Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I goofed and wore a dress to school today. I cannot use my tens unit when I am wearing a dress. Sometimes it shuts itself off and I cannot hike up the skirt and fix it. I went this entire day without any type of pain medication, arghhhh. I also had to forfeit the pool for the first time since I started going on my own (without physical therapy) because it was Mason's Show Choir concert. It was awesome and I enjoyed it completely. They performed with the jazz band and they did selections from Grease and Big River. I think it is a mother's true pleasure to watch her 18 year old dance and to hear him sing a solo while in costume and in the midst of dancing with a variety of talented girls. I missed their last concert because it was right after my surgery and I was in no shape to go anywhere.
Anyway, I did a lot of lifting at my morning school and got several boxes put together and taped for Tuesday. The little kids will all be gone on a field trip all morning, so I can use it to pack and to work on my report cards. I also requested that I close my services down on Friday because I have so much work haunting me with so little time left to go. The principal hasn't responded to me yet, and I know that the others in our district always close things down early without asking. Anyway, then I got to my afternoon school and I taught two complete lessons and a part of a third--then there was a program, so I spent the rest of the afternoon packing boxes, moving boxes and I assembled about 8 more boxes before I left. I was in a lot of pain when I left. I also emailed my friend downtown to ask a few questions about stickers for boxes and if I was going to have anymore help with this. He said that he'd be by to see me tomorrow and we will discuss a few things then. It looks as if I will probably have 70 boxes to be moved when I am done after I take my materials for older kids home with me and a big variety to our church for the summer program.
I wanted to share some new snack ideas with you--many aren't really new, but it is nice to have them in a list. I got them in an email and a link from "EVeryday Health" and I will include the link to the entire article at the end of the summary here. I hope this offers you something to consider.
10 Easy Snack Ideas (that draw from different food groups to provide a good nutritional balance)
"You should think of a quick snack as a mini-meal,” advises Debra J. Johnston, RDt. Mix your food groups and avoid unhealthy fats to snack smart."
1. Mix a 6-ounce container of plain, non-fat, Greek-style yogurt with 1/2 cup of berries and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed.
2. Make your own trail mix with raw almonds, chopped walnuts, and pistachios(without added salt or oil), raisins or dried blueberries and cranberries(without added sugar.)
3. Mix 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup of no-sugar-added applesauce and sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Dip sliced cucumbers, radishes, carrots, and grape tomatoes in hummus.
5. Popcorn. For variety, try spraying popcorn with low-fat, olive oil-based cooking spray instead of adding butter.
6.“Bugs on a log.” (Spread peanut butter on a celery stick and then sprinkle with raisins or dried cranberries.)
7. A half sandwich with whole-wheat bread and layer on some lean meat such as turkey for protein, a slice of cheese for dairy, and lettuce and tomato for vegetables.
8. A bag of toasted almonds.
9. . Frozen cubes of mango, frozen grapes and/or banana chunks.
10. Salsa is a great vegetable snack. One-half cup of salsa equals one vegetable serving. Try dipping whole-grain crackers.
Healthy snacks can curb hunger during the day and can also be an opportunity to stick to your overall nutrition plan. All foods can fit into your healthy meal plan when you incorporate balance, variety, and moderation. You can find this entire article at:
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Hello and Good Evening,
I guess the song is right about "working for the weekend." After a hard week last week of packing, teaching children who are counting down the days until the end of the school year, and simply struggling with my own pain issues along came Friday night. I went to the pool and got there late enough to miss a lot of the crowd and early enough to get my exercise in and relax a bit too. Mitchell noted how going to the pool and exercising has become a part of who I am and what I do--it is a habit. I am doing my physical therapy exercises, but I increase the intensity and resistance regularly. It takes me about an hour and a half to do the entire routine which works on my shoulders, my hands and arms, my legs and feet, and my upper and lower back. When I have time, I also swim some laps--I'm not good enough to use the lap lanes, but I am persistent. I have to admit that I NEVER, EVER thought that I would be able to exercise with this arthritis inflicted body. I also NEVER, EVER thought that I would exercise every day and be so happy about it. I NEVER, EVER thought that I'd get up to 1,000 minutes of exercise a week or up to 10,000 steps a day on a regular basis, but I did and I am. to Spark People for getting me to these places that I NEVER, EVER thought I'd be at.
I took my youngest son with me yesterday for an entire morning of errands--=all by myself!I managed to get my own walker in and out of the car and I walked without using a motorized chair in any store we went in. I grocery shopped, went to the bank and the post office, went shopping for birthday presents, took him with me to the pool and then we went to the schools to do some of my moving and packing work. (I have decided that I am going to bring home my books for teaching upper elementary students and most of my professional materials, so that I won't get into "trouble" for having too many boxes. My husband and my birthday boy moved about 25 boxes at one school and they added 4 at the other one to take home and store. They also helped to move several crates and boxes of books from the stage at one of the schools into my classroom for me to pack up. Next week, they will help move about 20 more boxes of sets of reading books home for me. I wish it made sense to not take these things to school and use them for children. Most of them are like new and they are great quality children's literature from top-notch publishers. I don't even want to talk about my professional books on teaching reading...I had to make a decision, so I did. After that, we went to the store to pick up the birthday cake and the flowers to honor my son at church with. (I always put flowers on the alter to honor my children on their birthdays.) I got him pink and white miniature roses and they looked gorgeous!
We had a totally beautiful church service today. There is a small church across the street from ours and they joined us in the service today. It was so wonderful to have these wonderful and talented people join us. A great majority of our church members are older caucasians and having so many younger and middle aged black Americans with us was excellent. I know many of these children from my teaching and I loved seeing them at church. It was a shared service of worship with our handbell choir and our praise band, and their choir providing some of the best music ever. I wish that you all could have joined us. Before church, I had a meeting with our outreach director about the summer program and how it will look. A lot is depending on if the state funds our church to do summer meals for children the way that they have--we will either work 3 days a week or 5 days a week, but we will provide opportunities for inner city kids.
After church today, we went to the music department's picnic. Although I don't sing or play bells, my children participate in these groups and they always invite the entire family. It was a wonderful picnic--I ate more than was good for me and I am still fighting it off. It was at a beautiful home--and their yard is gorgeous. We stayed outside even though it sprinkled a bit--and then Micah and I left early to go to the pool. The pool was awesome today--the water was warmer than it has been for days. All of the children in the pool (except one) were there with their parents. It was fun to be there and easy to do my exercises--and I got in a few laps as well, before I went and showered and climbed in the sauna. When we got home, Mitchell asked me and the kids if we wanted to go play miniature golf. It was a bit chilly and wet, but it was fun--and of all shocking things, I won. Mitchell said that is just how golf works, lol.
Right now, I had some fruit for dinner. We will be having a belated birthday cake and ice cream when Mason gets home. He wanted to wait until today so that his sister could be home to share as well. I have a skinny cow truffle bar to enjoy with them. I rarely eat sweets, but a birthday party is a celebration. Mason is now 18 years old and when I look at his beautiful baby photos on the wall, it seems impossible to believe that there is a high school graduation in his near future. He has decided to hold off enlisting in the army for a while. He did some job shadowing at the zoo which he loved. He is now considering the Air Force as a possibility as well as the idea of training to be a pilot. He is planning a wonderful summer working for our church and being with his girl friend and working at his other job. I think he has finally realized that he has some choices to consider and that he needs to think things through. Personally, it is the war in Afghanistan that has terrified me as a choice for my young son. I'm glad that he is waiting and I am glad that I prayed and prayed and put it in the Lord's hands.
Back to this wonderful weekend...There are so many things that I have mentioned that are directly connected to SP that I don't know how to thank Chris Downey and his staff for these opportunities. I do know how to say thank you though, and I wish that he and the others might see this...
Thank you, SP for:
--Helping me to realize that I could be active
--Convincing me that I need to do cardio and strengthening exercises regularly
--Letting me realize that I really like to exercise
--Getting my body more mobile and out of that wheel chair
--Showing me the way to adding steps and movement in all that I do
--Providing a forum for me to meet other people with health issues who have shown me that I can be active
--Teaching me that activity actually helps me in fighting the pain and problems I live with
--Emphasizing goals that have given exercise a place of priority in my life
--Assisted me in making daily exercise a habit
--Given me the nutritional knowledge I need to make good choices on an everyday basis
--Created the trackers here so that I can monitor my nutrition and exercise and reflect on my choices
--Introduced me to some of the best, most supportive friends who have or who are dealing with so many of the same things I am dealing with
If you reread my blog, you will see all of these things in it somewhere. I entitled this blog "A Totally Beautiful and Awesome Weekend!!" I am indebted to SP for this great time and expect my tomorrow to be totally beautiful and awesome as well. What a great deal for someone who used to weigh some 85 pounds more than I do now and who was using a wheel chair for mobility. What a deal for someone who couldn't walk across the room some 4 or 5 steps to take care of my own needs. What a deal for someone who wouldn't go out of the house for anything except a doctor's appointment during the holiday season.
I am happy and I love anything that is totally beautiful and awesome. My Spark Friends fit that description. I am so glad that i have you all.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I'm leaving for the pool in about 15 minutes. I fell asleep when I got home from work today after a decidedly odd day... Tomorrow is our son's 18th birthday and the good news is that he has promised me that he is NOT going to go over and enlist in the army right away. He is thinking about some other possibilities and he has decided to enjoy his girlfriend's prom at her school, his birthday, his graduation, and his summer as well as looking into some other ideas for his future. Whew, this has been on my mind and in my prayers for so long--I have a reprieve for now.
My friend Emily shared this on her blog and I am passing it on for you to enjoy and learn some odd things about me. (You also get to see ways we are alike and ways we are different!!)
It's silly survey time!! Don't forget to pass it on......copy and paste into your own blog and fill in the blanks!
A - Age: 54
B - Bed size: my recliner since I can no longer lie flat on my back
C - Chore you hate: decluttering anyplace
D - Dog's name: Lady, Chloe, Scooter and Frankie
E - Essential start your day item: Fruit
F - Favorite color: Blue
G - Gold or Silver: Silver
H - Height: 5"8--down from my "used to be height" of 5'9 1/2
I - Instruments you play: Violin
J - Job title: Reading Specialist in an elementary school
K - Kid(s): 2 daughters and 6 sons
L - Living arrangements: House in the country with hubby and 7 of our kids
N - Nickname(s): Mom
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: lots and lots
P - Pet Peeve: Injustice
Q - Quote from a movie: "I can't think about that today..."
R - Right or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: 4 brothers and 2 sisters
T - Time you wake up: 6:00 AM
U- First word that comes to your mind for U: umbrella
V - Vegetable you dislike: beets
W - Ways you run late: trying to squeeze too much into too little time
X - X-rays you've had: Back, knees, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, hips, tummy
Y - Yummy food you make: Cakes, brownies, and cookies of many varieties
Z - Zoo favorite: giraffes--and their sweet babies
Time to scoot--enjoy and take time to share your ABC's too!!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I am going to copy this blog in case something else weird happens with my computer and my blog today. I wrote one last evening and I wrote one on Monday evening and one disappeared entirely and the other one partially disappeared and frustrated me enough to give up. I don't know if it is because I am running on empty this week or what. After such a nice day on Sunday, I can't believe that I am in this place already. I am wondering if I am in box #ell or someplace similar. They have given me this "magic number" of boxes and it isn't going to work. I don't know what valuable items I am going to have to store--professional books or books for my students. I use them all regularly. I have already sifted out all of my learning activities which is ludicrous enough--and I know I won't be able to take anything like desk supplies or paper or notebooks or the like. What kind of teaching am I going to be doing next year. I have already been told that I am expected to travel from one room to another, so I doubt that I'll be giving up my wheelchair. The new building is supposed to be very large and at my best, I am slow--and by the end of the day, I won't even be at my best.
I am not myself today and I am not sure why. I do think it is the boxes and packing that has added stress, but little things have annoyed me today in a rather strange and negative way. Maybe you can give me some insight into this as I describe where I've been since Sunday. To start with, my packing helper hasn't been with me this week--she is a substitute for custodians, so I'm hoping that she has been working. On Monday, the aide who works with me in the morning was absent and the aide who works with me in the afternoon was absent--and yesterday, they pulled her to sub in a classroom. I have been working one to two hours late every night to work on boxes as well.
Yesterday, I took my lunch time to go over to the pain clinic to get my tens unit. The new ones are really nice compared to the ones I remember--they are also pretty pricey with the insurance companies getting an invoice of $797,00 (if I choose to keep it) My primary insurance company might deny it, but apparently my husband's insurance has the company as a PPO--of course they won't pay so much. It does seem helpful, but I don't know if I should be using them continuously. I had to remove the pad to go to the pool last night and when I got home, I didn't think I should wear it to sleep in. I don't know what is best. I probably should read the books that came with it, duh--what a reading teacher.
Monday night was another nightmare at the pool with this bunch of junior high aged boys whose parents dropped them off to do whatever they wanted--and what they wanted was to argue and scream and yell and be obnixious for hours. They take every single noodle that they have and they wrap them all around themselves and then leave them all over the pool. I use two for my exercises and none are available when I need them--and then, I end up picking them up when I try to do my walking. Tuesday night was much nicer, there were fewer people and there weren't any hyper fathers or adolescent hyper males there either. I realized that I relax when I am exercising at the pool--it was kind of an "aha"moment for me and it came up when I was talking with my youngest son, who always goes to the fitness center with me. He noticed that whenever I have been in the pool for a while, I seem to be smiling. I told him it is because my body feels better and that I can walk and move easier--which is true, but I think there is something soothing about the water that helps me relax too--and the time I spend in the sauna afterwards helps as well.
I repacked all ten of the boxes I packed last week at my afternoon school since yesterday. I was trying to keep them lightweight and organized, but that won't work with the restrictions I have been given. I took each box, emptied it, taped the bottom, then took the books out of the baskets that I use to organize them with, and filled them full to the top with books. that really makes them heavy--if you have ever lifted a box of books, they can weight a lot. I also have to find a way to store them in my room because we aren't allowed to place them in a hallway, My room is quite small, so this has added an unpleasant element to my teaching in this room. I have some pretty needy students academically and behaviorally and this is a big distraction for them. I have all of them except for one of my 5th graders and one of my fourth graders cooperating after their time with the sub--which is progress. I ended up threatening one of them with a referral today and I embarrassed the other one when I went down to walk the kid to my room since I haven't been able to get one to behave and the other to come to class. Hopefully, both issues will be over and tomorrow will work out quite well.
I have made some progress with my son this week and even have him socializing with the others a bit. I am working hard to get him to be more social and more active since I took t he internet away and since he lost his job. He rides his bike to the library everyday--which is no short distance--so he can use the internet there for the allowed half an hour. Things are coming along with some of the chores needing attention here in the house and yard as well--it seems that I have to go get things started and create a mess to get the others involved, but if that is what they want, I can do that, lol.
That brings me to sleep. I seem to sleep about an hour and a half to two hours before I wake up for a while and then I repeat this. I don't seem to get home fromt he pool until ten, so it is really hard to get some kind of a night's sleep in. My legs are aching again--doggone fibro. I am taking my meds at 2, 6 and 10 rather than every 8 hours because itmakes me too sleepy at work. I only take my breakthrough pain meds after 4 because of work as well. It is really hard to juggle what I need with my job--pain meds and sleep are important, but being alert at school is mandatory. I'm counting on this tens unit to take up the slack, if not more.
That's enough of my rambling for now. If any of you would like to travel to western Illinois to help me with the big box extravaganza, you are most welcome. I am maybe three-fifths of the way done and could use some kind of help--I need to figure out how to magically reduce the size of everything so that I don;t go over my box quota--arghhhhhh. Take care everybody. (I think this blog is going to make it, lol.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Hi everyone and Happy Mother's Day to all of you,
I have had a very active weekend and everything going on has kept me from going to school, unless I do it in a little bit. (I'm not expecting it with the guys out planting all of my little plants in the garden. They are mostly too big to call seedlings anymore.) I think that I visualize the garden when it is producing tomatoes and other foods while the guys are seeing it as something else to do. Oh well, they will enjoy the "fruits of their labor" and once the big work is done, I can help with the weeding and watering.
I went with four of the kids tot eh zoo yesterday. Whew, what a lot of walking we did--and it was really blustery as well. We still had fun and saw everything. If I can put a few photos in here, I'm going to share them. I have tried every way that I can think of to add some of these photos, but I just can't remember how I did it before. Oh well...In honor of mother's day, I wanted to share a wallaby with a baby in it's pouch and a wonderful photo of our giraffe with her new baby. I watched them for along time, and I got to see the mama giraffe clean her baby and then the baby nursed for a while as mama got it in a comfortable position. I bet some of you have big zoos nearby, but our little zoo has a lot to offer and they have made it better each year. There were some amorous animals there yesterday as well. It was interesting to watch the other people as they figured out what the tortoise was doing, lol. The male lion was pretty funny too--he let out this strange sounding roar followed by a swerties of short sounds (very loud) and went to one of the lionesses and forced her to move. Then he lay in her place and rolled onto his back. She didn't seem to care much, and she got up and moved away--but he followed her and repeated the same behavior. You could hear him all over the zoo.
The pool was ridiculous Friday night--there were three fathers simply causing problems. One of them arranged a game of team tag with all of the older kids and he had them yelling and over in the lap lanes and running people down. Another guy came in with about a half dozen little kids and proceeded to start throwing them halfway across the pool and chase them and trip them and had them all shrieking and screaming. A third father was lifting his daughter up and throwing her in as she "dove" except part of the time, his actions caused her to "bellyflop" and then to wail for what seemed like forever. If we could have gotten thos 3 men out of the pool, it might have been sane. It took me a long time to get my exercise in because I was dodging all of this the entire time. I am glad that it was quiet yesterday and even quieter today. We only have about 2 or 3 Sundays left before they close on Sundays for the summer season. I will have to find an alternative exercise or place on Sundays then.
I had children's church today. I think I have forgotten how to judge the amount of time an activity will take. I made stained glass crosses with the kids--We cut crosses our of card stock and then cut the insides out. Then we cut up colored cellophane into small pieces to fill in the cross--and we taped them in. Then we put another cross frame on the back and glued it down to hold everything together. We weren't finished when church was over, so parents had to wait for us. They were gracious about it and the kids were proud of their work. It was "Pin a Sister" Sunday in our church today and we have 4 members who are breast cancer survivors who pinned a pink ribbon on each of the ladies--it is pretty touching.
I have been very happy with today. I received a few nice gifts, but most of my kids have been doing things to help me out. My oldest daughter is doing my laundry right now. My youngest daughter cleaned up the kitchen. All of the guys helped with the garden and two of them also cleaned up the dining room. I cleaned out the trunk of the car and several of them came out and took over because, as they told me--"you shouldn't be doing this kind of work." It's too bad there aren't more Mother's Days throughout the year--I could get used to all of this!!
Gentle hugs everyone,
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