Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Health & Wellness Goals: August

I have, officially, seen my pre-pregnancy weight on the scale, which would be a great feeling, except for that part where pregnancy shifts everything around, so even though the scale might say that you're where you were before, your clothes are telling you that the scale is wrong. My calves are bigger than they used to be, my belly could kind of still pass for a pregnant belly if I'm not completely careful in what I wear, and there are some back bulges where I'd SWEAR there weren't back bulges in the past. But it's fine, for the most part. I'm eight months removed from having Caitlin, and for the most part, I can basically fit into my closet again.

It's fine.

Except...well, it's not always fine. Some of my dresses just don't fit well. Some of my boots seem to cut off circulation below my knee. And most of my t-shirts have had to be retired.

I'm not naive. I understand that bodies change with age and REALLY change after pregnancy, and I don't ever expect to look like I did in my 20s again. But I'm also pretty sure that if I went to my doctor right now, she'd tell me I'm overweight for my height, and that's something I'd still like to fix. Then there's the part of me that knows, at one point in my life, I was able to run more than three consecutive miles without feeling like I wanted to vomit or die or vomit, then die. And that part? Right there? She is beyond annoying and has convinced all of the other parts of me that I should get back to that point, while signing me up for a 5K to push the issue. I kind of hate her sometimes.

(I think tonight is going to be one of those times, when my C25K training app jumps from 10 minutes of running without a break to 20 minutes of running without a break. Way to ease me into things there, fellas!)

I feel like I am starting to get the exercise thing back under control, which always makes me feel better, but it's probably time I tackle the diet side of things, too, because guys? My sweet tooth is out of control. If you could have SEEN the number of tootsie rolls I put away last Friday in a binge of stress eating, you'd have been either impressed or disgusted, depending on your view of whether stress eating tootsie rolls is a good thing or a bad thing. I'm kind of inclined to consider it a bad thing at the moment, so I'm putting myself on a no-sugar plan for the month of August. No more stress eating candy or raiding my freezer stash of Girl Scout cookies (which are, uh, gone anyway after last week's craziness...). Sugar has been causing headaches and upset stomachs for me lately, anyway, so now seems as good a time as any to see just how much better I feel off of it for 31 days.

Who knows...maybe I'll even come out of it as one of those people who can have a small piece of dark chocolate here and there, and feel completely satisfied when it's gone! OR EVEN ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO CONSIDERS FRUIT A VIABLE DESSERT!!! That could be me, come September, right? RIGHT?!?!?

(Wrong. I am an 'eat every piece of chocolate within a 2 mile radius of my current location' kind of person. I will never be one of those moderation people. I hate those people.)

(In an 'I'm completely jealous of those people' kind of way, of course.)

(Why can't I be one of those people???)

Friday, July 26, 2013

We made a decision! Sort of!

We had a realtor over to our house last night, and we walked through the whole place with her, and she pointed out what we did and did not need to fix before we put our house on the market, and we told her we'd have everything ready to go by September 1st, and she said we'd list the house after that. Then she left, and I started crying.

Because all of a sudden it hit me that even though I am the driving force behind all of this, even though this is what I want for the family, if everything goes according to plan, we could be out of the house before the holiday season. And if it only goes partially according to plan, we might not be in a new house before the end of the year. Suddenly, I'm facing no decorating for Halloween or Christmas, no trick-or-treating with the neighbors, none of the fun things that I look forward to the other eight months of the year (because my holiday season starts in September, of course). And even though I know it will all be better in the long run, a lost holiday season makes me sad, because I'm up against the clock already on having kids young enough to fully enjoy the magic behind my favorite time of year, and I don't really want to waste any of the time I have.

I tried to explain all of this to Steve, and he basically looked at me like I'm nuts, which...he does have a point. I feel kind of nuts right now, and I'm more or less banking on feeling this way until the process is settled one way or the other. Either we'll sell the house within the 30-days-on-the-market time frame our realtor has set out for us, and I'll deal with whatever comes our way after that, or we won't sell our house in 30 days, and we'll pull it off of the market until spring. Whatever happens, we will be fine. Everything will be fine.

I just wish we were to the 'fine' part already...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Inside My Head

When Steve and I bought the house we're currently living in, we bought it for the future. We were two childless people, living in one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in the area, with four empty bedrooms to our name and a primary school a block away from us. We were set for the long-term.

Then Brigid came along, and we started making friends with other families in the neighborhood. A new couple moved in next door to us, and suddenly, Brigid was referring to their son as her boyfriend, and Steve had a beer drinking buddy, and I had someone to carpool with to neighborhood girls' nights out. They had their second son a few months before Caitlin was born, and now we have a whole group of kids planning to grow up together. When a planned trip to the pool with a bunch of neighbors was rained out last weekend, we invited them over for dinner so the kids could play together a little longer, and the adults could drink wine, and it was just a nice way to end the weekend. A few weeks before that, it was a Sunday night pizza run for all of us together, after the neighbors had taken Brigid to the pool for the afternoon, so Steve and I could finish a home improvement project we'd been working on for weeks.

We've truly found ourselves in a really fantastic situation, and I couldn't be happier about it. But, for some reason, I just can't leave well enough alone. I can't be content with everything we have going for us.

Our house, our neighborhood, our current lifestyle in general, it's a two income party for us, and I honestly don't know how much longer I want to keep us a two income family. I want to stay home with my girls so much, there is an actual aching feeling in my chest when I think about it, and I can feel the panic/anxiety/need/some other emotion that I can't quite define rising in my throat, trying to fight its way out. The deep breathing and distraction techniques I've used to fight the random bouts of anxiety I've dealt with in the past only get me so far these days. I'm on every stress-fighting natural supplement I can find. I try to run the noise out of my head on the treadmill. I keep myself up later and later every night, because I can only fall asleep if I am so exhausted, I can't keep my eyes open for another minute, but even then, if Caitlin gets me up anytime after 4:30am? I'm usually up for the day, because there's no way I'm falling back asleep.

(Well, unless I'm running on 3 or 4 nights of 5 hours of sleep. Then I'm ok with it...)

I spend so much time thinking about how wonderful it would be to stay home with my kids, to work around their schedule alone, not their schedule, my schedule, Steve's schedule, and my mother-in-law's schedule, since she watches them three days a week. I think of how I can be responsible for dinner, so Steve's not rushing around to do it the minute he gets home, because I know how much that stresses him out. I think about how I can do the grocery shopping during the week, so our weekends are reserved for fun activities with the girls, instead of the chores that we haven't had time to do on the weekdays. I think about taking Brigid to a weekday ballet class, so our weekends can be flexible.

And I want it to be that way. Just like that.

But then I think about the money I'd be giving up. Am I actually doing wrong by my daughters, if I can't give them everything I always thought I'd be giving them? Is it wrong to move them away from such a great situation, with friends next door and down the street? We bought this house for the future, and we will lose money on it if we sell it now. Can I live with that? Or will I feel like I'm being selfish to the detriment of my family? Sure, where we'd like to move, we'll be closer to Steve's parents, which he says is where he'd like to be, but he's going to have a longer commute if we move there. Will he resent that, over time? He married someone who was willing to pull her own weight, financially, and if I'm not that person anymore, will that just increase his stress levels, knowing it's just him, now?

I know what I want to do. I just keep thinking it would be so much easier if I could do it in a way that's not an option for us. And I'm worried that what is an option for us isn't actually the right option for us. And around and around and around again, this is the whirlpool of thought I feel caught in, almost daily. I just want someone to tell me what we should do, what will give my family the happiest future. I just want someone to come be the adult for me for awhile, so I don't have to do it anymore.

And barring that? I just want to win the lottery, so I can move us all to our own little island, and this time period just becomes something we laugh about over fruity drinks on the beach, because ha ha! look how stressed we were when life involved something else besides drinking fruity drinks on the beach! isn't it nice that we don't deal with stuff like that anymore?

That's not too much to ask, right?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I don't know if there is anyone out there still listening to me or not, because when you only post once every three months, and you just haven't been able to visit/comment on other blogs recently like you used to do, and Google decides to ditch its feed reader, giving everyone else the perfect opportunity to weed dead blogs out of whatever new feed reader they're moving to, you don't expect many people to stick around, waiting anxiously for your return. But I have things to say, and even if no one is listening, and I have things to figure out for myself that I can only figure out if I put it all down on paper, first.

(My head, it is a noisy place these days. I can't keep track of anything in there, anymore.)

I want to get back to posting outfit pictures, because I've been on a stress-shopping binge, lately, and my newest no-shopping stint will begin on August 1st, which means I need to get back to appreciating what I already have, instead of wanting everything that I don't.

I want to talk about make-up, because, well, see the stress-shopping binge, above. I love make-up, I always have, and ever since Style Lush went quiet, I've lost the outlet where I could talk about all of my favorite products. And favorite products? Hoo, buddy, do I have them.

I want to talk about my feelings as a working mother who no longer wants to be a working mother, the constant beating my emotional well-being has taken as I've struggled to lose the baby weight after Caitlin's arrival in my life, the struggles I've faced in trying to teach Brigid right from wrong. And my fear that I am not doing right by her in this process.

I want to talk about all of the stress and anxiety that has slowly taken over my life this past year, in ways that I've never truly appreciated until I actually sat down and thought about how hard the simple things in life have become.

And I want to talk about how happy I am that my life is where it is, in so many ways, despite all of that other stuff that keeps getting in the way.

I have things to say. It's time I got back to saying them.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The List - June Update

I feel like I say this every time I manage to make it back to this space after a long break, but I miss writing here on a regular basis. This is my own little corner of the world, and I start to feel bottled up when I can't take some time for myself. Unfortunately, between work and the girls, time for myself seems non-existent these days, and I'm just not sure when it's coming back...

Anyway. The list.

1) Lose the pregnancy weight. - 27lbs lost. I'm three measly pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, and yet, it still just doesn't feel right. With Brigid, when I lost the weight, I went back to being myself. After Caitlin, though, something changed, and my pre-pregnancy weight just doesn't have the same shape it used to. It can be so disheartening to see a familiar number on the scale (FINALLY!), but still not fit into half of the clothes in my closet. However, I am taking comfort in the fact that even though I FELT overly large in the strapless, empire-waisted bridesmaid dress I wore in my brother-in-law's wedding a couple of weeks ago, the pictures don't make me look nearly as bad as I had been preparing myself for, mentally, ever since they were taken. So. Bright side.

2) Give up meat for a month. - Not yet.

3) Complete the Couch to 5K program. - No new injuries to report, but no new progress on this, either. I blame the seventeen home improvement projects we have going on right now, which eat into that tiny little hour of alone time I have between getting the girls to bed and collapsing in bed myself.

4) Run an organized 5K. - See: No Running In Two Months.

5) Clean/reorganize my closet. - No.

6) Take a belated anniversary trip with Steve, a long weekend somewhere without the kids. - Still in the works.

7) Make a meal entirely on my own (I don't cook, so this might be the biggest one of the year!) - Eh, at this point I might call boiling some pasta, heating up some sauce, and opening a bag of prepared salad 'cooking' and mark this one off of the list.

8) Create an art wall in my staircase. - We...might be moving? Maybe? We've discussed it anyway? So, I don't know what to do about this now.

9) Organize a workspace for me. - No.

10) Attend The Blathering in Charleston. - STILL REGISTERED!! STILL SO EXCITED!!!!

11) Read at least one book a month. - Let's see, through May I had: In the Garden of Beasts (Erik Larson), Wild (Cheryl Strayed), and Discovery of Witches/Shadow of Night (Deborah Harkness). Since then, I've added: Wedding Night (Sophie Kinsella), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Rules of Civility (Amor Towles), The Casual Vacancy (JK Rowling), and Summer at Tiffany (Marjorie Hart). I'm at nine through seven months. I used to get through nine in less than two months. Sad.

But, Harry Potter books, reread. I should probably cut myself some slack...

12) Take Brigid and Caitlin to South Bend for a weekend (preferably a football weekend). - We're currently trying to get up there for Labor Day weekend.

13) Research/practice meditation. - No.

14) Find a yoga studio and start taking classes regularly. - No.

15) Find a 'mommy and me' class of some sort for Brigid and I to attend. - I should try to find a new one for us.

16) Write something, anything, not blog related. - No.

17) Take one lunch break a week, even if it's only 15 minutes, to sit somewhere quiet and recalibrate/reflect/replan the next few days. (when I go back to work...) - HA! HAAAAAAAA! No. (still.)

18) Start taking outfit photos again, in an effort to wear everything already in my closet instead of shopping for new items. - Eh. Maybe.

19) Be more consistent in updating my family blog, because my parents give me a hard time when I let it lag, and my personal blog, because I'm not as happy with myself when I let it lag. - Still no.

20) Start reading my favorite blogs again, since I haven't even LOOKED at my reader feed in months, and I miss keeping up with it. - Sort of. Some of them.

21) Find a general practitioner and get a physical. - Not yet.

22) Throw Brigid a NYE party next year, complete with hats, noisemakers, and fun food, since she was really excited to stay up until midnight this year, but I was so tired from the baby's schedule that we faked midnight for her at 11PM. - I have a few more months on this?

23) Send more mail...thank you notes, birthday cards, and 'just because' messages. - I've been better-ish. But there's still room for improvement.

24) Try a juice fast/cleanse. - I'm doing this dandelion tea thing? Which kind of has made me feel better? But which has also prompted Steve to ask me if I'm preparing for some kind of drug test he didn't know I had?

25) Decide, once and for all, what I want to be when I grow up, and formulate a plan to get myself there. - Blergh.