40 Pounds

Since I am being slaughtered having surgery for cyst removal again next month, I needed a check up from my family doctor – ya the same woman who refused to sign my referral to the fertility clinic over a year ago – so I headed over with all my pre-op forms and waited somewhat impatiently for her to see me.

The first thing she wanted was my height/weight. Now listen, I am not a stupid woman, all my “thinner” clothes I bought when I was on weight watchers in 2011 don’t even come close to fitting me anymore and the “normal” clothes I’ve worn for a few years before and after the 2011, 25 pd weight loss, barely fit and most days I’m lucky if I can squeeze into the 18’s that have been antagonizing me, taunting me from the closet. I knew I had gained 20 pds back after my initial 25 pd weight loss, what I was not expecting was for Dr. B to tell me I had gained an additional 20 pds so I am 40 pds up from my 25 pds weight loss! WTF! I am disgusted…I look at my body from a distance, rarely naked, hoping magically I’ll wake up and this will have been a nightmare. I pray that I don’t need to be at weight watchers anymore, but now I know I do. Weight Watchers has been the only thing for me that helps me stay on track. It’s a slow, but maintained weight loss solution that I need to dedicate myself to again and as much as that completely sucks, it’s my fault. There is no one else to blame. My father died and I just didn’t care anymore about what I was eating, when I was eating or why I was eating.  I hopped off the scale quickly and everything else she needed from me faded into the background, like white noise.  All I could see was the number on the scale – a number I had never seen before.  I was at my absolute heaviest ever.

I have surgery in two weeks so starting WW now would be foolish. I will begin the last week of September and work on getting this hunk of fat off my body. I will try not to complain. I will try not to wine and feel sorry for myself, but of course I will. I will forgive myself on those days though because I am not perfect and this will not be an easy or fun journey and its one I take alone.

What bothers me now is what do I do about my fertility treatments? Do I continue with IUI knowing I am not at a weight that ideally supports this? It will take months for me to lose the weight I need to (45-50 pds) – and even longer for me to lose the weight I want (about 75-80 pds). I can’t even fathom the idea of not trying to have little Koko once I’m healed from the surgery, but am I throwing away money and time to try to get pregnant as an overweight woman? I just don’t know. Maybe I should book a consult with my fertility doctor – I mean she would tell me wouldn’t she?? I just wish things were easier – but what’s the point of wishing…I need to make these dreams come true…I want to hold Koko in my arms and tell him or her how much they were wanted by their mommy. For now, I wait.

This next journey is surgery and seeing how (if) my body heals from it.




Don’t do anything half assed…

Who goes to Florida in August for four days! This girl, that’s who!

So as with all of my friend Kim’s crazy ideas, I jump in feet first because they are always fun and I never regret it (i.e Chicago wedding dress shopping, buying a cottage etc). When she asked if I wanted to go away with her and her four-year-old son Chase, I knew it would be just as much fun so I sent her my money and last Thursday we took off on a South West plane to Orlando via Baltimore. Surprisingly, even though I have never had a stopover before and we were with a child, it all went very smoothly and the flights were both good!

Our rental car experience, we thought had gone smoothly (more details on that later) and we drove to our hotel in Kissimmee Florida. Our hotel was nice, nothing fancy and we marveled at how large and extravagant the gift shops around our hotel were. Trip advisor gave us the name of a Texas Roadhouse restaurant that gave rave reviews so we headed there for dinner and I can see why they had great feedback! I got the Pulled Pork Dinner and it came with TWO sides (I had corn and applesauce) and a bun – for $9.99! The food was hot and flavorful and I left very satisfied (and feeling very full). Kim asked for the ribs which were meaty and also looked delicious! After that we carried our full stomachs back to the hotel and around 7:30 we got antsy…what to do…

lets do Cirque?


Let’s do Medieval Times?

That was the plan…but halfway there, Kim got another big idea.


Now, people please understand, Disney was not on our to-do list in Orlando…but when in Rome…

So we turned the car around and drove to Disney having no idea what we’d do once there or even how late it stayed open. We knew the parade and fireworks would be happening so we took a chance.

When we arrived we talked to the lady at the parking entrance and she ended up letting us park for free (who says you can’t get something for free nowadays?). We took a shuttle to the train and the train to the park…seriously whoever built Disney did not take into consideration the ease of getting into this park. It was an adventure (and about 30 minutes) before we arrived AT Disney.

That’s when we were told the harsh reality – if you are there at the start of the day, or with only an hour left you pay the same price – $105!!!! WHAT THE F@!# I nearly fell over…the park was closing in two and a half hours and all we wanted to see was Cinderella’s castle and the fireworks show – Walt you should be ashamed of yourself…making millions off idiot tourists like us…shame shame Walt, shame shame!

Turns out, the Castle wasn’t that exciting, it didn’t meet my childhood visions or my girly imagination. Also, Chase hated the loudness of the parade so we kind of just walked aimlessly around Disney until the Fireworks started…then we stood in line for 6 hours (really 30 minutes) to meet Mickey Mouse and took the forever route back to our car.

Disney was by all means, a disappointment and a place that my future kids most likely will never experience because I am not going to spend that much money for them to be mesmerized by things that aren’t that mesmerizing.

The next day we went to Sea World and Aquatica and those impressed me. I liked the shows, the rides were cool, the kid’s park was fun and Aquatica on its own was a blast for those big and small. I also went on my first waterside ever and it was a BLAST. A short ride, but super fun…if not for the long lines I would have gone again and again! This was an amusement park that I would go to again!

Saturday we headed out for the drive to Winterhaven and went to every child’s dreamland – LEGO LAND FLORIDA. With all the walking we had been doing, I was over exhausted and my feet and ankles wanted to cry. Another thing – these parks have almost NO smoking areas and I was losing it! It was hot and I needed a break so I sent Kim and her son off to play and ride and I sat in the nice air-conditioned restaurant and relaxed (and then found said smoking section). The park itself was cute and I can completely see why kids are enamored with it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea, so I’m happy that I struck out on my own to relax a little bit.

Sunday we did exactly what I consider a vacation – we drove to Clearwater Beach Florida and spent a few hours on the beach and in the ocean! Clearwater is BEAUTIFUL and I will 100% be back there to enjoy more of its white sand beaches and warm, soothing ocean. Unfortunately we had to get to the airport so we made the two-hour drive, only to realize as we dropped off our rental that they had only listed us as needing the car for two days and not for four days so we were overcharged for the two days late return. There was no point in arguing or complaining, at this point we agreed to eat the charge and be more careful next time. It was time to go home and both of us wanted to be in the air, taking off.

The vacation was amazing as always with one of my bff’s and her adorable kiddo and I am so glad I had this experience – but the next vacation *which should be February* – will be on a beach with all you can drink daiquiri’s and food included…I cannot wait!






Five things you learn from owning a dog

Simba and I have been together for a full year as of yesterday. It’s insane to think I have had this monster for 365 days! We have had our ups and downs (especially in the beginning), I have laughed and cried because of him, but through thick and thin I have learned a lot just from having him in my life. Shout out to Erin for trusting me to take on this responsibility because without him my life would be VERY different.

Here is a list in no particular order of the things I have learned from owning a dog:

  1. No one will EVER love me as much as he does.

Seriously, there is just so much love. Being by my side (or actually on my side) makes him the happiest dog in the world. His kisses come every day all day whether I feed him or walk him or play with him, he will always lick me…sometimes to the point where I feel my skin may actually start to fall off.

  1. A free dog isn’t free.

I agreed to take on Simba knowing I could financially afford to take him on. I had my inheritance that I was willing to tap into to give Simba the best life possible, however I wasn’t quite expecting the cost associated. Now, Simba attends daycare 3-4 days a week which is a huge expense and that is my choice so I am not even counting the $191 for every 5 visits…but Simba has had two major dental cleanings and extractions because he has horrible teeth and each visit was $1000+. He eats his weight (okay its only 17 pds) in food and treats…and dog food is NOT cheap. He loves to chase tennis balls and throw around toys and in order to keep him away from my beloved shoes or knickknacks I have spent up to $100+ on toys and blankets for him to use. Also, he came with balls – like male balls, not toy balls…I was not okay with this. He needed to be neutered because I just believe that all dogs and cats should be spayed or neutered – $125 later…plus the cost of the cone to keep him from licking his stitches. My “free dog” has cost me a small fortune…why haven’t I complained? Because Simba deserves a good life and he is a good dog and I want to make him happy. He is my family. He was adopted to have my last name…I will forever take care of him…even if I go broke trying.

  1. People like you more when you have a dog.

It’s true…people I have never talked to have come out of the woodwork on Facebook, twitter, instagram and even in my own neighborhood. At my cottage I was walking down the street and someone said “hi” and introduced themselves and I said I was “Nicole, the owner of Simba the cocker spaniel” They replied “Oh we know Simba, he is so cute…my daughter loves him!” Seriously…people know my dog before they know me? How does that even happen!!??  People are much more social when they know you have a dog – at least in my opinion

  1. Your priorities change when you have a dog.

My friends have cats and they come or go as they please. I don’t feel that same freedom and it doesn’t bother me. If I want to go away during the day, I will bring him to daycare to play and be taken out to pee or poop, but if I want to go away overnight I only have two choices…don’t go, or find someone to take care of him. My mom has been amazing and she watches him all the time for me, but if I can’t find someone to watch him or if I feel bad that he has started to become more of my moms dog than mine, I stay home. Pre-Simba I literally came and went whenever and wherever I wanted. Pittsburgh for a weekend – sure! Hop on a plane to Chicago to buy a wedding dress..lets go! Stay out all night watching movies with friends…not a problem. Now my life needs more planning, some things don’t happen…but I love Simba and any sacrifice I make it 100% worth it!

  1. A dog really is man’s best friend.

I’m a woman so this analogy doesn’t really work but I can honestly say that without Simba, this year would have been much more difficult for me. Between my dads passing, the ice storm with no power, moving, isolation, loneliness – it may have gotten the best of me. But I had to keep it together to walk, feed and take care of Simba. Also when I was on the brink of losing it, Simba would snuggle up to me, paw at me, lick me or act crazy which always makes me giggle. He doesn’t care if I’m fat or thin, rich or poor, happy or sad. He doesn’t care at all if I’m late or early, if I’ve got makeup on, if my socks match, if my clothes are clean or if my bed is made (actually he prefers it unmade cause he just rolls around it anyway). He’s just naturally good.  He is my best friend.  I never get sick of seeing him…ever.

Yes this past year has been hard and I have learned a lot about dogs and how to take care of them, but I have had constant support from friends who have given me advice, encouragement and support when I thought I’d lose the battle with him and it’s turned out to be a good year shielding the bad.  Thanks Simba YOU are loved.

Also a shout out to Mary who knew Simba would do better in a different home and was strong enough to give him away.  You are a wonderful woman for doing so!