January

Things that are happening this year:

I’m on a super wonky diet because Oliver has been diagnosed with a plethora of food sensitivities. This first month is the most restrictive (I’ll spare you the gory details), but for 6+ months I will be dairy, soy, chicken, zucchini, apple, sweet potato, scallion, sorgum and brewers yeast-free. Also gluten free for the duration of our time breastfeeding, and Oliver will likely be GF his whole life. We haven’t started solids with him yet, but considering the mess his gut is in already, we’ll probably be delaying beyond 6 months old.

We’ve started assembling a home gym. This has actually been in the works for a while, but January brings out all the good sales for New Year’s Resolution-ers. So, so, SO excited to get my lift on again!

Other assorted non-resolution goals. Brandon got me a sweet gift pack of classes at our local yoga studio, plus I’ve committed myself to 100 practices in 2015. (I’m being realistic though, even a 10 minute practice before bed is great.) Also I’m attempting to do pushups every day. They’re great for upper body and core strength, which are both sorely lacking since being pregnant. Finally I’m still working on a reading list for the year, spending less time on my computer, getting Nora potty trained (heh, we’ll see), and some spending less/saving more financial goals.

I’m sure this all sounds very humdrum but I’m super stoked to get things started on a positive note. Self improvement is kind of a big deal for me, and now that our little family feels complete, it’s time to invest back in myself!

fam121414

You’ve come a long way, baby

Despite the title, this post is entirely about me, not Nora.

I ran into an old friend over the weekend. We’d lost touch a while ago, so I wasn’t planning on stopping to say ‘hello’ unless she noticed me back. But then suddenly Brandon was flagging her down and inviting her over to meet Nora and ‘catch up.’ After a few minutes of very awkward banter, we parted ways again. Brandon looked at me in a What Just Happened kind of way, and to answer his unspoken question, I said, “She seems to think we’re pretty lame now, huh?”

And that was it. Until I found myself Facestalking her late at night. Same drama, same problems. Nothing had changed for her.

‘Huh,’ I thought to myself. ‘I figured that would have gotten old by now.’ But maybe that’s just me.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve made my share of mistakes over and over. But finally I realized I wanted more out of life, and even though I’m far from perfect, I take pretty good care of myself now. And as a bonus, I somehow managed to realize my dreams of being a wife and mother, too.

Nineteen year old me would be pretty damn proud. And she was a mess, and sinking farther each day. I still wanted these things, but it was easier to party and drink instead. Combined with worsening depression, breaking up with a guy I thought was ‘IT’, and then sleeping around far too much in hopes of putting him behind me… it’s really a wonder I was able to recover at all. And it was another couple years before I hit the proverbial ‘bottom’. But some tough love from my family, getting some real help, and then some utterly tender love from my husband, and here I am.

There’s a tattoo I’ve been wanting to get for a long time, but I keep putting it off until I get myself a little ‘better.’ It’s a passage from Hebrews that says, “… you have struggled with God and with man, and have overcome.” I had this mental picture of what my life would look like when I got to the ‘overcoming’ part.

But honestly, maybe I’m a bit hard on myself. Maybe this is it. Not perfection, by any means, but the other side of the hill. Or, in my case, that very dark valley.

 

Ok, maybe this post is a little bit about Nora, but only because she’s so dang cute!!

Honesty

I almost didn’t want to share this post. This list seemed like a bunch of selfish whining about a choice I very deliberately made, and sacrifices I willingly accepted. But the thing is, they are sacrifices, and I’m entitled to miss certain things from time to time. And if I didn’t, I’d have to wonder how committed I was to being a good mother.

So, in no particular order, here’s a list I made the other night when Nora decided sleep was for sissies.

Things I miss:

Having the bed to ourselves
Getting to pee whenever I want
Ridiculously long showers
Makeup
Social drinking
Social eating
Social BEING
Going to the gym (really!)
My pre-pregnancy body
Wearing cute clothes
Regular bras
Too much coffee
Sleeping 12 hours straight
Road trips
Really loud music
Cooking
Solitude
Irresponsibility

The great thing is, after making this list (and getting more than a couple of hours of sleep), I realized that I had made the right choice. I would never really want to trade places with my “old life”. What I have now is so much more amazing. And many of these things will come back in due time, I just have to be patient and savor these fleeting moments with my sweet baby.

Preoccupied

My body is going through some weird stuff right now.
Maybe not weird, like out of the ordinary, but definitely new to me.
My mild case of occasional nausea has morphed into a serious monster to be contended with today. I really REALLY wish we had some crackers, but the leftover multigrain pancakes I made over the weekend are not making me wretch my guts out. (A little dab of honey doesn’t hurt either.)
I feel really out of my element.
All day I’m tired, at night I toss and turn and deal with another fun digestive symptom: heartburn. All of these things (I hear) are normal, and I’m not entirely miserable. Just not super pleasant. I can focus on my work and keep busy enough.
I haven’t been terribly useful around the house, though. Cleaning chemicals are not my friend and moving around a bunch just makes me either feel sick or completely exhausted.
I know…. whine whine whine.
Brandon has been pretty damn amazing though. I can tell he’s a little bit excited, and wants this to go as smoothly as possible. He’s even been pretty engaged in the whole process of how and where we want to have our baby outside the hospital ‘system’ that quite frankly, unnerves me more than a little bit.
So with all of this stuff swirling around my head (and belly), I’ve been pretty much laying low and hiding out from all my usual social engagements. I really hope no one takes it too personally. I’m just trying to get used to all of this while not gabbing anyone to death about baby stuff they could care less about.

excess

It’s been a pretty crazy month.
No really.
And there’s one thing that’s been on my mind a bit, but I’ve been wary of mentioning it, lest it be misconstrued.
I’m a social drinker. This is no shock to anyone, I’m sure. Usually I’m really good at keeping it light and fun, but I’ve found myself starting to slip into some bad habits. I’m not drunk every weekend by any means, but the occasional ‘over-did-it’ has crept into my life a little more often than I’d like, lately.
And in the past when I feel myself straddling a line I’m not comfortable crossing, I just step completely back. A couple times in college I went so far as a “No Drinking, No Swearing, No Sex” phase, just to get myself re-centered on, well, me.
A nice, clean, relaxed, and healthy version of me. (If you knew me then, this was a serious change of pace.)
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m giving up drinking for a while. I don’t know how long… at least until I find that place where I don’t feel like I’m being excessive anymore.
It fits in well with my life right now, too. I want to be healthier, exercise more… enjoy my life and my body. And since Brandon doesn’t drink anyway, I’ll be getting lots of support to keep on track with my goals.
I’d like to say it’s no big deal, but I think every conscious decision to better yourself is something note worthy. So I’m putting it out there.
On to the next big thing!

Identity crisis

So it’s been almost two weeks since the wedding. Since then we honeymooned, got insurance paperwork done, I went ten thousand places getting the rest of the world caught up on my name and then I…. did the dishes. And a couple loads of laundry. And hung out with the animals. And cleaned out my closet.
And today, I got my hair cut.
Like a lot.
Pictures from this morning:

And this afternoon:

I’m fairly certain my husband is going to freak out. I’ve told him for at least three months that I would be doing something drastic like this. I even tried to show him pictures.

The funny thing is, to me, it was way weirder to go to the BMV and getting my name changed on my drivers license. It’s something that most people will never see. Nor my new (shaky) signature.
Changing my hair is easy, almost second nature if you’ve known me very long at all. But who am I now? Brandon’s wife? Home maker? That girl rocking the super short hair?
And in time some of these labels will change probably… and new ones will be added. For now I’m just getting settled in my skin. Again.

All or nothing

You might say I’m a chronic over-thinker.
I want to become an expert at something before I attempt it. I always want to know the Why. It’s sort of a moody, anxious way to be, I’m aware. Brandon has developed a keen eye for the brow furrow that means I’m starting to drown amongst my own thoughts.
Lately I’m getting a little obsessed with what sort of long-term fitness goals and/or plan I should have (made all the more ironic by the fact that I haven’t been to the gym more than a couple times since August.) But like I said, I need to have a definite sense of purpose. Besides getting ‘skinny’. Besides looking good on my wedding day. I guess I’m trying to quantify healthy, in some other numbers besides body fat percentage.
Obviously I’m not a personal trainer, and reading their writings will never make me one. I’d seriously been considering hiring one, except the trainers’ blogs I do read aren’t generally kind to the average-Joe-CPT. This might make me a bit of an elitist on a topic I know little about, but when I keep hearing the same names and the same training styles endorsed over and over, it starts to sink in: hey, this guy sounds pretty smart.
So anyway. I need to get back to the gym. I need a regimen, and some instruction on form. I need to do more than the same 10 things I’m already familiar with to really get my body at the level of health, strength, and injury-prevention-readiness that I want. Yes, I just made up that last term. “Mobility” maybe.
So do I pay someone who might not give me the level of training that I want? Do I buy one of these boxed systems from someone I do respect? Do I just keep doing what I’ve been doing?
I really don’t know. I do know that Brandon thinks I’m slightly cuckoo for getting so mentally engrossed in a project my body hasn’t begun to invest in. Fair enough. I guess I’ll be going to the gym tonight.