Water Lover’s Anonymous

We are a water loving family. We love beaches, pools, water balloons, jacuzzi’s…. any type of water play. Lately, since the weather has been nice, we have been swimming about 4-5 times a week. The pool is a shared pool for all the condo’s (I may have mentioned this before, but we are currently renting). Autumn has met and continues to meet kids at the pool all the time! We are so lucky that we live in a community with TONS of toddlers her age. The last few days she has been bonding with a two year old named Nicky. He is SOOOOO cute, and they are literally the exact same size (even though he’s five months older). After we leave the pool she can’t stop talking about him! She says “Nicky boy SWIMMING” and I can’t stop laughing at how adorable it is. She has a ton of friends, and half of them are in our condo complex. I feel very blessed at how social she is because she has been given constant opportunities to meet new kids.

So anyway, when Autumn first started going in the pool, she was really scared of the water. I wanted her to learn but also get over her fear so about a week ago, I bought her “Stearns Deluxe Puddle Jumper” swim vest (I’ll attach photo’s below). It arrived yesterday and today we went swimming with it. I would seriously recommend this product to anyone who is training a toddler to swim!! I didn’t have to hold her at all!!! I stood by her at all times just to be safe, but she was literally (in only one day) learning how to kick and swim. It’s incredible! We spent two hours in the pool, and can’t wait to go at it again tomorrow or Monday.

About my surgery. I spent about $200 to get a bunch of stuff that I truly think I will need for life after surgery. After all the blogs and videos I’ve read/watched, these are the things that many people have recommended to make life easier post-op. I am putting pics below, but I also wanted to make a list just in case the picture wasn’t clear enough. I also added hyperlinks to recipes or the exact products I bought just to be a little more specific.

-A scale (link here).

-A food scale (I got this one).

-Portion control pasta basket (link here).

-Portion control plate (link here).

-Nonfat dry milk (link here).

-2 mini ice cube trays (for healthy frozen protein snacks).

-A blender bottle (I got this one).

PB2 (dry peanut butter, much healthier and good source of protein).

-Sweet drops (basically a healthy artificial sweetener- link here).

-Popsicle molds (for recipes such as this one).

-Wooden popsicle sticks (see why here)

-Exercise/stretching equipment (I got these).

Really quick I just want to explain what some of these items do/are for because some of them are a little confusing (or at least I was a little confused when reading about some of it). The food scale is to measure/weigh out all of the food you eat. For example, you decide that tonight you are going to eat 3 ounces of chicken for dinner. Put the chicken on the scale and measure out 3 ounces exactly. Voila! Much better than “eyeballing” it and eating too much or too little. The blender bottle comes with a tiny silver “spring ball” (you can see it if you look closely at the pic). The ball is used to shake up any protein powder clumps in the bottle. Protein powder (usually) tastes nasty, so this blender bottle can really come in handy. The rest of the stuff on the list I think is pretty self explanatory, but if ya’ll have any questions on anything, feel free to email me at sdimand@gmail.com. I am very open and always willing to share details and discuss further.

Before I continue to rant endlessly, I am gonna let ya’ll go. Happy (day-late) Fathers Day everyone!

Dimand Girl


“Motivate the mind; the body will follow.”- Lisa Savelli

“Just keep swimming.”- Dory (from Finding Nemo)

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.”- Tyler Knott Gregson



^^^Autumn with her new floatie/life saver!!^^^

photo 1

^^^All the stuff listed above (minus the body mass scale)^^^



Got My Surgery Date!!

Got my surgery date today!!! Though I was originally told it would be early June, it’s actually July 22nd. To say I’m nervous is an understatement. I have been obsessively researching things about it: about my surgeon (Dr. Enrique Elli), YouTube videos of people who have already had it done, BariatricPal, Pinterest, etc etc etc. Let me tell you about today. Today was the last official appointment. It was a 4 hour appointment and was not a very fun day. The first appointment was with Dr. Elli. We met, he gave me a bunch of sheets, and sent me on my way. Problem is he’s always running late… TOTALLY understandable seeing how he’s a surgeon and all… but nonetheless sucks for me. I waited over an hour to see him for 2 minutes. After that I met with his assistant. She gave me more sheets and explained in further detail how the surgery day will go. I then had to get an EKG and blood work done. The EKG was quick, but the blood work not so much. They always have a hard time finding my vein 😦 I think it runs in my family because it’s the same with my sister Katie. They can never find our veins and we have to sit there while they move the needle around in our arm to find one. They poked me three times today before finally getting one. I was very happy when it was over! 

Since my goal is to help anyone considering the surgery (with knowledge and all that fun stuff), I’m going to go into more detail about what needs to be done before surgery. It’s not as simple as I thought before (just show up, get surgery, and leave a new woman!), there is quite a bit of planning and work that goes into it. It’s quite a process! In my third (?) blog entry, I explained the process of insurance approval and pre-op life– information session, six months of nutrition counseling, psychiatric evaluation, and finally seeing if you’re approved. I never explained what happens after you’re approved… you receive a letter saying “You’re approved for BLANK surgery” (whatever one you chose to do). You then call the office- or they call you but for me I had to call them- and make an appointment to meet with the surgeon and get your actual surgery date. Then you go in and do everything I did today. When you leave, however, there is still more to do. You need to come in before surgery to do what’s called a Bariatric Swallow. The nurse explained that it’s basically this chalky stuff you have to drink and it clears your esophagus so they see your innards on an x-ray. Not really sure I understood why they do this 100%, but who cares. Small price to pay for good health. You also need to buy all the stuff you need for surgery. For instance, I want a food scale, protein powder, vitamins, gas-x, blender bottle, and the list goes on and on. These are not things you need, but they could certainly make your life easier. I am taking all of these items off of lists that other people made who have had the surgery, so I’m in good hands 🙂 The night before surgery (and then again on the morning of surgery) you need to wash your body with this weird soap they give you. Also not really sure what that’s for. All-in-all it’s an easy process. Again, it’s a small price to pay for good health.

Even with all my preparation and reading (or watching) about other people’s experience, this isn’t something you can know all about. Everyone’s experience is different. That’s what I’m most nervous for… the unknown. The fear that I am walking into a dark room with no flashlight, and I won’t be able to find a way out. I have faith in God, and I also have faith in myself that this will all turn out okay. I’m truly just taking it day by day, hour by hour. Again, if anyone has any questions or just wants to discuss anything on my blogs, email me at sdimand@gmail.com. I’m pretty much an open book 🙂

In terms of my personal life, not a whole lot going on. I recently threw a graduation party for Alex and Timur. They loved it! I rented our own grove and we had a snow cone machine, a golf game, a beanbag tossing game, volleyball, and Italian beef sandwiches and salad for lunch. It was an absolute blast! Autumn has been speaking more and more. She loves animals and is constantly making animal noises (i.e. meowing when she wants food lol). Sorry I went so long without an update, I’ll try to write more frequently. Love to all, and will update soon!

Love to all,

Dimand Girl


“A ship at harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.”- William G.T. Shedd

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”- Unknown

“Fate loves the fearless.”- James Russell Lowell



^^^Some of our closest friends at the graduation party!^^^


^^^Our friends and family all jumbled together^^^


^^^The beautiful Autumn and her handsome papa (my dad)^^^


^^^The graduates!!! Timur (left) and Alex/hubby (right)!^^^


^^^Friends photo again!^^^


^^^Two of my closest girlfriends, Ebony (middle) and Marylou (right). Love these ladies! By the way, my mouth is super red because of the snow-cone juice!^^^


^^^Our tired princess loves her daddy^^^