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Now Showing This Week


Friday, February 27, 2009

Caption Contest!!

Mallory is having tubes placed today. I know this is a simple procedure (i had set #4 placed two years ago), but she's our baby. Jenna spent the night at mom's and she took Jen in to school. Hopefully we'll get some painting done this weekend, and I hope most of it is while Jenna's gone! It's so much easier getting stuff down with either no kids or just one.

Oh yes! Mallory was having her pre-surgical bath last night when she pooped in the sink! And it was solidly packed in the sink strainer! So I put her in the tub while Steve got the lovely task of cleaning and bleaching the sink and tub toys! First time she's done that! Not bad for 17 months old!

Alrighty.....after being able to grill out Tuesday and Wednesday, yesterday wasn't so nice out. It is still winter, I with that in mind I'll leave you with this photo of blue skies and green trees.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fencing, Week 7

Good gravy, this has gone fast!! I threw a chicken on the grill to smoke last night for dinner. Tonight is steak on the barbie.

Last night we worked on maintaining distance with our opponent and also worked on learning not to telegraph to your opponent what your plan is. That was something James mentioned when I (stupidly) went up against him. Granted he's been doing this for years but he pointed out that I "fish" with my blade (trying to ellicit a response by tapping my blade on his so I could deflect his blad away and I could go in for the kill) and by reading my posture he knew what I was going to do.

If I was planning to lunge I, apparently, would lean forward just prior to my action. He saw me do this and would retreat then move in to kill me.

Several times over.

We did some open fencing and my first partner was some cheezy kid that doesn't focus well. After doing a couple of drills he went all Star Wars on me, thinking he was Jedi hot-shit. I killed him.

Several times over.

I don't have time for this crap. I'm there to learn, not goof off. But I didn't say much for I didn't know if his parents were there or not. I reined him in a few times but that didn't last long.

After class Patrick worked with me on parrying and said my parrys are getting much stronger. To me, it feels like when I fence I'm just going after someone. I'm sure I'm parrying but if you were to ask me what I just did I'll shrug my shoulders and say, quite honestly, "I haven't the foggiest clue what I just did."

One of the dads that I like to go up against commented to Patrick about me saying that I'm relentless in my attacks.

"My husband says the same thing."

I went up again another dad whom I've never had the pleasure of fencing. He's a southpaw and that was very different for me. Everyone else is right-handed. So to fence when your opponent's weapon is on the same side as yours required some different strategy. I killed him a couple of times.

Spring Steel is March 14th, time TBA. I'll keep you posted!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up!!

Caption Contest Winner: This week it goes to Nadine with her, "Oh Lord!! She's got roadkill on her head!!! What are they thinking is stylish about that????"

Oh, you are so right.....
Weight Watchers Update: Pleased to report a 2.2# drop from last week! This being me down to 214.2. I wonder if my Synthroid is kicking in?
Saturday Mal and I went to the mall for some walking and to give her a chance to play at the playground and burn off some steam. Met up with mom a short while later and walked another 1.5 miles on top of the previous 1.5 miles I did earlier. Noodled around the mall but didn't see any thing I just had to have. Later that night we went toa neighbor's house for a Mardi Gras party. Way too much food, but boy did it taste good. Steve and jenna have been suffering some mild effects of the sudden increase in rich and junk foods. Me? I've got a gut of steel and I'm doing just fine.

Jenna was part of the Angel Choir yesterday at church. They sang "Rock of Ages (Not the Def Leppard version)" and "Open The Eyes To My Heart." This was her first time singing before the congregation and she did GREAT (not that I'm biased, or anything)!!
In church yesterday it was Transformation Day; As the closing sermon in our latest series of "Wired For Worship" our Pastor discussed how one moment can completely transform someone and the moment after the moment. He told us a parable of a man who had been hurt emotionally and physically when he was younger. Because of past events he withdrew and became angry, lashing out at those around him, becoming lonely for fear of being hurt again. He turned to anger and other sinful distractions in an effort to escape. Finally he just got tired of it and he turned back to God and devoted his life to service for Him.

What he said next caught most everyone off-guard. The man he had just described was standing before us all. He got choked up, revealing this incredibly intimate and private part of his life in front of his congregation. I was floored. The stories I had heard of his life seemed idyllic; growing up on a farm in NW Iowa with a close-knit Christian family. This was the last thing I expected to hear.

After the service I waited in line to talk with him, but mainly just to give him a hug for being so brave.

PRB, if you're reading this, I love you and respect you even more for doing what you do.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Caption Contest!!

Not much to say other than have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday!

Once again, I LOVE fashion shows!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Mom went with me to class last night so she can see first-hand what I've been raving about for the last 6 weeks. So here I am, all suited up. Thankfully she didn't take a picture of me with the molded plastic chest piece.
This is Patrick, our esteemed coach. Bugger is only 22.
This is me going up against Curtis. He's dead.
Me agaisnt some other kid. He's dead, too.
Here we're playing "Kings and Queens." It's a form of open fencing and organized chaos all wrapped up together. There are two team captains and the rest of the team has the responsiblity of attacking the other team to "kill" their captain while protecting their own captain. We come up with game plans but those usually fly out the window.
Now class is over and we're open fencing. This is me against Alex, our other esteemed coach. He killed me.
Several times over.
I was in a much better mind-set than I was last week and have pretty much come to the conclusion that I'll stay back other 8 weeks. Looking at these pictures I can see that my feet are still not in the right position and my posture needs some work. I'm ok with that now.

There is a beginner's tournament on March 14th that will include two classes from Omaha and one from Lincoln. I think I'll do it. It's on Creighton's campus so I'll have to wear my colors.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up!

Caption Contest Winner: This week it goes to Aynde with, "Republican senators, in a last ditch effort to block the stimulus package, have started threatening the current administration with their deadly laser vision."
Weight Watchers Update: Only up half-a-pound despite eating chocolate since Thursday. Dare I say I'm sick of chocolate (for the moment). It's almost obligatory to eat it, ya know? So Steve and I are taking some in to our respective offices. Yesterday I did buy two new pairs of jeans! I'm down to a 16W. My previous pairs I could take off without undoing them. Good times!
Long weekend. Let's start with Friday. Big storm coming so all the school bailed and I had to stay home. Started some errands around 0900 when the visibility was probably at its worst. After going to the store I went to my chiro's office while the girls played in the waiting area. Wanted to get Mal's hair cut but they were closed. The roads were really pretty crappy and everyone forgot how to drive. Mal had a F/U appointment for her pink eye/ear infection originally scheduled for 2 but I switched it to 11. Come to find out that her right ear is still infected and it's not going anywhere. Made an ENT appointment for tomorrow to discuss tubes. While she was at the doctors she got two shots of Rocephin and we had to wait 20" to make sure she didn't have a reaction.


She had a reaction! She went on benadryl for 24h. Once her ears are taken care of Dr. Hudson wants me to make an appointment with the pedi allergist (I know him) and get her tested for antibiotics. Swell.

By the time we got home I was mentally exhausted. Mallory slept for three hours. Jenna napped for two. Here are a few photos of the snow from Friday:This one shows about 6" of snow on our deck table. This happened in about 4 hours.
Looking out our front door across the street. Visibility wasn't great and this was 4 hours into the snow storm.
After the snow. There was no wind and, therefore, didn't blow off on where it collected. I love my whirly-gig-thingy.
This lump, believe it or not, is Jenna's sand box.
Jenna's rocekt swing.
A gazing ball on the deck.
My gargoyle, Mikhail, on the front porch.

Mallory's first ride in the sled on Saturday. She wasn't too thrilled with it.

The snowman Jen and I made on Sunday. I love these "warm" snows. Sunday was sunny and 30 with no wind. Very pleasant.

Valentine's Day rolled around without a whole lot of fanfare. Personally, I despise the holiday and all its crass commercialism. But I did something this year that my dad did a couple of time for me when I was older.

One of Nebraska's cities in the sandhills is called Valentine. And every year people from around the world participate in Cupid's Mailbox. You amil cards to Cupid and they will, in turn, apply a special postmark. I was afraid I mailed mine too late but everyone got their cards either Friday or Saturday. Give a try next year.

Saturday afternoon mom came home from her bike trip to Costa Rica. Yeah, she's really enjoying her retirement! By the sounds of it she had a great time and her emails reflected that. She mentioned quite a few animals she'd seen in the jungle like howler monkeys, cuatamundis, sloths, iguanas, azure butterflies. She kept expecting to see King Kong come out of the cloud forest. I knew she was tired but I invited her to join us at Mama's Pizza for Valentine's dinner of beer and pizza. She gladly accepted. The place wasn't too busy and the food/beer was wonderful.

Mallory got her hair cut Saturday. I originally had jus the sides and top trimmed up thinking I was going to let it grow out like Jenna's. But it's so cute as a modified "Dorothy Hamil" that I think I'll keep it short. Surprisingly at this age with the short hair she doesn't look like a boy. We all know how androgenous toddlers are, but she's got enough feminine facial features that you still know, ya know? Did that even make sense??

Sunday....gawd the house is a disaster. Still haven't gotten around to painting our bedroom. Dishes piled up in the kitchen, toys scattered throughout the house. I can only put up with that for just so long before I snap and it's gotta get straightened up. I know it'll only last for an hour or two, but it helps redirect the energy (mine) and the stress level goes down.

So I'll know more tomorrow about when Mal goes infor tubes. I'd rather have the surgery than rounds and rounds of antibiotics. I know it's a simple procedure and I've had ti done four times, but this will be the first-ever surgery for either of my kids and I'm wary.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Caption Contest!!

I think part of my problem Wednesday night is that methinks it's apporaching "that time" as I've been moody and munchy the last few days. I'll blame this on hormones, mmm'k?

S'posta get snow today ranging anywhere from 4-12" depending on who you listen to. To me, that's too big a berth. Might as well admit you have no FREAKIN' CLUE what's going to happen when and where and how much.

No idea what's going on this weekend. Guess I'll kow when it happens, right? Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Open Night

<-- Me, last night.

After Steve decided not to go to the gym last night as he's not feeling well, I opted to go to open fencing at another center that has the intermediate classes.

I suited up and this time, I put on a sleeveless lame' in order to do electric fencing. This is the same format on than the foil has an outlet and you have a body cord that runs through your jacket and attack sleeve. Then you're hooked up to a box with a cord that is attached to the score box. There is a slight drag to the cord. This format is used in competition as the weapons move so fast it's difficult to accurrately award points.

I went up against James, the intermediate instructor. Yeah. I don't think I'm ready to advance just yet. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself because I feel like I'm doing pretty well in the beginner class and Patrick thinks I can movc on. I think I was only able to get three hits in a span of about 10 minutes.

It was incredibly frustrating for me last night. James is a bit more abrupt than Patrick and maybe his demeanor just didn't settle well with me. I fought back tears and kept biting my lip so I wouldn't break down when James was coaching me.

Will it wound my ego if I stay back another session? Perhaps. Fencing is a difficult sport and I know I'm not at the level of training where I can read my opponent and attacks/retreats come instinctually. I need to be there first before I can move on.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fencing, Week 5

<---Not me, in case you were wondering.....

Last night was pretty much open fencing. I didn't miss much last week with being sick and I was choppin' at the bit to get back to class. I stuck around after class and Patrick, the instructor, completely slaughtered me. But he's so gosh darned gracious about it.

He worked with me on my lunge distance and how to maintain enough defensive distance and throwing in a counter-attack. Then I watched Patrick and Alex duel for about 15", then I wanted to go up against Alex. He beat me 5-3. I did mention to Patrick that I've been considering advancing to the intermediate level unless he thought I should take the beginners class again to really solidify my footwork and parrying. He thought I can advance! He's been fencing for seven years so he should know!

I jokingly asked when will we discuss Capofello and Hisangleeper. He smiled while Alex was clearly confused. So Patrick told him it was from The Princess Bride. "Oh, I've only seen that once." huh-WHAH?!?!?! Patrick threatened him that he was going to have a party where TPB would be watched a minimum of three times. Then I told them the story of how I met Mandy Patinkin.

When I was in college in '92-'94, my part-time job was working at the performance hall for play, musicals, and any other tour that came to our campus (like the Canadian Brass and Carrot Top, though not together). Anywho, months in advance we learned that Mandy Patinkin would be stopping as part of a subscription tour. I immediately called backstage because by golly, I was meeting this actor! With these kinds of tours student tickets are available. His show went very quickly.

It was his Broadway "Dress Casual" tour. I heard that he had a beard but was expecting just a light scruff. I was backstage getting my headset ready when this man walked onto the stage in a plaid flannel shirt, khakis, and running shoes. This man had a full beard. He saw me and said, "Hey, how ya doin'?" "Good, thanks." Didn't even recognize who it was until I focused on his eyes.


I didn't enjoy his show, I didn't like his voice or the way he sings. But fast-forward to the end of the show. He walked right up to the edge of the stage and says, "This is a college campus and I do this at all college campuses so you older folks might not understand."

Then.....he crouched down and said in that Spaniard voice, "Hallow. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

LIGHTS OUT!! And he ran backstage.

LIGHTS UP!!! The college students are fist pumping the air and making all sorts of noise while the older folks and looking at each other, completely confused at what just happened.

I have a picture of the two of us and he signed my program. Can I prove that right now? No, everything is packed under the stairs.

Just trust me on this one......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In Spite Of Everything....

....I have lost almost 45#. However, I have recently been diagnosed as having Hashimoto's hypothyroidism. For those that know anything about hypothyroidism, symptoms include fatigue and weight gain.

Uhmmm....yeah. I've lost almost 45# since June. And I have said on multiple occassions that this has been the fastest and easiest 45# I have ever lost.

So here's the story. I had a physical back in September. I had lost almost 30# at that time and I wanted to see what my numbers were ie lipid profile, comprehensive metabolic panel, and complete blood count. Given my extensive familial history of heart disease my PCP added a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) level to be drawn. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland. The TSH stimulates the thyroid to produce T3 and T4. Usual normal high of TSH is around 5.6. My TSH level came back as 12.5; more than double. This was quite a surprise for me as I'd been losing weight purposefully. My T3&4 levels were fine. This might have been a fluke reading or a snapshot of hypothyroidism where my T3&4 were normal but could be on their way up. My PCP wanted another level drawn in December. Pretty standard procedure.

So what all these numbers mean is that it was taking more TSH to keep my thyroid going. Eventually my thyroid would peter out and I'd be full-blow hypothyroid.

December rolled around and my TSH level was up to 13 while my T3&4 remained normal. Now my PCP was ready to hand things over to an endocrinologist as nothing had really changed.

Had an appointment with the endocrinologist in mid-January. She and her resident took a very detailed history. In looking over signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism I had a few and some that didn't even occur to me like brittle hair. I've noticed that while on my pillow will be hairs with roots on them there have also been shorter hairs with no roots, like they had broken off at night.

Chronic dry skin. It's winter with forced heat, why would I think of this? But I have dry skin all year round. It's nothing that bothers me, just slather up with lotion and I'm good until my next shower.

I had noticed starting sometime last summer that my cycles have changed. (Sorry, Tom! I know you don't want to know this!!) I've always been irregular, but how I start changes all the time. Normally I don't spot. Some months I'll spot for 2 days before anything happens. Some months I'll be really heavy for the first 2 days then POOF! All done. I mentioned this to my OB last fall and he had my September bloodwork. He put his hands up and said, "It's your thyroid."


The following morning after my appointment with the endocrinologist I had a thyroid ultrasound. I know, this is getting fairly intense! After the tech finished up I asked, "So, in your non-professional opinion, of which you're not supposed to tell me anything, what did you see?" She noted increased heterogenous vascularity ie more blood flow. She did not see any tumors or goiter.

The endocrinologist got back to me a bout a week later with the results and she told me I'm classic Hashimoto's. I did a little research and discovered it's an auto-immune disorder. Hashimoto's usually starts off as hyperthyroid within the first 12 months of having a baby. This would explain why the weight was pretty easy in coming off. Then the thyroid becomes "normal" as it's burning itself up at re-entry. Eventually the thyroid won't be able to keep up.

So even though my T3&4 levels are normal, they won't be for much longer. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around this as I've felt fine. This was the furthest thing from my mind that could happen.

On the flip-side, hypothryoidism is so easily treated with thyroid pills. Right now I'm on the lowest dose of 50 mikes (mcg). I'll go back in March for another level to make sure I'm on the right path, then I'll the endocrinologist again in May.

Prolonged untreated hypothyroidism will lead to a goiter which is where the thyroid is enlarged. It can also lead to infertility and mental retardation if the woman is pregnant. Pretty important stuff! And given that women of child-bearing potential are 10- to 20-times more likely to develop this instead of men suggests a strong hormonal component during pregnancies.

If I'm supposed to be fatigued, I shudder to think what I'll be like with full energy!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up!!

Caption Contest Winner!! This week goes to Nadine with her, "Damn, I need to clean this more often!!"
Weight Watchers Update: Without even trying to eat within my points as I was still feeling like crap until Thursday, I did manage to drop 0.8#, bringing me down to 215.8.
Thursday the weather was fabulous; 62! Mom and I went for a walk as she was leaving Friday to go to Costa Rica for a bike trip. Went for a walk Friday again, and Saturday I grilled again; bison burgers, chicken thighs, and chicken boobies. Made potato salad, grilled some veggies (yes, Tom, more Brussel sprouts and included some cauliflower and snow peas in to the mix). After my second walk Saturday I cleaned up the back yard; two grocery bags of Thursday poop. Now she gets to start all over again!

Steve caught a mild version of whatever I had, just a sore throat and a bit of a cough. I took my last Levaquin this morning for my sinus infection, so hopefully that will take care of things. Now that my nose isn't so stuffy I"m able to get my ears open again, but there's still fluid there and loud noises make my ears sound like a subwoofer on the fritz. How often I've contemplated getting permanent tubes placed......I've had four sets, the last set was just two years ago!

Hopefully I'll be back up to full steam for fencing class tomorrow. I was hoping togo last week if I had a nap, but after sitting at my desk for three hours and realizing that just the mental prowness needed to sit at my desk was kicking the crap outta me, what business did I have to attempt fairly rigorous physical activity??

Friday, February 6, 2009

Caption Contest!!

It's Friday and I can BREATHE!! Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Need A Cow

Or rather, Mallory does.

I've resorted to buying two gallons of milk every week to keep up with her! Last week Steve suggested I fill her sippy cup with water. So I gave it a try.

I put the water in front of her and she looked at it. Then she looked up at me. I knew exactly what was running through her head, "I can see through this cup and I can see through you. I am no amused."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

Caption Contest Winner! Going for the trifectoa is Gina with her, "If Kristi can work from home in her jammies, I can pick my nose in public!"

And for that jealous statement, I, therefore, send another round of really shitty winter weather your way! Is it there yet??? ;-)
Weight Watchers Update: This week I post neutral, which is ok since I've felt like shit since Wednesday. I work in a hospital, fercryinoutloud, surrounded by the scourge of society, and yet it's my two darling little cess pools know as my children that bring me to my knees.
I started really coming down with something after getting Mallory over pink eye Monday night. I shold have stayed home Wednesday and Thursday, but as I am such the dedicated employee I hacked and snarfed my way into the office.

Friday I opted to work from home as I had a three-hour teleconference and had a bunch of spread sheet tuff to work on. I was feeling pretty good that day. Steve and Jenna went to DSM Friday night as it's been a year since his dad passed away. And, for that matter, a year since I had to put Lexi down. What a year it's been. I went walking with Mallory and mom on Saturday at the mall and whatever "feeling good" I had Friday vaporized in the middle of the night. I finally resorted to calling one of our Pulmonary fellows so he could call something in for me whcih consisted of a burst of prednisone 60mg x 5 days along with five days of levoquin 750 mg.

Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day, probably around 55. I loaded up the grill with two sirloins, two bacon-wrapped turkey London Broils, two boneless pork chops, and about two racks of ribs. Smoked it all. Isn't that grill a thing of beauty??

I'm not cooking the rest of the week.

Unfortunately I was feeling too ill and tired in the end to enjoy any of it. Steve and Jen got home just fine.

So I'm staying home again today. I feel almost human after 11 hours of sleep. Still tired but not so foggy in the head. It's not very often that I get taken down like this.