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Tuesday morning, March 3

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hello,

I had a tricky night because our kitty finally is braving things enough to c ome in the room where I sleep...and the dogs hang out. He is not happy with my basset babies and they don't much care for him either. The kitty wants to play around, but has had his claws trimmed next to nothing for so long that he doesn't really know that he can hurt me. He kept "playing" with me and now I have a ton of little scratches and holes in me to prove it. What a nut.

I am working hard at getting some of the issues with my family under some control. I have worked hard to get my kids (who were off-track) back on track. I still have one hold out, but I think he will. I don't think he understands that if he doesn't successfully complete all of his classes plus his tutoring that he won't graduate. He says that he wants to graduate and then then 5 minutes later will sit down for a 12 hour marathon on the Wii. Go figure...

As for me, I am wavering on what to do during my break. I have signed up for two technology classes--one in IPhoto and one on making my web-page for school. I will use this stuff immediately, so they will be good classes for me. I also am in the middle of a two part class on mentoring teachers who want to become nationally certified. That class has been good for me--we finish it this coming Saturday. I have also signed up for a two Saturday class in April and a single day class that I will have to travel a bit for, Learning new things and being with other adult learners is a special gift. Our school district is doing much of this type of thing any more, but i know that learning keeps me vital. Hopefully, I will be able to show off my school web-page for everyone. emoticon

I haven't been working on weight loss so much--life has been crazy hectic and it seems as if once I dole out my energy over being the "law and order" cop at work ajd home, that I am drained. I have been eating within limits, but my sleeping has been so off that nothing can work well. I also have to select my foods better--I don't think that I'm eating enough protein, so I'm going to try to focus on that. A lack of protein would explain why I feel so hungry in the late afternoon and at night. Yet, sometimes meat seems to make me feel too full and then I get sick after I've eaten. I do best with processed meats--I know-- emoticon
or cheese or cottage cheese. I drink milk and eat yogurt, so I am trying to make good choices. I take so many medications that sometimes I get full just from them. I generally eat a piece of fruit before I take my meds. Most of them say they have a side effect of making people drowsy, so I have separated them into the ones I have to take in the morning and the ones that I can take at night. It is no wonder that I am often tried and feeling all drug out between my meds and my interrupted sleep. However, I am aware of this issue and I am trying to work on it. Maybe I need to drink some type of herbal tea. I love camomile and I know that teas have so many soothing qualities. Maybe that needs to be my research for the week.

I do know some great things. I love being a mother--it is so cool to see my kids who are behaving to reason and use the things that I have been trying to teach them. It is exciting to go shopping with my daughter and she is a friend as well as my daughter now. It is still fun to get them a surprise every now and then--tee hee, boxer shorts with Sponge Bob in a size 2XL are a great surprise. For the most part, I can share adult type things with them now too--like honest info about our finances--or lack thereof. They help me at work with my classroom. and they love so many of the things that I do--like animals and board games and card games and crossword puzzles. I used to take them with me when I walked. We live out in the country, so the places we can walk are kind of limited--but my son (the one who is vexing me right now) would come with me and we would talk about all of the beauty in nature and how things worked. It was the best fun ever. They all used to play baseball/softball and we would go to the games, cheer our player on and just have time out together. We used to go fishing too--never caught anything worth a hoop--but it was just fun to do. I want to be able to walk again so we can do some of those things--a long walk with my basset hounds and some good company is one of my dreams.

I think the key to being able to walk unassisted again is to lose weight snd take the pressure off of my back...and my artificial knnes. I need this site and all it has to offer. My situation may be a bit more complex than many, but I know that once I am over this current hurdle with anemia and vitamin deficiencies and the like that SP will lead me where I need to go. I also know that all of my SP friends and cheerleaders will help me to get there in my own time.

Have a glorious first week of March. Enjoy what this month has to offer--the end of spring, a time for reflection, Lent, preparation for spring and new birth. As I consider this, I am thinking about my youngest daughter who will be confirmed on Palm Sunday. she has been busily writing her speech and says that she doesn't need my help. It seems like only yesterday that she was born.

Life is good!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
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LOULOUBELLE2 3/11/2009 2:16PM

    Just got back from my trip and was reading your blog. Way to go, Sylvia, keep up the good work of getting back on track, but be careful of those kitty scratches. You can sure tell you love those pets of your's as well as your family. Prayers are with you constantly.(*.HUGS♥.*) -::- ♥LouAnne ♥-::-

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CHAS1949 3/5/2009 1:18AM

    I thing you are terrific! POSITIVE people are the best!! I hope you just keep getting better and better! Soon you will be back up to walking unassisted and then who knows??

I am a retired teacher and understand the love of the work. I wish you success on your goals and happiness with your children.

chas

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BELLACUDDLES 3/4/2009 3:01PM

    You attitude is great, Sylvia!

Barbara

God bless you too!

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SHELLPRO 3/3/2009 2:41PM

    God Bless- & anyone who would treck as far as you did to get her Basset Hound? Can do most anything she sets her mind to! I'm here for you- emoticon

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Sunday-Almost Monday, Feb 22

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hello,

Last week was a bit crazy. I fought that awful cold all week, but am finally down to an occasional cough and groan--yay. It has been mostly a good week for me. I have reclaimed my world and have climbed on the "nag anyone who needs it" bandwagon--haha. Actually, it has gotten me further than anything else that I have tried. The kids are doing more chores than they did all last month, homework too. My husband is taking care of some things that only he can take care of. Personally, my classroom is more organized and I have found some workshops to go to. That may not sound like a positive, but our district has decided that some people like me who are well-trained do not need any more workshops. They simply won't let us go--but I booked myself to attend some that are sponsored by the IL National Board Certified Teachers. This means that they will be good trainings that I will be able to use and probably earn some extra money for as well. I teach kids to be lifelong readers and learners--and they are depriving me of the same important opportunity.

Our two new doggies are settling in so well. We have more activity, but there are a lot of good things. Thee kids are helping their dad with more of their care and they aren't complaining about it. The dogs and the kids are getting more fresh air and activity. This also helps my husband to feel less grumpy. He fell of a ladder at work early last week and has some bruised ribs that have made him pretty uncomfortable, so it is a positive thing for him in more ways than one. )I wish they all knew how badly that I wanted to take the dogs for their walks. If I didn't need my walker and have such a slow pace...)We are enjoying them so much--thanks a million times Shell!! Right now, the pug is sitting on the arm of my chair as I type on my laptop. He likes my slow pace. However, he is going to be adding activity to his agenda as well. We just checked on the AKC site and the expected weight for a guy like him is 14-18 pounds and he weighs 27, so we are going to have to figure out how to get him into a bit better shape. He is so cute, that it doesn't seem right, but w want him to have a nice long life--so he will get some help.

I had two important doctor appointments last week. One was with my therapist who knows that I have been having a really tough time lately and the other was my 6 month check up with my rheumatologist. He is waiting for the new fibromyalgia drug to be on the market in the next couple of weeks. He is going to check it against my other meds to see if it is a possibility for me. He also gave me an injection of kenalog, and I have felt some relief from the raging pain that I have all over all of the time. That is a true gift and I am glad to have seen him. Kenalog is an interesting drug and can treat a big variety of things--this is the third time he has given me one, generally after he does my exam and mutters about the auto-immune nature of my characteristics. (It may look like it is auto-immune, but there is no evidence in my lab work.) In any case, it will stay with me for a while and I feel better now than usual.

3 more weeks of class until our intersession. I haven't decided what I am going to do during break yet--I could teach, but I think I'm going to use my time for me and my family, It is a far better way to do things. Here's a big thanks to all of my SP friends. I expect to see my weight loss look more serious if the pain is down and the activity is up. Thanks for sticking with me, no matter what. I will talk to you all soon!!

Hugs, Sylvia

  
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SHELLPRO 2/25/2009 2:50PM

    hey sis, hope you've felt up to getting that Mamogram appointment? Mine tomorrow 2/26, keep me in prayer! Hope you've had time to view the Spark Rally Adoption blog I've posted with pictures & all. No Chloe or me :( Those didn't turn out.

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LOULOUBELLE2 2/23/2009 7:51AM

    Way to go Sylvia, that's the most positive I've heard from you in a long time. Prayers are working my friend. The dogs, medication, your family your work and studies are all part of God's answer to you. Keep up the good work and I'll keep you in my prayers. Have a great week and a super good spring break. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Tuesday 2/17 After the 3 day weekend...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hi there,

We are getting ready to embark on a 4 day work week and for whatever reason, I find them to be stressful in a school. I suspect it is because many of my colleagues try to get 5 days of work out of themselves and their children instead of cutting back and enjoying the change of pace. Who knows?

On Friday, my husband surprised me with a singing vaentine. He has done it before, but with the holiday weekend and our little trip coming up, it caught me off guard. My son is a part of a 20 member madrigal group in high school and they came and sang love songs, serenading me outside of my strange little classroom. When it was over, my son gave me a precious hug and a long-stemmed rose. It was very special. All of the kids were wearing black slacks and then some version of red and white shirts--a coiupe of the girls had shirts covered in hearts. They looked beautiful and sounded breathtaking. It was a real treat. emoticon

We rented a SUV and loaded it and my husband's little car up to go visit "Shell" one of my basset hound team friends. We went from our home in IL, through MO and to TN--where we found her and eventually went to MS for a visit and to adopt a new basset hound and her buddy, a pug. Their names are Chloe and Frankie and they are such adorable, beautiful creatures, I am so glad that we were able to do this. My precious Lady (a 2002 Valentine's gift from my husband, our basset hound) is a tiny bit disgruntled, but it seems like she is coming around, She is such a little diva, lol. We were welcomed and treate3d with warm southern hospitality and hope that we can get together again. After SP got us connected up with our official state, I would have never guessed that the first SP member who I would get to meet would have been from a few states away. And, when we got there, Shell had been working out. It is no wonder that she has lost the weight she needed and is so beautiful.

The lousy news is about this cold of mine. Everytime that I think I have it beat, it rears up its ugly head again. This is the longest I have ever had one. I may have aggravated it when we traveled. We stayed in a hotel on our way down and this ding dong forgot that I cannot sleep lying down and the hotel we were in did not have suitable chairs for sleeping in--I should have went back out to the car and dropped the seat back. Anyway, I tried to sleep but just could not get comfortable--the pain in my back grew from usual to sore to obnoixious during the night. That left me as a sleepy and sore visitor, who had more and more difficulty walking as the day went on. By the time we went home, I could barely get comfortable. I was riding "shotgun" while my son drove and kept falling asleep after I had one of those horrid coughing fits. I got cold and hot and cold and hot--stayed feverish for the rest of the ride home. The guys decided to drive straight through and we got back home around 6 Monday morning and I hobbled into my chair and slept most of the day. I woke up by coughing fits and started taking Mucinex like my doctor had recommended when he gave me the antibiotics.

I am awake now, for some weird reason--oh wait it started with more coughing. I hurt all over--thanks fibro, lol. I really want to work tomorrow because it is Tuesday, one of my tutoring days. I need this out of my system and I am hoping that one of my big, busy days will help me do so. I wonder how many others are dealing with the cold that will not clear up? Maybe we need to start ourselves a team too, lol. I am going to huddle and say "hi" to a few people who I have missed with 2 days of not logging in here, It was so worth it. As soon as I can get a camera to work and find out how to put pictures on, you can see my 2 and 4 legged babies. Life is good, it just needs to quit coughing so much!
Sylvia

  
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ALICERIEGER 2/17/2009 9:21AM

    Wow! sounds like you had a wnderful Valentine weekend even if it did end in a lot of discomfort. Everyone seems to be having trouble getting rid of their cold this year. HOpe yours gets better.

God Bless.

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Using the resources at hand--Monday, February 9

Monday, February 09, 2009

Hi there,

I am starting the week with this loud cough, but without fever, so I am ready to do the work I love at home and school. I promise not to overdo anything because everything I do helps me to be "mighty fine in 2009." That is the mantra from the OA of the lower back team and sometimes it seems so silly when I say it that I have to feel better. I know that isn't the purpose.

Fessing up time--I have to change my weight ticker. I have known that it was wrong since about a month after my surgery, but I have kept trying to lose it again. I think I need to work from an honest field to have true weight losses to celebrate. This is not that week though, I have gained almost two pounds and I am not sure how, as sick as I was with whatever the virus was. I will need to get back to journaling. I do better writing as I plan and eat and that is not always possible online. When I write every bite, I succeed as well. This will be my week.

i tried to go shopping yesterday and to use the shopping cart instead of my walker. Thank goodness that I only wanted a few items and that I was at Walgreen's because I had to sit down by the time I got to the back of the store. My hips and back are not strong enough for that yet. I am going to follow up on a program I saw yesterday at 6 AM on public TV called "Sit to be Fit." I think it will help me to get my body working better without asking it to do things it cannot do. I am looking forward to that. This may be something to help others here like me as well--all I know is that it is worth my best effort.

We had to make a tough decision. We just couldn't afford to pay for this semester for my daughter's college, so she is taking a semester off. I know the world won't end, but making decisions like this is never easy. She came home last night. but they got here so late that I missed them. I love her so much and I am glad to have her at home, but I am sorry to have it like this. Her plans are to get a job and stash money and we will match it dollar to dollar so that she will be okay to get back in the fall. She is a theatre education major, so she will be going back to work on some plays, have private lessons in directing, and to hang out with her friends as well. This summer, she will take a couple of gen ed classes at our local community college and things will be back on track for her next year as a senior. It has still been hard to let her down this way, someday I hope she sees it as one of those life decisions that we had to make. I will give her credit, she hasn't made a complaint and we haven't seen a tear in her eyes, she is an awesome kid.

We have to start tutoring my 18 year old son tonight. 60 hours of tutoring by a certified teacher will make up for the credit he lost last semester when he failed chemistry. My second oldest son has agreed to do it, and I have told my younger son that he will be expected to pay his brother for his time. Apparently local tutors get $15 an hour, so that means it would cost him $900 (which is a steal). He said that he would do it for half price, since his brother doesn't have a job yet. I am hoping that he finds something because that should give him total structure in his world until he graduates and for him, that's a good thing. All he wants to do is read and play video games. I am very proud to have a teen aged son who reads--but this one gets in trouble and is assigned detentions for it at school. At this point helping him to graduate so that he can study mechanics like he wants is the goal. I am also trying to not be the one to do everything in the process. It is hard to let go, but I am letting this go into trustworthy hands,

This is the time for me to cut back on what I do, like I need. I am committed to the things that I am doing at work--my job, tutoring before school and after school. I am going to ask about getting paid for some of my tutoring today--all they can say is "no" and if I do, maybe it wont be quite as selfless. I can donate the money to my daughter's college fund if I want. I can help make plans for my kids, without being the one to follow them around and seeing every detail through. I am sharing this with others. I am going to use this time for some fitness and therapy for myself and maybe some one on one time with my husband between his 9 hour a day, 7 day a week work week. I feel like I am on the right track, with that will come my own better health and maybe some improvement at the scales. Hopefully, that will also keep the depression at bay so that I won't feel so overwhelmed and lost as I have been lately.

Yesterday at church, our pastor and our parish nurse had a discussion sermon about Jesus' life as a healer at the end of the book of Mark. They spoke a great deal about Him needing time to "recharge His batteries" after all of the healing He did. I think the point was clear that if Jesus needed time to Himself and time to rest up and pray and recharge, that we need to do so as well. I may not be a healer--and I am certainly far more flawed than my Savior, but I am not too stupid to learn from Him and do as He did. I am putting this on my schedule of what I must do too. I couldn't have a better role model. Take care everybody!!

  
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JIM*S_QUEENIE 5/28/2009 7:38AM

    This was a great blog as it was full of lots of meat not just milk. Know what I mean?
And yes, you do help heal as you are a nursemaid to your children and you have to diagnose if they are bad enough to need to seek professional care or if you can take care of what is wrong yourself.
You drive, you cook, you clean, you counsel, you punish, etc. etc. Need I say more?
As far as your daughter and college, I have a son who is now 30 this year in Sept. on the 29th (the day I joined Spark People) and he put himself all the way thru school. It took him longer as he did some classes here and some there. Sometimes he took 2 classes, sometimes 1 and if they were fairly easy classes for himself he took 3. Sometimes he had to take a final over again as he missed a part. What was hard for him was when it was so close and they don't let you know what you missed so you don't know what you need to study. He did get his masters last year and was darn proud to have done it all on his own. He moved to Italy to study as he could go to Milan to take his tests 3-4 times a year. His classes were really difficult, too and I didn't understand one thing about them!!!
I worry though, as I know his work is based on the economy and businesses hiring him about their finances.
He was going to go after his doctorate but I think he decided not at this time and I am very glad. He is a smart cookie. He now knows 3 languages and he has started studying German because he may have to move to Germany to work. He has been working for some German companies from Italy. And they just bought a home in Turin which they plan on remodeling thru a magazine like Sunset Design. I was hoping they would move into it as it is 6 stories to walk to get to his apartment---no elevator. That is why the French are in shape. When they eat, they only take 3-4 bites and then they walk up to 20 stories every day.
Give me a break!!! I had a tough time at my sons. I rested on the landings when I needed to. After being there for 3 weeks I could walk all the way up but now I couldn't.
Ok, I am closing. Not feeling well. Let me know what you wanted to talk to me about, okay? Was it your surgery? There was no blog for 1/5. Check your 1/6 answer to my 1/3rd blog. Hope you don't have as many problems as I did getting into your blogs. What a mess and a lot of time but it was worth trying to find what you were talking about.
Love, peace and blessings, my friend Sylvia
Vicki


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ALICERIEGER 2/9/2009 7:56AM

    Everybody is having tough times and having to make tough decisions right now but I think we will come out stronger for it. Your children sound wonderful. I think the one think I have learned on this journey is that I have to take care of myself and keep myself in good shape to be able to do the best for my loved ones. You can only pour so much water out of a pitcher before it has to be refilled.

God bless.

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Already February!! Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Time is flying by. Last week was our first five day school week since sometime in December. It felt good to be a bit normal. Our weather last week never rose above 30, so every single day was "indoor recess" for the kids. The kids at school were getting pretty antsy and my own delightful 5th grader got into his own brand of trouble. He made a nuisance out of himself by messing up a chess game (more than once) and found himself in the office. He has Asperger's syndrome, a high level of autism, and being in the office raised his anxiety level and he tried to relieve it by singing. Instead of telling him not to sing, the secretary told another kid that he was a terrible singer. That hurt his feelings and he responded by growling. Then he was told that since he acted like an animal, he was going to be treated like one. He had to wait until every other person had lunch to get his and now he has to eat his lunch in the office every day for at least a week. Do you agree that this is inappropriate and inexcusable by these adults? I would like opinions by people who will tell me the truth. It seems to me that the punishment for the horseplay was appropriate, but the rest of this was just a combination of bad moods that came together.

He has a birthday on Wednesday and in honor of his love of shopping, I want to get him a gift card for Toys R Us. The thing is that he will take days to make up his mind and this can be really excruciating for those of us who will take him. He is a loving little guy, but the Asperger's elevates his anxiety and he really struggles.

My head cold from a week and a half ago has been replaced by a chest cold and flu-like symptoms. I try to sleep and then I cough and choke and make my throat burn. I haven't had a cold in a long time. I'm betting it has something to do with some of my students. Even my youngest kids at my former school knew to cover their mouths and use manners--Many of my students this year have no clue and I suspect that my system is pretty fragile and can't fight this off. This is what happens the first two or three years of teaching while you build up some immunity, Argh.

I had a couple of good sessions with my therapist. I/ see my doctor weekly and this past week i t was early in the week and the previous week was late in the week, so it seemed like along conversation. I had talked to him about how I felt that taking care of others was part of my personality and that made things hard for me to take care of only myself right now. I asked him if that meant I had some serious problem that we weren't addressing and he gave me a good picture of how all of this stacks up. He started by pointing out that almost every mental health disorder has some aspects that they share with all people--like eating, drinking, crying, etc...and it is only when these are abused that problems occur. That is the category where my roles as a caregiver come in. For another, taking care of my children and family is important--and for a teacher--caring for my students and trying all of my possible skills to help them be successful is important. He believes that I have been working on these skills since I was a young girl. Now, I have reached the time in my life that I have to put my own health and needs in front of everything else in m y world. This involves a reteaching of everything that I have done in my adult life and my childhood as well. I try but get trapped in old patterns and he comforted me by explaining that I am making progress with this and I just have to keep at it. A couple of my good friends had me thinking that maybe I had some really obsessive type personality that couldn't get better. His understanding and explanation of such things was helpful. I am working hard at taking care of myself, but I have made some commitments that are problematic. For example, I begged a parent to let her child attend my Tuesday and Thursday tutoring class--she had no way to pick him up then. I offered to keep him with me until she gets off work at 4:30--the other kids leave at 4. Mom agreed and now, she isn't picking him up until 5. She also doesn't seem to be helping him at home with anything he needs to work on either. I have another student who needed more help than I could give in a group, so I made arrangements with her mom to get her a ride to school 40 minutes early and I tutor her before school. Now I know that I need more time for resting and my own self-care, I cannot quit providing this support. I cannot ignore my 10 year old's birthday this week either because he is a boy and he needs us to make a party for him. I think that I will keep trying to elevate my own needs and yet stay close to the love and satisfaction in my life at the same time. I am an intelligent woman, I think this is a whole bunch of "building new habits," much like working at weight loss and maintenance.

Take care everybody,
Sylvia

  
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CAROLYNINJOY 2/1/2009 3:40PM

    It seems incredible that Feb. 2009 is already here. It seems like just 'yesterday' when I was in high school calculating that in 2000 I'd be 53. That sounded SOOOO old. Sometimes I feel like George Burn's line: " If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

I was blessed to have several caring teachers & I know you bless the lives of the students & the parents you encounter.

I hope you have a super Sunday.

Injoy:) Carolyn

PS Happy Birthday for your son's Wednesday birthday. emoticon emoticon

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TLDUVALL 2/1/2009 10:55AM

    First I would like to comment on the treatment of you son.... This is totally unexceptable behavior by the "adults". I would be raising a heck of a scene with the school administration. My step daughter is handicapped and the system here is wonderful with the handicapped children and their "tenendcies" There would be some heads rolling if that kind of treatment was done here. I would not allow them to put him through that everyday for a week? I am sorry but this just angers me to no end! You need to stand up to them!

On the other notes... You are a rarity when it comes to teachers these days and I commend you for careing so much about your students. Don't stop. You do need to however talk to the mom that does not show up until 5... she is taking advantage of you. Parents need to take the step as well if all your hard work is going to pay off with their children.



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