I am participating in The Komen Portland Race for the Cure(R)! Please support me with a donation.

Friends and Family Ask Banner

Dear Friends & Family,

This September 18, 2011, I will join more than 40,000 runners, walkers and volunteers for the 20th Annual Komen Portland Race for the Cure. As one person in a crowd of thousands, I am accepting a challenge to make a difference.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. My mom and my sister are both breast cancer SURVIVORS!

When I stop to think of the friends, aunts, neighbors, mothers and grandmothers in my life, I can easily think of eight women. And I do not want to see another one suffer from this terrible disease.

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I want to make a difference for our children, so they may have the promise of a full life.
It’s clear that Komen has made a difference in the last 20 years. 20 years ago, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer diagnosed at its earliest stage was 74%. Now we celebrate that it is 98%. But, until no one fears a diagnosis of breast cancer, we still have a lot of work to do.

Will you help me? If you have only $5 to give, I will be as grateful as if you have $500. The size of your gift is not important, because every dollar counts in the fight against breast cancer.

Gratefully yours,

.:Tracie:.

Facebook killed this blog…

I don’t blame Facebook entirely. It’s just that I post anything of significance there, where I know who’s reading and who cares. And then conversations ensue, or they don’t. Either way, I don’t post here because I don’t want to be redundant. I’m pretty sure anyone who still reads this is on my Facebook. Right?

Well, in case not, and at the risk of being redundant, here’s what’s new:

Work: I got a new job. I resigned from the web hosting field, and got a job that will benefit my career and family in the long run. I still work from home but I’m no longer working as a contractor. I’m an employee for the first time in over a decade.

Kids: Kevin is home from college until he figures out where and how he wants to proceed with his education. We tried to tell him that pursuing a musical teaching degree in this economy might not be the wisest choice, but did he listen? Not till he got there and realized we were right. Musical programs are being cut all over; teachers, assistant teachers, you name it. He even experienced it first hand when the award winning choir program lost their assistant choir teacher his senior year due to budget cuts. That didn’t phase him.. but watching the cost of college rack up and seeing how many students would be his future competition opened his eyes. He’s currently working part time, while trying to find full time work somewhere to help with the cost of school once he figures it all out. It’s really tough for his age group right now..

The rest of the kids are doing great!

Grandkids: That’s not a typo… We’re going to be grandparents. Soon. VERY soon! Kat is due early August but I’m guessing she won’t make it till the end of July. 🙂 We can’t wait to meet our little grandson!

Home: We’re still happy with the rental. We’re ecstatic with the central A/C. Until it breaks. So far that’s only happened once and the landlord paid to fix it. Happy about THAT! 🙂 The old house is no longer our concern. And that’s all that needs to be said about THAT! Well, maybe a bit more needs to be said: Banks suck. They are the root of all evil. I’ll never use a bank again and I’m quite happy with my local credit union. OK. I’m done.

Health: Well, there’s a can of worms. I’ll start with Jack. He’s always had breathing issues at night (sleep apnea) as long as I’ve known him. But it used to be occasional. It’s progressively gotten worse over the years. Now, it’s so bad he keeps ME up at night because I’m worrying and poking him so he’ll breathe. He struggles physically all night to breathe. When he starts struggling (the second he falls asleep) his arm shoots up in the air and he holds it there for a while (this seems to allow him to breathe), then it falls back down. Occasionally on me! Rinse and repeat. All. Night. Long. He can no longer stay awake for… well, anything. So he saw a sleep specialist today and they’ll be calling us back soon for his overnight sleep study. I have a feeling it will be a split study.

Normally they monitor you all night, then go over the results, decide what to do, and call you back in a few days. However; if your apnea is bad enough, they’ll stop the monitoring that night to treat you right away. Since Jack’s apnea starts the second he falls asleep and he struggles the whole night, I don’t think they’ll let him go all night like that. We both can’t wait to get a good night’s sleep! 🙂

As for me: I’ve started a new Diabetes medication. Remember that Lizard Spit I was all “wtf??” about? Here’s an updated link to an article about it since the one in my old post doesn’t work anymore.) Well, guess who’s on it! Moi! Never thought I’d see the day! Although, it IS really fun to tell people I inject Gila monster venom twice a day. 🙂 It’s done wonders for my BG levels. And I’m one of the lucky ones that have lost weight on it. Twenty pounds since October. Basically for some it has a side effect of loss of appetite. I never really lost my appetite, BUT… If I overeat, even by a bite, the results aren’t pretty. I get very ill. So, I eat smaller portions. Eating less = weight loss. Who knew??? 😉

The weight loss also made me rethink the exercise thing.. again. Remember how I ranted here, and then pondered here about the whole exercise and weight loss thing? Well, I can tell you from my own personal experience that just by eating less and controlling your portions, while not exercising one bit, you can still lose weight. I’ve never tried that before and didn’t plan to when going on this new medication. It just happened all because I physically could NOT overeat. I still can’t, but also have no desire to. I’m now acutely aware when I get full.

But I still don’t get enough exercise. And exercise is good for you… There is NO denying that. So, since we can afford a few extras now, we joined a gym this week. We tried Aqua Zumba last night and had a blast! As soon as I publish this I’m heading out for a Yoga class. Which means I got to go!

I posted this last night right before the Yoga class, but wordpress was doing maintenance so it didn’t post. FYI: yoga is harder than it looks!

Two months? Really??

It doesn’t seem like it’s been two months since I’ve posted. Wow. I guess that’s what happens when you’re working your ass off day and night for two full months.

Not long after my last post we found a house. And not just any house. But a NICE house. A BIGGER house. An AWESOME house. And for the icing, a really cool landlord…. MEGA COOL! He’s totally OK with our dogs, my kids, our history, everything. He’s very laid back and made this transition from home owners to renters VERY easy. And for the cherry on top, we could afford it.

But wait! There’s more!

NONE of my kids had to change schools!!!

That alone was a gigantic relief. We’ve been looking for so so long for a house, trying to keep at least most of our kids in the same schools, but it was looking pretty grim. As the deadline started approaching for when we HAD to move out, we started looking for houses in other areas but still close and found nada. So this was a very lucky find!

The downstairs of this house is pretty much the same layout as our old house, except bigger. Our “big” sectional couch (it looked huge in our old family room) looks tiny in this house. 🙂 The upstairs is different… bigger… with an extra bedroom. The house has new appliances, central air (!!!!) and there’s a huge (GIGANTIC – park-sized) covered back patio, and a nice-sized fence yard. Best of all it’s the last house on a dead end street! Sounds too good to be true, huh? Yeah, that’s what we thought. But here we are! And we couldn’t be happier. The kids love it too!

There is one downside. It backs up to a semi-busy street. But there’s plenty of arborvitae to keep it totally private. We’re just having to get used to noisy cars. Jack and the kids say they don’t notice it anymore. I’m almost 100% used to it, but not quite there yet. I still wake up when big trucks go by at night.. Fortunately that’s not often as it’s not a SUPER busy street. After living in totally quiet areas for so many years it’s taking a bit to adjust but it’s all worth it for how awesome the rest of this house is.

So.. after we closed the deal for renting this place, we started packing right away and we moved in March 5th. The week after we moved in was pure madness with baseball practices, two choir concerts, a trip to Ellensburg and back in one night, a trip to the Dalles (I could go on and on). So we lived in box hell that whole week. The second week we got more unpacking done. Then last weekend we built mega-desk for our office. No more mismatched ugly press board desks. We have two big desks now that face each other to basically form one huge (mega) desk and a matching printer station. Ikea for the win! It looks SO much better and we all have more room.

(sorry for the crappy photo, but it’s all I got for now.)

Here you can kinda see our backyard, bust mostly it’s Kevin trying to scare me. 🙂

Kevin attempting to scare me yesterday. It didn't work.

We’re still dealing with the stupid mortgage company on the old house. I so want that over with. I’m so so so done with their games, their lies, their heartlessness. They are pure evil and I swear… right now, after all this, I am soured to every wanting to buy a house again. It’s so so so not worth it. Maybe in a few years I’ll feel differently, but right now I’m content to live in this house forever. I hate moving anyway. 😉

The good, the bad, the ugly

Good: We’re going to be grandparents! Can you believe that?? We can’t either. When we first heard, poor Jack could only stare out the window in shock. Then we got excited. We can’t wait to spoil our first grandbaby!

Bad: Mortgage companies suck. We’ve essentially received a 90 day notice (plus 20??) even though we have a short-sale in review. It’s just all bad in that regard and I don’t even want to go into details.

Ugly: Jack hates my guts. That’s what he said. He said my guts are ugly and he doesn’t like them. When the doctor took my ovary out last month, she took a picture of my uterus and other ovary and showed Jack. Uteruses and ovaries aren’t pretty. In fact, I hate my guts too.

The other good news is the cysts on my ovaries were benign so I can relax about that.

In other ugly news, we haven’t found a place to live yet. It’s not for lack of trying, believe me! It’s very difficult to find a house or place big enough that will at least keep most of our kids in the same schools, that will also accept our dogs.

Just what is up with that anyway? I get some big dogs are destructive. I’ve heard horror stories. But mine aren’t! It doesn’t matter though. Renters seem to think if a dog is over a certain weight, they’ll tear apart the house and you can’t convince them otherwise. The ones that really make me laugh are the ones that say cats only. Like cats can’t do damage? Ha. Cats pee on things when they’re mad at you. Cats shred anything they can sharpen their claws on: walls, wood, carpet, curtains, even the weather stripping on your front door. I know this from experience! And we no longer have inside cats.

Oh well. We’ll keep on looking… and in 90 (+20?) days we’ll be moving somewhere either way. If we have to get an apartment we will. But we’re trying hard to avoid that.

P.S. To any potential renters out there, we have nice, trained, well-behaved, non-destructive Golden Retrievers, and a 15 lb Rat Terrier all of which are fully house trained and do not chew on walls or stair banisters, or carpet, or anything else.. I’m home all day with them and we provide plenty of chew toys and they are good dogs.

P.S.S. Only four of our eight children live at home still, so don’t let the subject of this blog scare you!

P.S.S.S We are good renters, I promise!!

We’re still alive!

Just… busy. Imagine that?

Pretty much most of our spare time is spent talking and or researching about our housing situation, or trying to avoid talking about or researching our housing situation. Here’s where we are with that:

Our current house has been on the market since August. We’ve received an offer on it. The mortgage company is playing games, though, on approving the short sale. They keep telling us documents weren’t submitted, when they were and it took them over a month (and me submitting the same documents over and over and over) before they finally moved on to the next step. We expect to get an update on that sometime next century. If we’re lucky, we’ll hear something by mid January. We’re not holding our breath either way.

We’ve started looking for a new place to live. A family like ours is not your average cookie cutter easy-to-rent to family. We have a lot of kids and three dogs. We no longer have any fish, though, as we gave away our fish tank. (We put a lot of stuff in storage too to de-personalize our house and make it more appealing to potential buyers.)

Neither of us want to rent. We really really don’t want to rent! So we started looking into lease options. We found a house that has lease option available, and the best part is NONE of our kids would have to switch schools. We’re about to put an offer in on that and are crossing our fingers that it will go through. If not, we have lots of time in this house …….. to keep looking for another. Our housing needs sure don’t make it easy!

On the health situation… remember my ovary issues? Well, I never followed through on it. There were a few good reasons, one of which involved me having to switch doctors so the procedure would be covered in full with no deductibles, but mostly I procrastinated. Then we found out our insurance is going to suck next year. And by suck, I mean, the worst EVER in the history of the world. Ok, maybe not THAT bad, but for a hospital? It’s bad. Let me repeat that. For a HOSPITAL, it’s really REALLY bad. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Long story short, if I’m going to take care of this ovary thing, I should do it before our insurance sucks. To make an even longer story shorter, I’m having to go back to my original doctor… and pay deductibles. It’s worth it because I LIKE this doctor and the choices I had to avoid paying deductibles weren’t good. That’s all I’m going to say about THAT.

Just to be sure the cyst was even still there, I had one more ultrasound. Guess what? Not only is it still there, it’s slightly larger and a new small cyst formed next to it. So it made a friend. Isn’t that cute?? Surgery to evict these little ‘friends’ is scheduled for December 20th.

I know. It’s crazy to have surgery five days before Christmas. But we have no choice. This is when it could be done and if I wait till next year I’d have to sell my kidney just to afford getting rid of the ovary. (Hopefully it won’t come to that. Having to lose the ovary, that is. We hope the cysts can just be removed while keeping the ovary intact.)

Sooo… that’s where we are right now. Not much else to report. I have tons of pictures to share but don’t have the time to upload them. Maybe later.

TTFN!