Friday, April 29, 2016

Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run

This was one of my favorite songs in college.  In my dorm room at the University of Delaware, when I was downloading millions of songs on Napster, this was my jam!

This is also the theme song of this week.  "You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run"

It has been one hell of a week.  I have been incredibly exhausted all week.  Like going to be at 8:45 at night exhausted.  On top of that, Max has been really pushing his limits this week.  That has included a lot of back talking, throwing things and screaming.  I have tried really hard to be understanding but everyone has their limits.

Some of the more delightful moments this week have been:

  • Banging his cars against the fish tank and causing mini sunamis
  • Pouring out two bottles of shampoo, a bottle of conditioner and a tube of face scrub in the shower
  • Laying on the ground in my office parking lot and sobbing over chicken nuggets
  • Shaking out an entire bag of popcorn in my bed
But today, he really brought it home.  I dropped him at the nanny's house at 7am.  She texted me at 7:30 to say he had hid her keys and she might not be able to take him to school.  I texted back that they had an hour and I was sure she would find them in time.  8:15 I got another text that she still couldn't find the keys.  So I drove to her house, threw him in the car and raced back across town to our house.  I got to the light across the street and his bus was waiting in front of our house.  I had a mini heart attack while waiting for the light to change but finally pulled up behind the bus and hustled him on.  I finally got back to my office and got back to work.  10:30 my phone rings and it is the school, telling me that they found a set of car keys in his lunchbox..............

Given all of that, I decided we had had enough this week.  I picked him up this afternoon, drove to the grocery store, bought a box of frozen waffles, drove home, toasted these culinary delights and plopped him down on the couch to watch the Minions.  I even treated him to some M&Ms!

Everyone has those days or weeks.  And sometimes you have to accept that you can't make it any better.  You just have to relax and take some quiet time to recharge.  And pray to god that tomorrow will be a better day!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Planting a Seed

It is hard to believe, but in three weeks, I will have been a divorced lady for two years.  It will also be Max's fourth birthday.  It is really hard to quantify how much my life has changed in the last two years, let alone the four years since he was born.

I don't know if it is the anniversary of those two big life moments or the recent spring flowers that are popping up all over my yard, but I have had change on the brain for quite some time.

During our vacation I made an honest effort to unplug, even going so far as to leave my phone at home each day.  Obviously you all missed out on my super cute Instagram posts since I barely took any pictures.  But it was really nice to disconnect for a short period of time.  This doesn't sound like a big deal, but last winter, I went so far as to take my phone to the beach every day of our vacation and I was answering emails while my child was building a sand castle.  I don't want that to be my life, so on this vacation I put my phone on silent and left it that way for six days.

This big change (for me) lead to me thinking about the quality of my life.  I can't pinpoint the minute that it happened but over 10 years ago, my job took over every waking second of my day.  I was checking my emails before bed and the second that I woke up.  It was literally all I talked about.  Then I added a needy husband, a baby, a divorce, single motherhood and home ownership to the equation.  All of the sudden every second of the day was about someone else and their needs.

So I decided to change that too.  I made a promise to myself at the beginning of this year that I was going to make time for me.  And I did in most aspects of my life.  I hired a babysitter for every Saturday morning, I started working out more and eating better.  Basically just taking care of Alex!  I have tried minimizing my screen time, going back to reading paper books before bed to give my eyes and my head a rest.

But even with all of that, I found myself laying in bed last night thinking that I was just marking time.   It was the typical roller coaster of self doubt and envy.  It usually happens after trolling Instagram or Facebook.  Seeing people engaged or with new babies.  Things I would like to have but don't.  This then spirals into me saying that I would get a better job when Max finally goes to elementary school.  Or that I would start dating when he was older.  Basically saying that nothing can change for years!

So am I really making myself a priority, when I keep putting everything off till later?

I am not dissatisfied with my life.  I have worked really hard to get where I am and I am happy most days.  But this small seed was planted in my brain a couple of weeks ago and now I just can't let the thought go.

What if change would make everything better?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Post Vacation Snooze

Max and I are back from vacation and I am exhausted.  I know you are supposed to come back from vacation so refreshed but I think that is a pre-parenting myth.  So I am super tired now but we had an amazing time.

Anyone who tells you that vacations are relaxing, clearly doesn't have children.  On vacation, you are together 15+ hours a day.  Which means you are constantly entertaining a whiny little dictator.  If your child is like Max, they wake up even earlier on vacation, rarely nap and go to sleep even later.  This means there is little rest for the parental units, like myself.  This also means you have to buy a kings ransom in Matchbox cars and other bribery.  

We went down to Naples, Fl a week ago to stay with my parents.  We were there for six days and we did nothing but swim and play.  I came, I burned and I conquered.

Max was amazing in the airport and on the plane.  Our first couple of flights, when he was younger, were horrible so I have a Max-proof strategy now.  It includes toys, treats and lots of iPad time.  We only do early morning flights, I pack his backpack with new toys and I pray for the best.

He was really well behaved on the flight, which is pretty impressive for a child that can barely sit still.

Once we got to Florida we spent all of our time at the beach or in the pool.  Max is the most active child I have ever met and water is the only way to exhaust him. 

I bought him goggles and diving rings and taught him how to swim under water.  We also searched for seashells, had water gun fights and spent hours splashing each other.

This was every night of the trip.  By the end of the day, he could barely stand up and he would fall asleep within seconds of his head touching the pillows.

He is a full on surfer dude now!  He even told me that he wants to wear his hat backwards, like the "surfer dudes".

On our last day of the trip, I took him to the  Everglades Wonder Gardens, which is a historic roadside attraction in Bonita, Fl.  It was opened in 1936 as a place to stop on the way to Miami.  It was originally an alligator farm and they recently restored it.

There were alligators, flamingos and a peacock.  It was so much fun and Max loved it.

Sadly our vacation ended and we had to go home.  I made a rookie mistake of a night time flight back to NYC and it was rough.  We landed at 8pm and didn't get home till around 10pm.  The dude was so tired and refused to go to sleep till we were home.

I came back to mountains of emails, dirty laundry and a slightly traumatized dog.  We are finally starting to get back to our normal schedules but it took a lot of nap time (for both of us)!

Friday, April 8, 2016

She's Outta Here

That phrase must be said using Harry Kalas's voice, legendary announcer for my beloved Philadelphia Phillies....

Max and I are headed south for spring break.  Adios Connecticut and Hello Florida.

Six days of sun, sand and grandparent's camp.  Hopefully I will be able to grab a nap at some point because this lady is exhausted!

Friday, April 1, 2016

My Come to Jesus Moment

I started out this post, all gung ho about sharing my tips for being a healthy bitch like me.  And then I deleted the whole thing.  Because I am really tired of reading those types of articles and posts.  They show up all day long in my feed and they are all saying pretty much the same thing. 

You can't just eat a healthy breakfast.  And you can't workout really hard and then eat a whole pizza.  That was my thought process for a really long time.  And in my twenties it almost worked.  But now that I am in my thirties, life isn't so kind.

I was a hardcore runner, so I could eat whatever I want.  Or at least that is what I thought.  My first marathon, I trained hard, carbed my brains out and promptly gained 15 lbs.  One morning when I was face deep in oatmeal with dark chocolate M & Ms thrown in, I saw the light.  I had to clean up my diet.  So I did.  I joined Weight Watchers, lost those 15 lbs, trained really hard and shaved 25 minutes off of my Marine Corp Marathon time at the New York City marathon.

But I still continued to binge every weekend.  Then I got pregnant and the whole dam thing went off the rails.  And now, much to my shame, almost four years later I am still paying the piper.

When I was in my twenties, I weighed 115.  When I was running full time, I was at 130.  The day I gave birth, I was tipping 200 on the scale.  Since then, I bounce between 150 (I see you Christmas) and 140 (this morning).  Sharing those weights online makes me want to barf.  I am slightly ashamed of my weight so to share it with all of you is hard.  

No matter what I do, I can't get below 140.  I tried Isagenix, I tried Gluten Free, I tried eating only yogurt, I made smoothies.   I have tried it all.  And they have all worked up to a point.  But then I lose my focus and I start to tweak things.

Recently my Barre 3 workouts has really started to change the shape of my body.  My abs are much more toned, my legs are strong and my waist is much smaller than it used to be.  But the scale doesn't move.

And that is when I had my Ah-Ha moment.  I decided to stop thinking about the scale.  It stresses me out, makes me crazy and even makes me cry.  I am done with that shit.  The scale doesn't represent how I feel.

Are my clothes loose?  Yes they are.  I will see that as my success.

I have decided to tweak my diet in a more well rounded approach.  I am cutting way back on my sugar and focusing more on eating my veggies.  Veggies in every meal if I can.  I am not cutting out carbs but I am limiting them.  Pretzels are not the friend that they used to be.  I have also started buying more organic food.  I don't count calories.  Instead I focus on how I feel.  Am I really hungry?  Or am I just bored.

I want to be healthy and I want to be happy.  So by sharing this with all of you, maybe we can turn this horrible weight loss struggle into one of support and acceptance.  Yes I want to lose more weight.  But I am really tired of starving myself all week and then stuffing my face every weekend.

Maybe by focusing less and just living a better life all around, we can all be happier and skinnier!