Sunday, May 23, 2010
Hello my dear sweet Spark Friends! So much has been going on since I have posted my last blog and I know you are concerned about my well-being... I am so busy and happy and active and feeling better than I have felt in years. No depression rising its ugly head at this point... YEAH!! I know you are anxious to hear about how things are going and I really wanted to do a video but it be way too long so I took some pictures and have created a webpage so you can see pictures of my garden and projects from the past month...
So let me start off with catching you up on Cicely and Jackson (the two kids I babysit for)... Jackson is almost walking on his own. He is now on more solid foods and switching over to milk rather than formula. He is saying more words and is just so adorable. I promise I will try to get a picture of them this coming week and get it posted. Cicely is like a little "Sandra"... if I am doing it she wants to do it too! She is so well behaved and so smart and so mature for a 5 year old. And Jackson is fascinated with all electronic devices, whether it is a cord, a remote for the TV, a calculator or telephone he is interested in it! He loves to play with the powerchord to my laptop because it lights up in this really pretty blue color... so much so that he broke it last week and I just got a new one yesterday... (way too expensive $100 for a powerchord). Anyway, he was actually trying to find the place where the powerchord goes to plug it up and he was actually looking in the right place (just on the wrong side). He is so smart! I should have the other 5 yr old starting part-time either next week or the following week and her name is Madie (short for Madeline). She is very hyperactive and that will be an interesting mix, but she is already friends with Cicely so that will be a big help. One big milestone that I did with the kids, something I challenged myself to in February was to be able to walk to the end of our street and back by the end of April. Well I bought a used stroller and put Jackson in it and Cicely and Jackson and I set off for a walk down the street. I was so scared as no one else was home if I had a problem but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it... and I did it! I didn't even have to sit down at the park bench at the end of our street before walking back. Now we do it almost every day!
Update on DH and his job hunting status... he has sent out a few resumes but no calls for interviews. I will say he has spent some time helping me with the yard and moving raised beds (those things are heavy). I haven't had a lot of time to really think about it and that is probably for the best as that would only bring me down and I don't want down, I want up!!!
My son, Josh, will soon be finishing his Junior year of High School... that does not seem possible. He has a friend that is a Senior this year and she does not have a boyfriend and so I convinced my son, the gentleman, to ask her to the Senior Prom as I believe no Senior girl should miss her Senior Prom. So after thinking about it, he decided he would ask her. Now when I entered into this I had no idea that it would be $150 to rent a tux, $40 for each ticket to the prom, $10 for each ticket to the "After Prom" party the school put on, and then dinner ($30) and photo's ($50). Needless to say I made his boutonnière and her corsage to save a little bit... oh my goodness what an expensive prom but she was so appreciative and it meant the world to her and I think to Josh as well. He kind of enjoyed being a true gentleman for his friend and they had a great time. He just found out that he has a role as one of the "Kings" in the Fall Madrigal that the Chamber Choir will perform and he seems to be excited about that. He is going to have a tough Senior year as every class he has is an advanced honors class and he is in the Chamber Choir which will perform over 40 times from Sept to Jan and put on the Madrigal and a Christmas concert. He is looking forward to summer for a break but he will be going to 2 week long camps and he is really looking forward to those.
Victoria has officially completed her first full-time semester of college and we just had her official graduation party (from High School) for the immediately family last weekend. Her boyfriend from Louisiana and a friend came up for it and she went back with them. She will be spending most of the summer there with friends. She has truly grown into a young woman this past year and I am so proud of her. She was able to buy a used laptop with her graduation money from family and so now I have mine back. Yeah!
My niece Annie is getting married in 2 weeks and I just finished doing all her flowers for the wedding... I put a couple of pictures in on that webpage I told you about so you could see them. Let me tell you between using a drill, staple gun, hammer, paintbrush, wire cutters and floral wire my arthritis has sure been acting up in my hands and especially my right hand. Most of the time it is numb and it is hard to pick things up. But I take my Aleve and rub on my medicated arthritis cream and keep on going!
I am so loving my life right now, the only wish I have is that my DH find work and find it soon! I am so pumped about so many things and I will be checking in more often than I have been. Just remember that in June/July/August I will be busy harvesting and freezing/canning all those wonderful fruit's and veggies I'm growing as well as trying to work on my business and watch the kids. I'm going to have my hands full. Now that I have the laptop back, I am going to start tracking my foods again on a daily basis. I am so living a Spark Life and am truly working on that Healthy Lifestyle! At my last doctor's visit he told me to be more active, well I am doing that and I am seeing the results in firming. My weight right now is at 512 and I am still not where I want to be but I am getting there and staying true to myself! My journey continues and my challenge to regain my mobility and to get below 500 pounds continues on.
God is answering my prayers and providing me with the strength and courage to do what I thought I couldn't do... he is repairing me not only on the outside but on the inside as well. For I am in no way a "perfect" person and I struggle like everyone else and God is showing me that even through my imperfection I am "worthy" of His love. Something that I had forgotten along the way. I know many of you are looking for the same thing I am trying to obtain... balance, health, life, joy, happiness... the list goes on and on. For me, God and Spark People have been a catalyst and the support of my Church and Spark Friends has made all the difference in the world. As always, know that I miss you and think of you often and I hope you will take a minute to look at the pictures of my garden and projects. Here is the link to that page:
Sandra's Garden & Projects Link www.oldtowngifts.com/new_home
Thank you for all of your love and support and I encourage you to get out there and do something that makes you feel like you "are Living" again!
May the peace of the Lord be with you always,
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Hello my dear Spark Friends! It’s been a while since I have posted a blog and I know many of you are concerned about my well-being. We are still sharing my laptop and once my daughter is through with this semester (May 15th) so I should have more access to the laptop then. So how am I am doing? I am doing GREAT… better than GREAT if that is possible! There is so much to tell you that I decided it would make too long of a video.
Where do I begin? Let me start with how watching the two children is going… the baby (Jackson) is just so adorable, still cutting teeth and he was sick for a couple of days with a stomach virus. He is almost walking now and he is just such a good baby and so happy. You can’t help but be happy when you are with him. His parents are pleased that he is sleeping through the night as I wear him out during the day as he spends time in his walker, the jumping Johnny (I think that is what they call it) and he and I play together physically and it is good exercise for me… lifting 25 pounds several times up and over my head. Cicely has started T-ball and she is such a delight. She and I transplanted the seeds we planted a few weeks ago and that really excited her to see all the seeds we planted have grown so much. She has helped me cut back the ivy that was about to take over our front porch and then we had to clean up under it to get all the leaves out that no one had ever cleaned out. In the process of raking out the landscaped beds in our yard we have found many plants we didn’t even know where here. We have all kinds of hostas growing and on the side of the house we found we have Irises. They were imbedded with leaves and it took us 2 hours just to clean out all the leaves. So we’ve raked leaves and we have put out all new mulch (10 bags of it, each bag weighing 50 pounds) using 5 gallon buckets. We’ve pulled weeds and are still pulling weeds… LOL!!! Last week my dad came in and built me 4 more raised planting beds and 6 planting boxes and then Cicely and I stained them. Now this coming week we have to put the mesh wire and chicken wire on the bottom of them and then my dad is coming back down so we can put the legs on and stain them. Once we get all of those ready then we will have to mix more soil (potting soil, peat moss, vermiculite, chicken manure and cotton burr compost) so we can plant the berry bushes and transplant more of the veggies we have ready to plant. So Cicely and I stay busy and we still find time to take breaks and play Mario, yes, I now play Mario on the Wii… never in my dreams did I think I would play video games… but I do and I must say it is addictive!
I have been taking the 500 mg of Niacin to help with my high Triglycerides and so far no problems with taking it. I went to the eye doctor last week and had my eye exam and diabetes check up on my eyes. You see 2 years ago I woke up one day and I literally couldn’t ready my emails (even on large text). I could see everything else just fine, but I couldn’t read anything!! It scared me as I thought I was going blind due to my diabetes. I knew a gentleman who was legally blind as a result of his not taking care of his diabetes and so I knew how serious this was. When I went to the eye doctor at that time I weighed around 590 or so and I had a difficult time taking the exam and at one point even had to take a break as I thought I was going to pass out. I couldn’t sit in the chair comfortably, I kept fogging up the exam equipment, it just was not a good exam because of my physical limitations. This time I could sit in the chair and put my feet on the foot rest and I was comfortable the entire time. I didn’t have to take a break and at one point the eye doctor told me that a test he had just performed on me using a piece of exam equipment I was not able to do at the exam I had 2 years ago. He had used a manual instrument the previous exam so that he could exam my eyes since I couldn’t use the exam equipment. So to say the least I was quite impressed with myself and my progress and how it is truly changing my life!!
I am almost back to the weight I was at in late February before my trip to my son’s choral competition as I put on about 16 pounds of water from that trip and then within two weeks of that I started watching the kids and was sitting (which cuts off blood circulation and causes more swelling and water retention). So before I knew it I was up to 535 again. Now I am back down to 517 and have found a routine with the kids that allows me time to put my legs up a couple of times throughout the day and that has helped a lot!! My son, Josh, has finally got under 290 and he is very happy about that. My DH and DD aren’t really in following our healthy lifestyle plan but my son and I are committed to it! One day when Cicely and I were cutting up carrots for carrot sticks (which she loves) we decided to make up a fruit and veggie plate for Josh when he got home from school. Well that started something… so every day now we try to have a fruit/veggie platter out for Josh when he gets home from school so we can all munch and visit about the day. Even my DD has come in to join in with us and it has been really nice and very good for all of us.
Update on DH and his job hunting status… NOT! That’s right, he has sent out only 4 resumes in the past 60+ days since his job was eliminated. I have very calming let him know my expectations and what would happen if they were not met so he knows what is on the line. I am advertising to take on more children and already have a friend of Cicely’s that is 5 that will start coming in mid-May throughout the summer and then do after school care when she starts Kindergarden in the fall. I am looking to take on 2 more children for the summer and possibly into the Fall depending on DH’s job situation. My son is going to help me watch the children in the summer so he can make some money for his trip to Europe with his Choir next spring 2011. So I am going to be busy, busy, busy between the children and the garden.
Sometime during the month of May I have got to make up the flowers for my neice’s wedding at the the end of May as well as make the mints and bird seed bags. I know that Cicely will love to help me with these projects so that will be a big help!
A couple of weeks ago we bought some used outdoor furniture (a metal/wooden bench, metal table, wicker set that has a loveseat, 2 end tables, center table and 2 chairs) and they definitely needed some work done to them. So last week I worked on cleaning them up, some repairs and then I stained them and they look so nice on our deck. I have still got to work on the metal and wood bench as it needs to be repainted and the wood needs to be stained. So another project for next week! I am trying to get all the yardwork and deck/front porch projects done in time for my daughter’s graduation party for our family on May 15th . So lots to do and not enough time to do it all as fast as I want to. I also bought some used canning jars and some canning equipment so I am ready for when the veggies are ready to be harvested. I am going to freeze some as well. I’ve got a lot of reading to do so I am prepared when the time comes. I helped my mom can when I was a girl but I don’t remember much… I mainly snapped green beans as we would pick trash bags full of them everyday and have to have them snapped by the time my mom got home from work.
Last but not least, I have had a revelation about my life as a result of all the things I have been doing this past 6 weeks. I stopped “living” my life back in 2006 as a result of my DH’s unemployment at that time. That is when I began living my life from my bed and using my laptop as my main connection to the world. My business is internet based so that required that I be on the laptop, but I took that to an extreme and “my excuse” was that it was for the business. I did work 10 to 12 hours a day on the business and would do some internet shopping (as I didn’t go anywhere). My life was confined to 4 walls and a bathroom with an occasional trip to the kitchen to cook a meal. The longer that this went on the less mobile I became and the more weight I gained. SparkPeople has changed my life!!! In the past 15 months I have lost more weight on my own that I have ever lost and I am doing things I haven’t done in 10 to 12 years. By not having access to the laptop this past couple of months it has forced me to do other things around the house as I can’t stand to not be doing something. Watching the children has also been a physical challenge that I wasn’t sure I could do, but I am doing it and I am good at it! I like to stay busy… so I have been doing things that I didn’t think I could do any more… one Friday when I had the house all to myself I challenged myself to clean the kitchen, dining room and laundry room. I mopped floors (I can’t remember the last time I did that myself) I cleaned out the laundry room and worked on organizing some of the cabinets. I cleaned out the refrigerator and washed and put away 6 loads of laundry. I scrubbed down cabinet tops and anything that I thought needed it. I did it… I spent all day cleaning and even though I did have to sit down part of the time but I still accomplished it. The next day the tops of my thighs felt like I had done 100 squats… I hurt all over, but it was a good kind of hurting feeling as I knew what I had just accomplished! So my point is that by not spending all my time on the computer I have began truly “LIVING LIFE”!!! I had forgotten what “LIVING” really felt like. I had forgotten how the pain from doing things physically had it’s rewards of knowing that you had done something yourself, using your own hands. I had forgotten how good it feels to sweat because you are working hard to do something. I had forgotten how good it feels to look at something you have done when you are finished and know that you did that! YOU DID IT! Not someone else!
Every day I feel God’s presence working through me to repair this broken down vessel (my body) and to help me rebuild it into an even better one! I can’t express to you how much my life has changed and how good I feel, both mentally and physically!! I am stronger than I have ever been and I feel as if I can accomplish so much now. I am proud of myself and even though I feel guilty for not posting more often, I feel very good about the reason(s) why… I am challenging myself physically every day…. I am going to bed so tired that I fall asleep and sleep well throughout the entire night… I am happy, laughing, full of energy and I am more mobile than I have been in years. It’s a good feeling to be in this place right now. I hope you can understand that this is another part of my journey and that I have a limited amount of time to get my garden in and the yard work done as when it gets hot outside I won’t be able to go out and do very much. So I am going to enjoy this while I can… I do miss you all and think of you every day and I wish you could see all that I am doing and how great I feel right now! I will be back on a more regular basis soon and know that I have not fallen off the wagon and I am not depressed… just the opposite is true. Know that your love and support means the world to me and I couldn’t do this without all of you!
Have a blessed week my friends,
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Hello Spark Friends! I have missed you all so much! One of our computers had the wireless internet card go out and we really don't want to put any more money into the computer as it is so old. So we have 2 computers for 4 people to use... to say the least with DH looking for work and trying to set up some websites he can show employers examples of his work and my daughter's online college classes and regular classwork I have had to share my laptop and I just haven't had it to use, and if it was available I was so exhausted from the kids and helping my dad that I was just too tired and went to bed so I could keep up my sleep. This week my daughter is on spring break in Louisiana and my son is off for his spring break, so we will see how much I get to have access to it this week. But when my daughter gets back it will be a tug of war with my laptop again. So please be patient with me, we are looking for something used or hoping that my daughter will get enough "cash" gifts for her graduation that she can buy herself a computer.
Well to say the least my life has been changed by these two beautiful children that I am watching. It requires me to be more physically active and I have my own 25 pound weight (the 9 month old Jackson)... I have had all kinds of soreness in my legs, arms, back and shoulders from just taking care of Jackson and Cicely.
To top it off, last week my dad came down twice for a couple of days to help get my planting tables made up... so now I have 4 of them, 5 ft wide by 3 ft deep. The lettuce Cicely and I planted 2 weeks ago is looking good and I can't wait until we can plant it. My dad also helped take care of some other little projects around that house so that makes me very happy!
We have snow right now, it started yesterday and we got about 10 inches and a lot of sleet all night long. Hopefully that will be the last snow of the season and the weatherman says that we should see temps in the 50's & 60's this coming week... I hope so!
I went to the doctor for my physical and got my blood work results and they are all in the normal range except for the triglycerides so the doctor wants me to start taking 500 mg of Niacin a day to try to get it down. He was really happy with my weight loss and was very encouraging.
I hate to run but I've got lots to do to get caught up... love and hugs to all of you!
Monday, March 08, 2010
Good evening everyone! Today was such a blessed day, these 2 children are just perfect in every sense of the word. Neither of them cried or ran after daddy when he dropped them off this morning. Cicely is the 5 year old and what a wonderful sweet little girl she is! Jackson is the 9 month old and he is one smiling happy baby, although he is teething and his gums are hurting and sometimes he would fuss and I would give him his teething toy and it seemed to help.
Where to begin, well I had fixed us a nice breakfast and so I made some extra for Cicely since she doesn't eat before she comes over. She loved the wheat buttered toast, but didn't care much for the oatmeal or poached egg. But guess who wanted oatmeal? Yes, Jackson saw it and went nuts over it. So I fed him a little bit of oatmeal, maybe 2 tsp at the most but he loved it. They brought over a playpen for me as I didn't have anything for a baby and a umbrella stroller too. I had gone on Craigslist yesterday afternoon and found a lady selling a high chair, walker and jumping johnny so I called and she still had them and we negotiated a deal of $35 for all 3 pieces. No pics to see so I was a little hesitant but from what she said it sounded perfect for all I needed it for. So I put Jackson in the playpen while I decided to clean the walker so he could try it out. It was a really nice walker with all kinds of toys around the front that light up and make different sounds and a little steering wheel as well. Well guess who likes to clean, Cicely, so she helped me clean it up really well and then we cleaned up the high chair as well. Next we move onto the egg cartons I've been saving to start plants off in, we needed to poke holes in the bottom of the egg holder so water could drain out and it could soak up water from the bottom if it needed it. Cicely wanted to help do that as well. Then I got Jackson down for a nap and Cicely and I went on the deck to put dirt in our egg cartons and plant seeds. I was surprised though as the temp had dropped dramatically from the warm temps we had this weekend and the wind was blowing hard so we only planted some lettuce seeds and then we came back in the house. DH got down the children's books I had saved from out kids that were special to them and Cicely and I sat on my bed and we read several stories until Jackson woke up and we brought him into the bedroom to sit on the bed with us to read stories as well. Jackson was more interested in touching and grabbing at the book pages and pictures on the pages. So we finished our story and then went to make lunch. We had a healthy lunch together and then I put Jackson in the high chair and I fed him. After lunch I put in back in the walker and we turned on Nick and it was so cute as Jackson was dancing in the walker when a rock style song was being played/sung. We got out the colors and made up our rules for my house and Cicely colored flowers around the edges so we can hang it on the refrigerator. Then we played with some stuffed animals I have and finally Jackson was showing signs of being tired and ready for the afternoon nap but he was fighting it so hard. I finally got him put down to sleep in the playpen and made a pallet up for Cicely on the couch and got her a pillow and she laid down and I turned to Food Network as I thought it would bore her and she would fall asleep... oh no, this girl loves to watch cooking shows and she loves to bake as well! Remember, she is only 5 years old... So we laid with out heads touching and we shared a pillow and it was so much fun. Jackson woke up crying and acting like he was scared or in pain. It took me a minute to settle him down but a bottle finally did the trick so maybe it was he was just hungry. It wasn't long after that when mommy came to pick him up. Tomorrow Cicely and I are going to make my applesauce oatmeal muffins for a healthy treat for both of us. One more thing to note, this morning when their father dropped them off he shared with me that he has lost over 100 pounds himself. He once weighed over 400 lbs and now is at 285. It was obvious he more than understood my battle with weight!
Now here is the kicker for today... most of you know DH is unemployed and hasn't sent out a resume in this past 4 weeks since he lost his job. I have been sending him job announcements that I have searched and found and he still hasn't sent out a resume. It's a very long story folks... so I decided to revamp my resume online and if I saw something send it out. Now I really wasn't feeling very confident that I would get many responses as it has been 12 years since I left the corporate business world as a regional Human Resouces Mgr, but heck why not try. The only other issue is could I physically do it and how badly would the swelling get in my legs from sitting at a desk 8 to 9 hours a day 5 days a week. But tough times mean try it anyway... This morning around 9 am I get a call on my home phone and I can't answer it because I am holding the baby (22 pounds is that still considered a baby? LOL!!) so I let it go to voicemail. Then my cell phone rings and by now I have put the baby in the walker I bought off Craigslist last night. So I check the number and it doesn't ring a bell but I felt compelled to answer it... it was in response to my resume for a HR Mgr position for a small manufacturing plant in Fayetteville, AR which is about 35 to 50 minutes from where I live depending on traffic. It pays a lot more than babysitting does... LOL!! I told the gentleman that I couldn't talk right then as I was watching my friends children and I would call him this afternoon after 4 pm. So I did and I guess I must have missed him but I left a message so maybe we will connect tomorrow. My point is that God is truly blessing me and I don't know that anything will come of this but I do feel His loving arms around me and know he is looking out for my best interest.
I have made this way to long, but I thought it was important to share some good news since the winter blues has been hanging around way too much lately! LOL!!
Love to all,
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