Thursday, August 6, 2015

Craig's Crazy Leg Infection, Part 1

The following post was written 8/6/15. I saved it in drafts and am just now reading it. I've decided to post it as I wrote it and will work to followup with a second blog with what happened after this post was written.

I read a gazillion blog posts the other day by and her blog reminded me what I loved about blogging in the first place. Her unique voice and opinion, the humor and way she sees her world- so refreshing. Check her blog out, she is funny and fashionable!

Anyway, I used to just sit and let my fingers start typing and eventually the thoughts would roll and my heart would end up on the screen and I'd hit 'post'. Then somewhere along the years I figured my thoughts didn't matter and my life was too busy already. But I forgot the reason I first started blogging: for me! Putting my thoughts down helped me. I processed life and parenting and marriage through the keyboard and the freedom of blogging. I liked developing my unique written voice and figuring out what I had to say. 

Today is Thursday, August 6th. I am currently sitting at Harrison Medical Center at my husband's bedside. We went camping over the weekend with my cousin and her family. It was really fun and the kids had a blast. We were sort of "glamping" because we had showers, chlorinated pool, dish washing station, and other amenities. We did sleep in our tent and make s'mores, though! We got home Sunday and unpacked. I did tons of laundry, gave all the kids a bath, Craig put away all the camping gear, and we took the kids to DQ for blizzards before bed. That evening Craig and I both felt a little weird. My body was really sore and Craig felt out of it. I figured camping wore us out and we were a little over exposed to the hot sun while camping. We watched some tv and went to bed. 

Monday morning I woke up and our bed was empty so I thought Craig went to work. I walked out to the kitchen and he was quietly moaning on the couch. "Oh crap", I thought. He said he'd been up since 3am and felt miserable. I took his temp, it was 102. We thought he had the flu. I had a 10:30am appointment with the kids so I took a shower and left with the kids, giving him a quiet home to rest in. When I got back his left leg was a bit swollen and red and he said he thought he had Staph again. He has had an infection in that leg a few times (we don't know why), but always minor and treated easily with antibiotics. Never high fevers or missing work. This was different. 

Craig became incoherent and cranky. He was unable to answer questions about how he felt or what he wanted to do. His leg slowly got worse. I gathered up the kids and Craig and we headed to drop the kids at my mom's house and I took Craig to the Urgent Care. They diagnosed it as Staph and gave him a shot of antibiotics in the glute and sent us home with a script for Bactrim, which they said would kill staph, strep, and mrsa. We went home and he promptly fell asleep. I went to Safeway to fill scripts and gas up the car. I went home and woke him up to take meds, and then went to my moms the rest of the day to give him quiet to sleep until his next dose of meds. I brought the kids home for bed and then watched some tv and went to sleep. Craig did nothing but sleep. His temp never went below 102.  Tuesday came and things were honestly looking worse. Midday his temp spiked to 104. He was really out of it and still not able to eat. I couldn't force more than an ounce of protein shake or water down him. Tuesday the "shit got real" for me. This wasn't acting or responding at all like the staph infections he had previously had. The meds seemed to do nothing. I was having flashbacks to his accident 9 years ago. Emotions welled up and I held back tears. I felt like I should take him to the ER but questioned my intuition (women- trust your intuition!). The Urgent Care Dr said to give it 36 hours.....I didn't want to overreact. I kept monitoring his temp and leg and debating over and over what to do. I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about the financial aspect of it all. We are still paying off my surgery from last September and here we are again. Our deductible is $12.5k and Craig also doesn't have sick leave. Loss of pay AND medical bills? Yup, it really sucks. I didn't want to overreact and have it cost us $5k. Without medical training, it is sometimes hard to know what warrants a hospital visit. 

Tuesday night Craig decided he felt a little better. His temp was down to 102 and he wanted to stay home for the night. Our kids were snug in their beds so I said ok. I went to lay down in bed and checked out the interweb for signs of sepsis and felt very concerned that we were heading that direction. It was hard to sleep. I was worried. Wednesday morning came and he had not improved at all. It had been 36 hours so we headed back to the Urgent Care. I dropped the kids at my mom's house on the way. I hoped somehow the Urgent Care could help and we could avoid the hospital. I can see now that I knew in my gut he was beyond that. The Urgent Care Dr (not the same one we first saw) said, "uh wow, I'm going to be honest here....this is bad. He needs to be in the hospital." He wrote up a letter explaining everything for the ER and we headed to Bremerton Harrison, about 40min away. 

We arrived at the ER and waited a short time for a bed. Craig was super duper dehydrated and finding a vein was tricky. Took 3 nurses working hard to get one. They did an ultrasound to check for blood clots, checked his lactic acid level, various blood tests, etc. He got 2L of fluid and iv antibiotics. He started to seem more "with it" and didn't look so awful. The ER Dr said this is for sure NOT staph but is strep cellulitis and it is resistant to the medicine Urgent Care gave him. *face palm*. They decided to send Craig home on a 24 hour trial. He was instructed to get up every 3-4 hours to pee and avoid blood clots and to eat and drink as much as he could. We got scripts for pain meds and a different antibiotic. I wanted to feel hopeful. His fever was gone when we left the ER. 

We went home and I got him settled with water so I could go back to Safeway for the new meds.  He was awake and watching tv while I was gone. When I got home I tried to make him a eat a sandwich, drink water, and even tried to bribe him with his favorite snacks. He could barely eat. He took meds and quickly passed out. I left to go to my mom's to help give my kids a bath and bring them home for bed. 

Craig slept on the couch again. When I went to bed around midnight his leg had not improved at all and his temp was up around 100. I had a feeling we'd be back at the hospital sooner than later. Craig woke me at 6am feeling awful. His head hurt, ears hurt, legs hurt, and he couldn't sleep. I got him all his meds again and went to lay down some more since our kids were still asleep. 

Our sweet 2 year old, having missed his nap for 6 days, slept til 9:40am. So I did, too. When I got up I realized we needed to pack up and head back to the hospital. I called my mom and asked if she could take the kids again, then hopped in the shower and packed up stuff for the kids for the day. We dropped the kids at my mom's house and did the 40min drive to the hospital yet again. The ER decided to admit him. They ran more tests, gave more iv be continued.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The End of an Era. Solomon Sleep Saga, cont...

Sometime in June, Craig asked what I wanted for our 10 year wedding anniversary in July. I jokingly answered, "for Solomon to sleep in his own bed."

Solomon will be 2 on August 12th. Being his mother has been a privilege and yet also challenging. Solomon has Eustacian Tube Disorder, Restrictive Airway Disease, a speech delay, and some weird sleeping issues. Before we knew about his health issues we tried sleep learning with him several different times. We did about 5 different books' methods and he never responded even close to what the books said he would. He would do nothing but scream, vomit, scream, choke, cough, and scream some more. Sleep was never the end result. We would try for as long as 5 nights. He would be falling over during the day because he was so exhausted, but bedtime would come and he'd muster another 12 hours of energy. It was unreal. I have felt that people think I enable his sleep issues and think I exaggerate. I've never heard of another kid like Sol. 

3 weeks ago I decided, "he is a bit older, his breathing issues are well controlled by his inhaler, he is ear infection free at this second in time.....let's try again." Up to this point the only way Solomon would sleep, day or night, was if he was touching me. I had to be holding him. Get up to pee at midnight? Sure....while holding a kid. Need to poop at 10pm while watching The Good Wife? Well alright, if you can do it while holding your toddler and not waking him. Want to go out with friends? Girl's night? Grocery shop in the evenings alone? Dinner date? Clean the house after kids are sleeping? Have a conversation with an adult after 7pm? No. No. No. No. No. No. Not gonna happen, lady. And so it went for 23 months of my life. 

This boy is beautiful. Gorgeous, flowing locks of beach blonde hair. Bright blue, expressive eyes. Chubby, kissable cheeks. He is a looker, for sure. He is snuggly, a portable heater, and he adores me. He has made sure to be affectionate and part of me loved the closeness we shared. It was a problem in that it was at the expense of everything else. My friendships, conversations with my spouse, my sanity, even going to the bathroom alone in the middle of the night. My little shadow never gave me space. It wasn't a 3x a week thing, it was an every single day of my life thing. And yes, even naptime!

I knew sleep learning him would require me to muster some major strength. It had failed so so so very miserably every time before. And then we'd all be exhausted from a week of not sleeping on top of the frustration of failed sleep learning. It was worst case scenarios coming true every time. It took a few days for me to muster the will to try again. I honestly assumed it would fail again. 

Day 1 arrived and we started our new routine of everything in his room. Jammies, read a book, pray, nurse, then crib. He was sobbing the whole time. He knew what was happening and he couldn't be fooled. He was far too upset to nurse. He cried for 4 hours. Half of that time I was sitting in the rocking chair next to his crib. He finally fell asleep, slept a few hours, woke to nurse, then slept another 5 hours. Compared to every other attempt, it was a smashing success. I was shocked. The next day we attempted naptime in his crib. I was afraid letting him nap on me but not at night would confuse him. He screamed the entire 2 hours. Naptime was a flop. Nighttime went similarly to the night before, only half as much crying and 2 more wakeups. The next day was another naptime flop. We were averaging 8 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Not ideal for a nearly 2 year old. He was a sloppy, cranky, exhausted mess. On day 3 he started refusing all food. Even cookies and popsicles and heck yes I tried! He was simply too tired to eat or nurse. He was running on empty and I could not see how sleep learning a kid who wouldn't eat would be able to work. Nights got rougher. So. Many. Wakeups. So then I decided, screw this! He can nap on me and we'll just worry about bedtime right now. After that first back on mommy nap he woke up chipper, ate a huge dinner, nursed, and slept much better in his crib at night. He had certainly won that battle.
 Fast forward to today, he sleeps 12 straight hours in his crib most nights. He usually cries for 0-30min and then falls asleep. It has been 5 nights of good sleep and we've been sleep learning about 3 weeks.  I'm still shocked it worked this time. 

It was trial and error. I realized after 2 nights of many wakeups that he was getting cold so we switched to footy jammies- which were always way too sweaty when he slept with me. We also realized that despite a sunny room not bothering him when he was in my bed, it was waking him at 4:30am in his own room. Craig put black plastic over his windows (and out of his reach), behind his curtains, and that bought us another 2 morning hours. He had a fishy/water/music soother in his crib, but the batteries would die every 2 days so the 20 min of music would get less and less. I guessed that it was waking him every time it turned off so we said bye bye to the fishies and that greatly reduced the number of nighttime wakeups.

Sol's room is very dark and has a white noise machine. He takes .5mg of melatonin 30 min before bed (Dr said up to 6mg would be perfectly safe for him). We started with 1mg at the beginning of sleep learning. And he is finally sleeping in his own crib!!

Naptime is a whole different beast and we haven't tackled it again yet. Soon, maybe. It scares me. I don't want our success to unravel. But oh man, I'd love two hours toddler free during the day!

For this to work, I can see it required consistency. But let's be real here, I was consistent every other time we did sleep training and it never went this well. It took a long time, but this time he was more ready. Sometimes he will even tell us when he wants to go to bed now. He also doesn't like to snuggle before bed. Through tears he points to his crib asking to go in, every night. How crazy is that?

So, here's to a new chapter and one I hope continues!!


Monday, June 22, 2015

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I have been doing PiYo for almost 4 months and combined with a low carb-high protein-ketogenic diet I've lost 35lbs!
It seems last week I hit a brick wall. I think I partially just got bored with PiYo. My routine of getting up and working out no matter what just didn't happen. I couldn't seem to force myself. I worked out 1x at home and ran at the track once. A lot less than I was doing. I've also been feeling sort of "off". Lethargic, sad, moody, craving sugar a lot, my skin is breaking out...all things that point to a hormonal slump, which can happen with PCOS. Honestly, I feel so crappy I took two pregnancy tests just to be sure- both negative. I've been reading studies and learning more about this endocrine disorder I have. It doesn't only effect weight and physical symptoms, it also greatly affects moods and mental health. It was like I went from super motivated and energetic to exhausted and unmotivated overnight. Nothing happened to cause it. It's part of living with an endocrine disorder. I feel like I'm just waiting to feel normal again. I ordered a new workout to start next week and I hope that will help, too.

I've had something on my mind. How does a person find balance with working out,  tracking foods/macros, etc? Being fit feels all consuming. I feel conflicted...the obsession of working out and macros all day every day can't be healthy. I follow a lot of fitness people on Instagram and there is a trend, few of them have kids. Most of them are single. They work a full day, then hit the gym til bedtime, then go to sleep and do it all again. They quote to never miss a workout, it's all in your head, health is your life, etc! I'm beginning to read these quotes and see their lifestyle of nothing but work and working out and feel frustrated with myself. How is someone like me with an endocrine disorder that smacks me sideways, 3 young kids, and a husband supposed to achieve and maintain being really fit? It makes me question everything I'm doing. It makes the climb feel impossibly steep.

Last night my toddler was awake literally half the night. He just wouldn't sleep and this is sadly very common. I woke up exhausted, a bit angry, and then have to fight that all day. I think this is life for a lot of mothers. Our lives are not our own. We don't get to go 'check out' in the gym or spend 4 hours on a Sunday meal-prepping a weeks worth of meals just for us. I don't get to go to sleep and sleep deeply and blissfully, waking rested and ready to tackle the day. Add onto it all PCOS and the moods,  exhaustion, and sugar cravings it causes and geez, I feel like a mess! 

Fitness can feel so daunting for a mother. We know we need to "take time for ourselves", but practically speaking, how do we do that? I can't hire a babysitter every time I go for a run or workout. I can't budget in a gym membership and childcare for 3. So I workout amidst the craziness of my kids and I run pushing kids in a stroller. When I ran on Saturday the 1 year old screamed almost the whole time. It is easy to question, "is this even worth it?" I know my kids won't be little forever, but they will be for a while and they have been for 7 years. 

This week in my slump I feel frustrated with my hormones, tired of working out with kids screaming and fighting, and sick of cod and broccoli. Instagram is like Facebook in that most people only post their  successes, pics of their healthy food and great workouts. I have to hope they are human like me and hit these proverbial brick walls. I had a "cheat meal" a week ago on a date with hubs. I had a burger and fries at Red Robin and swedish fish at a movie. I gained 6lbs. It was not water weight, I still haven't lost it 10 days later. With PCOS, one meal can ruin a month of work. I think it's very difficult for non PCOS people to understand how severe it is. I imagine it sounds like an excuse for us to be fat. It's not, it's a reality. A harsh one. A depressing reality. 

I might wake tomorrow, out of my slump, motivated. I hope so! But today I feel bummed and overwhelmed, so I'm blogging my thoughts. I can't be alone, right?

I realize I've made huge progress and being down 30lbs still is awesome. I have seen my body change so much. I've worked out with great persistance and determination. I have eaten low carb-high protein for months and months. I have worked hard to be disciplined! I am not throwing in the towel or saying Screw Fitness. I'm just chewing the cud on this one. How to be balanced. How to maintain fitness. How to keep continually counting carbs and watching macros (protein-fat-carb ratios). 

I hope over time I will figure all this out. I have the rest of my life to do so, right? Thanks for being on this journey with me. 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Highly Sensitive Person

Sensitivity. I've been thinking about this topic and life lessons learned by knowing people who are sensitive and also not sensitive. 

I think sensitivity is a two way street, meaning it's not enough to say, "I'm a sensitive person, I scored as highly sensitive on my therapists tests, I take things personally, I react with a knee jerk, etc etc", but not also provide sensitivity to other people. There are two people who showed me this so clearly. They've shown me how NOT to behave. Both people I've known since childhood and both say they are "highly sensitive" people. Both are very outspoken and are the first to say their political, religious, child rearing, marriage, financial advice- regardless of whom they offend. One of them unfriended me several years ago, out of the blue. We had been having playdates and have a close mutual friend. I wrote her a handwritten card to ask if I'd done something and would like to talk. She never responded. I ran into her mom not long ago and she was going on about what her daughter and grandkids were up to, as if I was still a good friend.  I said, "to be honest, I have no clue what she's up to because she unfriended me on Facebook and ignored a mailed card." Her mom didn't seem fazed and said, "oh she is just like that. So sensitive about things."

So her sensitivity about who knows what made it ok for her to cut off a friend and ignore that friend's attempts to fix anything I totally unknowingly did? That's sensitivity on a one way street. It bothered me for a really long time and I wish she would have been able to say, "you did X that offended me, my response is to unfriend, I hope you understand." Instead it was radio silence with an unfriend (and block). As I age I learn that despite age, faith, degrees, family, etc, some people lack the emotional capacity to handle things in a healthy manner. 

Another 'friend' unfriended me a while back, then said "oh I thought you didn't care what goes on in my life. I'll add you back!" (That should've been a red flag). She proceeded to add me back and then continued her very strong posts about what is right and wrong (guns, marriage, parenting styles, birth styles, faith styles- you name it and she has a very strong opinion). I made the mistake of commenting on a blog post about parenting/date nights/friends without kids about how tired I am with a very difficult child and how I agree- it's tough when single friends don't get it and compare their long work day with my life. She snapped back and said that wasn't at all what she was saying and blah blah blah. Knee jerk reaction! Within minutes she unfriended me (again) and blocked me on facebook and instagram (haha). This is the friend who blogs about what a sensitive soul she is, what books sensitive people should read, etc....yet the sensitivity seems to only apply when it is HER feeling sensitive. There is no sense of, "wow, my argumentative name calling political posts might hurt someone. Wow, my posts bad mouthing religion and former pastors and peers might really hurt someone's feelings. Wow, my unfriending/refriending/unfriending might be hurtful." Weird, right?

I am not always sensitive, empathetic, kind, Godly, or loving. Certainly not. I want to be. That's the goal. I am sensitive, but man, what I'd hate to be is someone that declares I NEED SENSITIVITY, PEOPLE!!! But won't extend it to others. That's just ugly. I was hurt when people I'd known 20+ years behaved this way, but now I can see how unhealthy they are. Wouldn't it be tough to go through life shunning anyone that doesn't agree with you, no matter how nice they are about it? How do you grow, learn, try new things, see new viewpoints? Have an open mind, your brain won't fall out!

People are varying degrees of sensitivity and the scale is broad. I am sensitive, but I'm trying to learn to "assume good intent." In my own sensitivity, I don't want to show others I don't care at all about their journey. I don't want to walk around looking for hurt, seeing everyone through the lens of "they don't like me, they are going to hurt me". Instead, assume good intent, allow people to have a bad day, month, year, and offer grace.

If you ARE sensitive, BE sensitive.

~ Diana

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Today I reached 20.2lbs lost since I started workout out and really being strict with my eating choices, approx Feb 11th, 2 months ago. My next large goal is only 15lbs away!

I workout hard and I push myself every day, knowing that my mind has strength to force my muscles to do things they don't think they can. Today was Drench, a 48 minute workout that sometimes makes me actually nauseous. It's a killer workout. 

I don't love the longer workouts as it seems by about 30 minutes all hell is breaking lose with my kids and it's NOT a relaxing workout. But they know mommy needs her workout and I want to be a healthy mommy. So, it's the way it goes. And no, planks, yoga moves, and push ups are not easy with a 30+lb kid climbing on you. And sometimes I can't hear the instructor over the screams from the wildlife. Ahhh! I am trying to eliminate excuses by just doing what needs to be done. I have 3 kids ages 6, 4, and 1. I workout nearly every day. I don't have a nanny, babysitter, or childcare center. Moms- we can do this! 

This second month of PiYo I have been really watching what I'm eating in terms of the ratios of carbs-fat-protein and how my body responds. I know I need low carb and high protein because I have severe poly cycstic ovarian syndrome. But how many grams of each will put my body into ketosis (fat burning) is something I am learning. I seem to do best with less than 100g carbs per day, ideally 80-90 or less- mind you none of these are refined. I don't do bread, pasta, etc. The carbs are from fruit, veggies, dairy, etc. And then 120 or more grams of protein a day, ideally 140+.

It is still challenging to get enough healthy calories. Partly because if I eat as many calories as various calculators (PiYo, MyFitnessPal, etc) tell me I should, I'm afraid I will gain weight. So, I'm still working on finding balance and an emotionally healthy approach. Truthfully, it's a mental struggle every day.

I haven't weighed this weight for over a year and even then it was short lived, maybe a week. And I am certainly more muscular than I've probably ever been.
Leg muscles for days!
Me today, getting ready to workout.

     Whitney Thore, from My Big Fat Fabulous Life on TLC, said in a season 1 interview that with PCOS, "if you aren't actively losing, you're gaining." Sadly, it is quite true. It felt good to hear another person say it out loud, because I've felt that for years but then I would doubt that it's the disease and get down on myself for being a pig. But here's the deal. I am strong. Really strong! Pushups (not on my knees!), running, burpees, I can do it all! I have given birth to 3 kids naturally. I have nourished 3 kids from my body and #3 is still majorly addicted to mom's milk. I have had an ovarian tumor, countless ovarian cysts, put my body through nearly a dozen fertility treatments, 2 ovarian surgeries, lost an ovary, and yet it keeps working and getting better. It hasn't given up!

I am not currently on any pharmaceutical drugs. No Metformin, no antidepressants. I am working to overcome the difficulties of PCOS with exercise and eating for my body. It's not easy. It's trial and error.  

Last week we went away for a couple days. I brought Quest Bars and protein powder, I did not have waffles, cereal, or breakfast burritos at the breakfast buffet. I had a lettuce bun on my Red Robin Burger and a lettuce wrap on my fish tacos at the zoo. I walked like crazy and swam every day. I had zero alcohol. And I still gained 3lbs in 2 1/2 days. My body is super sensitive and gains weight the first chance I give it. There's no grace. So I must be relentless and understand that anything I eat will have consequences.

Unrelenting~ Diana

Saturday, April 4, 2015

My First 5k

     I'm 31 and still learning. Learning about life, about other people, and mostly, about myself. I am learning about fitness and how strong I can be. I am learning what healthy is and how to do it every day regardless of what the scale says. I am learning to eat for fuel.

I realized a couple months ago that no one would change my life but me. Was I waiting for someone else to tell me to get off facebook? Or get up and go for a run? Or eat more protein and veggies? Any changes needed are up to me. I am the only person that can force change on myself. So I did. I made changes. I ditched Facebook Feb 19th, I started working out everyday, and I cut out carbs and sugar. Along the way I'm sifting through and finding what works for me. Like Paleo, it doesn't really work for me. I like dairy, I don't see any ill effects of dairy. Paleo is no dairy. I am a low carb, no sugar, tons of protein eater. I don't eat bread, pasta, or white potatoes. Unless I do. Ha! I had a large flour tortilla the other day and I felt so tired 30 min later. Again, a realization. Wow! Refined carbs make me sleepy and bleh.

I have mostly been eating protein shakes, tuna, paleo sandwich rolls (Lexi's Clean Kitchen), eggs, nuts, fish, chicken, cheese, fruit, and veggies. 

I also realized I wasn't eating enough calories. I upped my daily calorie limit by 400 calories and that seems to be helping my weight loss, although most days I still don't eat enough. I also do not eat back my burned calories most days. That means if I burn 300 calories working out, I do not eat an extra 300 calories. Some days I do, especially if I know I'm going out to eat or something, then I have some leeway. 

I have lost 16lbs since the middle of February. I work out pretty much every day and I am very conscientious of everything I eat. I log everything in MyFitnessPal and I use a Polar fitness watch to track my heart rate and calorie burning. I honestly think a non PCOS person could lose 20-30lbs doing what I'm doing. With PCOS I have to fight tooth and nail for each pound lost, so 16 is an accomplishment. 

I ate out twice last week and still lost weight. I didn't order what I wanted, but I ordered what my body needed. Salad with balsamic dressing and half a burger, no fries, and water to drink. This weekend is Easter. So far I have not had one piece of candy, we'll see about later ;). 

This morning I jogged my first 5k. For me, that's a surprise and I'm proud of myself. <--- that is new. I am learning HOW to be proud of myself. 
Oh the 666.....hahaha! I forgot to press start for 4 minutes, so it was closer to 700 calories :)

I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma about 20 years ago. Apparently my severe allergies put a strain on my system and cause asthma. I did 2 years of allergy shots 1-2x/week and although less severe, I still have a ton of allergies. Running/jogging is difficult for me. It can feel like there is no air. I typically don't run in groups or with other people because sometimes I just have to walk. But I have been pushing myself outside my comfort zone in fitness and pushing my body, too. I knew 3.1 miles isn't that far and I could do it. I am maybe the slowest jogger you've ever seen, but I do it. I kept reminding myself of this helpful mantra, "I only compete with myself." There was a miscommunication about the finish line, so most people went further. I did almost 4 miles. The first 5 minutes were hardest as my lungs were warming up and getting used to the 45 degree air. Then it was nice and I enjoyed myself. My legs are still sore from yesterdays workout, but they held it together. I am strong. I am capable. I can make my body work for me by telling my brain I can do it. This is obvious to some people, but for me, it's something I am learning. Mind over matter.  I am sore nearly every day. After arm days it hurts to wash my hair. After leg days it hurts to walk down stairs. After ab days it hurts to sing in choir (sing from the diaphragm!). But you know what? That's a sort of victory for me. I am embracing change, the challenge, and seeing what my body can do. 

I find my Polar watch to be motivating and helpful. I know 175bpm is pretty killer for me. 165 is really hard and means I am working it. 140 is so so and I better step it up. It's validating to be working really hard and feel like I might pass out and then see my heart rate is over 170. Like, aha! Yes! I AM working hard! It encourages me to work harder when my heart rate is less than 170. I love that I can see how many calories each workout burns. It's concrete numbers and I can watch trends. I love that stuff. For those looking for one, I got my Polar FT4 for $55 and free shipping on Amazon. I love it. Easy to use, sort of basic, and perfect for using during workouts but not wanting it on 24/7.

I don't wake up stoked to work out or particulary excited about another protein shake or tuna lunch, but I do notice a difference in my energy and mood if I miss a workout. I feel like I can keep up with my kids better and take on life better when I am getting a good 20-50min sweat every morning. I am still doing PiYo, which has gotten increasingly intense as I'm finishing week 2 in the second month. I'm not sure my plan yet for after the 60 days. Maybe a PiYo followup schedule? I need to do a little research. I love that PiYo builds my muscles while also increasing flexibility and making me drip all over my yoga mat- but without jumping around. Running is a huge calorie burner, but I want the muscle building, too. I shall keep y'all posted!

I know it can be scary to do something new and maybe even embarrassing to come to terms with how unfit you might be. But one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to discover how strong you are. It's already inside you, this strength, just waiting to be found.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

The flu, going brown to blonde, and we bought a home!!

Hello from the land of the living! I had the flu. More like it had me. It pushed me down and slapped me hard. So brutal! It's been years since I felt so sick and I'm finally on the upswing. I dropped 7lbs in 3 days despite not throwing up once. I just had no energy or apetite to eat and Solomon was extra clingy and nursed nonstop. I managed a protein shake each morning and crackers or something at night. 

Being sick, like knocked down and dragged out in a snowstorm and left for dead kind of sick, makes you really realize how productive you normally are. I've been off Facebook for over 3 weeks. I haven't logged in even once. It remains one of the best decisions I've ever made. A dear friend quit facebook on her own accord and on the same day as me and she jokingly said, "I wish I could go on facebook just to tell everyone- get off, life is amazing out here!" Ha! But it's true!! I have been accomplishing so much in my newly freed up time. Tile and grout in 3 rooms was scrubbed spotless, my double ovens sparkle like new, the kids craft hutch was completely emptied, sorted, and reorganized. I mean, wow! In addition to the cleaning, I have faithfully done PiYo every day and fit in outdoor walking/jogging when I can. I'm not super human, I just have a lot more drive, focus, brain space, and energy now that I'm not on Facebook. Solomon doesn't nap unless he is on me (like right now) and same for nighttime. So the workouts, cleaning, jogging, etc, it all happens with him right with me and often climbing on me. I don't have the luxury to wait for naptime and knock out the chores. If I did, forget it- this place would shine!! 😄

So yeah, super productive and then BAM, the plague hits. My hard work on routine, deep cleaning, working out...everything flatlined. On an emotional level, that is angering. It's hard feeling so useless and crappy and knowing your muscles are weakening and your endurance will need some work to catch up, etc. I had a minor cold a few weeks ago and I worked out with it, but best advice says if you have a fever do NOT work out. I was hovering around 102 and aching so bad I could barely move. PiYo was not in the cards. Today is my first day fever-free in 3 days and I am trying to start slow getting back into life, which means no PiYo today. 😥 It's not the end of the world, right? Just a sad end to 3 weeks of faithful daily kickbutt workouts. I am supposed to do Sweat next. Last time I did Sweat it was like a scene from Biggest Loser. I could hardly breathe and thought I was going to vomit for about 3 minutes in the middle. Then I pulled my ish together and finished strong. Haha! Sick on the couch to that might be interesting. Maybe tomorrow? Eek. 

Last week was a big week for us. We bought a house!
We've lived in this house for 10 months so thankfully don't have to move, but we own it now! Our monthly payment increases, but after scouring the market for months and realizing other rentals would be as much as a mortgage, we knew this was the best choice for us. We are excited to own again and we love this house. It's the first time in the 11 years we've been together that we live somewhere we can stay. Our first home was 763sq ft. Even as we signed papers we knew it wasn't forever. Then we sold it and rented for 3 years. Now we are here in a remodeled split level, 1800sq ft, a big back yard, and 5 minutes to church, Central Market, Craig's work, etc. Thank you, Lord, for Your provisions! 
Karin Kay is awesome and we can't say enough about her as a realtor. She is sharp as a tack, responds swiftly, and has always given us solid advice. She gave us this adorable flower and cookie basket. If you need a realtor, she's your gal!

Right before getting sick, I changed my hair. I started like this, a dyed dark brown:
Beauty bloggers told me to skip bleach and try this:
The bloggers lied. It didn't work. At all. It made me look insane. 
Brown hair and yellow roots. Oh Gawd NOOO! It was 7:15pm and like a crazy person I hauled my kids to Safeway (wearing a hat) to buy hair bleach.
My hair is longer and getting thick so it takes two boxes of everything.  I followed instructions precisely and got this. Do I look horrified? I was. 
Orange. Yup, totally orange. Not wanting to risk my hair falling out I decided to let it air dry and sleep on it. I realize now I should've bleached one more time to lighten again. You know what they say about hindsight! I tried this in the morning as bloggers told me the ash would balance the red. 
It helped a little. Not a lot.
I was so embarrassed of my orange hair that I wore a hat:

So then, again like a crazy person, I drove my kids to Silverdale to the nearest beauty supply store for a Wella Toner. 
It goes on purple and it designed to remove the brassiness. My hair should've been lighter to start, 
but like the beauty store owner said, "it's not gonna get worse!" Oh hunni, you got that right! This is after Wella:
Getting better, right?
It's still a bit dark and reddish for me, I want lighter and ashy, but it'll take time. I think I'll buy a Wella light ash blonde dye next and then tone again if needed. Ps, toner is cheap. Like $8 and it was enough for my whole head.

Congrats if you made it this far reading!! 
This dude sleeps hard! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Less of me, more of you

Today is my 5th day off of Facebook. I had to look at the calendar to discover that it had been so long! 

I have not logged on once nor snuck a peak on Craig's Facebook. I've Instagrammed a bit and have been using Pinterest while I'm stuck on the couch under a sleeping kid. 

I am surprised to say that I don't really miss Facebook. I can see how Facebook kept me busy but not actually doing anything. I have been working out every day, making Craig's lunches again, and cleaning. Lots of cleaning. Sometimes I find myself just standing at the kitchen island and I think, "what am I supposed to be doing right now?" Then I realize I'd usually be on Facebook. So I clean instead. It's awkward to stand around doing nothing in my own home. Haha! I have taken the couches apart and vaccumed and rotated cushions, wiped down cabinets, the front and back of the cabinet that slides out with the garbage can, decluttered the kitchen island, took apart and cleaned the vacuum beater bar, cleaned the keurig and replaced the filter. I would say most notable is the kitchen island. It is EMPTY now. Holla!! I noticed these areas of mess before but put off dealing with them. Now I just do it. There is plenty of clutter and mess to keep me busy for a long time, but I am making progress.

I started PiYo (pilates and yoga) on the 19th and am really enjoying it. I sweat a lot in the 20-30min and feel sore all day. Today was PiYo rest day so I drove to my mom's after dropping Elly off at school and pushed Evie and Solomon in the double Bob stroller for over an hour along the water of Fjord Drive and Lemolo. I even jogged some of it! Yay me!

Something I've been thinking about since getting off Facebook is how Facebook creates a feeling of elevated self importance. We post things and notice how many likes or comments a post receives. Each like or comment is a kudos and a virtual self esteem boost. Our house might be a disaster, maybe we've yelled at our kids so much we are actually going hoarse, and we haven't had a real conversation with our spouse in days, but we post something like, "my kids are cavity free! #6monthcheckuplikeaboss" and 42 likes later we feel successful. But, we are missing the point entirely and realizing this actually makes my heart hurt. 

Matthew 6:1 (MSG) "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding.

John 3:30 (MSG) This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines. (He must increase, I must decrease).

I don't want to parade my life as though the 'likes' of acquaintances have any real baring. I want to be real with my kids and my family and real life friends. I don't want to feed the selfishness in me that requires likes and comments and the show of Facebook. If my kids are pushed to the background, and my spouse is mistreated, but on Facebook I look like a million bucks- what is the point? What a waste of life and the gifts God has given me. 

I have noticed that life is a bit lonely now that I'm not filling it with the static of Facebook. My husband isn't much of a talker and he's not one to prod into my feelings. But, this is an area I can grow in. And I can pray and find security in Jesus, something I need to get back to doing, rather than Facebooking. 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finding Life After Facebook

This morning I deactivated my Facebook account. I've done that a few times before, each with a week or month goal as a break. My hope this time is to make this permanent. Maybe I'll cave and eat my words, but I'm here doing this thing and really trying. 

This has been an issue on my heart for months. Maybe even years. I spend too much time online. Too much time responding to questions or posts of internet only relationships. Too much time comparing my life to the best case scenario things that other people post. Too much time being hurt or angry by the ugliness that appears when people are hiding behind their device. Too much time being irritated that half my Facebook is ads or friends trying to sell me whatever they're pitching. And mostly...too much time feeling guilty about the wasted time. 

It's a daily thing for me, to think and ponder about getting rid of Facebook for good and what that would do for my life. I think about 10 years from now when my girls are older and I will have spent SO much of their childhood only half seeing what they were doing and only "uh-huh'ing" their artwork or dance while I respond to the pressing and "important" comment thread on Facebook. Let's be honest, that is just gross. My kids are not the distraction. My husband is not a distraction. They are my purpose and Facebook is the distraction. 

Will my kids' memory of their mom be me glued to a device? 

It doesn't have to me. It's up to me. 

Facebook creates an environment in which we are hyper aware of what our friends (I'm using that term liberally, as Facebook does) are eating, wearing, doing, buying, etc. Moms unintentionally compare their kids sleep, walking, talking, size, and everything else. Because Facebook is 24/7, the comparisons are 24/7. 

There are a million reasons to keep Facebook and I've used those reasons for years; family in other states, friends in other states, I'm a stay at home mom so I need the interaction, it's a hobby and kills time while the baby is asleep on me, I help run a group, I have dear friends whom I only see on FB, party invites are always on FB now, etc. Those are all legit reasons. There is a downside to no Facebook. I'm not sure myself or my kids will be invited to much anymore since I'm not on Facebook. I will miss updates and conversations with friends all across the world. I love seeing what my brother is up to on a daily basis, or my highschool English teacher, or my bestie who lives in South Carolina.
But for me, those reasons do not outweigh what is most important to me. I want to be present in my actual real world life. I want to work on house cleaning and projects, and color with my kids and read more- to them and just for me. I want to work out more and I know it's cliche...but where I am, I want to actually BE. 

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a noise? If we live life but don't post it on Facebook, is it really happening? 

Today, with no Facebook, I did day 1 of PiYo, swept the whole upstairs, took the couches apart and vacuumed them, cleaned the playroom (that is a JOB), vacuumed upstairs and downstairs, caught up laundry, stripped our bed and washed bedding, towels, and the bathmat.  Instead of just wasting minutes on FB in 3-10 minute chunks, I'm getting stuff done around the house. I've talked more with my kids. 

I plan to blog more like I used to, to journal my life, so here's to a 2015 filled with meaningful and intentional interactions.