Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Blessings

I decided I'd better post today before things got too hectic with Christmas etc... I know I am such a disciplined blogger- posting on a regular schedule *HUGE EYE ROLL* 

Anyway, my guys come home tonight and I will have them home through New Years so I am jacked to say the least! Cheergirlie got home last Tues. so life has been good on the home front- and as of tonight... all my chicks will be home! :D

From left to right...Buffy, hubby, me. QB1, the newly engaged girl, Cali,  Ty & cheergirlie 

I am blessed to have all of these individuals in my life- both human & canine. They give my life meaning & value and I treasure them all!

I thank God that hubby & QB1 are both OK after they were each (separately) rear ended within a 3 day period since last Sat.. One car is OK- the other one *not so much* - but they are things & replaceable.

We have no specific plans for this Christmas other than to have family and friends with us and to enjoy time with one another- a commodity we do not have enough of these days.

My wish for you this holiday season is health, happiness,  and time with the ones you love.

Have a joyous Christmas and New Years!
Barb xo

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Last night our oldest, Jenny got engaged!!!

Her boyfriend- now fiance Mike proposed and gave her a beautiful ring!

the "rock"

She is ecstatic- it is so nice to see her so happy! :)  

so... now what?! 

I think I need a "how to" book right about now!

Any suggestions?

Friday, December 3, 2010

My baby boy turns 17

Today is QB1's 17th birthday...  
my baby... all 6'1" or so of him...

This past year has been a good year for him, he didn't have as great of a FB season as he may have liked but unfortunately that is in large part to the crap plays his coaches called. Unfortunately they are very "old school" and don't think that they need to change anything. I just think they have never had a really good QB and simply do not know how to call plays for a passing game effectively. But I'm just his mother... what do I know? ! 

Some changes from last year- this year QB1 has a steady girlfriend (who I like very much),

He is also now sharing his room etc with Ty...
QB1 & TY circa 2006

I have to say even though he tends to procrastinate about school work more than I'd like him to, QB1 is a pretty awesome kid...he really is...
He has matured a lot this past year and even though I do not get to spend as much time as I'd like with him, I am very proud of the man he is becoming. He has stayed true to himself throughout all of the changes he has been through the past two years and has made good choices. I know his dad thinks he needs to be more focused, but I think in his own way he is... he is just  very laid back- which is hard for his dad to understand.

It's both wonderful and horrible watching your kids grow up into adulthood.
Wonderful to see the great people they have become,
and horrible knowing that the time you have with them is becoming less and less as they move on with their own lives.

Because to me he will always be this little guy-
Cheer girlie & QB1

Happy birthday J- I love you more than you know.. xoxo

Saturday, November 27, 2010

weekend update

This morning Jenny & her bf Mike ran/walked in a 5K- way to go guys!

Tonight is the last round of the playoffs for QB1- if they win they go to the state championship next weekend... wish them luck! GO RAIDERS!

Stefanie goes ack to JMU tomorrow afternoon sometime.. having her home makes me realize how much I miss her when she is @ school.

We had a great Thanksgiving, good food, family & fun!   Jen & I hit the stores Fri. morning @ 4:30 AM to get a particular gift for someone... we lucked out & it was in stock...we hit 2 other stores before going to breakfast & then coming home and going back to bed @ 8AM

Today I have ordered a few things online and hope to do more online shopping tomorrow. Christmas is around the corner & will be here before we know it.  Back to school on Monday... boo! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My updated Thankful list 2010

  • My husband
  • My kids
  • Our family
  • My puppies 
  • Good health
  • God
  • Having all of us together as a family- doesn't happen that often these days...
  • Our home
  • Hearing "I love you"
  • Christmas morning
  • Hugs
  • Smiles
  • Laughter
  • A clean house thanks to my cleaning lady
  • Wine 
  • Martinis
  • My cell phone
  • A good book or movie
  • Starbucks
  • Manicures, pedicures & massages
  • When I can sleep all night without waking up
  • Snow days 
  • Chocolate
  • Summer = a teachers favorite season :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

“If I knew then what I know now . . . ”

I would have exercised more...

I would have drank more water...

I would have stayed in touch with more of my college friends...

I would have studied more in college and probably chosen a different major...

I would have gone for my Master's right out of college...

I would have bought stock in Microsoft...

I would have used sunscreen even more than I did (especially on my face)...

I would have traveled more when I was younger...

I would have invented something like those material seats for babies to use while shopping in grocery stores...(I probably would've made millions)

I would have saved A LOT more $...

I would have stressed less about things I cannot control...

I would've continued with the diet plan they put me on when I was pregnant with QB1- (I probably wouldn't have Type 2 diabetes if I had)...

I would have spent more time with my grandparents...

I would have worried less about housework because it always was clean enough...

I would have bought more real estate( if I had bought it on the Jersey shore or down in the Outer Banks when it was cheap- I could sell it for big $ now)...

I would have started my own business...

What would you have done differently???

Friday, November 12, 2010

my hippie geologist

My daughter "the cheerleader" @ JMU is a Geology major. What will she do with that you ask? Well, specifically she wants to become an Enviromental geologist. I looked up what they do & this is what I found:  

"An environmental geologist is a geologist who studies the interaction between humans and the natural environment, and the impact of various human activities on the environment. 

Environmental geologists work to keep the environment safe and healthy while also making it accessible and useful for people."  

The other night she called me on the phone and we talked for an hour about her major and what we are doing to the planet. She said the more she learns the more of a "hippie" she is becoming...

I love that she is passionate about what she is studying and some of the stuff she was telling me I had never even heard of... I am learning about some issues like mountain topping.... She also posted the following link on face book about some of our food supplies.

A mountaintop mining operation in West Virginia

It's scary when you hear about stuff like this and it makes me think- where the hell have I been that I have never heard about some of this stuff?

Monday, November 1, 2010


Friday Jeff and I had a meeting with the diagnostician  to discuss having Tyreik tested to see if he has a learning disability. Ty has been working very hard, doing his homework etc, but has been not doing as well on his tests. The teacher in me thought hmmmm... could he have an unidentified learning disability?- hence the meeting.

The meeting went very well. The diagnostician explained that since he has had gaps the past few years due to multiple absences from school- she proposed NOT testing him because she said she believes that if she did test him now he would test out as having a learning disability. (are you following me here?)  When in fact she believes that he has missed key information the past few years since he has missed so much school. (these were facts that I was unaware of) His mom did not share some of this info with us and what she did share was modified (to say the least).

She proposed doing curriculum based assessments to see where his areas of weakness are- then teach the concepts,  see if he can learn the concepts, & then she will reevaluate him at a later date to see his progress. If he improves then he does not have a learning disability, if he does not- then he does and they will change his schedule to get the help he needs. Either way- he is going to be getting extra help- which was my ultimate goal.

Anyway- the reason I am explaining all of this was that for the first time I went to a parent teacher conference and actually felt like I was IN CONTROL.

Most of the parent conferences/meetings I attend are for students I work with in special ed. and the school often does not ultimately have the control- the parents seem to run the show, and unfortunately what the parents want is not always best for the student. The stories I could tell...yikes! In my district if a parent does not get what they want they will often threaten to go to mediation which involves getting lawyers involved and 9 times out of 10 when this happens the district typically has always "given in" to the parents demands.

Jeff said that he really enjoyed the meeting b/c he had never seen me in "professional mode". He said he likes to watch peoples body language and that based upon the body language I totally was in control of the meeting. I wasn't  aware of it but he said every time I disagreed I would lean forward- and she would lean back... he said when  I had a question and would stop her for clarification - this seemed to intimidate her & put her on edge a bit... she knew she was dealing with someone who understood special ed. I asked him if I appeared rude- or like a bitch b/c that was NOT what I wanted to convey- he said no- I just appeared to know what I was talking about, I understood the jargon/terminology she used and asked pertinent questions so there was no way she was going to be able to get anything by me...

We were able to come to a consensus and actually this will be more work for her than simply testing him...My momma bear emerged and no one was going to NOT help my adopted son!

This past weekend Jeff & the boys went to JMU to visit Stef & this was the first time Ty got a taste of what college life is like... He LOVED it!  So hopefully this will help him to stay focused & committed to his studies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pics from our vacation last July

beach near our hotel

northern coast of Maui

northern coast of Maui

northern coast of Maui/surfers

Our last night in Maui
I never got around to uploading our pics from Hawaii... so here are a few to get you over the hump Wed.! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jam packed weekend

So it is Friday afternoon and I have about 45 minutes till my weekend officially begins. As per usual I am headed to DE to see hubby , my son (QB1) & Tyreik for the weekend.

This weekend is going to be jam packed. Tonight my SIL & BIL fly up from Atlanta for the weekend and tomorrow my other SIL drives in as we have two football games to go to.

QB1 in action
#1 game starts @ 1:00 PM for my son (QB1)- this is a BIG game for his team, but unfortunately he is not 100% b/c he sprained his shoulder during last weeks game and was in a sling until Wed. Most likely he will not be able to throw much, but should be able to hand off. It sucks because last week there were 2 colleges there to see him and he ended up getting hurt :(

Cheergirlie in action
Then we have to drive 45 min. to be @ Villanova to see our daughter (cheergirlie) cheer for JMU. That should be a good game since Villa is ranked #1 (I think). Unfortunately she won't be able to stay around after the game and will have to drive back to school with her squad- but it will be great to see her for however long we can. Cheergirlie got kicked @ practice last Sun. night and had to get x-rayed to be sure she did not break her collar bone (she didn't) AND her knee is out of whack (think possible torn meniscus/surgery in her future???) She insists that she is fine, but she also sports an elbow sleeve & an ankle brace and is pretty much refusing to wear a brace on her knee for fear of looking like Bionic cheergirlie.

The "girls" doing what they do best- chillen'
Add to all of this packing up the two pups(+ their stuff) - bedding for our "company, some food to take with us and it rounds out the weekend nicely :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ten Guilty Pleasures

I was trying to think about what to write and was stuck... I thought about trying the 30 days of Truth idea that I saw on Skippy's blog I Make Soap... but honestly I don't feel confortable sharing some of my own dirty laundry so to speak. So I came upon the idea for ten guilty pleasures and decided to take a whack at it. I should note that these are not ranked or in any particular order.

Ten Guilty Pleasures

1.  Any really high quality milk chocolate- hands down one of the best things if you are having a bad day.

2.  A lazy morning when you don't have to get out of bed and can just lie there and relax and cuddle with someone you love.

3.  Getting either a massage or pedicure (or both*)- there is nothing like a good massage/pedi to make yourself feel pampered.

4.  Playing hooky on a work day just because you need a "mental health" a.k.a. day off.

5.  Reading a good book, even though there is other stuff you should be doing.

6.  Going out to eat @ a really nice restaurant and getting dessert!

7.  Playing my games on Face book. I farm, I am conquering the wild frontier... you have a problem with that?

8.  Buying yourself a new outfit, pair of shoes, perfume- whatever it is that floats your boat.

9.  Time alone *sans kids* with my husband (preferably somewhere tropical)

10. Going out to breakfast and being able to take your time and not rush.

So what is your guilty pleasure?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

D Day

Tonight I go to my very first boot camp class... oh boy oh boy!

Can you tell how pumped I am? 


I was doing so well up until late July early Aug. then I fell off the wagon so to speak... *sigh*

So today is my D Day of sorts... the boot camp is Tues./Thurs. nights and I am going to get back to working out with Paul on Wed. nights...   hopefully this time I will be more consistent...

We shall see....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the latest in fall accessories

Do you have the latest accessory for fall????


Oh I guess that means you are NOT a klutz like me... *sigh*

Sprained my ankle Sat. en route to my sons football game... I did however suck it up and stayed for the WHOLE game! (Impressed?)

As a sign of unity Cali was laying smack up against me... see her leg to the left of mine? 
However hers is unhurt...
mocking me....

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Today my best friend Tobie & I went into Philly to the Women of Faith Conference.. It was a day filled with laughter & tears.

To many people this would be one of those oh, that's nice kind of thing.. how sweet etc.. but this was really a life changing experience for both of us because Tobie was brought up Jewish.

Recently she shared with me that she has been having a lot of thoughts about the possibility of switching and becoming a Christan. I mean it is kind of a conundrum- I mean Jesus WAS Jewish....

She has lots of questions (to which I do not have all the answers) & she is searching for a spiritual path to follow and has begun questioning what she has always believed to be true.   

It was amazing today to be able to share this with her, and it was if God was reaching out to her over and over again throughout the day. Many of the topics discussed during the day were issues she has dealt with or is dealing with right now- it actually became kinda creepy.

During the lunch break we were talking about some of what was said and she told me she didn't "feel worthy" -that she had made many mistakes in her life, and why would God "want her"? It was amazing...after the break the next speaker discussed how God will forgive any sin if you just believe.... that we are all "worthy" of his love- all we have to do is ask for it.... it gave me chills..... 

We came out of the conference uplifted and overwhelmed at the same time... this weekend gave us both lots to think about.   It was a wonderful experience to be able to share with my best friend and I will treasure this weekend forever.     We then drove home and had some wine together... ;)  our own little private communion...;)  

All kidding aside today was AWESOME! I hope we can go again next Sept.!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

our new addition

This past weekend we had family over for a bar-b-q and as we were chatting my oldest (Jenny) turns to me and says... "yeah you need to start writing on your blog again.. it's been like forever..." to which my mom chimes in... "yeah!" It seems that my last short blog wasn't good enough.... over the summer I didn't write because most of my family was home and I simply wanted to enjoy having everyone home and not spend hours on the pc as I do when everyone is back to school. I haven't even been keeping up with the games I play on face book.

So school is back in session   (boo!) and I am back to work full time... if it wasn't for those lovely paychecks I'd rather spend my time at home- I guess I need to start playing the lottery more frequently.

I thought awhile before I decided to share the following on my blog- I am not looking for kudos etc. but there is something new going on within our family.

This summer we obtained legal guardianship of my son's best friend Tyriek.

Tyriek is JJ's age and we have known him since he was 8 or 9 years old. His mom is a single mom of 3 kids, working 3rd shift- doing the best she can. Unfortunately they live in a neighboring town which has become more dangerous as of late. There is a lot of gang activity, shootings, drugs etc. and it was really in this kids best interest to be outta there. So as per his moms request we stepped up and got a lawyer and got it done.

I am not trying to minimize this- we did a lot of soul searching before deciding to commit to the care of this child. I mean it's one thing raising your own kid- you make a mistake. *shrug* But to raise another persons kid... That is different. 

Many family members & friends tell us they cannot believe that we are doing this and what wonderful people we are... blah blah blah...kind of our version of The Blindside.  When we first discussed doing this Jeff and I could not deny the fact that this was a child who was struggling and at risk.We talked as a family and we were all in agreement.  I will freely admit that the whole thing scared me to a certain extent... all those what if's that nag at you... Plus our lawyer strongly advised us to really consider NOT doing this- he played devil's advocate and told us we had everything to lose by taking Ty on.

The bottom line was we saw a young man whom we cared about, who has potential & who without some type of intervention would either become a statistic and possibly drop out of school or, worse case scenario- get killed. We prayed for guidance and ultimately decided that we really did not have any other choice. I knew that if we did nothing & something happened to Tyriek, we would never be able to live with ourselves.

It has been a month now since he has joined our family and I am no longer scared.

Tyriek is a great kid! He is respectful, funny, and a hard worker. He helps out without being asked and has meshed with our family. He has joined the football team with JJ and is doing homework every night. His mom told us the only thing he doesn't like is his 10 PM curfew on school/practice nights. But he understands that we have rules & expectations for both him & JJ and he is ok with that.

The biggest difference that I have noticed is that he now talks about his future. Before  I think he really only thought day to day... now he is talking about "when he goes to college". His mom can see a difference as well when she sees him. She told us that before the only male role models he saw were men who did not hold down jobs and hung out on street corners either drinking or doing drugs.

Last weekend I sat down with him and asked "mom" kinds of questions, like which classes does he like best, and has he noticed any particular girl he might like to date? etc. [and yes he has ;) ] He told me he really likes his new school and is making friends. :)  

I will continue to pray for guidance, and hope that we are making a positive difference in his life. One thing I DO know, is that he has made me reevaluate my priorities. I have taken many things for granted in my life, but am recognizing that it is the little things which are most important.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Well here I sit....
Stefanie back @ JMU,
Jeff & JJ back in DE,
Jenny working a double.....

just me & the pups....*silence*

Watching tv, playing games on the computer... basically doing nothing....should be great huh?

It's not.

I can't help it- I'm bored... and unfortunately cannot seem to motivate myself to do anything....

I know I should clean up around some laundry...exercise....

I can't.

All I seem to be able to do is to sit here...
like a slug....
feeling sorry for myself....

*sigh*   I need to snap out of it....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

return from paradise?

We went to Maui- had a good time, but ultimately I have to be honest... I was disappointed.

First of all the flight... about 13 hrs out 11+ home.... SUCKED!

Secondly- I guess I have been spoiled... the past few vacations hubby & I have gone on were to adults only resort....this place had WAYYYY too many little kids!

Thirdly- Maui is unbelievably EXPENSIVE!  Their gas is $3.78/gal.   a cheeseburger anyplace other than McDonald's or Burger King was a MINIMUM of $15. I honestly don't know how the people afford to live there???

We have been to the Caribbean multiple times and that is where we will return to! Don't get me wrong- Hawaii was beautiful.... the ocean was blue, the beaches nice... the hotel was very nice(overpriced in my opinion but *shrug*)

The kids seemed to enjoy it, we had a great time on the snorkeling trip we took,  but unfortunately Jeff was pretty uncomfortable for most of the trip (he has a herniated disc)- He was happy to get home. The one thing that did kinda tick me off- the hotel we stayed at did not have fireworks on the 4th... I mean it was a 5 star hotel... and no fireworks? WTF??....hotel- FAIL!

Then... our rental car was hit- not once but twice! When we looked around most of the cars had dings in them...

It took me a good week to get back in the swing of things with the time change-

Am I glad we went... yes... I can say we visited Hawaii- will I ever return?  Probably not- at least not on my dime! I'll head back to Jamaica or Dominican Republic....etc...were it's all inclusive and you don't feel like they nickel and dime you for everything!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aloha kakahiaka (good morning)

                  OK, I can't stand it anymore....

I have news... June 30-July 5th

WE ARE GOING TO HAWAII!!!!!!  (*cue Hawaiian music*)

JJ was in a series of football competitions and is one of 10 high school junior finalists (out of 2100 kids) who has been invited to Maui to participate at the next level. Needless to say we are VERY proud of him and beyond excited- Jeff and I decided that since the kids are getting older- this may be the last family vacation we might be able to take with just the five of us. 

The last big vacation like this we took with the kids was to La Romana in the Dominican Republic about 4 years ago. As the kids were growing up we didn't do many "big" vacations- we would usually go to our cabin in the mountains, or go to the beach. We didn't have to spend a lot of money on those kinds of vacations- and through the years we have been pretty frugal when it came to family vacations. Looking back we didn't go anywhere besides the cabin the first 15 years we were married- it has only been in the last ten years that we have traveled more. 

So, we will visit Maui- and from the pictures I have seen it looks beautiful!  The girls have been looking at things to do while we're there and have lots of ideas- the one I want to do with them is go snorkeling to Moloki crater.                                     Moloki crater                                                                                                                                                Stefanie wants to see some volcanoes (since she is a geology major) and Jenny is looking in to bike tours & zip lining as well. Other than the snorkeling- I will be happy to lay on the beach :)  Jeff's sister Suzanne & her hubby David will meet us there. They worked for an airline for years and are able to fly for free. So in lieu of driving to Atlanta this summer- we will have time with them in Hawaii!        

Paul (my trainer) & I have kicked my workouts up a notch in the hopes that in the next two weeks I can lose another 5 lbs- putting me down 20 lbs. before we get there. If last nights workout was any indicator, I will definitely lose those pounds!   If anyone has ever been to Maui and can recommend any tours or restaurants- please let me know! Aloha!!!!                                

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

winding down

After today we have 6 days left in the school year!!! *happy dance*
We teachers have to come in on that Fri. to close up our rooms etc. then we are free till late August. I have to pack up my room because I was told my room will be changing, so I will...

I have been pretty busy lately and next week will be very busy...most likely I will not have time to blog till school is over... the beginning of summer vacation always fills me with a sense of hope- usually I plan several jobs I want to complete around the house, but invariably I never get to them... this years list includes:   
  • Repaint the powder room
  • Repaint the finished basement + bathroom
  • Clean out my kitchen cupboards
  • Repaint our kitchen table base (with the paint I've had for about 2 yrs....)
  • Clean out /organize our garage
  • Walk/run every day- OK not a job per se but it feels like one!

Will I get to any of my list?

Well the walk/run- maybe not EVERY day, but hopefully at least every other day!

If I am honest, most likely the only one I will get to is repainting the powder room- only because I can no longer stand the way it looks....

Guess I could term myself a "ambitious procrastinator"!

Summer Va Kay here I come!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jersey shore, & best friends

The weekend is upon us and Stefanie and I are heading to NJ for the Memorial Day weekend. Jenny will be stuck @ home working & babysitting our puppy Cali, big girl Buffy gets to go on the road trip with us.

Jeff & JJ are headed to CA for a two day football camp for JJ- so we will be a bi-coastal family this weekend.

We are going to visit my best friend/former college room mate Tobie & her family. They live about 10 minutes from the beach so when we visit I get to go and walk on the beach - which I LOVE!

Tobie & I met our freshman year of college. We both tried out for cheer leading & made it. When I first saw her she was pretty intimidating- she was such a phenomenal cheerleader and could do a "Russian split". She was kind of stand offish so I actually thought she was stuck up. I later found out she was just shy.

About a month into our freshman year I decided one day to ask what she had planned for the weekend. She told me she was actually supposed to go to a party with this guy she had just met and that his roommates were going along. She felt a little uncomfortable going alone and asked me to come with them. So I did- best decision I EVER made! After the party we ended up sleeping (a term loosely used because we ended up staying up all night talking) and found out we had a lot in common and just *clicked*. From that weekend on we spent more and more time together and became best friends. Tobie is a beautiful person both inside and out and back in the late 70's early 80's it didn't hurt that she was a dead ringer for Farrah Fawcett! I remember going out with her and watching the guys drool all over her *L*

We ended up rooming together our Jr/Sr year and it was so awesome! We NEVER fought- EVER... we only ever really have had one disagreement-(not even an argument)  and that was when I was upset because the guy she had been seeing was treating her pretty shitty and I was upset for her. We both seemed to go for similar type guys too... but we decided early on, we would share everything - except guys!

Tobie grounded me during college. She was my voice of reason when I wanted to do something stupid. She always had my back as I had hers. I can tell her anything. We have often joked that we will HAVE to stay best friends forever because we know too many secrets about each other! ;)

She came and helped me after I had Jenny and was so very sick- and after we moved to western PA we met every summer @ our cabin near Gettysburg because it was halfway for both of us. Each summer we would stay for a whole week- just us and the kids. The first year we met there Stefanie was about a year and a half and Jenny was about 4 and a half. Tobie's two daughters Jennie and Allie were a year older than each of my girls so they had a lot in common. Then JJ came into the picture and he came too. We had such great times there with the kids!

Through the years we have remained close, even though we don't get to see each other nearly as often as we would like. The thing that I find so remarkable about our friendship is that no matter how much time has passed, when we are together it is like it has only been a week or so. There is never any awkwardness etc. we just pick up where we left off- to me that is a rare thing. Besides my husband & mom, Tobie is my go to person when anything really good, or bad happens.

Through my life I have been blessed to marry my best friend, but besides Jeff I have really only ever had one woman best friend... and she is it. I value and treasure our friendship and don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to her.

I can hardly wait to get there, have a glass of wine, & catch up!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

workout update

Ok it has been 6 weeks....  this breaks down into:
  • 6 weeks of no cheating food wise (which is a revelation in itself!)-
  • Blood sugar levels which have ranged from 87-102! (previously I had trouble getting below 126)
  • ONLY two glasses of wine in the past 6 weeks.... 
  • Hrs. of torture thanks to Paul my trainer...
  • Seeing my improvement in doing exercises that I couldn't do 6 weeks ago...
  • Days of soreness- again thanks to Paul...
  • And a pride in myself I haven't had in a very long time!

AND... *drumroll*
I am down 11 lbs. as of this morning!!!!  

The proof will be in the pudding however when I get the results of the blood work I had drawn today.

I feel better, have more energy, am sleeping better... and my clothes are fitting better, and some pants are actually feeling a little big...

I went about 5 weeks hovering around the 7 lb. mark and all of a sudden I have begun to lose a little more... like a 1/2 lb. every other day or so. I know this won't last... that I will probably taper off to a pound or two per week, but these extra few pounds off have really jazzed me up!

Hubby has been inspired to try some of the eating strategies I have used and lost 10.5 lbs. in ONE WEEK!(jerk!) ;)     I'm sorry but it is so unfair that men can drop weight so easily...

My oldest Jenny began the week after me and is doing well also... she had lost some weight before we began and is down 17 lbs!

So- what do I miss?
  • I miss wine- but Paul said I could have a glass (in moderation) maybe 3x  times a week...
  • I miss cheese... I have cut way back because of the fat/sodium in it.
  • I miss cereal... I loved having a bowl in the evenings, but I try and cut off carbs after 3-4 PM now...
But surprisingly that's it... if there is something I really am hungry for I have it on my weekly cheat meal. One thing I have learned after this 6 weeks is that I really believe I am lactose intolerant. I have not had much in the way of yogurt or cheese and been using either soy or almond milk instead of cows milk and my stomach is SO MUCH BETTER!
It's all good...:) 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Stefanie

Our middle child, Stefanie was born 19 years ago today. We were living in western PA @ the time and were having a heat wave with record temps in the 90's. I sometimes think that's why Stefanie loves the summer/beach so much. Stefanie came along almost exactly three years after her big sister. She and Jenny actually had the same due date, but Jenny was born two weeks early. Like Jenny, I was sick as a dog for the first three to four months, and could barely keep anything down.

At one point they threatened to put me in the hospital because the nausea was so bad. Then I got the flu and was vomiting so hard that all of the blood vessels in the whites of my eyes burst- I looked like a walking Halloween mask- not attractive. I had decided that I wanted to try and do a V-back, meaning I wanted to try and have Stefanie via a "regular" vaginal delivery since I had to have a C section with Jenny. They told me they would not allow me to go past my due date because she was so big. They were afraid I might rupture my uterus. After twelve hours on Pitocin, they stopped it around midnight and told me they were just going to do a C-section the next morning (not that I got any sleep because even though they stopped the Pit drip I continued to have contractions all night.)I found out later that Jeff had a talk with the doctor just before midnight and asked him if she would be born anytime soon because he didn't want me going through what I did with Jenny- the doctor said he didn't think so- so they stopped it. Stefanie was born just after 8:00 A.M. all 9 lbs. 15 oz. of chubby baby. (Yes I said 9lbs. 15oz!)She had to go into an incubator for the first 24-48 hrs. because she was having a little trouble breathing.

They sent Jeff along with her to the nursery and I was taken back to my room. I kept asking for her and no one would bring her to me. By mid-late afternoon I got worried. I STILL hadn't seen my baby. I kept asking the nurses over and over to please bring me my baby. I guess they all thought someone else did because she never came. Finally I decided enough was enough, and when the last nurse came in to tell me she was fine, but in an incubator I started to try and sit up, then STAND up and began getting out of bed while holding on to my IV thing which was on wheels. I was going to FIND MY BABY! The nurses all started getting very excited and kept asking me to get back in bed etc. but I made it out into the hallway before one nurse stopped me and asked me to please get back in bed, the she would personally go right then and get Stefanie for me.
I remember taking her hand and telling her I NEEDED to see her, she needed to nurse. The nurse promised me she would go get her and she did. They wheeled the incubator into my room about 5-10 minutes later... and there she was :)
Stefanie was a good baby. She slept and ate well and had a very happy disposition. We called her our sumo wrestler baby because she had these rolls of fat on her little thighs, but she quickly slimmed down and was just adorable. I knew early on that Stefanie was going to be a handful- after her brother was born and she was just about three my mom came to visit and brought gifts for the kids. It was JJ's christening so she made up gift bags for the girls so  they would have something too. Jen just dumped her whole bag onto the bed and sorted through stuff. Not Stefanie... she took each item out, one at a time and then sorted them all into a line and placed everything according to size... from the smallest to the biggest. My mom looked at me and said "oh you are in for so much trouble..."

Stefanie was my over achiever in high school, she was very driven and had excellent grades. She also cheered in high school and was on the all star team her sister cheered on outside of school. By the time of her junior year she was in the National Honor Society and senior year chaired a fundraiser held the day before Homecoming (Powder Puff football) which raised about $10,000 for Alex's Lemonade stand. She was named to the Homecoming court that year and believe it or not broke her nose the day before Homecoming- thank God for ice and make up!!!

Stefanie just finished her freshman year @ James Madison University and her "Big Daddy" & I are so very proud of her. She switched her major from Business Marketing to Geology and absolutely LOVES it! She cheered @ JMU and just made the squad for next year as well. It keeps her very busy, but she loves cheering!     She just got home for her summer break and will begin working soon.
Our Stefanie A.K.A. "Tweety" is a loving, caring, spiritual, intelligent & beautiful young woman.She out of all of us is the one with the soft spot for people. She LOVES old people and is the one who will probably be "stuck" with Jeff & I when we grow old ;) She helps @ home without being asked and pushes herself harder than Jeff or I could ever push her. I miss her terribly when she is away at school, but know that she is spreading her wings. She has decided that she wants to work to help save our environment and to help develop "go green" technologies. Whatever she ends up doing I KNOW she will be successful.
Happy Birthday Stefanie! Daddy & I love you VERY much!!
Mom <3

Monday, May 3, 2010

The mind is willing

This past weekend was proof positive that I am getting older. I had such high expectations of all the yard work I was going to accomplish this past weekend. (yeah not so much)

Ten to 15 years ago I was able to prepare my flower pots, go buy the necessary soil, plants, come home get it all planted, watered and cleaned up- all in one weekend.

Twenty years ago I could do all of that- PLUS prepare the flower beds as well as my vegetable garden, buy all of the needed plants/flowers and plant them all in one weekend.

This is not happening now.

Friday night I weeded my flower beds, sprayed some of the weeds that are particularly TOUGH.

Saturday I went to three different places looking for plants for my flowerpots. Unfortunately they did not have out their full selection of stuff because we can still have frost through the 15th. I was able to buy some herbs and some potting soil. However getting the potting soil into my car turned into a major undertaking.

Holy shit, when did I get so weak?

I almost didn’t get the two bags into the back of my car… and I was doing a lot of groaning etc. when I did get them in. And don’t think it did not escape my notice that some man walked right by while I was trying to get the stuff into my car and didn’t even offer to help. (Asshole)

Sunday came and I got my son to move around the pots for me (because I just can’t lift them without straining something anymore). He also had to get the soil and put one bag on the wheelbarrow for me and the other into the shed. I then planted my parsley, rosemary & basil and then transplanted some plants that were getting way too big to another area. By the time I did all of this and watered everything I was exhausted and grumpy. (In my defense it WAS in the low 90”s and humid). I finally went in, showered, then lay down and promptly fell asleep.

So now I am waiting for my daughter Stefanie to get home from college to help me go buy flowers and plant them. Luckily she likes that kind of thing.

It is very frustrating when you have been used to doing a lot of your own yard work etc. when you finally realize that you simply cannot do it the way you used to. The last time I did the mulching was three years ago- I could barely walk for almost a week after. I am sure in the next few years I am going to slowly experience this sort of thing more and more. The mind is willing- the body is not!

Thinking back- I can remember being 29 and eight months pregnant and I dissembled a full size bed and moved the mattress, box spring, head boards… everything -all alone! (Jeff was NOT happy with me- but I was “nesting”!)

So for now I will pace myself… and call our landscaper and see if he can do the mulch for us soon.

If you see someone in our garden it will be me; I'll be the old broad puttering around with the hat.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Jenny

I received the following email from my daughter Jenny who is turning 22 tomorrow:
(BTW I think I was 12 when I had her) *cough* *wink*

*note no salutation*

1. you need to write on your blog like daily- when I get bored during the day I go on there to read stuff and there is nothing new. get with it! oh.... you can write something about me since it's my birthday soon....:]you know how i am your favorite child, how pretty I am etc. etc. etc. etc. :]
2. when are we going to GA I need dates ASAP so I can def get the days off.
3. Can you please transfer $300 to dad and label it half of taxes
4. Can you pay my insurance please
**but can you transfer the money after 9:15 AM I am depositing money after personal training**
thank youuu!
Your Favorite child.

Jenny was born 22 years ago on April 28th- this time 22 years ago I was in the hospital and they had me on a pitocin drip. They had decided to induce because my blood pressure kept getting higher and higher- I had preeclampsia and was very swollen- pretty miserable by the 38th week. I also had gestational diabetes which did not help. So began my 19 hr. labor. At the end I pushed for 3 hrs. but just couldn't get her out and they opted for an emergency C section. Out popped an 8lb. redhead :)  I remember after she was born and I had been given pain meds my husband (looking pretty worn out) looking at me and saying "that's it, we are never having any more kids. I cannot watch you go through that kind of pain ever again". I remember laughing at him through my drug induced haze. :)

Recovery was difficult, I developed an infection in my incision site and it was weeks before I felt better- added to that, Jenny had colic... I tried breastfeeding her, but after 8 weeks (of hell) my doctor told me to supplement, once she had the bottle she didn't want me anymore.

Jenny has always been referred to as my mini me, we look a lot alike and our temperaments are fairly close as well- watch out for that red headed temper! She was a good girl, became a good big sister (after asking if we could take her sister back after she was born)  and has been a pleasure most of the time -sometimes we butted heads...but we always worked those bumps in the road out.

Jenny grew up, was a cheerleader in high school - then went off to college and cheered there as well, but mid way through her sophomore year she came home upset. She just didn't like college. She loved the social aspect, but hated going to class. So she made the very mature decision to drop out after finishing out the semester and started beauty school that Jan. She said she didn't feel it was right to waste our money if her heart wasn't in it. Pretty mature for a 19 year old. :) She went through beauty school and finished with honors. She got her license Dec. a year ago and is now happily working at a local upscale salon. And you know what? She loves what she is doing & is an awesome hair stylist! She excels in hair coloring and has really found her niche!
Through the years we have watched Jenny grow up and mature into the beautiful young woman that she is today. She and I are very close- we are roomies while her sister is away @ college and her brother & father are living apart from us. We work well together @ home and take turns taking care of "the girls" (our 2 yellow labs) and she will often do thoughtful things like yesterday when she did all of the wash. :)

We enjoy Margarita Wednesdays(unfortunately curtailed due to our diets) and are able to go out to dinner together usually once a week. I honestly don't know what I would do without her during this "alternate" living arrangement we are living with.

So Jenny, here is your Happy Birthday post...I promise I will try to be more on top of the blog- I've kind of been busy with work... but I will strive to do better to help when you are "bored" ;)

You paved the way for your brother and sister and have brought such joy to our lives...Daddy and I are very proud of you!

I love you Jenny <3


Friday, April 16, 2010

I'd like to thank the little people who made this possible...

Drumroll please......
I have recently been awarded my first Blog award (how cool is that?) from Diane over at Just Humor Me.
According to the rules of the award, if you receive the award you have the choice of doing one of the following:

(a) Get really drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight, stream-of-consciousness style.

b) Write about your most embarrassing moment.

(c) Make your next post a "vlog", or video blog
Then when you are done you are supposed to pass the award on to at least three amazing bloggers, like yourself.

So I have been trying to decide which I would do...(decisions, decisions
This was hard because first of all I have no idea how to do a vlog. So that left either blog while drunk or share my most embarrassing moment...which is hard to choose because I have had MANY embarrassing moments in my lifetime. One of which was when I began taking yoga classes 3 years ago at an awesome (and unfortunately now defunct) yoga studio. The first month they were slow getting people to take classes but for me it was really great because the owner/instructor Jason would do class and it would be just me. Since I had never done yoga before  it was like have my own personal yoga instructor. 

So one day about a month into classes we are having class (just me & him) and we are doing this position called happy baby. Now when you are in this position you are lying on your back with the soles of your feet facing the ceiling and your knees bent kinda like a frog... you can hold your ankles and you are trying to "open" up your hips. So anyways.. we are almost through with class and are doing happy baby and Jason notices my form is off and comes over to adjust how I am holding the position. In doing so something within me relaxed and as he turned around to go back to his mat I let loose with a really loud fart... you know one of those ones that creeps up on you and  you simply cannot hold back that sounds like a motorcycle discharging? 

Considering the fact that it was just me & him in the room there was no way to pass it off on someone else...(not that I would EVER do that *cough cough*- I have 2 dogs for a reason!)

So the fart is "hanging there" so to speak (both literally & figuratively) and I am thinking OMFG!!!! and I freeze (I don't know, in hopes that my sphincter muscles would somehow atrophy?) but in doing so somehow I inadvertently triggered something and I then felt the pressure of another building. (I couldn't make this shit up if I tried) So I am lying there legs up in the air, trying to hold the next one in and Jason being the gentleman he was, just continues on with class like nothing ever happened. The pressure of trying to keep myself "composed" begins to wear and I feel like I am beginning to sweat a bit... luckily it was the end of class and Jason put some music on during our final meditation time... he is telling me to try and find my focus, and control my breathing... meanwhile the mantra I am saying in my head is  "you will not fart again, you will not fart again..."

So we are in  the ultimate relaxation pose-dead mans pose- and I am trying to relax, but am afraid to REALLY relax for fear that I will let loose with another fart. The music is now fading... and we are to the part at the end where all we are doing is deep breathing... the room is silent.



fart #2 (shoot me now)

I of course was mortified... and I think I said something like "you have got to be kidding me- I'm sorry". Jason, being the cool dude he was told me it was perfectly fine, that it was a natural occurrence during yoga. I think he was just being nice...

That was just one of my most embarrassing moments...

SO.. I hereby bequeath the incredibly prestigious OH MY BLOG award to:
Nicolasa over at Keepin' it in Perspective , Midlife Mama at  Midlife Musings , and Michaela over @ Gimme that tea towel I'll dry

Skippy over at I Make Soap- I know you have not been feeling well, but when you are up to it I nominate you as well! :)

What'll it be ladies??? :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

rockin the workout

So last night was my first "real" workout with Paul...

HOLY SHIT...(most intense workout I've ever had)

Paul explained how our workouts would go.. he has me do exercises in pairs back to back with no time in between... and I do 3 sets of the exercises with no down time between them. Instead of doing a set number or reps I do each exercise to exhaustion ( yes I said exhaustion). He stressed that form was more important than anything else... if I can not do the exercise fully- do it as much as I can...

Example...We began with squats/10 jumping jacks...So I do these squats (always a favorite-NOT)... until my legs are burning... then immediately do 10 jumping jacks... then right back to squats... then jumping jacks... you get the idea (3 sets of this).... then I get a break--- get a drink (hydrate hydrate hydrate!)

Last night much of the work out was geared to my upper body/arms, but he would incorporate squats with some of them to get my lower body involved.

I did all kinds of bicep/triceps exercises... with one really awesome (that was sarcasm) exercise called a "dip"... for the dip you sit on a chair and then support your weight on the chair as you lift your body and dip in front of the chair. Like this...
(these are f*cking hard)
 For my last dip my arms were so wasted that I could not lift my butt back up onto the chair. (literally)  So I just sat on the floor- loser!

We ended up my workout with push ups/planks.

This is a plank...
By my last set I thought I was going to throw up... for real... 
I have NEVER worked so hard that I wanted to throw up. When he told me to stop I collapsed to the ground (I am so sure I looked pathetic) He was very complimentary telling me what an awesome job etc I did and I looked up @ him and told him" I think I am gonna throw up... do you have a trash can"?
I was mortified... luckily I didn't actually throw up but was REALLY nauseous. He told me not to feel embarrassed... that in his experience, when people begin back to working out, if they have an intense workout it is the body's way to say "hey knock this shit off". He told me that when your body can not take any more it's self defense is to make you feel nauseous so you HAVE to stop whatever you're doing.

So all things considered - I ROCKED MY WORKOUT!!!! I  gave 100% and was oh so proud of myself!
When I got home, I took ibuprofen, iced my arms, showered and went to bed...

Today I am sore, & I know that tomorrow will most likely be worse... 
My "homework" this week is to walk at least 4x/wk for 30 min. and to run through some of the exercises we did -maybe one set each... which I will do... I know this first month will probably be hell... but I can do it...

How awesome would it be to look like this @ 50??

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


So I went and met my new trainer last night. What we did was talk about my current health, my goals, he took my measurements, weight etc. and ran me through a series of exercises to see my current level of fitness as well as my range of motion etc.

Paul is VERY knowledgeable, and while he is probably only like 5'8 or so... he is BIG as in like a marine or body builder. He is basically a walking advertisement...He told me last night was basically a get to know you session so he could see where I am at and that Wed. night we will really begin. It was embarrassing how out of shape I am but he was very encouraging. He told me in no uncertain terms that if I want this... he can help me make it happen. And you know what... I believe him.

If you've ever had a significant amount of weight to lose (like anything over 30 lbs.) you usually begin with an open mind, but deep down I think you think-  I hope I can do it, but you aren't 100% sure that you can. There is always a part of you which thinks.."yeah I can't really do this". 
After an hour with Paul, that uncertainty is gone- I know that if I do what he says... I CAN DO THIS!
Am I going to enjoy every minute?- hell no- I am probably going to be sore, and bitch & whine that I want to still eat things I shouldn't, but I am going to try...

I'll keep you posted on my journey :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Tonights the night... I meet & begin with my personal trainer Paul tonight.
I am nervous...actually I am beyond nervous... I am so nervous about this that it has kicked my IBS in gear and I woke up with the runs...

I KNOW that I HAVE to do this...
and I really WANT to do this...
but I am worried that I am going to be really sore...
I'm worried that I will fail...

I'm just worried...
I am such a f*cking wussie...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Well I've done it...
I made an appointment with a personal trainer for next Monday night.

Two years ago I found out I have type 2 diabetes... and since then have really done very little like nothing about it. Sure I have made some improvements on my diet... but exercise? Uh... that would be a  hell no!

I hate to exercise... loathe it... always have.(even when I was thin) Unfortunately I now have come to the realization/revelation that if I do not do anything about my weight I will really begin to compromise my health. I am 50- not a spring chicken, but also not ready for the grave either and I am finally sick and tired of always feeling sick & tired.

I found someone who comes highly recommended by a fellow teacher who has lost at least 35-40 lbs. since she began working with this guy last summer.She looks FANTASTIC! I spoke with him this morning and set up my first session. He sounded really nice in a kind of I'm going to torture you kind of way. There was also the little fact that he told me that he has trained Navy Seals who can not pass their physicals - with a 100% success rate- this little tidbit  has actually thrown the fear of God into me.

You have no idea how nervous I am right now...My choices of time this guy has available were either 5 AM (are you f*cking kidding me?) or 9:00 PM- (yuck) I chose the 9 PM time because it was the lesser of the two evils *shrug*.
As soon as I hung up the phone the first thought that went through my head was "what the hell did you just do?".
To say I am feeling remorse is an understatement- but I know I HAVE to do this.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the powers of medication

This afternoon we have an annual parent conference with the parent from hell...
This particular parent is unlike any other I have ever worked with. I think she must be bipolar. I know at some point she mentioned a head injury in her past- from roller derby... (yeah that inspires a good feeling).

In any case it is the yearly review for her child and I' m not really sure what to expect...
My first experience with this parent occurred three years ago, and it wasn't pretty. Without going into detail, suffice it to say she came out the winner, because she had me ejected from the meeting because I dared to *GASP* tell her the truth and contradict something she *thought* was in her child's IEP. (Individual Educational Plan) She *thought* that every teacher & therapist that her child was working with was *supposed* to email her weekly with an update on how her child was doing. Unfortunately that was NOT the case. Only the student's special ed. teacher was required to do that.

And anyways WTF lady??... it is April and you wait till now to say anything???? I mean if it was my kid and I *thought* teachers were required to email me weekly I would've been on the phone in Sept. and not waited till mid April.

But I digress...
This parent will literally yell and scream in a meeting with 13 professionals if she does not get her way-  this tends to put people on edge-(ya think?) and it causes principals & supervisors with no balls to cow tow give in to every whim this person has. Sad but true...

Since our initial meeting I have learned that this woman runs either hot or cold- either she hates your guts or she loves you. Right now I *think* she loves me...last I heard she had it in for another teacher. (Hey at least I am off her shit list...)

Funniest thing happened at the following years IEP meeting... Mom said she was having a real problem with communication with her child... I asked if it was anything I could help with? Evidently the student(who is a teenager) had an argument with Mom.. and told her to "Fuck off".
As I maintained a straight face (but God was that hard)I said, "Well  you were concerned that *student* was not communicating like a "normal" teenager... not that I condone the language, but the response was a typical teen aged response you might hear during an argument".

This kid is now my personal hero. =)

I waited to post this till after the meeting... I am still alive-
*Mom* acted normally for once... no screaming etc. Most of us sat waiting for the other shoe to drop- but that time never came. I looked @ the teacher mid way through the meeting while the parent was talking to another teacher and whispered that things were going way too smoothly. Then later *Mom* made a  comment  about remembering to take her meds today.

*Light bulb*
AHHHHHHH... she must be on some good stuff.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


The world has lost a truly beautiful human being. 

Eva Markvoort finally lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis and died March 27th. 

I found Eva's blog 65 Red Roses through another blog and read as she described her battle to live. Her day to day struggles were written with honesty and integrity. This young woman left a mark on the world which is a testimony to her life. 
Eva touched my heart as she did thousands of others... my heart and prayers go out to her family & friends during this sad time. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Field trip

Today I was lucky enough to be able to join our 9th grade Life Skills class on their field trip to Longwood Gardens- it was during their "orchid extravaganza". Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!