Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Back In The Zone

So, I have decided that my 'new habit' goal for February will be to get back into exercising regularly.  I've basically spent the past three years going to the gym 3-5 times a week, but since I got pregnant I have been... twice.  So I really need to change that.  However, I've also noticed that since I stopped going to the gym I haven't woken up with scorching back pain even once. So..... clearly continuing to hit the elliptical is not the best option (although, hello movie room - I'm not giving that up altogether!).

Anyway, part of the reason I joined this gym (aside from the movie room, the super price we got and the fact that it is right by my house) was that it had morning yoga classes three times a week.  Yoga is my favorite, and I would happily trade in my gym membership for a pass to a yoga studio - except that yoga studios don't have childcare.  So last year when I started my membership I was hitting the yoga hard - I made at least two classes a week, and more often all three, and I felt great.  I was calmer, my practice really improved, it was wonderful.  Then they cut the Thursday class.  And then I got a deal on some training sessions, but I could only go during the Tuesday class.  And Saturdays, well, I just couldn't be motivated to go to the gym on Saturdays, or the kids refused to go with me and I couldn't muster the energy to force the into it and it all fell by the wayside.  Basically I stopped going all together - I haven't been to yoga in months.  But a few days ago I was checking the gym class schedule online and I noticed that they have added the Thursday class back in, and as I was deciding February was the perfect time to refocus on my physical fitness, it seemed like a sign.

So today I returned to yoga class.  I was a little shaky, and there were some interesting 'I'm bent over and my breakfast wants to heed gravity's call' moments, but in general it was great.  I lucked in to a fairly easy class - we were focusing on back bends and hip stretching which plays nicely in to my natural flexibility, rather than a million chaturangas which would have sorely taxed my atrophied arm muscles, and at the end I felt good without being exhausted.

Ican't wait to go back on Thursday.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nineteen Weeks

I keep waiting and waiting for my belly to pop out, but so far no dice.  Here's a picture from 13 weeks:

13 weeks 4 days
oh, and what a flattering photo it is.  Yikes!

And here is today:

BeFunky Original on Android

I feel like I was bigger a few weeks ago than i am now - apparently I was just really bloated before and now I'm not? Which is pretty weird considering all I eat lately is carbs and I'm putting weight on pretty steadily.  I guess it's just all going to my rear view - awesome.

I also STILL haven't felt any movement*, although I've heard the heartbeat again nice and strong.  On Monday the 6th I'm getting the big sonogram, so we'll have visual proof there is actually a baby in there - because I'm starting to have my doubts.  Aside from the positive pregnancy tests and copious vomiting a few months ago, I totally understand the women on "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant" now, LOL.

Anyway, I'm at that super fun stage where I don't at all look pregnant (unless you know), but I definitely don't have a waist at all anymore, so I just look fat and lumpy.  So attractive.  Makes putting together cute outfits SO much less appealing because I just can't rock them the way I want.  I'll be glad when I finally get that nice round belly going and I can flaunt it a little instead of just looking like I had a big lunch.  Regardless, here are a few things I've worn recently:

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jacket: Target
tshirt: Target (says "don't let go of your dreams' in case you were wondering)
jeans: American Eagle
moccasins: Steve Madden (and yes, they're leopard)
bag: Ellington Mia
sunglasses: Target

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sweater: TJ Maxx
leggings: Isabella Oliver
shirt: no clue
boots: Dolce Vita

looking at my thighs in this picture, I think I see where those bagels are going

jeans: Asos
sweater: Target
tshirt: Urban Outfitters
booties: Aldo

Not great, but they do all involve real pants, so that's something.  Well, two out of three anyway.  I will say that on top of looking thicker than usual, the weather is also playing a big role in my not choosing outfits.  Who wants to wear something cute only to cover it up with a giant coat?  And the pictures in my room just don't turn out well at all.  I might just need to suck it up and freeze to take a few quick pics outside each day. At least until spring arrives!

*UPDATE 3pm: Finally felt some nice big kicks!  There's really something in there!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Slow And Steady

Sometimes it is so hard to keep your focus on what you are doing right, as opposed to all of the areas you are failing at.  I feel like I'm doing such a terrible job of implementing any sort of New Year's changes into my life - and then I remember that my plan was to move forward slowly and tackle one thing at a time.  January's goal was to get into a more regular cleaning schedule, cleaning everything more regularly/ more often, and with the exception of the laundry (which looks GOOD sitting in the basket near the bathroom for weeks at a time, I swear) I do feel I have made progress in that area.  I also wanted to organize the kids' toys and get rid of everything broken/ unloved/ outgrown, and while I have yet to tackle the basement, I did do each bedroom, so that is half done.  But I can't focus on that because all I can see is how I haven't been blogging more, and I haven't been making my weekly meal schedule like I wanted, and despite printing out a list of 'inspirations' my daily photo has dropped off again, and I haven't gotten back into exercising regularly, and, and, and.


I hate this sort of vague anxiety that creeps up on me every so often.  Where I feel like I'm forgetting things I need to do, and all the projects I want to tackle are stacked so high I am rendered immobile.  Does that happen to you?  I have so much I want to do, and change, and improve, but sometimes it starts to feel like it all has to be done now now now, ignoring the fact that these types of things are not instantaneous fixes and I'm not suddenly going to wake up one day an entirely different person without making tiny incremental changes each day first.  Delayed gratification is just not my thing - ask my credit balance.

But I know I'm approaching things the right way, even if I have to suffer through a few more days of uncomfortable feelings until the anxiety fades and I get back into a positive mindset.  I have to focus on what my goals for February will be (I'm thinking reestablishing my exercise routine), as well as maintaining the small success I have already achieved.  It's all about the journey, not the destination, right?

I just wish this twitchiness would pass.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beauty Queen

10:45 am. I'm finishing up cleaning Jack's room and reorganizing his toys, Brett is working on our taxes. Isabelle and jack are both at school. Where"s Sophie? She came up to see me in Jack's room a few minutes ago, but I haven't heard a peep from her since.

Duh, she was BUSY:

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Fortunately, the damage was fairly limited. She bypassed the pricey eyeshadow palettes in favor of anything remotely marker like, and while the eyeliner she used are not cheap, they could only be worn down at the tips, so not much was wasted. Finally tally - seven eyeliners that had to be resharpened, and one basically new lipstick worn completely down to the plastic nub:

Unfortunately, this was not all used on her face. She also indulged in a little artistic expression on the wall of my closet:

And no, none of that came off completely. If you have small, wall drawing inclined children, flat paint = the devil.

But she sure is pretty

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Random Tuesday

- so, tomorrow is the last day of the photo challenge, and I've really had a good time doing it, so I decided to find a bunch more on Pinterest and keep doing them all year.  And I even found a bunch that were already labeled with months, which is completely irrelevant but appeals to my sense of order quite nicely.  Except this project started at a weird time so now I have to figure out how I can round out January and maybe February so I can start with the challenge labeled March on the first.

- I have started an "allowance' chart where the kids get dashes for doing stuff they are supposed to do anyways for free (ie, cleaning up their messes), and at the end of the week we tally up the dashes and they get some money to put in their piggy banks.  It takes 10 dashes to get a dollar, so I don't feel too terrible about paying for tasks that should be considered basic responsibilities, and it is really pretty funny how helpful they are being in the hopes of getting a dash.  Bribery for the win!

- On the flip side of the helpfulness however, is the complete deterioration of anyone's ability to not just scream all the freaking time.  Okay, Isabelle is still pretty much perfectly behaved, but Jack and Sophie are completely out of control.  Jack seemed to be doing better there for awhile with the constant whining and crying but that seems to be over.  And it is really hard to deal with in any manner that doesn't devolve into calling him out on being the crybaby he is.  Seriously - man up a little, dude. 
And Sophie - Sophie will just scream in rage over any perceived injustice, which is not really new, but seems to have ramped up in both volume and frequency.  I know a lot of it is my fault because we have established a pattern of giving her what she wants to avoid the screaming since she was a baby, but sometimes it's just not possible.  And sometimes her problem is her own damn fault - and you just can't explain logic to a 3 year old.  The other day she DEMANDED I wash her blanket right as we were going up to naptime, despite it not seeming any dirtier than normal, and I explained several times that if I washed it she wouldn't have it during her nap - wouldn't she prefer I wash it afterwards?  But no, it had to be washed right then, so I took it and threw it in the laundry.  She screamed for FORTY FIVE MINUTES about that damn blankie, which at that point was wet and couldn't be given back.  OMG, that was fun times.

-speaking of laundry, my hatred and avoidance of it has grown to completely irrational levels.  There are two baskets of clean laundry that have been sitting by the washing machine waiting to be folded for two weeks.  they are completely in the way of coming in the house from the garage or trying to get into the bathroom, but I don't even see them anymore.  This is how people get on Hoarders.  It's a good thing we all have way too many clothes - no one is even close to running out yet.

- I gained only 5 pounds during the first 3 months I was pregnant, but I think I've gained another 5 pounds in the last three weeks.  All I want to eat is bagels.  And salads covered in ranch dressing and cheese.  I don't feel like I'm eating tons of anything, but it must be affecting how much water I'm retaining.  Either that or it's just all boobs, because my belly really isn't that big at all yet but my boobs are huge. To be honest I'm kind of wondering where the baby is, because according to the websites it should be 5 inches from head to rump, and I would think that would poke my stomach out quite a bit but it hasn't - I can still get my stomach basically flat if I tighten up the muscles.

- I feel like I have been growing my hair out FOREVER and it isn't any longer.  It's getting annoying.  I'm also kind of over the blonde, but I don't want to completely toast my hair so I'll probably go darker gradually rather than all at once.  Or not.  My decision changes daily.

- Sophie's birthday is Friday and I have no idea what kind of cake I'm going to make or what present to get her.  And I feel completely unmotivated to think about it.  Poor little third child.

Day 29: Black and White

Day 29: Black and White

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 27: From A Distance

Day 27: From a Distance

The lights of Omaha. subtitled: I forgot to take a picture until after 9pm

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 23: Sunflare

Day 23: Sunflare (placeholder)

confession - I took this photo last February.  But after weeks and weeks of brilliant sunshine, today was so thickly overcast that you couldn't even see where the sun was.  I'll try a redo the next time the sun pops out, but for now, this is my placeholder

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reality Kicker

Despite the months of nausea, and the four pregnancy tests, and the exhaustion, and the tight, round belly, I still don't really believe I'm pregnant.  It just seems so strange to be heading back into babyland right as we were approaching the other side.  I feel so much more disbelieving and shell shocked than I did with Isabelle - and she was not only a total surprise, but also my first kid. I literally had no idea what was going to happen, and yet I feel more skeptical now.

Right now I am 16 weeks (and 4 days, but who's counting), and I am now completely obsessed with feeling the baby move.  Because I've been down this road before, I'm familiar with exactly what it is I'm trying to feel, so I expect it to happen within the next week or so.  I think finally starting to feel kicks and movement is going to do a lot to make this whole baby seem like more than just a figment of my imagination.

Huh.  I thought I'd have more to say about this, but my brain is just not firing on all cylinders right now, and the kids have been SUPER noisy tonight, and I keep getting asked completely distracting questions.  So I guess this is it for this post.  I'll let you know if I ever feel anything resembling a baby or if this was somehow all some sort of strange dream.

Day 22: Hands

BeFunky TiltShift on Android

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 19: Something Orange

Day 19: Something Orange

this is my new planner for chores, meal planning and general to do. It is ridiculous how much I love it

Friday, January 6, 2012

Best Intentions

I've already talked about some of my "resolutions" for the coming year, as have many others all across the blogosphere, and I think we can all agree that regardless of the specific resolution, the overall goal we all share is to be happier.  Sure, it may be though being more mindful, or healthier, or more organized, but in general we want these things because we think they will bring us happiness and contentment.  I doubt anyone is really thinking "I resolve to go the the gym more because I hate working out and I'd really like to be more miserable this year."

To that end, all of my resolutions can be summed up in one way - I resolve to fill my life with a little more follow through.  I always think of things I'd like to do, and sure, more often than not these things are impractical or not REALLY something I'd want to do (run a marathon, anyone?).  But more important, I pretty much never even try to do them.  I rarely get past the planning stage, if I even get beyond thinking "huh, it might be cool to do that."

Almost ten years ago I packed up my apartment in Chicago, loaded up my car, and moved to Steamboat.  I knew one person (who maybe wasn't THRILLED I was coming, ahem, Brett), I had no job or place to live, and I had less than $2000 in my checking account to live on while I found those things.  But I had dreams of living there and being some kind of rugged mountain woman; skiing, hiking, camping - taking full advantage of everything that area has to offer and living this amazing healthy lifestyle communing with nature.  Now, in the end I clearly ended up living a much different, more... indoor, type lifestyle, but that was not for lack of trying.  I DID do each of those things several times.  It just turns out I hate stuff like that, and no amount of wishing I was into the outdoor life is going to change that.  And I'm okay with that, because the fact is I tried it, and I learned something about myself in the process.  We can all aspire to be whatever we want, and the choice can come to adapt or accept your true nature.

Which brings me back to my resolutions.  On the surface they seems simple - clean more, exercise, eat healthy.  All very achievable, all extremely easy to let slide.  I am lazy.  This is no secret.  I don't like to work, it doesn't matter on what, and I will ignore almost any chore in favor of sitting on my couch reading.  But the fact is that procrastination and task avoidance also causes me a lot of unnecessary anxiety.  So much energy goes into feeling guilty, or justifying my laziness to myself, and I spend a lot of time feeling bad.  And then I get the job done and I feel so good and proud of myself (probably a little TOO proud of myself given the basic everyday nature of most things I "accomplish"), and the weight of knowing there are things I need to do is lifted off my shoulders.  So I'm going to try and treat myself to that feeling as much as I can.  And at the end of it all, I won't just be left with a cleaner house or stronger arms; I'll be left with a real sense of contentment and self-sastisfaction.

In other words, I'll be happier.

How do you plan to be happier in 2012? Share your ideas in the comments, or go to BlogHer.com and leave a comment to be entered to win a Kindle Fire and $50 Amazon gift certificate

Day 18: Your Shoes

DAY 18: Your Shoes

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sugar Buster?

For most of my life, I didn't have much of a sweet tooth.  Don't get me wrong, I loved desserts plenty, it just wasn't an all encompassing element of my life.  So I guess a more accurate statement would be that I've always had a sweet tooth, but over the past 6 years that sweet tooth has morphed in to a raging addiction and obsession.  It started after Isabelle was born with white cake from the grocery store and junior mints, and it just got worse and worse until that was the primary source of food in my diet.   And you can argue that I'm being dramatic, but unless you have ever had this kind of addiction yourself you truly don't understand.  Pick any common symptom of addiction and I had it.  I honestly don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that probably 60% of my waking thoughts involved thinking about when I could next eat sugar, best case scenario without anyone knowing.  That is probably a low estimate. 

Anyway, this has really been a huge monkey on my back. Anyone who has tried to break an addiction can tell you that the mental habits are the hardest to break.  How can you really get away from the cake or candy when your brain will think of nothing else?  Frustrating.

Enter baby #4.  Somehow, miraculously, over the past month my cravings and desire for sweets has disappeared completely.  If I eat a cookie or something, it is still delicious, but that's it.  It doesn't awaken a psychological need to eat the whole box.  And I can just as easily stare it in the face and turn it down.  That would literally have been impossible for me 6 months ago.  Over Christmas I made jars and jars of homemade candy and cookies, and by the time it was all eaten I had only consumed... wait for it... three pieces!  Without the slightest feeling of deprivation or exertion of willpower.  I just literally didn't want it.  By contrast, after Thanksgiving I ate 12 pralines in one sitting - only stopping after they were all gone, even though I felt completely sick and my tongue hurt.  I just couldn't stop.

In some ways there is a little bit of disappointment since after this baby I am bound and determined to get down to my goal weight and completely transform my eating habits and lifestyle.  This would have been sort of a last hurrah, a few months when I could indulge in my every gustatory whim and not felt guilty or shameful.  But I also knew that fighting this addiction was going to be incredibly difficult, and I was not looking forward to it.  I was also pretty scared that I wouldn't be strong enough to beat it alone.  After all, there aren't really rehab centers for sugar.  So I am thrilled to be in the position of having my biggest weakness sort of resolve on its own.

I just hope it lasts.  And I REALLY hope I didn't just jinx it.

Day 16: Long Exposure

Day 16: Long Exposure

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 14: Eyes

Day 14: Eyes

Happy 2012

Happy New Year!  I still can't believe that it is 2012, but then again, I can hardly believe that Sophie is going to be 3 in a few weeks, or that Izzy will turn 6 in March, or that there is going to be ANOTHER baby in this house, or that I'm a mom in charge of actual people at all (and 34? Blerg), so really that's not all that surprising.

For most of December I was really hoping to come up with some sort of "challenge" to do this year - something I had to do every day, or a specific goal that I could try and achieve rather than the usual just be healthier/ thinner/ more organized brouhaha.  I wanted it to be hard enough that it would count as an achievement (and impress all you people), but of course not so hard that I would fail at it.  But all I failed at was thinking of what I could do, so that's that.  As a result, I haven't really made any resolutions this year.  Last year I made a whole list, and looking it over I see that some I achieved, and many I did not.  I did briefly manage to master the full transition from chaturanga to up dog to down dog without ever touching anything to the floor (although I'm sure I've lost that strength by now since I haven't done yoga in months). I did not manage to read 80 books (although i made it to 71 - 5 of which I read between Christmas and NYE).  And many some goals I didn't achieve because I just lost interest in them.   So in general I don't feel like I failed or quit on any of my resolutions, but instead just like my interests changed or that my best efforts didn't quite measure up.  I've left them on my list in as something I can continue to work towards.

Basically, this year I want to be better.  A better person, a better mother, a better dresser, a better blogger.  I'm going to try and return to the halcyon days when I blogged here almost every weekday, but I don't promise those posts will be interesting!  I also need to be a better housekeeper, which I've been REALLY slacking on the past couple of months, and which I am totally using the excuse of being so sick and tired to justify.  But the house is just gross right now, so I've got to whip it in to shape and then work out some sort of routine to keep it that way.  Yesterday I totally cleaned the playroom and vacuumed the living room, so that is a start.  I even sorted through the kids' books and picked out all the stupid/annoying/ripped books out for trash/ donations, and at some point I'll get down there and go through the rest of the toys - a purge is WAY overdue!

I think my approach is going to be one of monthly deadlines - for January I want to get the house really clean and have a weekly routing in place.  For February my goal will be to finish purging the kids' toys (rooms and playroom) and if possible reorganize the playroom a little better.  I say if possible because we have some large things down there now that are in the way of the shelves I'd like to put in, things that aren't ever played with anymore, but would no doubt lead to crying if they disappeared, so the shelves might not happen for a while longer.  I haven't really set any specific goals for any further months yet - as projects come to mind I'll add them in.  I certainly need to go through my own clothes and all the closets again, but this summer will be a good time for that when maternity clothes are done with and I can get rid of all one gender baby clothes.  We aren't going to find out the sex of this baby, so for now we have to keep everything for boy and girl.

I can't decide if I want to get a planner for this year or not.  I primarily use the calendar function on my phone for all appointments and birthdays, but I rarely use it for tasks or to do lists so it might be nice to have something separate for that because those kinds of things I like hand writing.  It is just hard to tell if I want one because I will actually use it, or just because I have a complete love of planners in general and desperately want one.  It probably isn't that crucial an argument since the one I would buy only costs a couple of dollars.  We'll see.

As for fitness goals, I have found that nothing does as much to inspire my desire to adopt some sort of fanatical workout program quite like being pregnant and unable to.  When I was pregnant with Sophie I became totally obsessed with the idea of doing a triathlon, and I researched all sorts of training programs and even spent hours preparing a training notebook to chart my progress.  And then I did it for like three days, because I completely suck at swimming and pretty much hate riding a bike.  Oh well.  This time I would like to try kick-boxing or mixed martial arts, because I have always wanted to be a bad-ass who could take care of herself.  I also want to rediscover some of the toughness I used to have when I did gymnastics on floors with no padding, or was willing to throw myself across a wooden dance floor over and over and over again regardless of bruising or injury.  In high school I was actually asked if I needed to speak to a counselor by a concerned girl who saw the bruises that covered half my back and thought I was being abused.  And now I'm such a weenie.  So I'd like to ignite a bit of that fire in myself again, but we'll see if that actually happens, because while I'd really love to be all hardcore kick boxing chick, I don't really want to get kicked or hit by anyone.

I'd like to be about 90% paleo by the end of the year, although for right now I'm eating whatever I want in the dairy/grains/ carbs/ sugar categories because I can.  I'd like to cook more for my children, both in frequency and in diversity, and in order to do that I'll need to get better at advance meal planning so I'm not continually left at 5:30pm with no idea what to cook and end up plopping the same pasta, hotdogs or chicken nuggets on their plates.  I also hope to make my own baby food, although that is probably a resolution for 2013, since the baby will still only be 6 months old next New Year.  I'm also going to attempt a vegetable garden, although I recently realized that will entail doing all the plowing/ tilling/ planting etc at nine months pregnant, not to mention I am notoriously terrible at gardening (or even remembering to garden).  But it is something I'd like to try nonetheless.

I guess that's all I have planned for this year - basically a series of projects to be determined and then completed throughout the year.  All of which will hopefully serve to make me a better person, with a healthier, more organized, life style.  projects completed = laziness defeated.  That shall be the theme of 2012.

I'm assuming all plans will go to hell right around June when a new little person makes their presence known.