Once Upon a Fat Girl

Monday, July 31, 2006


I went to the Y today--thirty minutes on the bike at a level-5 random hills. I think I'm going for level six next time.

I didn't do as well with eating. I had a mini-binge on granola bars. Granola bars for god's sake. The problem was letting myself get too hungry. Gotta remember not to do that.

I'm seriously considering skipping TOPS tomorrow. According to the scale at the Y I've gained...for the first time since May 1.

I am not letting this bother me. I AM NOT.

Did you believe me??


Whoo...what a weekend!

First of all--I didn't realize it was possible to miss someone as much as I missed Ruby. By Sunday afternoon I had gone from noticing other babies with big brown eyes and dark curls, to saying things to myself like "hmmm...thats what Ruby would look like if she was a 15-year-old boy."

We had so much fun, though! Oooh I love Disneyland :) Also, clearly we have been sleep deprived. On Friday night we went back to the hotel after the fireworks...and slept from 11 p.m. until 9:30 a.m. On Saturday night we decided to go back to the hotel at 7 p.m. for a rest, and then go back for the parades and fireworks. We fell asleep at 7:30 and woke up at 7:30 the next morning! I have not slept twelve hours...ever.

Anyway--I did pretty well, eating wise. Kevin and I shared meals almost the entire weekend. Like splitting an order, rather than each having our own. And, of course, I walked a TON. I did eat more calories than normal...especially with snacks. But, I ate fewer calories than I would have on any other trip. And I stopped eating when I was full. I only over ate once, at dinner on Saturday. We went to a Mexican restaurant in Downtown Disney. But even then, I ate less than I have in the past.

So--tomorrow will tell. TOPS day. I have decided not to be upset if I've gained a couple. I honestly don't think that I have. But if I have--it was worth it.

I feel rested and just...good. This weekend was spectacular.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

D-I-S-N-E-Y Why? Because it's FUN!

Two more days 'til Disneyland! Woo Woo!!! We are going to have SO MUCH FUN!

This will be the first time in a very long time that Kevin and I have had any time together. The first time ever that we've had more than an overnight together. Did I mention that this is going to be FUN? Woo!

We're leaving Friday late morning and coming back in the wee hours of Monday morning. Nick is staying with Scott, Adrienne is staying with my best friend, the baby is staying with grandma and grandpa. And I'm not going to worry about any of them for three days and two nights. (Okay...I might worry a little...but not enough to destract from the fun-having! Woo!)

We're meeting two blogger friends for lunch on Saturday, which has to be one of the funnest fun parts of the whole trip. I can hardly wait :)

I'm not going to worry about eating or exercise. I plan to stop eating when I'm full, and only eat when I'm hungry--but ya'll, I'm eating whatever strikes my fancy. That means frozen bananas and Churros and Ice Cream at the Gibson Girl place. A sirloin burger with blue cheese at the Aviator restaurant at California Adventure, Clam Chowder in a bread bowl in the French Quarter. Ooooh and something absolutely scrumptious from the Rain Forest Cafe on Saturday for lunch.

I plan on wearing my pedometer at least on Saturday, just out of curiosity about how many steps I take at the magical place.

The only damper on my fun is that my sister is moving to Boise and is leaving while we're gone. *sniff* My nephews are over spending the night tonight. I'm going to miss them all like crazy, but I hope they find what they are looking for.

My Dad is 59 today...Happy Birthday, Daddy! Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers for his health.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Still stumbling with the going back to the gym. Every day I think, tomorrow, I'll start up again. And every day, something happens and I don't make it. Enough already. I WANT to work out. It feels GOOD to work out. I feel good when I work out. So...enough already. Tomorrow, I'm working out.

TOPS today, 298. Last weeks wasn't really official I guess, since it was a different scale. Whatever. I've officially lost two pounds in the past two weeks.

More importantly--I went shopping the last two days. I bought panties. Pretty ones. And they looked pretty on me, because my lower stomach is smaller and doesn't fold over them. TMI, I know, but still cause for celebration over here in my head.

I also bought some clothes to take to Disneyland this weekend. They fit. I went into the dressing room, and I didn't feel like throwing up. Yes--I'm two pounds away from the big three to the oh oh. But that is immeasurably better than 23 pounds over. Honestly--these may be the most important 25 pounds I ever lose. More important than the last 25, or any 25 in between.

But I'll let you know for sure when I get the next 25 off. *giggle*

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Back in the Saddle

My...it's surprising how easy it is to slip back into making excuses not to exercise. I haven't been to the gym once this week. First, for several days, I was too sick. But yesterday? And probably the day before? Just laziness. LMAO

It's thundering, I told myself. The kids will have to use the indoor pool.

I'll get back into it on Monday. (Yes, I actually had this thought...sigh)

So--I'm shaking it off today. Back to the gym. Back to sanity.

I'm doing fab with eating though. I eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm full. Yesterday we had Jason's Deli takeout for dinner...I ordered a salad and a sandwich. I ate half my sandwich, then several hours later my salad. The old me would have shoved all the food in at one sitting, no matter how full she was.

So at the gym today: 30 minutes on the bike.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Oh yeah!



Oh yeah...oh yeah...doin' the happy dance!

At the gym yesterday...298. Woot!

I've lost a total of 25 pounds. That's in two and a half months. But more than that? I've broken the cycle of binge eating. Some how i've managed to let food just be food in my life, and not EVERYTHING. I haven't binged in 10 weeks. It isn't even about being perfect. I ate pizza the day before yesterday...but a piece and a half, I'd had enough. I was full. It wasn't about strict control, or denial. I just didn't want anymore.

I've come down with some sort of sinus congestion, and I didn't exercise today. I think I have a fever. Ick. Lots of vitamin C for this blogger. And bed rest.

I want to thank all of you for your support. I can't even begin to tell you how important it is to me.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I'm starting to feel smaller. Like I'm taking up less space. I still weigh 300 pounds...but I'm feeling good. My rib cage is smaller, my ass is smaller...my clothes are way too big. It's a good feeling.

I've finally started to feel more rested. I took most of this week off exercising. Will pick back up again after the weekend with a regular schedule.

Today is cleaning day. I hate cleaning. Ugh. But tomorrow...tomorrow is Pirates day! Yeah! Kev's parents are taking the baby and we're going to see Pirates. Maybe I can talk him into some Mexican food, too. Yummy!

I'll post more later :)

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I'm still here. With all the family stuff going on, I just haven't felt like writing. I haven't binged, I'm stil doing well with eating. But I've only worked out once this week. I'm going to go today, and tomorrow...and just kick things back in gear. It's all I can do, right?

I had the most godawful lunch yesterday. It was a cobb salad...and they left the skin on the chicken! EW! How nasty is that? And it wasn't even nice, browned skin...it was all pale and wobbley. I couldn't even eat my salad. And my kids were heathens. Sigh. A waiter had to come tell me that my son was asking people in the restaurant's arcade for money. WTF? How embarassing is that? Ruby was screeching like she was being murdered. Adrienne was giving me attitude. We finally just had to leave. I'm telling you, it'll be a cold day in hell before I take my kids to Jillian's again.

In an odd way, I feel much more relaxed about my weight-loss right now. Like it's just part of my life, instead of the entire focus as it has been since May. That's a good thing.

My dad starts his radiation on Monday. Please keep him in your prayers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Officially Out of My Funk

Whatever has been making be feel meh about my efforts...it's passed. I'm feeling good. I'm ready to get back into the swing of things.

Part of what has pulled me out of it was finding out this weekend that my dad has prostate cancer. His prognosis is good, and he just found out that he can recieve his treatment here in town. But it just was like a kick in the ass. You get to live once--if you don't take care of yourself, that's it. I'm lucky that even at over 320 pounds, I was relatively healthy. And i'm feeling healthier every single day. And I want to keep feeling that way until I die a very old woman skidding feet first into my grave.

TOPS was yesterday...lost 2.5 pounds in two weeks. Not what I expected...considering that I've been working myself into the gound exercise wise. But then I measured my waist and realized I've lost another inch around in in the past two weeks. So whatever...I'm shrinking. Undeniabley shrinking. I've lost enough around my waist that there is not chance that I'm just sucking it in more or something. Rock on!

I'm going to do weights tonight, maybe swim some. Tomorrow is walking. Then weights against on Friday.

I'm going to catch up on my blogs tonight and tomorrow...thanks you guy so much for your support. And if you have any spare prayers, please send them to my dad. He starts his therapy on Monday morning.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


I did go on Friday for my 5K walk. It went okay, although it didn't go as well as I would have liked. I couldn't do the six jogging intervals. And the five I did made my legs hurt so much that the next part of my walk was way slowed down.

I've decided to take the weekend off of exercise and Calorie King and start fresh on Monday. To my great surprise, I have not binged, despite not writing down every bite that went into my mouth yesterday for the first day in more than two months. That's a relief, really. In fact, I may have even eaten less. There is a certain mentality that goes along with knowing that you have a certain number of calories to eat in a day, and knowing exactly how mnay you have left. I know you know what I mean...the mentality that makes you start calculating how many calories are in the rest of the Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt, no matter how hungry or not hungry you are.

So on Monday. I'm going back to two weight training and three cardio sessions a week. It's working for me, no matter what Bob Greene says. I was getting to the point where instead of looking forward to my workout, I was dreading it. So it's time to re-evaluate before I burn myself out completely.

So...more tomorrow. The plan is my hour-long bike ride tomorrow, a shorter bike-ride and a shorter walk on Wednesday and an hour-long walk on Friday. The weights on Tuesday and Thursday. Then swimming on Saturday or something active with my kids.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ick Mood

I didn't make it to the gym yesterday. I think I'm going to have to face the fact that I don't have six hour-long workout sessions in me. Yet. This is the second day in a row that in the middle of the week I just crashed and had to take a second day off. So okay...I can handle that.

I actually had a "fat day" yesterday. You know what I mean right? A day where I moped around a lot and felt sorry for myself--feeling fat and disgusting. How disappointing. I just couldn't shake the feeling that I am always going to be fat, that what I'm doing is a huge waste of time and energy. That I should just go back to doing my best to sit completely still whenever possible.


I'm feeling better today. I know that part of the problem is that I'm not getting enough sleep. I can't seem to force myself to go to bed earlier. It seems like such a waste to go to bed so early--night time is the only time that I have to myself, when Ruby is asleep and Adrienne and Nick are in their rooms and the house is quiet. I write at night. Even though I KNOW that if I went to bed early I could get up early and be fresh and write better. I'm a morning person, damn it.


Ew. I hate this mood. I'm going to snap out of it today. An hour-long walk with six jog intervals should do it. It always does.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I'm thinking that maybe I'm not strong enough yet to do cardio and strength in the same day. I did okay during the workout, but the rest of the day was shot. I could barely keep my eyes open. I wasn't sore--just exhausted. I just couldn't concentrate, couldn't get anything done.

I'm not sure. Part of me feels like I'm just being a wuss. This isn't supposed to be easy. But another part of me knows that if it's too hard I'll end up quitting. So...we'll see. I have one more weight training/cardio session this week...tomorrow. Then not again until Monday. I'll decide next week if I can handle it or not. I'm thinking of maybe breaking it up and doing my legs one day, my arms and shoulders one day and my back/belly one day. But--is it effective to do the exercises once a week? Anyone?

Today is my long walk/jog. My goal is to do six jogging intervals. That's one more than last week :) I've actually been looking forward to this.

I'm too tired to think of anything clever to say. I'll write more this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Okay...made it to the Y and had a great workout. Did 8 miles in thirty minutes on the bike, then my weight circuit. Felt great afterward...even though after half the weight exercises I wanted to stop. S.T.O.P.

According to the gym's scale I've lost 3.5 pounds and I'm down to 299! It'll be official next Tuesday...but oooooooh! It's party city up in this here place...

How to Squash Your Fledgling Self-Confidence

Spend an hour with your ex-husband's second wife--who weighs 190 or so pounds less than you. The only conciliation being the knowledge that two months ago you weighed 210 pounds more than her. Sigh.

Then make yourself feel better by finishing off the Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt and remembering that everyone hates the skinny bitch. Your ex-husband's parents hate her so much that they gave their son an ultimatum--her or us. They haven't spoken to him in five years. They have us over for every holiday.

I survived. Didn't even go over my calories, despite using Ben and Jerry's as a feeling-soother. I'm a little surprised that I was bothered at all by being around her. I'm not usually insecure about her. I haven't been with my ex-husband for ten years and he's been with her for...oh...ten and a half? Time has eased the pain--I'm a thousand times happier married to Kevin than I ever was to Scott.

Anyway...enough of that! Today is a short bike ride and weights.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July Check-In

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No TOPS today, due to the holiday. But, I thought I'd do my July check in anyway and share my measurements.

On May 20:

Waist: 49.5
Bust: 46 under boobs, 54 over boobs
Hips: 56
Upper arm: 16.5
Upper thigh: 30


Waist: 44
Bust: 44 under boobs, 51 over boobs
Hips: 50
Upper arm: 16
Upper thigh: 26

So I've lost 5.5 inches from my waist, 2 inches from under my boobs, 3 inches from over my boobs, 6 inches from my hips (holy cow!), half an inch from my upper arm and 4 inches from my thigh.

Drumroll please......

That's a total of 21 inches!!! (And that's only counting one arm and one thigh...if I count both it's 25.5 inches!) Amazing.

Even more important:

1. Shorts that were two inches from closing now fit me comfortably
2. I can ride an exercise bike or walk at a good pace for an hour
3. I finally got the hang of a weight training routine

I think most important of all, I'm finally making peace with food. At the movies yesterday I ate junk food. Popcorn (half of a small), M&Ms (1/3 of a bag), a couple of mini Butterfingers, some Twizzlers (like six pieces) and a piece of beef jerky. And I enjoyed every bite. I stopped eating when I was full--even though there was still popcorn and candy left. Two months ago I would have ate until it was gone--and then ate all night since I'd blown it.

When I put it all in to my Calorie King I realized that my little movie treat had about 1000 calories in it! But I didn't freak out. I ate a small dinner. I didn't eat the Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt that's in my freezer right now. I didn't cry or moan about what a loser I am (and in a bad way.) I was fine. I ate too many calories, but I didn't binge.

I. Did. Not. Binge. Seriously, that's a landmark.

Calorie King lets you look at averages for two weeks. Eating too many calories yesterday didn't mess me up in the scheme of things. For the past two weeks I've averaged 50 minutes a day of exercise, burning about 600 calories a day. Ohhh yeah!

Today we're barbequing. Chicken, corn on the cob, salad, and I'm going to make some cornbread. Yummy! I think I'll go get a pineapple for dessert.

The Y is closed today, so I'm taking the day off. Tomorrow is my hour-long walk/jog. The goal is to do the jog interval six times.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet...Not!

Went to the gym, but kind of screwed up my workout. I went on the treadmill, and got all uppity and shit and decided to try 3.5 mph. Two minutes in I figured, what the hell, and upped it to a slow jog. I didn't warm up enough and my shins hurt so bad I had to slow way down to 2.8--slower than my normal. After 15 mintues I switched to the bike and was able to do 15 more minutes. Ugh. Won't let that happen again.

Also did weight training. I really like the Y, vs. the regular gym I belong to. It's far, far less crowded. And the people are nicer. They say hello to each other. They wipe their machines down after they use them. Two people smiled at me today and asked how my workout was going. See...now that's nice. Don't you think? At the regular gym, no one ever says hello to anyone.

Superman was pretty good. Not as good as X-men or Spiderman, as far as comic book movies go. The ending was too vague for me. I won't go in to why it bugged me, because it's a spoiler. But...eh. It was entertainment. And eyecandy. And pretty blue eyes.

Ohh...one thing that definitely bothered the hell out of me was that it was set in modern times, but is supposed to be only five years after the last Superman movie. What the hell? They had cell phones and Jimmy Olsen had a digital SLR. Definitely modern times. That was jarring to me, I kept thinking about it all the way through the movie.

My Medium Bones

My best friend doesn't believe me when I tell her that I have a medium build. Maybe because I'm tall. Maybe because I have broad shoulders? Maybe because when has anyone ever looked at a 170-pounds-over-weight woman and seen anything medium about her? She loves me, she doesn't judge me...she just thinks that I have big bones.

But she didn't know me the last time I weighed 150 pounds. I can tell her that I have broad shoulders, but narrow hips, until I'm blue in the face. That at 150 pounds I'll wear a size six or eight (she weighs 160 pounds and wears a size 14 or 16...she's very small boned). It doesn't matter. She'll just have to see.

Last week I exercised nearly five hours, biked 23.3 miles and walked 3.1 miles. I lifted weights twice. I really didn't expect to be bitten by the exercise bug. Even though I was an athlete in my once-upon-a-time, I was sure that I'd never get there again. In fact, I've often thought that there is no way I can be thin because I wasn't particularily skinny even when I exercised two to four hours everyday (oooooooh how skewed my self-image is.) But turns out that sweating and pushing myself...even for modest gains in strength and speed...even when I'm by far the fattest girl at the Y and people are looking...even then...feels really good.


Today is weights and a shorter bike ride. Normally I take Monday off the gym...but the Y is closed tomorrow so I'm going today. Then wednesday my long walk/jog.

We're also going to see the Superman movie today. Should be fun, whether the movie is any good or not :) My mother-in-law is taking the baby. I say any movie where I don't have to chase the toddler up and down the aisles and leave at the good part because she's breaking eardrums with her screeching is a good movie!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Finally Understanding The Levels

I did my hour-long bike ride this afternoon. Whew! That's five weeks in a row of one hour-long ride a week. Not bad, huh? I did 16.5 miles today--1.6 than last weeks long ride. BUT I did the whole ride at a level 5 random hills vs. last week's level 4 random hills.

I learned something during that hour. Bob Greene says that you should work out 'in the zone' which is a 'level 7.' I never really got that--I'm not real good with subjective things. It's the perfectionist in me that wants to do it right, and would rather have the guy says "exercise at so-and-so percentage of your heartrate..." Something I can measure and know for sure I'm doing correctlly.

Anyway. Today I learned what a level 7 is. A level 7 is when you COULD read your book while you ride the exercise bike...but you really have no interest. It's when you COULD read the captions for That 70s Show...but you couldn't care less. It is definitely the point when you stop spending the whole hour thinking "Damn, this is so boring!"

That's where I was today. My heartrate was about ten beats per minute higher than it normally is during my bike rides. And during the real high hills, I was praying. Please, please, Goddess, let me get past this hill. Please, let me push past this hill, because then the level goes way down for a minute and I'll be okay.

Those were the level 8 minutes. (Level 8 is where you know you can do something for the short time that you have to, but you aren't sure you could do your whole workout at that level.) Only maybe 5 minutes three times throughout the workout. Those fifteen minutes were intense. But I got through them. AND my ass isn't nearly as numb this time. Maybe because I didn't have any energy to waste thinking about it?

I did read for about ten minutes--during the warm up--out of the book Losing It by Laura Fraser. In a chapter on non-dieting, she quotes dietian Ellyn Satter (who developed a dieting-recovery program for dietians to use on clients) on the definition of "Normal Eating."

Normal eating is beng able to eat when you are hungry and continue eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it--not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is bein able to use some moderate constraint on your food selection to get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasureable foods. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad, or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful. Normal eating is overeating at times; feling stuffed an uncomfortable. It is also undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.

In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food, and your feelings.

As I was reading it, I felt like yelling "YES, YES, YES!" right there on the bike. Yes! This is what I'm talking about. THIS is how I want to relate to food. This is what I really believe will help me be healthy and fit. Ellyn Satter believes that weight has to be an absolute afterthought--not the point at all. But she says that she understands how hard that is for her patients. It's hard to let go of the weight component--to eat normally without regard to whether or not it's resulting in weight loss. It's so hard that it feels impossible. But it's a goal--something to work toward.


In my reading about non-dieting, once technique I've come across for combating binging is creating abundance by stocking lots of food in your house. This got me thinking about how the food in my house effects my eating, and therefore my weight.

I was not a fat child. In my mom's house, we always had enough food. I remember going to Grandma's house and she had tons of food, too. Good grandma-food like toast and jam, frozen Twinkies, graham crackers that she used to let us grind up in her little old fashioned grinder and eat with a spoon. And strawberries that we dipped in powdered sugar. The only time I ever binged at my mom's house was when we came home from a visit to my dad.

It was an entired different story at my dad's house. Where my mom kept her house filled with food, my step-mother and dad shopped several times a day, buying only enough for the next meal or two. And since they had so many kids (nine, where my mom only had three), there was always, always a feeling of there not being enough. There were no second helpings. And if I tried to put what my step-mother or dad thought was too much on my plate, I was reprimanded.

It got worse when I was thirteen and I moved in with my dad. The reasons behind that move are another story...it wasn't a good move for me. Two years later my dad was in prison for mail fraud and I was alone with my step-mother, who hated me, and a litter of tiny brothers and a step-sister, Alison.

Alison and I, once we were both adults, talked about our relationship to food and how it was affected by those years when my dad was gone. Her mother is an alcoholic, recovered now. She is a teacher, and she used to leave for school on Friday and come home on Monday morning to get ready for school again. She left us all weekend with no money. Unfortunately she still had the habit of shopping for each meal, going to the store in the morning for cereal and milk and in the evening for dinner. Which meant that when she was off binging on alcohol, she left us with very little food in the house. I often had to feed the kids canned corn and refried beans, or whatever I could cobble together.

I don't remember ever actually going hungry. There was always something. But we ate frozen burritos or frozen pizza for dinner three or four nights a week. Canned chili was a biggie, too. I still can't eat those three foods. And when the food was gone, the cupboards were bare. I was fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years old, and constantly worried about how I was going to feed five little boys.

When I was sixteen I started working at fast food restaurants. My first job was at KFC. Just before I started that job, I was offered a job at the library as a clerk. I turned it down. I have often thought of that decision and wondered what the fuck I was thinking. For a book-ie like me, the library would have been a perfect job. I met Adrienne and Nick's dad working at KFC. I gained enough weight working at KFC to be heavy for the first time in my life. That decision was definitely a turning point in my life! When I think back on it, the reason I turned down the library job was because the prospect of having as much KFC food as I could eat was too tempting.

Anyway...Alison and I both grew into adults with the same food issue. Both of us are extremely uncomfortable if we don't have 'enough' food in our houses. I get anxious and upset when the food in our house gets too low--even though 'low' means we could eat for two weeks and still not go through it all. I buy 'staples' like canned foods, dry beans and pasta, rice, etc. that never get eaten, just because it makes me feel better to have it. Kevin recently threw away some canned food that had been in my house since before we met...in 2002.

So I'm an adult now. And that not-enough feeling is still hard to deal with. I still get anxious if I feel like there isn't enough food in the house. I still have a hard time ordering a small portion of food at a restuarant, even if I'm only a little hungry. I still have a tendancy to use food as a way of reminding myself that I'm not that little girl whose afraid she won't be able to feed her brothers anymore.

The idea of creating abundance of food in my house is appealing on so many levels. And terrifying on so many more. The past two months I've been eating whatever I want--but only buying single servings of it. Creating abundance would mean keeping more pints of Ben and Jerry's in my freezer than I could possibly eat one sitting--then replenishing it when I eat some. The idea being that what triggers binging is the idea that you can't eat something, for whatever reason.


I didn't workout yesterday. Ruby didn't wake up from her nap in time for me to get to the Y before her swimming lesson--and after her lesson, I was wet and covered in chlorine and just didn't feel like sweating. I did swim some laps.

Today the plan is to get my hour long bike ride in. Should happen, since Kevin has the day off :) He's taking the big kids to Moapa tonight--there's an Indian reservation firework stand with a big cement platform for setting off bottle rockets and other fireworks. So they'll do that and bring home some safe and sane stuff for Tuesday.