The Day Motherhood Kicked My Ass

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I have a confession to make…

I got a job so that I could run away from my child and then I had a mommy guilt meltdown about it.

True story.

I cried for about four hours in the middle of the night and I seriously thought I was losing my mind. Who cries over getting a job? And why wasn’t I feeling completely fulfilled with being able to be a stay-at-home-mom? It was a gift to be able to spend so much time with my baby and I was miserable. Was this normal or was I just going crazy? Did this make me a bad mom?

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This happened right after Brent returned from his trip to Missouri where he was relaxing at his parent’s lake house, visiting our new nephew.

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Meanwhile, I was at home with the girls picking up a million dirty diapers off of my bedroom floor.

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It was a shitty situation.

I tried not to feel bitter about it. But when Brent got home just in time for me to cook him dinner and listen to how tired he was from lounging by the lake I couldn’t keep the resentment from bubbling over. I was running on empty and on top of it I had added a job to the mix. Brent was only going to be home for one night before he headed back up the mountains to work for another two days. I tried to fight it but I became completely overwhelmed. I didn’t acknowledge just how overwhelmed I was until that moment when I was woken up in the middle of the night to care for Penelope and my defenses were down. I tried to go back to sleep but instead, I lost it.

The next day I woke up after only getting 2 hours of sleep. My eyes were so puffy it hurt to open them. Despite that I felt cleansed. I cried all of the bitter out and was ready to embrace the day.

So as soon as we dropped Bridget off at school I put on my sunglasses to hide my bloodshot eyes and took Penelope to the park. Our morning run was replaced with setting Penelope loose to chase after the geese where she was able to run amuck for an hour solid.

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Apparently she feels the need to run the crazy out too.

She had so much fun and was so sweaty and worn out that she took the best afternoon nap ever. She was also so lovable and cute because she was just SO happy. That’s when I decided I must be on to something.

I’ve known for a while that I needed to find balance in all aspects of my life. I need to balance me time, baby time, cleaning time, work time. I was upset about my work obligations because I was worried that they would take away my time with Penelope.

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But in reality I wasn’t really spending quality time with her… only quantity time. Instead of bonding with her I was fruitlessly trying to clean my floor while yelling at her to get off of the table every morning. That’s no good.

So that’s when I decided that the mornings after I dropped Bridget off at school I would forget about the house work, or school work, or work work and would dedicate this time as our time. A time for me to simply enjoy her. I would take her to do the activities that she loves. A time where she could run her little heart out.

That way when the day is almost over and I’ve sat down to enjoy a nice dinner I don’t lose my shit when she decides to be a dining table centerpiece with pigtails…

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Instead, I’ll think it’s funny and I’ll embrace the fact that she won’t be this little forever.

During my little break through I found a couple of blog posts to help me cope with being a stay-at-home-mom (with a job). I thought I would share them just in case you feel like you might be on the verge of being committed.

8 Ways to Be A Happy Productive Mom:

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How to Be a Calm Parent:

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The Pumpkin Who Lived

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Good news everyone, I’m not a brat anymore!

Okay, so that’s still debatable… but I’m definitely through with feeling sorry for myself. Phew! Good thing, because being super negative is actually quite tedious.

I woke up this morning determined to run until that whiny attitude went away because I was seriously getting on my own nerves. It didn’t take long. I mean seriously, how can you pout when you’ve got such a cute running partner?

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We went to Barnes and Noble afterward for a little playtime reward for being so good during the run. Her not me. That run actually sucked because I wasn’t really feeling it until near the end. (Thank you endorphins!) While we were in B&N I grabbed an iced coffee and continued my workout in the form of chasing Penelope around the store. She thought it was awesome.

When we got home I cleaned all of the things I hate to clean (because I never clean them.) I quickly decided I needed to do a better job at this home maker business so I went on a Pinterest search for a cleaning schedule to help guide my unruliness…

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This schedule was the only one I found that didn’t make me want to shoot myself. However, I’m still not sure what a “swing” day is. I’m pretty sure that’s something Brent and I aren’t really into.

It didn’t take long for me to lose interest. I decided that unruliness was the perfect way to go. Instead, I found myself distracted by the other shiny objects that you can find on Pinterest.

Like this delightful little swing I could spend an entire afternoon on…

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Maybe I’m willing to be a swinger after all 😉

Or this beach that I would love to get lost on…

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Or this Harry Potter mug that makes me so happy…

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Speaking of Harry Potter, I have discovered in the aftermath of that hail storm that one of my pumpkin plants looks like it might actually live! It’s even got a little pumpkin on it, clinging on to dear life…

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If this little guy makes it I’ll carve a lightening bolt on it’s forehead and call it The Pumpkin Who Lived!

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All of the leaves that were ripped off of the trees during that storm are dying and as I was walking through it that beautiful Fall smell that I love so much was kicked up and wafting through the air. It triggered that giddy gut feeling of anticipation and before I knew it a giggle ripped through my mouth before I could restrain it.

This happened shortly after I had a conversation with my little Harry Potter pumpkin. My neighbors have got to think I’m losing it… who knows maybe I am. But it doesn’t matter because suddenly I was reminded of all of the things I’ve got to look forward to.

Then, I was also reminded of the tight jeans and sweaters that are on the horizon. So I went inside and planned out the meals I need to make to stay on track this week 😉 I’ll share them with you as the week progresses.

Get The Damn Thing Done!

Today has been great so far… it started out like a Prius commercial. The sky was super blue, there was a nice cool breeze and everyone who wasn’t at work was out walking their dog. I seriously felt like I was in a cartoon.

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I was out of iced coffee so I loaded up the baby (still in her jammies) for a walk to the coffee shop. She ate breakfast on the way and was more than willing to share her super slimy banana with me. It was cute.

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As appetizing as that banana was I passed because I was planning on making some eggs before my morning workout at Crossfit Bodywerx. I should have taken her up on her offer though, because before I knew it an hour and a half had passed and I only had ten minutes to get to the gym.

I got home just in time to transfer Penelope from her stoller directly into her car seat… still dressed in her jammies. The whole jammie thing wasn’t cute anymore since she was caked with regurgitated cereal and smashed bananas. I was a little shaky and jumpy from only consuming coffee  but I didn’t have time to eat… I had to go!

Brent had just gotten off of work and when I arrived he had announced that our workout was going to be a conditioning one. I was really wishing I had eaten some of that slimy banana before I got there. So I guess we’ll call this workout…

You Should’ve Eaten You Idiot!

Warm-up:

Toy soldiers and spiderman lunges

Part 1:

30 seconds on 10 seconds off of battling kettlebell swings. A battling kettlebell swing is when one person swings the kettlebell and another person stands in front of them and pushes it down as hard as they can once it has been swung to shoulder height. There were three of us so we rotated between being the bitchy kettlebell pusher, the swinger and the left out loser who has to sit in a squatting position during the 30 second exercise. We stayed in position for three sets and then switched. We did this for 5 rounds.

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(Brent still refuses to take pictures so I squatted and photographed at the same time… it was awkward.)

Part 2:

Next we did a series where we wore a weight belt connected to a resistance band connected to a pole. We had to push the prowler as hard and as far as we could against the resistance. One other person pushed it right back to you and the left out loser did planks. We also did this for 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off, three times in a row before switching. We did each exercise three rounds each.

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(Brent yelled at me when I took this picture because I wasn’t planking.)

Part 3:

We had a 12 pound ball slam and a 20 pound ball slam. We had to do as many slams as fast as possible in a 20 second period of time. Rest 10 seconds while simultaneously rotating. So we started off with the light ball, switched over to the heavy ball and then rested (tried not to puke). I think we did this for three rounds I don’t remember because I was on autopilot by this time.

Part 4:

Five rounds of resistance band sprints. They aren’t attractive when you’ve got some belly fat to lose but I love them all the same. I feel like an unstoppable freight train.

By the time I got home I was REALLY ready to eat. Luckily I had some left over avocado chicken salad on hand.

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My friend Amanda was telling me about this awesome chicken salad recipe that she had pinned on Pinterest. At the same time her husband was telling Brent about this recipe that they had tried… You know it’s good if dudes are sitting at the gym talking recipes.

They have these elements in common:

2 C. shredded chicken

1/4 C. light mayo

1/4 C. greek yogurt

lime or lemon juice

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 avocado

Other than that you can add whatever elements you want to it. One has cilantro and lime another has dill. In this one I added red onion. Basically, if you stick to the ingredients above you can’t go wrong. Then you can simply add what you like to it. I usually have shredded chicken on hand because I’ll stick the chicken that is about to expire in my crock pot covered with stock and a bay leaf. Then  I forget about it and go about my business until I remember that I was cooking chicken. It’s usually falling apart by then 🙂

Anyway… yesterday I mentioned wanting to set some weight loss goals that actually have numbers attached to them. I tend to shy away from this because I don’t want to become obsessed with numbers. I don’t like letting the scale determine my self worth.

At the same time I’ve found myself stuck in a comfort zone. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I think I’m pretty awesome. This wasn’t always the case. In fact, when I first started this blog I was miserable with myself. I was trying to lose weight out of desperation. That’s never a fun place to be.

I have gotten to a point where I still need to lose a good thirty pounds to be healthy but it’s hard to stay motivated when you can convince yourself that you look good where you’re at. Let’s be honest, the majority of weight loss motivation stems from a really shallow place of simply wanting to look good. Don’t get me wrong I have my moments when I can look pretty rough. But I clean up nice. As long as I’ve showered, fixed my hair and actually put makeup on. I can look GOOD. (Given I’m not wearing something with a tight waste band.)

However, just because I know how to hide my fat it doesn’t mean I’m in the clear. So that is why I’ve decided to make some concrete goals to strive for. Goals are good because they tap into my competitive nature.

So here they are…

Long Term Goal: I want to weigh 165 or less by Thanksgiving Day. 165 is a good healthy weight for me. It was what I weighed when I got married. Thanksgiving is significant because last November is when I started writing this blog. I didn’t actually share it until January but this would be the one year anniversary of writing this blog. I want to have reached my ultimate goal by then.

Also, the holidays are a slippery slope for me. Once Halloween approaches with all of it’s accessible candy I turn into that grimlin that I’ve already talked about. I kind of want to avoid that.

Over the course of the summer I have proven that I am perfectly capable of maintaining. That will be my goal during this year’s holiday season. For once I would like to spend the holidays thinking about all of the fun I’m having with my family and not about how fat I’m going to get.

Short Term Goals: So here is where the math comes in. I have exactly 15 weeks before Thanksgiving Day. If I lose an average of two pounds a week I will be beyond my long-term goal. But I need to set up short little goals in order to actually get there. I just need to get the damn thing done!

September 27, 2013- 180 lbs

October 25, 2013- 170 lbs

November 28, 2013 (Thanksgiving Day)- 165 lbs

I know where I’m going but I can’t really think of any way to reward myself when I reach a goal. That’s where you come in. Help a sister out! I need non-food related ways to reward myself as I reach these mini goals. I would love to hear your ideas.

I would also love it if you would join me. You may not need to lose weight, in that case you can make your goals fitness oriented or even organizational… or professional. Whatever your goals are I would love to hear them as well! Good luck!

*I’m wishing you luck because I want you to wish me luck.  Kind of like when you offer someone a bite of your food or when you tell your friend she looks good… Okay, I’m stopping now.*

Week 32 Weigh-in

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Do you remember that time when I told you that I felt like each stage of life has a certain flavor to it? Well, my life is taking on a different flavor… I can smell it.

This morning when I woke up I was completely indifferent to whatever transpired on the scale. I felt like I had bigger things on my mind. I had plans. But I did my obligatory strip down and emptying of the bladder ritual anyway to fulfill my weigh-in obligations. It said 190.2… Not quite the 180’s like I had hoped but I’m not bothered by it in the least. I’ll get there.

Today, I come from a place of really liking who I am… I would totally hang out with myself.

Self-doubt is like a cancer. As soon as you free yourself from its grasp anything is possible. I’m in that place right now. I’m currently working on a writing project, one that has been a dream of mine to accomplish. It doesn’t even have to get published it just has to be completed because if it doesn’t then the story will sit in my brain and fester.

Weight loss goals and writing goals actually have a lot in common. You have to do 100% of the work up front and then hope that it actually pays off in the end. I’ve spent so much time debating on whether the effort was worth it. Then I realized that it isn’t the end result that I’m actually after. It’s the process that is so rewarding.

The truth is eating healthy feels good. When you fuel your body the way nature intended you feel like a goddess and the food you put into your body is an offering.

When you lift something impossibly heavy you feel like a warrior ready to move any obstacle that may come your way. You feel like there is nothing that can stop you from getting to where you want to go.

Writing does the same thing for my brain. It clears out the cobwebs and makes room for a world no one else can see. Then when I put it down on paper I’ve given life to something that was lifeless.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I only like me when I’m striving to be who I’m supposed to be. Everyone has an internal gauge of who they have the potential to become. We may not know exactly who that is supposed to be but we know when we aren’t living up to it. It feels like a broken promise.

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I don’t know about you but I don’t want to have to live with that regret so I’m doing something to fulfill it.

Hallucinating About Gorillas

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I have to tell you, there is nothing more delightful than waking up to creaky sore muscles first thing in the morning. (I’m not even being snarky and sarcastic.) It just makes that first morning stretch Oh. So. Delicious.

Brent ran me through a workout yesterday that made my heart beat reverberate through my ears. At one point I wasn’t sure I was ever going to catch my breath. It was awesome.

It was basically a million back squats at varying weights working on form and spending the last fifteen minutes doing as many rounds possible of 250 meter rows and pushing a weighted prowler across the gym and back. Even though it kicked my butt it wasn’t really sexy enough for it’s own blog post. Plus, Brent wouldn’t take pictures for me. He’s a butt head about that sometimes.

It was all for the better, though, because I was so beat for the rest of the day. When I got home I was going to use nap time to write a fascinating blog post for you all but I sat down and got caught up in a really good book instead.

It’s the kind of book that sneaks inside your chest, pulls back a few layers of your heart, snuggles inside and then shoots confetti through your veins. I guess you could say I liked it.

It’s called Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

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They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but that is precisely what I do. I’ll scour book stores looking for particularly attractive books that catch my fancy and then place them on hold at the library. Library holds make me so happy. It’s like finding a twenty dollar bill in your coat pocket that you had forgotten about the previous winter. As soon as I started this book I got sucked in and all writing projects were put on hold. Plus, it pairs perfectly with a chocolate zucchini muffin and iced coffee. But then again, what book doesn’t?

I’ve been on a whole baking crusade since my zucchini plants have been producing crazy amounts of produce. I’ll check the plant one night see a few small zucchini, then check the next morning and they’re longer than my arm.

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I keep baking and cooking thinking I’ll catch up with the piles of zucchini on my counter only to find a whole new crop the next day.

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It’s a losing battle, so Bridget and I made it a game of “Ding Dong Ditch”. We’ll go to a friend’s house, leave a massive zucchini on their porch (and maybe a few muffins), ring the door bell and run like hell giggling the whole way. If this happened to you then that was my love letter to you. You’re welcome.

We’ve all been a little delirious around here because Penelope still isn’t sleeping well. We’ve all handled it different ways.

Bridget has read through the entire series of Harry Potter (again) waiting for school to start…

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Brent has taken to drinking and biking…

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(He was very proud of his engineering capabilities.)

I gardened and cried… I cry when I’m tired. We’ve established this already.

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I also eat… Hence, the weight loss blog. (Duh.)

Luckily, thanks to my garden, I have a lot of fresh stuff on hand that I feel obligated to use up before it goes bad. My pepper plant no longer looks obscene since it has grown a few more peppers on it. I planted a pepper mix so I have no idea what kind of peppers I’m actually growing. I’m pretty sure they are seranno peppers so I found a recipe to use these suckers up along with an excuse to experiment with tomatillos. I made enchilada suizas and it was delicious! You should check out the link.

Now that I no longer have a book to obsess over and I have completed my obligatory blog post I’m going to take a nap while Penelope is still taking her’s. I’ve gotta catch up on this sleep or I’m going to start hallucinating about gorillas. It happened to a guy once… I read about it in a psychology course.