Every Sunday the family heads off for church in a flurry of snacks, dresses, searches for shoes and socks, and as they run out the door I ineffectually spray a water bottle into the air and throw a comb in the direction of the childrens' hair. As I hear the garage door go up and the van back out, almost without fail: I cry for a few seconds.

And the shame that follows is because I realize I am not crying because I am sorrowful about missing the spiritual enrichment and social support that comes from attending church - well, that's part of it-- but I am mostly crying because I have no control. And that I can't take care of my family.

Aside from feeling like I have a nasty, never-healing flu, the worst part of all of this is asking for help for ev.ry.thing. It makes me crazy. And not answering my childrens' cries, really, them not even calling for me anymore because they know I can't help them. Watching Hubs (or Grandmas, or babysitters) do everything is pure psychological warfare.

So, today, to cheer myself up I've been combing my old picture folders. It's therapy. I thought I would share some that never made it to the blog, that strike an emotional chord for different reasons.

Who knows, maybe you want to come to my little picture pity party?

S 14 mos

Cooke Monster 1 week old

Cookie 12 weeks:  "Daddy pops a spit bubble"

Samantha 16 mos:  No one wants a pine cone in their heinie

Cookie at 6 mos: Tub of Love

S 22 mos her "pretty smile"

S at 30 mos and Daddy playing "nosies"

This next one is graphic. Quickly scroll past it if you need. It is me being sewn up in a c-section.


I am including because I still cannot believe that I am going to do this again. I get weepy and nervous just looking at it. If you're into this kind of thing, the metal bar/hook is a retractor holding back my skin. Narsty.


Samantha 26 mos: We believe in baseball in this house

Cookie 5 mos: the cutest baby in the known world

Daddy captures Jane's first prayers in her "big girl bed"
Photobucket Photobucket

Samantha 2 years

Me and my siblings 2008

Sissy meets Cookie Monster for the first time

S 2 , C 4 months

This next shot reminds me of the series Julie did on her blog during the 18ish months before receiving the referral of her children from Ethiopia: "Would you place children with these people?"  There are my lovely in-laws.

Final shot: during my darkest hours over the last few weeks my "happy" place is the beach.  I love the beach more than any place in the world. Almost any beach will do. This picture makes me so happy.
It also affords a bit of comfort- see, Cookie is 10 months in this picture. It means in a year from the time this next baby is born I can heal. With some hard work I might look and feel normal. I got over Cookie's pregnancy and surgery. I can do it one more time. I think I can I think I can.

So now I leave you to go into this picture. To sand, sun and my happy little family.



Happy Birthday to my barely-bigger sissy Allie!

She has called me every day since I've been sick. A feat which really pales when you find out that she's pretty much called me every day for the past four years.

She is the best friend a girl could hope for, and it's a good thing we are sisters because we are so different I don't know if common interests would have brought us together --because we have almost no common interests. I am seriously trying to think of one.


Here is to eighteen years of sharing a bed, a room, socks, earrings, hair brushes, foundation, swim suits, purses, dresses, secrets, giggles.

And to fifty more of sharing triumphs, disappointments and laughs everyday.

Thanks for turning 31 before me. I owe ya one.



sick of the past yet?  i know it's a bit self-indulgent. here goes more.

i remember how stupidly desperate 10-13 year olds are to find ways to make fun of and alienate each other. it's a blood bath of "make fun or be made fun of." my maiden name was Guthrie. nothing too thrilling. yet the geniuses at vina danks middle school were able to make something out of nothing and insisted on calling me Steaky Guppy for three years. it didn't bother me that much then, because i was grateful they couldn't come up with something worse.

i remember how in 5th grade, despite all the odds, i was doing ok in the friend department. by this i mean, i was an outgoing girl and i wasn't being judged yet for not owning Doc Martin boots, which were to become the ultimate key to acceptance.

6th grade rolled around; this was the big leagues, and one day, out of the blue, Julie Aviles told me "you're not allowed to hang out with us anymore. i don't like you." i didn't know what she was saying. it didn't compute. i didn't know friends just stop being friends for no reason.

so i ignored her. a few days later it was her birthday and i had bought her the new Vanessa Williams single tape. i knew she'd love it.

outside of class, before first period, with a crowd of "in" girls at her back like a pack of snarling, mini-skirted she wolves, Julie unwrapped my widow's mite of a birthday gift and threw it to the ground and stomped on it. she looked me in the eye, didn't say a word and stalked away.

i remember the acceptable practice to address all concerns within this age was to write extensive (excessive?) notes. it is less confrontational. i wrote notes to several of the other girls asking if they understood what was going on. the general concensus was "we don't know, but we aren't sitting by you at lunch, either." no one was willing to stick their neck out for me. and thus, 6th-8th grade i had no "group" to hang out with at school. how and why did Julie Aviles decide that Steaky Guppy should remain friendless? who gave her power? i don't know. but somehow i didn't let it bother me too much. she was a cruel little bitch pathetic soul who probably had some big problems at home.

i survived. honestly, i did fine. i had an exploding obsession in literature, my violin playing was taking off and in the outside-of-school orchestras i had plenty of buddies. i babysat constantly and had five siblings. i was not lonely.

speaking of literature. i cannot talk about middle school without my story intertwining closely with my older sister Allie. she studied more than anyone i knew. she was also a bit of what was back in my day called a "kiss up." her teachers luuuuved her. and i was a year behind her, which meant that as she left a grade i entered it on her coat tails, desperately not wanting to be mistaken for the sister whom i resembled only by hair color and last name.

i had a serious chip on my shoulder about this issue. i might have had a little sass. ya know, just to make sure they knew i wasn't her. my teachers weren't always as big fans of me. but i did really well, probably to their chagrin at times, because Allie gave me an unknowing leg up in academics.

when she was learning the infamous multiplication tables, i learned them too, because it was easier to study with someone. while lying in our bunk beds at night, her feet dangling over the side, i would hold her flash cards and quiz her on history and science facts, and i am sorry to say i memorized it all far sooner than she did. i became convinced the way to study properly was to quiz someone else.

the subject this piggy-packing affected most was english. in sixth grade, i devored the entire curriculum of my own grade months before the class got to them, and so in sheer boredom had to move on to her syllabus as well. when i arrived on the first day of 7th grade english i realized the gravity of my mistake: i'd read all twelve books that were on the list for the class for the entire school year. every single one. i was going to perish. i should also mention here we did not have television at my house and books were my version of cable.

i took all the chuztpa i could muster and went to the guidance counselor, Ms. Whitfield, and told her my sad, sad story. and guess what? she actually bought it. i convinced this woman i didn't need to go to 7th grade english. she obtained a syllabus from the high school sophomore english class, let me pick from that, and for 4th period every day i went to her office and read. can you believe this?

it was a dream come true. i wrote papers on the books, which i am sure weren't very good. but at least i could skip The OutsidersWhere the Red Fern Grows and The Giver for the second time. i read Something Wicked This Way Comes, And Then There Were None, (both of which scared the holy you-know-what out of me) and Lord of the Flies all because i had the guts to make a teacher think i was something special. i commend that 12 year old version of me. how did i convince myself i could pull off a revolution like that? i might have learned it from my mother, who never takes no for an answer.

i remember my 7th grade history teacher, Mr. Allred, who had by far the worst comb-over i have ever seen to this day. his first name was Darvel. Darvel. but he read to us straight out of The Travels of Marco Polo in a history class, and for this gift i forgave him the hair choice.

i know i irritated him. he had Allie, my sister, the year before and she was an angel of hand raising and participation. i sat towards the back of the class, and giggled at the antics of other class jokesters. i aced every test and assignment though, because i read through our text book like it was a novel. i loved it.

once, though, he had me. he accused me of chewing the always verboten gum -which i was- and when i swallowed it and denied it, he made me march to the front of the class, breathe on his face so he could smell any gum residue and for that, i couldn't forgive him. it wasn't the accuasation, no.  it was making me put my face near his. it was so parental and disgusting.

i remember a friend named Anthony. he was a sweet kid, who didn't make fun of me. we never spent time together outside of school, but every time he passed by me in the hall we'd touch hands or share a smile.

we were the fastest runners in our P.E. class, and would race to complete the dreaded weekly required "Mile Run." i remember my best mile time that year was 6 minutes 40 seconds, because i was trying to keep up with him.

Anthony opened up to me about his mom not being around because she had a heroin problem. that was the first time in my life i knew i had it really good. it never had occured to me that some moms aren't home. because they are in jail for heroin possession.

somehow, despite never being a social standout, for the yearbook the 8th grade class voted me "Most Likely to Become an Author."

i didn't know i was on anyones' radar! maybe it was seeing me all those years with my nose in a book at lunch time? i was very surprised but pleased as punch. i had very unfortunate bangs and i still got votes. miracles do happen.

for your pleasure, i found this actual scanned year book picture on someone's facebook album titled "blast from the past." here is the reality of those 1994 bangs. read 'em and weep.

the funny ending of my middle school career goes like this: despite my lack of popularity i was chosen to give the speech at our 8th grade graduation. now that i think of it, i am pretty sure students didn't vote, i think my english teacher selected me. the spotlight however, might have shown the cool kids i wasn't so bad, and two days after school was over i received an invitation in the mail to Lizzy Gage's end of the year party.

this girl was probably the most beautiful, popular girl at school. the only time she'd ever spoken to me was to tease me in algebra for not listening to KROQ, (the local rock station with which i was not yet aquainted). she had perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect clothes. and somehow i made her list.

everyone -who was anyone- was going to be at this pool party, and i was psyched out of my mind. the day before the party i did what every sun worshipping Southern California girl would do when she had to be seen by members of the opposite sex in a swim suit: pour on the baby oil and lay out.

except, i fell asleep. for hours. in direct sun. i was burned so badly i couldn't walk properly. i blistered. i oozed. and i couldn't go to Lizzy's party. thus endeth my middle school years. i never saw most of those people ever again.

and ya know what, that's not so bad.



I hate to bring up a very unimportant, shallow topic, but my hair has been a serious issue for me personally the last few years. In particular, the last 5 weeks has exacerbated a problem. When you add up

dry, brittle, wavy/curly/frizzy hair +
the inability to shower properly and wash it thoroughly due to picc line +
horrible smell of unwashed hair +
laying on it day after day for five weeks =

Bob Marley's locs on the back of my head, except less cool and really ugly

I contemplated (seriously) shaving it, kinda like when a dog has been rescued off the streets but has mats in its fur so you can't groom it properly. It seemed the only course of action. I was really thinking, we are going to just have to shave it off and start from scratch.

It was a constant source of tears and nausea for me. Not to mention it took hours to try and comb it out and I didn't have the strength for it.

An intervention was held. I was convinced that going cue ball was not the answer. 
The awesome guy who normally cuts my hair (and half the women I know because he's so great) agreed to come over and remove the problem.

Internets: I have never cut my hair above my shoulders. Ever. This was a big deal.

It didn't take long looking through the pictures that my mom took to realize a few things.

1) She took more pictures of Ahmed than me. He's just a doll and we all have a crush on him.
2) I do look like I am going to keel over in a few of them. It's hilarious.
3) Short hair does not make me look better. BUT

I feel so free.

I've hated my hair beyond anything reasonable and against all maturity for the last few years. Every day of this pregnancy has made it worse. Now, it's gone. It's awesome. I don't care what I look like because I am free of an emotional burden I didn't realize I was carrying around, not to mention a badly matted, tangled mess.

Without further ado:







This is only half of it and I am so happy to throw it away: Photobucket



Grandma Jane dressed the kidlets so sweetly for church I thought- that's it. I'm sick of being a parasite lying here. We need the camera right now. Hiddeous and telling backround of my bedroom or not, pictures need to be taken and I'm the only one that can do it. It's ok if I spend the rest of the day in bed, um, I was going to do that anyway... So, here ya go world. A ridiculous amount of pictures of the Scoopy children.

Samantha was a great poser. Apparently all she needs is a prop. Why didn't I think of this a year ago?





Cookie Monster didn't do so badly either.





Let's try one together! Oh, look how sedate and well behaved you both seem.

Now, go ahead and let loose. Seriously. Be yourselves. Maybe sing a song together?



Of course, moments like this always end in wrestling. And our cat just refuses to move, no matter what is going on.

Thanks Grandma, for taking such good care of us.

And because all pictures of little boys and their Grandmas should have tears and a cat butt.




i might just give my misplaced kidney for a picture of Max.
not just any picture. the picture i have in my mind.

(side note, for years it was thought i only had one kidney. one perinatologist said during an ultrasound search for it "oh boy, we have got to get an intern in here so they can sweat it out trying to find this thing." as it turns out, it is in my pelvis, next to other anomolies like my bicornuate uterus and an also misplaced spleen. a different doctor said about this, "you're ugly on the inside.")

back to Max.

Max was a tiny, sweet elderly man who lived around the corner from our house when i was a child. he went on walks every evening probably because it wasn't too hot then. now that i think of it, this is why all my memories of Max are magical and lovely, because i think i only ever saw him in the photographer's glory of 5pm-in-the-summer light.

max wore a brown fedora, polyester pants, and often a cardigan. he had a wispy little mustache and walked ever so slowly, with a shiny wooden cane. he must have been about eighty.

his routine walk took him past our house, and at his snail's pace, it was easy to spot him coming and scream to our mother "Mom, Max is coming!"

then, my wise mother would send one or all of us out with a popsicle to offer to him, which he would accept, and three little children, my older sister, my younger brother, and myself would sidle up next to him on the concrete wall and in silence, we'd eat our popsicles.

i honestly don't know if i ever heard him say a word. i don't know if i ever really said anything to Max. but i am so grateful for a mother that saw a human who might be lonely, who might like some company, and who ushered us out the door to greet him with smiles and treats.

i have an image planted firmly in my brain. this is the image that makes me want a photo so badly. of my brother, who was a tiny little boy, sitting next to Max, who was also so small, both their backs hunched over the same way avoiding drips. at least, as well as a 3 year old and an 80 year old can. i can't see their faces.

just the magic light of evening adorning the backs of a little boy and an old man eating popsicles together.

i wish i could know if my mothers' efforts made Max happy.
even more, i wish to be as thoughtful as my mother, who fed us a steady diet of loving those who need extra love.

happy valentines day



sometimes lately my only company are memories. and that's a good thing because i ain't much to look at and i am not much for talking sometimes. reading and movies hold no allure, i can't focus that long and honestly, the stimulation makes me queasy.  so i lie in bed and remember.

i remember growing up in california; walking around my neighborhood in callused, barefooted glory.

me in 1986. Photobucket  (i complain FAR too much that only three sad years ago my hair stopped being this blonde and shiny. so i won't pause here a moment to mourn my lovely, never highlighted, blonde hair. *sigh*)

i remember popsicles every day. slip n' slides on our sloped front lawn and neighbor kids getting in on the fun.

i remember my best friend Dayna who lived across the street who made me laugh and laugh. she and i loved playing so much once we tried to use Elmer's Glue to make us inseparable. we had sleepovers, cut each others' hair, had a wild obsession with drawing clocks for about 2 years -why are kids so weird??- she was so much braver than i was, trying wild flips on the trampoline. i wanted to be like her.

i remember my sister and i pulling on our tap shoes or ballet shoes and flipping through the radio stations until one of our two favorite songs came on. are you ready for this? we must have been 5 and 6 years of age, and we couldn't rest until Part Time Lover by Stevie Wonder or Man Eater by Hall and Oates started playing then we would jog around in circles. we called them our "Jogging Songs." have a listen. you can't resist those beats.

i remember the wonderful carpet-like st. augustine grass of our yard. that lawn of the gods doesn't live in new england. i miss it. i actually never thought i'd see it again until last year when we were in Nassau and the grass all around our resort was st.augustine. i think andrew thought i was nuts because i got teary eyed when i saw it, it was so beautiful.

here's a picture featuring 10 month old Mark and the best grass on the planet:


i remember the time that i prayed in earnest for a puppy for months, and one day, i kid you not, three adorable german shepherd puppies magically appeared on our cul-de-sac and i realized that God was indeed aware of my 6-year-old self. the cosmic confusion i experienced when my parents found homes for all the puppies is somewhat rectified.

i remember a house we lived in that was three bedrooms, no family room, 1200 square feet, god bless my mother, and we had eight people living in it.  we called it "the bonnie brae house" because that was the name of the street. we moved several times in my growing years and i don't know how my parents always managed to find perfect, quiet little streets for us.

the kitchen boasted grey linoleum on the floor, a pink oven, orange countertops, green fridge. it was a decorating nightmare, but the back and front yards were massive. and when you grow up near LA and can be outside year-round, a big back yard is better than a big house.

i remember the time the dews of heaven distilled upon us as an honest-to-gosh ice cream truck actually broke down smack dab in front of the bonnie brae house and the poor driver unloaded EVERYTHING to us and our neighbors. we had about six icecream sandwiches a day for the entire summer.

i remember as a child entering pre-teenagehood the most humbling experience i ever went through was when our family needed supplemental income money so much we took on a paper route. for those of you who have done it, you know it's not a magical experience like a boy in the 1960s on a bike with a shoulder satchel and kind, robe-wearing neighbors waving. no no. no. 

it's a dirty, nasty nightmare. 

i will say this quickly: there is no shame in ANY kind of honest work, whether it's a job at a fast food place, a paper route, etc. this was just a difficult experience for me personally.

my parents had to haul several highly disgruntled kids out of bed at 3am to go "stuff" papers in a filthy warehouse in a sorta scary part of town with other people who were also in need of the meagre pay.

this is how it went: you stood in front of a table stacked high with pages of newsprint. you hurry as quickly as you can assemling the papers; you can't miss the "inserts" and junk mail. and you have to put a certain amount in the plastic sleeves because some people have early morning automatic sprinklers and they need their paper protected.

no one talks. strangers not united by the shared experience remain focused on the task at hand, and the rustle of pages, the snap of rubber bands and a radio playing fuzzy mariachi or peabo bryson accompanies fast and furious fingers. with a paper route, it's a race of speed and accuracy and every bit of both count.

once you're done stuffing you tackle "the route." you wander up streets, and down, little kids with pathetic, tired arms throwing papers at houses.  factoid: did you know that some folks will call the paper and complain if their paper isn't in the exact right spot everyday? and the paper will take every complaint out of your check? so, if you throw a little wide, you lose time, you have to get out of the car, go fix it, get chased by dogs, trip and fall trying to get back into the moving van. it's a race against the clock, because for every paper delivered after a certain time, you don't make any money on it.

apartment complexes are the worst. finding 436b out of a thousand or so doors can take twenty minutes. and it's almost day light and you still have 50 papers left to deliver.

oh how i hated touching the papers. i hated how my fingers turned black from the ink. most of all i was terrified we were delivering a paper to a house of someone at my school. i was horrified that someone would find out.

i loathed the people who wanted their plastic-sleeve-stuffed paper placed parallel to their doormat up a huge walk that was 80 feet from the street and had their sprinklers going on the front lawn. if you're one of those people who want your newspaper hand delivered by a gloved butler, get real. have mercy on the poor family and just let them throw the paper onto your sidewalk ok? will it kill you to walk a few feet? don't make them get out of the car for pete's sake...

one time (it might have been the last time) we were stuck searching for some apartments in a complex that was so massive it might as well have been the bermuda triangle.  it was getting light outside and we knew we were going to get so many complains about late papers that we were losing money each paper we delivered at this point, but we had to keep going. my mom and i waited in the van while my sister tackled some doors.

then, the morning went from inconvenient to frightening:  two shady characters walked up the street. slinking guys in black trench coats out all night, still up at 5am with greasy pony tails and concealed hands and gigantic neon signs over their heads flashing UP TO NO GOOD.  they slowed as they neared our van. i began to cry. they started harassing my mom. i begged her to drive away, please please drive away -but my sister was still in that bloody maze of an apartment complex somewhere, with no idea i was ready to sacrifice her life for my own. (sorry, Al.)

my mom calmly said "Please go away. I am going to start laying on this horn now." and boy did she ever. she woke up the entire inland valley blaring on that horn trying to make the creepy guys go away.

know what?  they did. they didn't pull out whatever was in their trenchcoats. i'd like to think there were some guardian angels ushering them away against their wills.

when my sis ran back to the van she said "was that you guys honking? i was trying to hurry..." i couldn't answer. i was still sobbing.

i honor my father and mother for doing everything they could to make ends meet. to pay for my violin lessons, and my sister's flute lessons, and my brothers' trumpet and clarinet lessons, and YMCA soccer teams, the fieldtrips.  they were unstoppable and found a way to give us great experiences. they were amazing.

to be continued...



I have no cute pictures of the kids. No reports of fun adventures. This blog is going to be seriously seriously boring for awhile.

My days are all the same.  I get up and it all starts over again.  On the upside, my PICC line seems to be working better than the peripheral IVs. Nurses come every few days to change the dressing. I push my own meds, I have 900 plastic syringes around the house, and conversations like this:

me: so, before I hook up the hydration to the PICC line, do I flush with 5mL saline and heparin, or just saline?

nurse: no, just saline, but after you do the slow push of zofran and after hydration, you flush with saline AND 3 to 5mL heparin and do it pulsating, don't forget to clamp the line.

it's not hard, it's just mundane.

A few folks have asked what a PICC line is, so here is a little diagram: I have a spaghetti noodle sized plastic tube about 12 inches long that runs from a vein in the middle of my bicep and rests near my heart. Through it I pump a liter of a watery version of gatorade every night and medication to help me not throw up several times a day. It works 75% of the time which is great. It doesn't take away the nausea, or give me any energy, but much of the time I can keep down my tiny meals.

If I need any lab work or if my doctor decides I am not eating enough, they can get blood from, and put calories into me through this tube. So far the only down sides are the beeping of the IV pump in the middle of the night, keeping it dry while showering -which requires a whole lot of plastic and tape and luck- and some heart palpitations that may mean I need to have the PICC pulled out a little.

I don't go anywhere, I don't do anything.

I miss being a human. I miss being able to hug my kids or my husband.  The smell of other people makes it really hard to be close to anyone, even the smell of soap, even mild Johnsons baby soap makes me sick.

I miss the world. I miss my family. I miss friends. I miss contributing to the world.

I freaking hate asking my family members to fetch me things because I can't do anything for myself except sleep and pee. I hate saying "Could you please toast the bread a little more this time, it was a little soggy before."  I feel like a snob at a restaurant, sending back the cranberry juice because it was a Cran Raspberry mix and my stomach turns at the smell.

My mom forgives easily, and is quite brilliant: she brought in the kids' doll house and dollies into my bedroom so I can listen to them play while I lie in bed. It's wonderful. They are such troopers. 

This whole Mom No Longer Can Take Care of Us In Any Way thing has been really hard on Samantha girl.  My only hope and prayer is that neither child will remember this time.

They both have sat next to me on my bed while I vomited, while I was stuck with a new IV line, while I hook up my meds - to be honest, they have much stiffer spines than their Dad, who isn't able to handle much in the "medical" arena.

I will survive. Others have it worse, I know that.

I know that.

I love getting up to the computer once or twice a week to look at your blogs. I love seeing that life and the world still exist out there. I look forward to being apart of it again some day. And not boring the universe with lame blog posts with no pictures. I know that graphic up there doesn't count.



If I could bottle up some of my crazy pregnancy hormones and sell them, we'd really be on to something here for weight loss. I could make a fortune!

Here is what will happen with your new diet plan:

You inject the hormone. 24 hours later, you start to wish food has never been invented. The smell, the sight, the description, the taste, the mere idea of any kind of food whatsoever is disgusting. You can't even watch TV because commercials show foods from places that obviously want you dead, like Long John Silvers, or TGI Barfys.

The pleasure you once had in tasting food is gone; smells of things that are normally lovely, like cake, oranges, baking lasagna, you name it, it makes you want to gag. (I just had to leave to be sick for typing out those food items.)

The acts of chewing and swallowing are not pleasant. You attack tiny portions of near tasteless and odorless foods -which of course all are low calorie, like bread, apple slices, an occasional cracker, maybe some cheese- with grim determination because you know you have to eat, but you simply have lost your ability to enjoy it.

You live in a suspended state of that uniquely awful feeling you have about three minutes before you are going to vomit. You know that feeling. You remember it from the last time you had food poisoning or the flu. Sometimes you do vomit, sometimes you don't. But you always feel like you're going to vomit.

The best part of this diet plan is that everyone in your home is affected, because the smell of all foods is so disgusting to you that no one else is allowed to eat either! So really, if your entire household is in need of controlling their eating, only one of you has to be injected! Everyone suffers/benefits!

There are downsides of course. If you are burning any calories whatsoever, you're going to be hungry all the time, which is a really hard feeling to reconcile yourself to when the concept of feeding that hunger makes you want to stab your eyes out.  Thus, despite all your wishes, you have to eat like five times a day, which really is what nutritionists tell you you should do anyway. Several small meals a day, instead of two or three big ones.  A meal can consist of things like:
half a clementine and three tortilla chips
Or four grapes and a half piece of toast
A handful of crackers and one bite of an apple slice

Absolutely under no circumstances can you stand anything like meat, or onions, or anything cooked within 50 feet of your person. You cannot go into or near restaurants. Or any establishment that prepares or sells food. Like a mall is totally out. Or Target because they have that food court that contains frightening food-like items that would cause you to pass out.

This diet plan also works for out of control spending. You won't be able to go anywhere so it's much easier to curb unnecessary shopping. Your gas bill will go way down!

Really, it only takes a week or two on this diet plan to appreciate healthy, normal, balanced eating. You will vow (when it's over) to awake every day with a sense of gratitude for the great gift of good health and take care of your body. You'll want to eat well, exercise well. The sky will be bluer, the grass will be greener. You'll promise never to abuse your precious body again.

And you'll be thrilled for the injection to wear off after a few weeks, a few pounds trimmer, a new resolve in your heart.  *Nothing to it.

*Disclaimer: There is one small danger of the Scooping it Up Diet Plan. If you are on the hormone too long your body can go into a scary mode. This is bad. Your body starts thinking "Holy hell, she's starving!" and starts hanging on to every calorie you eat. So whenever you do start eating normally, your metabolism is all messed up and you gain weight at rates you thought were humanly impossible. The stretch marks from your rapid gaining will never go away, but within a few months, your body will figure it out. Do not go on the hormone for more than a month. Unless you're me, and there's nothing you can do about it but wait.

For my part, I will be on the diet plan a few more months. Technically, I didn't need to lose any weight at the start but hey, that's life.  I told Hubs that all the mulah we save on me not eating and not going out on dates for the next 8 months is going into a special fund:

A Go to New York and go to Freaking Amazing Restaurant(s) When This is All Over Fund.  Anyone who has been to NY and has recommendations I am accepting them now. I can't go to their websites and see pictures or descriptions of the food, no. That will make it so I can't keep down my dinner of 3 tablespoons of cottage cheese and sip of juice.

But I will someday.

A girl's gotta dream. Help me out.