Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh...I get it now...

Okay, in my last entry, I vented a bit on Aristana's behavior. At Mike's softball game on Wednesday, our friend Jason was talking about his daughter, and her struggle with getting her molars in. Aristana has fourteen teeth in, including all of her molars. I think we just put teething on the back burner, since the molars came in. I checked out her mouth yesterday, after she was just being miserable, and found 3 new ones popping up. Now I feel bad for all my self-pity. This morning, she woke up, and cried for fifteen minutes, scraping at her tongue, and making gestures toward her mouth. She wouldn't eat breakfast at all. Thankfully I had a little of her soy milk left, which she drank. We went grocery shopping, and she seemed to be doing better, thanks to the Tylenol. When we got home, we packed a picnic and headed out to Green Isle Park, for lunch, and to watch all of the kids playing on the playground equipment. She ate some cheese and strawberries, so I'm glad she seems to be feeling a little better. She really is such a great kid!

On the weight loss subject... I want to thank you all for the wonderful support you have been sending my way. I'm learning that food addiction is a problem for a lot of us. Thanks for sharing your struggles and successes! It's just great to hear from you all!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weight Update - 48 Pounds lost / 112 to go

I'm going to be blogging about my weight loss journey, since many of you have been asking me to keep you updated. First of all, I had my surgery about eight weeks ago, and so far I have lost 45 pounds! I lost my first 30 in the first 3 1/2 weeks, then hit a 3 week plateau. I lost the latter 15 over the past week and a half. I couldn't believe how frustrating and disheartening it was to drudge through that plateau. It truly was disappointing. I started to question if that was all I was meant to lose. I thank God that it started coming off again. Now I don't need to jump off that bridge anymore!

For any of you who may think that surgery is "taking the easy way out," I urge you to reconsider. I have tried pretty much everything to lose weight. It is coming off now, but by no means is it "easy." This is probably the most difficult transition I have ever experienced. My surgeon, Dr. James Kemmerling, and the staff at NEW Surgical Associates, did an amazing job. I had extremely great care at St. Vincent Hospital. Everything was a huge success...but one thing was overlooked by me. The only thing that surgery took care of, was a physical change. My food addictions, cravings, need for comfort food, love of pizza, etc., still stands strong. It is a constant struggle to stick with this.

I have been dealing with my back, hip, and knee pain, which has limited my exercising ability too. I recently had a coccyxegeal injection, and am noticing a decrease in pain, in that area. I am so thankful for that. I have an appointment coming up, to set the course of action for the other problems. In the meantime, I have been able to take Aristana on walks again, which is great.

One thing that has been very helpful in getting me through this process, is a connection I have made with a friend from Boise, ID. We met on, and have been able to send messages back and forth, about what we're going through, and what we're feeling. It is great to have Lisa, because I don't think anyone else truly understands what I'm going through. Lisa and I had our surgeries three weeks apart, so we're going through a lot of the same things, at the same time. Thanks Lisa!

That's it for the update!

Time is flying...and so is my patience

Wow, every few days I come across this realization of how fast the last year and a half has gone. It seems that only yesterday it was just Mike and I...then I get a glimpse of our little terror running around and acting like she rules the world. Where did our little blob, who only spit up on herself and smiled while passing gas, go? Gone...completely gone. I love Aristana more than I ever knew was possible...however, she's jumping into her terrible twos, and taking advantage of every minute of it.

I remember, before I had a child, sitting at a restaurant, or shopping at a store, and rolling my eyes at a parent who wouldn't get their child to stop screaming. I thought to myself many times, "When I have a child, I'll never let him/her...(fill in the blank, because there are so many endings)" I am quickly learning that I had no clue. Many parents don't choose to teach their children that screaming is okay, and throwing a tantrum is the latest craze. No, as I pull out my hair, I realize that I should have been much more understanding. I'm learning that no matter how we're parenting Aristana, that she will scream if she wants to, and she will throw things, and cry, and hit if she chooses. We, of course, have to make sure that she understands that it's not okay...but for now, no preemptive course of action will change the outcome.

Okay, now for other life things...

We had a wonderful weekend! It is always so nice to get some quality time in as a family, while still accomplishing some things.

First of all, last week, Aristana used the "big people potty" for the first time. I can't say that an encore will happen any time soon, but it was very exciting, nonetheless.

This past Saturday, we all went to Grandma and Grandpa Hinz's farm. Mike helped with chores for awhile, and Aristana loved being there. She helped Mike with chores too, but her main job was to talk to the cows and cats. She did a great job. We also helped pick some stones. Technically, Aristana and I played in the corn field while Mike helped pick stones. She sure plays the farmer girl role very well. Not to mention, it makes for some really cute photo ops.

We went to Celebrate De Pere this weekend as well, to listen to the "Groove Hogs." They really are great! Aristana danced, and chased bubbles around for awhile. She also got to have her first popsicle. The weather was warm, and she was too. She was adorable trying to eat it... not to mention, stained. Her clothes, her skin, her stroller all showing proof of her snack.
Overall, it was a wonderful weekend!

I learned that I was much more a farm girl when I was dating Mike. My brain has decided that I am not meant to hang out on a farm that I'm not trying to impress him anymore. I seem to get grossed out a lot quicker than I used to. Aristana, on the other hand, loved everything.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Going Home - Missing my family...

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRADY! It was great to hang out with you in Orlando! I'm so proud to have you for my brother!

...Atlanta Airport
I am on my way home from Orlando/Jacksonville, where I’ve been for five days. It was a great (and successful) trip, but man, do I ever miss Mike and Aristana. I just broke down, because I heard her scream with excitement, when she heard my voice over the phone. Wow, that really is powerful!

I don’t think I truly understood our connection…considering how I’ve been acting on this trip. Jacksonville was just fine…two days of business stuff, that kept my mind off things. I was also only away for a couple days by that point.

On day three, I drove to Orlando. That was exciting, since I always love going to Orlando. I met Brady for dinner at the ESPN Zone, at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. After watching Big Brown with the Preakness, and the Brewers lose to the Red Sox, we headed to Jellyrolls, my all time favorite place! Again, not a sad day…spending time with Brady was so great.

However, day four proved to be a little more difficult. In the morning, I went to Wal-Mart, to grab a few items. I broke down a few times, seeing things that she’s look cute wearing, or food items she likes to eat. After Wal-Mart, I went to the outlet mall, where I talked to Mike on the phone, and broke down again.

From there, I went to Disney’s Marketplace at Downtown Disney to cry some more, while spending all my money on Aristana, at the World of Disney store. I got her a Mickey Mouse pillow, two Mickey plates and a tiny Mickey doll dressed in a baseball uniform. I also got her one of those charm bracelets. I've wanted to start one for her, and this one came with a charm of a crystal Mickey head.

Later in the day, I went to the Magic Kingdom, where Jonathan got me in for free. I looked at all the families, and all the little kids (even the crying ones) with such envy.

It was great to see Jonathan again. However, I feel sorry for the guy, since even though I wasn’t in tears, I did spend the majority of the time, talking about Mike & Aristana.

I know I need to thank God over and over and over again, for the absolutely awesome husband and daughter I have! THANK YOU GOD!

My flight boards in about an hour, so I’m going to finish eating, and head on to my gate.
I’ll talk again soon…

*** Okay, now I’m at my gate, waiting to board… I am stuffed. Stupidly, I ate too much for lunch. Oh, and I got a cookie for on the plane. Real smart… I’ve done very well these past few days, so hopefully I’ll be okay. This new lifestyle isn't any easier than the old one.

I can’t wait to see Mike & Aristana!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spending the day in Orlando...Home sweet 2nd Home

Today was great... I drove in my Pontiac Vibe (feels like a sportscar, compared to my Mom van) from Jacksonville to Orlando. It was about 2 1/2 hours, but such a great ride. Directions were easy to follow, and I didn't get lost...perfect.

As I pulled in to my "resort" complex, the sign said "Welcome JACON." Okay, if you know what JACON is, then you are way ahead of where I was. As I drove toward the lobby, I saw lots of people, pretty much ranging from 16 - 30ish, most dressed in crazy gothic clothes. Then I saw weird hair, fake animal ears, platform shoes, hand-made weapons, and fish net stockings. Yeah, I was really starting to wonder what the heck was going on...

I walked into the lobby, and was greeted by a vision of a couple hundred people, dressed the same way. There was a girl, roughly 16 years old, wearing an old wedding dress, white ripped fishnet stockings, HUGE white platform boots, and fake cat ears. The thing is, that there was "blood" all over it. Guys were dressed as girls, and...well, everything was just really weird.

I found out that JACON is the Japanese Animae convention. I was offered a free upgrade to a pool view and a king size bed. I learned, at least I'm guessing, that they were buttering me up for a long sleepless night of people yelling and screaming until 5am. This is the only time that I was pretty happy that Mike and Aristana were not with me. We definitely would have found a different place to stay. People were running around the grounds with fake weapons. I pretty much hid in my room unless I had a place to run to.

Let me talk about this place I stayed, a little more. In Orlando, I stayed at the Ramada Orlando Celebration Resort. It apparently is a three star resort. I'm not sure who slept with the person who decides on the rating, but the rating was definitely not made by checking out the facility. I saw some ratings for it on, and was prepared for exactly what I got. The place looks like an old ghost town, trying to be revamped by eight year olds. Everything is old, the lobby has potential, but the rooms are not that great. I didn't even get a comforter on the bed! Just a sheet. Also, for being a three star resort, you'd think that you'd get a refridgerator and/or microwave in the room. Keeping in mind that the 1 1/2 star hotel I stayed at in Jacksonville had both... You have to pay $30 if you want appliances in your room! This place truly sucks! Also, if this resort has so many rooms available, why did they not feel the responsibility of boarding guests not involved with the convention, in an area away from everyone else? Argh... In being fair though, I believe this place was just recently acquired by hopefully they're planning on revamping the place. We'll see...

Anyway, I met up with Brady at Disney's Boardwalk Resort, later on in the day. It is always so great to spend time with him. We had dinner at the ESPN Club, where we got to watch the Brewers play the Red Sox. My two favorite teams...although I usually cheer for the Sox, I definitely have an allegiance to the Brew Crew. Unfortunately, the Brewers lost. We also got to watch "Big Brown" win the Preakness.

From there, we went to FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!! We sang along to all the songs, and had a great time. I have always wanted to take my friends and family there, so it was great to go there with Brady!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 15, 2008
I am sitting at the Austin Straubel Airport, waiting for my flight to board. I realize right now, how much I love my family. I’m not missing them yet, since Mike and I just said goodbye a few minutes ago. However, thinking of going to Florida without them, is kind of sad.

So here I am in the lounge, listening to a couple, probably in their sixties, trying to figure out the vending maching. It’s pretty funny, actually. “Gosh, they give you dollar coins back, but you can’t use dollar coins in the machine…I don’t believe it.” … “Did you use coins or a dollar in this machine?” “Just use the dollar! It should work!” As her husband gets up to help her, like she can’t figure it out by herself. At least they’re sitting down now, him with his cheesey Doritos, and two packs of peanut butter crackers. I can’t see what she finally decided on.

Then the happy business lady, obviously not from here, walks by saying, “I smell coffee. Where do I get the coffee? There’s no coffee shop anywhere.” Finding the coffee vending machine I’m pretty sure, was a truly bitter-sweet event. The machine says “Gourmet,” so maybe there’s someone inside there, perking it fresh. You think?

So this morning I weighed myself again. I’m down another three pounds! Man I sure hope that I’m over my plateau! This makes it 39 pounds. I think I will be so relieved when I hit, and maintain at least 40 pounds. Today will be my first “airline lap belt extender” test. Will I need it? We’ll see.

What do I hope to get from this trip? First of all, some recruits. That’s my main goal. Of course, I’d like some bookings too. On the flip side… I will have a chance to catch up with Nate, and meet his girlfriend, of whom I am already a huge fan. I am looking forward to spending quality time with Brady. I really hope it works out, getting together. I know he’s busy, having just arrived to Tampa, but it would be great to see him. I am also looking forward to hanging out with Jonathan, if only for a short while.

I guess that’s all the excitement I have for now. I’ll write later. I probably won’t have time in Cincinnate…so it’ll probably be Jacksonville. Wish me luck!

It’s about 10:10 Cincinatti time (Eastern). We’ll be boarding in a minute, but I wanted to give a quick update. I sat in a veeeeery small plane on the way here, but guess what! I didn’t need a belt extender!!! Okay, it definitely was really tight, but a victory nonetheless.

My tailbone hurt lots on the flight. I’m glad I got flights with layovers now, knowing that my pain would’ve been horrendous if I didn’t get a break from sitting. Yeah, that plane was so small. Did I mention that?

Cincinnati is a dirty, boring airport. I’m looking forward to landing in Jacksonville. Maybe I should take my fleece off before I board…hmmm.

I believe our flight has just been delayed “momentarily” so they could spray the plane. Whatever that means. Anyway, I’m going to get going. I’ll see you in Jacksonville.

Oh, by the way…I just passed a store with Elmo in the window, and I do already miss my family. With all of the Disney merchandise available, this may become a very expensive trip!