Holy moly..

It’s been almost TWO YEARS since I’ve posted.  Holy hell.

So… I am going to start posting again.  I need some accountability for losing weight/getting fit, so what better place than on the internet, filled with millions of strangers, right?  Seriously, I’ve been inspired by Emily over at Fit & Free with Emily (go check her out here) and her courage and honesty with her journey.

I’m also motivated because my little sister is getting married in just over 6 months — and I’m a bridesmaid!  So what does that mean?  Size 24 Beth in literally hundreds of pictures – no thanks.   And my other sister wants to have a big ol’ family vacation that may include a waterpark… which means I’d be in public in a swimsuit.  That’s even scarier than Size 24 Bridesmaid.

But I want to share more than just my intense fear of being the “fat” bridesmaid again.  There’s more to me than my clothing size, after all.  I want to share food and exercise notes, but I also want to share some crafty/DIY stuff and some photography and my complete love for my Chicago Blackhawks 🙂

Goal: To post at least 2-3 times a week.  Feel free to hold me to it!

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I’m exhausted!

If you’ve read the last 2 posts, you know I’m in Maryland helping care for my 2 young nephews while my brother-in-law recovers from and IED blast.   However, on top of the regular exhaustion of running around after a 2 year old and 9 month old, the boys are now sick.  Little guy has an ear infection (102 fever!) and big guy has thrown up twice today (once on me).  Little guy went to the emergency room today with Mama, and got some antibiotics, but he’s still crabby and the Tylenol isn’t doing much for his fever.  I put him down for sleep at 7 — he normally goes down around 9.  We don’t necessarily think big guy is sick, he’s probably just working himself up too much when he throws his fits.  I know for sure the first time he was sick, he had food in his mouth when he started throwing his fit.  I think he kind of inhaled it a bit and it made him sick.  Which was blue, from the blue Gatorade he was drinking today.

My sister came back from the hospital around 5 from visiting Robert, then left again around 6 to go back over.  Until then, me and the big guy will probably snuggle and watch his ‘toons so he doesn’t get sick again today.  Taking into account that it’s now 7 local time, and I’m already nodding off, I could really go for sleeping in tomorrow.  But that won’t happen, because I’ll be up with the boys in the morning to feed them and ready them for daycare.  Then over to the hospital to see Robert for a while and have lunch with my sister.  Maybe in the afternoon I’ll come back and grab a little catnap or something. 

And if the weather chooses to cooperate…. then I am going to try to make it into DC this week and see some sights.  I’m pretty sure this will be my only trip to DC, so I’m going to try to make the most of it.

Up and down

That can pretty much sum up the last two weeks for my sister and family.  My brother-in-law’s status goes up then down, and up then down.  Right now, he’s fighting some sort of blood infection that the count goes up then down.  Same with his fever and blood pressure, up and down and up and down.  I guess the good news to report is that the majority of his nearly-daily surgeries are to close up his open wounds. 

He was awake today, and starting to get mad when they had to roll him on his side for a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).  He’s got 4 rods going through his hips/pelvis because his pelvis was crushed in the blast (2 weeks ago today).  In order to roll him to his side, they had to maneuver with all of those rods.  He’s got the same kind of set-up in his right forearm, with rods sticking out to stabilize that break.  My sister says he was swinging that arm around today as they were trying to do the LP.  He also had dialysis today, as his kidney function still hasn’t bounced back.  They won’t give up on his kidneys for months yet. 

In other heartbreaking news, my nephews (one is almost 2.5, the other is 9 months) started daycare here at Bethesda yesterday.  Going with my sister to drop them off and pick them up was one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever done.  We could hear little guy screaming all the way down the hall as we left when dropping him off.  And we could hear big guy screaming from down the hall for mama when we came to pick him up, even though he didn’t know we were there yet.  We had tears in our eyes, it was so hard.  I called up my husband and said I would never be able to put our future kids in daycare. 

For now, we just got little guy down, and big guy is wearing down our last nerves of the day.  He’ll be down soon.  Then… it’s Netflix time.  I think I’ll watch some Bones to unwind today.

From Bethesda, MD

Hello there readers — coming at you from Bethesda, Maryland for the next few weeks.  I’m here to help my sister out with my unruly nephews while her family is going through the unimaginable.  My sister’s husband Robert is a Marine who was deployed in Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, he was critically injured by an IED on March 24th, and he’s now made it to the Bethesda Naval Hospital here to receive his care.  At this point, his left leg has been amputated below the knee, and he has severe tissue damage to his right arm and leg along with a crushed pelvis.  He’s heavily sedated (and rightly so), but they’ve had him awake a few times these last few days.  He even blew kisses at my sister yesterday!

I’ll try to keep you all updated between looking after my nephews and watching Yo Gabba Gabba for the millionth time.

This picture here was taken the day my brother-in-law deployed, holding his youngest son (about 6 weeks old at the time).  [photo removed for privacy purposes]

Interesting day at work!

I should really call this interesting *week* at work, but day will do.  If you know me IRL, then you probably already know that my boss quit last week.  Or “resigned” or “voluntarily left the company,” whichever brand of BS you normally buy.  All of this is making for an interesting time for us at work now, since that leaves 10 of us now reporting directly to the uber-busy ‘director of customer care.’  Unfortunately, it’s also leading us to have to tell the director about each and every little thing that would’ve just been handled on its own by my former boss.  But what does that mean, you ask?

It means that now, instead of simply receiving an email that says “Here’s the new break schedule,” we are now going through the following process:  identify that there’s an issue in the break schedule, quantify/qualify the problem, craft a solution, test aforementioned solution, then email the director with all of the above information while explaining why it’s in the best interest of the company to adjust someone’s break by 15 minutes.  Today, I burned up approximately an hour’s worth of payroll doing exactly that.  End result?  I will begin coming in a half-hour earlier now to cover someone’s break.

I know, you guys don’t care about office politics — you’ve got your own office’s BS to deal with!  So on to happier and more fun things:

I leave NEXT WEDNESDAY to go see my sister and the most adorable little boys ever!  Today, I got the Blackhawks patches I ordered in the mail so I can make their tiny little Blackhawks gear to wear while I’m there.  I’ll post pictures when I return of how friggin’ adorable they are, especially in red! 

Also glad I booked my flight a month ago, at approximately $370.  Today, that exact flight is $971.  Gotta love the airline industry.  Oh well, as long as I get there!  The beach and 75 degrees…. so much better than the SNOW we’re going to get here in Iowa tonight.  This weather is for the birds!

Great news!

I’m under the 2-week mark until I get to fly and see my sister and my two most favorite little guys in the world — my nephews!  I haven’t seen my older nephew since he was 6 months old (he turned 2 last November) and I still haven’t met the littlest, who is now 8 1/2 months.  I can’t wait!

I chatted with my sister for a long time tonight, talking about what we might do (and listening to baby giggles in the background).  A trip to the zoo is definitely in order, and we may go to an aquarium that’s nearby too!  My bigger little guy loves turtles, so I think that will be tons of fun.  But I am just looking forward to some snuggle time with both little guys, and seeing my sister for the first time in a year. 

I’m just excited that I am finally able to afford to go on my own visit down to North Carolina (I’m in Iowa, just for the reference point).  Really, my whole family is going to be spending quite a bit of time at airports lately.  My brother-in-law, his wife and daughter are flying back from visiting her sister in California right now!  They’ll be landing within the next hour.  Then my dad leaves on Tuesday to go to Reno for bowling nationals.  He gets back next Sunday — then it’s a short few days ’til I fly out on Wednesday the 30th!  I’ll be gone until the next Tuesday, then my husband flies out on Thursday the 7th for Reno and his round of bowling nationals!  We’re really logging the miles!

All of that besides, we are blessed to be able to afford to travel.  I’ve been struggling for the last few years to save my own money to afford my own trip — not that I don’t *love* my dad, but I want to go visit on my own.  Thanks to some wonderful advanced-planning on our taxes, we had a refund that is allowing both myself and my husband to take our (separate) short vacations! 

Also… today is my mother-in-law’s birthday!  We’ve got a fantastic gift planned, and it’s a big secret/suprise!  The only downside is we’re not getting together to celebrate MIL’s birthday until AFTER my dear husband gets back from Reno.  I’ve got to keep it under wraps until April 16th!  The torture!!!!

Oh well, enough for now.  I’m going to go start working on a new purse to take with me on my trip 🙂  I have plenty of inspiration!

Sewing again! (and first poll question)

It’s been a while since I was sewing on a regular basis.  Before Christmas!  One of my Christmas gifts involved a “subscription” to a mini-quilt-of-the-month club to my mother-in-law.  My husband and I bought a little shelf with a little quilt rod, wrapped it all up, and gave it to his mom — she loves that kind of stuff!  But it also meant that at least once a month, I committed to a few hours to my sewing table.  After sewing the inital January mini-quilt, I didn’t sew again until the February quilt…. or again until I made the March quilt tonight.  I have yards upon yards of fabric (literally taking over my living room) that is just waiting to be crafted into something fantastic.

The good news is that sewing is like therapy to me.  I forget how therapeutic it is when I’m not sewing.  I have so many ideas that I just need to get out!  And I could sew for several months without needing to restock my fabric stash; I’d probably run out of thread first!  My biggest problem now is just figuring out where to start…

More good news — it looks like we’ll be getting possession of the back apartment on the first of next month!  That means my craft space will be moving over to the ‘other’ kitchen and out of our overcrowded living room.  It will only be a temporary fix, though.  We need a house!  Since we’re sticking to our financial plan (two credit cards paid off so far!), we may be able to make that a reality sometime in the next year.  I feel like such a grown-up!

I think it’s time to try my first poll question:  to cut my hair, or not to cut my hair?  It’s getting to a strange length (I have ‘bangs’ that are growing out, but not long enough to pull back yet), and it’s becoming a pain to dry and straighten all the time.  It’s right about that length where I usually cut it off to chin length, and regret it two days later when I can’t pull off a ponytail.  Put your vote/comments/pictures in the comments!