Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Caution: I've Been Drinking

This is about being married. I know a few people who are getting married in the next 12 months. And I've been married for 7 years (maybe 8.... it's almost midnight and I'm not prepared for counting).

If you're one of those people, think about this please.... When you're "getting married" to this person, you're signing up for SO much more than a wedding, maybe a house, probably kids. You are essentially saying to that other person....

I'm ok with washing your clothes.

I'll be awake with you at 1am wrapping Christmas presents for our kids while watching stand-up and drinking rum out of wine glasses.

It's cool that I know where your 8th grade dinner-dance was.

You like eating Spam sometimes, and I won't move out when I have to smell it.

Maybe you'll always put your toothbrush away wet and that means that MY toothbrush will be in contact with your toothbrush-water. And I'm ok with that.

We will naturally know who will hold the vomiting child and who will gather necessary materials (i.e. wash cloths, rags, buckets, thermometer). And sometimes we will switch to keep things interesting.

Occasionally we will text each other instead of talking because we are in different parts of the house and we don't want the kids to know what we are really thinking because it involves swearing.

I'll always save the last drink's worth of your alcohol in the bottle, and find something else to drink for myself. Because I love you.

I'm going to wear your clothes in emergency situations.

I'm going to look at you some days with a look that says, "I can't do this anymore" and you'll know that I need to walk into another room. And you'll take the kids to the store and when you're back you'll just hold me and let me cry and not tell me that it'll be ok because you know I might not believe you tonight. But that I might believe you tomorrow so you just let me be for right now.

Other days I'll get a text that you're going out for drinks with your friend after work and I'll actually go to sleep earlier because I know you need to eat wings and drink beer, and that you'll come home and be happy you're married to me and not anyone else's wife. Because really, other guys have it much worse.

And we'll teach Sunday School together.

And we'll cook together.

And we'll plan things. And execute those plans. And plan more things, and decide that we don't have to do EVERYTHING. And we'll help each other get dressed to go out. And I'll tell you if you have hair growing on your ears, and you'll tell me I have a zit on my back, and I'll throw away your really thin underwear and you'll laugh when I try to shove underwire back into a bra.

And we'll hold each other and cry sometimes because we know that life goes really fast and that however much time we've been given with each other will NEVER EVER EVER seem like enough. And that one day one of us will be gone and the other one will be alone. So we'll stay awake another hour tonight just knowing that for right now, we have everything we need.

That's what being married means.

Friday, December 18, 2015

It's Electric (LONG post)

I know how muscle fibers work. There's a sodium/potassium pump that exchanges electrical charges, producing a pulse that stimulates muscle fibers to contract. To build muscle, you stimulate these fibers so much that they break down. When the body goes to rebuild the fibers, it adds more this time so the body is better prepared for the work you're probably going to ask it to do next time. This process hurts some- it definitely produces soreness. And you, as the human in charge, can usually feel it when you're exerting yourself enough physically to get stronger.

So here's my question: how do we get emotionally stronger? Is it a brain-chemical thing? Like you shoot through your chemical connections enough and your body begins preparing a stronger response for the next time?

Here's why I'm asking... over the last few years I've had a bunch of moments when all I can think of is, "This is hard and I hate it." Times when it feels difficult simply to exist in the current situation. It's hard to be in my body. It's hard to breathe in and out and stand up and walk to the kitchen. It feels the same as trying to do 25 squats, or 30, or 50. Toward the end, it's hard and it hurts- physically. Sometimes, life hurts mentally/emotionally.

But then we get stronger. Right? You push yourself to do those last 5 squats- and it's easier the next time you do squats. You get to the kitchen and wash the dishes, and next time it's..... here's where the analogy breaks down. Because sometimes it's easier, but sometimes it's harder and you just never make it into the kitchen and your husband gets home and you're on your 3rd episode of Intervention and you both end up staying awake until midnight cleaning the kitchen and getting ready for the next day.

And here's the other part: parenting. Parenting is the hardest exercise I've ever done. Because there's poop. And laundry, and cooking, and crying, and banged heads/knees/toes, and whining, and more crying and laughing, and kissing, and napping, and snuggling, and loving, and powerful joy, and awe-some pride. All of these things happen in an hour. It's like emotional High Intensity Interval Training.

New Therapist recently told me that the best thing an adult can do with a kid is to witness their emotions. Acknowledge that what they feel is real, live in that feeling so they really learn about it, and help them move through it safely. That's a LOT of 'feeling' every day. As I've been doing it the last few weeks (with three to four kids a day in daycare) I'm wondering if I'm building up my 'feeling' muscles. I have no idea how to answer it. But it's interesting to think about.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Awkward Jello

The best thing about seeing a new therapist?? An entirely new set of metaphors to rest my mind on.

So we were talking about how I have this tendency to let insane things out of the mouth part of my face when trying to make small talk with people. Here's one story: Mom-of-a-First-Grader (who I've met maybe 2 times and don't know ANYTHING about), says hi. "How was your day?" And I reply with, "Oh my gosh, I was listening to the police scanner this morning and heard a grade school practicing an Active Shooter Drill. It was terrifying. So if you ever listen to a police scanner during a shooter drill, turn it off because parents with kids in school should NOT be picturing that stuff."

Honestly, that's how my day was. But the woman looked horrified and we haven't spoken since then. It's a situation I brought to Meg2.0 as an example of why I shouldn't be allowed to talk to strangers. She thought that it was very brave of me to give such a truthful answer to a question like that. But... that maybe I started having a conversation with myself earlier in the day that First-Grade-Mom accidentally stumbled into the middle of. So she just got a small cut-out of the entire conversation. And yeah, that can be fairly confusing. She didn't know why I listen to the police scanner (because of drug dealers), or that I'd only recently started listening to the scanner (that very day), or that I wasn't even listening to the scanner for the town we live in (because it isn't available online). So she didn't get the whole picture.

It's like this......

Say that talking to people is like making dessert. And most people, when they make small talk (and the quickest, easiest, most readily-acceptable dessert) make normal Jello. "Hey, it's chilly today." "Did your kids enjoy the pumpkin patch?" I think these things are boring so I usually space out and get a dazed look on my face (I've seen it in pictures). Talking about these things tells me nothing about the person I'm talking to either. So in an effort to make life more interesting, and elicit memorable conversations from people, I make Jello Jigglers!! They are much more dense, and have fun shapes, and last a lot longer sitting on the counter!! It's a denser version of small talk that's cut out of whatever is going on in my life at the moment.

Apparently, though, not everyone is a fan of the more formed, slightly rubberier, jello cutouts. And if they're looking for normal squishy jello, giving them something they're not ready for might turn a few people off.

BUT........ Meg2.0 forced me to think of all of the times that I've given someone the awkward jello ("Yeah, I'm just not sure how to explain felony aggravated robbery to my six-year old") and they LOVE IT and respond back with something memorable and honest ("No kidding! Schizophrenia is really a tough topic, but it's totally manageable if you frame it the right way.") and a friendship starts that is actually pretty fun and comfortable.

The risk can be pretty scary, but the friendship reward is actually super cool. Awkward Jello. It's what's for dinner (or dessert, whatever).

Monday, November 23, 2015

1-2-3, 1-2-3, Count. With. Me.

Week 2. I mean, Week Whatever since I started this daycare thing 4 months ago with a healthy break in September/October.

Ya'll. This is not easy. No one napped today. And everyone wanted their Mommies. Even me for a while. The bar I aim to hit moves constantly. Do you know what a circle is? Can I work it so that only one child is crying at a time? 4 diapers in 20 minutes (I only have 3 kids here so....)?

The good news: Everyone eats. Everyone poops. Everyone survives the day.

The better news: I haven't lost it yet. Well, not while the kids are here. I did a bit of drinking over the weekend, with Stephan, in the kitchen, over the Christmas planning/budget/ordering. But 8 hours of work is manageable. Because time marches on. 4:30 arrives. Every day. No matter who's pooped, who threw grapes, who tried to eat rubber bands (all of these are my own kid). 4:30 happens, and then it's just me and mine (which, again, isn't always easy either, but my standards are much lower for my own kids).

8 hours goes pretty fast. Sometimes it's the 3-5 minutes of triple crying that can feel super slow. And when that happens, we all just take a breath and Count. With. Me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

.... All Through the Town

Dude. You guys. I was in full-on mental-meltdown-mode last weekend. My 8 weeks off of "work" (i.e. the daycare kid was at home because her mom had a baby) ended. And I was freaking out because I had no idea how I was going to handle three kids in my house:

A 2 year old
My 1 year old
A 2 month old

Sunday I kicked Stephan out of the house and prepped lunches and dinners for the whole week. It took 3 hours. Curriculum for the week (this is a circle; it goes round and round) was another 30 minutes, and cleaning, laundry, furniture moving was the last hour.

And yesterday and today were easy.

I mean, not easy, but it wasn't hard. The baby cried. Adam was mad that I wasn't holding him and decided he wanted to nurse all day. The little girl stared deeply into my eyes and calmly told me "I'm not doing that" when I asked her to put something away. But they all slept (never at one time), they all ate (always at the same time), and no one cried for more than 5 minutes before I could empty my hands and pick them up. And at the end of they day I zoomed through each room to tidy up, cleared the sink of dirty dishes, folded the laundry and prepped the next day's lunch/dinner.

And the circle... it DID go round and round!!! And I... can TOTALLY do this! Why did I think I couldn't do this?? Stephan knew I could do it. The parents knew I could do it (or at least appeared to when they handed me their kids and a check). And I'm not just not failing. I'm kinda rocking this. That little girl totally knows what a circle is (despite telling her dad tonight that it was a heart). That baby drank 9oz of milk. And Adam......... well, he's asleep so let's just be happy with him not hitching his own ride to a grandparent's house yet.

Monday, November 2, 2015

"It's Just Brunch"

Stephan and I were listening to the radio a few weeks ago. The hosts were discussing the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. I love that show. I had to slow down my binge-watching to make sure I wasn't hurrying through the episodes.

Suddenly, Stephan turns off the radio and starts huffing in annoyance:

Him: That is terrible.

Me: What?? That they are romanticizing female incarceration?

Him: No. That people keep thinking they're so oppressed. It's discrediting the actual struggle of African Americans.

Me: Uuhm..... what??

Him: People keep saying they are the new Black like it's no big deal to have been abused and mistreated for centuries. It's disgusting.

Me: That's... uh... not what that phrase means. It's literally the color black. How it used to be reserved for people in mourning but now it's fashionable. The phrase is about fashion. Not race.

Him: No way.

Me: .....

Him: Really?

Me: Yup.

Him: I need to rethink a lot of things.

Which has to do with brunch in the following way... As a family we had accidentally scheduled three things to happen on one day.
1) Volunteering at a race in Milwaukee (70 miles away)
2) Attending a fundraising brunch buffet
3) Sawyer's 6th birthday party

Stephan and I went back and forth over how we were going to divide and conquer the day. At first I was going to send him to the race so I could take the kids to the brunch. But when I thought about the small-talk and group of people that would be attending a fundraising brunch, I freaked out and traded him for the early-morning smile and wave and "here sign this paper to learn more about the Santa Hustle" thing.

When the brunch friend found out that I was bailing on the brunch because I was too nervous to talk to live people (runners don't count as people I guess?) she texted me, "Uhm. It's just brunch."

Noooooooo. It's not "just brunch". It's being polite. It's "what do I say next?" It's "what do I wear? Is my hair ok? What was her name again? Where can I hide to nurse the baby? Am I making enough eye contact? Should I reply with something funny or serious? Have I quoted NPR too much? Will this person be insulted by a political joke? Did I really just make fun of Cuban refugees? OhmyGod I just totally made a refugee joke. That's not funny AT ALL right now. There's no recovering from this. Let's all go hide in the bathroom until this thing is over."

I guess I was just surprised that, with all of the sensitivity to people who have hard times in social situations, and especially given my outspoken terror of strangers, that someone would say that to me. That anyone would be confused about ME not wanting to spend 2 hours at a table with strangers, trying to make new friends. I regularly mess up the friendships I already have. Why would I want to start over with new ones?

It's totally possible I've been living in a Blogess bubble of love and acceptance lately. Her book was fantastic, and I just keep reading websites that are encouraging and supportive. Places on the internet where hurting and fear and wackiness are totally acceptable states of being. I guess this is why that bubble exists in the first place- so I can remember that I'm not the weird(est) one.

That it IS about fashion.

Friday, October 30, 2015

"Please don't joke about cancer."

This is going to be confusing.

I'm reading Jenny Lawson's most recent book, Furiously Happy.
And when I went to post a loving comment on her blog I saw that the comment above mine was, "please don't joke about cancer." and I thought:
Ugh! Please DO joke about cancer!! That's what I've been saying for all these years!!

So I went back to her website today to try to re-comment on the cancer comment BUT what I found instead was awesome. And instead of reading any more words here, you should go read these other words:

These words. Click here and read and it's ok to cry a little.

Friday, October 23, 2015

"Mom.... MOM.... MOM!!!"

There's a Healing Touch class called "Energetic Communication." It's a class where the practitioner learns how to listen, really listen, to the client in order to find out how to work with them. And one nugget of information I've carried with me since taking the class is this:

People will repeat themselves until they feel like you've heard and understood them.

If you've ever been talking to someone and they just keep retelling the same story, or keep hammering home a point, or using the same word or phrase over and over again, it can be a sign that they don't think you've heard them. This is never more true than with kids. It might mean that the person feels like no one is listening, or it might be that no one is actually listening.

At my church I'm lucky to be a part of a few different groups of women who meet to support each other and the community. But recently the actual work isn't getting done because several women keep talking. And talking. And talking. And we've responded by shortening meeting times, cutting them off, and just flat out not including them sometimes. What happens? They keep talking, louder, more often, and to more people. We stopped listening, and they kept talking.

So now we're trying to figure out how to start listening again. Because the point of being on this planet is to be with other people, and communicate with them, and create the world with them. I'm wondering if the email/text/tweet/Facebook culture is stunting our ability to listen to people. Or if we're so busy (as women, as people) trying to get stuff done that the quiet listening time has been preempted.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick Check-in

I'm alive. (If that's what you'd call it)

The baby turned one year old and I realized I haven't slept more than 4 hours in a row for a full twelve months. And then it got worse. We're up every 2-3 hours. Still. I never dreamed I'd still be in "survival" mode after 13 months. The good news is that we are all still alive (except, I guess, for the cat). Food gets made. Showers and baths get taken (though not quite as often as we'd hope). Clothes are clean (most of the time, but it's not the end of the world if they're not).

Birthday parties, vacations, marathon cheering, homework, school events, ballet classes, church, Sunday school, and a few dinners with friends (Ok, just one of those) are still happening. Life is still happening.

Things that aren't happening:
arriving at appointments on time
showing up in the appropriate city for the appointment(s)
correctly addressing birthday cards
reading, writing, hobbies of any type
preparing for the future

Megs2.0 (the new therapist) insists that this too, shall pass. But dude, it's been 13 months. Of wheel-spinning. One day the baby will sleep. Or move out. One of those things will happen.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"This is Hard and I Hate It."

14 years ago I wanted a pet, but I was traveling too much to take care of a dog. So I got a cat. I went to a local shelter, picked out a small black cat and paid the money to take her home that day. She was about 6 months old and had just had a litter of kittens. BUT she was given to the shelter without those kittens, and still physically in recovery from delivering them. I was single at the time. The two of us watched a lot of daytime television. She loved "Who's the Daddy?" shows because she hoped to one day find that jerk who walked out on her.

Then I got married and we moved to a quiet house next to a lake. She was an indoor/outdoor cat and often left dead birds, squirrels, or chip monks, (once it was two semi-live baby geese) on my bed as presents. Then I got divorced and we moved into a small apartment. Then we drove her to Montana [OMG you guys you should read this] and I got married again. Then we had a baby and moved back to a house in the suburbs. Then we had another baby, and then she got sick.

And now she's in a box in the backyard.

And between every single word of our short summary of 14 years is a lot of love. And snuggling. And cat puke. And litter boxes. And fur. So. Much. Fur. Stephan constantly threatened to shave her. It's incredibly hard to put into words what losing a pet is like. Because it's pretty much something you own. But it's something alive. It's not a person, but you take care of all of its needs, and it connects to you without words. And if it's not your pet, it's just an animal. We lost our other cat a few years ago, but I never felt like he was "mine". So it was sad, but very different. A long time ago we lost our family dog. Again, not "mine" so not devastating.

Pets have been dying lately. And it's hard to know how to be supportive or to know if anything you say will make it better. I'm pretty sure nothing really does at first. You just sit in the suck. And don't do laundry because the litter box is still down there and laundry can wait a day or two.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Across 5 Septembers

Does September always suck for me? I'm starting to feel like this month is my achilles heel. So I dove through the blog archives to find out. Let's review:

September 2010: We were infested with fleas. Sawyer was about to turn 1. Life sucked and I lost it on an hourly basis over everything.

September 2011: Stephan started Nurse Practitioner school. That was a bucket of suck. We swore a lot that month.

September 2012: Diagnosed with bipolar 2. Eff September.

September 2013: Almost gave up on having a second baby. Totally disorganized brain. I'd quit therapy completely and bailed on all of my wonderful self-care. Generally not doing well.

September 2014: Had a baby! Life was actually great that year (except for the 6+ hours of colic every night that went on for 8 weeks, and the sleep deprivation that messed with the mental illness).

So..... huh. 3/5 were terrible. 1 was border line, and the last one doesn't count because I created a human. I'm not trusting this month. The odds are against it. Oh, 2015? I'm headed back to therapy, with a high probability for meds. "Winging it" apparently isn't the best treatment plan for anything.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day Care Week #1

So many thoughts. This week was amazing. It really did unlock some weird part of my energy-level that sucked the most out of every day. Every morning I woke up to the alarm (?!) and got myself ready first thing. Fed and dressed the baby and the two of us opened the drapes and the door to the day care room at 7:45. Stephan was in charge of getting Sawyer out of bed and ready for the day- a job I'll have starting next Thursday when he's in school full time.

BUT it's been amazing to have a segmented day- and a list of chores that get finished at specific times. About 20 minutes of meal/lunch/snack planning per week.... and another 20 minutes of project/song/art planning sets up the week to run on auto pilot. There have also been surprises!!

~ We found some bubbles. Day over.

~ Chalk is too messy for causal use.

~ My washing machine takes 40 minutes per load.

~ One art project, one large-motor activity, and one song is often TOO MUCH for a 9 hour day.

~ We eat something every 2 hours, which burns 30-45 minutes at a time.

~ Girls sit still. Often.

~ Someone else's kid is fascinating.

Some other things that have been surprises are not so great:
+ It's tough to wake up at work.
+ When there's no time for makeup I feel different.
+ Being 30 minutes late with a meal melts everyone down.
+ Three kids eat a LOT of fruit in 4 days.
+ I'm tired.

So it's good that it's Thursday night, the dishwasher is running, the laundry is working its magic, I've got an iced drink in front of me, and tomorrow I sleep in a little. In a few months we add one (and then two) infants. So it's good that we are getting the routine set up with the bigger kids now. All in all, daycare might be the best thing I never thought I needed. Some people get their energy from being in groups, or being alone... I think I might get mine from following a daily schedule.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Day Care Day #2

At some point last week I realized that I would be learning a lot from the kids I would be watching. Before our first official start, I learned that the children would NOT be spending the whole day in the "day care room." Little Girl (LG) took a complete tour of my house, dirty laundry and everything, within the first hour. Areas I had planned to be off limits (really, everywhere, so I didn't have to clean my house every day) were explored, and declared fit for playing in.

Lesson #2 was about scheduling. My pretend "9am art class, 10am snack time" turns out to be completely fluid, within a 20 minute grace period.

Lesson #3 is buy more coffee. We ran out this morning and my heart sank in a way I was not expecting.

Lesson #4, screen the art supplies before letting them near the kids. We accidentally played with non-washable markers today. LG's favorite color is purple. So..... the kid looks totally bruised across her hands and arms. Sigh. Her dad says it's no big deal. But the hand-print on my wall may disagree.

Lesson #5. Just keep moving. I'm not sure if I'll have the energy to maintain the schedule of the last two days, but as I sit here after 8pm on Thursday evening, 90% of my house is totally clean. Because, apparently, I can have my own kids crawling around on a dingy, dog-hair-matted kitchen floor, but the minute I see LG trailing a tuft of fur I freak out and vacuum the whole place.

I had assumed the "give the work to the busiest person" theory was going to kick in. Maybe it already has. Laundry is put away. Dishes all done. Fridge full of food. I love the routine I've set up for the boys and me to get the day started and ended. Actually, I just love routine. And maybe I've created the day care so everyone around me will finally have to bow to my master plan. All of you? In bed by 8. Daycare starts at 7:30am!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Resting vs Slacking

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the fight of the century!!

In this corner, weighing in at a perfect 22 BMI, lean, mean, fighting-machine.... It's a well-deserved break in the middle of a busy afternoon, a seat on the couch with a tall glass of water and a short trashy television program, a glass of wine at the end of a jam-packed day, a slow walk in the middle of a 5 mile run, a day in bed fighting off an incoming viral attack, it's.....


And in this corner, edging right around the 24.8 BMI mark [just below "overweight], resembling, but not quite copying The Blerch... It's an extra serving of ice-cream after a large pizza dinner, a fourth hour of a marathon viewing of something socially irresponsible, an entire 20 oz soda WITH caffeine AND sugar, a slow walk in the middle of giving-up-on the 3 mile run, watching the laundry and dishes pile up because "I'm not the only one who lives in this house damnit!", it's......


Sometimes when these two go toe-to-tow (haha! see what I did there?) it gets messy and you can't see whose arms are whose. And it can be confusing and frustrating when resting feels like slacking off, and sometimes slacking off feels like resting when life is just toooooooo complicated. But it's a push and pull I think everyone wants to end up on the right side of. Obviously, if you've read this far, you know it's a distinction I've been working on for my entire life.

I don't think there is a set answer to it. Maybe there's an internet quiz about it. I'll go check and get back to you.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

And the Hits just Keep on Coming!!

To answer a few follow-up questions from my last post:

~The new career path (Ha! Melanie, I should just call you!!) is.... dah dah dah DAH!!! I'm starting a daycare in my home. For an entire year I've been trying to make the massage thing happen profitably while leaving Stephan's schedule to be his crazy schedule, and not wasting all my income on babysitting. While I still LOVE massage, and continue to study and experiment with bodywork, for an income it's been tough. Add to that the desire to spend as much time as I can with the new baby.... and Yay! We happen to have two neighbors expecting new babies this fall, and one of them already has a small one needing day care. So it will be a slow start, but I'm SO excited!! I've been spending the last month on websites, borrowing books, chatting up other daycare owners, and putting together the resources and knowledge base to make this a really fun and educational experience for everyone. Even more than "keeping them alive," I hope I actually can help the bigger ones to learn a little more about how the world works.

~Running is amazing!! I'm still in 2+ year old shoes and the aches and pains are mounting, but I've pulled in some 10 minute miles, and added some stroller-cross-training to the mix. With the Fitbit I've been watching my steps and really try to hit the 10,000 step goal every day. That has meant a LOT of walks to the grocery store (1.8 miles round trip!), to the park (0.8 round trip, but I can usually pace back and forth enough in an hour to get up to 2+ miles), and up and around the park district while swim lessons happen. Add to all that the diet tweaks (vegetarian-based!!) and I'm down 10 lbs since May!!!

Hopefully this year I can start sleeping more- that's a giant goal. We have a few more weeks to get the baby's schedule dialed in before kindergarden starts, and the rubber meets the road with the daycare. I remember working a full time job. It was busy, but stressful in the good "checking stuff off the list" kind of way. Cheers to that being the case in the next 10 months!!!!

(Sorry for the exclamation points. Maybe that sleeping thing isn't quite put together yet)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"That" Run

I went out for a run tonight, and it turned into "that" run.

It was that run that started as a 3 mile, but got an extra mile tacked on because it just felt so easy to do. The last 10 months (let's be honest, it's been since I got pregnant 18 months ago) have been hella crazy. I did not own my body, and a lot of things in life got tossed around. Stephan was finishing school, started a new job, this tiny roommate moved in and never slept... So many things in the last year and a half flew around the room like a bad scene from Poltergeist.

But today, this weekend, finally, things started to settle. Stephan found a groove at work. We got some really good news we've been waiting for about his school stuff. I figured out where I'm going professionally for the next few years. Sawyer started taking new classes that he totally loves, and is looking forward to kindergarden in the fall. My last cancer screening came back clean (7 years!! Yay!) The baby is sleeping.... somewhat... predictably... and I've actually started running 5 days a week again.

Today was the definition of "in the groove". Everything is settling down. Finally. We are all breathing much deeper than we have in a long, long, long time. And toward the end of the run this amazing song started to play. I love it. It embodied everything I was feeling.

Enjoy life!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"You think you can do these things, Nemo, but you JUST CAN'T!!"

Stephan and I lived through 24 hours that, while completely our fault, was some of the toughest hours we've ever survived. (Not counting all the hours we haven't survived yet?)

We've been on vacation. We were vacationing in southern Missouri, where my family congregates once a year to sit at the pool and catch up while drinking beer at 10am. But when that vacation was over, our trip was just ramping up:

5am: baby wakes up
6am: make coffee
9am: leave for fish hatchery
10:15am: arrive at fish hatchery (temp = 96 degrees F)
10:30am: feed fish
10:45 am: hike up a mountain with a baby wrapped to me
11:45am: re-live our youth by talking to strangers
12:10pm: arrive at water park and drink shakes
12:20pm: begin sliding down concrete water slide
12:21pm: walk up hill to slide down again
12:23pm: slide down again
12:24pm: walk up again
[this repeats until 1:20pm]
1:20pm: manage preschooler fit
2:30pm: arrive back at pool and swim
4:30pm: out of pool. Begin packing
5:30pm: finish packing
6:15pm: baby smashes his face into the floor and bleeds everywhere
6:30pm: still bleeding
6:45pm: bleeding is stopped, time for dinner
8:00pm: drive away from rental house
9:15pm: stop at Walgreens for Orajel so baby can eventually eat again
9:30pm: cross into Arkansas

I can't honestly tell you the order of events after that. I know Stephan was driving. I stayed awake with him until about 12am, you know, for moral support. We stoped about every 2 hours to feed the baby, or let someone go to the bathroom. But then...

2:30am: sketchy rest stop in Alabama.... Stephan tries to find bathroom and is directed to a gated, fenced, padlocked enclosure at the edge of the property, with only one "women's" room, in disrepair, with two mystery doors that appear to be locked.

4am: Stephan asks me to drive
5am: the sun comes up
6am: I start crying in a McDonalds parking lot because I'm so tired I'm seeing things
6:30am: Stephan starts driving again while I sob sleepily next to him, disappointed I can't drive my shift this morning
8:00am: I get back behind the wheel.
10:30am: I'm done. Apparently I'm swerving so much that Stephan feels uncomfortable letting me drive.
12:30pm: We arrive at DeFuniak Springs, Florida.

At that point we visited Stephan's aunt, who lives in a nursing home there. We manage to finish driving to Destin, Florida, where a condo on the ocean awaits us. We heat up some left over chili (yes, we brought leftover chili on this trip) and take Sawyer down to the beach for his first ever encounter with The Ocean. After the driving we did, and the crying I did, the moment we all four held hands as the vastness of The Ocean met the miracle of our first son, at sunset, it was.... there might not be any words. I took a picture with "the camera in my mind" and we mostly just stood there letting the incoming tide remind us how big our world is.

One of the lessons from that day was this: some things are just different now. Stephan and I can no longer power through a 14-hour drive and expect the kids to fit into our plan. We used to drive 14 hours to and from Montana 3-4 (or more) times a year. But we have to admit that, at least for the near future, our driving days need to be shorter. It's a big shift for us. We once drove straight from Chicago to Oklahoma city, and then to San Diego, only stopping briefly. That's just not us anymore. But "worth it" is so fantastically, actually AWEsomely, not even close to what we get to do instead.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Overheard: lolz

Him: I had a patient today who was Bipolar.

Me: I or II?

Him: Just one guy. Oh, wait, no. Bipolar I.

Me: And?

Him: And it made me glad we're just dealing with the #2. Which reminds me, did you make the appointment?

Me: No.

Him: Why not?

Me: Ok. So, listen to this. I have a reason. I know I've waited tooooooo long to make an appointment with a new therapist, BUT I have a reason. A real one. Because... I mean.... what do they even do anyway?

Him: This is not a real conversation.

Me: No! Really!! Like, I get that, like, medicine can change the serotonin in your brain... and massage can affect your heart rate... but, like, just talking to someone? What does that even do?

Him: It doesn't matter.

Me: Yeah it does.

Him: You still don't know how the microwave works, but you use it every day.

Me: This is different.

Him: I feel SO bad for your old therapist. You are a very difficult patient. Also, remember the time you told him therapy is just 'placebo effect'?

Me: Well....... it kinda is.

Him: It doesn't matter. Make the phone call. You're impossible.

Friday, May 29, 2015

What, What??

The weirdest synchronicity just happened.

The kids both fell asleep at the same time. At 4pm.

I have a babysitter scheduled for 4:30 to watch them while I do a massage at the house. So at 4 I kinda freaked out. What do I do now? My mind started spinning. Quick! Pay bills! No! Fix your hair! Laundry! Sleep (can't do that, too little time)! Drink wine (that one was autopilot)! Check Facebook!

So I have 10 minutes now. And my brain exploded so hard that I figured I would catch the moment here. The babysitter is here. The boys are asleep. I have nothing to do for 10 minutes. It's.... like the universe is about to implode with quiet.

8 minutes now......

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Product Review

Because it's 9:30pm and BOTH BOYS ARE ASLEEP IN BEDS. Yes. We did the sleep training stuff with the baby over the long weekend and lots of prayers and whatever other magic happened and he got with the program within 20 minutes the first night. Since then it's been amazing. He cries for not even 5 minutes and is out for up to SIX HOURS. Yes. He slept for SIX HOURS the other night.

Anyway, for Mother's Day my mom gave me a Fitbit One. She asked me to research Fitbits for her, and when I compared and contrasted them online we came up with the two most useable ones. She kept one, and gave me the other one. I waited an entire month to write this just to make sure I loved it as much as I thought I did.

And I do. I love that I can see my steps during the day. I love that I can stuff it in a pocket while I'm doing massage (although it doesn't count massaging as "stepping" so that's a bummer). I TOTALLY love the app that I'm addicted to where I input all my foods and water for the day and it automatically tracks my calories in vs calories out. I've never been good at counting calories. And maybe I'm still not great at it. But it's been amazing for me to see what foods I eat a ton of for almost no calories (air-popped popcorn anyone??) and what foods I indulge in that cost me an entire day of walking (french fries are the DEVIL). I'm a numbers person, so I'm totally motivated by thinking about the calorie deficit I need to maintain in order to lose weight.

So far I've lost 6lbs this month.

The saddest part is realizing that the old saying of "weight is lost in the kitchen" is completely true. I once ate french fries for lunch and figured I would just walk them off later. Nope. 3 miles later I wasn't back to baseline. Food is SO much easier consumed than burned.

I'm still not running, so getting the 5 miles (about 10,000 steps) a day is really hard. Luckily, when I sit on the exercise ball to soothe the baby it thinks I'm walking, so I can get a few extra steps in that way. I don't feel like it's cheating since bouncing takes a lot of coordination and core strength.

Wow. A coherent blog post. See what happens with sleep and a quiet house??? I may run for president next.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Maybe it's because I now have two boys, but everything lately is centered around the bathroom.

This morning I was volunteering at a marathon and had to stop at the starting line to pick up a bunch of stuff. I was hoping to be quick enough to miss the start of the race, but I was about 45 seconds too late. As I was trying to turn my car onto the course, the first runner crossed in front of me and I knew I was about to watch the world's most boring parade.

So I backed out of the car line and parked it. I started walking back to the start line to hit the porta-poties since there would be no line. I thought to text the people I was meeting that I was stopping at the bathroom, or Stephan, or.... no. No one needs to know where I'm going.

As I sat in that porta-potty, I realized that no one but God knew where I was. It might be the first time in months that I wasn't trackable. And it was weird. And awesome. "No one knows where I am right now!!!" was a thought that kept circling my brain. It was so cool.

Honestly, it was hard to leave the john. Except for the terrible smell and being inches away from other peoples' poop.... I would have stayed in there for a really long time. I'm going to hold onto that memory for at least a few weeks.

Then later, Stephan saw me get completely frustrated with the boys (it was 10pm and they were both awake). He shoved me into the shower ("but I already took a shower today!"), and handed me a glass of iced gin and cherry juice. I started to just scrub the day off, but then stopped. The soap I use is hand made from natural ingredients. I held my hands over my face and just inhaled the smell of the actual lavender buds in the almond scrub.

It hit me... I paid WAY too much for this stuff to shower quickly. I took a lot of time to pick the products for their ingredients and scent... why not make sure I use up every smell I paid for? So I opened each bottle and pretty much just huffed my entire bathing routine. I love smells. And, of course, I stepped out a whole new person.

Really, the bathroom is the center of my home.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Letter

Dear Neighbor-who-is-selling-drugs-150'-from-my-front-door,

Last weekend you were visited by a few police officers late at night. That must have been scary for you. It must have really shaken up your routine, because I've been noticing a few things since then...

1. Your new friends drive very fancy, very LOUD and fancy sports cars. This makes them very easy to hear when they're a few blocks away. It's made preemptively calling the police much easier for me. Thanks for that.

2. Your system of turning the porch-light on to signal that your store is open is particularly annoying because that light happens to shine into my bedroom window. While it's also contributing to the ease of phoning the police, the glare is getting annoying.

3. The friends who walk up and down the block at very regular times still look pretty relaxed. My husband has gotten a few great pictures of them, since they walk so slowly and seem to almost pose for the photos.

4. Lastly, that blonde who jumped out of her car to buy drugs from you totally blew the stop sign at the end of the street. Your clients should be more careful. Reckless driving could be a cause for the police to stop and search their cars. Just a tip.

It is really annoying that law enforcement hasn't been able to stop this yet. But for someone with laser-like attention to detail, I couldn't have asked for a better hobby.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Rule

Read books, not magazines.

I have a confession. Don't tell my husband. The "stomach problems" I had last weekend were mainly my desire to finish reading a very good book I had started last week. It's the first book I've finished in months. Maybe since the baby was born. I found myself drinking a ton of water, just to read a few more pages. The few minutes every few hours or so were like stealing time. It was kinda nice.

So my new rule is: Read books, not magazines when I'm in the bathroom. Books are better for you anyway... right?

Friday, May 8, 2015

About Showering

I came up with this title last week. It seemed funny at first, but now I'm realizing it's a symptom of something more serious.

I thought it was funny that I've stopped showering regularly. I usually end up being shoved in there by my husband who declares "enough is enough" every 3-4 days.

That's not me. That's not me at all. When I was challenged with depression in college, one of my coping strategies was to take showers to clear my head. For a while I was showering three times a day. It's my happy place. I love the shower. Being clean.... smelling nice..... something about the water....

And to realize I've let that completely slip away should have been a sign that things weren't going well. Because they really haven't been. Forgetting to pay electric and gas bills is one thing. Forgetting to put on the calendar (and then totally missing) my best friend's baby shower is another. And breaking down in tears as Stephan physically puts me in a car to drive to a friend's birthday party (which I spent in the car in a parking lot down the street because I didn't want to talk to humans) was the last straw.

Something needs to change and we're working on it.

In the meantime, The Blogess has posted some very beautiful things about life. I highly recommend checking out her work.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Simple Things

Someone posted to Facebook about her husband tossing a sandwich out the car window at her while she was on a long run. And I can't think of the word "toss" without picturing this:

And then this:

And then remembering one fantastic therapy session where I talked about running the Tough Mudder and figured that big people could just toss littler people over the walls. Which was a very fun distraction from whatever personal misery and self-pity I was experiencing that day.

Just don't tell the elf.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Getting My Nancy Drew On

Here's a funny story:

We have a drug dealer in our neighborhood. He lives across the street and a few houses down. He's a younger kid (maybe 19) who lives with his parents. And his parents know about this. And they are trying to deal with him as best as they can.

And so are we. Since I've been home for a while I've started a log of the different people and cars that go into and out of the house. There's even a pattern to it. And every time I take a picture or jot something down in my log, I call 911. The police have been super-helpful, and very encouraging.

They've even tolerated my very fuzzy cell-phone pictures I've been taking through the screens on the windows. A few times I've made up excuses to be outside and take the pictures (running selfie anyone??), and that's good. I have little nicknames for the different people: "Noon-Walker" "Skate border" "Creepy-van-man". The police assure me they are getting close to a solution for our neighborhood.

Until then, I'll be organizing a neighborhood watch this summer..... or maybe getting a job. Both would be very productive.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Had it.... Lost it... Found it

The baby (who is 7 months old already!!) doesn't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. This has been true for his entire (short) life. He once slept for 4 hours. I remember that one night in January. It hasn't happened since.

As if that wasn't tough enough, he's been sick for three days and waking up every 40-60 minutes stuffy and coughing and generally, infantly, pathetic. I'm so beyond tapped out that I may have hallucinated slapping a bee off of my leg yesterday, and even in my dreams (when I have them) I'm trying to fall asleep.

A few nights ago (or hours, who really knows at this point?) I read a blog article about "the one thing that changed parenting for me forever." When I read it I wanted immediately to share it here, if only to have it saved forever. And now I can't find it. And googling, "parenting blog life changed forever" only yields several millions of results.

Anyway, the point of the article was: a woman was struggling with a baby that was very fussy and kept her from doing housework and generally, getting life done. A friend of hers looked at her situation and suggested that she reframe it. Maybe the baby was her primary job, and the work she was doing could come second. (It seems elementary now that I type this out.)

And it's true. When Adam was tiny and had the screaming colic for 5 hours every night I knew and prepared for it. It wasn't a struggle for me because I could prepare for it. I set up snacks for myself, entertainment for myself, put on comfortable clothes and "did colic" every night for 5 hours.

Cut to today.... I looked at my daily schedule and noticed that everything that I do after 3:30pm has been a struggle lately. Clearing the kitchen table from toys... getting dinner ready.... occupying the 5 year old..... carrying around the baby...... And I spent the morning setting up the afternoon. I put dinner on the stove to simmer before 3pm. I had the house ready for playing and snuggling (i.e. vacuumed and straightened) and accepted that anything that wasn't done by 3pm wouldn't get done.

And it didn't. And I felt totally fine with that. By the time I got to 8pm and the bedtime routine, I was the calmest I've been in weeks. And as icing on this idealogue cake.... Adam fell asleep on the floor next to me as I was typing this. So even he is on-board with this plan.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


(That means "throw back thursday". It's a thing people do on Thursdays when they want to remember something that happened in the past. It's usually a photo..... Call me if you have questions, Mom.)

Sawyer rode his bike to the park today while I pushed the baby. Instructing the 5-year-old to "not go too fast" was useless. So I had to start a slow jog to keep up with him. And that reminded me of this one time...........

Almost exactly 5 years ago I was pushing baby Sawyer in a stroller out to the "far away park" that's about a mile from our house. The weather was dark and foreboding, but I'm adventurous. I hadn't ever run a 5k. The furthest I'd ever run was about 2 miles on a treadmill, but I had high hopes. And decent shoes. So when we were about half a mile away from the house and it started drizzling, I broke into a slow jog. And I had to walk after about 15 feet. I was out of breath. I tried a few times to break into a run, but never made it very far.

I started wondering what would happen if I ever needed to run, like, if the rain that was falling got much worse, or if there was an emergency, or zombies. That wonder/fear drove me to start seriously running that summer. And the serious running led to the marathon the following spring (2011), which has led to meeting amazing DetermiNation friends, running friends, medals, journals, blog posts......

[Insert coherent ending about April Showers bringing lifetime flowers]

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

And What Does Daddy Teach You?

Last month Sawyer spontaneously started telling me what each member of our family teaches him. 

"Mommy teaches me to be kind... Amma teaches me to write the school way..." 

And what does Daddy teach you?

"A lesson."

There's a group of diaper commercials going around that shows a stereotyped mom being more permissive and comfortable with a second baby than a first baby (less hand sanitizer, more grease and dirt the second time around). It's funny. And pretty accurate. But isn't that how we all handle the "second" anything? That first marathon training program I followed to the digit. I think I missed two runs, and I agonized over each of them. A few months later I ran a 1/2 marathon and pretty much did half the scheduled workouts. You just understand what you can get away with after you've done something once. 

And the other thing you realize the second time around? That you really know nothing. If you can survive something following every rule, and then survive it again following only half the rules.... the thing is just survivable no matter what you do, or how you do it. I was SO judgmental of other runners while I was training for that first race. And maybe it's time I admit that I had a fair amount of things I thought about (that I thankfully didn't say out loud to) other parents when I was just a mom-of-one. 

But by now, "whatever works, dude," is pretty much my life motto. Second baby = second race = second career = second time around at anything... It hits me constantly that the terrible Jersey Shore motto of "you do you" is actually pretty brilliant.  

If you add to all of this that "you" is unique in every moment, at every time and stage, "doing you" can turn into a really zen directive. 

Today's lesson: you totally got this. Whoever "you" are. Whatever "this" is.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Have I Told... You Lately.....

...That I Love...

My job???? Internet, it's been almost 10 months since I've worked a full day, and I've missed it so much. I didn't realize how much I missed working until I had my hands on my 3rd of 6 clients this afternoon and I heard that soft snore that so often accompanies a really good massage, and it hit me, this person is REALLY enjoying what's going on right now.

Le Sigh.

11 years ago I made a huge shift from a desk(ish) job that was clean, and computer-focused, to this amazing life, on my feet, touching people. The desk(ish) job was good, and fun, and I worked with some of the most talented people in the world. But the quiet moments I get to have one-on-one with people while they are at their most vulnerable humble me so much. I'm in awe of all the wonderful clients I have who place their trust and their bodies in my hands for a few hours a month and just let their bodies rest and heal. It's such an honor to get to work with people in this way.

If I had a billion dollars and never had to earn money again.... I would actually work MORE and just give people the gift of massage for free.

I would also rescue more animals.

And shop at Lululemon at least once.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Things I Want

**NOT in order of importance

-New running shoes
-The baby to sleep through the night
-To run outside
-To walk outside
-To do anything outside
-To fit into my smaller pre-Adam jeans
-A self-cleaning fish tank
-Time to read a book
-Scandal to be on Hulu so I can find out what my friends are talking about
-To lay on a beach by the ocean and get a guilt-free tan

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Not Making this Sh*t Up....

I'm not sure what prompted the blogger.com Adult Content Rules to be changed, BUT never fear humans!!

So back to your previously scheduled Contento della Adulto**!!!! Enjoy!

**I totally made that up. It's not a language. I'm still just that tired.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kitchen Boss

Or Overheard: I think I ruined cookies forever.

Me: These chocolate chip cookies taste funny.

Him: Yeah, they do. What's different?

Me: Nothing at all. But we haven't had any processed sugar, white flour or margarine in, like, three months.

Him: This is your fault. Just like with the "all-natural refrigerated" peanut butter. You get me totally used to this real food, and then the delicious fake food just tastes gross.

So.... I win?? Chalk one up for health? I've been making gigantic strides in the kitchen lately thanks to these people at Thug Kitchen and their amazing cookbook . My most favorite part is the week-long process of putting together vegetable broth. Now all my vegetable scraps get saved until the end of the week and boiled in water before moving down to compost, so I have a seemingly endless supply of fresh, FREE broth whenever I need it!

Broth. Sometimes, it's what's for dinner.

Monday, March 2, 2015

How Tired Were You?

This morning I was so tired...

I wore my husband's pants for three hours (to the grocery store and then pre-school pickup) before realizing I hadn't simply "lost a bunch of weight in a really weird way."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

An Open Letter...

Dear Future College Roommate of My Infant Son,

Hello. You haven't met me yet. I'm your roommate's mom. I hope you're enjoying his friendly demeanor and ability to find humor in all bodily functions. He is quite cute, and has a wonderful smile, which I'm sure you're aware of. I'm sorry he's probably charming the pants off of your girlfriend.

I'm also sorry he wakes up every four hours to eat. You should probably lock up your snack foods. He's been doing that since birth, and we never did figure out how to cure him of it. I'm sure the two of you get along great, since he loves boobs and you're in college now and you probably do too. Maybe you also share a love of stand-up comedy and classical music played on pretend xylophones. It is an uncommon fascination, but less annoying than living with someone who can only study when John Williams soundtracks are playing (true story!).

Good luck with him. I'm sad to have him out of the house, but it will definitely be fun to watch someone else try to sleep in the same room with his piggie-snorting sleep-breathing.

Adam's Mom

Thursday, February 26, 2015


This came across my screen today as I logged in, and I just thought I'd share it with you as a public service....

On March 23rd, Blogger will no longer allow certain sexually explicit content. Learn more here.

I apologize in advance for the lack of sexually explicit content on my blog in the future.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What Would Amadeus Do?

I read something on the internet and it changed my entire life. I kinda wish I was kidding.

Anyhow- read it for yourself. It's from a much longer and more detailed/complicated website dedicated mostly to posture and the alignment of the human body. I'm fascinated by it from a massage therapist point-of-view, and now, also, from a "how have I been doing this wrong all these years??" point-of-view.

This is the same link, just easier to click. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Your Perfect Baby"

I've been mentally collecting phrases for a few weeks now. "Your perfect baby" is one of them. "He's always smiling!" and "He just never cries does he?" And the one that really helped me put this all together, "All his pictures on Facebook are so beautiful!"

Well, duh. I get to pick what pictures get put on the internet... and I'm not going to pick ones where he is screaming his head off. Also, who takes pictures of babies screaming their heads off?? The face we present to the world is not usually the "I'm falling apart" face. (Or even the macaroni-pants face) Of course I "look nice" when I'm at church... if I didn't get to comb my hair, I would probably stay home. And yeah, those pictures you see are really cute. I chose the nice ones.

Facebook is not "RealLife book." Can you just imagine if a camera took random pictures of you during the day and posted them to the internet?? Holy bells- that would show a totally different life. I think that's the point of all of those "you never know what's going on beneath the surface" quotes. Because yes, this baby has been known to cry for 4-6 hours at a time for no reason. And yes, he's been eating every 90 minutes this week. Have I showered lately?? I'll get back to you. But I really hope that people aren't looking to the "profiles" of their friends on the internet to compare their life and get the truth of reality.

Maybe I'll give up quotation marks for Lent.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Activity Tracker

This post is NOT sponsored. I was not given anything free to write up my assessment of this product. Here are the features of my new activity/mood tracker (yes!! it tracks my moods!! Read on!):

-Makes a loud noise if I sit still for too long
-Provides detailed back and arm-strength weight training
-Requires me to walk several miles a day at a very moderate pace
-Becomes very hostile if I start to get stressed
-Demands resting at regular intervals in a quiet place
-Encourages dressing and presenting myself as-is... no faking 'awake' with mascara

I think you get the idea. This baby has taught me more about my patterns of daily living than any wrist-bound tool I've ever heard of. If I just go with his demands, we are all much happier.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bringing Sexy... out to the back yard

Core Work. Blaauhhhggg. I've never ever ever actually done core work. I've read articles about it. I've wondered if it would be a good idea. I've decided it would be a good idea. But in all the time I've been alive, I've never done core work.

Truth: In college I spent about a year weightlifting pretty seriously. At my best, I could squat more than 200lbs. At the time, I weighed less than 120. Yay me! But... no core work. I skipped abs and back. Because.... I don't know why.

So now that I'm into week 4 of 12 in the MuTu System (short for Mummy Tummy) I'm fully aware of how not-fun this is. And how NOT sexy the "lamp post pee" and the "lift and squeeze" are. It's small movements, little tweaks, over and over again. Core work is restructuring the supportive muscles in the torso and trunk. It's replacing the studs and floorboards of a house from inside the walls. Not. Easy.

All I want to do is run again. So maybe this is perfect motivation to actually finish the program. I want my shoes back. My sweat. My counting mile after mile. And a t-shirt. I really need a new "free" tshirt.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

No One Asked Me

I'm about to rant because I feel like I can't protect my baby, and that is a terrible feeling.

Here's the deal. We are healthy, proactive people in our house. Yes, I worked hard to prepare for completely natural child birth(s). And yes, I nursed Sawyer until after his first birthday, and I'm on-track to do the same for Adam. We eat minimally processed food (mostly)- lately more vegetarian than meat-focused. Since I'm home so often, I do my best to avoid fast and processed food (but sometimes we eat at McDonalds). We take vitamins (almost every day). We drink water (but sometimes soda).

And Stephan is a primary care provider. And I'm a massage therapist. We don't do a lot of pain-killers here. We avoid antibiotics (Sawyer has never had them). And I made all my own baby food.

AND I VACCINATED MY G-D D-MN KIDS!!!!! So why am I hiding in my house to keep my baby safe? I can't protect him from everything. But I thought we, as a people, had this vaccination thing down. Was I nervous about shooting drugs into my first baby? Yes! So I read books, journal articles, and talked to doctors. Armed with all of that information, Stephan and I were confident that what we were told by the government and our doctors was sound.

I just want my baby to be healthy. People are deciding things based on incomplete, or just plain wrong information, and their decisions could have a terrible effect on my baby. It makes me so mad. Sorry for the rant- I just needed to type through this one.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Woke Up Tired

I had a dream that I was running the Boston Marathon. When I got to the finish line, two of my friends were there. They told me I wasn't smiling enough in my finish line photos, and gave me tips for fun things to do so the pictures would turn out better. And they sent me back to try it all again.

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!!