Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mama, You Are So Strong

...This is what I wish I could magically import into every mother's brain. The mental and self esteem benefits of fitness. More than being a certain weight or fitting in a certain size, the value gained from working out surpasses it all. Last summer we 'accidentally' took our 3 young kids on an 11+mile steep hike. The mountain had logging detours and we were clueless where we were going. I had my almost 3 year old on my back for all but a mile. My 5 year old ended up on my front in my arms for about 8 miles. I was literally carrying two children for 8 miles. I remember thinking, "holy crap. There's no way I could have done this a year or two ago." I was physically so strong! I could handle that crazy situation and get us off that darn mountain. I felt so proud of myself.

I see other mothers, just like me. Up too much at night with kids, drinking coffee on the couch in the morning before the craziness of the day ramps up. Feeling blah about themselves, fighting to have any energy, comparing themselves to what they see online. It wasn't overnight, but over time, consistency, and work, I learned so much about myself. Sweating so much it dripped in my eyes and burned, wanting to quit, telling myself, "this is too hard", but not letting myself quit- it taught me so much. I learned I am a badass. I can do anything I set my mind to. Slowly the glass ceiling in my life, which had been placed there by me, was being lifted. It's more than just endorphins. It's more than losing weight. It's telling yourself over and over, you can do this. One more push up. One more mile. One more squat. Then the workout is done, you're covered in sweat, the endorphins have created a high, and you know for certain, "dang girl, you did it, you really did it!"

 We all have to start somewhere. I started from 0, having never actually "worked out". I was overweight, super out of shape, and had to learn each move as I did it. I didn't even know the proper way to do a push up. But learn it, I did. Oh girl, how I learned.

Dear sweet mama, raising your littles. Wondering where you fit in, where time for you fits in? Here's where: right in the middle of your beautiful and messy life. Kids will climb on you while you Plank, they will stare up at you from the floor while you Downward Dog, they will come alongside you and Squat and Lunge. You will break up toddler fights while you Scissor Jack. They will see mama getting stronger and doing hard things. As you are learning you can do the tough stuff, you're teaching them that lesson, too. Working out isn't about getting smaller, although that may happen, it's about finding the strong woman that already lives in you. I promise you she's in there. She's a badass, too.

Plenty of us need a little motivation to get something going. Honestly, just knowing where to start can feel supremely overwhelming. Maybe that feels scary or too hard or you're afraid you'll quit after 5 days. Maybe you just really need someone to do the journey with you. I think we all do. If you live in Kitsap County, I'd love you to come workout with me. Your first class is free and you won't regret coming. Your kids under 5 stay in the stroller....hold on, before you say they won't do that, let them try it. You'll be surprised ;) Kids love habit and structure and this is a great habit to start!

You can bring your kid/s and your stroller and come check out a class with me, for FREE. I would truly love to see you. We workout indoors in the winter.
You can leave your name and email HERE and receive our daily schedule. No obligation, no pressure, just information.
The local website for Fit4Mom is HERE.
Also, working mama's and those who refuse to workout with their kiddos (haha, no shame, it's alright!), there's a FREE Preview Class for the evening Body Back series coming up. Details HERE. Ok, have I hyper-linked you to death? 

Shush the voice of fear inside your head, telling you the many reasons why it won't work, why it can't happen. Give yourself a chance, mama. 


Long overdo update

Hello again. Somehow blogging felt so much easier when I had two kids...adding that 3rd and very busy little one eliminated that chunk of time or gusto I had left for blogging. I think blogging is like most things, the more we do it, the more we find time for it. I mean, I never miss a cup of morning coffee, right? Priorities ;)

We're now expecting our 4th baby in May, 2017. Life will likely be as busy as ever. I know everyone says once you get past 2 kids it doesn't get much harder, but here's the deal: each kid is more laundry (Ohhhh, the laundry), another child to bathe, another set of teeth to brush, another child to feed, another child to take to activities, another child to help with homework, etc. So yeah, maybe not harder per se, depending how we define hard, but it's more time and more work. It creates a feeling of busyness, even if we never leave the house. There is never NOT something to do. Ya know?

I am 19 weeks today and feeling mostly good. Tired. Quite tired. But I haven't been nauseous and so far the baby is doing well. Our genetic screening came back today with everything looking good. I have our 20 week ultrasound in about a week. We will not be finding out gender this time. I've had two ultrasounds already, so for those wondering about twins, nope, just one.

I kept running til about 12 weeks and then it just got too hard. I had to pee every 1/2 mile, my feet felt 'weird', and it just didn't feel good anymore. My asthma has also gotten worse, which is fairly common in pregnancy. I have continued HIIT workouts, both at home and with my local Stroller Strides group. The only thing I really can't do right now is situps (my ab muscles are too separated and it hurts). I plan to keep working out and pushing myself as long as I can. I rest more when needed and don't push to the same level as before.  But in pregnancy, if you are having a hard time breathing, that means oxygen is restricted to the baby as well. So, I'm listening to my body more. Talk about opposite of the running mindset pre-pregnancy! Running before was all about "mind over matter", "your body will do what your mind tells it to". I pushed and pushed and forced my body into submission. It was awesome! I was running 8 miles of hills, in 75-80 degree weather, with 130lbs of double stroller in May of this year. I was a lean, mean, tell my body to do anything machine!
Woohoo! I started some new meds in early June to help better manage my PCOS (things that working out and weight loss still hadn't fixed) and the meds made me gain weight right away. I was just trying to deal with that and sort it out and then I found out in September I was pregnant. Hmmmm.....took me a bit to adjust to this. I had worked so stinking hard to lose weight and become super fit. I knew this would all change to some degree. I had to adjust expectations. Especially about my weight. I do feel a bit like I'll be starting all over once this baby comes and it will be even harder with 4 children needing me. But, now I know how strong and capable I am (really, we all are ;)), so I hope I can remember that and find that inner beast again. I gained weight slowly during Solomon's pregnancy, this one I feel like I'm getting big all over, not just my belly. I'm not a fan of that, but there's only so much I can do. Each pregnancy is different. This one is already almost half over. Wow.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Craig's Crazy Leg Infection, Part 2

During his second hospital admittance a huge amount of tests were run as well as another ultrasound of his leg. His leg had gotten huge. Literally huge, and bright red with purple toes. It was also warm to the touch. We were told his skin was reaching max elasticity and the next step would be fluid oozing out. So gross and scary, too. He was on several iv antibiotics as well as iv fluid. The ER Dr was knowledgeable about this type of infection. He said anyone at the hospital would know this isn't Staph.  He explained that because the Urgent Care misdiagnosed, this infection was able to get out of hand. The med they gave him (Bactrim) does not treat Strep Cellulitis. The shot they gave in the glute at Urgent Care however, does treat Strep Cellulitis. This is why when he went home from Urgent Care the first time his temp dropped to about 100 but within 24 hours spiked to 104. The glute shot wore off and his body had nothing fighting the infection anymore. A proper diagnosis would have prevented this entirely. Craig was admitted this 2nd time and once stable was moved up from the ER to an actual room for several days. It was a relief to be there. It had been so scary being at home and seeing him get worse and worse. The first time the ER sent him home I literally knew we would be back.

For the next day or so it was a waiting game to see what his leg would do. His fever was under control, he was coherent again, and he could eat. He could not walk and his leg was very painful. I dropped the kids at my moms every morning and spent most of the day with him. It was a 40 min drive each way to the hospital. At dinner time I picked up the kids and brought them home for bed.

 I knew at this point we were about $20k deep and he was missing a week or more of work. It was a mess, but what could I do? I thought a lot about trying to look for work. In the 11 years we've been together, it has been a pretty constant stream of medical expenses. His employer-provided insurance has high deductibles and high out of pocket limits. If one of us gets sick or needs an ER or hospital, we don't stand a chance financially. It flatlines us for years. We have not been able to recover financially from one medical issue before another one happens. It is a constant stress and frustration for me. We also end up not going to the dr when we need to because we simply can't afford it.  

Anyway, on Sunday, he was finally discharged. A week after he got sick and 4 1/2 days in the hospital. Once home, he needed a couple more days off to be able to walk again. His leg was BAD. It is now almost 6 months after his hospital stay and his leg is still quite swollen. He needs a surgery to prevent the infection from happening again, but until his leg is healthy, the surgery will only make things worse. He wears a very tight compression sock on that leg every day. 

Looking back on the whole thing, I feel very frustrated abut the Urgent Care Dr misdiagnosing Craig. I tried to talk to another Dr at the clinic about it and they wouldn't say a word. I tried to talk to the billing department and asked to be given grace so we wouldn't have to pay $400 for a visit that actually made him worse and at death's door. I was in tears on the phone, explaining we have one income, 6 people we provide for, and owe $20k now. Zero grace was given, not even a discount. What a way to care for people, huh? This was The Doctor's Clinic in Poulsbo, Wa.

We still owe the hospital several thousand dollars and another $4k on our credit card for all the other people I had to pay that wouldn't take payments. Pretty insane. 

^This was at the Urgent Care the day the Dr said we needed to get to the hospital asap.
^Craig in the ER. His leg was scary and painful.
^Once his fever was gone and he could interact, we killed time
by watching Netflix.
^Us breaking out of the hospital!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, I am here!

Hello? Heeellloooo? It's an echo here in the world of my blog. A dark cave I have sadly forgotten about. Here we are welcoming in 2016 and I'd like to be present here again. As I look back on past blogs I sometimes chuckle at the things my kids did, sometimes I'm embarrassed at my attitude or behavior or logic, yet I appreciate the snapshot of that moment in time. I appreciate that there is always room to learn and improve.

Also, ermagerd my blog is ridiculously busy and outdated and un user friendly. I need to charge up the ol' laptop and try to make this thing a little simpler. It's almost midnight, so I'll save that for another day. I wish I had a programmer bestie who could just whip it into shape in trade for some clean laundry or somethin'!

Maybe just some updates tonight.
Me-I have been working out and eating low carb for almost a year! I am honestly surprised that I've been so consistent and I'm proud of that. My weight ebbs and flows between 25-36lbs down (that's a story for another day). I am currently 30lbs from my ultimate goal! I did two 60-day rounds of PiYo, 2 rounds of 21 Day Fix, took up running, and have stayed active. I just started another round of PiYo today. Eating is tough, I love carbs and eating low carb is a buzzkill. I track everything in MyFitnessPal (FrazierMama) and work on eating between 50-100g of complex carbs a day. I avoid sugar, pasta, rice, bread, high sugar fruits like bananas, Etc.
I started a supplement, called Ovasitol, last February and after 3 months on it I got a cycle and have had one every month since. Working on getting them predictable. No one likes a surprise shark attack, amirite?
I have become a runner. That is crazy. I can run 5 miles currently! I found out a couple months ago I for sure have asthma so I got an inhaler and that has helped a ton. I find running to be a challenge and extremely therapeutic for me. It continually shows me I am more capable than I ever realized. Exercise is a big portion of mental health support for me. It has become a necessity.

Craig- He is still Mr Handy and fixes all-the-things. He had a major leg infection last August that put him in the hospital. It was scary and got touch and go for a couple days. I have a drafted blog from that week and haven't been able to post was a terrible time. Anywho, he survived and still deals with chronic issues caused by that leg infection. Hopefully this year more healing will occur and if it does he will need a surgery to prevent it's recurrence. Surgery now would just cause more harm. Anywho....he works for the same company, 2015 marked 10 years, which I think is awesome for a guy who is only 37.  He is an amazing dad. Just today Evie told me how bummed she is that I married him first {before she had a chance}. Haha

Eliana- She is 7 and in 1st grade. Man, she is a smart little thing. Reading 4th grade level and constantly excited about learning new things (oh no, not a braggy braggerson!Sorry, not sorry, hehe). Information is exciting and a thrill for Eliana. I absolutely love that about her. Hmmm...maybe soon she can proofread my blog??? Yes, let's put a pin in that. Kidding....sort of. Elly is well spoken, sensitive, and she feels deeply. She is very aware and so encouraging. She is a special human. I am excited to see how God uses her life.

Evangeline- She is 5 and still has gorgeous big brown eyes. She recently donated a foot of hair because, "mom, there are kids with NO hair, I don't need all of this hair!" Evie is shy unless it's family or good friends. She is cautious and doesn't like the spotlight. She is super excited for Kindergarten this fall and currently she is the best playmate to her little brother. Evie has an amazing voice and a natural rhythm that boggles my mind. She can really sing, that one! Maybe she'll love the spotlight someday.

Solomon- He is 2 and such a little man. He adores Captain America  or "Erica" as he calls him. He likes to live most days in his Captain or Iron Man costume. We keep telling him, "they're the good guys, stop using the shield to hurt your sisters!" Lol. He is chatty and engaged and busy all of the time. Sol started sleeping in his own crib in July. Thank you, Jesus. He still wakes multiple times a night and that just sucks, but progress is progress. Sol has blonde hair and blue eyes and is idea where he gets that from. *why is everyone looking at me?*

There are a million things I could say after having basically not blogged in a year....but I will tackle it one bit at a time. Thanks for being here, in this disco era cave of a blog. I'll spruce it up soon. Promise!