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Wednesday, 8/29 The Little Steps!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hi all,

Here it is, 2:37 AM. I think SP just got through doing some sort of site maintenance because I couldn't get to my points page or my Spark page or anything--and then, voila, all of those attempts came to life. emoticon Now, here I am--blogging. It is funny because I had just decided that I wasn't going to blog anyway because I didn't want to send any negative feelings out into cyberspace, to my friends. I decided not to talk about what is bothering me and more about what is going right. The only thing that I will say is that I am both tired and sore. The injection that helped my hip so much already seems to be wearing off, a good month before the 3 months that allows me to have another is over. I have decided that I must wait until the end of the school year to have the hip replacement surgery, so I have to spread these injections out wisely and in a way to keep me working as comfortably as possible until surgery fits all of my schedules.

Tomorrow is the second night of the final class that I need for my ELL endorsement. I need to find out how I go about having this added to my teaching credentials. I am not sure if we must take an exam or if we just take transcripts to the ROE (Regional Office of Education) or whatever else is needed. I really have enjoyed being back in school because it has allowed me a place to share my expertise and to be appreciated in a way that doesn't happen in the building where I teach. I have learned a great deal and I have been able to put it to use as I develop both lesson plans for group instruction and plans for individual children. This final class is called "Linguistics for ELL Teachers" and our professor has warned us that this class seems to worry more of her students than any other. I am not sure what is up, but it seems to be a lot of memorizing and testing. I am sure I will find out soon. We have a few assignments, projects and tutoring that are all part of this--and they always seem a bit larger than life at the beginning of a class. I'm not too worried right now, even though my books just came tonight and I am technically behind. I will try and read tomorrow afternoon and take care of this issue then.

My classes are going reasonably well. I get to move out of the beginning of the year necessities into actual instruction tomorrow. That makes me quite happy--teaching children to love and enjoy books is one of the greatest things I get to do. I have several groups that are smaller than 6 this year, more like real "small groups," the way I should be teaching. I can sure get to the nitty-gritty of what each of these children need far better this way. I am also really teaching in another classroom where we are sharing lesson plans and activities and the class. This is what I wanted to do last year with two teachers, but all they thought I was there for was to use their rooms. I tried to work with both of them, but I left one room at the end of the semester because she wouldn't even let me use the space and in the other, she pushed me all of the way into the little lab room outside of her classroom. neither were unfriendly with me, they just didn't understand what team teaching looked like. This uear, the teacher I am working with totally knows why I am there and we are wrapping 3 groups of her children with double lessons each day. That is a great opportunity for the kids. When we are in full swing, I am hoping to both videotape what we are doing and to sharing data that shows the progress that I am expecting for these children.

I have been having some amazing work outs at the pool lately. It can be tough with my hip misbehaving, but I am working harder and harder and am almost back to the 28 laps I was at last spring before my cervical fusion surgery. I did 26 laps on Monday. I only got to 23 last night, but I am working on this and want to be at muy best when it is time for this replacement.

It is now time for me to get ready for work--I took a small nap in the middle of writing this. Take care of yourselves today and remember that the little steps really do count!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/29/2012 12:34PM

    So sorry your injection is wearing off so soon :(( I don't suppose conventional oral painkillers would work in the mean time. There are narcotics out there that don't have the side effects of drowsiness and stomach upset. Good for you upping your pool workouts!!
That is such a shame about those teachers, at least you have the one cooperating, maybe if word gets around how well its working, maybe the others will fall in line..
Good luck with this upcoming tough class. Memory work was always very hard for me and near impossible when you are sleep deprived :(
Keep pushing, you are doing great!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/29/2012 9:38AM

    I had the same problem with sparkpeople last night somewhere around 10 to 10:30 and I gave up and went to bed.

Maybe they can give you some other kind of injection or give it more often.

I know you will do well in your own studies and with your students as well.

It's great to hear about you enjoying the pool so much again.

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ELRIDDICK 8/29/2012 8:15AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Monday, 8/27 Yesterday was difficult

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hi all,

Yesterday was a tough day. I sat up with Chloe most of the night Saturday, giving her sips of water. It was the first time she had been uncomfortable and I decided that it was time to take her to the vet because I didn't want her to be miserable. Up until then, she had been slowing down and barely eating. However, she continued to wag her tail when I spoke to her. She whimpered a bit every couple of hours during the night and it seemed as if it was getting tough to breathe. Her last food was Friday evening, I fixed her a scrambled egg and put some cheese and ham in it. She seemed to enjoy that. Anyway, it was as if she needed to be alone to cross the Rainbow Bridge because we left for church and were gone just over an hour. Our son was here, but he didn't hover over her as I did, and after we were gone for about twenty minutes, she passed away.

Chloe was a rescue dog that we traveled out of state to get. A spark friend of mine helped us to find her and her companion dog, our littel pug, Frankie. I think she had a wonderful life as a young dog, but as the owner got older and married, her dog took back seat to her new family. When they had a child, they didn't "have time" for their dogs. I had mentioned that I wanted another basset hound, I love Lady so much. My husband gave me Lady as a valentine's gift and she has been the light of my life. Bassets are such a special breed--they have more personality than some people--yes, they are also stubborn, but it goes with the territory. Anyway, we were blessed to add Chloe and Frankie to our family. We have had them for the past 4 years and I know she has been happy. She was the "old gal" and got to do things like sleep on the couch and have her own special meals. She never liked Scooter (our other rescue dog, a doxie-lab mix) much and she always let out a warning bark when he came around her. I never quite understood why she didn't like him, but it was part of the personalities that our dogs shared with us and it also worked out.

Chloe made our lives better and I will miss her greatly. If you have a chance to adopt a rescue dog, it is something that will enrich your life greatly. If you have never owned a basset, they are wonderful dogs who make you smile regularly. They are quirky and fun.

RIP, sweet Chloe. You will be missed.
Gentle hugs to all.
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/27/2012 11:57PM

    Thank you for giving Chloe the best years of her later life. Yes, more people need to rescue dogs as opposed to buying the cute little furry dogs from the puppy mills. Almost 9 out of ten dogs you see here are those Shih Tzus!! Here is to giving a poor creature without a home a new forever home!
Thinking of you in your time of loss,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/27/2012 5:43PM

    Sylvia, I am so sorry about Chloe. You were a wonderful mama to her and gave her a good life. Bless you, GF.

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DETERMINEDJANET 8/27/2012 1:31PM

    More hugs as those bassets just leave a hole in our hearts when they pass. I agree they have more personality than some breeds. Ellsworth appears to be the one who is sensitive to my sadness which is nice as I've missed that from my Dottie who was the first of our others to go. He's also a very silly boy!

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FELINA 8/27/2012 9:44AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Pets enrich our lives so much. My heart goes out to you.
emoticon

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WELLNESSME09 8/27/2012 8:40AM

    So sorry to hear of Chloe's passing.

May you be blessed with the memories she left you and your family. emoticon

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Saturday, 8/25 Apologies from a very tired sparker

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hi all,

I'm so tired--and sore. To illustrate my point, I started this blog at 9:30 Friday evening, woke up at 2:00AM and continued to work on it and here I am at 9AM wrapping it up...

I am trying hard to manage my schedule at work, my after work obligations, and then fit in caring for my family and myself. I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed and under-efficient right now. My back and hip pain are growing by leaps and bounds day after day as well. I am hoping it is because I wore a different pair of shoes on Thursday and Friday, but that probably cannot explain it all. I looked back over my food journal and I had to be to work early for my turn at door duty and I missed breakfast. (I brought it with me.) I got to eat some fruit while the classroom teachers were dismissing their classes. Then, we had a meeting after work--part of "The Leader in Me" training that we started the first day of school. I had to leave it early to get to my "final" grad class for my ELL endorsement. (They taped the training, so I will have to add watching that to my schedule for next week.) I finally got around to eating half of my sandwich then. When my class was over and I got to go home--I skipped the pool--I finally got to sit down and eat a meal.

I have back to back reading groups all day long, and then I leave work to appointments or my class or, on a good day, to get to the pool "early" on a few rare days. I have been falling asleep after I eat dinner. I cannot fight that off either. Then, after I sleep between one and two hours, I wake up. Thursday night, I woke up with the most horrid leg cramps I have ever had. The other four nights this week, it was with my regular pain. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, my hip pain started escalating and it is still outrageous. However, getting back to sleep evaded me on work nights until between 4:30 and 5:30. I then got another hour or so of sleep before I had to go to work. I am running on empty. I slept until 7:30 this morning, so I have refueled a bit.

If you are someone who sleeps well, this probably makes little sense to you. However, I have several spark friends who also have difficulties sleeping due to health conditions and I know they understand. Getting 3 or more hours of uninterrupted sleep is a gift. There is little I can do about it. I have tried medication to help, but it either leaves me feeling hung over, unable to wake up, or they leave this taste in my mouth that infiltrates everything I taste or drink for weeks at a time. None of those is an alternative I can choose over my own sleeplessness.

I have plenty to do today, which is what every working mother gets on the weekend. This morning, I need to go shopping for a new couch because ours is about on its last leg. I also have to go shopping for a family picnic this afternoon to celebrate Mitchell's birthday tomorrow. (He has commitments tomorrow after church--his ultimate frisbee team meets on Sundays and we didnt want to wait so late to have our family party. Somewhere in there, I am going to work out at the pool and by leaving tomorrow free, I will be able to swim and exercise then as well.

This is my first week with every part of my schedule in place. I have a meeting after school on Monday, then I will go to the pool from 5-6:15. From there, I will go to the open house at the kids' school. Tuesday is mine. Wednesday is my grad class. On Thursday, I have a doctor's appointment followed by Weight Watchers before I can go work out. Friday is also mine. I have no lunch or prep time built into my day, so I have a lot to accomplish for the approx. 65 children I work with during the day.

I gained .4 this week--and I don't count under a half a pound as a true gain, but I know why it wasn't a loss. I didn't eat enough. I am living proof that that is what happens when your body doesn't get enough to eat. I do a good job at getting between 6-8 servings of fruits and veggies, but I miss on proteins, healthy oils, dairy, and carbs. I have changed a great deal from my days of overeating carbs--but I am still not living the way I need to live. I am trying--I use a checklist, but it seems wrong to shove food in my mouth at night when I do not want any more. This is a problem that seems to be unique to me. I am going to start eating my yogurt in the car on the way to work to help get some more healthy nutrients in me each day. I set fruit out for me and my new bunny, Digger. She came from a farmer and is not ready to live indoors and be a pet yet. I am trying to train her in my spare moments.

On top of everything, I am trying to keep Chloe comfortable and happy. I am sure that she is coming to the end of her life. Bassets don't often live past 13 or 14, and she is a 17 year old sweet girl. I have to feed her every couple of hours and she only seems to want a bite or two of cheese or scrambled egg or sandwich meat these days. She sips a bit of milk. She doesn't do much anymore and is getting very thin. If she starts looking like she is uncomfortable or in pain, we may need to make a hard choice. It is hard to see this, but I know that her last 4 years with us have been happy times for this old girl. I love her a lot and am doing my best to keep her happy and comfortable. It is taking a lot of energy as well.

Time for me to go--maybe I'll get to spark pages and blogs this evening. Please know that I care about you all and am missing our time together. I think this ice bag is going with me for my errands.
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/26/2012 1:29AM

    So very sorry you are having such a horrible week and times. That is so sad about Chloe, but I am sure she will let you know when its become too much for her. Surely one of your many children can help out with the rabbit? I am a little surprised you took on another pet so quickly when your plate is already overflowing..This is not good for you mentally or physically to have so little time for yourself and with the lack of sleep. Its no wonder your pain has jumped with all the stress you are placing on your body. Like all your Dr. appointments and work hours, you have to start making appointments for YOURSELF as well. Please look after yourself before you become run down and sick. We are already in a vulnerable position with our disease, don't need to ask for more problems.
Don't worry about Sparking, everyone understands. Use any free time to look after your needs first. You are a priority!!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/25/2012 9:23PM

    You know I totally understand, Sylvia, and am going though similar problems. Burning the candle at both ends. Not enough time in the day to do it all well. Treading water. Trying to keep up. Stressed. Overwhelmed. Sleeping fitfully, exercising erratically, eating is off, and coping with overwhelming medical problems. Pain, fatigue, etc. Like you, I just punch through it and do the best I can. We are made of the same cloth.

I hope Chloe is comfortable. I know you will take good care of her.

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DETERMINEDJANET 8/25/2012 5:53PM

    Take care of you! Sometimes we have to just put aside some things we want to do for a time. Hugs!

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WALKZWDOGZ 8/25/2012 3:16PM

    S'alright. Spark can wait. Grab a nap when you can. Prayers for you & Chloe. You're so lucky to have found each other. emoticon

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NICHOLE_4 8/25/2012 11:27AM

    I don't have sleeping problems but my Autistic 5 year old does. So to some extent I do understand!

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Sunday, 8/19 Work and then, well, More Work!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hi there,

I was doing a lot better in blogging until school started, but the truth is that it is hard for me to fit everything in during a work week, so I cut back on some of my sparking. I love sparking, but hen I prioritize, my family and my job come first, then exercise, and then my online time. I don't spend mush time watching TV or playing or anything, I am too busy for that in any case.

This week has had a lot of extras--some of that will change a bit with our kids returning to school on Wednesday. Interestingly enough, temps are expected to get back into the high 80s again. I am so glad for that, the cooler almost fall-like temps of last week really saddened me, I love summer so much. I also had our building's "Back to School" night which used to be called "Open House" in the "olden days,"lol. I ended up babysitting a group of young children in our library for about 2 hours so their parents could go visit their child's classrooms and listen to the teachers talk about rules and expectations. I hadn't finished testing and making my schedule, so it was something I could do at the time. I still do not have a complete schedule--I am waiting for some of the teachers to work together and help me to see some children in the afternoon, but they haven't started trying to work together, so I am a bit lost. I may just put their children on a waiting list and see some of the many others I could see. Best practices says that it is important to see the youngest children first, but if they cannot help me, I need to move on and do something for the children of our school. I will wait and see what tomorrow will bring.

I have another job only partially completed that is waiting on teachers from our building. I am helping a church to provide tutoring for 45 of our students. They ask that the children have reasonable behavior, not be educationally disabled, and that the parents work with them in a few simple ways--like attending an informational meeting, be there to pick up their children of for when the church takes them home, and that they fill out a registration packet. I am helping to see that they get children with like reading skills and I need teachers to help me to select kids with nice behavior. I have about 6 who haven't responded to my request for names. It sure makes it hard--the meetings for parents are in a week, so those permission packets need to go home soon. I hope that my email of the day will get a response.

We have attended a couple of school activities based on the kids' music programs. I finished school shopping (for now--fall clothes will happen later!) and I am sticking to my own doctor appointments and daily workouts. My hip and back are holding their own--those injections have done so much for me. I am going to make appointments tomorrow for my cataract surgery. My vision is a definite problem. I am also, apparently, behind in follow-up appointments with the doctor who did some of my other surgery as indicated by a "slap me on the hand" letter I received Saturday. I was surprised to get it, when his staff had told me that I didn't need any more appointments a couple of years ago. I really didn't want to have any more appointments than I already do, but some things are necessary.

I had an awesome weigh-in this week, made my 5% and got a big star and also made over ten pounds and I got a star for that. I guess that even adults like stickers and goodies. It has been a hard week on a few fronts after my bunny passed away last week. A neighboring farmer gave me another bunny, a lop without a name as of yet. She isn't used to people or being in an indoor cage over her outdoor hutch and I am trying to tame her a bit. She is pretty, dark colored with interesting, soft fur. We are also quite worried for our 17 year old basset hound, Chloe. She isn't eating much and it is my guess that she is maybe reaching the end of her earthly life. I have been able to get her to drink a bit of milk and food from my hand, especially cheese and doggie treats and other people food, but not much else. I am really struggling to get her glucosamine tablets in her and I know they help her stiff joints and her ability to walk around. I am quite sad to watch this and to understand how this will likely work out. It is in the hands of a higher authority. For now, we will lovingly care for her, and love each moment we have her. It's possible that this is some kind of a bug, but it could be something else. She's a sweet old girl and we love her--we got her as a rescue 3 years ago along with our 7 year old pug, Frankie. They have added a lot to our lives along with our other basset, Lady and our Doxie-lab, Scooter.

Anyway, I haven't been idle lately--just not able to spark as much. I will do what I can and I will talk with you all more this week.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/23/2012 11:35PM

    So very sorry to hear about your poor fur babies :( If its Chloe's time, I hope it is peaceful and painless.
That is wonderful you are feeling good and that your summer is hanging on. The nights are much colder here and it gets dark too quickly, but the days have been pleasantly warm.
I hope your teacher get their act together in time for you to do something for those kids.
Like morticia says, please try make time for yourself, you need some rest & relaxation too!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/20/2012 4:03PM

    I am so sorry about your bunny, Sylvia, and about Chloe. I hope she is okay. I know you will take of her as you do everyone. It sounds like you are very busy as usual. Find some time for yourself.

Comment edited on: 8/20/2012 4:04:23 PM

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Monday, 8/13 When did I learn to forget to eat?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hi all,

This is a pertinent question for me to ask. Today, I brought grapes and Greek yogurt for breakfast and a lovely salad full of greens and fresh tomatoes from our garden with me to work. I got my breakfast in and I got busy working...and it was about 2:30 when I realized that I had totally forgotten to eat lunch. I hadn't even thought about eating and I wasn't hungry. I did sit down and eat that beautiful salad because I didn't want to be hungry later on. I am just wondering when I changed from someone who constantly thought about eating and food to someone who forgets to eat. It is an amazing transformation, in my humble opinion.

I am sure this seems like a trivial item to most people, but for me, I have always thought about what food is coming and about all sorts of details with the food. Food has been a friend in the time of need and one of the few things that I could enjoy for so much of my life. I haven't quit liking food--or loving it, but I have finally gotten comfortable with it. I am secure in the knowledge that it will be there and it will taste good. I am now sure that dark chocolate will always taste like dark chocolate, so I don't have to have a taste of piece of chocolate to know what it tastes like.

Have a terrific week this week. Enjoy yourselves!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 8/14/2012 10:52AM

    It's wonderful to not obsess over food any more and not be planning the next meal. It is freeing.

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