Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I'm exhausted by the end of the day and feel like sitting on my ass with a fresh bottle of wine. But that's probably because between working full time, going to school, being a mommy of an 8 month old who is crawling everywhere and being totally sleep deprived, I'm fucking frazzled. Not just frazzled, FUCKING FRAZZLED.
On top of being fucking frazzled, I'm not a self-motivator. Especially when my plate is this full. I have to do group exercise at the gym or work out with a buddy if I'm going to work out at all. Even group exercise is not enough motivation for me these days. I love spin. I'm finally allowed to spin now after my foot surgery. Have I gone lately? Nope. I keep telling myself I'm going to walk Alameda beach both ways. Have I? Nope. I keep planning on buying canvas to paint, going to the antique fair to buy goods and start my online business, and making an effort to update my blog more. Nope, nope and nope.
So? I am now looking for fellow lazy-asses. Let's motivate each other. Come on, let's go walk Alameda beach this weekend. Ready?
Monday, September 19, 2011
I feel like there should be a support group for this syndrome.
It's not like picky eaters choose to be picky. In fact, I'm ashamed of it. It's not easy going somewhere when someone has cooked you a meal and picking out the mushrooms you can't stomach or the raw tomatoes that your host took the time to cut up all pretty. It's either pick them out or gag in front of the cook, risking insulting them even further. It's also not easy to go out to dinner and only have one thing on the menu sound remotely appetizing to you. I don't need all that extra hoopla on my food. I don't need a prosciutto reduction or a shaved fennel garnish nestled in a wasabi aioli that touches my already over-seasoned main course. I love the Bay Area and the East Bay has a wonderful selection of delicious restaurants that could give a foodie wet dreams.
But sometimes simple is good. Some of us are comfortable with simple. My Step-Mother is one of THEE very best cooks I know and everything she makes has very basic, whole ingredients. Asparagus soup. Crab salad in endive cups. Parmasean stuffed zucchini. Everything she makes has simple ingredients that I have 1) heard of 2) can pronounce.
Recently I have even been dipping my toes into uncharted food territory, stepping outside my comfort zone to try new things. But what the hell is wrong with good-old-fashioned salt and pepper? The pickiness started when I was a kid. My family is from the Mid-West are a meat and potatoes kinda family. Super simple meals adorn the table every night. Green beans. Mashed potatoes. Pork chops from the grill. Corn. Mac and Cheese. An occasional pizza casserole. But you get the idea.
On top of that simple food background, I had a very scary food allergy experience a few years back. I ate a meal I used to frequently consume (a burrito from my favorite joint) and broke out in very scary NFL-regulation-football-sized hives that covered my body from head to toe. To this day, I still don't know what caused it or what sort of cross-contamination occurred when preparing my super simple burrito that landed me in the emergency room. I am severely allergic to kiwi and borderline allergic to mango and pineapple. If I ask you what is in your salad dressing or marinade, it's not personal. I'm not testing your culinary abilities and I'm sure what you've prepared is amazing. I'm just a paranoid-ass (borderline OCD) girl who had a few bad food experiences and would rather watch her son graduate than die of anaphylaxis. Is that unreasonable? I don't think so. To me, it's realistic.
So between the legit food allergy scares and the uncontrollable gag reflex, I am a self-admitted hot mess when it comes to food options.
Forgive me. I assure you, I have many other fine qualities that will make up for this unfortunate quality of mine.
Friday, September 9, 2011
The momentous occasion has arrived. My surgery was completed this morning and I am on my was to becoming the old me. Not just physically, but mentally as well. You see, I have had a problem with my foot since before my pregnancy. As of recent, I have been unable to be consistently active. Walks along Alameda beach were out and the only exercise that didn't send waves up my pain was swimming, which I'm pretty shitty at.
Now? All I can think about is how in 2-3 weeks, these bandages will be off and I will be active once again.
I have started an Etsy account for my online store, Abodeable. I will be selling vintage and hand crafted housewares. My first scouting mission will be October 2nd and it can't come soon enough. But for now, I will be resting so that I heal perfectly and can get back to the Old Me as soon as possible.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I've found ways to have time to myself. At night, before bed, I've been finding time to read. Sometimes only a page or two at a time, but I'm still getting some reading in. After the baby goes to bed I occasionally treat myself to a glass (more like half glass) of wine and put my feet up.
When the baby naps, I've been working on various crafts. I started an Etsy store and with the help of my Step-Mother, Kelley, I will be stocking the virtual shelves shortly. I'm super excited to start this adventure. I will mainly be focusing on home decor, but will dabble with whatever I get my hands on for a while. Kelley is a very successful ex-high school teacher turned corporate executive, who deals antiques on the side. We're going to take our first trip together to the Alameda Point Antique fair in early September to get some ideas and start shopping. I've named the store Abodable.
I'm super excited to start school. Every class I complete gets me closer to my goal and means I get to move on to yet another class to "make my bitch". Starting Monday, intermediate Algebra will be my bitch (I love saying that).
When I find I have down time these days, I'm almost bored. I'm starting to enjoy being busy all the time and having my phone's "to-do" app filled with different lists. It makes like exciting.
Friday, July 22, 2011
It’s ridiculous to be complaining and whining about not losing weight when you eat the way I’ve been eating. Since I’ve been nursing, my body has been craving foods I’ve never cared for in my life. I constantly crave soda and cheese.
My solution? To stop being lazy and take care of myself. Here are a few guidelines I will try to follow starting Monday:
No fried food. That’s simple.
No white flours.I don’t eat much white flour, but even the occasional white flour bread makes me feel bloated. Time to switch back to whole grain and only whole grain.
No processed foods. In other words, if I can’t pronounce it, I’m not eating it.
No soda. My beloved Root Beer will have to wait for birthdays.
No meat. ...With the exception of fish and occasional free range chicken/turkey/pork. Red meat is no bueno and pork, although white meat, contributes to endometrial growth.
No dairy.I was supposed to have cut this out long ago as well. Shame on me for cheating. This means I will have to give up my morning lattes. It will save me some money too. Soy is off limits with endometriosis (it promotes excess estrogen production)
I’m starting to step-up my water intake already. Lots and lots of water. Hopefully this will help my skin out as well.
D-Day is August 1st. Until then, I will slowly be getting used to my new (actually reclaimed) eating habits. It's not a diet, it's just healthier choices. It’s time to take care of business and get healthy. I hope to start swimming next week with Tara, if I can find a bathing suit that fits these disgustingly large boobs that I’ve become stuck with (It’s pretty difficult to find a bathing suit for a G cup when you’re a size 10 in pants).
Wish me luck. I hope to not be posting a blog like this again in 3 months. Let’s hope it sticks.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I have officially packed too many things on my plate and I'm full.
Being a mommy, a student, working full time, having a dog, managing a garden and trying to keep the house clean is proving to be too much stuff to handle at the moment. I don't have time to exercise. I don't have time to shoot photos. I barely have time to keep up on my hygiene. I read my school lectures and for my essays while on pump-breaks at work. My toes are in need of new polish and I've been trying to find time to repaint them for over a week, only to find myself doing something else that needs to be done instead. I am sleep deprived and running on empty.
I feel like I'll never be done with school and it's very discouraging. Taking one or two classes per semester is going to get me nowhere fast. If I could manage to work part time I could fit a few more classes in every semester... but that's pretty much impossible when you have a child, daycare expenses, are under paid and live in the super-expensive Bay Area. I'm going to keep plugging away at the super-slow pace I'm currently running at and hopefully I'll find a solution soon.
It's important to me that Cooper knows I worked hard to get through school. It's important to me to be able to tell him that it's possible to accomplish great things, even with hurdles and barriers in the way. I never want him to ask me why I didn't finish school or why I stopped, so I'm going to continue, even if it takes me For-ev-er.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Patience - When I start to get frustrated in a line or with an obnoxious person, I hear myself thinking "calm down, be patient" all the time. Little things don't frazzle me like they used to. People who used to make me want to rip my hair out don't bother me so much anymore.
Body Temperature - I find that the AC at work doesn't bother me as much as it used to. I get hot easier at home too. I feel like I'm 5 degrees hotter at any given time.
I'm one of those mom's that are obsessed with their child. My desk is cluttered with photos of my child and he's not even 4 months old yet. Before I know it there will be drawings and macaroni art projects stuck to the wall, that everyone else will think is hideous. I seriously think about Cooper all day at work and patiently wait for 5:00 to hit.
More protective. I try to avoid the freeway more than I did before. I never let the baby sit in the sun (since he can't have sunscreen yet). I watch every step I take, especially when carrying the baby. I think about every decision twice now, because I'm not the only person who is affected by the things I do.
I'm always prepared. I have everything we might need, in case we need it. Extra diapers, sun hat, squeaky toy... you get the picture. It's rare that I don't have a solution for a problem these days.
Multi-tasker extraordinaire. I have found that the easiest time to surf the web is while nursing. I have also become great at doing 2-5 things simultaneously. I can cook dinner, warm a bottle and rock the baby all at once. Edit photos while burping the baby. Pump while writing a paper for school. I amaze myself sometimes.
I'm more assertive, less timid. My tail is no longer between my legs. I seem to stick up for myself more than before. I'm not a jerk about it, but I like to let people know when they've crossed the line.
Calmer and at peace. I am content with myself these days. I love the person I've become. I don't stress of dumb shit anymore. The co-worker that hates me doesn't bother as much and since I've let go my anxiety over the situation, the workplace has become a much more pleasant environment. I enjoy simple things, like laying in the back yard while listening to birds or walking through the neighborhood while looking at the neighbor's gardens. Life amazes me and I love to enjoy every minute.
I don't feel like partying as often. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to party once-in-a-while. Going out seems like a much bigger deal when you rarely do it. I refuse to be one of those moms who leave their kids with Grandma and go out twice every weekend. I haven't had a drop of alcohol since finding out I was pregnant and the baby is four months old now. I feel guilty just being at the nail salon, like I'm missing out on valuable time with the baby. I truly enjoy laying on the ground and babbling with Cooper and could do it for hours. I love being at home with my family.
Kinder and more considerate. It's important to me to spread kindness. I try to compliment people more, to start small conversations in the line at the coffee shop, to suggest books to people at the book store, to bring someone a small gift when they least expect it. I hope little things like this and simple actions contribute to more happiness in the world.
More ambitions - I have this strong need to work hard. School was more of a hobby before. For the first time I actually see myself graduating. It may still take me a while but I am more determined than ever to be an example to my son and most importantly, prove to myself I can do it while working full time and being a mommy.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
We went to Urban Ore to try to find materials to make a bird bath and ended up having a miserable experience. I looked at new bird baths online, not finding one I liked for under $250.
I decided to go to TJ Maxx, to see if I couldn't find a really awesome bowl to use for the bath. Ladies and Gentlemen, I found exactly what I was looking for, at the low price of $7.99. It's a thick glass bowl with metal paint on the bottom:
I ordered a bird bath stand online for $19 buckaroos:
And collected some cool stones from around the neighborhood (so the birdies don't slip):
The metal paint on the bottom reflects sun rays and keeps the water at a nice temperature for the birdies, somewhere around room temperature.
The best part? I did this all for under $30. Much better than $250, and I got exactly what I wanted.
Monday, May 30, 2011
It seems to be much more common than I thought and I've noticed that many of my large-breasted friends have this problem. I went from a large D to a G overnight. My new gargantuan breasts were cracked and bleeding around the clock, and it felt as if I was carrying around throbbing boulders.
It took me almost 3 months and 5 lactation consultants to get comfortable with breastfeeding. It didn't hurt that long, but that's when I started feeling confident with breastfeeding. I realize now that all I really needed to do was relax. I almost gave up a hundred times. I kept telling myself, "I just have to get to two months". Once I was there, it felt easier so I stuck it out a little longer. Now my goal is to get to 6 months and with the way things are going, we will probably get the once seemingly unobtainable goal of a year.
Now, I nurse Cooper all day and try to only give him a bottle of breast milk if we're out and about, or right before bed (he gets full fast and sleeps through the night). Since I have large breasts, I don't always feel comfortable whipping out a boob when in public, even with the feeding cover I have. It's rather difficult for me to situate and I usually end up flashing someone some titty.
I am so happy I stuck it out. I have so much respect for nursing mothers now. It's easy to feel hopeless when it comes to breastfeeding and there is a saddening sense of guilt associated with not being a master breast feeder; both from inside and from people who don't know what you're going through and are quick to judge.
So, bravo new mommies, bravo.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
A very important role model gave me the best advice, and it was simple. "Go with the flow" she said. "Don't stress about the little things because the time goes by fast". I have been repeating "go with the flow" to myself when I start to get stressed, if something doesn't go as planned, or if Cooper has a meltdown (which is rare). It's easier said than done, especially if you're as anal as I am. But I'm getting better.
Breastfeeding has gotten easier. I was feeling so hopeless, but now I realize how proud of myself I am for sticking it out. My son has gotten the best head-start possible because I wouldn't give up. I made it work, even if I had to do it differently.
We're sleeping again. Cooper recently started sleeping through the night, just when I thought I'd never sleep a full night again.
It all gets easier, even when it starts to feel like you're a sucky mommy for complaining so much.
It truly brings tears to my eyes when I think about the last three months, from the day I was induced until now. It saddens me to see how fast the time has gone. On the other hand, it brings me more joy than I could ever describe to see Cooper change and grow. I was listening to the children's radio station yesterday with Cooper and dancing with him. "What a wonderful world" came on and we slow danced while I sang along, teary eyed. At that exact moment I realized how precious life really is.
Now I just need to focus on my health so I can be strong and active for my little bruiser. The most important thing about this condition is to relax. Stress has been a major contributor to my condition in the past and I need to do whatever I can to make my life less stressful and enjoy every second possible. I know what steps I need to take and what changes in my life need to happen.
Life is good. Very good.
Friday, May 13, 2011
My Bay Friendly garden is coming along as well. I am so proud of it. I have only drought-resistant plants and California natives. Below, we have Lupin, Nemesia, Monkey Flower, Heuchera, Australian tea tree and Beard Tongue. I also sprinkled California Golden Poppy seed around, we'll see if it grows. I can't wait for the plants to get bigger. Next, I'm going to dig a small trench and put in a brick border. I am so excited for my garden!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
My dinner was amazing tonight and I thought I'd share it with you all. It was super easy to make.
Tonights tasty Barley and Black Bean Salad includes:
3 cups cooked pearl barley
1 cup cooled black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 chopped scallions
1 can Trader Joes artichoke hearts (in water), chopped
Sea salt to taste
Two cap fulls of Newman's Lite Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette (or your choice of vinaigrette)
Damn that was good.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
I went to my first spin class in over a year last week and it felt amazing to be back. I thought I would have a horrible time, like I did my very first spin class... but I did really well. I didn't hold back once and was very proud of myself when it was all done. I actually thought about not going and then coincidentally ran into my spin instructor that day.
Now that my butt bones no longer feel bruised, I'll back in spin class tomorrow. I can wait to get rid of this flab!!
And now, I'm gardening again!
I knew I wanted to build another raised plant bed again, but I didn't want to buy redwood. Redwood is rot resistant, making it perfect for plant beds, but you never know if it's old growth or not when you buy it from somewhere like Home Depot. Thankfully, I was able to find this redwood from an old deck. It was going to be thrown away and I was able to recycle it. It made me feel good to use reclaimed wood, especially if it is precious redwood.
I made a design and started building.
Oh, precious dirt:
My plant bed was complete. It is to be filled with organic veggies and herbs. But where would my flowers go? I would have to tear up some grass and make a flower area.
I tore up the grass and filled it in with mulch, which holds moisture and in turn saves water. The first plants in the flower bed are gardenia and Australian tea tree. Eventually I will fill it in with native California plants and other perennials.
In the raised bed I am germinating arugula, broccoli, spinach and California golden poppies (which will go in the flower bed). I also have a sweet basil and jalapeno plant, which will be planted tomorrow:
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I forgot how difficult it is to be vegan. I have quite a bit of vegan food in my house, but going out to dinner tonight was challenging.
It will get easier when I get in the groove of this lifestyle. I did it before and I'll do it again. I'm aware that realistically, there will be times when I'll just have to deal with a little bit of dairy in my meal. But if I don't make a conscious effort to do this *fur-real*, I'll never take it seriously.
I have to remember it's for my own good and it will keep me out of pain and able to take care of Cooper to the best of my ability, without doubling over in pain or having to call in sick to work because it hurts to walk.
I think this week will be the hardest. I just have to get through this week. I have to remind myself that the last time I took on this diet, I enjoyed the food I was eating and I loved the way I felt. I loved the energy I had and I loved not being in constant pain.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I left the house for just half an hour to grab some groceries. As I was driving to the store, all I could think about was how much I love my son. I wanted to hurry up and get back to him, in case he missed me.
Every little coo and wimper makes me smile. Even his cry is cute. When I was pregnant I used to rub my belly and imagine what Cooper looked like. I'd talk to my tummy all the time. Now, I talk and sing directly to him and I get to see him smile back.
I'm learning patience I never knew I was possible of posessing. I'm learning how to put someone else first. I'm learning what it means to have someone completely depend on me for everything. It's amazing and I love being Cooper's mommy. I finally feel like I have a true purpose and for the first time in my life, it's clear what my role is. I love it <3
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
I have to change this, fast. I have to work out a plan to get my diet back on track and get healthy.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I don't like being challenged. I don't like being judged. If I make a decision, it's my decision. I love my son more than anything on this earth, so there clearly is a good reason for any decision I make regarding him.
I suppose it comes with the territory. I'm getting better at brushing it off but it still is insulting, as if I'm not intelligent enough to weigh my options before making a decision as an adult.
That is all.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Since I last wrote, I had a freakin' baby! Cooper Radley was born February 27th at 12:11 AM. He was a big boy, weighing in at 9 lbs 6 oz. I had a rather challenging delivery, with an epidural that stopped working (but kept my legs paralyzed) and a baby that was face up that didn't want to come out. After 24 hours of active labor, 3 hours of pushing and a scary vacuum extraction, our sweet little son joined us in the world.
He is perfect.
I love being a mommy but it's not as easy as it seems in the beginning. They don't tell you how absolutely terrifying the first week or two is. More times than not I thought I was going crazy and didn't know how I would ever become a functional mommy. I don't know how I would have gotten through the first two weeks without the help of Jory and our families. It was overwhelming... yet my natural instincts got me through it. You end up knowing what to do and have to trust yourself.
Now, I'm trying to balance my days. Trying to get enough sleep. I have had a tough time with nursing, but it's seeming to get easier every day. Hopefully in a few weeks it will be effortless. Today, Cooper is 18 days old and I have already lost 35 lbs from my weight right before he was born. I hope the nasty rainy weather calms down so I can resume my walks with Cooper. I hope to start yoga this week to help center and balance myself.
Our parents are proving to be wonderful grandparents, they are naturals. They are just as filled with love for Cooper as we are and I love seeing them all so happy. Cooper has five grandparents and six great-grandparents. He is one lucky and extremely loved little boy.
I had no idea how much love I could have for someone until Cooper was born. When he looks at me and smiles my heart melts and I'm filled with warmth and pride.
Now, I am going to focus on being a mommy... but also on getting myself back in shape and resuming my healthy lifestyle. I will be transitioning back into a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and hope it's not too difficult for me. Tonight Cooper's daddy is out with the boys and I plan on finding some tasty vegetarian and vegan recipes.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I started drinking red raspberry leaf tea this week and it has brought on a ton of contractions. I can feel them almost immediately after a few sips of the tea. Our doctor advised us to keep on drinking it, to keep the contractions coming. I had no idea it would be this efficient of a labor inducer! Many of my books say not to drink it before 39 weeks because it could cause early labor... but I suppose I didn't think it would have that much of an effect on me.
I stopped by Kohl's today to pick up a sports watch so I could time my contractions. It's cute and purple. The only thing I need now is a robe for the hospital and I couldn't find one that I liked or that was black and white (babies like the contrast).
Hopefully I can get another update in before the baby gets here, and I'd really like to make my hair appointment tomorrow... we shall see :)
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I'm not sure what the deal is with my sleep habits, but it's been impossible for me to sleep at night. Friday I fell asleep at 7:30AM after a night filled with bathroom trips and contractions that almost made me buckle over. Since then they've been inconsistently coming. Hopefully they'll gain some rhythm soon, as I am ready to meet this little man of ours!
Jory has been very patient with me and my cranky moments, which seem to happen more often as time progresses. He is wonderful about making dinner, getting me beverages, helping me out of the bath and any other little request I have.
I have a few little-itty-bitty stretch marks but nothing like I thought I would have. My belly is completely stretch mark free, which I can thank my mother for since they say it's genetic. The other little ones will likely disappear after the baby is born and this weight starts to come off.
My due date is in 10 days and although I think he's going to be early, I really don't care when he comes as long as I can get a full night's sleep beforehand.
We are both getting very excited and can't wait to be parents. The last 9.5 months have been quite an experience for us and has brought us closer than I ever thought it could. Every day I feel thankful for the wonderful man in my life and how lucky we are to have each other. I can't wait to see Jory with his son as I know he is beyond excited and will be an amazing father.
Now... hurry up baby!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
"Although earlier studies in women were conflicting, there is increasing evidence that chronic exposure to the environmental chemicals dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is associated with an increased prevalence and severity of endometriosis. One way to reduce intake of these chemicals is to cut back on animal fat, especially high-fat dairy, red meat, and fish. Dioxin and PCBs both accumulate in animal fat, and it is our main route of exposure.
Interestingly, studies on diet and endometriosis also support this link. For example, an Italian study examined data from 504 women with endometriosis and found an increased risk with a high intake of red meat and ham. Fresh fruit and vegetables were associated with a reduction in risk."
I had gone into a vegan lifestyle for a few months and seen amazing results, after also including exercise and acupuncture in my treatment. I thought that free-range and organic meats would be OK, having less chemicals and antibiotics than regular meats. Almost immediately after introducing these free range and organic meats, my symptoms returned and two new cysts were found in my abdomen. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how "pure" the meat or dairy it, it has the same effect on my body. Meat, dairy and eggs, promote the pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.
I am going to continue my research on natural remedies and preventions, hoping to find a few more teas or supplements that will help my body. It seems as if I am more sensitive than most people when it comes to how my body reacts to dairy and meat. As much as it will suck to give up dairy again, I have to remember how many amazing foods I consumed while vegan. My beloved Monday dinner might only consist of potatoes for a while... but it's for the best and will keep me out of the operating room.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I have always wanted to be a mom. Getting pregnant has been a complete blessing and I am so excited to meet my son. Every movement he makes is a miracle. This wonderful feeling and absolutel bliss is apparent around 98% of the time. And that remaining 2%? Terror.
I am so afraid of messing up, it's hard to even write this without betting teary eyed. It's crazy to think of how much I'm going to love this little person, and how much I want to do everything perfect... how they deserve perfection.
After thinking about these feelings for a couple days, I think that being terrified can be a positive thing. Being paranoid about having the car seat set up perfectly and making sure the bottles are BPA free are things that I think every new parent worries about. I think that the more times I double check the seat belt attachment, the more likely it's hooked up correctly.
I also have to accept that not everyone is going to agree with our decisions. That's OK. As my mom always said, there's no parenting manual. I am going to have to trust my instincts.
In less than a month and a half, we will be brand new parents and I can't wait. And although at times it can seem terrifying, it's the best feeling of anticipation I've ever felt in my life.