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Marissa's Church Solo

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This is a video I took of my daughter singing at church.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDRAAAR 8/22/2011 12:40PM

    WOW! She's amazing!

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_LINDA 8/22/2011 11:06AM

    Marissa has amazing talent!! Such a mature voice for one so young. She sure can hit the high notes with out any break!! She could go as far as she wants with a musical career!! She could be a fabulous opera singer!!!
Thanks so much for letting us hear and see this wonderful performance!!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/22/2011 11:02AM

    Beautiful!!

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GRACEISENUF 8/21/2011 11:05PM

    Her voice is a beautiful gift from God!

Thanks for sharing.

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ENUFF81020 8/21/2011 8:55PM

    Thank you--and I am quite frustrated because I can't get this to load for me. I will have to "assume" that it is working okay for others now.

She wants a career in music--Shenot only sings, she plays oboe, tenor sax, percussion, piano and is in every music group and activity in her school. Madrigals, show choir, jazz choir, musicals, marching band, pep band, jazz band, and it goes on and on. Her high school choir has been asked to perform in Washington DC along with 11 other choirs from around the country. It is exciting to see her find this in her life.

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MKPRINCESS007 8/21/2011 8:47PM

    Her voice IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing! So, not only are you a proud Mom, but you are completely accurate.......she is awesome! :)

Karen

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Sunday, August 21 Week in Review

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hi all,

I finally finished getting my weekly menus transferred to SP from my written journal last week--and when I looked everything over, I haven't changed what I am eating much (except that I can chew more these days. My mouth is healing slowly but surely.) However, I noticed that I actually added more protein and more whole grains to my daily meals. I will thank WW for making me look at those things better. I think I have looked at the daily feedback sheets from SP so long that I am not making changes any more to improve them. The payoff came at the scale when I lost 5.8 pounds. That is typical of me the previous 3 times I joined WW. Our meeting topic was "meatless meals" and I am going to try a meatless day this week, even if I have to fix some meat for everyone else. I would like to see if I really feel satisfied with that.

Work has been trying in many ways. I cannot discuss specific children here, but I can say that I bring a lot of experience and professional knowledge to the table when we talk about a child and it frustrates me to no end to not be listened to when an issue comes up--and then to be "right" after time passes. Wasting time is not a friend to children who need academic support. **Official end of rant** I went to school yesterday and with the help of 3 of my kids, we set up 48 book baskets for 1st and 2nd graders. It is an awesome lot of work and it took us 4 hours to do it. I'd still be there if the kids didn't help me.

I am hoping to add a video to this blog of Marissa singing at church. When you hear it (if you hear it,) remember that this is the voice of a child who just turned 16 2 weeks ago. I am a proud mother, no doubt, but she is amazing. I'll leave it to you to agree or disagree with that statement.

Take care everyone...I'm off to add the video now. Then I get some "down time." The girls are doing laundry and my husband and son are fixing dinner. The other guys are doing yard work. And I am doing this, hmm...It must be a holiday or new moon or something weird!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/22/2011 1:42AM

    Sorry about your work frustrations -that is just plain rude of people not to listen to you :((
Speaking as a person who has all meatless meals at home and some meat meals at my Mom's -I am very satified and don't miss it. But I also make sure my meals are well balanced with protein, fat and carbs. I use soy beverage, cottage cheese, cheese, egg whites, beans, lentils, yogurt, nut butter and a protein supplement for protein and it seems to satify me well enough. I use bread, cereal and grains that have a higher than usual protein content. Really into label reading to find the best possible product nutrtionally out there to meet my needs. I am never lacking in protein for my daily needs, and that is important to feel satisfied in a meal without meat. I have been a long time vegetarian and used to snack in between meals like crazy before I learned to pay attention to getting enough protein, then I felt satified and not hungry later on.
Nice to hear you are getting a relaxing evening for a change -you deserve it!!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MKPRINCESS007 8/21/2011 8:23PM

    Sounds like things are successful all around, for the most part. I hear ya about being a professional and people having to find out the hard way that you were right about the needs of the children you work with.......definitely been there!

Hope you have a great week,
Karen

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Tuesday, 8/16 Staying flexible

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hi Everyone,

It is always a blessing to read your comments on my blogs. I sure appreciate your support. I went to work yesterday at 6;30 to get caught up on cleaning up my classroom because I left in a hurry Friday so I could go to the pool. Interestingly enough, I ended up doing the same thing yesterday. The schedule of available hours at the pool for these next two weeks really messes with my life. However, I will dow hat I have to so that I can work out. I won't get to go to the pool tonight because I have a doctor's appointment. They are open from 1-4 for open swim and from 5-6 for adult lap swim. I think it is really unfair that the after work hours are so brief, I had to lop off part of my workout and some of my laps yesterday in order to fit in the time frame. I made up for that with all of the physical work I did yesterday between walking all over our big school and the heavy lifting I was doing in reorganizing some book areas in my classroom. (They don't call them "Big Books" for nothing.)

I expected to spend yesterday teaching, but I spent more of my day testing a couple of children. This is something that I haven't been "allowed" to do in our district for the past 4 years. Even though I am a reading specialist and part of my training has included detailed work in assessment and diagnosis, our district policy changed back then and only classroom teachers were to do any reading assessment. It is no secret that I have fought this silliness and disagree greatly. I do understand that it is best if the person who does daily instruction has a great advantage in planning if they know how their students operate in detail and they teach to the child's strengths while building on their weaknesses. I also understand that the old days when I might spend weeks doing almost all of the assessments for a building limiting my time to actually teach. However, they "tossed out the baby with the bath water"by not allowing me to assess my own children or to do anything to help the staff or building using my expertise. We adopted an online assessment program last spring for all students in grades 3-12, so that means I can now assess as is needed again. It feels good to use a part of my own skills in working with children again.

I am back doing the Weight Watchers "Points Plus" program that I tried to start in January. I would have stuck with it then, but their meetings are way too crowded in January and paying to attend a meeting that I didn't get to attend because I spent the entire time in line waiting to pay for my meeting and be weighed didn't make any sense to me. The strength of any weight loss program is the combination of a healthy eating program and community--like SP and WW both do quite well. I thought having some accountability at the scale might help me to stay focused. The thing that I am getting from this is a renewed focus on reading labels and on weighing and measuring foods. I needed to tighten up my portion size--not only to manage amounts of all of my foods, but to make sure that what I was counting as a serving of fruits or veggies was actually an entire serving. I have been very good at measuring those target foods like desserts, but I needed to get back in the habit of measuring other foods as well.

I started out yesterday feeling a bit yucky again. I hadn't felt that feeling since we reduced my dose of Savella, I am wondering about nausea and a kind of off-center almost light-headedness when I haven't eaten yet in the morning or haven't eaten for a while. I do best as do many people with a small meal every few hours, but now that I am back to work, it isn't quite as easy to do that. I guess I am worried about dips in my blood sugar levels while I am more physically active than I was in the summer. I was busy beyond busy, but I could manage the "when" for eating and activity in a different way than I can when I am "on the job." Maybe I am more in-tune to my physical reactions to food and activity as well. In any case, I ended up doing an emergency run for fast food at 6:30 and given my available time and opportunities, that put me at McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin. I am not an egg person, but I analyzed their menu carefully with one of my WW books. It was the best choice for me at the time to provide something that was both not sweet and that had protein in it, even if it wasn't one of my favorite foods. I hope to do better today and avoid even a well-planned choice from such a place. I might just use my time away from the pool tonight to stock my refrigerator. Around here, that is a big job!!

Grocery shopping is a regular pain when I am feeding this many people. I have to really balance budget with who I am feeding. Besides a costly food budget, I have to make sure they know which foods are available to them and which ones they must leave alone. That is also hard because they aren't always here at the same time and I seem to forget who I told what to. Oh my, I can get back into the swing of being at work. I also have to balance when I can do my sparking and the filter at school now complains about almost every spark screen I open. I do not understand why that is--the CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) filter has to prevent the use of internet shopping and blogs, but there is a lot of SP that is neither. I cannot understand why my spark points page triggers the filter now. I am guessing there is some new upgrade and in a few days, I will petition our tech people to let it go. It may or may not work depending on the rules and reasons.

Anyway, I think that being flexible is my new mantra in many ways. I will figure out my details and as always, I will count on you for both suggestions and support. Have a great day!!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALKS_ARIA 8/17/2011 4:54PM

    Hope You have a GREAT Weekend!!!

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ENUFF81020 8/16/2011 9:46PM

    Hi there,
i think I misrepresented a couple of things in the way that I said them. I am glad to have a friend like Linda who pays attention, but I need to correct this for others reading. First of all, when I said desserts, I meant soft foods that I have eaten recently with my oral surgery which included ice cream. I don't eat a lot of sweets--I am a fruit person too, just had raspberries as a matter of fact. However, I will eat a fiber one bar or if I have pudding or frozen yogurt or anything like that, I have been very good at measuring them. The same goes for animal crackers or anything like that.
As for sparking at school, the only time I even touch my computer is when I get the random break or this year--I have a lunch break. Another time I might check my emails and SP is if I am waiting for a ride when I am working late and am waiting for my ride. I sure don't have time for anything like that while I am work. I wrote this blog before I left for work 2 hours early this morning.
I wish I could get my family on board with me too--I also wish we had a Costco here because I often hear about all of the great deals there. A houseful of teenagers and young adults is an interesting challenge and sometimes they just won't do things my way. I have good kids who do what lots of kids do and who avoid what lots of kids avoid.
Thanks for keeping me honest and honorable, my friends!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

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_LINDA 8/16/2011 9:27PM

    A couple of red flags here -tracking dessert? Why is dessert needed in a healthy lifetstyle? Substitute fresh fruit or veggies with yogurt for a dip.. Tracking absolutely everything is truly vital to get a handle on your calories..Its difficult with being at work to eat small meals throughout the day, but if that is what works for you, sounds like you need to be packing healthy little meals to take with you. I am an advocate of eating a good healthy breakfast, well rounded with protein, fat and carbs to give you a boost and help keep you going.
You have to go to the school really early to clean up your classroom and yet you are having time there during regular hours to Spark which is really just recreation and unfortunately a big time absorber. Sounds like you should be using the hours you need to be at school to do this work for school organizing/cleaning. When you are so busy, you must make every second you have work for you. It makes more sense to me to do your school work at the school in every free minute you have there. You must put your life and work before Sparks.
Its a shame you can't get your huge family on the same page with eating healthy. Buying fruits and veggies in bulk is a lot cheaper than smaller amounts. Belonging to a place like Costco, where large quantities are much cheaper then the grocery stores may be way for you to save on your bills. Your membership would pay in no time for the amount you have to buy. It has certainly paid for just the three of us..
I hope the treatments are helping you feel better,
Take care of yourself,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/16/2011 10:16AM

    You are so busy and I'm sure have to be very organized to fit it all in.

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NANCYBOAT 8/16/2011 8:21AM

    I also believe that flexibility is a key in being successful at weight loss. Good luck with WW!!!

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Saturday, 8/13 My Plan

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hi all,

Now that school is really back in session and I should be working each day on the schedule I have worked so hard to create by Tuesday, it is time for me to have a plan to deal with my health, my home, my work, and my happiness. The next two weeks will stay a bit tricky when on Monday, my opportunities for being in the pool are going to be limited, but I am going to work with the very limited available hours at the water park pool for those doing lapswimming. (I swam 20 laps yesterday and got in my regular workout--that was a first for me.)

I am going to go back to Weight Watchers for meetings on Saturday mornings--and I am leaving in a few minutes. I am going to trust the rest of everything that has worked for me for months and expect things to fall back into place. I think having a weekly weigh in will help me to stay focused and be accountable. If I find I don't need this, I can quit going, but it will be worth $14 a week to watch myself and let everyone around me see that this is important.

That being said, I need to get ready to go. I'll check in soon and let you know how things are going in my world.

Have a wonderful weekend.
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEL1181 8/15/2011 9:32PM

    Good luck with WW, I've heard good things! Congrats on the 20 laps....there's no way I could do 20 laps, I'm so not a swimmer....lol! Keep us posted!

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HONEYBEADS 8/15/2011 7:54AM

    Good plan! I'm cheering for your success! emoticon

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MALKS_ARIA 8/14/2011 10:15PM

    Sylvia: If they offer you the online logins take them.... my g/f who is with WW loves it... they do the "points" journal online. You can do them via paper and pencil too...

You taking care of yourself is a very important! Keep up the good work!


aria

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/14/2011 8:52PM

    I hope that WW helps you. I've been thinking about that for some time myself. I hope that school goes better for you this year. love, Dawn emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/14/2011 6:47PM

    Excellent plan, Sylia. I know it will work.

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-AIMIE- 8/14/2011 10:41AM

    Good luck with getting everything lined out. Don't forget to schedule some "relaxation" time in there too :)

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_LINDA 8/13/2011 2:42PM

    I am glad you are taking action to put yourself and your needs first. That is fantastic going twenty laps and then doing your workout, good for you!!
All the best with everything, I know you can do this, you have proven it!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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EMRANA 8/13/2011 11:07AM

  I like you putting you first. Hopefully the WW meetings help! I still don't think that your gain is all you, and is mostly due to all the steroid injections you've had. Regardless, whatever helps is good!

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Early Thursday, 8/11 A mess that needs "de-messing"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hi all,

I am worn out and things aren't quite right. I will start with the worst of everything. I had my doctor's appointment Wednesday afternoon and when I weighed in, I expected a weight gain, but I didn't expect that I had gained 19 pounds over the summer. I haven't been weighing in, so I guess that is part of it--but I have been tracking food and exercising like crazy. I often get messages from SP that I haven't eaten enough and that might be part of the issue. I have had 42 steroid injections and that may also be a part of the issue. My oral surgery has me in a mess right now and that might also be part of the issue. However, as much as I try to downplay the scales, this really felt awful, like that proverbial kick in the guts. All I can say is that I need to figure out what to do about it.
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The next issue on this somewhat related issue is that I may have Grave's Disease. That is an overworking thyroid and with that, I should be having an unexplained weight loss taking place. I am going to have more lab work in two weeks. My doctor wants to make sure that some virus isn't skewing my tests and that I am over the stress and issues with my oral surgery. That adds to this--I am barely able to eat because I cannot chew a lot. I have had more ice cream since last week than I have in a long time, but I have been measuring it and counting the calories. I wish I could both explain the scales today and let it go because it isn't the most important thing in my life. It isn't like I gained all 140 pounds back and it isn't like I cannot fix this. It is just that I cannot figure out why this has happened and that will make it hard to fix and I don't want it to continue.
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After numerous rewriting, I think I have a work schedule in place finally. I will be thrilled if the last "tweaks" work out and I can run with it. It is always a tough job to make my schedule work with each classroom teacher's regular stuff--math time, guided reading, lunch, gym and music--but I also have to work with special ed and speech therapy. I have been approached by several of my kids from last year and they are looking forward to us all working together again. I am sad that I didn't get them all up to grade level, not because I don't enjoy their company, but because I want them to be as successful as possible.
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We had a really good meeting this afternoon. I am no big fan of meetings, but we have some special groups (cadres) who focus on a specific topic. The cadre I am on is the reading cadre and I wrote our first ever "agenda" prior to the meeting and it took off like wildfire. We have a lot of awesome plans for the coming year to infuse the building with reading activities and to promote the love of reading for each of our students if they are willing to accept it. I am so glad--this is what I live for. We are building in a lot of collaboration across grade levels and within grade levels as well. It is exciting "stuff."
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One of our guinea pigs passed away yesterday. We didn't realize that Star was ill and it took us all by surprise. Micah is really having a hard time with it and is sure that he or we did something (or didn't do something) that caused it. I have been trying to explain this entire situation to him, but even at the wise age of 13, he doesn't accept the laws of nature.
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Mitchell had his first "first day of school" meeting days today. To me, they are old-hat and a bit annoying, but for him, all of the wonder and excitement is in place. I am really enjoying his excitement, questions, and ideas. I wish that student teachers wanted to work with someone who does what I do--I know that only having one subject area and the intricacies of what I do are a bit overwhelming and maybe even a bit restrictive for a person becoming a teacher. However, the energy of a student teacher is really contagious and exciting. I think I felt that in our meeting today and I am trying to recruit volunteers.
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I have been exercising at the water slide park each day because the fitness center is on its second week of shut down. I learned that they are going to keep the pool closed an extra week next week because they are refinishing the deck floor. The problem is that next week, the water slide park goes to only being open on weekends with the majority of the local kids being back in school. They are going to let people in classes have them at the water park and they will be open a couple of times a day for lap swim, but the hours are going to make it quite hard for my work schedule. I think I am going to call the fitness center and the park board if necessary and fuss tomorrow. I really, really need my pool.
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I see the dentist again this afternoon. My mouth is doing a bit better--I am out of anti-inflammatories and I think a few of the stitches have dissolved. I will be glad to be a bit more "normal" again. I cannot chew fresh fruits or veggies yet and I am needing them. Even watermelon chunks hurt and bananas and applesauce are getting old. I will get things back in order soon. there is a lot going on that is out of my control and I never handle that well.
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That's about it--this isn't one of my more positive blogs--I can use some ideas and support right now. The scale really threw me today and I have to get myself back to where I was. I certainly upgraded my records here and SP is tactful enough not to send a message on my friend feed that says "Sylvia gained almost 20 pounds.." However, I know it and that is more than enough. If you can help me to come up with some new goals to fix this, I need your ideas.
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As always, thanks for being my friends. Through thick and through thin, good friends are what makes everything work out.
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Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 8/11/2011 10:19PM

    My guess, Sylvia, that is is the steroids. They are notorious for this. Be patient with yourself until you are able to eat again.

It sounds like you are getting school things organized at least.

I am so sorry about your family pet!! I really hate to hear it.

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/11/2011 9:47PM

    If only a had a magic wand to wave for you... instead I'll just keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that all begins to improve. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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MARTHAWILL 8/11/2011 9:34PM

    Hi Sylvia. Wish I could jump in and fix some of those things you are struggling with. Hope it helps that your SparkFriends care and wish you well.
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EMRANA 8/11/2011 6:47PM

  The minute you said "steroid" you gave us a valid reason for weight gain. I didn't experience weight gain from my facet joint injections in my spine, but I also only had six of them every three months, not 42 in so close a period as you have.

Every time I've had to take oral steroids ~ read, evil prednisone ~ it's put weight on me.

You said you were tracking and being careful, and I believe you. I also have too much experience with steroids!

Take care of you and hopefully the scale will start cooperating again, my friend. Once you can eat regular food again, that will help a lot.

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MALKS_ARIA 8/11/2011 11:50AM

    Linda had a great recommendation of Shakes/smoothies. I also recommend a lot of patience, and love to yourself!! Steroids Cause all kinds of weight gain, water retention, and muscle growth (at times)... as well as helps with pain. I am so jealous, cuz I can't take NSAIDs at all, due to my Kidney, so being out of Anti-Inflammatory isn't good for your pain level - Also you may want to check out the book _Are You Wired & Tired_ by Marcelle Pick It gives you some awesome ideas to give your Thyroid and body a break, and allow your adrenal glands to work on rebuilding your health. The Diet that she recommends is a "Clean" diet, and I am not at a point I can implement that yet, but I have seen a difference in my energy level, and stress level with me doing some of the basic "exercises" she recommends

My Blog: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p
ublic_journal_individual.asp?bl
og_id=4264461 May 30th, 2011 talks about it a bit.

Hope it helps

aria

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_LINDA 8/11/2011 11:05AM

    So very sorry you have all these issues going on right now :((
Nutrition in a nutshell: shakes. You can get lots of fruits and veggies by making shakes out of them. Liven up the fruit ones by using vanilla flavored soy milk or yogurt, and the veggie ones by adding spices.. Experiment. I have a fruit shake every morning as its easier and quicker than munching away on a whole lot of stuff. I add a protein powder that is vanilla flavoured and it tastes just like a milk shake.
You can't worry about the scale with all the issues you have going on right now.
Try healthier substitutions like sorbet for ice cream and then you at least get some fruit with it.
You are strong enough to recover from this and get back on track, just need that old friend patience that we are so familiar with. rest and recovery..
Take care of yourself,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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ANOVELGAL 8/11/2011 9:36AM

    Sylvia, all I can say is, "Wow." You are overwhelmed right now with all different types of circumstances. Know that we are here for you when you need to vent or rejoice and that we all love you! It will get better! emoticon

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TAMLKING 8/11/2011 5:08AM

    Wow Sylvia, you are going through a lot right now! I don't know how you keep it all together, but I'm glad that you do. I would suggest that you continue to track everything as you are doing now and know that once you can eat properly again it will improve.
And stop worrying so much about what that darned scale is saying right now! You've got a lot going on in your body at this time, it's no wonder that things are messed up at the moment. This is only temporary. Just keep a positive attitude and don't give in to the negativity.
We're here for you, you know that. I hope you're feeling better soon!!
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