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Monday, June 20-A couple of fun days!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hi there,

Father's Day was a really great day for me and my family. It started out with church. My husband bought the flowers for the alter--we always put them up to recognize the kids' birthdays, so it was Megan's turn. He picked beautiful flowers (pink roses and white flowers that I don't know the name of) and after the service, Megan picked a couple of wonderful people and gave them away. It made me proud of my daughter to be so kind.

We came home and I did some work in my gardens. The weeds and the creeping charlie just won't give me a break. I think it has a lot to do with all of our spring rain. I learned a long time ago that a weed is simply a plant growing in a place that you don't want it to grow. Anyway, my gardens aren't big--but I'll share photos. It's important for everyone to remember that it is significant that I am able to do things like bend over and weed, plant flowers, spread mulch... Last year at this time I was giving up my wheel chair to walk!!

Oh hang it, I cannot get my photos to upload here--the internet service isn't strong enough would be my guess.

Anyway, we went to Mason's girlfriend's graduation party after the gardening. It was held at the Botanical Center. I love that place--it is a gorgeous place and I love it. When we got home, the weather was still beautiful and none of the predicted rain was in sight, so Micah and I went to Whitewater Junction. It is a local pool with water slides and I'll share those photos later as well. I got in my workout and had a lot of fun while my son hit the slides. I have done one of those and it was a bit tough on my back--but the big problem is climbing up all of the stairs to get there.

When we got home, we did some cleaning in the house and then had a cook out. It was a really nice day in all ways. All of the fresh air and exercise helped me to fall asleep far earlier than I planned and I didn't get my packing for the trip to St. Charles finished. I got up early and pushed to get mine and Micah's finished then. The one lousy thing that happened on Sunday was that junior high band teacher decided to remove Micah from the summer band program because he makes noises in her class. There is no way that I can make that @#$#$%@@ woman understand that he doesn't do that to be naughty but that is part of his Asperger's. That is part of the condition and as much as he would like to not do it, he cannot control that. We are trying to teach him strategies and the doctors are working with both medicine and behavioral therapy to teach him how to manage it, but he is a work in progress. She is just an awful teacher and person. (I apologize for that comment because it is so blunt, but it is simply the truth.) I have tired hard to educate the staff at that school, but they don't get it. Anyway, to make him feel better, I asked him to join me on my trip--and I promised that we would still take him to Adventureland Saturday. The band is playing their and then having a "fun day." She cannot prevent him from going to a public amusement park with us--and he can see his friends. This may be a tough day on me--but Mitchell and Marshall are going along. I am thinking that I can now fit comfortably into seats on rides and as long as I don't pick rides that whip this fragile back and body around, I can have fun too.

We got to St. Charles about 8:30 after a ride that lasted 2 and 3/4 hours. They let me check in early because the room was ready. They served us a big breakfast and lunch as well as a big afternoon snack. I took plenty to share with Micah and there was so much good fruit and many awesome veggies at lunch that I feel pretty good about my choices. It was tough not to eat a lot of things like sweet rolls, brownies, candy, muffins and so on. I took watermelon (my favorite summer fruit!!), fresh pineapple and strawberries and I may have over eaten those things, but I think I'll be okay.

Micah and I took a 3 hour walk to the businesses around the hotel. It was a fun time and we got to talk about everything. I loved that part the most. We did a bit of shopping--he forgot yo pack his swim trunks. We had dinner--I ate a half of a BLT and brought the rest home. We have a fridge and a microwave in our room, so that was a good idea. Micah had the teenager diet of a burger and fries. Then we walked back and I got ready for the pool. It was chilly, but I was able to do a good work out even without some of my equipment. We enjoyed some time in the hot tub. There were other teachers in there, so I got to be part of some good conversation.

All of the teachers at this workshop are National Board Certified teachers, the majority from CPS (Chicago Public Schools.) It is wonderful to be around so many highly committed and professional folks. We are being trained by the state Board of Education to mentor new teachers based on the State Teacher Standards. It is a top-notch workshop with excellent presenters who are experts in these skills and the background. We are helping them with the program and working with the recent state revisions to requirements and our names will be on the documents as co-authors for some of these things. I am happy to get to do some of this since in my current situation, I am not included in professional activities any more. (I am over qualified and over trained--however that can be.)

Anyway, it is awesome to be healthy enough to be active to do the things I have been doing for two days in such beautiful weather. We had big loud thunderstorms at 2:30 in the morning--I am guessing it will result in more weeds for me to deal with. I will share my photos with you when I get home.

I am happy and am enjoying my work and my son. This is a nice hotel--Hilton Garden Inn in St. Charles. It is a bit of a break for me from my usual stress and nonsense. Yay, time to refresh and relax. That is something I rarely get.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/22/2011 12:27AM

    Glad that you had a good weekend... sorry about Micah & his band class. Glad that you're doing well. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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DETERMINEDJANET 6/21/2011 12:22PM

    Sounds like a good time! Happy for you too that you are able to participate in more things this year!! Keep enjoying!

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_LINDA 6/21/2011 2:04AM

    I was so happy to read this Sylvia :))) So glad you had such an enjoyable time. Heard of that over qualified stuff before unfortunately. Some people find it hard to get jobs if they are like that as the employers don't want to pay extra for the higher skill level..
Its nice to hear you had such a close bonding with Micah.
Can't wait for your gardening photos! I had trouble with trying to get photos to load too. Nights just aren't the best time at Sparks, especially late night when they are always doing maintenance..
Have a Terrific Tuesday!
{{{ gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MALKS_ARIA 6/21/2011 1:20AM

    awesome :) Sound like your daughter was an honor to you both!!

And sounds like the garden is beautiful and a challenge as all gardens are!


Sounds like the weekend was a good weekend... I hope that Micah had a great weekend too. We are here :) for you, and willing to lend you an ear when you are ready to talk about the issues related to Micah and Asperger's... You are right... He doesn't have a clue how to control himself, and only through meds and lots of behavioral mod, do many over come those issues... You are doing an awesome job by allowing him to go to the event, even though the band teacher is insensitive and Discriminating...

Hope you have a great week!!!

aria

Comment edited on: 6/21/2011 2:26:45 AM

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Monday, June 20-A couple of fun days!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hi there,

Father's Day was a really great day for me and my family. It started out with church. My husband bought the flowers for the alter--we always put them up to recognize the kids' birthdays, so it was Megan's turn. He picked beautiful flowers (pink roses and white flowers that I don't know the name of) and after the service, Megan picked a couple of wonderful people and gave them away. It made me proud of my daughter to be so kind.

We came home and I did some work in my gardens. The weeds and the creeping charlie just won't give me a break. I think it has a lot to do with all of our spring rain. I learned a long time ago that a weed is simply a plant growing in a place that you don't want it to grow. Anyway, my gardens aren't big--but I'll share photos. It's important for everyone to remember that it is significant that I am able to do things like bend over and weed, plant flowers, spread mulch... Last year at this time I was giving up my wheel chair to walk!!

  


Saturday, June 18 Getting even better after losing 130 pounds!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hi All,

I have been thinking a lot about what I have accomplished since I came to SparkPeople. I have lost over 130 pounds and I am keeping it off. It took me a while to do this and lately, I have had to work to keep things that way--or so I've thought. The reality is that I lost a bit more than my goal and that even though I have been critical of what I have done, when I weighed in last week for the first time in a month, I had gained 4 pounds--not the 15 I was expecting. I had 3 doctor appointments last week and was weighed at two of them, and not a word about my weight was mentioned. That is the first time in a while that I hadn't heard something positive, but I also didn't hear anything negative either. This is a considerably big deal and I almost let four pounds and a lot of extra stress shadow this over.
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The reasons I should be celebrating my 4 pound weight gain include:
1. I exercise every day and I do it with pleasure. This is not something I ever expected of me. If for some reason I cannot make it to the pool (like on Friday when there was a water main break near the Fitness Center and it was closed,) I always find other exercises to do in its place. I do not feel right until I have gotten physical activity in. Recently, I have added gardening, using a stability ball in conjunction with weights and strengthening, balance exercises and riding a stationary bike to my choices. I never thought I would be able to garden, let alone work so hard at it that I could count it as exercise. I am so excited about these things being in my life. I admit that I am not doing the kind of exercise that many of my friends here do--but I was using a wheel chair 12 months ago to get around. I am thrilled with this part of my life and it just keeps getting better and better.
2. I eat better now than I have in the entire rest of my life. I cannot let a day get by without at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. I also select far better snacks than ever before. If I had reverted back to some of the things I used to do when I eat, I would have gained far more than 4 pounds. I think about what goes in my mouth before I put it in and that is a habit that took time to build after a life time of eating anything.
3. I also recognize what a serving looks like when I eat. If I chose pizza like I did tonight, I eat one or two slices depending on how hungry I am, not an eating festival that doesn't end until the food is gone. I am happy eating a decent portion and don't look back. I had some ice cream and cake for my daughter's birthday last week--one scoop of ice cream and a half of a piece of a cake was what I chose. It was actually so sweet that I didn't quite clean my plate. Prior to SparkPeople, I would have had at least 2-3 times that amount easily and I would have cleaned my plate. Cleaning a plate is no longer necessary for me and I generally use a saucer rather than a full sized plate when I eat.
4. I plan. I plan meals, snacks, exercise, and sleep to the best of my ability. These things are important to me and I make sure they have a place of equal priority to my family and my work in my life. I also track what I eat--and since I don't always have a computer with me, I keep a small notebook at hand to write things down. If I don't track, I might lose track of what I have done and I am not quite ready to trust everything I do--but that time is coming. I know values of most of my "regular foods" and have few surprises when I put everything in my nutrition tracker these days. For example, if I know we are going to grill brats out, I know that the rest of my meals will have less fats and sodium that day because they are one of those "big ticket" foods I eat. The same goes for pizza--I don't give anything up, I simply plan around those foods.
5. I work hard to get at least 6 hours of sleep in. I wish it were uninterrupted, but the pain I live with regularly doesn't allow that--my doctor has even made one of my prescriptions dependent upon the fact that I wake up. However, I do what I can to get in naps and make an effort to give myself that gift. Today was my day to drive and run errands because everyone else who drives was at work or out of town today. I waited while my daughter was at her voice lesson and reclined the car seat and intentionally took a 30 minute, refreshing nap. I have learned that I don't maintain my weight loss nor do I feel right without my sleep. Again, I plan to find ways to get the sleep I need. It may not be conventional, but I value this part of my life.
6. I am still learning and making things better. I think this is a vital part of what I do for myself. I am doing it in many ways--like by reading informational articles here at SparkPeople and by investigating other exercises that I can do in classes at the Fitness Center, from my physical therapist, online, and here at SP. You all help me constantly in this way. I read a blog or a message on one of my teams and that helps me tremendously. It pushes me to try somebody else's successful ideas and I add to my tool kit of good ideas. This is a big deal because it is a way that I spend a bit of my valuable free time on me. One of my Spark Friends wrote a blog about being a Spark Point junkie and I realized that I am one of those--but I realized that those points are valuable, not only for giving away goodies to my friends, but they indicate things I have learned in one way or another. They make me better as a healthy person who cares about myself.
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I am still "under construction." I have some things to accomplish--uh, here at SparkPeople, we call these goals. Here are some of mine:
1. I must work less hard and be more efficient in how I spend work time. I must limit my efforts and resources for work so that I have more time for myself and my family. I must stay safe when I do work and protect my fragile physical condition. I do not do well at this historically and haven't gotten there yet. However, I am getting better and have figured out this should come under the planning that I am so much better at than I ever was before. I am worth this and I am working at it.
2. I need to continue to acknowledge and celebrate the things I do well. I do far more things well than I don't and it is time to give myself credit for them. I wouldn't ever let my children or my students get away with not celebrating their accomplishments, I need to do the same with myself.
3. I need to delegate when I can. I realize that I am a perfectionist, and that others don't do things the same as I--but that doesn't make their efforts bad or worth not accepting. At the very least, I can work with others and protect myself and my time.
4. I want to continue improving on what I eat--more unprocessed foods is important. I do best when I get 6-7 servings of fruits and veggies in daily. I do best when my snacks are not things out of packages and are out of the fridge. I do best when my snacks are combination foods and include different parts of the "plate." (I love the new food plate over the former food pyramid.)
5. I need to always get 10 glasses of water in each day. I still am not always good at that and find myself behind at different points of the day. It keeps me feeling right--and that makes it important.
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I am under construction and expect to stay this way forever. I do best when I have goals and I care about myself. I appreciate Spark People every day and I appreciate you. Thank you all for reminding me of what I do well and for giving me a listening ear or a kind push when I need it. All of the time I spend here at SP benefits my well-being and is time well spent. It helps me to reflect on my own activities and goals, while helping me to learn and to take myself to a new level. It had helped me to accept myself and my journey and to realize that I have accomplished wonderful things and can continue to do so.
Losing 130 pounds was no small accomplishment. However, now that the door to living well is open, I have found a lot of rooms in this mansion and I am going to keep exploring them. Thanks Spark People for all you do for me each day!!
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Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALKS_ARIA 6/19/2011 11:51PM

    WOW!!!

Awesome progress all around!!!

aria

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PUGRAD1995 6/19/2011 9:32PM

    Be proud of what you have accomplished-especially with everything else going on. You know what you need to do, just keep on doing it.

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HONEYBEADS 6/19/2011 12:46PM

    Wow! So many positive changes and habits! emoticon

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EMRANA 6/19/2011 10:52AM

  Magnificent blog, Sylvia! I love that you're not only honoring where you've come from and all you've accomplished, but you're also recognizing where you want to set new goals.

You're definitely an inspiration! emoticon

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VELVETKAT 6/19/2011 9:53AM

    fantastic in all you have accomplished and are still accomplishing! It is a lifestyle change not a quick fix as we all know!
Keep up the great work!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/19/2011 4:45AM

    Such an excellent blog! You're really doing so well. No wonder that you are proud of yourself. I am proud of you too! Keep up the good work my friend. You're AWESOME! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 6/19/2011 1:47AM

    This is just fabulous, and you should be so proud..........not just for the weight lost (which is great!) but for the REAL Lifestyle changes that you have made. Long lasting, realistic, and healthy. You are most definitely someone to be celebrated here on Spark......you have learned how to incorporate all of the things that Spark is all about. Bravo to you!

I checked the Like on this blog, and I hope others do too! You should be celebrated!

Way to go!

Karen

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Thursday, 6/16 I can do this (former title was "It hurts!!!!")

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hi all,

I wrote a long blog about being in pain last night. It was angry and whining and full f descriptions of what was hurting. I finally fell asleep in the middle of writing that and I just deleted all of that because I am pretty sure nobody "really" needed to read all of that. I think I needed to write it though.

It was a difficult night and I know it happened because of what I did on Monday and the injection I had on Tuesday. Yesterday there was no position that gave me relief. I used ice and my tens unit and all of the pain meds I could take. The weather was cooler here and there was intermittent rain. My stress levels over some issues remains high. There are lots of reasons for this pain.

However, today is a new day. It is Megan's birthday (JAZZTHEATRE88) and we are going to have a birthday celebration. I am going to write lesson plans for the para I work with and the lady who has made my summer tutoring so tough for next week while I go out of town for a state workshop. I think it will give me some relief from this stress and I will be with other National Board Certified Teachers who are a special lot. I will be away and learning and in a good place. Although if one of the issues I am dealing with isn't resolved before then, I will not go. It involves my son and I am simply not going to go if things aren't under control.

For now, I am going to have a positive attitude. I have to wrap Megan's birthday gifts and help her to have a wonderful birthday. I need to get up now and find out if I can walk without all of that pain today. I need to get ready for work because if I time things right, I can go to the pool and spend my evening with my family. This is a wonderful way to fix all of the issues of last night. I won't promise not to have a bit of birthday cake though! emoticon

Have a wonderful day--and watch me turn the nature of this week upside down and make things better!!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/17/2011 12:17AM

    Sometimes I write things down & then burn the writings or tear it up... or hit delete if it's on the computer. Sometimes the therapy is just in the writing! I hope that you'll be painfree one day soon. I keep you in my prayers dear friend. Happy Birthday to Meghan. Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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STEPPYSUE 6/16/2011 11:44PM

    Awww feel better sweetie! I suffered almost six weeks with a little pain and can't begin to imagine what you're going through. emoticon

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_LINDA 6/16/2011 8:05PM

    So very sorry you are suffering so :(( This workshop is just the thing you need, to be around your peers that you can respect and to get away from the stress for a break.
Many happy returns to Megan, hope you guys had a good one! There is nothing wrong with eating birthday cake, you should have seen me with the cake I got lol. I hope you got your pool time in..Its very important for you to squeeze in time for yourself..
Good luck with getting the son's problems resolved..
Feel better soon..
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MALKS_ARIA 6/16/2011 2:11PM

    Such a positive outlook... but i do agree, there are many a time, that we need to vent.. and rant ... and get it out... so we can rest... (our brains if not our bodies)


Hope you have a great week, and enjoy birthday cake for me!

aria

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SHEL1181 6/16/2011 1:24PM

    Hope you feel better soon!

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Tuesday, 6/14 My back and Being Stubborn!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hi everyone,

Today was a day of reckoning for me. I have been awful to myself because I am stubborn and I work too hard too often. I was blessed with a new doctor who is competent, capable, and kind--and I let her down.

On Monday, I had to move all of the materials I need to tutor for the Room." Along with the para who is helping me, we are tutoring 58 students. I create a personal reading basket for each child and those baskets start out with about 20 books in it. This is a vital part of my program because I really get to see how children read when they are selecting their own books and are really reading. I also provide at least one hands-on activity where we work with words or play word games. The meat of my lessons is the guided reading portion of things where I sit with a small group of children and they read books. That is where I teach comprehension, the most important function of reading. I do other things in the guided reading group like teaching strategies for problem solving and developing fluency, but comprehension is big. I use a lot of charts and do writing activities using graphic organizers. This turns into a lot of "stuff" that needed moving. And, I did it. I didn't realize how hard I was working and how much pressure I put on my back until I finished.

I was dripping with sweat in a way that I have never sweated. That's a big deal considering the building was air conditioned at that moment, My shorts were soaked with sweat from my waist down to my thighs. My back was aching in a way that I cannot understand that I didn't realize it until that moment. I am stubborn and I kept pushing myself, ignoring the important messages from my body. I was also teary-eyed when the reality of what I had done hit me and I was ready to quit the tutoring job. However, the little boy I have been tutoring since January came with his mother and they helped me to understand why I took this position and why I love my work.

I had my follow-up appointment with my back doc at the end of the program. The fact that I was miserably in pain did not escape her. She wanted to get right on the phone and call my employers about the restriction list she sent to the. I took responsibility for what I had done and promised her that I would talk to the people in charge about how the things I moved would get taken back to my room and be put in their appropriate places. She determined that there were some problems with my back and my left hip. she increased another of my meds and then she ordered two more sets of injections to deal with the bursitis in my left hip and to deal with the pain in my left lower back.

I went home with a handful of med samples that she gave me to boost the level and three appointments. The first of those was today for an injection in my left hip. It went like the other injections she has give me, but I noticed trouble in the first step I took when I got off the table. She told me to go home and put ice on it, which I did. The water in the pool was chilly as well (because they finally fixed the air conditioning in the pool area of the fitness center.) I took it easy as I went through part of my routine and did things with less intensity. However, it hurts to walk and sit right now. This could last a couple of days.

I will not work extra hours and I will not hurt myself again. That is my promise to myself and those around me. I have to quit being a "workaholic" and I have to pace myself. I am in position to have the least pain I have had in a decade and I cannot jeopardize things. That is more valuable than any amount of money. I am dedicated to my students, but when my position becomes unreasonable, I have to learn to say "no" to the people I work for. I am not someone who generally does that kind of thing, so I will have to work at it. I guess we all have to learn new things and add them to our tool boxes of life skills.

Gentle hugs to all as I muddle through more life issues!
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMRANA 6/15/2011 9:16AM

  I'm not happy at all to hear about the pain bursts, but I am glad that you are going to tone down your schedule. You've been superhuman for too long in a regular human body. Time to rest and be good to yourself in there.

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MALKS_ARIA 6/15/2011 1:21AM

    I can say "Hi" too :)

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FRIENDOFBACH 6/15/2011 1:02AM

  Hey there!
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