Monday, March 30, 2009

Wow, where DOES the time go?

Yes, I have been sick and I have been working, but DAMN! It has been 3 weeks since I posted! you guys know I go for days sometimes, but not normally THIS long! So, here goes the update!

Lots going on this last few weeks... As many of you know, our older daughter moved home back in December with her hubby and their baby (AKA world's greatest grandbaby). Things were good for a long time. But they began to disintegrate somewhere along the line and her hubby moved out on 3/10 without even telling her what was up... Then, he added himself back to his mom's food stamp case and filed for divorce! How weird is THAT! He did not even tell Eliza what was what till like 3/13...and filed on 3/16! SO, as he filed first and she was unaware till then, he got the legal aid group to represent him and he wants joint custody of the baby. He did next to nothing to help take care of the baby when they were together and now puts in the divorce papers that they shared the care of the baby equally while married. What a joke! And, he still isn't working (hasn't since like September) and has no ability to pay support. If it weren't for Medicaid, the little guy wouldn't have health insurance either. So, Josh moved home to his mommy and daddy's house where they will support him and allow him to just screw around and do nothing. Eliza is still at our home and taking college classes and trying to prepare to be a part of the GROWN UP WORLD!! She told him that he couldn't continue to live like that, but he probably will till his parents die or get sick of him freeloading on them. He has two younger brothers doing much the same thing though, so I guess they have a lot more patience for freeloading than my hubby and I ever did.

Eliza's got a great lawyer but had to pay a pricey retainer. He is young and enthusiastic and is getting paid for what he does (as opposed to the average pro bono/legal aid type representation) and will hopefully rock deal ole' Josh's world so that he rues the day he ever started this crap. I told Eliza last night that I wanted her to find someone who truly loves her for the person she is and not just what they feel she can get for or give to them. And, I want that person to love my little grandson as if he were their very own baby. She said she plans to do just that! She was really in a funk at first and didn't really even cry over losing Josh. I guess the writing's been on the wall for her for some time now. But, now she's got a good mad on and is out to set this right and make him support this baby.

She requested sole custody based upon how little he cared for the baby and how terrible the living situation is at her inlaws' home. The cigarette smoke is AWFUL! Those people smoke something like 5 cartons of cigarettes per week! And they do most of it right inside the house where the baby lives and breathes. We had a crib at that house while they were living there--painted white... Needless to say after 6 or so months in THAT house, there is this ugly yellow nicotine stain all over it. It is disgusting! And that poor baby was forced to breathe that air day in and day out. I would be ashamed to find something like that being forced on a baby.... Ever seen that new tobacco prevention commercial with all the little plastic babies crawling around a city sidewalk? In the end, one of them rolls over and the words on their belly are revealed to the camera. It says something like "How do babies avoid second hand smoke?" Then, the second line is "eventually they begin to crawl..." If the people don't have sense enough to keep the smoke away from them, eventually they try to get away from it themselves.... Pitiful!

SO, with that said, she has a hearing on Thursday 4/2 for an emergency motion that Josh filed (well, his mommy filled it out and he signed it). It is for the court to make visitation arrangements because, according to this document they filled out, Eliza is keeping him from seeing the baby and plans to move him out of state. Hah! He has not even showed up on our doorstep and asked to see the baby! But, he'd have to drive 30 miles and they just can't afford the gas. They expect Eliza to call them, arrange a visit AND transport back and forth so that they can see him I guess? All this while he still is not supporting them! Ugh.... Or, as a favorite cartoon character says, "Oh, the humanity!" LOL If I wanted to see my child, then I would haul my lazy ass out there to see him--whether his mom approved at first or not! At least I could tell the court that I tried and she refused! Instead, he can tell the judge, "well, your honor, I sat at my mommy's house and Eliza never brought the baby to see me....." Yeah, that is going to go over well! And, as for the moving out of state part, he got this somehow from us talking 2 or 3 mos ago about maybe going to Florida over spring break to see my mom who STILL has not seen her only great grandbaby despite buying him a crib, a stroller, a car seat, a playpen, clothes, and more! Josh's mom and step dad had given him a used baby swing someone gave them and just barely kept him in diapers while they lived with them. I had to pay for diapers more than once in order for him to have enough!

I'm already sick of this situation. My hubby is sick of it and worried that she'll get too stressed and it cause her problems with her classes. Hubby is also worried that if she feels in jeopardy of things going wrong that she'll go back to him to save some trouble. But, deep in my heart, I feel she's got her head screwed on right (finally!) after 2 years time. And, I think she's just upset enough at the way he's done her to follow through and make him pay. There are some illicit behaviors on his part that have apparently been going on behind the scenes for quite some time... We'll see what the judge thinks of those when it comes time to decide the custody situation--on top of the unhealthy living conditions and the total lack of financial support!

SO, with all that said, you can still wonder why I haven't posted????? Well, I just finished a third round of antibiotics for this crud I had in my chest and head... I did a 10 day round of 875 mg amoxicillin. Then, about a week later, I did a 10 day round of Doxycyline. Just about the time I finished those, I was starting to feel a bit better, but went downhill quickly afterwards. SO, another week or two go by and I am really sick again. Back to the doctor. I told him that with each round of meds, just as I reached the end and started to feel better, I was done. And, I really think it is the malabsorption keeping the meds from working to the maximum expectations. I asked him to prescribe something strong for a longer period of time and he gave me a 3 week round of Bactrim and said, "You better start getting the yogurt in!" LOL Now, as I finished this round, I truly feel better already. I didn't take that last pill thinking, well, so much for that! I really feel like I may finally kick this thing! Doc wanted to xray my sinuses and make sure there's no blockage there keeping me from healing. I decided to wait and see what happened with this round of meds and go from there. If I don't get sick again in the next week or so, I'll consider myself healed!

Oh, and I need to review those Maine Cottage Foods no-sugar chocolate bars. Those things ROCK!!
More later!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Vitamin Info for WLS Postops...

Vitamins are a way of life for WLS postops. We have to take them and we have to take it seriously. When things go wrong, they can go VERY wrong! A fellow WLS postop who tries to help inform the masses posted a great piece over on OH that I thought I'd share a link to so you can all check it out! Check it out and let Andrea know you appreciate it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Confession is good for the soul...

That is what they say anyway! Confession and that purging is good for your soul and your emotional being... Well, it is TIME! LOL On Monday, I have a 2 1/2 year postop visit with my surgeon. And, at that visit, I will be forced to admit to about a 10 pound overall gain from my weight one year ago. I hit my all time low of 197 in March of 2008, but it was a split second before I was back at 200 and stayed there pretty much for good with only a 2 to 5 pound float most of the time. I'd gain a few pounds just before my period each month with the water gain. I lose that most months literally the second day of my period. Some months my calorie intake would be up a bit and I'd gain some, but as it fluctuated over time (the calorie intake), the weight would level back out. All in all, I have stayed between 200 and 205 since last March.

I have never been a diligent exercise person. I live out in the boonies on top of a hill. It is 30 minutes to "town" and the nearest place to exercise. I don't have much to work with at home and the "gym" in town is sort of a joke. The cost is as much as if it were a Bally's or a 24 Hour Fitness, but the equipment sure isn't! LOL So, I garden in the spring. I live life. And, when I get the chance, I do a bit more. Every time I run errands or go shopping, I park at the end of the lot and I walk more while I'm out. I carry my own animal feed and groceries as much as possible. I load and unload 8 or 10 cases of bottled water when I make the trip to Sam's Club. You get the drill! I do laundry, household chores, climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, and just take the opportunities life presents to do a bit more and burn a few calories.

I eat reasonably well. I try to always think protein first. I nix the bread whenever possible. We (as a family) rarely do pasta. If we do pizza, we make it at home with a whole wheat crust and lots of protein goodies on top. We enjoy meats, healthy veggies, hearty casseroles and crockpot dishes. I have always loved to cook and started adapting my cooking years ago when my hubby started dealing with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

Then came the carbs... There is no other excuse. Lately, we have had some stressful stuff going on at home. Hubby's job layoff and job change. My own slow-down after the holidays as a substitute school teacher. Both of those, coupled with taking in our older daughter, her hubby and their infant son (our grandson), lent a lot of stress to our life as we tromped through the downturned economy with fewer dollars in our pockets and more bills in our hands waiting to be paid... Add in some health issues (that couldn't be addressed while we had no health insurance) and things were even more stressful at times. I've been in a funk a lot lately and I've been in that snacky mood much more often than in the past 2 1/2 years. SO, I've been snacking and not on things that would normally be okay. A snack is not a snack if it is a planned part of your daily intake, right? Well, telling yourself it is time for your planned snack BUT eating a couple good-sized handfuls of Sun Chips is not the same thing! The snack that may have been 15 grams of protein in about 180 cals and 14 to 18 carbs in the past is suddenly 300 cals, many more carbs and maybe 7 or 8 grams of protein... Those carbs beget more carbs at mealtime. Pasta and rice creep back in. Then bread becomes okay again. Instead of one slice used for a sandwich, you now eat a whole sandwich--more bread, less room for protein rich stuff in between. Instead of pepperoni crisps and cheese, you have tortilla chips and salsa. Instead of a protein bar, you have pretzels and peanut butter. At bedtime, instead of a small dish of something like ricotta fluff, perhaps you have no-sugar-added ice cream OR a couple (ugh) cookies. But, you only ate it because everyone else was having some.... Yeah right! You ate it because you wanted it. You ate it because you have been on such a carb fest that you just can't say no anymore!

BUT, at some point, it has to stop! For me, this doctor's appointment is going to be that breaking point. I should have already called it quits. I should have been carb-detoxing for weeks already. I know what it takes to get back on track. All I have to do is DO IT. SO, it is time!
Step one--CONFESS!!
Step two--Get motivated to change things.
Step three--Make those changes.

So, I confess! I have been eating WAY too many carbs lately. I have just eaten whatever I felt like eating. I have not been planning my meals or our family dinners like I normally do. It has impacted my eating AND my grocery shopping for the whole family. The items in the house are not what they normally would be. There are always the makings for something sweet if we take a notion, but it is something like a protein enriched cookie (see my recipes here). It is not a pan of gooey cinnamon rolls or a scrumptious chocolate cake. What is there now is more the junk food sort of thing and I've eaten some of it too, not just allowed the rest of them to have it in the house. I'm not focusing on protein enough. My February labs showed that my protein number slipped a hair lower than the last set of labs. Not a huge drop...Not an OMG moment... Just a drop. But, it was a drop and that drop means that it is time to get back with the program before the drop is more significant. AND, worst of all, my weight is up. Granted, I am on my period and was fully dressed when I weighed myself, but my weight this morning was 215! OMG! I have seen numbers that started with 21_ before, but not more than 211 or 212 and normally at the end of a day full of liquid intake and proper meals. Days that were followed by waking up the next day to a more reasonable number like say 206... But, this MORNING it said 215. I know I'm constipated from starting the iron supplementation again, but surely it can't be THAT bad!

Get motivated to change things...
I'm motivated! 215 pounds is enough to motivate me, believe me! That and the thought of Dr. S seeing that number or anything even over 210 on Monday is enough to motivate me thoroughly! SO, this is war! Time to purge! And, heck, maybe some exercise might not hurt either???

Make those changes...
Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be mild this weekend, so I had planned to walk or bike some anyway. Maybe I'll stick the world's most adorable grandbaby in the stroller and go for a few miles! Can't hurt! And, I've been being pretty good about my food so far today. For breakfast, I had my normal high fiber Quaker oats with protein powder. Then, for lunch, I had cheese and pepperoni crisps. My snacks today have been some pecans and a package of Kay's Naturals Protein Os cereal (french vanilla flavor). Not exactly carb free, but a heck of a lot better than some days! When I get home from school today, I'll mix up some Ricotta Fluff and I'll boil some eggs. The hens are laying already, so we've got plenty! Supper tonight... I'll have to think on that one a bit. I've got some browned ground beef in the fridge. Maybe I'll toss that in a pot and make some chili... No cornbread! The rest of them can have something else, but it is time to get down to business!

Another thing I want to work on is that I have noted lately that I have NO strength anymore in my upper body/arms. I want to start doing something about that. We have a weight bench and some barbell type weights at home, but they are outside. I bought the stuff to recover the bench and start using that once the weather is a teensy bit warmer. It is so cold right now still that you'd have to wear gloves just to even keep hold of the barbell. If you have or know of a good upper body weight workout, I'd love it if you'd share!

My goal?
By next week (3/9), I want to be back below 210 pounds and back up to 80-100 grams of protein every day. I've not failed on my liquid intake or my vites and such, so I'm good there. I just need to work on cutting the carbs back and getting the protein back up.
In two weeks time (3/19), I want to be back in the 202 to 208 range and staying there. I also want to be consistently meeting my protein goal each day. I'm going to do a half marathon in April, so I have to start walking again... That will help with everything!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Recipe: Lea's Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

I make all our pizza here at home since my surgery... We just didn't DO pizza for a very, very long time. The crust made me yak and it was bad for us all... Now, I make it here and I can control how thick the crust is and what goes into it and on top of it! I make this crust and make my crust VERY thin--think Pizza Hut's thin and crispy crust... I put pizza sauce, all kinds of meats, veggies and cheeses on top. My whole family loves it! I was printing it for a cookbook we're doing here locally for our 4-H clubs and I thought I'd pass it on!!

Lea's Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Contributor: Lea Burnside
Club: Frametown Trailblazers

1 1/3 cups water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fast-acting yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
dash pepper and other seasoning you like to taste
2 tablespoons cornmeal

Add water (warm, not cold), yeast and sugar to mixer. Mix well.
Put dough hook on mixer.
Add all other ingredients BUT cornmeal and mix well.
Let dough hook knead mix till all is thoroughly mixed and no longer sticking to bowl. If too wet, add a bit more whole wheat flour till bowl is clean. If too dry (excess flour), drizzle in a bit more warm water till bowl is clean. Allow to knead a bit longer (10 minutes or so).
Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Place pizza dough into bowl and roll around to coat with spray.
Cover with a clean dish towel or paper towels and place in a warm place. Allow to rise till doubled in size.
Punch down dough and allow to rest (5 minutes or so). While resting, spray pizza pan with non-stick spray and sprinkle cornmeal on pan.
In hands, stretch dough till it is spread to over half the size of your pizza pan. Then, place on pan and continue to spread it with your hands till it covers pan to edges. This amount of dough will cover a large round pan of at least 14" OR a 10" x 15" cookie sheet.
Top with pizza sauce and your choice of toppings and bake at 400 degrees till done.
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