Sunday, October 28, 2012


There are dishes in the sink. At least one load goes through the dishwasher every day, but what doesn't make it then, waits for the next. My usual "pile" on the kitchen table has morphed into it's own force to be reckoned with - but not today. Clothes, while folded, are stacked on the couch but will probably find their way back to the mother pile AGAIN and I'll have to refold them for the third time. You don't even want to know what my bedroom looks like. I have chosen to Hunker Down at home instead of going to Halloween parties and fun activities. And I LOVE Halloween. 

I'm in a bit of a funk. I recognize it. It's almost like it's happening right in front of me to someone else. 


I just don't know how to step in and intervene. I know I need to shake that woman in the mirror and yell, "WAKE UP!", but I just can't seem to find the energy.

I use the word "funk" because it doesn't sound too serious. And, it's usually not. I shake myself out of it, clean up my mess and go on. But usually with some making up to do. My eating, this week,  has been a bit out of control. Although I haven't had any real binges, my portions have been too big, and I've not been counting exchanges or calories. I didn't even bother to weigh myself this morning and I haven't all week. I'm sure I'm in for an unpleasant surprise. I think I'll wait until next week. What really ticks me off, is I was coming from a really good place. Now, I feel like I have to climb back up there.

Life isn't always rosy. Things get crazy and hard sometimes. I was seriously thinking about just "forgetting" to write this week's post, but if I'm going to be honest - with others as well as myself- I need to record where I am. If I don't examine these feelings and how I react to them, I will never change the behavior that follows. Eating doesn't make things easier. Eating doesn't make me feel better. The hole I am trying to fill will never be filled with food, although I keep trying to do so. I just need to find out what will. And that's what "this" is all really about. Figuring it out.

Today, at church, I listened to a second grader speak about an experience she had with prayer.  She said that she got her answer because she had prayed for help and then did not give up, even when it was hard and frustrating. She didn't expect her answer to be plopped down on her pretty little head. She knew she needed to keep working because she had asked for help and hadn't received it yet.

This week, I am going to:

  • Pray intently for help - every day - making sure I express gratitude for my good life.
  • Read scriptures daily, looking for personal revelation and guidance.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Go to the Y at least 3 days this week.
  • Walk around the block every day. Even when it's raining. 
  • Track my food - focusing particularly on my serving sizes.

What do you do to maintain your mental health?

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Mom Thing

This Mom Thing is hard. I always thought I'd be good at it. Kids have always liked me. And except for that time when my niece, Shannon,  cried every single minute her parents were away, I've enjoyed watching people's children. Based on all my experience - and I admit this sounds cocky - I thought I had this Mom Thing in the bag.

That was all before I had children of my own, you see. I was such a good parent then. I knew all the answers. 

I wish I could get that back.

I didn't come by this gig in the usual way. Lobster and I tried for a very long time, but didn't ever get pregnant. I don't know what it's like to feel my child move within me. But, I do know what it's like to see him for the first time and know that I'm supposed to be his Mother. 

Boy 1 was 20 months old when he spent his first night in our home. The poor little guy was in a new place, had a fresh cold, and (we learned the next day) ear infections in both ears. Lobster and I took turns in a recliner comforting this sweet boy through the night. I'm sure it was an awful night for him. And I sure felt for him. But, for me, it's the best thing that could have happened. Boy 1 had captured my heart a few weeks earlier at our first meeting. He wasn't to legally be our son for over a year, but holding him during that first night made me a mommy. His mommy. And he had me completely.

He still does. 

But, he pushes my buttons like no one else can. We have had a rough week, he and I. I have seriously doubted my ability to do this Mom Thing. I don't know all the answers. I don't know what to do sometimes. I worry that I'm screwing him up more than I'm helping him. 

And, by the way, I definitely haven't kicked the stress eating habit.

But then there are nights like tonight. I went in to tuck him in and sing him his songs. He first asks me if I'd like him to sing me a song. Not many get to hear him sing. He's always so worried about others watching him. He's a worrier.  As he stumbled a bit with the lyrics, I softly sang with him to help him with the words. I feel lucky he shared it with me. We had a nice talk. It sure started to fill that mom pitcher that was feeling so empty. After I sang him his songs and tickled his arms and back, I leaned in to give him a good night kiss. Our lips missed each other and he told me that that wasn't a real kiss and that I should give him 10 more. Ten more kisses for the boy who, on some nights, wipes off the quick peck on his forehead. Oh, that boy just melts my heart.

This Mom Thing is hard. But, it is THE BEST hard thing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

This weekend, some LOVELY friends of mine threw a party. And what a party it was. There was a room full of smart, funny women and lots of yummy salad, soups, and bread in one of the most beautiful, comfortable homes I've been in. There was a table of desserts, too, but I stayed away from that. There was a gorgeous little bread pudding there and I KNOW I would not have been able to control myself if I got started. And I'm not even mentioning all the other platters of deliciousness.

I think the original plan was to be out on the fantastic new deck, but unfortunately, Autumn decided to finally show up here in Oregon on Friday. I, personally, am loving the rain. It has been dry for much too long - and my yard is mucho parched. But, when I woke Friday morning and saw the rain, after my first reaction of delight, I felt sad that my friends' plans had to change, but they recovered wonderfully. It was a really fun night.

The idea was that, keeping under a $30 limit, you filled a bag or basket of your favorite thing(s). Your basket was given a number as you came in and later, each person was given a random number. As we opened the gift that corresponded with our random number, the gift giver explained the item(s) and why it was a favorite. I loved seeing all of these Favorite Things and how we were different or had in common. I hope I don't forget to send thank you notes. I generally suck at thank you notes.

I was late getting home and was a bit nervous because, with Lobster being out of town and our usual sitter otherwise occupied, I hired a sitter that has not previously spent much time with Boys 1 and 2. Now, I love those boys more than potato chips, and they are pretty cute. But they are (in my opinion) not easy kids to watch. They seem to take great pride in seeing just how much they can break, or get into, or how big of mess they can make, or like this night, do something so random that there is no way of predicting it.

Boy 1 decided to get into the electrical box and turn off the power to most of the house.

He has never shown interest in the electrical box before. Lobster and I have told the boys to stay away from it and why. The box itself is not in a high-traffic area. There is no reason for him to have been there. And yet, he was. Luckily, our sitter has little brothers and has been around the babysitting block a time or two and was calm (and probably a lot nicer than I would have been) and got things turned back on and even reset some clocks. I like that she doesn't take any guff, but is nice about it. The boys love her and I'll call her again, although I won't blame her if she turns me down.

Staying in the theme of favorite things, I'm going to list some of my favorite things that happened this week.

  1. Favorite "DOH" moment: I found out that I'm being too strict with the kindergartners while going over their letters and the associated sounds. Apparently, they DON'T need to have both long and short sounds when it comes to the vowels. One poor boy cried when I told him to keep practicing. Yes, I made a 5 year old cry for no good reason.
  2. Favorite medical news: I got a call from the oncologist's office and my biopsy has again come back negative and I don't have to go back for a whole SIX MONTHS!
  3. Favorite Weight Loss moment: I lost a little over 1 pound this week! Yay for being a loser!!
  4. Favorite Kid moment: Boy 1 has been writing in a writing journal here at home - on his own and willingly! Usually, getting him to practice his handwriting takes much stern-ness and when that doesn't work,  major bribes with chocolate. 
  5. Favorite Homemaking achievement: My sister helped me clean out some cabinets that have been bothering me for a long time. She ROCKS, by the way! She helped me take this:
And turn it into this:
And this:
into this:
And this:
into this:
I love them and I love her.  She's coming back this week to help me with this another one - and it's a doosey!  I even cleaned out the "game" closet all on my own. AND I am getting rid of a few things. Yes, folks. I decided to get rid of stuff without being told to. Thank you. Thank you, very much.

My very favorite thing of all is that Lobster is home from his trip and I don't think he's travelling again this year. I kinda like having him around.

What was the favorite thing about your week?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Good Week

This was a good week. It's amazing what a difference changing your attitude makes. It makes the dreaded diet turn into a conscious choice and that changes everything. I did have a couple of setbacks, but they didn't derail me. I twisted my already sore knee. It felt like it was going to "pop" out and it hurt whenever I bent it. It is doing better now, although still sore. I can go to the gym this week. It's been 2 weeks since I've been between the boys and myself being sick and then my knee. It's going to feel like I'm starting over.  But the pool will especially feel good.

We went out to dinner Saturday night. I kept trying to get Lobster to order an appetizer. You know, one of those lovely crispy, cheesy, dip kind of things that are so yummy. I think I asked him about 3 times if he wanted one. If he had ordered it, it wouldn't be my decision and I could eat half of  taste it. Luckily, he didn't and I ordered a meal on their 550 calories or less portion of the menu. I felt full, but not stuffed and proud that I made a good choice (and grateful Lobster did too).

I couldn't believe what the scale read this morning. I had to go back and weigh myself about 5 times and check its batteries before I believed it enough to enter it into My Fitness Pal. 3.4 pounds is a good loss! Yay me! Though, it's more weight than I want to lose each week. I'm worried if I lose too fast, it won't be permanent, like so many times before. Remember - I'm a tortoise!

I may have mentioned, before, that I have a problem getting rid of stuff. I may need that magazine that I read 5 years ago. It had a picture of a fireplace mantle that I want; Or, why do I need 5 sets of measuring cups? Or the ten year supply of plastic forks and spoons in the cabinet; Or the 1000 random screws I find all over the house. I keep them all - just in case. Maybe that's why I've been holding on to this weight. I just might need it someday. Yep, that's it.

ANYWAY, I keep stuff, especially paper. Too much, too long. It drives Lobster crazy. It makes it a pain to have company because I have to clean up all the "stuff" before they can come over. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. All you with psychology backgrounds can give me some free advice. But somehow, my youngest sister didn't get that "holding onto stuff" gene. Her home is always tidy. She does all of her dishes every night - no "soaking the pan (and whatever else didn't fit in the dishwasher) overnight" for her. She knows where to find everything. Her home feels very calm. She'll probably laugh because she's got 2 boys under 5 and so I'm sure she doesn't think her home feels very calm, but I can tell you that as a visitor, it does.

She regularly cleans out her closets. When something doesn't work, she gets rid of it. When something is replaced, the older item gets gone. She does not keep stuff. I'm telling you, I need some of that gene.

Well, she is coming over this week to help me clean out my cabinets in my kitchen. She is going to whip me and my cabinets into shape and I'm going to love it. She is going to be the little voice in my head that I'm SUPPOSED to have. I'll take before and after pictures so you can see the squalor that I make my family live with. I mean, seriously, what am I supposed to do with the mug I bought when I graduated from high school. It has my name and high school name on it. I graduated in 1988. It's sitting in my cabinet right now. Any wagers on whether it will still be in my cabinet on Friday? I guess we'll see.

Have a good week, all. This week I'm working on making sure I get enough sleep. Lobster is out of town and for the sake of  Boys 1 and 2, I don't want to turn into the Wicked Witch of the Northwest.