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Turning 10 Was a Rousing Success

Eilis is a tough nut to crack when it comes to some things.  One of them is deciding what kind of birthday party to have.

She wanted a sleepover, but at 10, there are still quite a few kids who haven’t done the sleepover thing yet.  I worried she’d have a poorly attended party, and that I’d be stuck trying to come up with stuff to do for 10 year olds that are homesick, sleep deprived, and on a sugar high from the sleepover snacks.

We compromised.  I asked her to choose a location for a regular, mom doesn’t have to prep or clean party, and then anyone who wanted to come back and sleep over was welcome to!

I think it was a homerun 🙂

We ended up celebrating at the Treehouse Coffee Shop in Audubon, NJ.  If you haven’t been – GO.  Seriously, the couple that owns this local coffee shop could not be more fantastic (with a son that is so sweet, you don’t even need to put sugar in your coffee!  Think of the calories you’ll save by grabbing your coffee here!).  They put out an awesome buffet – and I think it’s one of the first kids’ parties I’ve had where the kids actually wanted to eat – of course, they were exhausted from dancing, so that might have been an excuse to sit down.  And Eilis was so worried that no one would drink the Italian sodas – but the kids seemed to love going up to the counter and ordering their custom drinks!

And my biggest fear of all – the one where no one danced, and they all just sat and stared at each other for two and a half hours – guess what?  It didn’t happen!  They danced – pretty much every kid, across the board, danced most of the evening!

So the end result was a night that the kids enjoyed; I didn’t have to clean up from (well, except some of the sleepover mess); everyone ate; everyone drank; no one slept – but that’s kinda their moms’ problems today.  No one cried to go home; no one got homesick; and there were even kids who, as exhausted as they must be, didn’t want to go home this morning.

Happy Birthday, Eilis!  I hope it’s one you remember for a long time 🙂

Oh – and visit the Treehouse.  Randy and Tina, we love you guys for hosting such an awesome party!


So How’s That Weight Loss Thing Going?

Yeah, well, ppffffttttt.  That’s how it’s going.

After a great first week, the second week, things slowed down to nothing.  And then there’s this week.  Monday was Valentine’s Day, and Jim took me out to lunch, and the kids out to dinner – except, yeah, I went too.  And when you take kids out to eat, you take them to restaurants where you know kids will eat – not those fancy gourmet restaurants that give you just enough food to make you want to stop at Burger King on the way home.  My kids chose the Chinese buffet.

Fortunately for me, Chinese food generally makes me deathly ill, but I can eat my weight in the little sugar coated nuts they have at the buffet.  And as we know, my weight is substantial.  That’s a lot of nuts.

Then came Tuesday, a day where I did nothing but run errands all day.  And it was Eilis’ birthday!  So after we picked up three dozen heart shaped doughnuts for her to celebrate at school, we followed that up with taking Eilis out to dinner Tuesday night.  Yeah, Granuaile and I went too.  And Eilis picked the restaurant.  Famous Dave’s BBQ.

And with all that fat already on my arse from the first two days of the week, I do what every chunky chick does – I threw in the towel on the rest of the week.  I was stressed over school, over some issues with a friend, over my mom (who is back in the hospital as of this evening), and it just seemed like that last box of chocolate covered peanut butter cookies was screaming to me from the hiding place they were in.

So, I am up 2 pounds this week.

But I haven’t fallen completely on my face.

I am back on the bandwagon tomorrow.  Rally the troops, call in reinforcements!  I’ve got to just keep swimming…..

Tough Week on the Friendship-Go-Round

If this post seems a bit cryptic, well, that’s probably because it is.

A lot has happened in the past week that has really been bothering me, and I let the blame for the frustration I felt fall where I thought it rightly deserved to go.

That hasn’t changed.  I still 100% believe that the stuff that happened should not have happened, and I am not going to waiver on how I felt things were handled.

However, that which I was so vocally in support of may be something where I wasn’t seeing the full picture.  I had an opinion that was based only on a small piece of pertinent information.  The problem I have now is that I don’t know if the pieces of information I’ve gathered over the past 12 hours are accurate enough bits for me to change my opinion.

I think I enjoyed life much better when the biggest decision I had to make was choosing chocolate or vanilla pudding for my lunch box.

When did things become so complicated?

Two Days Until The Happy Day

Eilis has been reminding us for days that “The Happy Day” is almost here!  Of course, to Eilis, that means her 10th birthday, which falls just 2 hours and 36 minutes after Valentine’s Day.

She has no real idea how much it hits me when she says “The Happy Day”.  I don’t believe a woman with an epidural headache, recovering from 36 hours of labor and a c-section, could have been more deliriously happy than I was on February 15th, 2001.

There had been tremendous heartache in my road to being a mom.  Brighid was a surprise pregnancy, after we had been told conceiving would be terribly difficult for me due to an issue known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  As overjoyed as we were to be having Brighid, the pregnancy was difficult, and ended at 31 weeks, when we were faced with the real possibility of a premature infant that would fail to thrive.  Not an easy baptism into the sisterhood.

For 9 years after Brighid, we struggled with infertility.  It was during this time that we lost three of the five babies I would eventually miscarry, and it seemed that there would be no more children for us.

So after a month long trek across the country, from Florida to New Jersey, and then on to Washington state, when it seemed I wasn’t going to ever be un-tired again, I took a pregnancy test.

Positive.  Not yet a happy day.

After the losses we suffered, a positive sign on a pregnancy test meant nothing more than another $10 down the drain on a home test.  But in working with the doctor who I credit with saving not only Eilis’s life, but my dreams to be a mother – Dr. Mark Denker from the Palm Beach Fertility Center – this time, we’d have our happy day.

The minute Eilis was born, 2:36 AM on Thursday, February 15th, 2001, U2 was playing on the CD player in the operating room.  “It’s a Beautiful Day”.  Forget that they lyrics sing about doom and gloom in some places.  The chorus could not have rung more true.  Not only was it a beautiful day, it was a happy day.

And Eilis, you have given me 10 years of happy days to celebrate.  So when you ask, “How many more days until the Happy Day?”, I’m already there.

Arthur – the Updated Version

I know for a lot of you, this movie hasn’t even been a blip on your radar.  It doesn’t ooze Oscar; it doesn’t tackle deep social issues; and the original Arthur probably is a movie you saw, barely remember, but it might have been “cute”.

For me, Arthur was THE romantic comedy.  I saw it for the first time in the summer of 1981, and fell immediately in love with the movie, the characters, and even the whole, previously unknown to me genre.  It rests comfortably today on my top ten favorite movies list, and there are lines in the movie I still recite whenever appropriate – or sometimes, when I just need to put a smile on my face (the line, “Do you think he wants some cheese?” is an immediate smile grabber for me – I use that one often). 

So, with a movie so etched on my brain, the thought of a remake made me nauseous.  Who could replace Dudley Moore as the childlike millionaire and do him justice?  And Sir John Gielgud lives on in my mind as the quintessential “Hobson” – part butler, part father, part friend.  Honestly, I have not been looking forward to this 2011 Arthur – until now.

I saw the trailer this morning, and smiled all the way through.  It is certainly updated for today, but I feel the Russell Brand Arthur looks like it stays true to the Dudley Moore character.  And the choice of Helen Mirren as Hobson – looks like it was a brilliant move.

I can’t wait.

To My New Good Friend and Gentle Reader, Carrie!

My new friend Carrie took the time to post a comment on one of my Blog Posts (find the original post https://www.beautygirlsmom.com/2010/06/14/i-took-the-easy-way-out-gastric-bypass-surgery-bitching/ ).  I’m taking the time to answer her!

Dear Carrie:

Unless you’ve had the opportunity to know me and my reasons for having Gastric Bypass Surgery, I wish to politely invite you to shut the hell up (whew, I avoided the “f” word this time – quite a feat considering I have absolutely NO self control, as evidenced by my need for gastric bypass surgery).  I don’t believe I was bitching about my surgery at all – I was bitching about the ignorant woman at the airport who sat in a seat eating doughnuts and drinking soda, all the while talking about her phenomenal weight loss through diet and exercise.  Because I recognize that gastric bypass surgery was my choice, I don’t bitch about the procedure.  I may have complained now and again about the things I experience as a result of this choice, but I never bitch about the choice itself.

And Dear Carrie, if you bothered to get to know me, you’ll know that I have had gym memberships.  I’ve been at least partially responsible for our local gym owner having the ability to send his daughter to private preparatory schools.  While that may make me a martyr of some kind, I don’t proclaim to be a martyr, neither for being such a generous contributor to a child’s education, nor for my gastric bypass surgery.

I’ve had the common sense to put my fork down; and I’ve had the common sense not to put my fork through ignorant people who think that we all have the ability to make a few lifestyle changes and be on the road to skinny.  Jaysus, I’m showing an awful lot of self control for someone who couldn’t stop eating!

You suggest a lifestyle change for people who have weight loss difficulty.  I made one.  It certainly wasn’t a lazy route.  Jenny and I are on a first name basis.  The Fresh Diet failed me until I was fresh out of money to pay for the pricey service.  Weight Watchers watched my ass get bigger every time I went to the meetings, after a week of eating their recommended amount of food.  So you see, Dear Carrie, I’ve exhausted every carefully constructed weight loss method before making the lifestyle change that led to my surgery.  Please note the use of the word “exhausted” – because that’s not something lazy people get very often.

We don’t all have the ability to follow the food pyramid, the USDA recommended dietary intake, and expect to be average sized people.  If you had bothered to get to know me before accusing me of being lazy, you’d know that I suffer from PCOS, a disorder of the endocrine system, making it difficult for me to lose weight.  Not that I’m using that as a crutch to stuff my face full of Twinkies, but it is a fact of my biology that weight loss is not as easy as giving up cookies and cake.  And I would guess that there are other people out there who have turned to Gastric Bypass Surgery who have similar metabolic disorders or thyroid conditions that make losing weight The Dear Carrie Way less than ideal.

And let’s give credit where credit is due.  Lots of us got fat because we ate too damn much.  But whether it’s stress; depression; a coping mechanism – for some of us, food means comfort.  It’s an addiction, like alcohol, tobacco, cocaine.  There is a euphoric high after you eat a slice of cheesecake, and a terrible guilt as a fat person when you do.  To regain the feeling, you eat another; and another; and another, until, ultimately, you’ve eaten the whole damn cake, you feel badly about yourself, and you fear judgement from people like Dear Carrie.  That sets up the whole cycle all over again – you eat to feel good, you feel badly when you do, so you eat more to feel good.

So tell me, Dear Carrie, if my therapist and yours went head to head in a psychological Top Chef of sorts, which one of us ends up with the more normal patient?  Mine at least knows my issues.  Does yours know how angry you are at fat people?  You might want to bring it up at your next session.

Cuba Gooding, Jr. – Saving the Whales or Just Saving a Buck?

I hate this commercial.  I’ll tell you up front – I am not the crunchy granola, save the planet, super conscious about the environment mom.  Honey, if it’s gonna hold my Jersey girl big hair do in during hurricane force winds, I might not look twice at how many chlorofluorocarbons are in it – or consider how many insect species my using 32 cans a week might endanger.

But I hate this commercial.  I hate that they lure you in with the beauty and majesty of a creature as magnificent as a whale, tug at your heartstrings by alluding to the whale’s impending extinction, and then turn on the happy music and tell you that rather than putting your efforts into protecting this lovely beast, what the hell, grab a bunch of your friends and head off on a whale watching cruise!

Those crazy whales, up to all kinds of frolicking and playing  (as you do when your species is threatened), just waiting for you and 99 of your best buds to come cruising by, snapping pictures, commenting on how closely they resemble your Uncle Herb (the whale, by the way, is offended by such rude comments), dropping crap overboard into their homes.

And because you’re using Groupon, you’ll be doing it at half price!

Does Cuba recommend you take your savings and send it into some Save the Whales organization?  He does not.  As a matter of fact, I’m half waiting for them to tell me that you’ll need the other half of the money to bail your ass out of jail after you get carried away having such a grand time drinking and carousing out there on the high seas.

Yeah – don’t mix business with pleasure.  You want to talk to me about saving the whales?  Go ahead.  But don’t pull back just before you make a valuable point.  Cuba, you’re gonna have to whale watch without me 🙁

A 5K Race I Might Be Able to Get Into – the Krispy Kreme Challenge

A race involving doughnuts?  Surely, you jest!

I kid you not.  If you are unaware of the Krispy Kreme Challenge, it is a 5K race that takes place to benefit the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.  And it involves DOUGHNUTS.

The way the challenge works is that you have to run 1/2 of the race, at which point you will receive a dozen of the deliciously glazed Krispy Kreme donuts.  You have to eat them.  All of them.  And then run the rest of the race.

A lesser runner would be puking their guts up.  I am not a runner, I’m an eater.  I think I could take it.

The only thing I see that might be an obstacle is that whole running thing 🙁  The REAL competitors try to finish the race – include donut inhalation – in under an hour.

I’d need that long to get the glaze off of my fingers.

It’s too late to compete in this year’s challenge, but keep your eyes on this website to register for next year.  I hear the race fills up quickly every year.  I mean, why wouldn’t it, right?


End of Week One In The Land of the Losing!

Yeah, I did it.  I survived the week on a diet.  No husbands were maimed, no children were injured, no small animals were harmed.

And I lost five pounds.

I know – that sounds like I should be jumping up and down, praising the diet divas (Richard Simmons and Susan Powter); bowing down to the gut busting gurus (the trainers on the Biggest Loser – and Harvey from Celebrity Fit Club); lavishing love on the lard losing dieters who have gone before me, blazing the trail with fad diets and starvation plans.

But I can’t.

If I get excited that I’ve lost five pounds, I might start looking to reward myself.

And you know how fat chicks reward themselves?  It’s how we got fat in the first place.  Food.

This is one of the hurdles in the diet challenge for me – learning to be proud of my weight loss and reward myself without using food.

In the past, if I lost five pounds in one week, I’d start thinking “Hmmmm, if I ate X number of calories this week and lost five pound, then next week, I can eat 200 calories more each day and STILL lose weight!”  It’s a vicious cycle for me; another way I sabotage myself.

The good thing this time around is I am recognizing the things I’ve glazed over in the past (oooh – she said “glaze” – how far is the Krispy Kreme from here?).  I don’t have to be three quarters of the way through a Quarter Pounder before I realize I could have just patted myself on the back, given myself an extra hour of “me” time, and skipped the fat laden calorie consumption.

I’m down five pounds.  My goal is 30 pounds.  With less than 17% of my goal reached, now is not the time to rest on my pleasantly plump laurels.