Month: July 2011

This Mommy Is Scared Of Bugs

This mommy is scared of bugs. Well, most bugs. I can deal with your basic mosquitoes (I am a native Minnesotan ya know), flies, butterflies and dragonflies. Everything else? Freaks me the hell out.

I am a BOY mommy. and my boy is fascinated by bugs. Aren’t I just SO lucky that his grandma bought him a BUG COLLECTING KIT recently?

Keeping My Distance

Yeah. I basically told my husband that if that container shows up anywhere inside my house I may consider divorce and a lifelong timeout for the kid.

Oh the joys of being a boy mommy.

Turning Around My Bad Day

Yesterday was no good.

To pile on my month of craptastic health issues, I nervously headed to my OB’s office for a follow up ultrasound to check on the cyst that ruptured back in April. I have been on birth control therapy since in hopes that it would help to shrink it.

Not only did it not shrink, but it was still there and growing.

She then said the “S” word that I am not incredibly fond of: surgery. She suspects that I have endometriosis as well so she said the best case is that we have a little “cleaning” done (ha… I know TMI… love my OB) and hope that the cyst is only attached to my ovary. Worst case: if the endometriosis is extensive, I’ll lose my tube and if the cyst is attached to additional areas beyond my ovary then I will lose my ovary as well. There was no talk of cancer, so I’m not worried about that. There’s just something about having to give up pieces of what makes me a woman that makes me just… sad.

I posted before about my declining fertility when the cyst initially ruptured back in April. I was told it wouldn’t be in my best interest to get pregnant. Fearing that I already knew the answer, I asked my doctor if this was the final seal on my fertility door. Her answer surprised me as she said, “Absolutely not. You still have one perfectly functioning ovary. If you want to get pregnant again, I’ll get you there.” I kind of wish she had just said, “Nope. You’re done.” Because now I have the glimmer of hope. We did cap it at 6 month post op. If I don’t get pregnant in that time (naturally) we will be done. At my age, the need and desire to go into the world of ART and fertility drugs has long passed and I will not go that route. Why 6 months? That is typically the timeframe it takes for cysts and endo to reappear and we will want to get me on hormone therapy (a.k.a. birth control pills) to stop it.

While I’m giving the post op 6 months the old college try, I’ll confess, I’m weary. After 2 1/2 years of trying to conceive Jackson, I was emotionally drained. When I got the positive pregnancy test, I was shocked because I had finally accepted that we may not have kids. I was at peace. I am content with our family being just the 3 of us; however, I feel like babies and pregnant women are around me everywhere I go. It must be a sign right? So, just one more try.

After this terrible day, I was in dire need of a pick me up. I walked into Jackson’s classroom where about 10 little people were sitting on the floor perfectly staring at their teacher who was holding up a pirate book complete with matching (blaring) song. Jackson said “Hi, Mommy!” but didn’t budge until he was done singing along to the entire song. Once finished, he ran to me and gave me a hug. Most needed hug ever. I came home to a husband who was busy making a manicotti dinner. Wine cork already popped and a lovely glass waiting for me. We also went on a family trip to Barnes & Noble where my husband decided that he wanted to buy me something to cheer me up (distract me). Introducing my new friend: Nook Color:

Perhaps I should come home with bad news more often! Turns out it is all the little things that turned my bad day around. No matter what happens, I have an amazing little boy who brightens up my every day and a husband who always goes the extra mile. I’m a pretty lucky girl.

A Milestone Day

My weight loss journey has not been an easy one. I have been on a plateau for months. Stuck. Going nowhere. It played with my mind. Toyed with my motivation. I really wanted to quit and just give in. I knew that the birth control pills I had to take were playing a big role in it though and knowing they were only temporary to treat another issue, I had to just hang on and wait it out.

It was so worth the wait.

Sure, I have been sick. Sinus infections are famous for killing the flavor in all things that are to taste amazing. Despite the two weeks of not wanting to eat much of anything, my appetite came back with a vengeance. Despite a slice of Dairy Queen chocolate cookie dough Blizzard cake I had a loss this week that brought me to an important place.

I lost 1.2 lbs and MADE MY 10% GOAL!! 

It is insane to me that it took 7 months to lose 20 lbs. I wanted to be so much further than this in my journey at this point. I’m not taking away from this milestone though- I knew that if I made it to this point, I could make it all the way to my final goal. I have another 40 lbs to lose and even though it could potentially take me another year to get there but today, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I AM GOING TO DO THIS!!


I cannot say enough how much I love WeightWatchers. A colleague of mine wanted to join a program, and I begged her to join WW with me. She chose Slimgenics. I’m sure she has her reasons and to each their own. Yet, I’ve been watching her for the past week, struggling with her insane restrictions and complaining about the “Slimgenics” food she’s being required to buy and supplement into her diet. She did lose 4lbs in one week, so you know it is working, but I asked her, “What happens when you reach your goal?” She said she could buy into the maintenance program if she feel she needs to the support. BUY into the maintenance program? Yikes. More like, see you next year when you have to start the program all over again because you gained the weight back and then some. Lifetime is one of my favorite and most motivating things about WW. I am very much looking forward to not having to pay anymore AND still getting the support I need to keep the weight off. I don’t want a quick fix. So even if this takes me a year and a half, I know that I will be keeping it off for the next 40 years (or more) to come.

What is the best thing about losing 20 lbs? People have noticed. My husband has noticed. I need new clothes. I’m wearing SHORTS. I’m okay with swimsuits (that may always be a work in progress). I ran for the first time in a month tonight and it doesn’t feel like so much work.

I already feel like a new person. And I love it. (And I’m crying happy tears right now).

Not MY Child. A Daycare Rant.

I love the daycare we chose to put Jackson in. We feel overall that he has gotten a terrific education and structure and couldn’t be happier with how well-adjusted he is. We give a lot of credit to his school for his intelligence.

Of course there is a BUT. We seem to run into this same thing with every classroom change- issues with the teachers. When he was a baby, it was naptime, when he went to the older infant room we actually felt like he was regressing and had issues with what they were feeding him, in the toddler room it was they were feeding him too much fruit, in the first early preschool room they gave him a pacifer during his naps after the previous teachers worked so hard to break him of it. Now, in the early preschool 2 room we are dealing with discipline and I am NOT a happy mommy.

Jackson is indeed, a toddler. He has tantrums. He throws his toys. HE GETS PUNISHED. We are lucky in that time outs are very effective. He HATES them. Jackson recently overheard daddy use the word “dammit”. Well, our little parrot decided that he would try the word on. At first we were a little shocked and probably even snickered a little, but he most definitely gets time outs for using naughty words. He RARELY uses them around us now for fear of the time out chair. We have been trying to teach him to use other words when he’s frustrated and taught him to say “Oh, Bumpers” from the Disney cartoon Chuggington. Most of the time he says that or just says “Grrrrrrrr”. For the past few weeks, his teachers have been giving my husband the “talking to” about Jackson’s potty mouth. Today, they said “The other kids are now saying these words, too.” Basically they called Jackson the instigator. I know my kid and without the risk of being a naive mommy, I can’t imagine him running around teaching other kids these words when he knows how angry it makes his mommy and daddy. I mean this is my kid who tells jokes like “Do you know why my daddy is a mushroom? Because he is a fun guy.”

Jackson often complains to me about another little boy in the class (also named Jack). He says “Jack pushed me today,” and last night as we were getting ready for bed, without my even asking about it, he said, “Jack was saying naughty words today.” So we had a little talk about naughty words, I told him to tell Jack to say “Oh Bumpers” instead of the other word and also told him that when Jack is not being nice to him that he should find a different friend to play with or tell one of his teachers. Not that I want him to grow up to be a tattle tale, but I don’t want him to be getting trouble for things that are CLEARLY not his fault. It is not easy to teach my very outspoken and bold little boy to walk away from things. He is a monkey see, monkey do kid. When he gets pushed, he pushes back. When another kid says “Dammit!” he’s going to say it right back.

My husband asked his teacher about discipline. They said they use the distraction method with all the kids. He kind of chuckled back and told them that Jackson is smart enough to understand that his actions have consequences and that bringing him aside and telling him that he shouldn’t use naughty words and that he is making bad choices is as effective as a time out. If you don’t tell him he’s doing something wrong, HE IS GOING TO KEEP DOING IT. I kind of feel like the distraction method is more appropriate for the toddler room, not for kids preparing for preschool. He is old enough and smart enough to know and understand words, especially when he is doing something wrong. If they don’t tell him, how is he ever going to know?

So yeah, I’m pissed. I’m trying to cool down and not blow it out of proportion with his school. I’m trying desperately to believe these women have control of their classroom. I’m sure transitions are just as hard for them as it is for these kids but they have really started out on the wrong foot with us and we feel like a target. Yeah, I’m defensive of my son. I think he’s a great kid. Truly. I long for 4pm to come so I can go home and be with him. I. Just. Don’t. Get. This. Once I cool off (might be impossible to do that here in MN today), I’ll realize that we need to set up a special meeting with his teacher to discuss these concerns and teach them about the discipline that is effective for him. Discussing it during drop off and pick up is not really effective and puts me and my hubs in an awkward position with other parents coming in and out.

Because Wednesdays are usually reserved for Wordless Wednesday pictures, I thought I’d put some pictures up of my angelic child:

Seriously. Does that look like the face of a potty mouth instigator?? He is truly the sweetest thing ever.

Desperate to be Healthy Again

This is going to be a long rant today. The last month has not been good for me in the health department. I’ve been thrown down and knocked out by a wicked sinus infection and even worse, an eye infection with serious implications. I was diagnosed last week with Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis. Sounds long and scary, right? It is kind of scary. It is an infection affecting both the conjunctiva and cornea and symptoms include red eyes (in my case, VERY red eyes. Both of them.), swelling eyelids, sensitivity to light (so much fun since the sun is out a LOT in the summer and my sensitivity is very bad), discharge causing sticky eyes in the morning, feeling of a foreign object in the eye, blurred vision and eye pain. ADDITIONAL symptoms that I also got from this (that apparently not everyone gets) were headache, extreme tiredness and swollen lymph nodes.

Good freakin’ times man.

Example of what the cornea looks like with this freaking virus.

How has this affected my life over the past three weeks?? Let’s see… because of the extreme contagiousness of this virus, I have had to be a virtual germophobe freak as in every time I even touch close to my eyes I have to use hand sanitizer to wash. I use Lysol wipes on just about everything in my office at the end of the day as well as my computer and mouse at home. I have to use a new washcloth every time I need to wipe my eyes. I had to throw all of my makeup away and buy new stuff. I also had to throw my contacts away (not the worst thing as they are 2 week disposables anyway) but also the case and bottle of saline solution. I can’t WEAR my contacts until the infection clears entirely which could actually take weeks, even months. My vision has been affected and has been worsened by the condition- I have to wear my glasses to see, but they are nearly ineffective and give me a headache because of the discrepancy in prescription. I don’t have prescription sunglasses, but the sunlight hurts my eyes so I’ve been wearing sunglasses OVER my regular glasses. That feels so good on my nose and ears. I have also had to work without an office light on as well as turn down the brightness on my work monitor so as to minimize the imminent pain and headaches caused by staring at it all day not to mention the annoying questions that every single person asks when they walk by, “Working by candlelight today are we?” The exhaustion is overwhelming- I am typically in bed before the sun goes down as my eyes just cannot take any more stress.

The worst thing about this? There is no treatment or cure. It has to run its course. My ophthalmologist prescribed a steroid eyedrop to help treat the symptoms and has an antibiotic in it to help prevent any further bacterial infections but sadly, it could be several weeks until I am cleared from this. I am also terrified of my husband or kiddo catching this from me (although pretty sure I got it from the kiddo in the first place). It is the worst and I am so miserable.

The only good thing that has come out of my illness is weight loss! Ha! I lost about 5 lbs in the last month which considering I kept losing and gaining the same 3 lbs for like 3 months straight, it is kind of a victory. I am very close to reaching my 10% although I’m not getting my hopes up as I’m sure I’ll have some fluctuation now that my appetite is returning.

I really miss working out. I suppose even if I could physically go out for a run, I wouldn’t thanks to the 84 degree DEW POINT and 118 degree HEAT INDEX (seriously… WTH Minnesota???). I listen to my running playlist and long to be out there pounding the pavement. I would love to call this illness a typical excuse for why I’m not working out, but I really physically cannot because of the exhaustion and headaches (not to mention, I am terrified of what it would feel like if sweat dripped in my eye… OMG… the horror… the agony… the pain).

So happy to see the whites in my eyes again. I had to take a picture.

I would like to think that I am being a trooper about all this. I’ve had my little whines here and there but this is my first big rant. I’m just over it. Done with it. I want my life back. I want my eyes back. I promise, I’ll never take them for granted again.

NKOTBSB- Back In Time

The last couple weeks have been rough. A sinus infection that refuses to releases its grasp of agony, an eye infection that is probably one of the worst illnesses I have ever experienced in my life and just a 3 week notice to complete all the marketing and signage for a new location my company is about to open. I was ready for a good time. I DESERVED to go out and have a good time.

I confess. As a 13 year old, I was absolutely over the moon for NKOTB. I had all of their concert videos, posters covering every portion of my wall and a Hangin’ Tough cassette tape beat up by a pink walkman that I played over and over and over again. NKOTB was the first concert I had ever gone to without my parents with me. They were at the Minnesota State Fair and at the time, my aunt lived just right across the street from the main gate. I sat outside on her front step with my “I “heart” NKOTB” sign just hoping that their tour bus would be driving by. That night was such a magical experience. I went to see them again with my older sister (a.k.a. older person with a driver’s license) at the old Met Center (now the home of the MOA). Also a ridiculously fun night. There was something just easy and innocent about that whole time. A time that I am often nostalgic for in my adulthood.

I was excited to see NKOTBSB in concert. I was ready to go back.

No offense to all of the other fantastic shows I have seen over the past few years, but this was one of the most fun concerts that I have ever been to. Just like that, I was transported back to 1988. The only difference was a beer in my hand. And, was it just me or did these guys get HOTTER? Donnie Wahlberg stripping his shirt off. Nuff said. It was definitely no longer a show for 13 year old teeny bopper girls. This act had grown up. I enjoyed Backstreet Boys as well and had my nostalgic Y2K moments where I was getting my dance on at the clubs in college to “Everybody. Backstreet’s Back”. I was totally entertained all night and spent the majority of it on my feet dancing my booty off.

I may endure the rash of teasing from my husband for going to this show for some time to come, but it was soooo worth it.

Me & My Sister. 22 Years Later.
The stage was pretty dope. And yes. Phallic in many ways…

And for the Joey Joe lovers out there… this one is for you.

Fabulous Friday: Belated 4th of July Edition

I’m a little late for Wordless Wednesday this week so I’m turning it into Fabulous Friday.

Despite the fact that my 4th of July vacation turned out to be slightly less than desirable for me, I still took some pictures and had wonderful photos of my boy sent to me.

On the road. So beautiful.
Taking the truck on the Ferry. Such a strange experience.
My BFF on the Madeline Island Ferry
On the Madeline Island Ferry

Enjoying a cup of coffee and a gorgeous view of the lake
Our quaint Madeline Island cabin

Sunset on Madeline Island

Us ladies knew how to build a mean campfire!

As if I didn’t miss my little boy enough while I was gone…


Playing some hoops w/ his new hoop.

Getting a haircut. Such a big boy.

 Somehow, I mustered up the energy to have my family over to celebrate the 4th. I’m so glad I did. Jack loves his cousins so much and I didn’t want to take away the opportunity for them to spend time together because of me.

Jack and his cousin Miles
Jack with his cousin Miles and his Auntie Jenny waiting for Daddy’s fireworks show.

Just for the record… my pinkeye has been no joke for the past week. I know some people get it all the time and I have to ask HOW on earth could you deal with getting it over and over??? It has been awful. Besides not being able to wear contacts or makeup there is the itch, the pain, the disgusting discharge, eyes pasted shut in the morning and the sheer circus freak look of it all. It is horrible enough to consider become a germophobe because I NEVER want to get this again. To top it off? I got a sinus infection earlier this week. Did I mention my sunburned nose too? Good times… Good times…

Vacation Fail

I knew it was going to be a rough vacation with my girlfriends when I woke up on Friday morning and my right eye was crusted shut. I have a cold so I blew it off, but as the day went on, it kept getting worse.

You guessed it. Pinkeye.

I do not even remember the last time I had pinkeye or even if I have ever had it before. I’m sure I have, but maybe as a kid it wasn’t quite as traumatic? No wearing contacts? No MAKEUP? Is this a joke? I called up my doctor’s office, but of course could not get in for an appointment- the triage nurse was quickly able to diagnose me over the phone and get me some drops. Thinking they would be some kind of magical drops, I vowed to power through the weekend despite the fact I was sure to look like a freak show. I prayed that my friends would have pity on me and opt to lay low.

Not only was there zero pity for my situation, I was called a toddler and my bleeding eye (yes, it actually started bleeding) was a hoax I perpetrated so I could avoid going to the bar. I believe the exact words were “You can cry all you want Joanne but the truth is you didn’t start having issues with your eye until we changed the plans into something that you didn’t like.” Ouch. No, here is the truth: I had been dealing with my eye issues long before I even stepped on the gas to take this trip and in my attempt to not ruin anyone’s good time, I didn’t want to complain about how much my eyes hurt. When trying to remove the disgust that was flowing from my eye, it started bleeding and it freaked my shit out. I was desperately trying to fix it so I COULD go out- not so I could get out of it. I was willing to go out despite looking like a circus act because that’s what THEY wanted. Of course I didn’t want to go. Who would want to go out when you can’t wear makeup, have discharge blocking your vision not to mention what felt like a dagger being gouged into my eye. But that’s what friends do for each other. They often do things they don’t want to do no matter how hard it is. We had plenty of liquor. Plenty of food. We had been having a good time. There was no reason to go out.

One of my main issues was the fact that staying behind meant handing over the keys to the SUV I borrowed from my husband for the weekend. You should know that my husband is strangely protective of his vehicle. Only having driven it a handful of times myself, you can probably understand my hesitation when it came to handing over my keys to a bunch of girls about to go out to drink. BUT, apparently, this makes me a toddler, or maybe it was the fact that I was freaking out over BLOOD coming out of my eye that made me a toddler. Apparently crying over my medical condition makes me a faker and a liar. Apparently crying because I was worried I was messing up the weekend up for everyone is childish. Apparently, someone forgot to pack their Midol. In no way did I deserve this “scolding”. Sure, I get annoyed when I don’t get my way. I am not the first person to think something awful about someone but I WOULD NEVER SAY IT TO THEIR FACE. With no medical care on the island (seriously), I opted for an ice pack and a prayer. I handed over my keys and begged my friend not to drink and drive (should I have really had to beg?). I cried for the next two hours. Cried to my husband. Cried to my sister-in-law. Cried. Cried. Cried. I knew I had lost a friend in that one single moment and mostly because it screamed to me what she truly thought of me. The girls came back from what was apparently a disaster. The food took forever (which by the way meant that I wouldn’t get dinner- I had a little box of cereal for dinner). My best friend, sunburned and dehydrated, puked up her dinner at the bar. All the gift shops were closed (duh). In a twisted way, I took pleasure from their disaster. I felt like saying “I told you so.” The rest of the weekend proceeded to be awkward. I was given no apologies.

I have never been so happy to get home to my family.

Somehow, we build up our expectations for vacations and events SO much that the reality of them isn’t quite as exciting. We don’t know how to roll with the punches and make the best out of situations. Tempers flare. Words are said. I have never seen this side of this particular friend. The whole situation has made me realize how much I have changed since I met all of these girls. How much ALL of us have changed. Being a wife and a mother has taught me great lessons in patience. My former hot head has been replaced by this logical adult head. I’m a little softer now. A little more tolerant. I prefer sitting on the couch with my friends with a bottle of wine over going out anywhere. I prefer a movie or a show over going to the bar. I love that I am settled. Happy. I love my life. Not many have been able to roll with the changes alongside me and it saddens me at the thought of having to let someone else go. My few friends are so dear and precious to me that I would never DREAM of talking down to them or treating them the way I was treated. If there was even a fleck of truth to what she had said, I might not be so angry about it, but it was so far off base that it replays in my mind over and over. I am so broken. So hurt.

I worried a little over writing about my weekend in fear of who might see it; however, I don’t think any of my feelings are exactly a secret. I don’t want to be childish, mean or even remotely stoop to that level, but I needed to share my side of the story. I needed to rant. It is the epitome of why I started this blog in the first place.

I want people to understand that the words you say matter and can be hurtful. I’m not sure there is ever a time or place to be overly blunt and rude; however, if your mean words and thoughts are going to be at the expense of someone’s feelings, perhaps it is best to keep them to yourself. Chances are, when you take a deep breath, you’ll realize that you were just overreacting in the first place.