Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And the Winner is...

Or in this case it might be the loser... Of course I'm talking about the Biggest Loser.

A year ago I had not yet watched an episode of this reality show. With the exception of Survivor and an occasional Amazing Race, I limited the amount of reality I have to deal with - life in general is just too real for me.

Matt & Brit moved in with us the end of last summer and we found ourselves joining them in front of the TV, or often the DVR, watching "regular" people like ourselves struggle weekly with obesity and the issues that brought them to that point in their life.

I was inspired. Yes - inspired. I joined a class at the Y and went regularly twice a week. The present season rolled around and I decided to take it a step further. My own 'real world' has my 50th birthday approaching and I wanted to make some changes. This time actually cutting calories AND working out regularly - an ongoing effort.

Each week I watch the progress the contestants have made. I see the trainers push them farther then they've ever been pushed. I am usually an emotional mess when Jillian digs into the deep down burdens or self imposed guilt carried around.

I'm not sure how much emotional baggage I carry with me - I'm human. I'm sure there is some. Maybe carry-on would be more appropriate...

The current contestants were not cut throat. Their "house" policy seemed to be one more of support for one another. Tonight the other 'losers' will return and we'll get a glimpse of how hard they've worked since being voted off. The final 3 contestants will each take their turn on the scale for the win. The public will vote between Koli and Daris to see who is the 3rd contestant. I suspect Daris will not get the public vote to be one of those three. Mike has lost an impressive amount of weight but he came to the Biggest Loser Ranch in need of losing the weight of TWO people. He's matured and grown personally and I no longer cringe when the camera is focused on him. Ashley has grown up and learned to take care of herself first and deal with the emotional loss with her father's death. I would like to Ashley win the money - but in my heart they are all victorious!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Full house...

The end of last weekend Krieg finished up his last exam and came home for the summer - on his 22nd birthday. Erin followed Friday when she finished her last final for the year. Momma had a full house!

Our weather this weekend was wonderful - finally. We were in the low 80's. Saturday Matt, Brit and Erin went Bird Banding. As Erin is majoring in Wildlife Research Management these trips count toward internships for her school. Mike hooked her up several years ago thru Birds of Prey when he volunteered there regularly. They had great weather. Sunny, not too hot. It was a different group organizing it thru BLM this time but they ended up with John, a retired BLM wildlife biologist who we have gone with for years.

Mike, Krieg, Tate and myself stayed home and held down the fort. Tate and I went to Lowe's to buy some birdseed and a couple of new feeders. Hopefully these are more squirrel proof - if there IS such a thing... Tate filled the feeders - I'm always surprised at his dexterity. We bought tomato and pepper plants. He helped me plant those along the fence. I turned the hose on low and he wandered around being a very important waterer. He also helped me move rocks from the pond spillway and redirect water so it didn't run off the sides as it was doing. Mike sat and cut boxes for recycling and then cut some of the branches from last week's trimming session. Tate tossed them into the rolling bins. They both kept busy. Krieg got the yard mowed and replaced two sprinklers and then got the sprinklers set up on the timer and adjusted. We felt very productive.

Sunday the kids wanted to take Tate to the zoo. Boise's zoo isn't very big so it only takes an hour or so. We got down there about 11am as Tate was being difficult and we weren't sure we'd actually go.

Matt kept thinking he should be working on the house. We promised to all go help at the house when we were done. I think we actually started at Matt & Brit's about 3:30. Krieg mowed their lawn and taped off windows and trim in the bedrooms. Erin, Brit and I painted bedrooms. They rolled the walls and I did the corners, ceilings and edging. After we got Tate's room painted, I ran to get cleaning supplies and a couple more rollers. The girls painted the front bedroom and then the "office" bedroom as well as the master closet.

I picked up Papa Murphy pizza, cooked it at home and brought it over. Thought maybe Mike would come but he wasn't feeling very well so stayed home. We stayed at the house until about 9:30, came home showered and watched the DVR Survivor finale. It was a very LATE night.

Chaos is the only word to describe the way things are in our house right now between Mike's extra sleeping areas and paraphernalia, Krieg moving home, Erin visiting and Matt & Brit focusing on getting their house done. I'm just trying to maintain until they are ready to move out and we get bedrooms cleaned and shift Krieg. One day at a time.

I love having everyone around. Erin is heading back to Moscow today. She has a new job as a bartender at a place called Mix. She's very happy with the atmosphere and her new employers. She also has a set work schedule - Thursday-Saturday. We may get to see her a few extra times this summer. Krieg has his interview with Costco, though he was already told he had his old job back. The meat department manager actually asked him last Friday if he wanted to work the afternoon - before his interview.

Mike hasn't felt well the past two days. I don't think he's eating well enough when I'm working. Mentioned it to Krieg. He'll keep Mike on the straight and narrow. Yesterday it was so warm in the house. We tried turning on the A/C and it failed. Freon leak again but this time it froze up and won't work at all. We nursed it along last summer. We are digging into our pockets this year for a new A/C - like it or not it's a necessity. Of course we didn't learn of the non-working status until it was too late. House too warm. We came home from Matt & Brit's - no A/C and the ice maker wasn't working but at least we took most of the large screens off the windows to be replaced Friday too! :-) When we fall apart we have epic failures!

Not to worry - there is a weather front already threatening to take away our beautiful warm, sunny days!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Krieger...

Twenty-two years ago!

Dad, Erin, Matt and I flew from Caracas, Venezuela for Chicago just after Matt's 2nd birthday. I may have fudged how far along I was in order to make the trip as the airline seemed to be concerned I would go into labor - but you weren't due until May.

I was determined NOT to have my baby in Venezuela. Hepatitis, unnecessary C-sections, bringing in your own towels, bedding, food and caretakers... OK so call me spoiled. I packed my bag and flew home to my parents with 2 children in tow.

Doctor's were convinced you would come in April. Apparently they didn't believe me when I said your brother and sister were NOT small babies and basing your due date based on your size seemed very illogical to me. Either you agreed or were just too stubborn to make an arrival before May.

Dr. Zorba induced labor - it was Friday the 13th. Auntie Di spent several weeks on standby waiting to be by our side when you arrived - especially when we didn't think Dad would be in the States. How blessed we were the Navy decided to do some airplane trading and he had to fly a C12 to the States and take the long weekend to be present for your arrival. Did I mention they left me hooked up to IV's and monitors while they went to lunch with Granpas? It was a beautiful day - and they didn't want to stay in the hospital - guess I can't blame them.

You took your sweet time. Arrived at 8:59pm, Friday May 13th. You weighed 9lbs. 13oz. and were 22" long. We successfully kept you under 10lbs - but just barely. Not at all an unlucky day for me! You were a handsome little guy from the beginning. Such a sweet face. So robust and healthy. You were our only baby born with fuzz on his head - and yours was strawberry blond. Dad held you for a long time before the nurses finally took you to be cleaned up.

Dad had to get back to the Embassy in Caracas. We went back to Denie & Granpas until we could get back to Venezuela. Denie worked with folks at the State of Wisconsin, who processed your birth certificate quickly for us and we expedited the application for your passport. At the age of five weeks we returned to Venezuela, where you lived for the next nine months until the activists staged a coup while we were visiting in Washington and we were never able to return.

You have always had your own mind set (i.e. stubborn). My memories are filled with your independent moments. I see that even now as you are a young man. Who would have thought that frustrating mindset would help to make you the strong, successful, (still independent) person you have become. I am so proud of you son-shine. You always make me smile - even when I'd prefer to not. I love you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


You have set yourself up for a lonely future. You continue to alienate everyone near you. When you finally carry out your move from this area it will be because you've exhausted any allies.

There was no need for you to have your husband email me because (gasp) I sent you an email, some 2-1/2 weeks ago, asking if you wanted to talk. No malice. No threats. Just an inquiry. We'd been friends for over five years. If you weren't feeling guilty about your poor behavior, you would have had the decency and respect to speak to me yourself.

You can rest assure I would have stopped sending the albums of lacrosse pictures I have always shared with team parents, but forgot you were in the parent group I used.

We've traveled in a similar circle of friends. I've gone out of my way to protect you and make excuses for your attitude for years. I no longer feel the need to do so. When asked I will share.

Get over yourself!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I'm tired. No - I'm exhausted. Mike is making progress. He is able to get up and down the stairs with effort. The narcotics he takes are upsetting his stomach and causing other problems. We have several areas for him to rest now in the house.

I've barely made it out of sweats and a pony tail this week. I cooked tonight - fish tacos in honor of Cinco de Mayo. The smell made Mike more nauseous. Matt and Brit went to her grandparents to help with a demolition project. Dinner went straight from the oven to the refrigerator. No one to eat.

Tomorrow I head back to work. Thankfully it's a short week. I'm fortunate my boss was able to do some schedule rearranging to enable me to stay home with Mike until tomorrow. I've had a horrendous sinus headache on top of looking after Mike and being so tired.

In "other news" department, Matt & Brit are scheduled to close on their first home this week. It's very exciting! In addition, one more week and Krieg will be moving home too.

So much going on in our household. One day at a time...