Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

I did it. Part 1

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

April 10th, 2014… here goes nothing

207lbs

It feels so good to have my surgery done. I actually was talking to mike about my surgery a little bit ago… what I remember and how I felt.

I remember being wheeled from SDS (same day surgery) waiting room into a holding area. My transporter said “hey, there’s your doc! Big Mac is what we call him!” Kind of ironic. A few nurses came over and introduced themselves to me, and I told them how scared I was. I had never had any surgery before- what was I doing? They assured me that once I got some medicine in me, my anxiety would be at a zero. So I told them a horrible joke. I told them about the time that I had Olivia, and she had to be vacuumed out, and it just happened to be the same day mom had gotten me a vacuum, so we both got vacuumed that day. That’s all I remember. The anesthesiologist told me that when I woke up, I would have a breathing tube in my mouth and it would be imperative that I stayed calm and didn’t fight it. I don’t remember any of that actually happening.

I remember being in my room with Mike, and being in immense pain. God awful pain. I cried a lot. And Mike was there the whole time. I remember him being on the phone and telling someone we were in my room… and then I remember my mom calling and telling him she was wiped and he had to head home- that was about 7. I woke up several times between 7 and midnight, but all I wanted to do was sleep the pain off. It seemed like every time I woke up, only 15 minutes passed by. At first, my nurse, Geraldine, annoyed me. I couldn’t understand her, and she kept calling me sweetie. But then, I realized how amazing she was at her job. She always alternated my pain meds when it was necessary to give them to me. She didn’t wait until I asked for them, since I was in so much pain. She told me it was because it was better to keep them in control than it was to let them go. She flushed my IV regularly. She always helped me in and out of bed, and made sure I took a bathroom trip while she was there. And she always fluffed my pillow and covered me with the covers and asked me if I was comfortable before she left. In my eyes, on that particular night, she was a saint.

By 6am, I had gotten my pain controllable. Although I was still in so much pain, I was able to control it with the pain killers, and function somewhat. I was able to visit with friends that day, and actually get up and walk around. I made a loop of my floor, and every time I got up to walk, I made sure to take that entire loop. I drank water constantly and was never hungry. Although let me tell you, that italian ice they gave me was pretty awesome. I was starting to feel like I was on the mend… and had an amazing new outlook…

 

Her name is Lola, she was a show girl…

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Well we took the plunge. Dora the Explorer is no longer a family member of ours. We knew we had to get a new car soon. Dora’s miles were increasing rapidly every day, and were looking for something specific.

Here were our requirements:

1. Quad bucket seats. With the girls’ car seats, and sometimes hauling their friends or family around, we needed something that was easy for people to get in and out of- like a minivan without the van part.

2. We wanted leather (easier upkeep with the kidlets).

3. We needed a third row seat. See #1

4. Under 50,000. We plan on keeping this car as long as we had Dora, so miles were HUGE.

Here were definite perks:

1. Navigation/DVD player.

2. White. Dora is black, and when I go to work I park in a dirt lot. No bueno.

3. I wanted bells and whistles such as an electronic liftgate, heated seats. These were just extras that make long drives worth it.

So here are the cars that we found that would fit our bill and what we like dislike about each one.

Ford Explorer

Ford Explorer: keypad entry. If you haven’t had this yet, you are missing out. I’m so sad that I won’t have it anymore. However, not one lot that we went to could show us an Explorer with quad buckets, and they wanted us to commit to buying new and ordering one. $42,000? No thank you.

tahoe

Chevy Tahoe: We had said for years that we would be moving up to this when we bought our next car. Problem is, the price tag. I can’t justify paying more for my car than my child’s education, and these cars are expensive.

Traverse

Chevy Traverse: we loved that this was a step down from the Tahoe. It had all of the requirements that we loved in the Tahoe, at almost HALF the price. I love that it drove like a car, but had all of the amenities of an SUV.

acadia

GMC Acadia: this is the GMC version of the Traverse. I absolutely loved this car as well, but it is a bite more expensive than the Traverse.

buick

Buick Enclave: this is also the same as the Traverse, but the Buick version. Comes with a hefty price tag, but was a good alternative to the Traverse considering there were more on the used car market than there were of the Chevy.

durango

Dodge Durango: I can’t even tell you because they didn’t even have the model on the lot. Geez.

santa fe

Hyundai Santa Fe: Again, didn’t have the model on the lot. WTH? I’m not ordering a car that I have never driven before.

Can you guess what we chose? We chose the Traverse!

Problem: we wanted to buy used and there are very few used ones on the market. We actually almost got suckered into buying brand-new but realized it was way out of our budget. We were acting strictly on emotions of having to search for this car. This is where our intentionality comes into play. We decided to sit on it and research and find the perfect car. We knew we were getting our tax return back soon and would be able to put a hefty down payment on it. Plus the idea that we could trade in the Explorer, we could get exactly what we wanted. This was very important to us because we really only want to have one car payment. I can definitely see us growing up a little bit.

So along came our car, the one we had been waiting for, a white Chevy Traverse… all the way down in Culver City. We knew we had to act on it because it was below bluebook and exactly what we wanted which we had failed to find even within 180 mile radius of our town.

So we are growing up. Hubby and I talked about it a lot and did our research. And in the end, I love my new car.

mycar

Please meet Lola. She’s going to make her first showgirl appearance in Las Vegas this weekend when hubby takes her on his annual boys weekend. Eeek!

2014 word of the year

Monday, January 27th, 2014

monday

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I feel that I need to jump on the bandwagon. The idea of picking one word to theme my year around was kind of depressing. I really felt that focusing on just one word meant that every other word was insignificant. What do I choose?

Runner ups: balance, creativity, stability, fortune, still, present…

I picked JOY. Because, quite simply, it was the word I always came back to. It wasn’t depressing. It is what I need to focus on.

So, with that. I choose JOY. What is your “word of the year”?

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A week in review.

Friday, January 24th, 2014

friday sticky

I love spending time with other moms. It’s kind of ironic because when I met my husband, I had a thing against hanging out with other women. I think I felt intimidated by them. I was never the perfect size, the perfect hair, the perfect teeth, and I despised spending more than 30 minutes in the bathroom to get ready. In fact, as far as bathroom time, I still despise it, so much so that I have my hairdresser do my hair for special occasions- money well spent. I still feel all of the above feelings, just not as frequently, mostly because I am chasing after two kids, running errands, keeping a house clean (ok, well Lupe gets some of the credit), etc, etc. You know the drill. Chances are, you are one of my mom friends that is coming over here and reading this blog to get to know me better, or just out of pity. Anywho… I do. I love spending time with other moms. It is the best therapy there is. If with the right set of gals, you can get more inner peace than any therapy session. The opposite applies as well, but thankfully that doesn’t happen too often.

This week, I got to spend time with other moms almost every day. I made it a point to get out of the house. Even if only for a few hours. Does anyone else just think how crazy it is to get out with more than one child? I have friends who have more than two, and God Bless You. I don’t know how you do it. I’m still getting used to just the two. And I think that is part of it, and I think the other part of it is those baby blues. The ones that you can’t get rid for quite a while. A friend of mine recently posted a vlog entry about post partum depression, and I am definitely going to address that soon. It’s something that we don’t talk about openly.

I feel like I have re-entered the circle of moms. I exited it some time during my pregnancy with Stella. It feels good to be back, and it makes my life a little more joyful.

Choosing Joy.

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22 minutes is all I get.

Monday, November 4th, 2013

So apparently we only have 22 minutes of focus a day on one specific task. That is what studies are showing (what studies? I don’t know, this is second hand information). But this sounds about right to me. I can sit for about twenty minutes on a project, get easily bored or distracted (after all, I have a 7 month old) and therefore I have a million and one unfinished projects throughout the house and my life. I have decided to do something about those.

You know me, I love lists. So here is another one for you. This one hones in on the inside of this house. I haven’t added the bedrooms to this list, well, because this list is overwhelming as it is. Problem with this list is that it requires a lot of dough, so it will be slow going, but hopefully over the next year we will see it slowly diminish. Ok, let’s be realistic. It will never diminish, there is always something to do for someone like me. It’s my nature do so.

So instead of saying that I’m going to give up on a certain project because it is unattainable, I am just simply going to simplify it. This list may not look simplified, but when broken up, can definitely be conquered. So stay tuned!

The Master House List (aka Listy-McListerson via YoungHouseLove)

Living Room

  • Paint fireplace
  • Repaint living room
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Install lighting above dining room table
  • Touch up trim/finish painting trim
  • Install curtains and sheers
  • New fireplace screen
  • New rug for dining room
  • New benches/chairs for living room
  • Replace/renovate current furniture
  • Decorate as needed

Hallway

  • Finish painting trim
  • Repaint yellow that is on upper part of hallway to match LR
  • Repaint cabinets and add new hardware
  • Clean out hall closet & install closet organizer
  • New light fixtures in hall
  • New carpet in hall (and bedrooms)

Kitchen

  • Finish trim on bench & paint
  • Install new sink & counters
  • Install organizers in all drawers
  • New rug in kitchen nook
  • New floors (maybe cork or laminate tiles?)
  • Install backsplash (maybe penny tile?)

Laundry Room

  • Clean pantry out & repaint & add new hardware
  • Repaint back door & install new dog door
  • Repaint utility closet, add shelves & make more user friendly
  • Install new floors (to match kitchen)
  • Make built ins to house washer & dryer
  • Make pet station
  • Paint cabinets white & install new hardware
  • Sew curtain for back window

Guest bathroom

  • Touch up paint
  • Install new floors (maybe hex tile?)
  • Find storage solutions for guests
  • Install new shower head
  • Install new toilet (currently has handicapped toilet)

Hall Bathroom

  • Paint
  • What to do with floor? Paint? (since bathroom will eventually be redone)
  • Install new toilet
  • New light fixture
  • Storage solutions – maybe frame out mirror?
  • Decorate

Another setback.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

I wasn’t going to write this, or share this part of it with all of you. Yes, you obviously have gathered by now that I was looking into having some type of gastric surgery for my weight loss. And if I didn’t tell you personally, I’m sorry. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and I have been met with mixed opinions.

I had my pre-op this week. If all went well, my surgery was scheduled for next Monday. You read that right- next Monday! It is a minimally invasive surgery, so outpatient based, and I basically just spend the night and then am discharged. Things obviously didn’t go as planned.

My insurance company is going to deny me- that’s what my doctor has explained to me. I have had every test known done, and, unfortunately, I am healthy. Yep. I don’t have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or even sleep apnea. Which I was sure I did, considering how tired I am during the day. Nope- turns out I just have kids.

Then there is my weight. Technically I am considered in the light-weight-obese category. Didn’t know that existed, did ya. So my BMI is 35%-39% and doesn’t hit the 40% mark. So I qualify IF I have one of the ailments above. So if I want to have surgery, I either have to gain weight or develop one of those awful obese related diseases above. And if I’m really lucky, maybe I will gain the 30 lbs I need to for surgery AND develop one of these diseases. My doctor’s office is having me meet with a dietitian once a month for the next 5 months, and they said that we can make a case to the insurance company that based on my history and the supervised diet of a doctor’s office, I would really benefit from this surgery.

It’s frustrating. I want to be able to have this done so that I can DO SOMETHING about my weight, and yet the doctor and insurance company say just stay the way you are for 6 more months. It is even more frustrating seeing people come in who don’t really take the surgery seriously, but see it as an easy way out instead of a tool, and you know won’t be successful.

My mom told me to “take this opportunity” to cut carbs and really lose weight. It was gut wrenching for her to say that. When you get to the point I have, the last thing you want is for someone to come along and undermine the seriousness of the problem.

So for now, I guess I better go looking for some plus sized outfit to wear for my Christmas photos…

A letter to my future self.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Dear Alisa,

I hope you have grown over the last few years. This is the time period where growth is so important. I hope you have become on the inside what you want to show to the world on the outside. That you have become beautiful on the outside and radiate that on the inside.

Please tell me you have been content with what God has given you. Realize your husband is absolutely fantastic, and he would do anything for you. You have two beautiful girls who adore you and I hope that you are not taking a single day for granted as long as you are with them. Enjoy their love and foster that. Don’t nag them too much or punish them for coming to confide in you. Cherish that and teach them that you will always be there for them through life’s challenges.

Are you keeping up with those family traditions? I know how much you love to foster those in your life. I hope you are following through with them and teaching your children what family is all about.

I hope you have followed some personal goals of going back to school and furthering your education. Do you still want to teach? Counsel young children? I hope you are giving everything to God and you are letting him guide you through life.

If this comes at a time when life has gotten you down, remember that God will only give you what you can handle. It may seem way out of bounds and tough to deal with, but trust me, you will get through it. You got through it with Olivia and her colic, and you got through it with Stella and her reflux.  You are a strong person and sometimes you tend to forget that.

No one can love you as I love you.

Alisa, age 35.

25 things you may not know about me

Monday, October 21st, 2013

1. I’m thirty five- yep. I have awesome youth genes.

2. I have 4 sisters and a brother- and a brother-in-law and niece.

3. I was raised as an only child by my mother, and often have only child syndrome.

4. My mother participated in various peace activist organizations, and may have been arrested once or twice in the process. Maybe even with Martin Sheen.

5. In 5th grade, we had a faux-election. I was the only one to vote for Dukakis.

6. I once was evicted from my apartment for having a cat. I still have her.

7. When I was younger, my mom ran a migrant children’s center, and then a day camp for special-needs children. I feel I gained compassion for other children during that time.

8. I took one year of Spanish and two years of French.

9. The only words I now know in Spanish are “frijoles en frente por favor” and “uno mas cervesa?” and neither of those were learned in my Spanish class.

10. I am a bartender and have been for 7 years. I have worked at this particular restaurant since 1998.

11. I once took a trip with friends to miniature golf, and was banished to the front seat because the only people in the car that were Huey Lewis fans were me and their father.

12. I am horrible at follow through.

13. I have volunteered for a medium scale music festival in California for 25 years. I can honestly say that because at 12 years old, I was in charge of my first committee: the raffle committee. I now run the entire concessions area and am on the steering committee.

14. My dad is a painter. I feel like I have inherited his painting skills.

15. I, sadly, haven’t talked to my dad in over 10 years.

16. I have extreme passion. I get that from my dad.

17. I LOVE FOOD. So the idea of changing my ways to eat as nourishment instead of delight is a hard one to swallow.

18. I am mostly of British descent, but love to claim the 1/8th Norwegian that I am. I tell people I am Norwegian.

19. I grew up in a small beach town that was mostly surfers and low-income rentals. It is now the most sought after place to live.

20.  I met my husband through a friend I worked with. He was the opposite of what I normally dated at the time.

21. I have struggled with my religious beliefs my entire life. I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I will go to heaven. This is a late in life realization.

22. I have problems with judgement: I often judge way too much.

23. I have a hard time with organized religion because of the judgement of others: go figure.

24. I’m afraid of birds. All birds. Chickens, ducks, turkeys (who wouldn’t?) black birds, even baby chicks.

25. I have a problem always wanting to be something that I’m not.

What’s something I wouldn’t know about you?

 

Fall Bucket List

Friday, October 11th, 2013

I’m big on lists… here’s one for the fall that I can’t wait to start updating! We did great with our Summer Bucket List. It wasn’t one we completed, but it was a great motivator to get out there and do something before summer was over.

1. Donate to the food bank

2. Make homemade apple pie

3. Make fall decorations

4. Make a gratitude jar

5. Carve pumpkins

6. Go to a football game

7. Make handprint turkeys

8. Make something pumpkin

9. Drink mulled wine

10. Make a fire

11. Decorate the front step

12. Go apple picking

13. Go to farmer’s market

14. Have fall family photo shoot

15. Trick-Or-Treat

16. Make s’mores

17. Find a corn maze

18.  Make a new soup

19. Make a new hat

20. Help with Operation Christmas Child

Another step in the right direction…

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

“When you’re on the titanic, you load the life boats, you don’t stop to yell at the iceberg!” Debra, Everybody Loves Raymond.

So this weeks posts are soo behind. Mostly because of last week and getting caught up with chaos. Besides, anyone else feeling sick? Something going around, and it won’t quit. And am I wrong- but mammas can’t get sick! It brings the whole house down!

I feel like for the last 6 months, I have been yelling at the iceberg. Blaming babies, marriage, my family, for my weight problems. Because, let’s face it, we are a product of our environment. But I am finally doing something about it. And I have to address how it makes me feel, but also realize that just talking about it isn’t going to solve the problem. So this week, every time I am about to eat, I am stopping and writing down why I am eating. Am I hungry? Bored? Stressed? Upset?

This past weekend I worked on my latest photo album. More to come on that soon, but it was pictures from our Disneyland trip. On a normal occasion, I would make sure to avoid all pictures that include me, but one of my favorite bloggers, Ashley from Under the Sycamore, once said that you want to be in all those photos with your kids. You don’t want them to miss out having those pictures with their mom, and you want to remember those moments. So I included all of the pictures that included me. I know that I am changing and I will be able to reflect back on these pictures and say, “that was the old me.” But not without actually doing something about it. Otherwise, I’m just yelling at the iceberg.

Funnyxoxo,

Alisa