Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Funny Hair

Remember that time you did that thing and it worked out fine? Yeah, me neither. But that doesn't mean it's never happened. It just means that those aren't the memorable times in life. Case in point: the entire month of February, 2007.

I brought this idea up to Stephan the other day when he asked if I had called the college admissions guy back. Eh? Yeah. The guy who knows where I can take the pre-req classes I would need to apply to the Masters/PhD program in Psychological Science that I've been lusting after.

And it came to me that no one ever had a great story about the 5 years they kept the laundry done and the dishes clean. There hasn't been a biography about a woman who learned to roast almonds and spend less than $75 a week on groceries.

So I'm talking myself into actually leaving the house and finding a higher purpose. Vacuuming is nice. But let's pile up some good stories.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mary v Martha

(In which the blog takes a turn no one saw coming!!)

I'm giving up. (again) Today was too hard. The plan was to clean the house, grocery shop, and prep a meal for tomorrow. None of those things happened. In the 14 hours since I woke up, exactly one room was vacuumed, and many more dirty clothes and dishes were created than were cleaned. At every turn I was thwarted by a screaming baby, a tantrumming 5-year-old, puking cat, hungry baby, hungry 5-year-old, dogs that needed to go out, and then come in, and on and on and on. I fought my way through the day, harder and more determined after every set back.

The baby finally fell asleep at 9:30pm, and I was excited to put him down and make some headway. But then, I looked at him for the first time today and noticed how much he looks like a Hobbit when he's asleep.

What did I miss today? How many adorable giggles and smiles passed by while I struggled to load the dishwasher one-handed? What amazing observations did Sawyer make today that I missed because I was listening to podcasts while picking up toys? Did the boys snuggle together? Did Sawyer make funny faces to entertain his brother? Did Adam make progress on the crawling initiatives? I don't know. I was fighting too hard against life today to actually realize I was living it.

That's a shitty regret. Also, it's supported by this bible passage I've always hated.
[BIBLE?? WTF Anna?]

Luke 10:38-42

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things,42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

"You are worried about many things, but few things are needed..." 
I've always hated this passage because it's the only time I've thought Jesus was totally wrong. Of course Martha needed to clean and prepare. There's SO MUCH to do! And a responsible person, who is hard-working and worthy, does it all. Don't we? We're ready for guests. Our house is clean. Toys put away. We aren't just sitting down hanging out. We're working!!
Sometimes I think that, if there is a hell, it's a place where you are forced to watch all the times you lived life checked-out, and missed the wonderful, beautiful moments. You'll see yourself driving and being angry instead of watching the amazing colors the sky is turning. You'll see yourself on the phone with a friend complaining about your kids while your kids are nose-to-nose on the floor laughing at each other. The nights spent with your spouse watching tv in separate rooms because you don't like the same shows. And you'll know you can never get that time back- that you wasted so much time doing instead of being with all the gifts given specifically to you. 
I'm super-guilty of all of this. But I'm hoping acceptance is truly the first step to changing it. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

If Nothing Changes....

... then nothing's going to change!

Why, hello there Blog people! It's been a while. We are still dealing with Stephan's parents on a weekly basis, driving out and back to review medicines, visit with nurses, check-in on physical therapy- so that's been keeping us muy busy for the last two weeks. So busy, I haven't had much time to rant and rave about resolutions, and then completely disobey my own advice and make resolutions.

What I have noticed lately is that the running isn't coming together the way I was hoping. There are a list of post-natural-birth symptoms that my body hasn't really recovered from. So I read a blog post from a virtual friend all about core strength, and started doing a bit of research.

Turns out, it's totally normal and almost expected that core strength isn't going to come back simply by wishing on stars and putting on running shoes. Also, kegels aren't actually the end-all-be-all exercise. It's just not that simple. There are more muscles involved in stabilizing the pelvis. Lots more muscles (which - duh - I should have realized as a massage therapist). SO many things attach to those dang hip bones.


And those pictures aren't even all of it!! Considering how the body totally contorts itself to make room for (and eventually shoot out) a baby, it's more than reasonable to take some extra time to realign everything. 

Which is why I signed up for MuTu. It's a 12-week program of core exercise videos, diet suggestions, and activity guidelines that seems to be right up my alley. ("Seems" because I signed up last night and started the first day this afternoon)

I'll keep you updated- if it works, it'll be awesome and totally worth it (the $97!!!). If it doesn't, well, at least I tried something different!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Year!! Screw You!!

Whoa, Anna! That's harsh!

I know, right?

No less than six magazines (two of which we subscribe to!) have "New year, new you" on their front covers right now. And I have to tell you.... I'm totally annoyed by this. Every year I rant about using January 1st as the start-date for wild life-changing plans. This year I'm mad that people (according to print media) all want to be new.

As I type this, I'm holding a "new" person in my left arm. Trust me. It's not easy to completely start over. So let's all agree not to do that this year. Let's not all be new. Let's just take what we've got going on right now and make small changes, working toward a reasonable goal. That sounds better than scrapping everything old and starting new.

Let's just be better. Not new.


Also, completely unrelated to running, or thoughts, or kids, or anything... we've had a lot of crazy family stuff happen in the last few weeks and our schedules and lives have been thrown around quite a bit. My mother-in-law has been staying here, which is a big change for all of us. I'm still trying to run once or twice a week, and the sleeping and eating have stayed more or less consistent. Also, if you've noticed, it's the holiday season. And that's nuts. 

But you know what about all that... all this? I'm married to an amazing guy who has kept me sane through a lot. His mom is cool, and I have the time and space in my life to just sit back occasionally and be completely happy with everything I've been blessed with. 

(Didn't think we were going to end here after the way I started this post did you!!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

1.0

Today, in honor of running my first mile-post-Adam, I'm posting a list of 5 things I have been told about running that were completely WRONG. None of the below is true. Most of them I heard and believed when I was training for my first marathon in 2011. Enjoy!

1. If you stop to walk, it doesn't count as a run.

2. A run of less than 3 miles is worthless.

3. You cannot miss more than one day of training for a race.

4. If you walk through a water station during a race, you didn't "run" it.

5. Anything less than a full marathon is a training run for a full marathon.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Don't Park That Bike!!

Week 4/5

The first two weeks back on my feet were tough. The beginning of the third one was exciting... I was pushing really hard to make it to the 21-day mark (although, when I looked up the basis behind the "21 days make a new habit" theory, I learned it's total crap). But I did not. I fell off the bike. The new baby got sick and I missed three work-out days that week, and two days in week 4.

Now that I type that I'm a little embarrassed that I almost trashed the whole program for those few days. The scheduling got crazy, we had Thanksgiving, and I was pretty sure I wasn't meant to start running again.

But I did! Stephan set up the schedule at the end of last week so I could get the runs in. And this week starts week 5, and I set myself up with a 3.5 mile run/walk very early in the morning. I'm not a morning runner, but if I'm going to get back on my feet and start racing again, I'm going to have to seriously suck it up.

Which I did, by waking up at 7am (haha!) and putting in the 3.5 miles at 12 degrees with a 10 mile/hour wind. Whew! It's 3 hours and a hot shower later and my legs STILL feel colder than the rest of my body.

Riding the bike is great. But you're going to fall. Isn't this a saying somewhere? It isn't how you ride the bike, it's how you get back on after you've fallen? Here's to regaining momentum!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Week 3

It's about 10 degrees in Chicago today. I finally surrendered to reality and called a friend to watch the baby so I could get a training walk done. I finished the 1.5 mile speed-walk outside and was SUPER excited that I'm actually on-track for a third week in a row... but wait... the walk was supposed to be 2.0 miles.

Over it. SO over it. And I've pretty much decided to let the park district have my money so I can use their treadmills on days like this. Because dang.

Remember when you were learning to ride a bike and you just barely caught your balance and you weren't quite sure what external forces were keeping you up, but you were upright, and you just repeated to yourself, "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" That's what this week 3 feels like. I'm still pedaling, but I'm also putting my trust more in outside forces to help keep me upright. If I keep my feet moving, the Universe will help me with the rest.

And.... breathe.