On the wagon…

Day 7

No wine, vodka, whiskey-none of my favorite things.  I’ve done it before, I wrote about it, but this time seems harder for whatever reason.  I decided to take another break for a yet to be decided length of time-but I’ll manage.

For the first couple of days I had liquor on the brain and questioned my motives endlessly.  Why am I torturing myself?  Is it even worth it?  I didn’t lose any weight last time, what makes it seem that things will be different? 

I persisted through those really hard days and here I am on day 7 and feeling better about it.  I figured I may as well share some of what I experienced through the process so far…

  • Sweating-during sleep I’d go through phases of being comfortable and then covered in sweat.  It wasn’t horrible but not the most pleasant.
  • Irritability-I was cranky, I wanted a few glasses of wine to unwind and knew that wasn’t an option so…bark bark bark.
  • Bloating-even more bloated than when I consumed a bottle of wine.
  • Lethargy-I have no energy, feel a little down,  and somehow feel the need to watch Grey’s Anatomy from the very beginning.
  • Breakouts-my face is starting to look like that of a teenager.  I know it’s temporary but I’m definitely not happy about it.
  • Sugar cravings-I realize now that the alcohol I was consuming was feeding that craving and now, in the absence of alcohol, I need ALL the carbs.  Oatmeal Creme Pies, Nutty Buddy’s, chocolate covered blueberries, breads…Gimme!!

Honestly, I’ll be even happier when I lose the bloat and sugar cravings.  I’ve already gained a few pounds from the shitty sugar foods I’ve been eating in just one week.

I hope I still feel it’s worth it next week!

Advertisements

A quick catching up

It’s a chilly morning and I’m snuggled in a blanket on the couch with my second cup of coffee.  It’s quiet-just the shhhhh of the furnace.  I have a cookie scented candle burning from Bath and Body and it smells delicious.

It has been a busy several months since I’ve last written.

I have officially moved into my grandma’s house-directly next door to the house I lived in for the past 20 years.  I boxed up her lifetime of accumulated belongings and moved the majority of it into my old house.  I still have a lot of things left to move out but it’s a process.

I was able to design the remodel completely on my own:  paint, fixtures, tile, counters-everything, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  We’re actually still in the process of remodeling but the main areas are done.  It’s a small house but so much bigger than where we were.  I honestly felt like the Old Lady in the Shoe, especially having seven of us living in less than 1000 square feet with ONE bathroom between us.  We managed;  we survived.

I think what I love the most is that I’m living in a house in which I’ve only ever had good things happen.  My grandma was such a treasure to me-all through my growing up years as well as my adulthood.  As a kid, we all had family dinners on Friday nights at her house where we’d laugh, eat, and us kids would watch The Dukes of Hazard or Benny Hill reruns.

It’s surreal living here.  I know it’s the same house but it looks so different.  I have my couches and tv facing a different direction but in my head I can still see my grandparent’s rocking chairs and all of their furniture. It’s like my memories are clashing with the new ones I’m making.  My kids will be so confused when I’m old and trying to tell them stories;  I’ll have the timelines all garbled.  Oh well, they can sort it out.

I’m in the process of trying to start either a vlog or a podcast…I get myself so worked up with anxiety about it that I haven’t actually put anything together.  Stupid, isn’t it?  My biggest downfall is fear of failure.  Lord only knows what I could have accomplished if I didn’t hold myself back.

I’m still alive, if you hadn’t guessed.  And back on a diet.  *groan*

Since I feel like my writing is stuttering, let me share a few pictures with you:

Gorgeous view overlooking Lake Elsinore

Robert got a brand new bike!

Matthew is continuing his guitar practice and always improving.

Sweetpea loves this house so much more

So does Baxter

I absolutely love my new kitchen

Jordan was able to spend Christmas with us

I hope you enjoyed my little photo tour of the last few months!

A Weight Watcher’s drop out

To say that life has gotten busy would be quite the understatement…

I’m exhausted a lot of the time and when I have a few minutes where I’d like to sit down and update, the phone rings (or I get a text), or I’m getting harassed by the city, or whatever else-nothing but interruptions.

Anyway…

I started diet #927 last month-Weight Watchers.  I wish I could say that the weight is just pouring off but I find that I’m gaining and losing the same two pounds.  I don’t understand it-I count *everything* with no success.  I’m not happy-in fact, I feel like I’m always starving.  I don’t think it’s going to work out between the two of us.

Weight Watchers starts you off with an amount of points depending on how much you weigh and give you an additional 35 points as your safety net in case you go over.  You pull from those extra points when you deplete your daily allotment.  I suppose it’s a bit of psychology so you don’t feel like a failure.

I’m allowed 30 points per day.  Their plan has been altered so that now all fruits and most vegetables are zero points.  This means I can have grapes, strawberries, mangoes…without guilt!  On low carb diets, fruit is a no-no.  I may have gone a little overboard with the mangoes for a week but, hey, according to them fruit is good and better than cookies.

But this plan isn’t working.  30 points equals about 1400 calories, not including whatever you eat in fruits and veggies.  So while I feel like I’m starving most days, I’m still not losing-but still feeling like a total loser. I read all of the success stories on their message board called ‘Connect’ and wonder what the hell I’m doing wrong and why my system is so inferior to everyone else’s.  They are all losing consistently, while I am not.  Why??  I’m starting to wonder if they pay people to post on there to keep sales up.

What gives?

I can tell this diet isn’t going to be one I can stay with because I need to see some sort of reward-if I’m going to lose out on money and calories, I need to see the numbers go down on the scale.  I have to feel like my sacrifice is going to reward me and so far after a month,  I’ve lost about one pound.  I bloat a lot from the processed foods on the low point list-what in the world is in shredded nonfat cheese to where you can have a half cup for 1pt?  That doesn’t sound right, does it?  Nothing is filling and I find myself overly focused on what I can eat next when I didn’t have this obsession prior to Weight Watchers.

When I signed up, they gave two options on how to pay:  one month for $20 or three months for $40 so I chose the latter.  I’m not sure I can do the whole three months without any change.  I find myself really getting depressed about this whole thing.  It makes me wonder if I have some strange tropical disease (while never actually leaving the country) that makes it impossible to lose weight, but all my blood tests are normal.

I can always buy a tapeworm…

Any suggestions?

I’d like to feel as happy as I can make myself look and all that will take is 20lbs.

img_0831

A Small Whirlwind

Whew!

I have a few minutes to sit and catch my breath and write.

Jordan came home for a week to get his drivers license-he had about a week’s worth of actual behind the wheel driving experience and figured he was a pro and that it was time to bite the bullet.

He arrived on a Saturday morning, got his permit on Monday and went driving with me afterwards (talk about scared Mom mode…), had some professional drivers training on Tuesday, and took his test on Wednesday.  Talk about a whirlwind week;  I don’t know how we managed but he was confident and I had coffee so we got through it alive.  He went back home pre dawn Friday and is now the proud owner of a California drivers license!  My first kid to drive legally!

The Monday after Jordan flew home the kids all started at their new school.  This has been another tornado adventure, let me tell you, but we all love it!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously that they’re attending a school geared towards the arts-Hannah has Choir and Dance classes in the morning while the boys have Band.  Matthew plays guitar while Elijah is learning bass and I believe that after all of the practice they’ll be having, these kids will have some serious skills.   The school also has a recording studio where the teachers and students can collaborate and actually produce music.  Not many schools have such opportunities for their students.  It’s an exciting time!

The oldest was released from jail yesterday after being incarcerated for a month.  He is being allowed to do Drug Court which means he’ll be drug tested several times each week, must attend drug classes, and he also has to do community service which will all be checked on by a judge each Friday.  He’s staying with my mom who was nice enough to offer up her home-she’s subjecting herself to random house searches by probations…I had already refused to allow him to stay here.  I just can’t have his anger outbursts, drugs, and homeless “friends” hanging out here.  I’m done with that.  If he fails, he faces 4 years in prison.  I hope he can finally get his shit together because he’s running out of options and bridges to burn.

I had a chat with my husband about different ideas to try and he suggested I start a podcast.  So I’m trying to come up with what I’d like to do with it-what my topics should be, a name, and what kind of microphone I need to purchase.  I’m very new to this form of expression but I think it will actually be fun-there are endless possibilities.  No politics, just something interesting and entertaining.  I’ll also have to hone my editing skills…lots of new things on the horizon and I love it.  I’ve been stuck in a rut for so long.


My first time in the car having Jordan drive.  I was scared shitless.


Hannah in front of her Middle School after orientation.


The 3 of us went out for Pho-we’re goofy.


We went to the Guitar Center so they could mess around a bit.


First day of school, 2017!


Jordan bought a new car!
See? I told you it has been insane around here-I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Timeless Children’s Books

Have you thought about the books you read as a child that helped shape the person you are today?

One of my most fond memories is of being in first grade, sitting cross-legged on the floor, listening intently to my teacher read The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeMy imagination soared as I followed the quest of the Pevensie children to defeat the White Witch and deliver Narnia from eternal winter.  I was right there as Edmund was tempted by Turkish delight (which, in reality, tastes nothing like I’d imagined), ultimately betraying his siblings by helping the White Witch.  I cried when Aslan died.

This story is what made me become a reader;  I couldn’t get enough.  As the years went on I read the series several times and tried to get my own kids to read it.  I suppose they have different tastes but I do highly recommend you read this to your own children.  I think it would be a great bonding experience and will certainly keep their attention.

At age ten I was obsessed with horses, like many young girls are.  I’m not sure how I found it but I imagine I discovered Black Beauty on a trip to the book store with my mom and anything with a horse on the cover caught my attention.  It was a thick book but that only meant longer for me to stay transfixed in a story.  Thankfully, my mom never discouraged me from any book-either for being too long or for troubling content.  I had free reign over books.

The story of Black Beauty and her many owners-from cruel to kind and gentle, stayed with me.  I feel that it helped nurture my love of animals and perhaps gave me a better understanding of how to treat them.  I find teaching children how to be caring towards animals incredibly important as it spills over into all aspects of life.  Black Beauty is certainly a character building story.

My love for horses found me yet another treasure in Can I Get There By Candlelight? My mom was a teacher at the elementary school I attended from Kindergarten through fourth grade and so I went to her classroom each day after school.  She had a fairly good-sized library of books and I found this story one afternoon.  I was hooked-time travel, horses, English gardens…everything I loved all wrapped up in one book!  I’m sure I devoured it in a few days.  If I can still recall elements of this story after 32 years, that should tell you something.  I suppose it hit me at just the right time and place I needed it, I just wish I could have gotten my daughter interested to read it.  We didn’t have tablets and Snapchat back then to interfere…

Here are a few more books I’d recommend to any parent to help grow their child’s love of reading:

  • Bunniculano child can resist the tale of a vampire bunny!
  • The Mouse and the Motorcyclean amusing story about a mouse who, well, rides a motorcycle.  My teacher read the first book to me and I read the rest of the series myself.  That’s how you build a reader.
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing-I could certainly relate to having a pesky younger brother and so this was another book I loved.  It’s the first in Beverley Cleary’s ‘Fudge’ series and very enjoyable.
  • How to Eat Fried Worms-there are so many ways to make worms into a meal if you’re trying to win a challenge.
  • Where the Red Fern Growsa story of perseverance and a child’s bond with his dogs.  Boy did I cry reading this one.

I suppose some of these books may be on a list of banned books but all I can say is that they’re treasures and I will always suggest them as an important childhood read.  Speaking from my experience, I believe they helped mold me into a kinder hearted person.

Wolf at the Door

When I think of meth, it brings to mind The Big Bad Wolf.

Knocking at the door, “Come out little piggies, come out!”

As I have images of this wolf, the Radiohead song Wolf at the Door comes to mind.  I love Radiohead and listen to them, oh, my kids would say far too often, but I find Thom Yorke’s voice soothing and their music is melodious and hits me where I like it-right in the heart.  So when I hear this song, it brings forth so many emotions tied up with my son.

Meth is certainly the wolf at the door.

He was doing so well.  He seemed like he might make it this time and be strong.  But after his legs healed he started having people hanging out next door after I told him repeatedly not to allow that.

“We aren’t doing anything wrong, I just want to hang out with my friends.”

I told him to go do that at their houses, if they had any, because I didn’t want it here.  I’m all too familiar with that scenario.  But he didn’t listen.  He was climbing in and out of his window, as well, which, as a condition of his return wouldn’t be allowed.

It all blew up like in the song- a flan in the face.

I sent him a text telling him, yet again, that I didn’t want anyone next door and that Matthew had discovered two people in the LOCKED patio and that it had to stop.  I told him I’d start calling the police if I found anyone there.  He proceeded to tell me to go ahead because they won’t do anything anyway.  I went on to tell him that maybe it was best, then, if he left, especially if he wasn’t interested in following one simple rule.  He told me he wouldn’t leave, no way, and I couldn’t make him.  I hopped in the car with Matthew because I was going to tell him to get out.  I’d had it.

I got to the house pretty quickly, fuming, actually, and found him sitting at the computer with a pissed off look on his face.  I told him that he needed to leave;  enough is enough.  He had not called his public defender to reschedule court, nor had he called the rehab facility whose program he needed to attend.  He was healed and taking advantage.

The wolf huffed and puffed…

Matthew said something to the effect of, “What’s your fucking problem?”

That was it and he jumped up out of the chair and got into Matthew’s face-he’s got a few inches on Matthew as well as five years.  It certainly wasn’t a fair fight but fists were flying and I yelled him to stop.  He wasn’t in the mood to listen so I got on the phone with the police and as he heard me call he yelled, “No, NO, NO!” and ran out the door.  I told them what happened, they came quickly, took mine and Matthew’s information as well as an account of what happened.  I’m fortunate to live in a city with a nice police department.

Since Matthew got punched in the eye, the officer suggested I have the fire department come out and see if he had a possible broken nose or any other facial fractures.  They were kind when checking his face and everything seemed to be intact, thankfully.  I declined a ride for him to the hospital-I live about five minutes from there so no need, especially since nothing was broken.

The police said they’d keep looking for him and they’d put a “Stop and hold” on him so that all officers would know to keep him.

Felony child abuse.

I’ve tried SO hard to get him back on the right track.  I tried to keep the wolf from the door but like the song says:

I keep the wolf from the door but he calls me up, calls me on the phone

Tells me all the ways that he’s gonna mess me up

Steal all my children if I don’t pay the ransom

And I’ll never see them again if I squeal to the cops…

He got picked up the next morning and is now in jail.  He has court tomorrow.  I fear for him in there-he’s like a little kid with a stunted brain who finds new knowledge impossible to retain.  He’s been there before, doing the same shit, only now it’s ten times worse.

I haven’t been able to sleep well since Sunday.  Matthew is very angry, rightfully so, and doesn’t want to see him again.  I’m just plain sad.

Meth is a wolf that will huff and puff and will eventually blow your house down

img_0268

I have to keep telling myself that this is not my son.  These are the words of an addict lashing out.  I’ll always love him;  he’s my boy, he just can’t live here and blow my house down.

(I asked my daughter to draw me a wolf for this post and this is her artwork!)

The Grand KPop Caper

Our son, Matthew, is a most determined young man.  He makes up his mind about something and puts those thoughts into action.  He’s unusual;  unique.   I like those qualities-they fit nicely in this family of ours!

Some years back, Matthew developed a fondness for KPop.  For those of you unaware, KPop is Korean pop music.  These groups are akin to our boy/girl manufactured bands and churn out catchy pop tunes complete with fancy dance routines and English phrases thrown in to delight their mainly Korean fan base.  The girls are pretty and the boys are stylish and always impressively dressed.

Matthew wants to be the next big KPop star.  From California.  Hey, stranger things have happened and looking at the website of the record company he is interested in, they don’t seem to discriminate based on ethnicity.  What does bother me, however, is their very strict dieting standards.  If he were to make it into KPop stardom, he’d be weighed everyday and have to focus on a minimal calorie diet.  He’s a growing boy and he’d never survive without Takis!

This boy has been teaching himself Korean.

He impresses me with his ability to pick up new languages.  He goes back and forth between Korean and Japanese but seems to have kept his focus on Korean, lately.  We watch Korean dramas together-he’s gotten me interested in them, surprisingly, but they’re quite good and entertaining.  My favorite one was Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight, also called Bring it On, Ghost.  I’m currently watching a comedy on Netflix called The Sound of Your Heart-it’s a good Mom/Son bonding experience and I’ve gotten some great belly laughs from this show;  it’s hilarious, really.

Not only is Matthew teaching himself a new language and watching shows based in another country, he’s teaching himself guitar.  His ease at learning new skills and the determination with which he approaches these skills is mind-boggling.  I wasn’t like that at his age…I wrote boring poetry and read Stephen King novels.  Whoopty-friggen-do!

All I can say is, I hope he achieves all that he can dream and I’ll never tell him he won’t succeed.  I try to stay positive and encourage him and who knows, maybe we’ll see him on stage somewhere!

He’s quite the character and I find myself laughing at his antics.  He’s a natural performer.


 


This last picture was taken yesterday.  He insisted we find somewhere pretty in order to take some photos he could use to send to the KPop label.  He needed a head shot, waist shot, and full body shot.  We took a lot of silly pictures and had fun-it was hot and we almost had to run for the hills from a bee hive, but we did it and had fun in the process.

Here are some random scenery pictures-it was very green and pleasant to view.



(The bees were in that tree!)