Friday, January 29, 2010

Wearing an Old Shirt Today

As in, a pre-pregnancy sized shirt.

It makes me feel good.

Now, don't be fooled. I haven't actually lost any weight. In fact, due to the arrival of my monthly friend, I'm up my usual 4 lbs of water weight. Nice.
And, I have to admit that the shirt is kinda stretchy.

But still. I'm in it. It's comfortable. And it looks fine.

This makes me feel good.

On a semi-related note, I've decided to give the treadmill another try. Yes, I know my back gave out on my last time, but that also corresponded to FireGirl's latest growth spurt, so there's a chance it had nothing to do with the treadmill.
I have to walk that fine line between getting some activity, and taking care of my back, but I think I'm safe to try it again. I'll just take it slow, and we'll see how it goes.

Also, FireMan & I are already looking for some deals on bikes for the springtime, so hopefully we'll actually find some time to go riding this year.
So far, no luck with free swimming though. Booo!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I am NOT invisible

I am here. You can see me. I speak, you can hear me.

I'm tired of not being heard. Of not being seen.

Maybe silence will speak louder than my words did. Maybe my absence will speak louder than my presence did.

Maybe you will see me more if I'm not here.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Facing Fears

Someone once told me that the root of all negative emotions is fear. Anger, frustration, sadness, whatever... that if you dig deep enough, you will find fear at the root of it.
Personally, since hearing that, I have found that to be true in my own life. Sometimes you have to dig pretty deep, but usually there is fear waiting to be found. Waiting to be dealt with.

We all have fears. We all handle them differently. Sometimes we face them head on, charge into the midst of them, fight the good fight, and conquer them. Sometimes we run away, run, run, running as fast as we can in the opposite direction. Sometimes we simply pretend like they're not there. Ignoring them as best we can, pretending they don't exist, doing our best to block whatever triggers there are out of our minds.

There was a period of time in my life when I spent years dealing with various fears. Some battles take longer than others, you know. It was rough. It was tough. It was the most difficult period of time in my life to date.
I'm not proud of how I handled everything during that time period, but I am a little proud of one thing: I dealt with it. I faced it head on. As difficult & painful as it was, I faced it. And I believe I am a stronger & better person for it. Oh, it wasn't easy. Not at all. Not by any means. I cannot understate how difficult that period of time was. But, like I said, I'm better off now.

But, I don't always deal with fears so easily. I'm not much of a runner (no pun intended), but I am one heck of a deny-er. It runs in my family. The women in my family are the queens of denial. And so I deny that there is a problem. Ignore it. Ignore my fear. What fear? No fear, right? Wrong.

And so, as I sat in church this past Sunday, and the preacher spoke of how thru Christ we can conquer anything, and I examined myself to see what there might be that needed conquering, I finally came to terms with it. Fear. And so, besides the prayers that I have already said asking God to help me thru this, this blog is my first step towards conquering this fear. By exposing it. By telling all of you what it is. So {deep breath}, here goes.

I am afraid that no one likes me.
This is why I have built up my walls. This is why I went from having many, many friends, to virtually none. This is why I am often lonely. Because in my head, I think no one likes me. Not really. Not the real me. Not the deep down dirty me.
Oh, I tell myself, they seem to like me, but that's just the surface. Once they get to know me, they won't like me any more and they will leave.
And so to protect myself from that seemingly imminent rejection... I don't ever let anyone in. I've told myself that I don't want friends. I have family, who needs friends?
Even my old friends, friends that never did anything wrong, I pushed or pulled away from. Intentionally isolated myself.
I also think this is the root of a lot of my anxiety. I used to be fine in the midst of a crowd of people. Now my heart starts racing if there's just a few. Being in a crowd is a nightmare to me. I am nervous, my heart races, and I'm scared to death. For no other reason that that I'm surrounded by a ton of people.

The real truth is that I miss my old friends. I miss them terribly. I've tried to reach out to a few, but when plans fall thru or they don't return my call I tell myself they didn't really want to see me. They don't care.
When I meet a new person, who seems to be a potential future friend, I get all nervous. It's like dating all over again, LOL. I hope that they like me. I try not to seem to anxious. I try to show that I want to be their friend, without seeming overbearing. Did I mention that I tend to overthink things?

I miss having girl friends. I miss talking & laughing. I miss having someone to call. And now that I have FireGirl, I would love to have another mom to hang out with, go on play dates with, and just share stories with. But I just can't seem to get over that hump.

I'm scared. But I've recognized that, and I'm working on it. So maybe... one day... I'll have some real friends again.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

At Haiti ?? or At Home ??

With the recent earthquake and subsequent devestation in Haiti, and the outpouring of support from my fellow American citizens, as well as our government, my mind can't help but turn to those struggling in our own country.

It begs the question: if we have these resources to send out to help those abroad, then why aren't we already using these same resources to help those within our own borders?

With the economic downturn persisting, and there being no end in the near future (recovery will come, but it will take time), hunger is at terrifyingly high levels in the United States. Homelessness continues to persist and grow. Thousands of our own citizens can't afford adequate medical care.

I just can't wrap my mind around the idea that these resources were already there, already existed, to help our own neighbors, to help the family down the street, to help the homeless veteran at the shelter, the single mom at the food pantry... but we kept our hands in our pockets. We refused to give. We looked the other way. Until there was a tragedy in another country?!? Really?!?

I'm just struggling with this. I don't want to sound callous, or uncaring, or unsympathetic towards the people in Haiti (or any other country), but maybe we should consider taking care of those already in our borders, the people that desperately need help now, that don't require naval ships & military transports to get to them. People like you & me, who fell on hard times, and just need a little bit of help to get back on our feet.
Maybe before we all write that check (literally or metaphorically) to help someone in another country, maybe we should at the very least go ahead & write one for those in our own country first. Or at the same time.

Just a thought.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm Gonna Miss This

"...I'm gonna miss this.
My mind cannot help but wander to those parents who have lost children. What on earth would they not give to hold their children again, even for a moment. I bet they would not complain about having to sing Rock-a-bye Baby one more time. Rather, they would probably give their right arm to sing it ten million times until their voice was hoarse and their eyelids closed in slumber.
And women with empty wombs who long and pray and ache for children? What honor am I doing them if I take for granted the fact that I have children, young children who are begging me to cuddle them, sing to them. I will love those women who long for a baby by loving my babies and not taking them for granted...
I will not wish away their young years, always hoping to get more laundry done or other children dried off. I will relish each kiss, hug and song. I will leave their childhood behind with no regrets, no "I love you" unsaid, no cheek unkissed, no request to "Cuddle wif' me!" turned down. Even as the macaroni flies and the Sharpie stains my table, even when there are midnight wailers and globs of Desitin under my fingernails, I know......I know I'm gonna miss this."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I hate being a working mom (VENT)

Hate, hate, HATE it.

Don't misunderstand me. I don't mind working. I don't mind holding down a job, working full-time outside of the home, bringing home a paycheck. What I do is okay, the guys I work with are awesome.

And I love being a mom. LOVE it. Cannot say enough about how rewarding it is.

What I don't like is the balancing act. I hate splitting my time.
I hate leaving FireGirl in the mornings.
I hate hearing about everything she did that day instead of being there to witness it myself.
I hate that I can't find a playgroup to join because they all meet during the workday.
I hate that I can't enroll her in any classes at the YMCA this quarter, because all of the ones for her age group meet during the workday.
I hate that I've already looked at classes & activities for her as she gets older, and 99% of them are during the workday, so my daughter will miss out on these experiences because I have a job.
I hate days like today, where I take a long lunch to take her to the pediatrician, and she gets shots & blood drawn, and is just terribly upset, and then I have to hand her back over & go back to my stupid desk. Why can't I just go home with her & cuddle her all afternoon? My child has just experienced what, to her, is traumatic. And instead of being there with her, her mommy just hands her back over & goes back to work? What kind of a mother is that?!?
This is ridiculous.

I hate that my house is a continual disaster, because I'm going during the day, and I feel so guilty about being gone during the day that during the evenings & weekends I refuse to do housework while FireGirl is awake, so I'm extremely limited on my available remaining time to get chores done. As much has I hate the messy house, I hate not being there more.

I hate that I feel guilty when FireMan & I want to take a vacation, because I'm already gone from FireGirl so much for work, how can I just leave her for days just for fun?!? Wanting to spend time alone with my husband shouldn't make me feel guilty.

I hate being a working mom.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weeded Out Some Clothes Last Night

I've been putting this off. Weeding thru my pre-pregnancy clothing. But it needed to be done.

We don't have much closet space in our home, so for the past nearly two years (!!) my wearable work clothes have been hanging on a doorknob. First, it was my maternity clothing. Then, it was my post-pregnancy-sized clothing. It was time I accepted my new body.

I didn't get thru all of my clothing, just what was hanging in my closet. I reminisced. I got aggravated. I got regretful.

I reminisced about times that I wore certain outfits. Like the shirt I was wearing when I met DH. Like a blouse that wore at one of my bridal showers.

I got aggravated that I couldn't wear them anymore. I got aggravated at myself that I still haven't lost my baby weight.

I got regretful. I regret not doing more to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I regret not taking better care of myself.

I didn't get rid of everything. In fact, I got rid of far fewer items than I had anticipated. Cheapskate that I am, I worry that when I do finally lose the weight, if I get rid of all of my old clothes, then I'll have to spend $$ on a new wardrobe. I'm too cheap to do that.
My original plan was to keep a few favorite outfits, and get rid of the rest. Out with the old, in with the new.
What ended up happening is that I realized that I liked a lot of those clothes. So I got rid of anything that I wasn't thrilled about, anything that maybe didn't fit exactly right before anyway.

And now I'm back watching what I eat. Back on FitDay tracking my weight & calories. Not thrilled about it, but I feel more.... resolved this time. I feel more ready. And I've accepted in my head that it might take me a long time to lose it all. But the words of my previous family doctor ring in my ears: "the slower you lose the weight, the more likely you are to keep it off". Generally speaking, of course. But still. The last time I had a significant amount of weight to lose, it took me 18 months to lose 40 pounds. But I kept the vast majority of it off until I got pregnant. Some ups & downs, but most of it stayed off for years. So... let's do this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I hate when FireMan is right

My back has really been bothering me lately.

Last night, right before our bed, this is the conversation:

Me: "my back has really been hurting lately"
FireMan: "why?"
Me: "I don't know. I guess FireGirl is getting too big. It's been getting worse ever since her last growth spurt."
Fireman: "Oh. You know it might get a little better if you lost the rest of your baby weight"
Me: "I know...{sigh}... Shutup."

Grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I have a toddler. And a bad back.

The two don't mix well.

A few weeks ago my back kept going out on me, and I blamed my new treadmill routine. But the problem has persisted without the treadmill, and after looking at other things in my life I realized that the back pain started right about the time of FireGirl's last growth spurt. I fear that she is getting too heavy for my weak back.
I have experienced pain / spasms / etc in my lower back every day for the past 2+ weeks.

*background* for those of you who don't know my history. I was in a bad car accident in 2002, suffered a serious injury to my lower back, which ultimately resulted in back surgery in 2006.

I've been trying to make her walk as much as possible, since she is walking really well. But there's still so many times when you pretty much have to pick up a toddler.

I'm really scared that I'm going to end up in the kind of pain I struggled thru for four years before my surgery. I mean, FireMan has never even seen me this bad, let alone what I was like before we met.
Honestly, I don't even care about the actual pain. I care about how it might limit the quality of my time with FireGirl.

So for now I am trying to take it easy in other areas of my life. No more working out / treadmill. No lifting anything even remotely heavy (other than FireGirl).
I have been fortunate thus far, I know. My doctors all told me back then that surgery or not, this was considered a lifetime injury - something I will be dealing with in one way or another for the rest of my life - so I knew this was a possibility. But it doesn't make it any less scary.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I resisted the lasagna last night

I really wanted seconds of the yummy (frozen) lasagna we had for dinner last night. But I resisted.
Small victory.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Random Pics...

... because we all like pictures.

FireGirl's 1st Birthday Cake (October 2009)

Me cleaning the manatee tank at the zoo (September 2009)

The dive boat the FireMan & I cruised on (October 2009 - Nassau, Bahamas)

One of our family pics (September 2009 - taken at the same park where we were married)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Decisions for me? Decisions for us?

So, on one of my message boards yesterday a girl posted about how to get her husband on board with her New Year's resolution, as she was already frustrated with him for not helping her.

My response to her was that she cannot reasonably expect him to be on board with a decision that she made for herself, and has no reasonable expectation for him to help her out, since it was not his decision. And that she has no reason to be frustrated with him, since he's not the one who decided to make a change.

I think we all do this from time to time. We make a decision for ourselves, but maybe it affects another loved one - a spouse, a family member, even a close friend or a coworker.
And when we find out that they're not necessarily on board with our decision, we get upset with them. But why? They didn't decide to make a change, we did.
And when they refuse to put their time & energy toward helping us work toward our new goal, we get frustrated with them. But why? It wasn't their goal, it was our goal.
And when maybe they get pulled into this new activity, most likely by their proximity to us, and they're not too happy with the activity or its outcome, we're upset that they're not happy with it. Why? Why should they be happy with something that the didn't decide? With an activity that they never agreed to participate in?

All we can do is to try to make sure that our goals & decisions are not only in our best interests, but those around us. Which is a good way to live anyway.
And then we can act on our decisions, work towards our goals, and do the best we can. We can hope for help from others, but we should have no real expectation of it. We can hope for their support, but if it doesn't come, that shouldn't deter us. We certainly can hope that our loved ones will be happy with our decisions, but if they're not... as long as we're sure we tried to work our actions toward the "greater good", then... their happiness is their decision, not ours.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

FireGirl pooped on the potty!

I'm so proud.

So, I didn't post anything on this when it happened, but a few weeks ago she had quite a few staph infections in her diaper area. Blah, blah, blah after getting some really strong antibiotics she has healed fine, but her pediatrician said that once a child gets a staph infection, they tend to recur, so he recommended that we try to potty train her ASAP, even though she's still rather young.

I've put off trying it, but for some reason I decided to today. I put her on the potty & she started laughing hysterically. Then I heard what I thought was a fart. I asked her if she was pooping, and she just laughed harder. Next thing I knew, she had pooped in the potty!

I was so excited! And she seemed to think it was hilarious!

I tried again later. She didn't go, but I was so impressed. I asked her if she was pooping, and I actually felt her start to kinda push, you know, like she was trying. She farted, but no poop that time.

Oh, I guess I should explain that we don't have a little potty for her, so I was holding her on the big potty. My hands were on her lower back supporting her, and I felt her push.

I'm so proud! My little genius!
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