This Bird Does It

Librarian ramblings


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New Year’s Resolutions #my8for16

Edited to update: I originally used the hashtag #8for16, but some company has a whole marketing thing using that. I don’t need my very own hashtag, but if someone else has already claimed it, I’ll change. So, I changed it to #my8for16. If others use it for other things, that’s fine, but at least it’s not part of some big campaign that I have nothing to do with. 

Christmas Day has come and gone, so naturally we’re all thinking about New Year’s Eve, right? We’ll celebrate in our various ways, and then we’ll all wake up the next day and it will be TWENTY SIXTEEN!

2-0-1-6! I just can’t really wrap my head around that, but that’s how I feel every year. Something feels a little different this year, and I’m a little wigged out about it.

I’ve always been so anti-resolution. I mean, it has always seemed like a great way to set myself up for disappointment, and isn’t life full of disappointments without me pushing my own? I like to think that I can just decide to make life changes whenever and I’ll stick to it, and make changes, and be better, and whatever. But I don’t. Not usually.

But I just finished my MLIS. I set a goal, a big one, and I went about achieving it. I’m pretty proud of myself. I might just have it in me to achieve something else.

If you know me, or if you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I’m still struggling with my weight. Getting in shape is always the goal that’s “out there.” “Someday” I’ll tackle that project. “Someday” is usually when I finish grad school, or when the littlest fella is in school full time, or maybe when I get a job and have a routine, or on and on. Well, some somedays are here and some aren’t but there will never be a perfect time!

An hour or so ago, I saw a post on Facebook by a neighborhood mom friend who happens to be a Zumba instructor at the community center in town. She was informing us that there will be a “Resolution Solution” class on New Year’s Day from 10-12, and that it will be fun, and we should come. “All fitness levels,” she said. “No judgement!” “A dance party support group,” she called it. I got caught up in the conversation and before I knew it, I’d registered for the class and promised to come! Huh? What? The word “resolution” is right there in the title of the class. This is so not me!

I’m going to try a little something different this year. I’m going to write down my #my8for16, 8 things I hope to accomplish or improve in 2016. I have faith that I can be more successful if I write them down, share them with an audience, check in regularly, and ask you all to help me be accountable. I will keep them simple, not too ambitious (remember that setting up for failure thing?), and I’ll try to check in with each, at least monthly, maybe on the first of the month?

Here we go…

#my8for16

  1. I’ve got to improve my health. I don’t want to be so specific that it feeds that failure thing. I’m not going to say “I’ll lose 60 pounds” or “I’ll be able to run a 5k.” Those are both worthy goals, and I’d love to say I’ll do that this year, but if this time next year I feel better, eat better, and can wear more of the clothes hiding in the back of my closet, we’ll call this resolution MET! (How about, I’d like to wear a belted sweater by next NYE?)
  2. I’d like to feed my family more whole foods, less processed foods, and get them more involved in food preparation. Again, I’m not going to say that I want each kid preparing their own lunches each morning, or for Girlie Bird to be able to cook dinner once a week. I will say that I’d like for them to have more tools to be able to find their own foods in the kitchen, prepare them responsibly, and clean up after themselves. I’d like to have more nutritious options available, and rely less on quick “convenience” processed options.
  3. I’d like to be working full time by the end of the year. I HAVE to find a job , full or part time, in the early part of the year, but a part time start into this world of working parent would be great. That can’t last long. I’d like to be working full time, or at minimum on my way to working full time, by this time next year.
  4. I’d like to find more ways to declutter our lives. Clean out a drawer a week, or take a load to Goodwill each week? I tend to put these tasks off because they aren’t fun, but I intend to push myself more when it comes to tackling them. I want more space and less STUFF in my house this year. Grad school and homework was my regular excuse for not doing these things, and THAT’S over! Along with the theme of keeping things decluttered and cleaner, I’d like to keep my vehicle cleaner. I’ve got three munchkins who often work against me, but usually after they’ve left a few things behind, I just get lazy and let the whole thing go to hell.2014-new-years-resolution-be-more-awesome
  5. I’d like for us to make more room in our budget for charitable donations. If I’m working, there’s every reason to believe that there might be just the tiniest bit of extra wiggle room in the household finances. In addition, I’d like to find places I can pinch a few pennies into a “giving jar” of some sort. I have to think more about this, and of course discuss it with my co-chair, but I think we should be giving a few more dollars to something.
  6. I’m going to figure out a better storage system for my closet. Maybe I have to move some things into the hopefully soon to be cleared out basement, or something. What I know for sure is that my closet is woefully undersized in floor space, and I’ve got  shoes spilling out ALL THE TIME! I don’t think I have a particularly large collection of shoes. Ladies, back me up, I can feel my husband laughing as I type this. Regardless, they don’t have to be thrown on the floor of the closet to spill out all over the room all the time. There has to be a better way.
  7. I’m going to stop buying any clothes for myself. No. For real. This isn’t a wish, or a “I’d like to…” this is a ban. When I’ve lost some weight, and gotten in shape, I may make a plan and a budget and do some shopping, but for the time being, I’m not going to allow myself to spend money on clothes for myself.
  8. I’m going to keep a prayer journal and list. That’s not for public consumption, but for myself. I pray, I pray all the time, but I always feel so random and scattered. I know that God hears my random and scattered prayers, but I feel like I would benefit from attempting to organize my thoughts and meditations.
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Summer Salad

I should write about back to school. I should tell you all about the start of 4th and 5th grades. Eh, it will be more fun to tell you about that when the First Day of School photos stop showing up on Facebook.

Back to a little food blogging. I fell away from the paleo thing over the summer, and it’s time to get back at it. No 30 challenge at this time, maybe when we get further into fall, but I am turning back to a more paleo-esque diet. I felt better and dropped weight. Plus there are plenty of dishes I really like and totally satisfy.

20140826_121608Today, for lunch, I’m eating something really similar to my favorite summer salad recipe from mom’s kitchen. The original recipe is pretty simple. Wedged tomatoes, sliced onions, striped and sliced cucumbers, all marinated in cider vinegar, vegetable oil, and sugar. Topped with a dash of celery seed for good measure. It’s delicious after an hour in the fridge, but amazing the next day. As a kid I remember taking a spoon to the leftover dressing in the bottom of my bowl. So tart and sweet, tasted like summer itself to me.

I wanted to make it a little more paleo friendly. For me, one of the most important things about paleo is the processed sugar. There are a few paleo-certified sweeteners, and technically agave nectar is only paleo-friendly, but it’s still my sweetener of choice. Hey, I said paleo-ESQUE! The vinegar was fine, though I switched to unfiltered, raw cider vinegar. And the switch to olive oil was just common sense. To get it all to mix, I used an immersion blender, which might not be strictly necessary, but I liked it. I’d say I used equal parts agave and oil, to twice as much cider. Dumped it over the tomatoes, onions, and cukes, topped it with a few shakes of celery seed, and set it in the fridge for an hour or two before lunch yesterday. Success! It was delicious. And of course, today’s lunch is even better.

Too bad I ate it all. It would have been an ideal thing to take to the pool this evening. The kids will be enjoying the last cheap hotdog night at the local pool. Guess I’ll just whip up some shrimp something after they are in bed.

 


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A Victorious Weekend (was there a football game?)

I DID IT! I made it through the first weekend of my own paleo journey. I was a bit worried about having family for dinner on Saturday, followed by a Sunday evening at friends’ to watch the Super Bowl. That’s two big temptation events back to back. Those are some of the most food-centric events I can imagine. If I’d been doing this longer, I might have volunteered to make a whole meal of paleo foods for the eleven we had for dinner Saturday, but I couldn’t wrap my head around that, so we just compromised. My mother made a couple chuck roasts. I made mashed potatoes (which I did NOT eat, despite the fact that I make THE very best mashed potatoes EVER!), corn, broccoli, bread, and fruit salad. Mom baked a cake, and I bought ice cream. It was okay. I mean, really. Yeah, there were lots of times I was tempted. I even forgot what I was doing and put a full helping of corn on my plate before I remembered and dumped it on my brother’s plate. For dinner, I loaded my plate with beef and broccoli. For dessert I stuck with black coffee and fruit.

Then for Super Bowl, my lovely host volunteered to have a Mexican spread, allowing the kids to just pick what they would eat, and I could build a lovely salad of the things I could eat and skip the bad stuff. That worked out really well. As long as I can eat guacamole, I’m happy! I almost didn’t miss the cheese and sour cream. I ate more guacamole by dipping raw broccoli and cauliflower instead of corn chips.

Let’s be totally honest, though. I drank several glasses of red wine over the two days. I’m not sorry about that. In fact, holding that glass and taking the occasional sip, totally allowed me to feel like I was not in any way deprived. I never drank enough to impair myself. I just had it in my hand. I am convinced that I was successful with the food because I still had the wine. I will consider dropping the alcohol after this 30 day experiment, perhaps for Lent, which starts just a week after my 30 days are up. But for now, this is working. I know Whole30 wants you to skip the scale and all other methods of measurement and comparison, for your 30 days. I think we’ve established that I’m writing my own rules here, so yeah, I’ve been on the scale. I’m down ten pounds since I started playing with this diet. Two just over the weekend! I suspect that it will be the sugar and the grains that I’ll leave out the longest. I think that’s the key to my weight control, but we’ll see what data we gather over the next 26 days.

Here we are at Day 4. For breakfast I ate leftover chuck roast sauteed in the pan with mushrooms, onions, and broccoli. Not very breakfast-y, but delicious and filling! I feel confident I can go get some schoolwork done without thinking about food all morning! And now I have three full days of success, two with major temptations, behind me! I feel like I had a HUGE victory this weekend and I hope that has created some momentum for me! Tonight’s plan is to roast another chicken, put some more bone broth on. I still have Mom’s big crock pot, so I’ll do it in that.

 


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Paleo 30 Day Experiment Kick Off (sort of)

Okay, I was inspired by the Whole30 program, but I tend to make up my own rules, so let’s see how this goes. I thought about all the changes to my diet this requires, and even though it’s certainly easier than a lot of diets, it’s a lot. Then I thought specifically about giving up alcohol. I can’t lie to you, gang, I really enjoy an adult beverage at the end of the day. Not every day, but probably four nights a week. A glass of wine or a cocktail after the kids are down. Maybe two or three on a weekend. I don’t remember the last time I was really drunk, but. Well, that’s a lie. I remember, but it isn’t something that happens often. Life is too messy for that these days.

So, all of this is to make excuses for not giving up alcohol as part of this experiment, at least not now. Maybe it will skew the entire thing, I don’t know, but when I thought about changing my diet so drastically and giving up alcohol, it felt like two separate projects. As soon as I looked at it that way, it felt like I was setting myself up to fail at both of them. But I have to reevaluate the drinking anyway, so this is what I came up with. I will not drink anything made from something I’m not eating. That means no beer (no great loss, I only drink beer rarely), no spirits distilled from grains (so, like, all of them except tequila), and no mixers that I wouldn’t normally drink. That pretty much leaves wine (and at least red has some health value), hard ciders, and of course, tequila since it’s made from the agave cactus. I guess I could do shots of tequila, but that just doesn’t have that it’s-been-a-long-day-let-me-check-facebook-and-relax kind of vibe. Margaritas would have mixers with sugar. Hard ciders are like 200 calories a serving, but I do enjoy them from time to time and I’m not actually counting calories, right? Well, I guess that just leaves my red wine. I can live with that. I do love a red wine.

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I can’t show you dinner, but this was my breakfast omelette. If I’d already been to the grocery, there would be avocado with that!

I’d really like to share a lovely snapshot of my Day One dinner tonight, but I’m afraid I wolfed it down before considering a photograph. It was divine, though. As I told the Facebook folks, if I can pull that off every night, paleo will be a breeze! I sauteed mushrooms, red onion, zucchini, and shrimps in coconut oil, then hit it with a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot (I really do put that s#$% on everything). I topped it with half an avocado. The old dieting Bird would have budgeted it all out so that I could have a little cheese, parmesan or feta, or maybe even cheddar. I didn’t miss it at all. Just to keep up, breakfast was an omelette with spinach and salsa with Frank’s. There was no real lunch since I was so busy, but I ate a couple handfuls of almonds here and there, some pineapple, and a fistful of sugar snap peas. Oh, and a banana. Probably should have had more water, but I’ll drink a glass before bed.

The next two days will be rough. Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. We’ll have dinner here with his best friend (today is his birthday) and wife, my brother and his girlfriend, Mom and Dad. Mom’s making roast, so I can eat that. I’ll make green beans, corn, and mashed potatoes. I’ll put coconut oil or bacon grease (not stressing about nitrites, yet) on the veggies, but mashed potatoes are off limits. We’ll have cake and ice cream, but I’ll be skipping that. I bought some raspberries, blueberries, and apples so I could make a nice fruit bowl to go with the cake. I’ll just eat that. I’ll be okay. THEN, Sunday is Super Bowl. We’re going to watch the game with another family who care about as much as we do about the game. We haven’t seen them in a while so it will be good to catch up, but gatherings like that mean food. Thankfully, they are very health conscious and aware of my little experiment, so I have support!

I really haven’t done one of these “here’s my life” kind of blog entries in a while and I apologize if I bore you to tears. I just want to document some of this paleo experiment. I have a feeling I will be keeping more of it than I thought when I first read about it. Certainly not all of it. I cannot imagine a whole life without butter, but I also know I don’t need as much as I was eating. And the sugar thing is just crazy. I can already clearly see a difference in my tolerance for sweetness. I ate brownies that Mom brought last night and they were good, don’t misunderstand. I mean, they were brownies! But I was happy with a much smaller piece than I would have been a few weeks ago. I wonder how I’ll feel after a month of none!

Wish me luck.


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Fabulous Friday

It’s sometimes hard for me to remember that Friday isn’t so exciting for the stay-at-home mom with a mountain of homework to due by Sunday night. My work is just beginning and even though there were times during the week when everyone was home and awake, there will be a lot MORE times over the weekend. But, I’ll have help, I’ll get it done. I just have to, that’s all. Can’t help getting a little jazzed about Friday, though. It’s a lifetime of training, I guess. The kids have make up piano lessons after school, but nobody else has to be harassed to do homework. TV and video games for EVERYONE! Woohooo. Eh, sue me.

I’m really just rambling here so I don’t have to go work on my homework, but I did have a couple things to say. I’ve lost a little weight. Not a lot, just about seven pounds, but it’s a start. Especially since I haven’t “dieted” and I’m just experimenting with the paleo thing. I’ve pretty much eliminated dairy entirely, which is kind of amazing. I didn’t even realize that’s what was happening. I dropped the cheese on my eggs, then started with the black coffee, then I went to have a yogurt for lunch and realized I hadn’t had dairy in three days, so maybe we just won’t have the Yoplait now, either. My right knee was one of my “inflammation issues” and it hasn’t bothered me in a couple days, either. Can’t say those two things are related, but can’t say they aren’t.

I’m going try my hand at roasting a chicken. That’s right, I’ve never done it. I looked up several recipes online and I was utterly shocked to find that apparently this task amounts to “wash chicken, dry chicken, cook chicken.” I think I can handle this. I’m a kind of excited about having the carcass to make bone broth. Something warm and comforting to drink when it’s crazy cold, that’s good for me, and I can turn lots of lovely things into soup. If it works out well, I may be roasting a lot of chickens. They’re cheap, I like the idea of having roasted chicken around to throw on salads, into soups, whatever. Maybe I can convince the kids to eat it in lunches. I’m probably stretching there a little, but a girl can dream.

Finished off my 1000 day gouda and my loaf of Ezekiel bread. It’s the last week of the month, so I’m not going to make a big grocery run before Friday, or I’d jump all in. Maybe I am all in, but I’m not yelling at myself for the occasional pretzel or piece of bread. (Oh, wait, I did have a little butter on my dinner roll last night. Eh) I’m going to enjoy a shot of bourbon when the kids are in bed tonight because I’ve been putting it off all week. All that just amounts to not starting my 30 countdown, yet. I’ll try to do 30 days of hard core, extreme, seriousness, as described by the folks at Whole30. After that, I don’t see myself staying off alcohol, grains, legumes, or dairy, but I can see myself eating FAR less than I did a few weeks ago. Some of it is just about breaking old habits and making new ones, I guess. This feels doable, and not in that 0h-I’m-just-hyping-myself-up kind of way. Alcohol will be hard. I really enjoy a drink in the evening, maybe a few with friends on a weekend. The fact that it seems like it might be hard makes me more sure I should try it, though. Thirty days is not that long. It’s been more than 30 days since Christmas already!

Pretty bleak out there.

Pretty bleak out there.

Oh, good heavens, it’s been more than 30 days since Christmas! How is that possible? February is sneaking up. It’s a short month and then it’s March. March is practically springtime! Everyone is complaining about these crazy cold temperatures we’re having, and I get it. I do. But we’ll make it through. The cold, I can handle. The high gas bill is gonna suck. Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of this nice warm house, my nice warm coat, my nice warm bed, and my nice warm car. I don’t actually spend much time in that awful cold, but it sure did stink putting fuel in the van this morning!


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Let’s call it what it is. Fat.

A friend posted this on Facebook about “Fat Talk.” You need to watch it to know what I’m talking about. It’s only about two minutes. I’ll wait.

I seem to be seeing a lot of this lately. We’re not supposed to call ourselves “fat” because we’re degrading ourselves and it’s damaging, or some such. Yeah, I get it. I’m supposed to be happy in the skin I’m in. I’m supposed to love myself for who I am. I’m supposed to get past the body image crap that we girls grow up with thanks to society and the media. Well, guess what! I am. I did. I used this body to produce three of the most beautiful children the world has ever seen (yeah, I said it!). I am forty-two years old and looking like I did in high school is not a priority for me, and I’m okay with that. I do not loath my body. I do not hate myself for the extra 60-75 lbs (depending on the month) that I am carrying around.

Let's face it. This is not the chin of a healthy person.

Let’s face it. This is not the chin of a healthy person.

But I am fat. I do need to lose that weight. I don’t need to lose it because I don’t love myself when I’m fat. I need to lose it because I love myself and want to be healthy. I don’t need to lose it because I want to like myself when I look in the mirror. I have to lose it because I DO like myself when I look in the mirror and I want to see that face get old! I don’t need to lose it so I can strut in a bikini, that ain’t ever happening again at any weight. I need to lose it so I can breathe better at night, so my knees feel better, so I don’t get so winded running around after my kids. I’m so out of shape, it’s almost as bad as when I was smoking. Almost. I don’t hate myself for being fat. I do get upset with myself for letting it get this bad.

I have a daughter about to turn ten years old. She is already well aware of the whole body image thing. She knows that her mom is overweight. We can say fat. I am fat. We can just call it overweight if that feels more like a medical term and makes everyone comfortable, but it’s semantics. My daughter knows that I am struggling with my own issues that cause me to gain weight and to shirk my responsibility for my health. But let me be clear, any negative body image crap she’s picking up on is not coming from me. She has NEVER heard me say that I hate any part of my body. She has heard me say that I am disappointed in myself for not getting healthy. She has never heard me “wish” to be thin. She has never known a time when her Mommy wasn’t willing to dress up with her and feel pretty. To walk tall and confident. I’m far more proud of that confidence that I’m trying to pass on to her than I am ashamed of my short falls in the fitness area.

And even more importantly, she has never seen her father wane is his attraction to me. She has never, EVER heard him make any disparaging remark about my body, my weight, my size, or my clothes. She has never heard him say anything to me or about me except that I am beautiful. I know this because that’s all I have ever heard from him. Yes, I am a lucky woman. If I could wish anything for my daughter, it’s not that she always stay in shape. So many things can affect how fit a person is at any given stage in life. I wish her health, but fitness is not as important as confidence. My one wish for her would be that she always be confident enough to wait for that man who will love her like her daddy loves me. And for that matter like my father loves my mother. Some extra weight has never been a reason for even the most mild of negative thought or remark.

The media is pounding on my girl every minute about body image. I know. And for lots of girls it’s too much. I pray every day that she will be stronger than that. I think I’m doing the best I can for her on this one, though. Not by going on about how beautiful she is no matter her size, and not by telling her that fat is beautiful. Instead I’m showing her that fat is just another thing. I’m also really bad at keeping up with the laundry. None of us is good at everything. I’m not so good at staying healthy, but I’m working on it. It’s a constant struggle. I think I’m pretty emotionally healthy, if not physically.

All that said, I’ll be jumping back on the wagon after the holidays. We had family pictures taken for the church directory yesterday. That was a bit painful. I swear I don’t look that fat in the mirror. I did not see a healthy woman in that picture. I did see a happy one, though.

 


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Some MORE things

40 years ago. I needed bangs even back then!

40 years ago. I needed bangs even back then!

Tomorrow, well, probably today by the time you read this, is my birthday. I am twenty one. Again. Not like some people say they’re turning twenty nine again because they never want to turn thirty, but like I’ve lived twenty one years, twice. Forty two. Eh, not usually considered a milestone birthday, but when I realized that my twenty first birthday was exactly HALF of my life ago, suddenly forty two seemed like a HUGE milestone.

142KLYou know what I haven’t written about in ages, right? Yeah, that weight loss thing. Turns out I don’t seem to be very good at watching my weight while I’m actually in school. Good thing I only have about three weeks to go this semester. But then it will be the holidays, so that should be easy, right? Eh, I’ll get on it. That’s not why I bring it up right now. I just want to acknowledge that I’m not ignoring it. I’m still fat, and I’m still concerned about it.

v65oai7fxn47qv9nectxI have really enjoyed watching the twitterstorm about Dr. Lee’s blog post that was removed from Scientific American’s site. I could go on about my thoughts on this, but there’s not a lot of point in that. I’m not a scientist, I’m an amateur blogger at best, I’m certainly not a person of color, but I AM a woman, and all I need to say is that this has been interesting to watch.

imagesGirlie is entering a poem in the PTA’s Reflections contest tomorrow. I think it’s brilliant, she wrote it all by herself, but I’m honestly worried that people won’t believe it. I might be biased, but it’s a really, REALLY great idea/concept for a poem. I worked REALLY hard to give her feedback as she worked it out but to never give her “help.” It’s all her work, but it was HARD not to take her great idea and write my own poem! It’s just such a good concept. I didn’t do it. I didn’t write hers, and I won’t even write my own, but it IS a great idea. After they announce the winners, I’ll share her poem. Just seems like I should wait. Okay, okay, a tease. The title is “The Pencil.”

 

 


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Rainy day AND Monday

It’s not so bad.  We’ve had beautiful weather this week.  The kind of beautiful weather I moved to Ohio for.  Highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s.  Sunny, sweet, spring days.  The kind of weather a bride hopes for.  I’ve so enjoyed it, but after a week or so, I think we all begin to take it for granted, to forget that weather is something we have to plan around here in the midwest.  Don’t ASSUME you will have beautiful weather when you have time to do yard work, or a picnic, or any other outdoor activity.  If you’re planning more than a week or so out, you’ve got a 50/50 shot at best, depending on the time of year.

My weight fluctuated hugely this week.  On Thursday morning I was at 190.4.  That’s almost 10 lbs down on WW, and nearly 15 total.  This morning’s official weigh in was not so lovely, though.  194.4 lbs, up a little less than a pound from last week.  Weird.  Well, not really.  I was not very careful this weekend.  I did not not track well, and completely ignored counting alcoholic beverages.  Must change that habit this week.  I know that deprivation doesn’t work in the long run, but I am determined to be at 185 or lower before I go to Florida for my BFF’s 40th Birthday Party in two weeks.  I won’t look like a super model, but at least I won’t look like a cow.  So, this week and next, I will be keeping my total points at least 5 points below my limit and I will not use any of my weekly points.  I will not drink alcohol (much), and I will keep my largest meal to lunch.  I’d like to say that I won’t eat anything after 7pm, but that may not be practical.  I can’t sustain that lifestyle for long, but I think I can do it for a couple weeks before a trip.

On the good side of this weight loss journey, I can feel the difference.  Clothes fit just a little differently.  I can cross my legs again.  My bras fit.  So, there’s that.

 


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I’m baaaaaack….

Okay, so I want to get back into the swing of this blogging thing.  I’ve been between classes for over a month now, and I haven’t done much of anything that I’d hoped to do during this break!  I was going to tell you all sorts of things.  I was going to paint the baseboards.  I was going to redo the kids’ bathroom.

DSC_0172What have I been up to?  Well, I sorted out all of our winter and summer clothes.  Doesn’t sound like much, does it, but I started the process way back here on April 4th.  That was just the beginning.  Then the keep stuff has to get packed up again.  THEN, the closets and drawers in our rooms have to be cleaned out.  Winter stuff gets removed, summer stuff stowed.  And all the while they keep WEARING clothes and putting them down the laundry chute, so the whole laundry process must continue.  I’ve also started sorting out the other junk in the basement and gotten rid of a couple old strollers, infant car seats, baby bathtubs, outgrown shoes, a crib mattress, and various other items that were just taking up space in our very limited storage area.  So, there’s all that.

I’ve continued to put energy into this weight loss thing.  Sometimes it’s only mental energy, but that’s something.  I completely blew off the tracking thing from Thursday to Sunday this week.  I could give you my entire justification process, but as I know that it is just that, justification, I won’t bore you with it.  I was sure that when I stepped on the scale today I would be lucky to have maintained.  Nope, I lost 2.4 pounds.  It’s true, I didn’t go crazy over the weekend, other than maybe some extra bread here and there that was totally unnecessary.  We had a lovely lunch at Bravo! after church yesterday with my parents and an old and dear friend visiting from out of town.  I enjoyed a couple pieces of bread and a glass or two of wine, but I did order from the “lighter” menu and avoided the heavy pasta.  I thought it might be enough to keep me from packing on a couple of pounds.  I’m guessing that even if I’m good this week, I’ll find myself holding steady next Monday.  I’ve made peace with that, so we’ll just be good and move on.

Today, I’m glad for my Monday morning respite.  I should go take a shower, but I probably won’t.  I am too jealous of the opportunity to sit at the computer and write or surf with no interruptions.  I can pin the Baby Bird into the family room with a favorite TV show and get 24 minutes to go take a shower.  I almost never get an entire hour, almost two, to just sit at the table in front of the keyboard.  Monday mornings are a rarity.  Except, I could go see if there’s that sweater on sale at Old Navy that I wanted.  Maybe in a minute.

Summer is going to be crazy.  I start my classes the first week or so in June, and the big kids will be busy with softball and baseball.  The calendar is filling up and I’m a little nervous.  I’m glad it’s only going to be six weeks or so of chaos and I’m looking forward to those two weeks in August where everything is over and school hasn’t started yet.  I can’t believe I’m going to have a 3rd and 4th grader!  That’s nuts!

Okay, now it feels like I’m just rambling, so I’ll wrap it up.  Maybe I’ll pop back in this afternoon.


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A Jumble to share

Today is one of those days where I feel like I have a lot to say, but none of it is coming together in my head in any coherent way.

Boston.  Oh, wow.  I think I am processing this the best anyone could, but it just stays with me.  The bombings happened, and since we don’t really know, yet, who or why, that’s all I have.  They happened.  Lots of people were hurt.  Three people died.  I am, of course, horrified that this could take place in my country.  My country that I thought was above this, safe from this.  Not a country where suicide bombers are part of weekly, if not daily life.  Not even a country where bombings are monthly or annual events.  The USA, the United States, America!  We are a lot of things to a lot of people around the world, but not this.  We have drunk driving that kills people, gun violence that kills people, teenage suicide from bullying, obesity, cancer from questionable food additives, blah, blah, blah!  But people do NOT regularly die in bombings here!  And the only people you hear of with limbs blown off lost them while over in one of those other countries fighting for ours!  So, I’m processing all that.

But then I see another picture of Martin Richard.  I’m sure you’ve seen this picture by now, it’s all over the news channels and social media.  It’s so dear and so sweet, and what an innocent face.  And he’s holding that poster with that message.  “No more hurting people.”  That’s not a line a teacher gave him.  I don’t know what the assignment was, but it wasn’t “print ‘no more hurting people’ at the top of the page.”  That came from him.  That came from his own heart.  Every time I see this picture I get weepy.  Somehow I just can’t process the death of this one eight-year-old.  Sandy Hook saw the deaths of 20 kids, not to mention the six adults, and it was horrible and I cried and I grieved.  Somehow, it was easier?  No, that’s not the word, just more readily processed.  Maybe that it was so big.  Maybe because there were ALL those sweet faces flashed on our screens every night for weeks, even as the networks worked to tell us a bit about each child.  Maybe it desensitized me a bit from the real pain of that tragedy.  Maybe.  I don’t know.  All I know is that Martin is harder for me to wrap my head around.  I have an eight-year-old boy, but he was just seven, a second grader, when Sandy Hook happened, just a year older than those innocents.  I don’t KNOW why it’s so much harder, but it is.  The child had just run, in utter joy, to hug his father at the finish line.  I haven’t seen any pictures of those moments, if they exist, but I can picture it.  And I do picture it.  I can’t help picturing it.  That father-son hug in a moment of triumph.  It haunted my dreams last night.

But then, I do want to talk about the other stuff in my life, because, well, it is moving on.  The main tasks in my life right now (namely feeding, cleaning, cleaning after, and supervising three kids) don’t wait for me to sit and watch the news and try to figure out how I feel about the death of a child I never met.  It isn’t my job to find the perpetrators.  I can’t help with the investigation.  I’ll get on with life and pray for all those whose jobs those are.  I’ll pray for Martin’s family, and all the others who were killed or injured and their families.  I’ll pray for me and my family.  I’ll keep doing laundry and making meals.

And potty training.  I’ll get on with the potty training.  As best I can, anyway.  I’m sort of on this ride alone now, I think.  He showed a little interest yesterday, so we jumped on that.  Two hours and four pairs of underpants later, my patience was worn out, there was half a roll of paper towel in the garbage, and Baby Bird got a mid-dinner bath.  I’m glad he showed some interest and I hope my frustration didn’t show too much, but I would not say it was a successful day.  If I get that load of laundry done, we’ll try again this afternoon.

My weigh-in was Monday.  I mentioned that I was up a bit.  Not much, just about a pound, but that’s the wrong direction, isn’t it?  As of this morning, I’d dropped that and another half-pound, so I have high hopes for next week’s official weigh-in.  I was bummed about the wrong direction of this week’s number, but really, it isn’t too bad.  Consider that last Thursday I ate a big dinner of rouladen and spaetzle at a local German restaurant in Kent.  And Saturday night I had wine and cheese with my girlfriends.  And Sunday after the hymnfest there was a wine and cheese reception, though I did call that dinner.  So, really that little bit wasn’t so bad.  I’m rather proud of myself for jumping right back on the wagon this week.  Of course, Thursday through Sunday is always the hardest, so here we go…

I have to get moving.  A couple pounds have come off, but only a few.  I have to get moving.  I know it, but I don’t like it.  I’m not going to think about that anymore today.  Maybe tomorrow.