Man oh man do I suck at keeping a journal. I haven’t even touched this in over a year. Again. Seems to be a regular thing with me. Appears we will have to hit the highlights (or lowlights as the case may be) with bullets again. If I manage to come back more regularly I can give a more detailed, life-insightful entry.
1) In October of 2013, I got licensed to teach Zumba. This was a huge deal for me, and so outside my comfort zone its not even funny. The day of the licensing session was amazing, overwhelming and intimidating all at once. Getting up on that stage to do impromptu Zumba moves was NOT one of my favorite parts. But watching the instructor and her talent was. Hearing her insights and absorbing as much as I could has helped me to give good advice to my students, though I’ve learned so much since I started teaching. I did it predominantly so that I could teach here in town on Wednesday nights. Our teacher (my friend, Rebecca) had taken a position at a gym in Greeley on Wednesday nights that was supposed to be temporary over the summer, but turned permanent. I missed most of the Wednesday classes over the summer with her sub due to traveling and the miscarriage in August, but when the school year started and the sub couldn’t continue, and Rebecca’s position turned permanent, we stopped having classes here on Wednesdays. At the time, the class was really small, but those of us still attending didn’t like only having one class per week. From everyone’s encouragement, and knowing I had a position tailor-made for me, I did it, with intentions to only ever teach that one class Wednesday nights. I didn’t ever anticipate where its taken me. But I’ll get to that. I started teaching the Wednesday night class November 4, 2013. I was terrified. But it went well and over the past year I’ve learned a lot and gotten a lot more confident.
2) October 18, 2013 was our 10 year anniversary. We went to Steamboat Springs for 3 days and it was marvelous. We went hiking (in the snow, but it was still gorgeous), we went to Strawberry Park to the hot springs, where I lost my courage to stay after dark for the “clothing optional” time period. But we still loved it. It was so HOT in that water! Amazing nature. We took walks through town and day dreamed out loud about our plans and our past. We bought souvenirs and ate at the small local restaurants. It was a lovely break from our every day lives, and I can’t wait to do something like that again for the “big” years (maybe 15). So grateful to my mother for staying with the kids and taking care of everything here.
3) Halloween 2013 was the typical nonsense. I will never enjoy this “holiday”. The kids looked awesome. Looking through my pictures from that time period, for some reason they don’t have dates attached to the files. Argh! So if it isn’t obvious what was going on, there’s no way to tell when it actually happened. But the holiday pictures are pretty obvious. K got to trick-or-treat with us that year, and we hit our neighborhood and the other one here in town touted as “the” place to trick-or-treat. It was mayhem and they acquired way more candy than I would ever let them eat.
4) Honestly can’t even remember much about Christmas of 2013. And as I’ve done some photo and Facebook research for this post, I realized why. I was sick. I got horribly sick with the flu on Christmas Eve. We were at home, and I believe my parents were going to come up for the afternoon/evening. But they didn’t because I wasn’t the only one sick (the kids were getting over it). We had a gorgeous tree and we decorated the whole living room with lights and the nativity and stockings. We had homemade pizza for Christmas Eve dinner (a tradition I wanted to start, but hello, work for me). I’m surprised I managed it since Christmas Eve is when my fever started.
5) The beginning of 2014 was inauspicious. I don’t remember much about it. Only that it immediately started passing really fast. I was trying to get flyers out for our Zumba class to try and build it back up. The kids were doing school, and D was growing up. All the usual stuff. Oh, yeah, and in the beginning of January we took a fabulous trip to Pagosa Springs with my parents, my brother and his family. We got to see a whole bunch of cool stuff, hike in the snow, and go skiing courtesy of my brother, for two days. Oh my goodness P and K2 and I had a blast skiing. I hadn’t skied in 10 years, and I was scared but it was awesome. I’m so glad I let my bro convince me to try.
6) In February I turned 38. Whoa. We went out to dinner at Pinocchio’s (with the kids) and I wore my new boots with leggings in public, not dancing, for the first time. P got her ears pierced in March after passing off all the Articles of Faith at church and to her dad and taking a couple weeks to work up her courage. She was very diligent about following the after-care rules and keeping them clean. She didn’t get one infection in all the 6 weeks before she could switch them out. That’s her style, though.
7) In May I got hired to teach at Aims College in Greeley. The interview process was nerve-wracking, requiring an audition of sorts. I didn’t find out till afterward that I was their only candidate. :) I was to teach Tuesday and Thursday nights through the summer term (2 months) for an hour and a half. I was super excited to be a “professor” at a college. :) But as May progressed not enough people registered for the class (or other PE classes) and many (including mine) had to be cancelled. I found out mine was going to be cancelled right at the end of May, right before I had another miscarriage.
8) In the last week of May, I found out I was miscarrying another pregnancy. That makes 3 since D was born. Once, again, my body handled it. But I was, once again, devastated. We had gone in to have an actual check-up and then they took blood tests and a few days later I knew my pregnancy hormone levels were going down instead of up like they should have been. Then it was just a waiting game to see if my body was going to handle business, or if I was going to have to have another surgery.
9) Not to skip past such a big event, but in that same week, we were moving into our new house. One block away. We were so excited to be moving. We got a great deal on the new rental, actually like the owners, and couldn’t wait to get out of the house we were in. The gross carpet, the flooding basement, the small kitchen, the funky smell. The new place was actually new. A house about as old, but completely renovated. New (refurbished, but still nice) everything. New floors, new paint, even new covers for the heat vents. New shower, new tile. Cupboards and appliances refurbished but still really nice. More space. Huge backyard (no grass back there yet). During the last week of May, K was working so I was packing up box after box, loading the Suburban up, and driving down the street around the corner to unload it into the new place, since it was empty and we’d already paid our deposit. I lifted as heavy and as much as I could, morbidly trying to get my body to actually finish the job of finishing the pregnancy that wasn’t going anywhere. I was so sad. So angry. SO ANGRY. That whole week. If I hadn’t had moving to occupy my time and thoughts, I don’t know where that week would’ve taken me. June 1st was a Saturday, and our official move-in date. That afternoon, after working with my great helpers all day getting the rest of the household moved, I started to have cramps. The pain got pretty bad late that afternoon, but to distract me my friend Kristy stayed over way longer than she had to, helping my unpack the majority of the kitchen, her husband coming in the evening to move the last 2 big pieces of furniture right around the time K got home from work for his days off. I was so sad, in pain, so angry, but I was so grateful for their help.
The next morning I didn’t go to church. I sat in my new living room in the sunshine in the cleanliness (surround by boxes) and cried. That afternoon the cramps worsened and I passed the majority of what I had to. It hurt. Bad. I cried. A lot. And this time, I stayed angrier than I ever have been before.
10) Over the next couple weeks as I recovered and unpacked and settled in (again, a good distraction), and as the kids finished school, the anger subsided. I signed the kids up for swimming lessons, and June 17th, I applied for another Zumba instructor position. I had heard they’d lost their instructor and was hoping to take over their Saturday morning class. But after applying, it sounded like they were interested in switching their M, W class to Tu and Th evenings, which meant I could teach those, too. It looked good, but I tried not to get my hopes up too much. I really feel like getting back to teaching and going to Zumba as soon as I was physically capable after the miscarriage helped me to recover mentally, emotionally, and physically faster than ever before.
11) I got the job. She didn’t even post the position because she was so excited about how I’d applied for it just from word of mouth before it was even public and for my enthusiasm. We agreed I’d start classes the last week of July, because we had a couple trips in the beginning of July and also I had girls camp with the YW in our ward in the 3rd week of July. Yes, I’d been called a few months before as Assistant Ward Camp Director. I was very excited about the new job, teaching 2 nights a week with the potential for a Saturday morning class in the fall. I was NOT excited about camp.
I missed some summer activities because of my distraction getting us settled in and recovering from the miscarriage. But I was proud of whatever I got done and tried to not be too hard on myself. And begged the childrens’ forgiveness when I forgot important stuff that they wanted to do.
12) Don’t remember 4th of July.
13) July 18 I went to Fitness on the Rocks with the friend that hired me at my new position and one of the other instructors. We had such as good time! Got lots of freebies and samples, did work outs on the bleachers and in the Zumba pit and did a great cross fit workout. Got more samples. Had great talk and got to know each other a little. It was very fun! I’m gonna go next year too. I had already dropped off the kids at my mom’s for the week of girl’s camp, so that night after I got back and showered I was free to just hang out solo, but a friend posted on FB that she wanted to do something so we went out to dinner and a movie (Hobbit 2). Good times! That friend has since moved away, so it was the last time we got to hang out.
14) Monday we left for camp. I drove a full Suburban of girls, and pulling a trailer. It was a fun drive, listening to music and singing. The camp site was beautiful. And we settled in for the dreaded week of camping, unplugged since I had no signal at all. It went well. Got to know some of the girls, went on a couple “hikes” (really slow walks, on a road), did some crafts, had some good food. Ate too much candy to pass the time. Slept HORRIBLY. Had some wonderful conversations with the other leaders, and learned some sign language from one of the leaders, who was deaf. Had some wonderful laughs, some annoying drama, and some trauma from those porta-potties that got so gross by the end of the week. All in all, I got through it none the worse for wear. But man was that shower great when I got home. I spend that night at home alone and drove down the next day after church to get the kids from Mom’s.
15) The next Tuesday I started teaching at my new job. Not a big turn-out, but its since gotten bigger and I’ve gained some confidence from the new challenge. I was so nervous that first night! Heck, that first month! Its getting easier. We started Saturday morning classes October 11, and that’s going well, also. Though it does put a damper on taking off for the weekend if we want to.
16) August, September, and October passed quickly. D’s 4th birthday, then P’s 10th birthday right after school started, then K2′s 7th in the beginning of October. In August I started Toning Tuesday back up. Its finally started to pick up this month (November). I’ve regretted it multiple times, but I think its a good thing over all. The kids didn’t have birthday parties, but they got to choose their birthday meal, and there was usually at least one b-day dinner at a restaurant. Uncle M sent $50 gift cards to Target so they had fun spending those. D started preschool in the end of August. She loves it, but unfortunately its a paid spot, so she only goes 3 days a week instead of 4. She’s learning a lot. Its only 2.5 hours, so I don’t ever manage to get much done while she’s gone. Next year with full day kindergarten is going to be so weird.
17) In early September we went to visit Uncle M in Arizona. It was a great 4 days! We saw so many great sights and had such a great time as a family. Grand Canyon, the Canyon where the natives lived on the cliffs, the native ruins, the gorgeous desert, and had a blast at the Safari park where we saw such magnificent animals like lions, tigers, bears, zebras, rhinos, giraffes, hyenas, etc. And got to hold a massive python that could have swallowed K2 whole. K2 all but laid down and cuddled up with the thing. So glad we got to see Uncle M and spend some quality time with him. While we were there, lizard-chasing was the main attraction for K2. He caught horny toad, but due to our lack of prep for keeping him, we convinced K2 to let him go. But only by promising he could have TWO for his birthday back at home. Said TWO are now in his room in a terrarium. One is hibernating under the sand (haven’t seen her in 3 weeks), or dead. The other one is sleeping more and more and might still hibernate. The kids change their names so much I have no idea what the current names are. Lizzy and Lark I think.
18) Mid-October, K made the agonized-over decision to return to BH to pump cement. They had called a couple months before to beg him to come back. I’ve never seen him so torn about a change in career before. He changed his mind like 4 times, along with quitting and un-quitting twice. And ever since he returned its been one big ego stroke for him. It makes me happy that they appear to be valuing him like he should be for his excellent work. The switch was kinda stressful as it caused a paycheck lag. But he’s getting good hours and really enjoying the work much more than he enjoyed the rig work as a floor hand.
19) That brings us about to present times. We are still trying to figure out Thanksgiving plans for next week, but we’ll probably end up down the Springs for part of the week since K is off Tues-Thur. Christmas will be here at home with K probably working, and going to spend the 4 days afterward with my family. Two of my brothers are coming in to town for the weekend after Christmas. We are going to go skiing again! So excited about that. Probably Monday or Tuesday after Christmas. K won’t go, but he’s willing to take D in sled while he uses the new snow shoes he’s going to buy for himself. He just has no interest in ever trying out skiing. Weird.
Phew. Goal. Do this at least once a month, girl!!
But I’m going to do one of those bullet lists to try and at least preserve some dates in my memory, hopefully for further recording of details later.
1) This summer has gone by crazy fast. 3 almost-week-long trips to Colorado Springs for niece’s baptism, then birthday party, then K’s family reunion. All three trips fraught with drama and fun. The last trip, I managed to stick to my dietary guns and actually lost 5 pounds while I was there. That was in mid-July and I haven’t managed to lose any weight that I’ve kept off since then. More about that later.
2) Had another miscarriage in June. June 12, 2013 to be precise. I started bleeding on Tuesday, went to the doctor, found the bad news confirmed on the ultrasound. Went back to doctor Wednesday (12th) to check some other things, and continued to bleed on and off during the interim. Wednesday night, I passed what I believe was the baby, and kinda freaked out. Sobbing uncontrollably and what-not. Sobbed into Keith’s arms for a while. Then went down to the Springs again for one of those trips and had to pass on the 5K I was signed up for (though I went and picked up my shirt with my mom, who offered to walk it with me and I opted out). It was a bad time mentally and emotionally for me, obviously. But for once, my body handled the crisis by bleeding and passing the fetus and I was relieved to not have to have surgery.
3) Our church calling was changed a few months ago, and K and I now team-teach the 12-13 year old Sunday School class. A mixture of boys and girls, about 9-11 total on any given Sunday. I usually teach when K is working, and he teaches when he’s not working, which works out 50/50.
4) K got a new job with Xtreme Drilling in April. He works on a rig as a floorhand now. He has a set schedule of twelve 7-hour shifts, then a week off. Then his schedule flips (if he worked days, he then works nights) for 7 more shifts. Then a week off. So in any given month, he works 2 weeks out of 4, one week of nights and one week of days, and has 2 weeks off. This gives him 2 Sundays a month, hence the teaching schedule. He really likes it, and we both really appreciate the schedule, unlike his last job that was on-call, and not consistent with the hours.
5) I’m, as always, striving to lose weight amidst all this. At the end of last year, I lost my way with this a little bit. And from October to March of this year I gained back about 35-40 of the 55 pounds I had lost. With the other miscarriage derailing me again, I’ve managed to get off about 5 or so pounds of that. I teach Toning Tuesdays at the church in Johnstown, a class that anyone is welcome to come to. Just some women working out together in the gym, each at their own level. Good times. This morning, about 4 of us started a running group on Wednesday mornings at 6:00 AM (SO NOT MY STYLE SO EARLY). We started here in Platteville and will rotate around the 3 towns where we all live. It was fun! I hope we can continue to be consistent with it, and hopefully others will be able to join us sometimes. I’m eating a lot of whole foods and produce, and trying to avoid sugary foods or foods with little nutritional value. I had been snacking way too much at night and decided it was partially my sleeping/waking up schedule over the summer that was affecting my control, and also not eating enough early enough in the day such that I lost control in the late afternoons/evenings and pigged out to compensate. I hit my workouts pretty hard, but I also decided I need to up my cardio, so I’m working on that this week.
6) The kids are great. D is 3 now and just as sassy as can be. P is almost 9 starting 4th grade, and K2 will be 6 in October and is starting kindergarten tomorrow (he’s so excited!). Now that K2 will be in full-day school with P, I’ll be taking D to the library for as many story-time, craft days as I can, which should be about 2-3 times a week. She’s recently been potty-trained and is doing really well. Her 4th week of being potty-trained was rough. She’d basically had it down with almost no accidents in the first 3 weeks, even at night. And then the 4th week she had quite a few accidents, sometimes multiples in a day. I think she was trying to figure out how long she could hold it, and I was still figuring out the signs of her trying to hold it. We seem to be back on track now (phew!) with that. P is so pretty and grown-up, but also all drama and attitude. Her teeth are wacky-doo-dee and will need a lot of help so I’m hoping to get an orthodontic referral at her next dentist appointment in a couple weeks. P is usually an amazing help to me, mothering K2 (much to his annoyance) and D, and being cheerful about helping me out with taking care of them. With my lazy summer (I don’t know if it was the miscarriage or what but I got almost nothing done this summer), she has helped get them so many breakfasts and lunches. K2 is a loving bundle of trouble. He loves to give hugs and make people laugh, but he’s also always in others’ personal spaces and accidentally hurting people when he gets to excited and rough with them (usually his sisters). He loves his Legos and is so good at following the instruction pamphlets that come with these kits they sell these days.
My goal is to write down at least once a week something that each of them has done that I want to remember. Unfortunately, I can’t remember anything right now, so I’m hoping that with this goal in mind, I can pay better attention.
My sister is pregnant with her 5th. I can’t decide if I’m even willing to try again. We shall see.
over and out for now
So much has happened in the past 6 months, and at the same time nothing has changed. Basics of life: K still has sporadic hours but is making a pretty good living. He’s trying to find a different job since he’s sick of the inconsistency, but who knows what will happen. The kids are in school. And I’m still here, still trying to be and do my best.
Details, at least a few of them:
I did run the Platteville 5K on Harvest Daze. I got my best time ever, at somewhere around 35:22. I also got a medal, but since I didn’t stick around to receive it I didn’t find out about it until weeks later, and by then I could pick it up, but no one knew what it was for exactly. My division, or something since I know I didn’t win the race overall, nor was I the first female over the finish. Harvest Daze was a wonderful day. My parents did come. We went from the race to the all-you-can-eat breakfast at the VFW, to the fair at the park (booths and bouncy castles and crafts for the kids). It was really hot, and fun to see how many people we know around here this year. My parents were enchanted with the old-school small-town feel of the festivities. In the afternoon we hung at the house for a couple hours (got a part for my Dad’s vehicle), and then went to the live music down the street to watch the kids dance and run around, other people get drunk, and then the wonderful fireworks after dark. All in all, it was a fabulous day.
P is doing well in school. She has to read 30 minutes, 5 times a week, and write some stuff down to show she did it. The details were confusing at the beginning of the year, but she’s got the hang of it now. I just have to make sure her books aren’t too easy or too hard, but that’s hard to regulate since she likes to choose on her own. Right now she really wants a set of kids’ non-fiction books about world disasters called “I Survived”. For example, “I Survived 9/11″ or “I Survived Pearl Harbor”. I hope I can get them for her – it will be the first time I’ve ever ordered from the numerous book order forms that come home with the kids. She is learning her multiplication tables, and seems excited about it. She’s always trying to quiz K2 on math, and he’s kinda clueless so it doesn’t usually go well. She seems to have good friends and enjoy school for the most part, though she complains when its time to go back after our 3-day weekends, especially if it was a good weekend. She is in Activity Days at church and is trying to pass off the Articles of Faith so she can get her ears pierced. She loves AD and gets very excited to go every other Tuesday. I wish I could say the same. For me, it means I’m driving 3-4 girls to the church where I have to just hang out for an hour since its not worth the 10 minutes I’d get to spend at home if I made the drive while I’m waiting. Sometimes I’ve worked out, sometimes I’ve hidden in a room and read on my Kindle. Sometimes I chat with other moms. It just means that night’s particularly hectic. This coming Tuesday, I’ll have to make the trip with my two little ones since K will be working, and that should be interesting. P has got most of her front permanent teeth, and their still a hot mess. I need to take her in and see what we should expect for braces, cuz she’s going to need them for sure. Her hair is much longer and we still haven’t gotten it cut; she says she still wants to, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to take her this weekend.
K2 is still much the same. Wonderful and terrible at the same time. Loves and plays and is a joy. And still has trouble staying out of his sisters’ space and responding appropriately to “No” and “Stop”. But he does great at school, and is supposedly often a big helper with the younger children. His teachers love him, other kids’ parents love him, his friends love him. He can be a bit bossy, but mostly he is a star pupil. He’ll be one of the oldest kids in kindergarten next year, and I worry about that. But I think in the long run it will be fine. He broke his arm December 11th (part of the December from hell that I will sum up). It is a buckle fracture in his left arm right above the wrist. Simple enough supposedly to heal from. He has a blue cast that he’s used to now; it comes off in 4 days. He’s excited to see how skinny his arm is going to be. Strange, what kids get psyched about. The night it happened, he was running pell mell across the living room, and he stumbled and fell wrist-first into the hard part of the couch. He kept crying and crying while I poked at it to try and figure out if something was broken, but it wasn’t until my neighbor/good friend came over that she thought to try and flip is arm over and look at the inside/under side, where there was a big bulge. I immediately went to get my shoes on. She took D home with her and I went to the Children’s Hospital, where K was able to meet me coming off a shift (thank goodness). We are still waiting for the bills from all that. Along with all the other bills from December. Because……
December 6th I had another D&C with another miscarriage. I was about 12 weeks along when I started bleeding. It was a Sunday morning at about 3 in the morning when I discovered it, and I bled all day Sunday. Monday morning, my friend’s (same friend) kids watched my kids while she took me to the ER. Sure enough, baby had stopped growing and there was no blood flow or heartbeat. Tuesday, I saw a regular doctor and we scheduled the D&C for Thursday December 6th at 4 in the afternoon. I’ve always had my D&C’s in the early morning so that was different for me. I still remember lots of details about the day, but I don’t think they’re important. K was able to be with me, which was a nice surprise because I planned the whole thing assuming I’d be on my own for the first time since he was on his long week at work. My friend really stepped up and helped me a lot over the next few days. Going to the hospital with K2 for his broken arm was the first time I left the house since my surgery. I am sad about the baby, and over the course of it all (in Sept I thought I was pregnant and was stressed out, then I wasn’t, then I was disappointed, then I was pregnant, then I miscarried) I gained about 25 pounds. So I definitely have work to do, but I haven’t been able to make myself get started again yet. I eat ok, but I don’t eat great. And I’ve been baking a lot, whenever the fancy strikes me. Which lately has been weirdly almost every day.
Along with miscarriage, surgery, broken little-boy arm in December, our water backed up 3 different times. The first time flooded the basement. The other times, we caught it soon enough to keep the water from flooding, but each time we went for hours without being able to use the water while we waited for the plumbing companies to come. It is a root problem and needs to be fixed but the owners of the house have not decided to do it yet. So each day I wonder if this is the day that it will back up again. We’ve been fine since about 3 days before Christmas, when our property manager brought me some copper sulfate and had me flush it down the toilet to try and kill the problem roots. He’s going to schedule preventative snakings, but for a while there they were coming within days of each other.
Along with all that, we all got sick the 2 weeks before Christmas. Just as I was recovering from the D&C, I got the nastiest flu/cold I think I’ve ever had as an adult. Coughing, congestion, etc., and a killer fever of at least 102 that lasted almost a week. We were kind of all the walking-miserable. We were barely recovered enough to prepare for Christmas and kind of enjoy it. The kids got it, but with them their fever lasted 2-3 days and they didn’t seem as miserable as I felt, at least if I gave them medicine to bring their fever down. I felt like curling into a ball and staying that way forever. The mental place I was in didn’t help. I was depressed and overwhelmed with everything that had happened added to what was supposed to be a festive season.
I’m doing a little better now. Physically, I have a little phlegm to cough up occasionally, but I’m find. Emotionally, I’ve come to terms with my 3rd miscarriage, but I haven’t decided yet if I have it in me to try one more time. I started working out again, but I haven’t really gone gung-ho because I’m still eating pretty much whatever I want, & it seems like hard, 6-day-a-week workouts would be a wasted effort when nutritionally I’m negating them. I went to Zumba Monday night and that was nice to get back to since its been over a month. But I couldn’t go last night. Tomorrow morning is Fit Friday at the church, an assignment I was asked to lead when word spread around the ward about my fitness efforts and how I like to train people. We had just really gotten going when December Hell hit for me, so I was out of commission for a while. Last Friday we had class and we did a basic circuit involving pushups, situps, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and a wall-sit. I overdid it a bit and could barely walk on Saturday. But the annoying part is I’ve diagnosed myself with a “rib out” from that workout that is affecting everything. It hurts to breathe deeply below my right shoulder blade on my back. Coughing the little that I’m coughing now hurts worse than when all my muscles were strained from constant coughing. Just in that one spot. It gets better, and then I move wrong and its all bad again. I wish I had the money to go see a chiropractor that I trust, but I don’t know one in the area. Anyway, tomorrow we have class again, and this time we’re going to try a Firm video to use the steps that the church owns there at the building. I’m not excited about it – I watched the video and I find the lead-lady annoying and the workout boring, but maybe I’ll feel differently about it when I’m actually doing it. Its worth trying once. Next week, I think we’ll do T-Tapp, and then we’ll do Zumba again (our first class I taught Zumba). I want to get Zumba certified, and was thinking about doing it at the January class here in Denver and the miscarriage put me off that goal. So I need to renew my enthusiasm and look for the next class.
My calling at church since mid-summer is teaching the 7-turning-8 year olds. Up until a couple weeks ago, that included my daughter P. Now I have 8 new little squirmy kids that have just graduated from junior primary to senior. Getting them to adhere to my “we’re–not-sunbeams-and-can-sit-like-big-kids” motto is going to be a long haul, especially with the little deaf boy and another boy that seems to think his chair is a jungle gym. That reminds me I need to look at my lesson for Sunday. It keeps sneaking up on me.
In the immediate stuff going on, my good friend (same friend) had her baby on Friday the 4th, and her little 9.5 lb baby almost immediately got an infection and went septic. Now, this lady has 7 other kids. So I’ve stepped in and have been watching them as much as I can. In other words, its been chaos around here a lot. I like her kids (unusual for me) so its been OK, but at the same time, I’m about done. I think they’ll be spending the evening at home so that’s kind of a relief. Tomorrow night, I have another friend’s kid spending the night and Saturday here, and I’m dreading that because I DON’T like her kids. Because I’m an evil person. Oh, well. Kids usually aren’t my thing, and hers have issues. LOTS of issues. But she needs help, so I’ll just treat her (the extra) like I would treat mine and if she acts out, she’ll spend the day alone in a constant time-out corner. Apparently I’ll have that same child the 24th overnight and maybe the 25th overnight after school since her mom has to make a trip to go to court about her ex’s child support payments in UT. I’m glad I can help, I just wished I liked the child, so I could not dread the time, and so I could stop feeling guilty. Maybe I need to go to therapy as much as the child does.
Hopefully, my first friend’s baby will be able to come home from the hospital next week so there will only be a few more days of this madness. I can handle it, I’m just running a little short on patience for the children’s nonsense. And all children have nonsense. And when there’s 10 in the same house (her 7, my 3) there’s a lot of nonsense.
That about catches me up on journaling though its a pathetic effort when it only happens twice a year. Need to do better. I’m out.
I never expounded on the list of events in that last post. It probably won’t happen. Let’s just get real here. :)
At this point, I’m probably going to have to do it again. Let’s start with my children.
P is all attitude these days. Summer vacation is drawing to a close – school starts in 4 days. Right now, she’s not pleased with me. Everything is “boring”. Reading is boring, math is boring, doing the dishes is boring, being forced to play downstairs in their rooms is boring. She has probably lost some of her math skill over the summer; I wasn’t diligent at all at having her read or having her do math. She will be in 3rd grade, and she already loves her teacher (one of the other 2nd grade teachers that is moving up to 3rd grade). I am determined that this year I am going to get to the school and do some volunteering so that I’m involved in her education. Her hair is growing out, its to her shoulders and she wants to cut it again but I’m not sure that’s a great idea. Its so pretty with lighter reddish streaks from all the sun time this summer. Her teeth are kind of a hot mess. Her permanent teeth coming in just don’t have enough room so they’re coming in crooked and behind each other. They are also a little white-streaked but kinda yellow. Makes me feel like I’ve failed her somehow. They’re not awful, but not great either. She’s still a beautiful young lady. She is turning 8 in a month, and is getting ready for her baptism – probably in November. The October baptism date for our ward is on the 13th, and K will be coming back into town that morning from Texas from a training for work. Having him arrive so last-minute makes me nervous, so I think we’re going to move it to November. She has the 1st two articles of faith memorized; we need to start working on the 3rd. I am her primary teacher at church – that’s an interesting change for me but I’m working on it.
K2. He is my trial and a joy at the same time. Such a loving, fun little boy. But so mischievous - and he DOESN’T LISTEN!! Oh, he drives me nuts. I will say, “go downstairs and look in the fridge for such-and-such.” He will go downstairs and turn circles in the middle of the room because he only listened to part of the instructions and doesn’t remember he has to look in the fridge. He loves his sisters so much. But he also harasses them to the point of insanity – doesn’t seem to understand “STOP!” He will be going into preschool at the school this year. Tuesday through Friday (the whole school is 4-day school week – weird – and we don’t get spring break), 8:15-11:15. I have to take him and pick him up, which is weird since it will take 2 minutes to drive to the school, and I send P on the bus at 7:30 to the same place. Hmmmm. Makes me wonder how important the bus ride is – she’d have more time at home to get ready if I just took them together. He is so excited to be going to school, and I just know he’s going to do well. He’ll be in the class with his little best friend that lives right next door. We finally got a good caricature of him at Casa Bonita today when we went to celebrate D’s birthday. We got one of him and of D. So much better than the freaky caricature we had done there by a different “artist” almost 3 years ago.
And D. It was her 2nd birthday last Saturday. She is adorable. So stubborn. Attitudinal. Very tall for her age (been wearing 3T stuff for a while). Still blonde with blue eyes. So we have a redhead with hazel eyes, a brown haired brown eyed boy, and a blonde with blue eyes. She has a lot more words now, but she doesn’t talk nearly as well or as much as P and K2 did at this age. I try not to worry about that, especially since she seems to understand most everything just fine. Even if she doesn’t want to comply. She says “thank you” as “tattoo”, “teeth” has evolved into “tee” and “cheese” is “chee” and “please” is “eee”. “Sorry” is “Ahwee”. She says all the little neighbor kids’ names really well, but has a hard time with her siblings’ names. Relationships are important to her and she often assigns strangers the designations of “momma”, “dadda”, “baby”. Toys, too. Big ones are parents, little ones are babies. She still takes naps, but sometimes if there’s too much going on and we’re out and about, she doesn’t get one. Craaaanky ensues. She loves to be read to, and often demands it by tossing books in your lap like missiles and yelling “weee” (read) with a bob of her head and raised eyebrows, like “woman, you should have been doing this already without me having to ask!” She is going to drive me nutso when both the kids are in school. I’m not looking forward to that part of it.
I AM looking forward to the enforced routine of the school year. The summer has been a manic play-session with neighbor kids, rarely planned dinners, gardening, swimming, and HEAT.
My garden had pretty good results. We got carrots, green beans (just this last week), corn, lots of squash and squachini (squash/zucchini hybrid I managed to make) that are still producing, corn, raspberries, spinach. It is an overgrown jungle now since I kinda lost interest after the more delicate plants were harvested. The squash plants are still producing, as is the corn and green beans. But, hello, jungle, the rest. I did not enjoy weeding since I never seemed to be up early enough to do it before the heat set in. I don’t think we’ll be in this house for planting again next year, a shame since I learned a lot this year with my first garden ever.
I have done a few more fitness events. The Sailin’ Shoes 5K in the Springs on June 16th. My time was …. oh my gosh I can’t remember my time. It was somewhere in the vicinity of 36:20, or close to it. It was a great race, though I stopped to tie my shoe about 5 blocks from the finish. Um, dumb move. I think I would have beat 36 minutes if I hadn’t done that. I hadn’t gotten much sleep because of sleeping with D in my mother-in-law’s bed the night before. She’s a bed hog. Anyway, my mother came with me and then I went back and spent more time with K’s aunt and uncle who were in town from Arizona. His aunt is fighting cancer and isn’t sure she’ll win so she was trying to see as much of the family as possible. We were there with them Friday and Saturday. It was so fun, and D was in love with Uncle M from the instant she met his boisterous, loudmouth self.
On July 21st, I did Fitness on the Rocks at Red Rock with my friend A. I was unfortunately fighting a UTI that day, which sucked rocks. But the event was awesome and FREE, and I will be doing it again next year barring a catastrophe. Its a huge fitness concert – I did 3 classes. Zumba, Turbokick and a body conditioning boot camp at the end. It was so hot, the benches burnt our hands for the push-ups, and we were both so sore we were having trouble sitting down on the toilet for a couple days, but it was worth it. We went to Golden afterward, exhausted but full of endorphins. We ate at Whole Foods and went to a movie and then headed home. It was great.
July 28th, I did a 5K mud run with my MIL, SIL, and her two teenage daughters. I proceeded on the third obstacle to sprain my ankle pretty badly, and I’m still recovering. It was a tire obstacle, football-player style, and I caught my foot and hit hard, twisting my ankle something fierce. I’ve had some panic about not being able to work out normally, but I’m almost back to full-use, which is a relief. The mud run was pathetically lacking in mud. I won’t do one again, though, even if it promises tons of mud. Too much risk of injury, which screws up my plans for weight loss and fitness.
I have been “training” my friend J. Most recently (since my injury and since she got her kids back from her ex for the school year) we haven’t been as gung-ho, but she quit Curves so she could work out with me and I have made her almost barf and almost cry quite a few times. Not that I’m trying to, but our fitness levels are very different, as are our strengths. I still love zumba, and hope to return to full-impact at it on Monday night. It might be returning to Platteville from Johnstown, which would be great for me since that puts it a 2 minute walk away. I’ve considered getting my personal trainer certification or becoming a zumba teacher, but I haven’t committed to anything yet.
I’ve discovered some great recipes this summer. Chickpea blondies that kids and most adults love. Zucchini bread pancakes that are great. Black bean brownies are a norm around here. And I’ve discovered some things to do with quinoa that rock. Along with my typical granola bar sprees.
K still hasn’t gone to 12 hour shifts, but his hours are pretty consistent. We’re still living paycheck to paycheck but we suck at managing our money. I despair of us ever getting a handle on it.
I’m pondering some major life changes. No moves or tragic family stuff. Just some habits of my own that I’m trying to change and improve on that I think impact my life and my family’s life. It all feels very deep and dramatic to me inside my head, but it probably isn’t that big a deal in reality. But the distraction of working on these mental problems throws me off my eating-right game, and I’m struggling to get back in the zone. I’m hovering between 189 and 185. I’d love to get below 185 and stay there and keep going down. I have high hopes for the routine of the school year getting me back to the weight loss.
We celebrated D’s birthday today by going to Casa Bonita. It was a fun time. She was a little traumatized by the talking on the microphone, the echoing acoustics in there, and the dark ceilings at first. But she got the hang of it. We got some great caricatures of her and K2 and had some fun in the arcade. Someone handed us a wad of tickets that helped us cash in for a couple lame prizes in the arcade, and the food was mediocre as usual. But it was worth it for the caricatures for $3 each, plus $4 in tip. We had strawberry creme pie (Edwards brand) for cake with 2 candles. She blew them out like a trooper. And then we opened her presents from a KMart stop on our way home – a Mr. Potato Head, a little horse that you squeeze the tail and the mouth opens with noise and there’s a flashlight in there. And a bouncy ball. No biggie, but she’s entertained.
Got the other 2 birthdays coming up, one in September in and one in October. Going to do a balloon avalanche into their rooms on the morning of – something fun I saw on Pinterest and I’m actually going to follow through! Ha!! Not sure what else we’ll do for those 2 birthdays but I’m determined to have a plan more firmly in place than we did for D’s. I suck at that.
Become really close to A and J, my neighbors and friends. Love hanging out with them – they probably hate how I just come over (often with my kids) and hang out and don’t leave. Gosh, that sounds awful. I’m pretty sure I’m not overstaying my welcome and things will change as school starts and the rhythm of homework and activities changes for all of us. But its been a great summer.
I’m hoping to run the Platteville 5K on Harvest Days a week from tomorrow, and hoping my parents can come up for the festivities since K will be working. Later in the month, K is going to Ohio for a court date for his sister’s custody battle. School for P starts the 14th, for K2 the 21st. Its going to take a few weeks before I get used to them not having school on Mondays. But it could be cool – a day for activities and such. 3-day weekends!
I’m hoping with the changing habits that I mentioned above, I will be writing more often and won’t have so much ground to cover. I’ve said that before, so we’ll see.
I have so much to say. And I have a rambling problem. So in the interest of remembering all the stuff I need to record because of my 4 month lapse in posting, I will make a list of things I”d like to write down so I remember them.
**Freeze Your Buns Off 5K – Feb 11, 2012 in Castle Rock, CO. Time spent with parents and kids, and a snow storm, but good running weather. Healthy Living Expo. Time (after no real prep at all) 43:29.
**Winning a giveaway for free treatment at a Naturopath doctor’s office in Castle Rock as a result of raffle at Expo. Appointment March 15, 2012. And a wonderful Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday morning spent on my own with my mom and NO KIDS. A mini-vacation.
April Conference trip to Utah. Visited with L, went to dinner with her. It was so fun. First time she and I have ever shared intimate talk about our relationships with our spouses. It was fun to get her input and opinion about some of the issues K and I have sometimes and her ideas to help me. Visited a lot with my bfE – its always so great to spend time with her. We briefly visited her sister and had lunch with my other friend Elz, whom neither of us had seen in years, though I’d seen her more recently than bfE had. We went to Elz’s new house (its beautiful), met her toddler and hung out with her and her hubby. It was a grand time. So much laughing. Got to see my brother T and his wife J, whom I hadn’t seen since their wedding in September.
**D’s growth. The words she has now at 21 months: Mama, Dada, bowl (sounds like bow), apple (abba), No, cheese/teeth/please are all said “eees”, move sounds like “moooo”, she does animal sounds for goat, elephant, lion, dog, cat, cow, owl, pig, and maybe more.
K2′s black eye – given graciously by D on Friday May 4. Bloody noses ensued. Poor boy.
**May Day 5K on May 5, 2012 in Ft. Lupton. Time: 37:21. Parents visited from Friday night on to go to race with us (kids and I) and then help me plant my first garden ever.
The garden, plans for the yard’s improvements. Made a map cuz we used sticks stuck in the ground to mark the mounds and beginnings and ends of rows. Planted corn, watermelon, zucchini, summer squash, cantaloupe, carrots, spinach, green beans, tomatoes. So exciting!! Gotta make sure I do the work.
K’s schedule these days – 15 on/6 off. Hoping to go to 12-hour shifts soon. Plans for getting out of debt.
Enrollment of preschool for K2. My Friends and Me – have to fill out application and get it in this coming week. School’s out May 24.
Planning to go camping with my parents in June down south in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
Editing work for friend DP. Finished Part 1 of the book and have done multiple transcription projects. He’s paying me $15/hour. Wish he had friends that could use the same help. Have a transcription waiting for me now that is 33 pages long. It will be a long one.
Weight loss progress and hopes/plans. 192 right now. Goal: 155. Hope to buy an incentive reward when I get under 190, 180, etc. Kindle Fire when I reach goal (or other notepad)
Friends – A goes to Zumba with me, lets my kids play at her house with her kids a LOT, has watched the kids for our dates, and is fun to talk to. J takes walks with me, and her kids play with mine sometimes. Talked to H at church today, got to know her a little better, we might go rollerblading sometime soon. I hope that actually pans out cuz it would be awesome. She’s also the only person I’ve ever met that runs about a 12 minute mile like me, though she goes for a lot longer distances than I do. Have met some more people at church – feeling a little more outgoing now that I’m matching up some names with some faces.
Cooked dinner for the C’s here in Platteville a couple times. Was fun, if stressful to make two meals, because I experimented both times and both time they loved the meals (NOT LASAGNA) that I brought them. Its fun when I make stuff up and it turns out yummy. Makes me feel like a real cook. Got a Ninja about 3 weeks ago. Love it for smoothies. Made banana ice cream awesomely. Also did pretty good on green pancakes, think with some adjustments in method, will do better next time.
Went swimming April 20 with A and her kids. D was so scared at first – after about 40 minutes she finally started to enjoy herself. K2 and P had a blast, especially once they realized vests would hold them up. Went to Carbon Valley Rec Center. Loved the lazy river. Hope to go again on K’s 6-day or sooner.
I probably won’t expound on some of these things. Only a few warrant their own posts. But I wanted to get it down since so much has happened in the last four months and I haven’t been recording it. I’m sure that’s something I’ll regret one day. More details about D’s emerging personality, especially since I haven’t been taking many pictures at all. And she’s so beautiful. I’m thinking if I could just guarantee that it would be another boy to balance us out, I MIGHT consider having another baby. I just can’t decide though since the gender decision isn’t up to me.
Anyway, I’ve put a star by the ones I want to write posts about before I forget. We’ll see if I actually do it.
Holidays. Over. Again. Yesterday, we took back our living room. The kids helped me put away the tree & room decorations and then I hauled the tree out to the garage for K to take out of the stand when he gets a chance.
Our holidays were really good this year. I managed to come out of my bummed out funk I’d been in since Thanksgiving, we got the kids some fun presents, and we spent some good quality time. Christmas Eve, which was a Saturday, the kids and I tidied/cleaned the house, and then we made cookies. Two batches even, which I don’t believe I’ve ever done before in one day. We made craisin/oatmeal (some with white chocolate), and peanut butter/milk chocolate chip. They were both really good and I’ll probably use both recipes again. Especially since I now have a STAND MIXER!! Yeeha! It was a present from my parents and my older brother/his family (they had us for Christmas, though I didn’t expect anything so elaborate in addition to the tree skirt, calendar, and movie they got us).
Anyway, it was enjoyable making the cookies with the kids, and sampling the dough (the best part IMO) & being together. Then, I got the “fun” part of baking them, batch after batch. Whoohoo. I also spent a good deal of time on Christmas Eve wrapping, since I never get it done before then. I also marinated the steaks we were going to have on Christmas day.
K had to work, but he was home by early evening. Christmas morning, he was still on call, but we went to church at 11, miraculously making the kids wait to open any presents except one present from their stockings. When we got home, we changed clothes and then my parents arrived & we got down to the serious business of opening gifts. The kids had a great time, and D was fascinated by everything that was unwrapped. I had put in the scalloped potatoes before church, I shredded the cheese and sliced the potatoes using my food processor – such a time saver!! I’d never made scalloped potatoes before, so I was so glad when they turned yummy and CHEESY! We had steaks cooked (overcooked a little) in the oven, broccoli & carrots cooked with butter & chicken broth, and the potatoes. King Hawaii rolls and carbonated juices finished off the meal. First time I’ve ever made an entire holiday meal myself and I was pleased. I would only change the length of time I cooked the steaks – they were tender but a little dry from cooking a little too long. I decided our Christmas meal tradition is steaks. :)
K got called in to work right as we were sitting down to eat at 4. So he ate with us and then had to leave. We spent most of the rest of the evening on Skype to my various siblings and their families since Mom and Dad were here at my house and wanted to talk to everyone. It was a great day considering K wasn’t guaranteed any time to be here at all. Good food, good company, and fun gifts. My mixer was the highlight for me besides seeing the kids’ happiness.
The week passed with much overeating of cookies and leftover potatoes.
We left for the Springs Friday about midday and spent the next couple days hanging out at K’s mom’s with his family. New Year’s Eve we had a breakfast feast of bacon, eggs, sausage, stuffed french toast, hashbrowns. Then we played games – a wild bunch they are. Much time was spent on “electronics” since K’s mom has a new phone, a new Kindle Fire, and one of the nieces had a Fire as well.
We came home on Sunday by way of stopping by my parents’ house to say hi and check out the damage from their flood right before Christmas. The only thing I can say is I guess its at least good they have no kids there now, cuz I can’t imagine being so cheerful about the situation/mess with 3 little ones underfoot.
P went back to school today, so we are officially back to normal. I walked K2 to the library for a story-time that apparently wasn’t technically scheduled, but they were nice about the 4 kids that showed up and winged one for them. Went walking some more with my friend, J and her dog (of course I had D with me the whole time in the stroller). I’m sore from my weights and running yesterday (first time on treadmill in over a month). Went to Zumba Monday night and hoping to go back tonight. If K doesn’t get back in time to watch the kids, I’ll just have to run on treadmill again.
Made a checklist to keep track of my daily goals. I printed four, to try the checklist for 4 weeks and then evaluate what I’d like to add or detract. So far so good. I’m trying to reestablish my healthy habits of eating produce, exercise, and getting more sleep. I am trying to cut way back on my reading, so I only read after the kids go to bed, and sometimes while I eat my meals during the day. Hoping cutting back on the reading & trying to stay busier during the day will help my depression & motivation.
I made checklists for the kids, but I don’t have any printer paper left. Something to add to the grocery list.
Hoping to buy a car here in the next few weeks.
I guess that’s about it.
Today I got a bee in my bonnet. We don’t have a tree yet, and we won’t get one until next Monday or Tuesday after payday and when K has days off. But I was listening to Christmas music today and had just finished reading a Christmas-themed book, and I decided it would be pretty to string the tinsel (which I hate putting on the tree) around the walls of our living room. I used thumbtacks and festooned it around (can festoon be a verb?). It looks pretty, if a little uneven in the way I draped it. I also cleared off the top of the DVR and computer (2 of the few horizontal surfaces that D can’t reach), and displayed the 5 snowman decorations that I have. Cleared the banister (the only other high-enough horizontal surface) and displayed the Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus pieces of our nativity, along with the donkey. I figured that putting the wise men and shepherd and camel in the display would be a little silly looking since they’d all literally have to be lined up on the banister by the front door, not gathered around Jesus like they’re supposed to be. I hung up the advent activity calendar that my SIL made us a year ago, and opened our first activity today: dance and sing to Christmas music. Then we forgot to actually follow through.
I like that there are some visual reminders of the time of year now around the house and that we don’t have to wait for a tree to start “feeling it”.
Other than that, I made a salmon, sweet potato fries, and steamed broccoli/cauliflower dinner. Made another batch of yummy granola bars that I’m going to do my best to ration, since the last 2 batches have been so irresistible to me that I’ve eaten them almost single-handedly and much to fast (maybe that was PMS? I can hope). Folded 3 loads of laundry. Exercised. And showered. Now I have a menstrual headache and should probably go to bed. It would be a huge change of pace to go to bed at 10:30 for once, since midnight or later is my norm these days. Ah, to be recording the mediocrity of my life again.
Its a good thing I don’t consider myself a blogger. Cuz geez. But I’ve found myself saying a few times over the last few months that I’d have to refer to my journal (or blog) in order to remember when the kids did certain things in their development. So I better make a little bit of effort to document some of D’s development or I won’t know anything to compare if we have more or to remember her craziness.
She is 16 months old now and just as much trouble as she could possible be. She walks/runs everywhere. Climbs on everything. Goes for the computer mouse, the cell phones, the TV remotes whenever given a chance. She has a killer grip and screams her head off when you take away something if she decides to hang on. Otherwise, she runs away and drops the offending item on her way to try to head you off. She has her four teeth on top and bottom in the front, and then a molar on top and bottom both sides in the back. She makes some crazy faces and has a few words. Namely – Doh! (meaning boo), Uh-oh, Ma (which I don’t think is Ma, just more a demanding term), SSSS (meaning SH, and she puts her finger over her mouth classic shh style, sometimes sticking her finger under her upper lip. She loves to hold dolls and teddy bears and making smacking kissing noises. She is a beautiful slightly reddish blonde, but her hair’s not coming in very fast.
I started writing this post yesterday. Last night, D had an accident involving her mouth. Seems like my kids always hurt their mouths. She was sitting on her little kid couch (the unfolding kind) and she had a toothbrush she was playing with. Well, with wonderful luck, when she fell off the couch, she had the toothbrush in her mouth and managed to jab it into the back of her mouth right next to her throat. I didn’t realize she was bleeding until I’d been holding her while she screamed and she lifted her head & I saw the blood dripping all over both of us. So then I spent the next 20 minutes trying to pry open her mouth and shine a flashlight in it at the same time to make sure the bleeding stopped and it didn’t look like something I needed to take her in for. I finally got a glimpse of the wound, and I think it will heal on its own, but it was an awful 30 minutes. She woke up every 2 hours all night long, and it was harder than normal to get her back to sleep. Today she seems fine, thank goodness.
A couple weeks ago, P had a mouth accident. Getting up after being put to bed, she went to get some books to read with her flashlight and slipped going back to bed on the painted concrete floor in the playroom. Somehow, she managed to ONLY land on her upper front teeth/lip. We still can’t figure out how she didn’t hit her chin or put her hands out. Anyway, her screaming, blood-gushing arrival at the top of the stairs, cupping her hand under hurt bloody maw will forever be etched in my head. Her two new permanent teeth that were just peaking through & the two baby teeth on both sides were surrounded by a bloody swollen mass of gum, and we didn’t know if she’d damaged or moved the permanent teeth. The dentist said she was ok a couple days later after an x-ray, but her smile still isn’t the same. The two permanent teeth are much farther out, more than I think they’d be if she hadn’t smashed them. Her main concerns that night as she sobbed & sucked on a popsicle were that she wouldn’t be pretty anymore and that kids would make fun of her. We let her stay home on Tuesday (it happened Monday night), and Thursday I took her to the dentist, since they’d advised me that it might hurt less to wait a couple days.
This is all reminiscent of K2′s accident against the back of P’s head a couple years ago when her head bashed in his front teeth. Literally. I had to move them back into place since they were aimed back into his mouth. I think I wrote about that at the time. I should check and make sure.
Anyway, K2 is at story time this time. I was grateful that K got home from work at 2:30 AM so that I’d have a car this morning. Its been too cold and snowy to walk K2 to the library for story time, so he’s missed a few of them. Last night, we had to walk P to dance class down the street at the rec center, and it was a miserable walk. We all bundled up, and I pulled D in the wagon. We walked down the middle of the street since not all the sidewalks are shoveled, and my coat froze so that it made those crinkly noises every time I moved. On the happy side, I was worried that our walk down to pick her up would be just the wrong timing to burn the rice, but it turned out perfectly. I made split peas, sausage, carrots stew-like mixture which we had over brown rice. It was one of my better concoctions ever – I enjoyed it immensely and the kids seemed to as well. D even let me feed it to her, which was a blessing since she objects usually when she can’t eat dinner herself.
I am going stir-crazy with no car. And then when I do have a car at my disposal when K’s home, I can’t figure out where to go. Its a sad thing. I have been depressed and not doing well on my diet or exercise ever since Thanksgiving. I was so discouraged when the 10 pounds that I lost the 2 weeks before Thanksgiving – 5 of it came back in the 2 days we were in CS. I exercised both days, including T-day morning. And I still gained 5 pounds. Which took me back up over 200 pounds (I’d barely gotten under). That combined with seeing pictures of myself at my SIL’s wedding on Oct 14 really bummed me out. How come all the pictures taken of me are from below my chin – not a good look for someone trying to lose the DOUBLE chin. Anyway, I’ve been kind of a slug-eating-machine since then. I think I’m about where I was right after Thanksgiving weight-wise. I’m trying to re-motivate myself with a new goal and struggling to find one that inspires me. Monday night, I went to Zumba 20 minutes late because I felt guilty for leaving K right after he got home from work, and I didn’t feel like I “deserved” to go. I’d made dinner but I didn’t want any, and he’d have to feed the kids on his own. Anyway, he got off the phone with his mom at 6:45 (Z starts at 6:30) and convinced me to go. I got ready so fast, went to the last 35 minutes of class and then sped out of there cuz I didn’t want to talk to anyone, afraid I’d cry to practical strangers if anyone asked me what was wrong with me.
Yesterday I did a little better and managed to eat pretty well (circumspectly) and I did a full T-Tapp workout. I’ve managed to keep the kitchen clean through my blues, but the rest of the house has suffered. The bathrooms need to be scrubbed, the laundry has piled up, and everything is dusty. My room is a mess. Today, K is eligible for work at noon, so there’s a chance he’ll still be here and I can go to Zumba tonight, but there’s also a good chance he’ll be gone again by then and I’ll need to do some other exercise. But if I leave the other thing until tonight, I’ll be too tired. So I have to predict this afternoon what my chances of Zumba are and if I don’t think I’ll get to go I need to run or something. I’m wearing my wedding ring. It goes on, but it leaves a muffin top on my finger. But I figure if I’m wearing it and its a little uncomfortable it will remind me to drink water, not eat like a glutton, and work out. That’s the idea, anyway.
And Christmas? Yeah, not ready as usual. Once again, it is here and I don’t have a plan. EVERY YEAR, I swear next year I’m going to be prepared with a plan and not leave everything till the last minute willy-nilly. Riiiiighhht. We’ll hopefully acquire a tree next Monday or Tuesday on K’s next days off, so I probably won’t put out any decorations till then, though I have them out downstairs.
D is moaning and groaning at me. She’s bored without K2 here and with me typing on the computer. Her mouth probably hurts, but really she’s usually ornery, so its hard to tell.
Well, that’s the update, such as it is. I haven’t written anything about my brother’s wedding in the end of Sept, or my SIL’s wedding in October. I should do that.
This post is long overdue. Sheesh. Part of the problem is, I’m rarely sitting at the computer these days when the kids aren’t bugging me for the screen back for Netflix. Either that, or we’re on the go. So let me see if I can recap the last month or so with some details that will be valuable looking back on the memories in a few years.
1) D started walking for real about the middle of July. She is now pretty awesome at it. For the first couple weeks, she was having to pull herself up and then she’d take off, but soon she developed the ability to stand up on her own without furniture or a person. She is trying to get into everything these days, since she can now see the tops of the desk, the end tables, some dressers, etc. She likes to pull out the plastic-ware in the kitchen, and she loves for her brother and sister to chase her and play with her. She is thinning out, and is still tall for her age. She’s wearing 18-month clothes, and she just turned 1 last week. For her birthday (not that she cared), we went to Casa Bonita in Denver and had a grand ol’ time in the arcade after our dinner. She was strapped to me the whole time in a sling (she would have been trampled if I’d let her walk around), and she had a great time people-watching. P & K2 had a blast playing ski-ball, racing games, stomp the spider games (kinda like a dancing game), and catch-the-popcorn. We had planned on getting K2 and D’s cartoons done, but the guy doing the cartoons wasn’t good, and we’ve already fallen victim to that waste-of-money. We then came home and sang to her and had a jello-cake with cool whip on it, which she had a good time making a royal mess of. It was a great family day, and now my baby is 1 year old.
2) Going back a little further, the last week of July was my family’s first reunion at my parents’ house. There were 24 of us in all, including the babies, all using their bathrooms and camped out around the house (in AND out – K and I slept with D out in the driveway in a borrowed trailer so she’d have a quiet place to have her porta-crib). It was the first time we’d all been together in 12 years, and was the first time for some of us to meet the others’ newest children. The youngest was my sister’s 4th, a girl about 4 weeks old. Anyway, it was a blast!! We didn’t do anything too fancy. One day we went to the park, played frisbee, ran around, had a picnic lunch from the grocery deli. Then 2 of my SIL’s and I went grocery shopping for the week for the all the wonderful meals my newest (by 6 years) SIL had planned for us. We watched movies, but not many. The guys had a night out where they went to play pool and apparently got so slap-happy that people probably THOUGHT they were drinking.
We went to Manitou and had hotdogs at the Vienna Sausage place, and we climbed Helen Hunt Falls. We hung out at the mall, where K2 had a momentous occasion from an upset tummy that caused him to poop himself right there in Borders. Yeah, that was fun. Worse for K cuz he had to take him in the bathroom and get him clean enough to put on the clothes I bought for him off the clearance rack in JCPenney’s. We had a day when we played volleyball in the backyard while the kids played in a kiddie pool and ran through the sprinklers, and then later in the day they played with chalk, got it wet, and decided to paint their bodies in wet chalk. We have pictures. I think I was inside painting my nails when that started, but I was out there when we hosed them down.
The ladies had a night out, where all we could think to do was go to Coldstone. It was good, and so was the company, but I don’t think we had as much fun as the guys did when they went out. :)
One day we all split up and went different directions. For us, that day was for visiting K’s family in the south end. That was a nice day, too. Low-key and relaxing, other than D not getting a nap that day.
I went running 3 times, once with my sister and SIL, which was fun. I felt this was necessary (actually wished I’d gotten more runs in) cuz one of the main activities all week long, was COOKING together. We had Brazilian night, Thai night, Indian night, and Korean night. We had simple lunches and fancy lunches. We had french toast, cottage cheese pancakes (my morning), regular pancakes, tons of fruit salads, breakfast casseroles, and leftovers. We cooked a LOT. And it was awesome. I learned some stuff from my SIL, who has lived in Japan for 4 years now with my bro and has learned to cook a lot of asian foods. We had avocado shakes, which I haven’t had since I came back from Brazil. The food really was the focus and highlight of the week, at least for me. For the most part, I managed to not be a complete glutton, though.
It was hard to leave, knowing we won’t see everyone for a while. But, my youngest brother got engaged that week to the girlfriend he brought for all of us to meet, and his wedding is Sept 30, so hopefully we’ll see most everyone then. My sister was on her way to Florida for her husband’s new job, my brother was on his way to Idaho for his schooling (he’s an AF pilot, but going back to school for EE). And then there’s my bro in Georgia and us here. But it was also good to come home and return to a normal routine – which includes for me – weight loss.
3) P got a new bike right before we left for the reunion. It is a 20-incher and is almost too big for her, but she’s mastered it beautifully. With her off her little 12-inch bike (finally!), K2 has taken it over. We put back on the training wheels, and I’ve never seen him so focused or determined as when he figured out how to ride it. We have been enjoying more bike rides as a family, since we also got our grown-up bikes back right before the reunion, too. We want to get K2 his own bike, with boy colors, but for now he’s been pretty happy riding P’s old pink one. If we can’t find the budget for a bike for him soon, I’ll be spray painting the pink one.
4) Weight loss- for the 2.5 weeks before the reunion, I only lost those pounds I mentioned in my last post. I stuck at 230, and my body wasn’t giving it up. I started taking fiber and trying to detox on the suggestion of a friend, and it wasn’t working, apparently because I wasn’t taking enough fiber. During the reunion, I tried to exercise moderation but I didn’t deprive myself of much. Mostly meals, not much snacking. I gained back up to 232.5, but lost that within a day or so. Then I started taking some GX Assist my mother had given me. FOr 9 days it cleans you out. I only had one day when my reaction was kinda extreme, the second day. I felt ill, I had a headache, and I had like 5 BM’s that day. When one every other day is normal for me, that was a lot. Thank goodness those feelings subsided. For the rest of the 9 days I had more BM’s than usual, but nothing too drastic. I had a couple more milder headaches, but no more tummy upset. And then yesterday I started the PB Assist that I have 4 days to take – to replace the stuff that was flushed out with good probiotic bacteria. I feel good. I’ve lost 8 more pounds. I’m at 222 today.
I’ve been exercising lots of different ways: bikes with the kids and on my own (only 1 of those so far), running outside, running on the treadmill, T-Tapp when D is asleep on days when K isn’t around, Zumba on Mon and Wed if K is here to watch the kids. I’ve been eating a lot of produce with all my meals and snacks, and I’m still tracking on sparkpeople, mostly on my phone. I eat 3 meals and 2 snacks, if my schedule allows. Sometimes, time gets away from me when we’re out and about and I end up having just 3 meals (sometimes at snack times). I usually avoid starchy carbs at my evening meal, which means most days I’m kinda low-carb. I’m still not getting enough sleep, so that is something I need to work on. School starts next week and I’ll have to start getting up earlier, which I’m hoping will help me reset my body-clock to be able to get to sleep earlier. I’ve got D down to nursing twice a day, usually early morning around 4 or 5 AM, and when she goes to bed at night. When school starts, I hope to cut out that morning feeding, too. I hope to keep losing weight at a good clip, but I can’t really control that. I can just control how I treat my body, so that’s what I’m trying to do. Some days I feel like I spend a lot of time cutting veggies and cooking. But I am a homemaker and mother of 3. So I feed more mouths than just my own, and that is part of my job. I feel blessed that I have the luxury to be here at home with them, and have the ability to have my kitchen at my disposal for my weight loss efforts.
I think those are the highlights for now. I will try to be more diligent about recording so that I can put in more details about our lives and the things the kids do and say. The main purpose fo a journal is for posterity, and I don’t want it to be a dry recounting of things post-fact.
On a quest to lose 90 pounds. I am following a slightly modified LIFE diet, and currently I am using a Sparkpeopl3 app on my phone to log my food. Quite possible I will burn out, but for now it is entertaining to log everything right there on my phone. I have lost somewhere between 9 and 5 pounds since Tuesday. I say somewhere between because the first day I didn’t weigh in until late afternoon, when my weight is probably at its highest. It was 239.5. The next morning it was 234.5, and now it is 230.5. So, I’m not exactly sure where to call my starting point. Perhaps, just to make myself feel good, I’ll say its 239. :)
I’m not even sure its a LIFE diet at this point. I am eating fruits and/or veggies with every meal and snack. Having a large salad with or before dinner. Not using anything but stevia to sweeten anything that needs sweetening (mainly oatmeal at this point). Not eating after 9:00 PM. Having 3 meals and 1-2 snacks a day. Eating a lot of produce with the meals. I am not going low-fat like the LIFE diet requires – I am using full-fat yogurt, coconut milk, peanut butter, etc. But I’m back to measuring out a reasonable portion of said fatty foods. I am not buying the foods that trigger me such as granola bars, or granola.
I am aiming for 5 hours of exercise per week. I haven’t reached that this past week, but I am learning what works. I have learned I can’t use the treadmill while D is asleep, so I’m gonna have to start using it while she’s awake. Probably, I will put the 3 kids in P’s room and let them play in there together for the 30 minutes it takes me to work out. I don’t think that’s too unreasonable – 30 minutes isn’t that long. The trick is finding 30 minutes that D is in the mood to play and not fuss – a difficult task these days. She is pulling herself up and around on walls and furniture, and has even taken a couple tentative steps on her own a few times, but she’s not walking yet. Maybe the frustration is getting to her, maybe its more teeth coming in. Either way, she is very fussy and needy these days.
This coming week I am hoping to be able to attend both Zumba classes, Mon and Wed. That will be 2 hours of exercise. Then, if I walk/jog on the treadmill Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I will be at about 4 hours. If I include some bodyweight exercises with a couple of those workouts (30 minutes worth), I will be at 5 hours. Its not a fool-proof plan, but that’s what I’m going to work toward. I want to purchase, perhaps from craigslist, a weight bench and some dumbbells, not necessarily together, to help expand the resistance training I can do.
I am planning on this taking about a year to lose. K hopes I will do it quicker, like say a pound a day for 90 days. Yeah right. I am also intending these eating habits to become deeply ingrained during that year, so that when I’ve lost the weight it is natural to just continue on the way I’ve been going to maintain my health.
Other than that, life goes on as normal. The kids drive me crazy. K works all the time except for his days off. He’s sleeping right now, and though I had a car and could have gone to church I wimped out for taking the kids by myself. He will wake up this afternoon and probably get called in again tonight. And his days off start on Friday so we have a few days until his schedule norms out. I might have offended the neighbor kids enough to have their mom tell them they can’t play with my kids anymore. I hope I’m wrong, but time will tell if I’m going to have to grovel and apologize. The other neighbor kids just got back yesterday and I hope P makes friends with one of them – they haven’t met yet but I really like their mom.
The summer reading program is over at the library; the kids had fun with the crafts each week and grand finale pizza party. We spent 4th of July with my parents in Monument – they came and got us on Sunday and brought us home on Tuesday. D slept with me for 2 nights, which wasn’t very restful. But we went to the Monument parade and the kids got candy and then we spent a nice afternoon playing in the pool, having the missionaries and our friends Aunt D and Uncle D over for BBQ. Keith worked 9 hours on the 4th, which is double-pay and will help since he didn’t get a lot of hours last week.