Classes started last week. I’m taking one online and one hybrid. I am still convinced that I’m not cut out for school. I like to learn and gain knowledge, but dang I can’t stand being required to do work that receives a grade…I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m really just afraid of being a failure. I guess I just lack the self-confidence necessary to excel. Or something like that, who knows?

Autumn is still potty training. We let her go around the house without panties all day long and she goes on the potty but she is still not very vocal about when she needs to go (consistently anyway, sometimes it’s “PEE PEE! STINKY!”). And our crazy girl is talking in sentences like a mad woman. We look at each other on a daily basis and say “when did she get so grown and smart?!” She says the silliest things. “What happened? What happened, baby?” Or she will hand us her “banket” and climb in our lap and ask for her banket over top of her “yap” and then as an afterthought “Mere Baby! I hold you!” because she wants to hold her baby on her lap while we are holding her on our lap. She gives the best kisses and hugs, when you tell her you love her she says “yuv you” and at night when it’s time for bed she says “rub back”. She asks for bubbles in her “baff” and when I clean her nose with a q-tip she says “boogies?” If you pass gas she has ears like a dang animal and says “boop?” and will often push one out herself and smile saying “boop”. When I tell her to push on the potty to get it out she takes her little finger and pushes her thigh, like I have asked her to push a button. When I put my makeup on she says “yips?” and I’ll put my chapstick on her lips and she says “Mommy yips?” so then I put it on my lips and she follows it up with “Autumn yips?” so I put it on hers again. Then it’s, “hair?” and so I spray her hair too. She will grab our finger and say “walk?” because she loves it when Gampa walks her around the yard and she wants us all to do what Gampa does. I just want to document every second of her life, because everything about her is precious and she makes me so happy. She keeps me in wonder, how quickly children grow up, how quickly they develop these skills that we take advantage of. Who ever thinks about the fact that language had to be learned and wasn’t always so ingrained in you? I know I think about that a lot now. I think about every skill that has to be learned, and how amazing God created our brains to be that we can learn it so quickly and easily. She truly is a little sponge. We play music for her every night, we bought Mozart when she was just born because we heard that studies have shown it really does improve your brain to listen to it. I’m just dying for Autumn to be smarter than I ever was, to have more confidence to excel at whatever she can dream of to do and so I put Mozart back in her CD player. But I can’t help but wonder if it’s even possible for this little girl to be any smarter? Could I even handle it?? Oh, a mother’s love.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the sunshine through the clouds, but my life is good. It’s a fact. Finding blog content reminds me of that each time. It’s a shame that I don’t do it more frequently, but life just gets away from me. I have blinked and my child will be 2 in November. I have blinked and I have been married for 3 years. I have blinked and I’ve been in North Caroline for 13 years; I’ve now lived in NC longer than I lived in MD. It is unreal. I get serious anxiety just thinking of these things, feeling nauseous and sad. Why is that? Sometimes it feels like I’m wasting life away with the trivial task of just living. Isn’t there more to it than just paying bills and making it through Monday to Friday? These aren’t new questions, questions that hundreds have not asked before me. It’s just the mood I’m in. Blase. And now annoyed, because I can’t figure out why the alt code for the e with an accent won’t work.


Vacation’s End, Unfortunately.

So we went to Carowinds for our anniversary. We left Saturday morning and saw Harry Potter that night and had dinner at Razzoos, which was so flipping good. Then on Sunday we went to the water park at Carowinds (Boomerang Bay) and we did the slides and titlewave and all that good stuff. We were going to wait to ride any rides until Monday when our friends got in but we road a few anyway 😉 We were really exhausted by 2 and went to the hotel to nap, read, and he watched the race (Nascar…Brad obviously). We tried to go to the mall that night but they apparently close at 6?? It was lame. So we went to Hef’s bar and grille and had dinner and then went back to the hotel for the night. The next morning we grabbed a bagel from Brueggers and met our friends Jordan and Tiana at Carowinds at 10ish. We road rides all day…started out with the Intimidator and it was WOW. I didn’t ride it again but they all did. We did ride After Burn about 7 times lol. We had a great time. After we left we had dinner at a Thai restaurant and it was so flipping good. There was some planking by my silly husband as well. I am using my phone so I will have to come back and add pics if I have a minute.
We got home Monday night, Tuesday was our anniversary, I worked Wednesday all day and Thursday morning and then we left for a whirlwind weekend in Maryland and Virginia. Autumn did amazing in the car up there and we had a blast with my lifelong bestie and cousin Amanda and everyone else we saw Thursday night and Friday. On Saturday morning we left for a family reunion in VA with my great-grandmother. That ride wasn’t quite as pleasant with my overly exhausted 20 month old, but I couldn’t ask for more from her under the circumstances. We hung at the reunion for a little bit (3 hours maybe, if that?) and then headed back to NC. My brother had come to the reunion too, so I challenged him with the fact that I was off Monday and he should take off so we could spend the day together and BYGOLLY he did it. So we stuck our poor child in the car yet again for a 2 hour trip to Uncle Brian’s at the beach. That was a great time too and totally worth the insanely miserable trip home. I have been back to work since Weds the 27th and other than a few plans here and there we have been thankfully winding down.
Autumn is partially potty training which is super interesting and exciting and scary. We are talking about when we are ready for number 2 (child, not the nature of Autumn’s pottying, just to clarify lol). Now that I am a year post-op (yay! Minus 120!) we just need to get into a 3 bedroom home and sell our 2 bedroom townhouse. So there is a lot of talk of that and it is exciting and frustrating and it all seems so impossible and far away but I know how deceiving time can be so I am not going to give in to the overwhelming feeling that tries to be the front-runner of my emotions! Anyway, I have been composing this thing for approximately 2 weeks now so it is just about time to put it up and walk away, until next time.



Brad and I are going to Carowinds for our Anniversary this weekend. We are both finally thin enough to ride 🙂 We did a two day pass, we are doing the water park the first day and rides the second day with our friends Jordan and Tiana. I hope my head will be ok. I only had to wait 2 years after my chiari surgery and it has been 4…so I should be okay. Still a little nervous though.
Autumn tries to talk in sentences, her vocabulary is blowing up and she is talk talk talkin’. She is getting much more affectionate and she really seems to comprehend so much. We are slowly but surely working on the potty, as she wants. When she asks to pee we let her, we encourage her to when she doesn’t ask, but we aren’t pushing much harder than that. She is so proud of herself when she does it though and she seems to thrive on encouragement so I don’t think it will take too long. My little baby is turning in to a little girl and I am torn between pride and joy, and sadness. We will have to have number two “soon”. As in, when we get a house.
Next weekend Brad, Autumn, and I will be traveling to MD to see my Manderlynn and other family and then to VA for a family reunion…it is going to be so much fun, but also exhausting with all the driving…plus she hates the carseat..so yeah. Wish us luck 🙂 I can’t wait!

Android Blogging

So hi, I now have to blog from my phone because my life is just…not blogger friendly. I am so thankful for Android phones and the WordPress app. There is really so much that has happened and if I am ever going to document the things that happen in my life than the phone will have to come in to play. My lovely cracked but still working phone, I might add.
So I guess the biggest news is that I started a new job in April. It is still for the same company but I no longer work from home and I work in Cary…which is 30-35 minutes away from home. I get up at 5:15 , but I am used to it now. I no longer do computer support and I do more patient related care. I love my boss (which is no change, I like the last one a lot too) and my coworkers are all wonderful. It was a good change though and I couldn’t be happier.

Next, I have lost a lot more weight. I don’t know what I was the last time I blogged but I passed the 100lb mark and am at 111, so I am 191..which if you recall is my happy dance weight because 192 is the lowest I can ever remember being. So yay happy dance! We joined the gym and I also do a stair workout every day with my boss and some of my coworkers. I love having a support system for my exercise and weightloss at work.
Autumn is wonderful and smart and repeats everything and I love her so very much I can’t explain it in words. That little girl has full posession of my heart. I could devote a whole blog to the things she does and I probably will but since I am just busting this one out real quick at work on my phone…I will wait.
We have a wedding to go to this weekend for Jordan and Tiana and it is going to be a blast. I am hoping to put some pictures up on this here blog but we will see…Facebook and Flickr seem to be my picture places and WordPress my word place. I obviously don’t have much to say since it has been so long!
Anyway, I will try and update more often but it will definitely be short snippets versus these long and information-heavy ones. We shall see.

My March Madness

I would just like to start this by saying that I wish I had time to blog when I wanted to. I know people make blogging a priority but I just can’t do that over my school work, Autumn, and the other responsibilities in my life.

The good news is I don’t have an ulcer, pretty much like I expected. I haven’t been back to the doctor yet because I’m waiting on a friend’s dates so she can come with me. I haven’t had any issues with food sitting wrong, so I don’t feel like it’s a priority. I’m just annoyed with the whole situation to begin with and that I had to take off work, and take these pills, and stop with the spicy foods, and pay for the doctor visits, etc etc etc. I just wish he had of been a little less aggressive in his approach and maybe asked me the base line questions before going straight to the big boy questions. But enough of that. If it had of been something serious I would be grateful that he was so aggressive, so it’s all about perspective I guess.

I am down 93lbs and am so close to the 100lb mark. Brad and I joined a gym 2 nights ago and I can’t wait to jump start the numbers again. Brad says he remembers going through a few months of dead time in weight loss too so I’m not all that concerned about the slow numbers right now. I just want to kick start them again by working out and getting toned up. It’s better to work out while you are losing anyway and since I have failed in that department up to now I guess it’s kind of a good thing that the numbers have slowed…it will give me a chance to catch up fitness wise. I’m in a wedding in 2 months and I ordered a dress size smaller, so there’s that too. It’s a strapless dress, so I want to make sure I’m toning up my arms in preparation. I’m also going to tan for those 2 months. I’m not much on tanning and don’t do it very often at all. I did it for my prom, my wedding, and a friend’s wedding and now I’ll be doing it for this wedding. I just don’t like my pasty red blotchy skin to be so exposed, so I get tan. ‘Sall good. 

I got my hair allll chopped off into a pixie-like cut. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do that because of my Chiari scar, but my hair dresser totally hooked me up and handled it. I really like it (picture at the end) and I did it mostly in preparation for my new job. NEW JOB. Why yes, I did just say new job. Twice actually. I applied about a month ago for a position at our Cary location. I interviewed with the manager and waited for what felt like forever. I’m convinced I was not their first choice, but in the end does that even matter? No, I think not. But the HR rep called me Tuesday with the offer and I accepted. I basically am just waiting to hear from my managers (old and new) about a start date. I’m thinking March 28th but we shall see. So here is the skinny on the new job. I will no longer be working from home. This may sound like a bad thing to some people, but I’m excited. I think that I need to get out of my home. I need to feel normal; I need some normal in my life. I am tired of sitting at a desk. It enables me to be lazy and I don’t want to be lazy anymore. The new job will be constantly moving around from patient room to patient room. I will be working primarily on the 2nd and 3rd floors and occasionally on the first floor. Brad jokingly said that I should only take the stairs but well, I kind of don’t see how I could pass up that opportunity now that the idea was brought up and I’m trying to get out of my laziness. So I decided I will take stairs when I go from one floor to another and the only time I will take the elevator is if I am with someone else. This job is also an open door for the career path I’m going to school for right now. It couldn’t be any more perfect, honestly.

The thing that I’m most nervous about is driving all the way from where I live to the Cary location. It’s about 20-25 miles or so but because of traffic it could take up to 45 minutes or an hour to get there. I’m thinking because I have to be there at 7 (!!) that I am not going to hit any traffic at all, traffic times in my area are like 7:30 to 8:30 generally, so it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to get to work. That means up at 5:30, leave by 6:30, arrive at 7. I will just have to play around with the driving and quickest routes the first week I start. I’m also nervous because the person that I’m “replacing” is a stinking pro at this and has set the bar really high. I strive for the high bar in my work performance, but I’m just afraid I won’t be good enough. I know that’s not the case. Over the years I have proved time and time again that I am capable of doing whatever my boss has asked me to do and I’m capable of learning new things quickly and thoroughly…but it’s that lack of self confidence that keeps me fearing I’m not good enough. I think I have realized that in my work endeavors I need words of affirmation to believe I am doing a good job. I’m not sure that my new manager operates that way, so I need to be prepared for that.

So lots of good things going on and I’m excited about this new chapter in my life. We’re reading Crazy Love at church and when I’m not being all apathetic and blah, I’m feeling inspired and excited about the material in that book. Francis Chan is a smart man, and he serves an even smarter God…so you can’t really go wrong with that book. Anyways, work is picking up and I need to get my butt in gear. You’ll notice that I only ever get to blog when I work Sandy’s shift. That’s because from 6:30-7:45ish it’s about as slow as a stream during a drought. But I like the reprieve sometimes, and I like to actually be able to blog. So I’ll take it! 

Hope you all are doing wonderful! I’m hoping to set up a photo shoot with my friend Jordan soon so I can get some updated pictures of Autumn, and of Brad and I too. Maybe then I can put a new header up since the current one is from December!!

You can have the good news first.

I had my 6 month post-op visit yesterday. I’ll start with the good news. I’ve lost 82 lbs. For those of you following closely (for all of my THREE readers, lol) you will know that I have now made my first goal weight of 220lbs. Yay, excitement, wheee.

And then there’s the other news.

So a little background before I get started (oh the suspense!) I normally see a woman from the practice, she is an NP I believe and really friendly, but often rushes me through my appointments and I don’t really feel like I can share a whole lot with her. Due to an incredibly sad health issue that she is dealing with right now, she is out. So the office called to reschedule the appointment and I took the opportunity to see the PA that actually helped my surgeon in the OR and is a gastric bypass patient himself. So he walked in and was all hi good to see you and all that good stuff and he asked “so tell me how  you are doing”? I was all, HERE IS MY CHANCE. And I tell him that I’m doing fine, great even! But that sometimes when I eat certain foods they just don’t…sit right. To me, I thought this was totally normal. I know a lot of lapband patients and they are often complaining about how food is sitting in their stomachs. But when I told him this he just kinda nodded his head with a smirk on his face and says, “are you smoking by chance”? Uh well, yeah. I had picked the habit back up back in November and haven’t really had the desire to quit (well until about a week before my appointment anyway, Brad and I had agreed to quit after tonight). He nodded his head and smiled and said “we make patients sign a waiver now that if we find out they are smoking they will be discharged from the office. Now, I’m not going to discharge you, but you have to quit smoking, and let me tell you why…”. At this point he goes on to tell me that smoking causes an ulcer almost 100% of the time, even if it’s just once a month. Oh awesome. Then he says that the symptoms I explained when eating food (I didn’t realize I was telling him any symptoms, by the way) are also symptoms of an ulcer. So he is sending me to an gastroenterologist and I will be getting an EGD (which if you all remember, I HATE these). The worse news came next. If he finds out it’s not an ulcer their next concern would be that my bowel is herniating into my stomach, which is fairly normal but can be fairly dangerous if not treated. He said that if the bowel pushes up into the stomach and gets stuck, it can cut off blood flow to the bowel and then my bowel could die and then they would have to go in and remove the dead bowel. Which is  a surgery that he promises me I wouldn’t want. But in order to make sure that is not happening, they have to do surgery. He said I would be trading a much longer surgery for a short 10 minute. In my mind, surgery is surgery, so this is all bad news to me.

So I mean it is what it is but the part I am struggling with is, what if it’s neither of these things? I don’t feel like anything is wrong with me at all! I’ve heard plenty of other patients complain about the same thing! So I know he is the professional, and he does this every day and went to school and is really smart and all of that. And I respect that immensely. But what if I have this EGD, and there is no ulcer, so then I have the surgery, and there is no bowel herniating into my stomach? I mean, then we just chalk it up to how my pouch handles food after surgery and I just wasted a buttload of money and time (including vacation time at work)? It’s my health, so I am going to do whatever they tell me I need to do and respect their wealth of knowledge and degrees and pray that my money is going toward something that I need and am actually suffering from. Right now? I’m totally praying it’s an ulcer, because surgery is not for me. No siree.

I don’t even mind the way the food sits in my stomach. It doesn’t hurt, it just feels…weird. And normally, had my appointment been with the other woman, I wouldn’t have even said anything! So I’m alternating between thinking this was a whole divine intervention thing and instead of pushing back my appointment until the woman is back from her medical leave (which was what they wanted me to do) I scheduled my appointment with him instead which created an environment that made me feel safer to talk about my minor annoyance, to thinking the other extreme that I just shouldn’t have said anything and just let it be. I won’t have a conclusion to those thoughts until I get to the outcome…which is probably going to take a few weeks to get to. I will say though that an ulcer can turn into a deadly situation as well (something having to do with arteries and the ulcer spreading into it and then bleeding out before they can ever get you on the table), so maybe I will just be thankful either way??

They let me take my blood-work sheet with me, so when I work from campus next week I will go to the lab there and get my blood drawn to check my labs and make sure everything is good there. God please help my labs be good, I can only take so much (but then, He already knows how much I can take).

I’ll keep y’all posted!

Happy Belated New Year

Hi, and Happy New Year.

Ha! B0y, has this month been so not worth posting about, not exactly the best start to the New Year and clean slate and all that fun stuff. There are a lot of areas that I’m hoping will change in my life this year. I want better and I’m demanding better and I guess I’m just not used to feeling so blah about things so I haven’t wanted to really post and play the vague game. Obviously I was just putting it off, not exactly avoiding it. So now that we’re done with that, moving on!

There is some really fun and exciting possibilities coming up for me. I’m in school right now (taking one measly class, but one measly class closer to my goal) and there is a possibility that a job will be opening up in the realm of my future goal, career wise. I’m not really supposed to talk about it just yet, and I’m not really even sure that financially it will be possible…but I’m praying that God will open doors where he wants me and close them where he doesn’t. He’s done it before and I know he’ll do it again. I just want to be in the right place at the right time and I’m cool with however that happens. So I’m praying, and hoping the people who keep a prayer list will be praying for me too. I just wanna do the right thing.

My child is…not a baby anymore. She is getting so big and is so smart and I’m just so proud of her. Her little (BIG) personality is really coming out and she is so much fun, such a joy. I don’t know why it’s such a surprise, but time just seems to be passing so quickly and she is just so..real. I don’t know how to explain it really. It’s just such an odd experience watching a life grow. She keeps me grounded.

My weight loss is pretty much where I expected it to be. I’m down 8lbs of the 10 I talked about in my last post. It’s a very satisfying place to be. I pulled out my tub of size 16’s at my mom’s house and while I can’t wear them yet (or even button/zip them) I can pull them on (all the way on!) and that’s so exciting. I know it will be about another 15 to 20 lbs before I will be able to wear them comfortably, but I’m pretty satisfied. This is the area of my life that I’m dying to fast forward through. July will be a year and I know by then I will have lost at least 100lbs and while that number seems pretty far off, in the grande scheme of things I know it’s coming and I’m just ready to be there.

Sewing is a hobby that I’m really enjoying for myself. There aren’t a lot of things that I like to do for me. On the downtime that we get from Autumn I really just would rather spend the time with Brad and enjoy our couple time together. But when I feel like “me” needs some attention, sewing is my go-to. It’s kind of funny really, because the sewing I do is never for me (I’m not quite there yet), but it’s still my time. I just finished my mom’s birthday present last night, and I’m so proud of myself. I made her some pillow covers with the fabric she picked out back in December and I didn’t think I could do it (zippers suck, for the record) and I did. I did it all by myself with no help or advice or anything, and that feels pretty darn good. Saturday is her birthday and I’m dying to give them to her. Not even gonna lie, I wanna show them off 🙂 Now I need to order some tracing paper online (or make the trip to Joanne’s fabric at some point) and then I can try out some of the sweet patterns that my dear friend Mary Jo sent me. I’m still not at the place that I can really understand a pattern and it’s instructions, but I do fairly well by cutting out the pieces and fitting them together. I don’t get on myself too hard though, this is a self-taught hobby and with Mary Jo (my sewing mentor) living so far away it’s really hard to improve quickly. I am dying to sew up a pair of pants for Autumn though, and I would love to try a shirt or a dress for me. My favorite sewing website is http://www.sewweekly.com/ and the women there are so talented. It definitely makes me feel “less than” to see all of the beautiful clothes they sew for themselves, but it also inspires me to move in that direction.

Anyways, work is busy and I’ve blubbered on long enough. I hope everyone had a wonderful new year and that this is the best year yet.

10 more to start fresh

I’m so close I can almost taste it! When I say taste it, I mean that in a way that only a gastric bypass patient can understand.

About 3 years ago my mom and I started to change our eating habits. We followed Phase 1 of Kevin Trudeau’s book and in 5 months I dropped 6o lbs. I was the lightest I had been since 12th grade. It was such a huge accomplishment for me, having dropped that weight on my own, by my own efforts. That wasn’t the only time I had ever dropped weight (of course not, most bypass patients have usually yo-yo’d their whole lives), but because I was the heaviest I had ever been and dropped the largest amount of weight ever, it was a big deal for me. So now that I’ve had gastric bypass, my journey thus far has been about getting to my wedding weight, so that I can truly start my weight-loss journey from weight loss surgery. That may sound insane to some people, and I realize this whole experience is part of the journey….but when you lose weight by your own efforts and then gain it all back, it’s almost like the weight loss doesn’t begin until you are back to that weight that you achieved by your own abilities and will power. 

So I’m 10 lbs away from my first mile stone. The second mile stone will be a bit further away. When I was in high school my mom and I started weight watchers and I lost 27 lbs, taking me to under 200 lbs for the first time in…a long time. So that’s my next mile stone.

Here are my stats:

Started at 302 (the morning of surgery, size 24/26).

I am 230 right now (as of this morning, size 18).

Wedding weight is 220 (size 16/18). This is my first milestone and is 10 lbs away. Bringing me to a total of 82 lbs lost.

And my WW weight was 192 (size 13). This will be my second milestone and is 38 lbs away, bringing my total weight loss to 110 lbs.

Once I’m at my WW weight, I don’t really know what I’m hoping for after that, because I was happy there. But I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t hope for maybe a size 10. I don’t think I’ve ever been a size 10 ever in my entire life. I skipped straight from the little girls section to a women’s size 13 sometime in middle school, and thus began my journey of obesity. So I know I want to be thinner, and I know I want to be healthier and that’s about all I do know. 

Sometimes my numbers get on my nerves. They are so much higher than what the standard of this world is. Size 5, Size 2, 120 lbs, 130 lbs…whatever is “acceptable”. So my 192 lbs, size 13 sounds like I should still be large. But I have to keep reminding myself what pictures from that time period show me. I have to keep remembering how good I felt and how good I looked, how confident I felt in myself. And I have to remember that I’m me, and everyone else is them and I’m doing this for me, not anyone else.

So I’m loud and proud about my numbers…or at least working to be. I wanna be proud of who I am, what I’ve accomplished, the journey I’ve traveled. It’s taking a lot of mental reconditioning and a huge battle of the mind, but I’m headed in that direction. I want Autumn to grow up being proud of her beautiful body, and more than that, her beautiful heart.  I have to get rid of the crap in my own life before I can display true love of self to her. I wanna be a good example to my girl.