Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thing 8 - Day 13

Still going strong!!

(who ever said that 13 is unlucky?!?!?)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Official Ruling?

I've yet to see the Official 5 Things Rule Book, so I'm going to possibly bend (break?) a rule here... but I've decided that Thing 7 (Install chair rail & paint downstairs) is no longer on my immediate priority list. As is everything I do, it's complicated... I really, really want to get new kitchen countertops, and was planning to do it this Fall. But, I think I'm going to wait a while on that since I can't decide what kind I want anyway. Since my downstairs is so open and my dining room sort of wraps into my kitchen, I don't want to do the chair rail until after the countertops, so I can decide what height I want to put the chair rail. After all, I'd hate to have the chair rail be 1/2 inch higher than the countertops, right??

However, in the spirit of this same item, I'm going to replace OLD Thing 7 (Install chair rail & paint downstairs) with NEW Thing 7 - Install chair rail and paint daughter's room. Sounds more fun anyway, and a lot less complex in terms of cutting and angles and all that other good stuff. I'll master the art of the 45 degree angle on the chop saw, and then I'll venture to the downstairs. That's legal, right?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Things 8, 9 & 10

Update on Thing 8 - Be a non-smoker: It's been 3.5 days since my last cigarette, and I'm feeling very confident in my "non-smoker" status. It's still a struggle but I'm fighting through it, and I am SO proud of myself! As I mentioned in my last post, I'm leaving this one on the list for a while, until I'm sure I don't relapse. I don't plan to post regular updates on this one, except if I cheat. Assume that no news = still going strong!

Thing 9 - Finish 1 more quilt: DONE! (pictures below -- this mom picked a yellow Tigger fabric, and asked for yellow and orange to match) Of course, as promised, Thing 9 will be replaced by:

Thing 10 - Finish 1 more quilt! (I know, this one's getting pretty boring... only 3 more to go after Thing 10!)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thing 8 - Day 1

Today is Day 1 of Thing 8, Be a Non-Smoker.

So far, so good... though I'm only a few hours in, so not counting my chickens quite yet. So far, the meds have taken the edge off the headaches and other "stuff" associated with withdrawal, which is a good thing... I'm focusing on the "habit" part in the meantime. As in, this morning when I got in the car, I reached for one. (Good thing I don't actually have any!) And now, I'm hungry, so I'd normally go smoke (appetite suppressant) to tide me over for a few hours until lunch. Instead, I will eat chocolate, and not care that's it's before 10am, because at least it's not a cigarette.

Though I am SO anxious to cross this thing off my list, this is one that I really, truly have to earn... no half-assed cross off for me!! So, I will leave it on my list for 15 more weeks.... that's 11 more weeks on the meds, plus 4 more weeks (off the meds) of still being a Non-Smoker. That brings me to December 27.... can't think of a better Christmas gift to myself, or a better way to ring in the new year!

"Someone is either a smoker or a nonsmoker. There's no in-between. The trick is to find out which one you are, and be that. If you're a nonsmoker, you'll know." (Robin Williams in Dead Again)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thing 8 - The smell of smoke and dirty diapers

Day 4 of my medication, and I've graduated from 1 pill day (half strength) to 2 pills/day. I've had to start eating breakfast (this is new to me, I'm not an "eat before noon" person) so the meds will not upset my stomach, but I can live with that. (We'll add "weight loss" to the list once Thing 8 is done!)

This will sound strange to anyone who's never been a smoker, and will make perfect sense to anyone who is/was... but yesterday, for the first time in years, I actually smelled smoke on my clothes. I know, it's strange... but when you smoke, you just don't smell it. Not sure if it's that your nose really gets that messed up, or if you just get that used to it... but by the middle of yesterday, I was disgusted with myself and had to change my shirt. Gross? Yes. Progress? Yes!

Mind you, I get to keep smoking until Quit Day (Day 8 - this Friday). It takes the full 7 days to get the meds into my system. And then on Magic Quit Day, I increase the dosage again from 2 half-strength pills/day to 2 full-strength pills/day (blue ones, instead of white). Here's what I'm up against, and this is only one month's worth (out of 3)!

Oh... and yesterday, I actually smelled a dirty diaper. Gosh, those things stink! I suppose it's a drawback I can live with, though for at least a few more weeks, I may actually pretend (as my husband accuses me of anyway!) that I just can't smell them...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Thing 3 - Commentary

A friend of mine emailed me about the quilt I made for Thing 3 and asked me (with love!) why there were so many different, seemingly "random" pieces of fabric in the quilt. It occurs to me that to someone who doesn't know the story behind the quilts, it may appear that I just don't know how to match colors. Though that may be the case, actually, there is a story behind these quilts, which makes them anything but random....

When I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter at the end of 2002, I joined an online group (called a Due Date Club) at with other moms who were due in August 2003. We chatted about morning sickness, weight gain, all things pregnancy related, up to labor, delivery and birth stories. After the little ones were born (about 75 of them!), many of us had grown close enough that we decided to form our own group via MSN groups to stay in touch as the babies grew.

We're spread out across the US, Mexico and Canada, and most of us have never met. (I've been lucky enough to meet 5 of the other moms!) One of the moms had an idea to make these quilts, so we could share with out little ones the story of how us crazy moms met. The idea was simple: Each mom was to pick a fabric that "represented" their baby in some way. I picked a fabric with little lambs on it (since my daughter's name means "Little Lamb" in Hebrew). The Surrendered Scribe (a fellow 5 Thinger, also from my Mommy Group) chose a fabric with angels on it, to celebrate the angels who were with her and her little girl during a near-death experience when the baby was only a few months old. The mom & baby (now preschooler) that the Thing 3 Quilt is for chose a fabric with sports balls on it, since her son loved to play ball and seemed athletic. (She has a blog, too, here.)

All the moms sent their fabric to me, I cut it into squares, and each mom/baby gets a quilt that has fabric from all the other babies in it, with a focus on the fabric they chose for their own child. So yes... the fabrics may "look" random, but each one has a story, and each one represents a very special little girl or boy. Every one looks completely different. Of course, it's been 3 years since this project started, thus my overwhelming desire to finally get them all DONE already, and the reason The Quilt Thing will keep appearing on my list, over and over again, until that time comes!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Thing 3 - Done!

We now interrupt "The Steps of Thing 8" to interject an update on Thing 3 - Finish 1 more quilt. Drum roll, please.......

Yippee!!! Of course, as I mentioned in my original post when I put this on the list, this is quilt #12 or 13 out of 25, and I have at least 5 more to make (someone else is sewing some also, thank Heaven!). So, Thing 3 - Finish 1 more quilt will finally be crossed off the list, only to be replaced by Thing 9 - Finish 1 more quilt.....

Thing 8 - Step 3

Thing 8 - Step 3: Remortgage house to pay for The Pill.

Holy cow, $120.99 for the "starter month" kit. Holy cow! Did I mention, "Holy Cow"!?!?! That's 40 packs of smokes!! (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I'll recoup it from not buying smokes in the future, but for right now? Ouch!)

That said, though, today, I think, was a good progress day. I went to the doctor, who was more than happy to write the prescription even before I'd finished telling her all the reasons I needed it. I didn't even have to beg (yes, I was prepared to do that). The packaging is very complicated. I have a Master's Degree, but it is not in Physics, Engineering or Rocket Science, so I'm not sure I can figure it all out... but I've swallowed the first pill, along with a little prayer that it was the right pill.

I'm supposed to pick a quit date (Day 7 or Day 8), but can "smoke normally" until then. I'm just supposed to not want to smoke as much after a few days. After that, I'm supposed to keep taking these little pills for 11 more weeks, and can do a second 12 week treatment if it still hasn't worked. Yeah, let's pay $120.99/month for 3 more months, for something that doesn't work.

OK, cynicism aside.... Step 3 was to get/take The Pill, and I've done that. On to Step 4, whatever that is....

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thing 8 - Step 2

Clearly, I'm making this up as I go along. As I said in my last post, I have no idea how many steps Thing 8 (Be a Non Smoker) will entail and much as it kills me (yes, I'm a classic Type A), I'm actually trying very hard not to plan this out too far in advance... too much pressure! That said, I love making lists (thus the 5 Things blog to begin with), so here is Step 2, my quick list of reasons to quit smoking. I know there are a million more and I may add them later, but here are the ones off the top of my head, in no particular order. (Purpose of this list, by the way, is to remind myself later when my head is splitting and I can't remember exactly why I put this Thing on my list in the first place.)

1. I want to stop having nightmares about telling my little girls that I won't be around to watch them grow up.
2. I want to be around to watch my little girls grow up, and their kids, too.
3. I want to stop feeling "ugly" for being a nasty smoker.
4. I want to stop hearing the comments and getting "the look" when people I know learn that I smoke.
5. I want to taste food again.
6. I want my husband to stop telling me I'm only pretending that I can't smell the baby's diaper as an excuse to not change it. (Gross, I know... and it's not that I really want to smell the baby's diaper, but, well, you get the point....)
7. I want to stop spending $3.00+ / day on something that's literally going up in smoke.
8. I want to stop planning my schedule around "will I have time to smoke?"
9. I want to stop smelling like an ash tray.
10. I do not want my next x-ray to look like the picture on the right:

11. I want to chase my kids around without getting winded.
12. I want to be the person that I want to be. (Smoking is not on my "to be" list.)
13. I want to say that I did this, once and for all... and then, I'll know I can do anything.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Thing 8 - Step 1

Already this sounds like a 12-Step program. That's scary! No idea how many "steps" this Thing will entail (Be a Non Smoker).... I just know that this is the first one, which will (hopefully?) kick-start all the others.

I have smoked on an off (more on than off, admittedly) for over 13 years. Minus the 2 pregnancies, and a 5 month "quit" right before my wedding, I've been a pack-a-day smoker since I was 18 1/2 years old. I'm going to skip the guilt I feel about this, the stupid reasons I started in the first place, blah, blah, blah. What matters is that today I AM a smoker, and I really don't want to be one anymore.

I've tried just about everything... weaning off, cold turkey, the patch. Some things are less painful than others, but the end result is that I've always started again. This is the problem. Don't get me wrong.... quitting is VERY easy to do. I quit after every cigarette. The problem? Starting back up again is even easier, and so long as I'm starting one more time than I've quit... well, you do the math.

Let me say, for the record, that I am NOT a pill person. I don't like them, I don't take them, and the last thing on earth I want to do is actually rely on them. But I'm out of options.... and I'm going to get The Pill. There's a new medication on the market called Chantix, which is supposed to reduce your cravings to smoke. The side effects are mild, unlike other things like Welbutrin (which I've tried... stopped after 2 days because the nausea was unbearable). And much as I hate the idea that I even need this much help, I don't know what else to do. I know several people who have quit this way (plus my sister just started taking it, and says she noticed improvements in only 24 hours!). So.... I'm going to get me some of this stuff.

Problem? I don't have a doctor. Can't even remember the last time I went to a doctor for a checkup that wasn't related to a pregnancy. I really need a PCP, I've just been delaying it. But today, I took Step 1. I found a Primary Care Physician who is accepting new patients (not an easy task, mind you!) and made an appointment to see him on Friday. I wasn't expecting to be able to get in so soon for "just" a new patient checkup, but I suppose the stars are aligning and God is nudging me along....

So, on Friday morning (September 7) at 9:45am Eastern Time, I will go see the doctor and ask for a prescription. Step 1, underway. Now I have the rest of the week to read all the "stop smoking or die" articles my friends keep emailing to me (done with love, which I truly do appreciate, honestly... if you have others, please post a link in a comment to this post) and get myself psyched up for Step 2, which I'll figure out between now and Friday, I suppose!

If you could start sending the prayers and the "good luck" vibes now, I'd appreciate it... I'm gonna need as many of them as I can get!!