Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Well, I seem to have let another week (almost) pass me by without making a peep at all over here.  Actually, I haven't made much of a peep anywhere I hang out virtually or not.

And no, I won't have any pictures with this update because it's 8:30 already and all the pics I want to add are still on the camera and if I wait until I get them onto the computer, I'll never get a post done tonight.

Sorry about the interruption... I guess I should fill everyone in on what's been going on.  I'm sure I'll leave a lot of stuff out and I just don't have anything really profound to say (although there are a few ideas bumping around in response to some things I've read, but they're too busy bumping around to settle down and type themselves out onto my computer... silly ideas).

No, can I finally get this post started?  Let's try this again.

I guess I'll update about my health first.  I was good and took my vitamin D all last week, even over the weekend.  I spent most of the day Saturday outside in the wonderful sunshine and got more sun on Sunday.  (My almost mid-summer tan arms prove this... I'll get to that in a bit)  The all out bone-tired exhaustion I had been feeling is lifting quite a bit.  I'm not sleeping like a rock anymore.  Actually, my stress induced insomnia is back in bits.  Yeah, that's not helping, I know.  I'm not quite mind-numbingly exhausted, just somewhere between worn out and tired.
I had a vacation day yesterday (more on that in a bit, too).  Unfortunately, I left my vitamins at work, so I didn't get my morning dose.  I did, however, spend most of the morning outside.  It didn't help.  It didn't help that it was mostly grey and threatening to rain a bit now and again.  Today my mind was almost as foggy as a week ago.  So, I'm guessing the vitamins really are doing something, but I still wish I knew why my levels seem to fall through the floor at the drop of a hat.  I mean, I've been getting way, way, way more sun than a lot of people I know, and my levels just won't stay where they should be.  *shrug*  Maybe I'll get some more answers in a few weeks.

On to the fun stuff!  (See, I told you I'd get there in a bit...)

So, Saturday was one of the most perfect weather days we've had in a while, and we've been blessed to have several in recent memory.
Saturday was Boo's second (third for the team) soccer game.  It didn't go much better than last week.  Both his coaches and I tried to gently get him to participate, but as long as he can just kick the ball around on his own, he's pretty happy.  Once it becomes organized, not so much.  It's hard for me to be patient, but I'm trying.  I'm trying not to give him grief for not participating.  I'm not sure how well I'm doing, but I haven't yelled at him about it (which would make me feel way worse than just about anything).  I mutter and I grumble and I vent to friends, but mostly I remind myself that he's my watcher boy and he'll do it on his own terms at his own time and not a second earlier.  So there!

Oh, I think I forgot to mention that we rode the bike over to the field.  Yep, we let Gak have the truck and Boo and I were on the bike.  So, see, even more sun!  And exercise!

Anyhow, after soccer wrapped up, we rode "downtown" to Art's Alive.  We wandered around there for a bit.  Mostly I spent money on food.  Boo wanted a yummy sugar cookie.  I got an awesome apple fritter (that I am always looking forward to) from Karlton Kafe, and yes, it was as yummy as ever.  We shared a lemonade as well.  I wandered down to the Quakertown Neighborhood Association booth.  My friend organized this group to try and get more "community" in our community.  Unfortunately, I can't help them out much because they meet Tuesdays, as do my Scouts.  Anyhow, they ran a photo contest.  I didn't win.  The contest was for pictures of "Spring in Quakertown".  My friends said they really, really wanted to vote for mine, but since they knew me, they weren't allowed to.  Bummer.  It was a great pic of Boo from when we had that picnic last month at the park.  You can't get much more "Quakertown" than that, unless it involves Sines or some other obvious landmark.  (The prize was a nice new Olympus DSLR, which is amazing since it didn't cost anything to enter!  Maybe next time they run one...)

We did have a minor adventure on the way home.  I'd put Boo onto the bike and was just about to get going when my pedal stops moving.  Yep, the chain slipped off the back gears.  And got stuck fast.
Of course, this is when Boo proclaims that he has to potty.
Oh, boy.
Well, on our way (quickly) to the port-a-pots after stashing the bike between two buildings, we run into my friend Uday waiting in line for ice cream.  We hurry to the potty and back and get a chance to catch up with him, his wife and their 2-year-old twin girls.  (They're very cute, I still can't remember their names, but they're adorable and are giving their parents a run for their money as all kids do.)  So, of course I end up getting Boo some ice cream as well.  Mostly as a bribe to keep him out of my way while I try and fix the bike.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get the chain fee.  Thankfully, there were some younger (well, younger than me) guys sitting on the steps of the building and one of them offered to try and help since he fixes these things all the time (they had their own bikes propped up on the steps).  He had it fixed in about 2 minutes flat.  See, there are good people in the world still!

We made it home, Boo took a nice long nap for me and then when Gak got home, we met our friends Ted and Lonnie at "the cornbread place", better known as The Hen and Hog, for some early dinner.  It's close enough we can walk.  (That's both a very good and very bad thing...)

Sunday was just as packed as Saturday.  I did the grocery shopping before the boy got up.  I managed to fix breakfast at a reasonable hour and then got the laundry going.  After the laundry we got the boys hair cuts.  (They both needed the weed-wacker, Boo didn't even notice when I walked away part way through his hair cut. *sigh* He's getting to be so big!)  Then we headed down to Philly to go to the Games Workshop store (which happens to be just blocks from Gram's old house she grew up in!) and then to the Zoo.  We didn't have a lot of time at the Zoo, but we enjoyed it.  The advantage of having a membership is that I don't feel bad if we only go a few hours.  If we go twice in a year, we've more than paid for the membership.  We're planning to go back at least once at the end of summer, and who knows if/when we'll end up down there again before that.  (See, even more outside time!)

You'd think I'd be done with adventures for the week, but I'm not.  Yesterday I took a vacation day.  I took the vacation day so that Boo and I could go to the Iron Pigs baseball game with Zoe's 5th grade class.  (Talk about growing up too fast!  She can't be finishing 5th grade already!).  That in and of itself was a great way to spend the day.  The Iron Pigs won, which is even better, but in some ways, the best part was that Dave Bush was pitching.  You see, Dave's mom was my Girl Scout leader.  His oldest sister is a year older than me, and his other sister is the same age as my brother, and Dave's a year younger.  So, of course I had to root for the Iron Pigs and would have even if they weren't the home team.  He's pitching quite well and I'm thrilled that someone from my high school, that isn't exactly the best sports high school in the area, has made it to the majors and is still pitching strong in AAA baseball.  I wish him all the luck and would love to see him in a Phillie's uniform.

That's all the adventures so far for the week.  One week from today Nana (Gak's mom) gets here from Oklahoma.  She'll be visiting us for a week.  It was all of us kids present to her for Christmas.  And a week from Friday, Boo turns four!  Yes, you read that right F-O-U-R, 4!  Yeah, I don't know where the time's gone either.  We've got all kinds of craziness planned for next weekend, this weekend we're hoping just to relax a bit.  (Due to an emergency beyond Gak's or his boss's control, Gak's had to open all week...)

I was going to keep this short and sweet, but I guess I just got rambling and couldn't bullet-point what I had to say.  (That's a good thing, means I haven't totally become a corporate cog...)  I'm off to bed now after I clean up a little of the GS swap making mess I made in the living room....

Peace to all and may your days be sunny, your adventures fun and your team win.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Gray

Monday evening I got a message from my doctor's office to call about my bloodwork. Unfortunately, I didn't get the message until after the office closed, so I had to call Tuesday morning.

I talked to the nurse and she said the only thing my bloodwork showed was a decreased vitamin D level. Dr. F. wants me to take an additional 2000 units daily.

And, I can kinda see how that makes sense. I've always felt worse on gray days. I've always done better working outside than in an office all day. I just think it's a little funny that vitamin D is catching up with me now, since I've been spending even more time outside than I used to these days. Especially on nice days when I can get a ride in after work or take my boy-o over to the playground.

I will admit though, we had some very beautiful weather over the weekend and I felt my spirits lift. I was still feeling pretty exhausted Sunday, but my outlook was better.  I can handle being tired if I'm in a halfway good mood. My 30 minute ride, which is usually cake for me, was almost "too long". My swim Tuesday morning, of which I only barely managed 40 minutes of my normal 45-50, was definitely too long. I barely made it to the 15 minute mark, but kept pushing myself to keep moving, even if it wasn't at my normal pace.  I managed a short ride yesterday with Boo.  (I bribed him to be good while we went to the grocery store.  I told him we'd ride to the ice cream place and have ice cream for dinner if he wasn't "Mr. Crankypants" while we were at the store.  It worked, so we had ice cream and a bike ride for dinner.)  I didn't make it to the pool this morning.  I probably could have, and I know I should have, but I didn't.

Tuesday at lunch I ran out and picked up a bottle of Vitamin D pills.  I like the fact that they're nice and small.  So far, I've taken one the last few days with either breakfast or lunch.  (I decided that taking them before or after work wasn't going to work, as I'm just not that organized in the mornings and I have a hard enough time remembering to brush my teeth before bed, let alone actually take a vitamin... we'll have to work on this over the weekends...)

I don't know if it's doing any good yet or not.  Last night and Tuesday night I was exhausted but just couldn't get to bed before 10 or so.  I just couldn't settle.  My focus has been a bit all over the place, but that's almost normal for me I think.  Dr. F. asked me to keep track of things a bit, and I've been trying to.  I notice that I tend to crash around mid-morning and it's a 50/50 shot if I rebound by the time I go home.  Unfortunately, this does not help the work situation any.  I know I'm going to end up in serious trouble some day if I can't figure out the real root of my lack of focus.  For now, I'll be happy if I can figure out the root of my mental and physical exhaustion and fix at least one of them.  Of course, if my mind is ready and raring to go, but my body can't keep up, that makes for cranky times too.

I'm willing to give this a good, honest, shot until my appointment in a few weeks.  It does seem a little silly that me, the one who spends as much time as possible outside and loves to drink milk, has problems with vitamin D.  In theory, you really only need about 10 minutes a day of good sunlight and you should be able to synthesize enough vitamin D.  Well, apparently that's just not the case for me these days.  Who knows?  I just hope there isn't some underlying problem that's causing the vitamin D levels to be low that could be something harder to fix.  I like simple.  I like easy.  Remembering to take one silly little pill at breakfast isn't too bad.  Having a complex medical issue, not something I want.

Well, I'm going to wrap this up here.  I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm sure you'll see the evidence in my ramblings here before I make any formal announcement.  My subconscious often blurts things out before I realize I'm saying them. *laugh*  That's what I get when I let my fingers run away on the keyboard.

Peace to all and may your answers be simple.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Well, today was Boo's first soccer game.  I'd love to tell you he's a natural and just took to it like a fish to water.

But, those of you who know my boy-o, know that would not be my boy.  No, my boy will do things in his own time, and in his own way and only when he's good and ready.  Thankfully, he's not the only one like this in the world and that there are lots of people who understand.

As you can see from the picture Boo is on team Dynamo.  As in the Houston Dynamo.  Yep, the QSC has a partnership with Adidas and they get real, honest to goodness, uniforms of pro soccer teams.  I think he's quite adorable in his orange jersey and black shorts.  Everything is so big on him, but then again, they gave the smallest sizes they had to the 4s and 5s.  But somehow the oversized uniforms make them look even more cute.

Anyhow, on to the actual game.  The first half hour or so is spent in "practice" and the second half hour or so is the actual "game".  Well, the first part of practice is warm-up while waiting for the rest of the team to get there.  Boo loved this part.  He was kicking his soccer ball all around and enjoying himself.  I had to run to the clubhouse to pick up our Red Robin gift cards.  I told him I'd be right back, but he didn't like that idea, and tried to follow me.  Anyhow, by the time I got back, it was the more formal practice.  He didn't want any part of this because he just wanted to play with me.  I almost got him to participate a little bit in the formal practice, but by the time the "game" rolled around, he wanted nothing to do with it.  He just wanted to go.  I convinced him to stay and watch.  The dad who was coach today (his normal coach wasn't there today) was very kind in his trying to get Boo to participate in the game.  The game consists of four-on-four matches between two teams.  There were enough kids on both teams today that there was a four-on-four match and a three-on-three match.  Boo would have made it four-on-three, but he was more than happy to watch.  He almost went onto the field a couple of times.
I think by the end of next Saturday he'll be running around playing with the rest of the team, or maybe the next week.  He's my watcher boy and he's got to take it all in and understand it all before he'll dive in head first.  I bet by the end of the season I won't be able to get him off the field.  Either that or he'll never make it onto the field and we'll never play another season.  Either way is fine.  I just want him to stick out the entire season and give it a fair shot to see if this is something he will have fun with or not.  I want him to have fun.  Any additional skills or friends he gains along the way is gravy.

Anyhow, I just thought I'd give everyone a quick update and some pictures.

Peace to all and may you have fun.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Exhaustion Checkup

Well, today I did something about the exhaustion I wrote about recently.  I said then that if I wasn't feeling back to "normal" by the end of last week, I'd call the doctor.  I haven't been feeling as all out exhausted as I was when I wrote that post, but I definitely have not been feeling my normal self and I've noticed that I just don't have the energy that I should.  I've been sleeping, and for me that's not normal.  Not only have I been sleeping, but it's all but taken an act of Congress several mornings to get me out of bed.  Not the "it's warm and snuggly and I just don't feel like moving" not getting out of bed, but the "I can't open my eyes or even think about moving to actually get out from under the covers" not getting out of bed. 

So, since that's definitely not normal for me and the mere fact that I just haven't been able to get my butt to the gym to swim or get out of my own way in the morning to get an exercise video in, I called the doctor's office on Wednesday and Dr. F. actually had an appointment open this morning.  So, I took it.

I had a very pleasant conversation with Dr. F. like I usually do.  I had actually written a list of "problems" or at least observations on what wasn't quite "normal" with my system lately as well as Dad's recent medical information.    She did say she was thrilled with all the weight I've lost and happy to see it moving in the right direction.  She still hasn't told me what kind of number she'd like me to aim for, but that's OK.  At the rate I'm loosing currently, I'll have another year or so before I even get close to the maximum "healthy range" for my height.  I've got time to figure it out.  (I probably will never set an actual "goal".  My real goal is to be healthy and fit at whatever weight the scale shows...)  She looked me over and listened to my breathing and my heart and said she believed me when I said I was feeling exhausted all the time.  She said that this could be anything from a simple vitamin D deficiency to possibly Lyme or maybe something like an auto-immune disorder like Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus or maybe something else entirely.  She wants me to keep a bit of a journal on how I'm feeling and what's going on (it doesn't have to be too detailed, just something general) to see if there's a pattern I've missed.  She sent me down to the lab to have about 8 vials drawn and a pee test for various tests.  Since none of them had to be fasting, I went ahead and got the blood drawn right then.  We'll see what the results say.  I have a follow-up appointment on 6/5.  I'm sure I'll have more news by then.
I'm just glad to hear that she doesn't think it's all in my head (I knew she wouldn't, but there is always that fear going to doctors...) and that she does take this seriously.  I mean, I know I'm the mom of an almost four-year-old very active little boy, a wife, a full-time employee, a Girl Scout leader and I even have a bit of a social life now and again.  Sure, I expect to have tired days, but when I'm actually sleeping like a rock and still having problems getting out of bed at my normal time, something's not right.

Anyhow, Boo's first day of soccer is tomorrow.  I hope to have some cute pictures of him in his uniform.  I'm sure it'll be cute and crazy and all kinds of chaos.  I just hope he enjoys himself and can warm up to the other kids in a relatively quick fashion.  We shall see.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet tonight.  I think I'm going to play with yarn a little bit before I go ker-thud into bed.  Tomorrow will be a busy day and I'm sure Boo will be up bright and early.  He fell asleep before dinner.  (He was upset that I was making macaroni and cheese for dinner along with ham, so I sent him to his room to "settle" himself.  Well, he settled himself right to sleep before I could finish dinner.  I decided the lesser "evil" was to let him sleep and wake up at the crack of dawn instead of waking him and dealing with a cranky, tired boy who didn't want what I made for dinner....)

Peace to all and may you have doctors who listen and hopefully answers to questions.

Monday, May 07, 2012

GS Camping

Well, I have survived my first camping trip as a Girl Scout leader, as opposed to a Girl Scout.  I guess in a way it wasn't really my first as a leader if you count the two summers I worked at Tohi, but I was never the councilor in charge...

But, I digress.  We really did have a great time over all.  Sure, there was the normal teenage drama and at the time it was driving me totally nuts, but I'm over it now that I've had a chance to sleep.

The original plan was for Steph, Billy, Rachel, Zoe and Kat to head up Friday after we finished laundry and shopping.  Well, they were calling for some pretty bad storms to roll through that night.  Kat called Knoebel's and managed to change our reservation for two night and one site to two sites for one night.

Saturday morning the Kat and Steph contingent left around 9:00 and I met the girls and Mrs. D at the church and left around 9:45.  We all made it up to the campground around noon.  After setting up the last of the tents and wolfing down some lunch, we all head into the park.  We all had a good time riding on rides.  I even got to ride on some bigger people rides!  Yes, I actually got to ride the Phoenix.  I love that coaster!

Anyhow, after enjoying the rides until shortly after 6:00 we manage to cook dinner with only a little drama and no one getting hurt.  I managed to get about half the girls hooked on banana boats for dessert.  We got to watch the beautiful huge full moon rise over the ridge.

As usual, I was the first one to bed and the first one up.  Actually, Boo was the first one to bed.  I was so impressed, and a little sad too.  He and Billy shared a tent.  He only got up once when I tried to put him to bed and he and Billy did great.  Boo was soooo excited to be sharing a tent with Billy. *cry* My baby boy is growing up. *pout*  (On the plus side, he did awesome with the potty all weekend.  I'll gladly take that part of growing up!)

Sunday breakfast went fairly well other than the fact that, as usual, the camp stove wouldn't light for me.  I managed to cook most of breakfast over a small fire (we were trying to hoard firewood so we wouldn't have to get more...).  The girls all enjoyed it and we managed to get camp tore down and all but packed in the cars by 10:30!  We headed down to the park a bit after 11, and the rides opened at about noon.  We got about an hour or so of rides in.  Steph, the boys and I headed back up to the site before everyone else to get lunch going.  We actually managed to get lunch fixed and cleaned up in record time and were only about 20 or 30 minutes later in leaving than I thought we might be.  Thankfully, with the advent of cellphones, I had promised the parents their girls would call them before we left so that they'd have a better idea of when we were going to get back.  That way, if we were running late or early, no one would be sitting in a parking lot too long.

I had an enjoyable ride back, since about 15 minutes into the ride all four of my passengers fell asleep.  Yes, Boo actually fell asleep in the car with three girls who thought he was the cutest thing since sliced bread. (Or something like that...)

So, while there was a good bit of drama now and again in the down times, it really wasn't more than should be expected from the age group.  I have such a wonderfully diverse group of girls.  They all bring something unique to the table.  They all have very different strengths, weaknesses and strong personalities.  I really want to foster their sense of individuality while encouraging them to respect each other's differences and learn to work with a diverse group.  And if we manage to earn a bunch of badges in the process, that'll be icing on the cake.  It's hard to measure the real learning that goes on in these groups.

Anyhow, I've been fiddling with this long enough.  The picture at the top are the 7 girls we had with us over the weekend.  They're all wonderfully unique and great girls.  Sometimes they drive me totally insane, but I really wouldn't trade any of them.  Well, at least not forever...

Peace to all and may your camping adventures have dry weather and lots of fun.

Saturday, May 05, 2012


Well, so much for getting May off to a great blogging start.  Didn't happen.  It is a combination of not much happening and not much to say in general.

Work was work this week.  It was a bit of a challenge to keep plowing through, but I managed to have an OK week.  The bright spot was that I had a half-day vacation day yesterday.

Yep, I actually took a half a vacation day.  Of course, I didn't get to totally just goof off.  Nope, it was so Kat and I could get ready for our camping overnight today.  I'm sure I mentioned it before, but today is Scout Day at Knoebel's and we're taking the troop.  We're also going camping overnight.  We decided on only one night for a variety of reasons.  I'm kinda glad we did.  Sure, I'd love to have gone for the entire weekend, but with my schedule as it is, I would have had to take an entire vacation day yesterday just so we could leave at a decent time yesterday!

So, yesterday afternoon was laundry and running around with Kat buying groceries for the trip and more laundry and more groceries and getting a boy-o from daycare in there somewhere as well.  I think we're just about ready to roll.

And yes, I'm glad we didn't go last night because there was a pretty strong string of thunderstorms that rolled through last night.  I wouldn't really want to spend the next two days damp.  Yes, I'm a wuss these days, but I've done my fair share of camping in the wet.  Remember our trip to DC last August?  Yeah.  (I'm sure I'll do my fair share of camping in the wet yet to come, I'm just glad when I don't have to! *laugh*)

Last night was also the night we picked up Boo's soccer uniform.  Yep, that's right, Boo wanted to play soccer this summer.  Actually, I asked if he wanted to play and he said "Ok!".  His team is the Huston Dynamo and their uniforms are bright orange shirts and black shorts.  I'm sure he'll be adorable in it and you know I'll be posting pictures.  We didn't get pictures last night, but I will.  His first "game" is supposed to be today, but he won't be there because of our trip and the fact that Gak has to work.  It's OK, it's only 4-5 year-old intermurrals, not high-school travel team soccer.  If he enjoys this season, we'll see if he wants to play again, if not, I still say it'll be a well spent $90, just for the exposure and the chance to try.  (Actually, it's only $65 because I get $25 back in Red Robin gift cards, and it's not like we don't enjoy eating there to begin with...)

So, I have an awake boy and last minute things to get done, like breakfast.  Oh, I did upload the rest of the April photos to Flickr, including Zoe's party last Saturday.  Enjoy!

Peace to all and may your camping adventures be fun!