I was up late editing last night, and I worked a full day at the office today. That means no time for a quick nap or a cuddle with my cats.

One new thing I’ve been trying is essential oils. I know there are a lot of great companies out there, but since I have no idea what I need or want, I bought a sample pack on Amazon. No idea even what brand they are, but I love them. I use the peppermint when I have a headache coming on, lemongrass just makes me feel happy, lavender to help sleep, and then there are a few others. I only bring this up because of the migraine issue. If you haven’t tried peppermint oil, it’s worth a shot.

While it doesn’t take the place of medication (sorry, I wish I could say it did), I do feel a noticeable difference when I put it on my temples. A friend just told me about a certain blend that is good for fibro. I’ll report back on that if I buy it. It’s from doTerra, which is supposed to have wonderful products, but they are pricey.

Why I’m a Crab Today

I think I’m crabby because even though it wasn’t a bad day, I just don’t feel great. I hate to complain when I know I have days where my pain level is far worse, but it’s exhausting just not feeling great. I can’t remember the last time I woke up and felt refreshed by a good night’s sleep. Heck, even on a great Ambien night of sleep I still wake up exhausted.

Maybe BLAH is a better word. I’m blah because I haven’t had a day without a freakin ache in so long. I’ve been under my heated blanket since 5:30pm and my fingers are still like icicles (thanks Raynaud’s). So there, that’s tonight’s post. I’m blah and I hate it.

Tomorrow begin my weight loss journey with Ideal Shape. I don’t want to bore anyone, but I feel like if I hold myself accountable on the blog, maybe I won’t eat a bag of cookies or chocolates. I’m actually excited even though I technically started smaller portions and cleaner eating on Monday (we are going to ignore the Pepperidge Farm cookies I scarfed down when I got home from work).

Worst case scenario, tomorrow night I’ll be reporting back that the shakes were horrid. Best case, I’ll like them and feel full between the shakes, snacks, and drinking way more water than usual. They want you to take your weight and divide it in half, and that is the amount of water you should be drinking each day.

Hopefully, I can do that! We’ll see. I just want this extra weight off in time for summer.

Oh and to finish up, I was invited by the women who work at the pediatrician’s office to see 50 Shades of Grey. What the hell was I thinking when I said yes. I didn’t even make it a quarter of the way through the book…they lost me at “butt plug” and the whole contract thing. I know I said I was making an effort to be more social, and they are all super nice, but dear lord…I wasn’t planning on seeing that one. Should be interesting. I’m either going to cancel for fear of not knowing anyone, or pop a half a Xanax and force myself to go!

Before I admit that the half an Ambien is kicking in, I just wanted to say hello and thank you for all the new blog followers. Thank you Goddess Simmons Drew for sharing the blog on your FB group. Connecting with people that understand what it’s like to have an autoimmune disease and the crazy roller coaster it is, has made a world of difference to me. We’re not alone.

A Day of Ups and Downs

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If you read my post from last night, you know I was up late waiting for my eBay auction to end. I’m happy to say that I’m the proud owner of a sushi chef nutcracker (pictured above). So, my day started out on a high note.

My kids religion class was canceled this morning because the roads were very icy here in CT. People were posting on Facebook all day about accidents in town and nearby, so my plan was to stay in our jammies and watch television. My kids got a huge kick out of the Game Show Network. It was actually a really fun few hours until it got awkward when the questions on Family Feud included things like, “Name something that would be surprising for your husband to bring to bed on your honeymoon?”

Yep! When I yelled out “book” the kids all wanted to know why. I opted not to seize the moment and discuss what a man and a woman usually do in bed on their honeymoon.

My girls really wanted to go see Into the Woods this evening. I’ve been going back and forth about it because some people have said it’s too scary (they are almost 8 and almost 10). Others have said that the graphic stuff isn’t shown, so it would be fine. I don’t think they’ll pick up on the sexual things from the wolf (another reason not to prolong our Family Feud conversation), but I don’t want to pay all that money and have to leave because my youngest daughter is too scared.

When I finally got the urge to shower today, I went downstairs to grab something and water was pouring into my finished basement from two different spots. Last night we thought a bit of water was coming in from a pipe, but today it was clear that Mother Nature was to blame.

As I freaked out running back and forth to the two spots with the shop vac, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to keep that up for very long. My husband finally got home and began to build a trench leading the water from the crazy ice and rain away from the house.

Within about 30 minutes, the water slowed way down and it’s all but stopped now. It wasn’t what I planned on doing today, and it pretty much sucked. Despite sucking for the obvious reasons, add to that being on my hands and knees with the shop vac and that sent my joints into complete hell and subsequently canceled our movie plans. Actually, we also heard the roads still weren’t great, so that helped make my mind up to take the kids tomorrow. Praying that’s the right decision.

I’ve been researching weight loss plans to deal with the weight issues that having been, well, weighing me down for a while now. I need something that takes a lot of the guesswork out. I tried Take Shape for Life last year and I actually liked some of the food, but I didn’t do so well. I don’t know what to attribute my failure to. I think after the really tough first week and only losing three pounds, I was frustrated. People in the online support group were reporting 7-10lbs gone and I had a measly 3.

Anyway, I think I’m going to try another program that involves two shakes (or meal bars) per day and a healthy meal. They actually want you to eat every three hours. So what’s going to be different this time? I really wish I could answer that. The drive is there. I need to suck it up and do it. The programs I looked at included Ideal Shape, Shakeology, Isagenix (which a friend has been trying to get me to do) and 310.

Based on the ratings and the prices, I chose Ideal Shape. I’m going to give it my best shot. I hope to be able to order it on Tuesday. Up until yesterday I had my heart set on Isagenix. Two friends had great results, but it’s about $500 if I include the snack I’d need to get through the cleanse days. It also didn’t get rated as high as Ideal Shape in some categories.

Basically, the problem is me. I don’t feel that I’m eating enough to be this weight, but I’m going to give a serious two months to this program while I’m waiting for an appointment with another endocrinologist who specializes in endocrine issues other than diabetes. I tried taking the Metformin to treat the PCOS, but it made me nauseous and I didn’t have the insulin resistance that goes along with PCOS. I wanted to try something so bad, but I don’t want to be on a medication if I don’t truly need it…especially one that makes me nauseous.

This program also has some CDs to help me with self-hypnosis. Yep, I’m three shades of crazy, but I either have to be all in or not do it at all. I’m in. I want to look like myself this summer, not some fat version of me. The other thing is, losing weight has to help relieve the knee and ankle pain (I hope) from the rheumatoid arthritis. I also plan to chronicle my journey (even if it’s boring as hell) as a way to hold myself accountable.

I’ve also been going back and forth about going back on Plaquenil to deal with my arthritis pain. Also on my list to do this week would be finally going to get that blood test that my rheumatologist wanted me to get. I think it was called a Vectra blood test. It’s supposed to look deeper into the issue of RA, and once and for all have a definitive answer. Every specialist has something different to say.

Most agree that I have fibromyalgia. One thinks I have both fibro and RA. And let’s not forget the Raynaud’s. Can I just say that winter completely sucks with Raynaud’s? My fingers and toes are like painful icicles. As far as I know, though, there’s not much that can be done for it. That which does not kill us…oh whatever!