Saturday, September 22, 2012

5773 - In With a Bang

This past Sunday evening was the beginning of Rosh HaShanah - the Jewish New Year.  I had high hopes for the New Year.

Unfortunately, Sunday afternoon we received a call from David's friend Vinny.  His mom had been in the hospital & passed away that morning after surgery the previous day.  Mrs. S. had made arrangements a long time ago to be buried down here with Vinny's dad so he was heading down here.  Both David & I were saddened to learn that none of his family offered him a place to stay for the duration.  Needless to say, we told Vinny our home was open to him.
Erin & I never made it to services on Monday as our home needed to be cleaned up for our company.  David, Erin & I busted tush to get the house in order.  (I must say it's looking good now.)  We were exhausted after a full day project!
Tuesday we went to H0ly Cr0ss H0spital so David could have an arthrogram (xray of a joint) on his shoulder.  We've been worried that he has another necrotic lesion in his left shoulder.  The orthopaedic dr believes it is a bone spur but we need to be sure.  Talk about a disaster! If it could go wrong, it did.  First the staff decided he was there for an MRI - something he can't have due to his spinal cord stimulator implant.  Then after the CT scan, the attending doc disappeared! We left & hope to have results this coming week.  By the time we got home, we all needed a nap!
Vinny arrived late Wednesday evening.  He was in pretty good shape all things considered.  I guess that even though his mom passed, it hadn't really hit him.  Or perhaps he didn't want to grieve in front of Erin - who was thrilled that Mr. Vinny was here for a visit.
We said goodbye to Mrs. S yesterday.  Vinny held up pretty well all things considered.  I had to go back to work, & David needed to come home.  Vinny went to lunch with his cousins so they could have some time together.
This afternoon Vinny left to go back home to his wife.  Mary wasn't able to come down with him because they have no one who could watch their 2 fur babies.  I know that the 2 of them will take their time grieving & getting use to life without Mrs. S in it.
Mrs. S, wherever you may be, please know that your Vinny will always be a part of our family.  And when you look down upon us, as I know you will, you will see that your son is loved - by his wife, his few cousins & us.  We'll do our best to keep him smiling.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Back at the end of June I joined WW.  Again.  I was tired of always feeling tired & being uncomfortable breathing.  So far, so good.  I've managed to lose 16/17 lbs.  It isn't much, but I'm doing this slowly on purpose.  Whenever I lose weight quickly, I end up going back to my old habits.

It's now been 2.5 months & I like the changes in me.  I'm looking forward to more changes.  Some of what I'm seeing is:

  • I eat breakfast now - something I never used to do.  My new fave breakfast?  Something I call Sandra's Yummy Yogurt.  I am hoping she shares more recipes!
  • I'm limiting my soda intake.  Down to 1 per day.  Face it - a 12 oz can is 4 points & for now it's okay to use them on a soda.  By the end of October, I hope to limit  drinking so much Coke & switch to seltzer.  (I have to have my fizz.)
  • My body talks to me, & I've started to listen.  When it tells me that enough is enough, I listen rather than forcing myself to finish something just because it tastes good. 
  • I don't clean my plate anymore.  It's okay.  I don't have to.  I've told Erin that she doesn't have to clean her plate so why do I have to?  I don't.  That is SO liberating.
  • When I do eat out, I'm more careful with my choices.  I also started to ask for a box immediately so I can pack up half my meal.  I'm finding that I still manage to leave some on my plate.  Again.  Very liberating.
What has happened as a result of just these few things? 
  • My clothing fits better & in fact some is already too big.
  • Erin sees me eating healthier which means better choices for her also.  (For example, when I asked her to try some different veggies this past week she did.  She didn't like them, but the point is that she actually tried them.
  • I'm starting to feel better bit by bit.
I'm not expecting to, nor do I want to, ever go back to what I weighed in high school.  I just want to be healthier.  I'd say that's a pretty good goal for me.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Rockin' 10!! Bowling Party

Super excited to celebrate with her friends

Entering the double digits

Goody bags

Yummy food
Birthday Presents
Erin & Mama
Erin & Daddy

Birthday Cake Yumminess

Erin turned 10 on July 30th.  It's an awesome thing to remember that sweet little 10 month old that was gifted to us.  Recently I am seeing visions of the teen she will become.  G-d help us! I pray we make it through the teens because she is one social party animal!

After much debating, Erin decided she wanted a few of her close friends to help her celebrate by having a bowling party.  No girly girl for us.  She had to have a Lego cake topped by her fave Star Wars Lego minifigures.  Thanks to my dear friend Jolene from Ladybug Cake Creations, Erin had her dream cake.  Yummo!!

Bowling with her friends.  Dancing around the bowling alley.  Going to the game room.  Smiles & laughter.  It was all good.  But I think that the best part for Erin was having her daddy make sure he was there to celebrate.  I loved having David with me to share in the joy.  He has eyes only for Erin (& me as well of course) & in her eyes, he is the ultimate super hero.

Happy 10th Birthday Erin!!!
We love you always & forever no matter what!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hey! That's MY Country Mama!

From the moment Erin was placed in my arms, she wanted nothing to do with anything Chinese - the people, the language, the culture.  You can imagine how concerned David & I were.  Having been born in a land of beauty with an extremely old culture, we want her to be proud of her heritage.

When Erin was finally granted American citizenship, she told us that she was no longer Chinese but only American.  Seriously? Have you looked in a mirror?  We explained that she will always be American, but she will also always be Chinese.

When she was in 2nd grade, I put my foot down & decided she needed to get with it & realize that she was a daughter of China thereby making China show herself in a good light.  I sent in the usual treats for Chinese New Year - lucky money envelopes, chocolate coins & clementines, & let her hand them out.  In 3rd grade, she decided she wanted to do the same thing but this time she wanted me to come in & talk about China.  She wore her Chinese dress, handed out treats & sat with her classmates while I gave a lesson.  This past year in 3rd grade 2nd time around, she asked to wear her Chinese dress all day long at school.  We insisted that she not wear the dress since it is silk.  During this Chinese New Year school celebration, she answered a few simple questions & even helped me with the presentation. 

Lately, she has decided that maybe being from China isn't such a bad thing.  It's taken quite a few talks, but we believe she is finally seeing that being Chinese is as awesome as being Jewish and as awesome as being American.

This morning our family watched our DVRd program of the 2012 London Olympics Opening ceremonies.  Can you say "WOW!!"?  London truly rose to the occasion.  I laughed.  I cried.  We talked about the things she was seeing.  David explained some parts while I explained others.  I told her that it has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit the United Kingdom.  In fact, her name Erin is Irish while her middle name Chelsie is English.  (Boy, I hope I got that right!)

Then the different countries entered.  I pointed out Argentina, where Miss Vivian is from having lived there a good portion of her life.  That brought a comment of surprise.  I pointed out Brazil, where Miss Minouche & Mr. Delfim are from.  She saw the flag of Canada & yelled out "Kerri is there!"  And we watched.  Then the Chinese delegates marched out on the field.  And it happened.  "Mama! That's MY country!"  And her smile?  Huge!  She asked if the Olympians were from where she is from.  She was so proud to see the people of China marching in with pride & joy on their faces.  She even shushed us!

Thanks to the 2012 Olympics, Erin may finally decide that China is a place of beauty.  I sure hope so.

Friday, July 13, 2012

So You Call Yourself a Friend

Really?  Do you understand what being a friend means?  No?

Well, in my opinion a friend:
  • Is there to listen without judging
  • Cries right alongside you when things go wrong
  • Cries right alongside you when things go right
  • Laughs with you as opposed to at you
  • Understands when you can't afford to go out & do things so sometimes just hanging is okay
  • Sometimes a friend takes you out just so you can have some time away from the family because it's really needed
  • Comes running when you call & sometimes before you call

I know my true friends.  They have made their stance clear to me.  Crystal clear.  Now I also know that some people think that an acquaintance is as good as a friend, but that just isn't the case.  I would do anything for my friends. And they know it.  My friends would do anything for me.  And I know it.  My friends are as loyal to me as I am to them. 

I have been spreading myself a little thin lately trying to be that loyal friend that everyone can count on.  I'm going to stop running myself around doing everything for everyone.  I'm going to take my life back & be with the people I want to be with. 

My mother used to tell me that not everyone is a friend.  I thought she was nuts.  Darn! Moms are always right.  Now I have to teach Erin this most basic of lessons.  Hopefully she won't get hurt the way I have.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Celebrating With a Crash

Yesterday my father, Erin's zaydie, turned 72.  I told my cousins that I'd need to call him to wish him a happy birthday.  What with work & all, the day got away from us.  Before I knew it, it was 4:00 & time to leave for the day.  Normally I hang a few minutes, clean up & chit chat, but I had plans to go out with some friends to see a movie.

So there I am sitting in the left turn lane waiting to make a turn so I could get on the S expressway.  In front of me was this huge truck.  As I'm sitting there, I am watching this putz start to back up so I laid on my horn.  Anyone who has heard a T0y0ta horn knows it is the most annoying horn.  Ever.  Nope.  It didn't stop him.  I got pushed back, & then he stopped.  I had the hood of my car all crunched up.  Then he started to back up again.  With my laying on my horn so hard I don't know why it wasn't heard round the 50 states!

When he stopped & got out of the truck from he!!, I got out & quite vocally asked him what he thought he was doing backing up & didn't he hear my horn.  BUT NO!!! He starts talking to me in Spanish claiming he doesn't speak English.  I got back in my car because I was ticked off & needed to stay away.  First thing I called 9!! to report the accident.  Then I called Cheryle at the office, & she sent Stacy to me.

Not too much after Stacy showed up, the service aide pulled up.  He came over to take the report from my point of view & then explained that I should call my insurance company & Triple A.  When he came to me, he told me that the other driver claimed I rammed him from behind.  Mind you, my car was the one with ALL the damage & on the diagonal.  (Had I hit him, my car would have not been pointed the direction it was in.  Just MHO of course.)

In the midst of this the driver from Triple A shows up & is the sweetest guy ever!! I hope they call me with a survey because Thurman will get top marks.  Rather than have to speak with my insurance company, Stacy handled the call & then Thurman spoke with the rep to find a repair place that would be convenient for me.

I went over to the service aide assisting me & asked if he knew if the aide behind him was Fa!th.  He wasn't sure so I walked over.  When she looked up & saw me, she got out of her truck with a white face.  Gotta love friends like her.  She didn't need to stay with me but did until I was almost done.

Thurman drove me & my poor T0y0ta to the repair shop which is around the corner from my house.  The people there seem to be great.  In fact, they are so nice the owner drove me home.

My neighbor L had picked Erin up from camp & kept her at her house for dinner so I could settle in.  When Erin came home, she brought her friends Matthew & Sophie with her.  They all wanted to make sure I was alright. 

When I finally got in touch with my dad, I told him that I'd found a great way to celebrate his birthday.  With a crash, bang, boom!  He asked me to celebrate  his day in a calmer way.  I'll try that next year.  Promise.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

What I've Discovered

I am sick & tired of feeling the way I do.  I have had a weight problem for most of my life. 

When we were paperchasing for Erin, I started WW.  I was very successful & lost about 30 lbs.  While that isn't near what I needed to lose, I felt healthy & was also learning how to become a mommy to a 10 month old.  I looked at life & decided what my priorities were.  Mommyhood needed to come first.  It took me a long time to put the weight back on - almost as long as Erin has been with us.  Not bad considering that most people put back lost weight within a year or so.

I've finally decided that I need to take the bull by the horns.  What changed?  Well, let's see:

  • My health is starting to suffer.  I'm having a hard time walking without my asthma kicking in &/or my back going out. 
  • Erin is in need of a better nutrition role model.
  • I hate the way my arms feel with all the extra flab.  Gosh! I despise that word but that is exactly what I have.  :-)
  • It's been years since I have been able to wear a button down shirt.  I stopped even trying to find them.  How pathetic is that!?
  • Bras.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a bra in my size!? Nope.  Didn't think so.  (I know.  TMI.)
I now have some major inspiration on my side.
  • I want Erin to see a healthier way to eat.
  • I want Erin to see a healthier me.
  • My friend Sandra.  She has lost a lot of weight, changed her attitude about life.  In fact, Sandra now runs marathons! I am so proud of her.
  •  Unfortunately, I also need to be able to take care of David.  Although he is trying to keep a positive attitude, we both know his health is not great.  I need to be able to help him & can't do that if I feel this way.
It's been a week & a half since I started WW.  My first weigh in I found that I'd lost 4 pounds.  Not bad! Then I admitted to myself that I know the first few weeks are about losing water.  I've made some changes - no more than 1 can of coke a day & drinking plenty of water.  I noticed this past week that most days I'm not even indulging in my coc@ co!a addiction.  Not bad! I'm still drinking coffee with regular creamer but limiting how much I use. 

I weigh myself every morning.  David says I'm going to let myself down.  I believe quite the opposite.  Weighing myself each morning lets me know if the previous day's food was good for me or not.  For example, we eat a lot of Chinese food.  I have to watch which foods or I can gain up to 2 pounds.  Sushi on the other is something I can enjoy with no problem.  I had wings for lunch on Friday.  Not worth it! Grilled turkey sausage links?  Very yummy.  Great treat. 

This morning I ate apple slices.  Most fruit & most veggies are freebies.  I ate the equivalent of 5 apples.  Mindless eating.  Lesson learned?  When I buy prepackaged fruit &/or veggies, I need to portion them out so I eat only 1 portion at a time.