Just Like Goober

A working suburban mom, a curious baby boy, and a whole lotta life

I’m a survivor March 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 8:49 am
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Despite Goober coming into our lives almost two(!) years ago, there are still constant initiations into this whole parenting gig. New experiences, first times that make me feel like I’m still just playing pretend with this whole Grown Up Mother role. This week was definitely one of the more trying of those times. Monday morning Hubby and I woke up to a crib full of toddler barf. Let me tell you, nothing will wake you up faster than your 1 year playing in his own puke. Lovely. Hubby cleaned up the kiddo while I changed sheets and started laundry. Once he was all spic and span, Goober acted like there was nothing wrong. He ran around the house like his usual self, getting into trouble and everything pointed to him being perfectly fine. As newbies, Hubby and I just figured maybe he ate something funny and he was fine now. I went off to work, unaware that the week from hell was ahead of us.

The rest of the day Hubby dealt with our barfing baby boy, along with some diapers that could realistically be used as biological weapons. I came home early to accompany them to the pediatrician who lovingly told us there’s nothing we could do for him, except wait it out, and that these stomach flu bugs were going around. Monday evening consisted of me taking the lead on cleaning up two more pukefests and the sanitation of some very befouled stuffed animals.

Tuesday morning I went in to work late after trying to catch up on the sleep I missed the night before. I felt…off. I tried to convince myself that it was just the sleep deprivation that was causing it, but after eating lunch, there was no denying that I had caught the bug. I went home where I stayed in the fetal position for about 18 hours. It was pretty tortuous. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t really drink anything, and I couldn’t see my baby. I sent Hubby over to his parent’s house with Goober, because if Goober saw me, he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t jump on me, why I couldn’t get up and play with him.

Wednesday morning I woke up feeling significantly better than the day before. Sure, I was crazy dehydrated and hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before, but compared to what I felt the night before, I was in great shape. I went to work, only to go downhill as the day progressed. Dizzy, lethargic, and overall just felt crummy. Once again, I came home midday and went to bed. Luckily Goober was still at his grandma’s, so I didn’t have to hide from him. A 3.5 hour nap later, I was good as new. I stayed in bed reading, but I felt pretty much fine. Hubby and Goober came home, I got to play with Goober before he had to go to bed, which felt amazing after being separated from him for over a day. Right after he went to bed though, I started feeling crummy again and now Hubby felt bad too. The Bug of Doom strikes again!

It’s now Thursday morning. I am still at home because Hubby feels like crap. Luckily my parents are coming to pick up Goober around 10 so that I can go to work. I feel pretty great, but after all the feel-great-fakeouts the last couple days, I’m still skeptical that I’m over this nastiness. On the upside, I feel like I’ve been through an initiation process. A parental hazing of sorts. I’ve gone through our first toddler barfing (completely different than infant puke!), plus experienced consecutively sick family members, and lived to see the other side of all of it. I’m expecting the appropriate merit badges to arrive any day now.


Week 2 March 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 12:00 pm
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1.1 pounds. That is what I lost this week. 1.1 pounds. I’m of two minds about this.

First, my logical side:

  • Hey, it’s a loss! Yay losing weight!
  • On Biggest Loser, the 2nd week is always the worst.
  • The water weight from the first week’s loss isn’t there to pad this number, this is all real fat leaving my body.
  • The program says losing between 0.5 and 2 pounds per week is a healthy range, this is healthy, losing too fast isn’t good for your body.
  • At least my skin elasticity will be able to keep up.

Now for my gut reaction:

  • 1.1 pounds?? What the F*@%??
  • I haven’t even been consuming all my points per day! It’s a lot of points, and I’ve been staying below, so I should be losing even MORE than 2lbs per week!
  • Is this because I splurged at Mom’s Night Out?
  • That’s bullshit, I didn’t even use all my weekly bonus points!
  • Am I not eating ENOUGH? I’ve heard if you don’t eat enough, you’re body can go into starvation mode and hoard calories.
  • That’s bullshit, I’m not even hungry. I eat when I’m hungry.
  • Is this because I’m not exercising?
  • That’s bullshit, I should be able to lose some weight with food changes. I’m not ready to add another thing to my to-do list.
  • Is this because of the one night we went to Chick-fil-a?
  • That’s bullshit, I didn’t even eat the fries. I DIDN’T EAT THE FRIES!!!

Soooo…yeah. I’m working on it. After weighing in, part of me wanted to run to Bread Company (Panera for those of you outside of St. Louis) and get a nice, yummy bagel breakfast sandwich. To hell with these points, they’re not working anyway. But I didn’t. I had my Kashi cereal and skim milk and I planned my lunch out today. I’m doing this. I’m working this program, I’m changing my eating habits for good. I tell myself that next week will be better. My body will give in to these changes and start shedding the weight. I’m 3 pounds away from my first goal (5% of my starting weight). I might make that goal next week or maybe the week after, but I’m not giving up.


1 Week February 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 8:37 am
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Fridays are my weigh in days, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing these little weight updates here every Friday. I need to hold myself accountable, and the only way I know how to do that is to publish this little journey of mine. I want to document it all- good, bad, and ugly. I’m trying to make a life change here, not just lose some weight, and I need to keep that in mind. Also, I would love your feedback, tips, tricks, and if you have some “I’ve been there” stories, I’d love to hear them.

So to kick off this Week 1 update, here are the stats:

Week 1 starting weight: 234.3

Week 2 starting weight: 226.7

Week 1 progress: Down 7.6lbs! Woo WOO! [insert happy dance here]

I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself. Being through this before, I know that a lot of Week 1 weight loss is water weight (70% of Americans are chronically dehydrated), but I also made some really great choices. I ate a lot more fruit and veggies. I stayed at or below my daily point allowance every day; I didn’t use any of my weekly point allowance. Not to say that I plan on staying this strict, but for my first week I wanted to make a big improvement. I want to start good habits and I think the best way to do that is to go full throttle for a little while. That being said, I do have a Mom’s Night Out this weekend, so I will using some of those for that for sure.

I also gave up soda the entire week and I steered mostly clear of coffee and caffeine. I want to see if my chronic consumption of caffeine and sugar substitutes have been adding to my “hunger” and constant snacking. I need to do this a little longer, but I have definitely seen an improvement in my energy. Another thing was that I ate out a lot less. And while perfect eating wasn’t always available, I did notice that when I ate something really bad for me, like cheap delivery pizza or a McChicken from McDonalds, my digestive tract was, ahem, less than pleased. Definitely not worth it.

What I didn’t really do this week is exercise, and I did that on purpose. While exercise is very good and very necessary to the healthy lifestyle I’m striving towards, I want to get my eating under control first. I want to learn good eating habits and get used to making better food choices before I add in exercise, which will inevitably increase my hunger.

Overall, I say this was a great week. So what did you do this week that you feel great about?


Hitting the wall February 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 3:11 pm
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Have you ever hit a wall? Not literally (although I’ve done that too), but rather come to a point when life smacks you across the face and says, “What the hell are you doing?” I think we all have experienced this, most of us multiple times. I can think of several times this has happened to me, usually for different stuff, but there are certain subjects that require me hitting the wall repetitively. The biggest, for me, is my weight.

A little history: There is no time in my memory where I haven’t felt Big. As a kid, it wasn’t because I was heavy, but because I was taller than everyone else my age. I think, in the beginning, I liked it, being taller than everyone else, but somewhere along the way I got the idea that Big was not good. Girls were supposed to be petite, delicate, whatever. I haven’t the foggiest idea where this notion came from, but it’s there anyway. Even though I’m an educated modern 21st century woman with liberal and feminist beliefs, there is still a little nag in the back of my head that tells me not to wear heels that make me taller than my husband. It’s annoying.

Anyway, I already felt Big going into puberty (sidenote: can we all agree that we hate this word?), so once that took effect, it turns out (of course) that I don’t have my mother’s natural lithe physique that graced her and her sisters. Nope, I’m built like my Aunt Mary (damn namesake), complete with thick arms and a thick waist and topping out at 5’ 10”. I wasn’t fat yet, but like most adolescent girls, I thought I was. I slowly, but steadily, gained weight all through high school and into college. For reference, at 15 I was 152lbs. By my sophomore year in college I weighed in at 179. Which was when I started Weight Watchers for the first time (Hello Wall #1). I did the online program, I worked out daily and I got down to a very nice 161 before summer hit. And I quit Weight Watchers.

I started dating Hubby in 2005 and we eventually (I don’t actually remember when) decided to do Weight Watchers together, this time with meetings (Wall #2). I went from 191 down to 176 before we couldn’t afford it anymore and we quit. Hubby actually lost almost 50lbs doing Weight Watchers and he was much slower to gain it back than I was.

Here’s where the numbers start to get ugly. When we got engaged (2006) I was around 180 and wedding planning caused me to actually gain weight and I got married (2007) at 190lbs. At my first prenatal appointment with Goober I was charted weighing a whopping 215lbs. I gained 40lbs during pregnancy, mostly baby and water, and lost it all plus two pounds by my six week post partum appointment. During the height of breastfeeding I believe I got as low as 206 pounds.

But then a whole lot of life happened. My husband lost his job. My son quit sleeping for several months. We dealt with several major life and health crises. One thing after another after another. And since my go to coping device is food, the pounds packed on and the clothes stopped fitting. Now I really was BIG. Hubby and I talked a couple times about our weight issues. He has offered many suggestions over the past few months for gyms and diets and weight loss programs. I’m a funny creature though. I need to get there on my own, I need to hit my Wall.

Last Thursday night, I hit that wall (Wall #3). I’m not even sure what it was that tipped me over the edge, but I was done being fat. Friday morning I weighed myself for the first time in AWHILE. I am 234 lbs. That is not a number I ever thought I would see. Heck, I never believed I would get over the 200 mark, but now I’m 34 pounds past that. Friday morning, I joined Weight Watchers Online.

So far it hasn’t been hard. I haven’t wanted to eat crap. I’m liking the new points system that gives me fruit for free. This weekend and week I’ve already started to notice more energy in myself, more getting things accomplished, less sitting on my ever widening ass. I’m ready to start dropping the weight, to start fitting into old clothes again. I’m looking forward to sticking with it. I’m hoping to inspire my Hubby to make similar changes. I’m ready to feel pretty and sexy again. I’m just ready.

For the record, Weight Watchers does not know me and they haven’t provided me anything for mentioning them. Although I’d appreciate a free membership if they were to offer. Also, I’ll take some tickets to whatever Jennifer Hudson is in next. Thanks!


a Meme! February 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 11:56 am
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Just when I was deciding that thinking of something to write about today was too hard, Meredith went and made it all easy for me. So here is a bunch of stuff you may or may not know about me and probably don’t care about. FUN!

Age – 29 for another 8+ months. I don’t want to talk about what happens in October.

Bed size – Queen. Hubby and I really want a king, but since we just bought our first bedroom set a year ago, complete with a queen sized headboard and footboard (is that what you call it?), I’m reluctant to switch it already. 

Chore you hate – Folding laundry and doing dishes. Generally chores that are frequently repetitive drive me insane. I feel unaccomplished when it’s something I’m going to have to do again in the next 24 hours or less.

Dogs – Sophie is an 80 pound Golden Lab/Great Pyrenees mix who thinks she’s a person. She sleeps in our bed, she stands on the couch, she frequently helps herself to any food on the stove or table. Basically, she owns this joint.

Essential to start your day – Preferably coffee, but I’m pretty flexible. Generally I just need 5 minutes to change my underwear and put my hair in a ponytail and I can be good to go.

Favorite color – In theory, purple, but it never seems to make its way into my wardrobe or decorating. If you were to deduce this by frequency of use, you would conclude that blue would be my favorite. I like blue a lot and I think it’s my favorite to use because it’s a safe color. But I really like purple. 

Gold or Silver – I always tell people I’m allergic to gold because I hate it so much. Definitely silver; the color, not the metal. I very much enjoy white gold, platinum, silver, brushed nickel, stainless steel…you get the idea. If you try to make me use brass in my house, you will be shown the door.

Height – 5’10".  I despise being tall.  I’ve always been very self conscious of my height. Let’s not talk about it anymore.

Instruments you play – None. I tried the flute in 5th grade, but I failed after I spent 2 weeks out sick with bronchitis at the exact time the band was learning the songs for the Christmas concert. Oh well.

Job title – Administrative Secretary, which really downplays the fact that I have a BA in Psychology and am 6 credit hours away from a MA in Student Personnel Administration.

Kids – Duh.

Live – The Lou. That’s St. Louis, Missouri, not a British bathroom. Born and raised, only left during college. Pretty sure I’ll always be here.

Mother’s Name – Momma. 

Nicknames – My parents thought it was a good idea to name me Mary after my TWO aunts, and then my dad went and remarried another Mary, so I generally go by Mary Therese (mom’s family) or Little Mary (dad’s family) or Merrsidotes (stepmom). Hubby calls me Mare Bear. Sister calls me Sissy. And out of left field, Cheryl and her family call me Mookie because her dad is crazy in the best ways.

Overnight hospital stays – Three so far. The first was when I was born. The second was for a kidney issue I had when I was two. The third was when Goober was born.  

Pet peeves – Bad grammar (potentially hypocritical). Bad spelling. Excessive shorthand in digital media (i.e. I don’t care if you occasionally substitute “u” for “you”, but when you start leaving out all punctuation and several verbs, I will ignore your messages.) Running late, both me and other people.

Quote from a movie – ??? I don’t do quotes. That requires a level of memory I don’t possess.

Right or left handed – Right.  Unless I’m doing a cartweel.

Siblings – One sister who is 12 years my junior. She’s in high school right now and it’s equal parts annoying and amusing.

Underwear – Always. Enough said.

Vegetables you hate – Spinach if it’s not submersed in something else. Then I like it. Umm…iceberg lettuce. Parsley- I think it tastes like grass. Green beans, unless they are haricot vert. I like them thin and whole and cooked in fat. Mmmm…fat.

What makes you run late – Usually Hubby. I love him, but he is always guilty of underestimating how long it will take to get out the door and how much actually needs to be done.

X-rays you’ve had – The only one I can think of was when I fell off an extra tall flip flop (no, really!) and thought I broke my foot (just sprained). I was 25, in case you were wondering.

Yummy food that you make – Anything with a recipe I can follow. I am a reasonably good cook, but I need a recipe. If  it’s a good recipe, I can turn it into good food.  

Zoo animal – Elephants are awesome, but they smell a bit. I really like the sea lions, they remind me of dogs (friendly, playful, a little mischievous). Oh, and prairie dogs! Not really sure if they have them outside of Missouri, but prairie dogs are AWESOME!


honoring Susan February 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 10:07 am

Yesterday the blogosphere lost a champion. Susan Nieber, also known as WhyMommy, was many things: a scientist, a wife, a mother to two little boys, and a crusader. She also had cancer. Five years ago she was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer and yesterday it took her life.

I didn’t know Susan. I had only in recent months found her Twitter page and her blog. Yet her life and her work still have made an impact on me, a perfect stranger. That was her goal, to spread the word about this horrible disease, to advocate for IBC research, and to help other women avoid this fate. She succeeded.

I want to honor her today, and the only way I know how is to help her to continue to spread her message. Below I am reposting a post she wrote in 2007 about Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Read it, link to it, send it on to the women in your life. Don’t let her fight and her message end with her death.

Inflammatory breast cancer

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.


P.S. Feel free to steal this post too.  I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked.  Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care.  But I want the word to get out.  I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis?  Is it a rash?  Am I overreacting?  This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.

Thank you.


Inquiring Minds want to know February 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 1:46 pm
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I need some input from the peanut gallery on a few things

  • Breakfast: I am a full time working mom of a toddler who also does double duty as an alarm clock (the toddler, not me.) So I wake up whenever he does and I often choose between showering and eating. This is a problem around 9:30 or 10 at work when I’m slamming my debit card down for a lot of unnecessary calories because it’s easy. Also, I’m not always hungry before I leave for work. I’ve tried bringing cereal and milk to work, but I need protein in the morning. So I need some tried and true ideas that will work around this conundrum. What do you eat for breakfast during the week?


  • Dinner: I’m pretty sure I’ve posed this here, but I would love some good crockpot suggestions. I need food waiting to go when I get home, especially on the nights I have class and I don’t want Hubby taking Goober to McDonalds AGAIN. Any unique, yummy, perhaps healthy slow cooker recipes?


  • Exercise: I would LOVE to hear from a full time working mother of a toddler about when and how they work out! SOMEONE must have the secret to exercising in a way that isn’t boring (Hello treadmill!) and doesn’t fall during dinner time (Zumba, how I covet thee!) and doesn’t require me picking up a second job to pay for it (EVERYTHING ELSE!) What has you saying, “God, I can’t wait to do that tomorrow!!”

For your assistance, I will pay you in cute pictures

Are the answers in here???