Just in case you were wondering. . .

It’s a very bad idea to send a Bic clear barreled ball point pen through a wash cycle and then into the dryer. Somewhere along the way it gets a little overwrought and begins to cry blue ink. I, of course, didn’t notice the hysterical pen until after the dry cycle was complete and the entire inside of my dryer, along with the clothing therein, was streaked with blue ink.

Thought you’d like to know.

(The pen was in the pocket of the jacket I wear at school in my classroom. . .I was washing it and all of the blankets to kill the germs. I wonder if blue ink doubles as a disinfectant.)


And then. . .OR I Heart Susan the Helpful Pharmacist’s Assistant

*Edited: If you TRULY want the TOTAL experience of the minutiae you are about to read, then start with the post BELOW this one.*

So the helpful if not happy pharmacist at Wal-Mart took the $50 inhaler chamber back. . .and then I went to Walgreens. . .and sat in the drive-thru line for so long that I finally picked up the glow top that Sick Child 2 had received as a treat for memorizing her latest chapter in Psalms, and began to spin it in the cup holder out of sheer and complete boredom. It was also at this time that I pondered my own sanity and then remembered that I am, indeed, sane, and that neither of my children has anything horrible (too many sites here to link to–but you know what I mean), so what’s a little waiting and top spinning compared with, say, leukemia? Nothing at all.

At this point, I spun the top so perfectly that is just kept going and going and going and going as though the Energizer Bunny had control of it. I was almost sad to have to pull up in line–it spun for like 3 minutes.

Then Susan the Helpful Pharmacist’s Assistant said, “May I help you?” and thus our relationship began. . .because they were OUT of the inhaler chamber that I was supposed to get even though I had CALLED to make sure they had it–they do, indeed, CARRY it, but they did not currently HAVE one. So Susan, seeing my panic and noticing the skin beginning to peel back from my skull said, “Give me one minute.” Then she typy-type-typed on her computer probably thinking, “Oh my great heavenly days this woman’s skull is going to explode if I don’t do something immediately if not sooner.” Then she said, while averting her eyes, “I HATE to ask you to do this, but could you circle around?” She was probably contemplating escape through the fire exit.

Once I “circled around” I waited and waited and waited–and then The Pharmacist gave me and inhaler chamber–but not the cough syrup. So I asked for that too–then I said, “What is your assistant’s name?” and The Pharmacist glanced nervously at me, then glanced at Susan, then said, “Her?” and I said, “Yes.” and she said “Susan.” and I said, “Please, tell Susan I said ‘Thank you so much for being incredibly helpful.'” At which point she did and Susan looked at me–with my skin and skull intact and smiled and waved as I smiled back and mouthed “Thank You” through the glass that Susan will probably check later to make sure it is bullet and splitting skull proof.

The end.

Hack, Sneeze, Cough, Wheeze, Drip OR A Lesson in Time Management

You know you’re a mother during cold and flu season when. . .

. . .you are standing in line to drop off the prescriptions for Sick Child 1 and your phone rings. It is not your husband calling to check on Sick Child 1. It’s the school nurse telling you that your other child is now running fever. And you’ve already gotten a sub for tomorrow because of Sick Child 1, but have called the secretary to cancel the sub since Sick Child 1 was cleared to go back to school tomorrow.

So now you have to call the secretary back AGAIN (who laughs uncontrolably at you–especially since she’s known you since before you were married or had Sick Children 1 OR 2) to get the sub back since Sick Child 2 is also feverish.

Then you proceed to fill your shopping cart with all manner of juices and soups and the all important box of Premium Brand Crackers because to save time, you went to WalMart rather than Walgreens to fill your prescription since they have juice and soup and crackers and oranges and they also have (so you’ve heard) $4 generic drugs–except YOUR drugs for Sick Child 1 cost $90!!!!!!!! (The AeroChamber Plus inhaler tube thingy costs $50 alone.) Then, once you buy the food and gold bullion medicine and LEAVE (and gas up the truck), you spend several stressful minutes on the phone with the Doctor’s Nurse since the doctor didn’t put the cough medicine on the prescription note AND you didn’t notice until you got home AND you happen to mention the incredibly expensive inhaler tube thingy and Doctor’s Nurse says, “Walgreens has it for $19.99” and Walgreens is your normal pharmacy.

Don’t you like how I save time?

So now I get to take the inhaler BACK to Wal-Mart and then go to Walgreens to get the cough medicine she forgot to prescribe (she’s 8 months pregnant so I can’t blame her) and get the $20 el-cheapo inhaler chamber. I would have had to go to Walgreens anyway for the cough medicine, but still.

All this after I made a fool of myself in front of Pregnant (not our regular) Doctor thinking that tomorrow was the 1st of February and even quoted the lovely little poem for her then she pointed to the calendar and I was very embarrassed. Of course, if she was feeling at all superior, we’re now even since she forgot to prescribe one of my son’s drugs.

Never mind that I am also none too chipper, but now that two children are ill that has pretty much gone by the wayside. Everyone except Tony is staying home tomorrow–even the one that’s been cleared to go back to school. Sick Child 2 has been given a dose of Motrin which has made her feel well enough to become Demanding and also Particular.

Is there anyway to circulate Lysol through one’s air vents?

The Miracle Drug

Up until Victoria had her tonsils out in August of 2005, we were regulars in the Motrin aisle. . .she literally drank gallons of the stuff–a high propensity towards strep. Since the tonsils have been gone, she’s not even sniffed once. And that is great–in fact, NONE of us have been sick enough to miss school this year until today. The boy is sick and was home today. I am sick and will be home with the sick boy tomorrow. I am hoping this is just the common cold–highly likely with the symptoms–but we are both running some fever too.

I’m sick. Bleh. Off to bed with a glass of water and my Kleenex with lotion.

The Illusionist

Tony and I both got Blockbuster gift cards from our students for Christmas. Last night we polished them off by renting “The Illusionist.” I don’t recall having seen it advertised–but we don’t go to many movies. Anyway–it’s definitely worth the time to watch it. Tony and I both enjoyed it. It’s not at all what I thought it would be–and it’s very clean by today’s standards–so if you’re looking for a good rental, I recommend it.

On a lighter note.

Well, I am trying to lose weight–seriously trying. I have (seriously) lost and regained substantial amounts of weight 2 times in my life–60+ pounds being what I consider substantial. The LAST time was 11 years ago, and I managed to get it back off after the first baby but not the second. After him it hung around. My running joke is that the statute of limitations for blaming it on the baby is 1 year. After that it’s ya own fault.

So not only did that hang around, but I have gained THIRTY pounds since I went back to work. . .that’s right. . .THIRTY pounds in 2 1/2 years. I am not one who “just can’t eat” when I’m stressed. And seeing as how I have now found out the exact number of calories it takes to maintain a woman of my stature much less GAIN that much weight. . .that is even MORE astounding.

I have lost varying smaller amounts off and on as well, and all the other times I lost weight, low carb worked wonders for me. But my body just can’t hack it any more–at least not as low as I used to go with the carbs. I do NOT feel well when I try to do that, so I am now concentrating on keeping my carbs down, but trying to just watch what I eat in an effort to make a permanent life change. (I’ll keep you posted on that one. . .)

In that attempt, one must still consume food, and as a carbaholic, I cannot dance in the bread aisle too much or I just slide down the slope and am eating an entire package of pecan twirls on the way home from the grocery store. Not. Even. Kidding. And that is MILD comparatively.

Weight loss is not just a “my clothes are too tight/my back fat is obnoxious/ I can no longer comfortably sit in a student’s desk OR cross my legs” issue. It is a Type 2 diabetes/Heart disease runs in my family issue. My future is laid before me laced with insulin shots and visions of poor circulation.

So–here are my wonderful tricks and new discoveries to aid in my attempt.

Sugar free koolaid
This is a seriously good beverage–I prefer Tropical Punch. I am not much of a Kool-aid person, but I have been drinking this off and on for several years–it’s just a spin on other beverages PLUS if you have a snowcone machine or ice shaver, freeze some of it into cubes– then make yourself a sugar free snow cone. Very good. 0 calories, 0 carbs, 0 sugar

Nature’s Own Double Fiber Wheat Bread
‘Tis a new discovery. In my attempt to up my carb intake while trying to keep away from carbs that negatively impact my blood sugar and send me into a carb tail spin, I went in search of the highest possible fiber with a palatable taste. I have found a winner. This bread is a regular sized slice, costs less than $3 per loaf, has 40 calories per slice, 5 grams of fiber PER SLICE, and only 10 carbs per slice–once you subtract the fiber (since it doesn’t impact blood sugar levels) that’s only 5 NET carbs per slice. It sounds like it would taste like tree bark–but it tastes like whole wheat bread–yummy.

Dibs Bite Sized Icecream Snacks (Chocolate)
Now this is REAL icecream–and normally I would not tempt myself thusly, but this is also tiny nuggets of icecream enrobed in chocolate, and it’s also very rich and flavorful and creamy. I had actually bought it for the kids, but dove in one day while I was looking for something to eat. On the box, the serving size is 26 pieces coming in at a whopping 400+ calories, but if you limit yourself to 6 or 8 after dinner, well, that’s a nice little treat, and since I allow myself to have a small amount–well I don’t feel guilty and I don’t overindulge thinking I won’t be able to have any tomorrow. . .’cause I have about 6 or 8 little pieces a day.

I got this website from a commentor on Sarah’s blog–it is a WONDERFUL *FREE* tool to track what you eat, nutrition, etc. The only problem I have found is that the calories burned for walking doesn’t seem accurate, but other than that it’s a dream. It comes with all sorts of foods already available to list, or you can enter new custom foods (like my double fiber bread and Dibbs). Love it–Love it–Love it. It keeps me accountable and there are all sorts of charts and graphs and other techy things that are fun to read. There is also a journal option AND it saves all your information for you, so you can track your weight loss, nutrition, what you eat, etc.

100% Whole Grain Wheat Thins
I like crackers–ask Sarah–and I like Wheat Thins and Triscuits and all that jazz too. The 100% Whole Grain Wheat Thins ARE NOT regular Wheat Thins–but they have that lovely fiber to help with my blood sugar, so I count out my 16 to have with my daily lowfat ham sandwich on double fiber bread.

Iceburg Lettuce Shreds
I prefer green leaf lettuce for salads–more nutrients–more fiber. But for sandwiches, I like shredded lettuce, and having it pre-shredded in a bag is a very nice way to dress up lunch. I have kept my bread, mustard, mayo (real), dill pickle slices, a bag of shredded lettuce, and low fat ham in the fridge at school to make sandwiches this week. I NEVER get around to making them at home. I cannot tell you how many people have commented on the appearance/freshness/”That looks so good” of my sandwich this week –INCLUDING my husband who saw it today at lunch. It’s all in the accessories–and my lacy lettuce is the key. It’s basically glorified water–but I can pile it on and enjoy the fact that I’m having a healthy lunch.

So there ya go–like much of the free world I am on a diet–but it’s not a crash diet or a desperation diet. It is an “I need to permanently change my eating habits or I am going to die” diet. So far I’m doin’ fine. I have set a goal of one year to lose the 60-70 pounds I feel is necessary for me to be healthy, and if I lose 1.3 pounds per week then I will reach my goal by this time next year. My goal weight is on the very high side of normal for a woman my height and age, but (you can also ask Sarah this) I am one of the fortunate few who can TRULY claim “big bones” as a large part of my weight. I am built like a lumber jack. I’m just going to take it slow and easy and enjoy the ride. AND when I get where I want to be–even though most women would goggle at the amount–I will smile and no longer wish that I was thinner or flatter stomached or smaller boned as I did all the other times. I will be glad that I am healthy. Wish me luck.