Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tobacco Free: Day 1

I've had this filthy, disgusting habit for over half my life. I started smoking when I was 14, and now, sixteen years later, I'm ready to give it up for good.

Smoking has been more than a bad habit to me. It has been my friend when I was in need, my crutch when I needed something to lean on, my calming agent when I was beyond stressed. I'm not sure what I'll turn to in times of need in the future, but I know that I don't want it to be smoking.

So what made me change my mind after 16 years? I know it's bad for me, and my 9 year old son is quick to remind me of that. My husband gags if I smoke in the car. My clothes stink. I can't taste food anymore.

I've tried to quit cold turkey in the past, but it didn't go well. I've tried the patch, but it gave me chest pains. I like gum, but nothing minty, so I never bothered trying that. This time around, I'm trying Chantix. I got the prescription filled a few weeks ago, but knew that I wanted to get through Thanksgiving with my favorite crutch - holidays are pretty stressful after all. I have to admit, it's working. Today is my first day tobacco free (you take the medication for seven days, and quit smoking on the 8th). I don't find myself craving a cigarette, and the smell of smoke makes me nauseous.

My family is thrilled and supportive of my decision - and they're giving me plenty of space today. I'm cranky, but at least I'm tobacco free! I'll be sure to update on my progress. Wish me luck! If you have stories about your battle to quit smoking, please share!

From My Family to Yours...

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Monday, November 24, 2008

etsyBloggers Featured Artist of November: Storybeader

The etsyBloggers Street Team features an artist on a monthly basis. This month, we are featuring Deb of Storybeader. Deb takes jewelry to a new level by creating a haiku for each piece of jewelry that she creates.

Please, take the time to check out her shop by clicking on any of the items below:

For more information on Deb and her beautiful jewelry, please visit her blog!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blog Carnival: Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is just around the corner - two weeks from today. Internally, I'm already panicking at the thought of concocting another stellar dessert recipe for my family gathering. In the past, I've played the part of hostess, but now that we are in a smaller home, we just don't have the room to accomodate our growing family. Instead, we'll trek over to my aunt's house and spend Thanksgiving with my mother's family. This is something we all look forward to. My Aunt Sharon and Uncle Pete are wonderful hosts. Their basement is the stuff that kids' dreams are made of - complete with an XBOX360, Playstation 3, Computer, Ping Pong table, Pool Table and even foosball (have I mentioned that Uncle Pete is a pretty big kid himself?!). Unbelievably, there's still room for the youngest kids to run around down there. Needless to say, nobody complains about spending the holidays at Pete and Sharon's!

My husband and I usually spend Thanksgiving morning together - nuzzled up with our coffee and my famous french toast (made with Hawaiian bread - so yummy!). In the early afternoon, we'll make our way to Michigan City and pick my son up from his dad's house. He'll be stuffed full of turkey and pumpkin pie by then, but he'll be anxiously awaiting our arrival so he can play with the rest of the kids in the basement. Upon arrival, I'll face the inquistion - everyone wants to know what I made for dessert. The men and kids will head to the basement while us women tend to the kitchen and catch up on family gossip. When the turkey is ready, Uncle Leon will take on the carving duties. After stuffing ourselves full of yummy dishes, we'll all retreat to the basement to make fun of each other while playing Rock Band and pool. A glass of wine or two later, we'll discuss where we'll be heading in the morning for Black Friday shopping. Feeling like overstuffed gluttons, we'll head home and get some early rest to prepare us for shopping in the morning.

Thanksgiving weekend is when we'll put up our Christmas tree. I've done real trees in the past, and never again! I hate the smell of pine and I hate the cleanup of needles and the incessant watering even more. Fake for me, please. Luckily, we purchased a fake tree last year - so it's just a matter of assembling the darn thing, slapping the ornaments up and admiring our handiwork. We'll celebrate with hot chocolate and the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas CD...

Can we get back to normal now?!

First off, can I just say that I am beyond happy that the election is over! I felt like a zombie sitting through all of the political ads - and since I live in NW Indiana and get Chicago stations, most of them were for people that I couldn't vote for anyways...

Things are starting to return to "normal" in the Human household. Tim has been released by his neurologist and family doctor to return to work. They're pretty amazed at his post-stroke recovery. Besides his MRI, he shows no signs of having suffered from a major stroke.

In the midst of all of his testing, it was discovered that he has PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale). While this is a fairly common congenital heart defect that affects about 25% of the population, it is also what allowed a blood clot to get to Tim's brain, causing the stroke. We have an appointment with a cardiologist (yay, another new doctor... sheesh) at the University of Chicago on November 18th and will then discuss whether the hole in Tim's heart is large enough to where he needs a device implanted to cover the hole, or if medication will be sufficient. Sounds like loads of fun, eh? He's understandably freaked out, but is otherwise doing just fine... We're hoping he'll be able to return to work next week under a restricted schedule (no more 16 hour days!!!).

I'm back in school after dropping my current class when Tim had his stroke. In February, I'll be caught up with my core group. I'm taking ENG140 - Communications I, which is probably why I haven't been posting much lately. I'm just truly sick of writing. It's one thing to do it for fun and to share my life with a bunch of strangers... but doing it because I have to... well, that just sucks the fun out of it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008