Finally Thawing or Maybe Not

Two weeks ago was an unusually chilly week for Savannah. (Chilly might not be the right word to use.) We actually had snow! We looked like this while playing in it…

I bundled up the kids for a run to the park. Within a few minutes, SP was begging to turn around. She normally doesn’t even notice the weather temperature when she has park time on the agenda. However, when the snow fell, she couldn’t have been happier. She’s been begging for snow. Last year, when we took our mountain vacation during Christmas, we were expecting snow. She was incredibly disappointed to leave without it snowing. (It snowed the next week…such our luck!) This Savannah snowfall was a wish come true for this little girl!

It also helped that she had hot chocolate waiting for her each time she came in from a snow adventure. It was a super special experience for her during the Christmas break.

Last week was her first week back to school. She was excited to start back and see her friends. She cares so deeply and I love that about her. Speaking of school, it is that time of year to register again. It has made me realize how fast this move to Auburn is coming…And all of the things I need to arrange. I can tell she excited to go to a new school, but sad to leave her friends here. It has helped that two other students have already moved this school semester. She makes remarks that she will be moving too and her friends will miss her. I think it helps that we are allowing her to finish the school year. Downside to that is that she will not be able to attend any summer camps. I will have her all summer long…right up my rear…along with her brother. Yaaaayyyyy…

January is usually when the gyms are crowded with New Year resolutors claiming this will be the year of weight loss. There is a major decline in participation by February though. I’ve been three times so far. Between the weather, sick kids, my unending respiratory issue, traveling, and hurting my back; my fitness has taken a back seat. (I didn’t hurt my back while working out. I was wrestling my son into his car seat when I pulled a lower back muscle. I mean, man, that made me feel old. I don’t even have a cool story to tell about it. Haha!)

I am going to see a doctor about my respiratory issue that I’ve been struggling with since Thanksgiving. I thought it was a little cold. I woke up with chest congestion and a dry cough. I never ran a fever or even felt “sick”. You know, the tired blah feeling from a cold. I feel absolutely fine, other than having this hacking wet cough (that worsens while working out), wheezing, runny nose, sinus congestion, and periodic sinus pressure. Here is the kicker, the symptoms begin to go away when I travel away from Savannah. Once I’m back, all of the symptoms hit me harder than ever.

Recently we traveled back to Auburn, AL to look at a few houses. The entire week leading up to the trip, I was miserable with sinus pressure and headaches. While in Auburn, I didn’t have one sinus pressure headache, my cough and chest congestion lessened, and my runny nose disappeared. It is the strangest thing ever. I have noticed my allergy issues have worsened with each year we live here.

I’m hoping the doctor can figure it out. It’s kind of embarrassing to be running or anything cardio and begin a burst of hacking coughs. Even SP has a cough and runny nose, now that she’s finished with her allergy medicine too. I’m convinced we are allergic to some pollutant in Savannah’s air. Growing up, I never had allergy issues; even being on a farm.

I have two recipes I will share next time that you can add to your healthy meals repertoire. I’m doing more meal prepping for myself, mainly for lunch. I already meal prep so much for LB (my son), that it doesn’t take much extra time to prep for me either. We eat a lot of the same fruits and veggies in our diet. I just have to be careful not to season his portion of the food and keep my protein away.

Until next time!

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Welcome 2018: Focus

After a two month hiatus, I thought reviving my blog on the first day of the new year was fitting. I thought about deleting it. However, after having several people ask about the blog or why I wasn’t blogging anymore, I thought better of it. I thought my hiatus would be a short term break. I was incredibly busy with my Ruth Bible study, my daughter’s school engagements, and life in general. I told myself I would blog about taking a break until I finished the Ruth study, which never happened. Each evening would pass by without a blog post. I would think of things I wanted to blog about, but never had the time to sit down to do it.

I used yesterday and today to reflect on 2017. I realized I’m still not as healthy as I would like to be. 2016 ended on a bad note. I was drowning in post-partum depression without any light at the end of the tunnel and trying to educate myself on how to be a mother to my newborn with an incurable genetic disorder. 2017 wasn’t much better. I’m still struggling with depression and anxiety. I’m still navigating this new reality as a mom with a child with a rare disorder. I’m still coming to terms with how my struggles affect me as a mom to my daughter and a wife to my husband. (Spoiler alert: It isn’t good.)

Which is why my word for 2018 is focus. I want to focus on my mental health, to continue to heal. I want to focus on my physical health, to continue to push myself in the gym and clean up my nutrition. I want to focus on my family, to be present for my kids and husband. I want to focus on my relationship with God.

What is your word for 2018 or your resolution?

Introvert Living an Extrovert Life

I think I’ve peopled too much this week. I’ve reached my peopling quota.

I’m having a hard time expressing the thoughts in my head onto this blog tonight. I’m so exhausted. I just want to eat my leftover birthday cake and go to bed. Haha!

The above is a true depiction of me every morning this week. I’ve amped up my workouts, so I’m incredibly sore too. It’s hard to quietly walk down stairs for coffee, then back up stairs to shower when every muscle in your body is screaming in pain.

I have things I want to talk about; its just expressing them in a coherent manner is an issue. First things first, yesterday was my birthday. I’m going to shock you…I turned 31. I know, I know…I don’t look a day over 20. Hubby and the kids made my day extra special. SassyPants made sure to tell everyone it was my birthday. And I do mean everyone. Haha! I thought the day was going to start on the wrong foot. I dropped my brand new tub of protein powder while screwing on the top. It spilled every where.

There were a few tears shed and a fleeting thought of sweeping it back into the tub. The stuff is expensive! I did manage to have two awesome workouts where I finished with second best times in both on Wednesday. I felt those workouts on my birthday, yet still managed to get in two more awesome workouts. When I got home, Hubby had bought me flowers and my favorite lunch (Chicken Salad Chick). That evening he brought supper from our favorite little Italian restaurant in Savannah, along with a Little Mermaid decorated cake from Baker’s Pride Bakery. Y’all, if you visit Savannah, go to Baker’s Pride Bakery on DeRenne Ave. Traffic is a pain in the rear, but the donuts are worth it. So frickin’ worth it!! Anyway, they make amazing cakes and cheesecakes. Their cheesecakes…oh my stars…pure heaven in your mouth. Let’s go ahead and admit that I’ve needed these extra workouts. My diet has been awful!

Then, today was my first day on the job. I worked with the toddlers. My word, I forgot how adorable toddlers are! I bonded with one little boy over zero turn lawn mowers and backhoes. He was a lot apprehensive about his mom leaving him with us. He cried until we gave him his paci, which his mom explained she is trying to wean from him. Finally he heard the lawnmower outside and wanted to see it. I pretended I couldn’t understand him with the paci in his mouth. He agreed to put it up to so I could pick him up to look out the door to see the lawnmower. I could tell he was still very uncomfortable. So, I pretended I was a zero turn lawnmower and he was operating me. That broke the ice with him. We played on the playground, made a bunny craft, read a bunny story, and pretended with playdoh. There was another little boy and girl with us too. I think we all had a good time together. I’m looking forward to my next Friday shift.

I also took SassyPants to have an occupational therapy evaluation for her sensory processing disorder. Honestly, this past year I have been so focused on HappyBottom’s needs and my needs; that I’ve neglected SP’s need for OT. I just couldn’t juggle all the appointments, feedings, and my emotions. I can tell you, you will never get used to hearing the affirmation that your child is atypical. I knew she had SPD and the evaluation was to get started on the OT. But, gosh, it felt like a punch in the gut when the OT began explaining her atypical behaviors. I guess apart of me just wanted to be surprised by hearing your kid is typical/normal/no worries/why are you here. I can’t explain it; but it hit harder than I expected it too. It is hard for parents of non special needs kids to understand the gut wrenching realization that your child will be different. They just will be. And you cannot do anything about it…and I have two. Sometimes, its just a lot to deal with and accept. Which is why I am so glad to have such supportive friends that understand when I need a break for me, a listening ear, or a hug to cry in. Leading the Ruth Bible study has helped too. I never expected to enjoy leading a group as much as I have. It has been therapeutic and encouraging. While I’ve been so busy with my new endeavors, it has helped me emotionally heal and spiritually grow.

I didn’t receive any feed back for blogging about the Ruth study, so for now I will just continue what I’m doing.

Y’all have a fabulous weekend, friends.

It’s A MLM Kinda Week

You are probably wondering what MLM stands for. Murphy’s Law of Motherhood: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong because it only effects mother and her tight schedule.

My entire week was slammed by MLM while I was still trying to make up things from the evacuation. Last Friday, Hubby made a round trip to Alabama to get all the paperwork settled for our new cars. He ended up having to work all day Saturday as well. Unfortunately, Friday evening I decided to give eating pizza another try. I did it not long ago, but it wasn’t from a major chain, and didn’t have any adverse reaction. I usually abstain from pizza because it wrecks my digestive system. Specifically, it causes an unpleasant IBS flare up, where I spend the day in the bathroom. This time, the flare up lasted 5 days. One night, I was in such pain, I contemplated going to the emergency room. I also lost 6 pounds and ate a ton of soup and crackers. It was one of the worse flare ups I’ve ever experienced. The fact that I was fairly stressed about such a tight schedule and nervous about Wednesday night small group didn’t help the matter. I thought the flare up cleared on Tuesday, then that night it hit again for two more days. I basically carried a bottle of pepto around with me and took a gulp before I went anywhere. Having a chronic illness can really hamper matters.

So, while all of that was going on, I was still trying to manage my schedule. Saturday, I managed to take the kids grocery shopping. I even swung into Hubby’s favorite coffee shop to buy his favorite drink and deliver it to him. Hey, my Saturday might have sucked; but his didn’t have too. I felt a little better Sunday morning, so we went to church. I drank coffee during Sunday School…and shouldn’t have. During Sunday School I inquired about a job posting within the church for a nursery worker. I was told that help was greatly needed and if I applied and passed a background check, being hired was a high probability. The days and time slots needed fit my schedule perfectly. I could not not apply, especially when I have been wanting a part-time job. I got the job!! I’m now a part time working mom! And let’s be real, I’ve had 4.5 years experience in childcare, not to mention the times I babysat as a teen and for family. I think I got this. Haha! I was still suffering from my tummy issues on Monday, so I had to skip working out. It gave me a chance to run some of those tedious errands that you push off, like buying stamps. I also received the official “you’re hired and come fill out your tax info” call, so I did that too. I have to admit I’ve been on cloud nine ever since. Tuesday I woke up feeling better. I decided to check HB in the child watch program so I could take a cycle class. Bad idea. Not only did I begin to have tummy issues later that day; but I’m fairly certain that’s where HB caught pink eye. More about that in a bit.

Finally, it is Wednesday, my big day! It is super booked too. I had to drop SP off at school, rush into Savannah during morning rush hour. I made it within a couple of minutes to spare. The appointment took nearly two and half hours. I’ve never been so thankful for the lunch program. The kids had a quick nap and off to church we went for the evening. While SP was in her JAM program, I volunteered in the kitchen. Before I knew it, it was my big moment. My time to lead a small group within the book of Ruth.

It was amazing! I was afraid no one would show or there wouldn’t be any participation. I had several people tell me they were unable to attend; but wanted to come in the future. I had a total of 7 people, two were men. (That’s a big deal! Usually its just women.) I had positive feedback about how I led the class. So, I’m excited for this Wednesday where we will discuss chapter 2. I’m thinking about making separate posts covering just the Ruth study. It is so insightful to spiritual growth during difficult times. If that’s something that interests you, let me know.

If the day couldn’t get any better, I was asked to fill in on Friday for work. Then, MLM struck. HB woke up with a goo encrusted pink eye on Thursday. So far, SP and I haven’t had any signs of it yet. Today, I spent the day snuggling and disinfecting. I can tell you I am so ready for Hubby to be back tomorrow. I know SP is too. She couldn’t wait to get in bed tonight because it is only “one more sleep until daddy comes home”. Seriously, she asked to be tucked in first and it was only 7. She has missed her daddy so much.

I am ready for a normal week though…both parents tag teaming healthy kids. Go away MLM!

Let’s Catch Up!

I’m going to go ahead and warn you…this post is going to seem a bit discombobulated. I didn’t blog at all last week, which has me a little behind on life events. Usually my Friday posts are about fitness. However, I haven’t been doing anything special from my norm in that department. (Although, in Wednesday WOD class, I deadlifted 115#.) Plus, I practiced “fitness this whole plate of food into mouth” more than actual fitness routines during the evacuation week. I did go running once, but after being chased, almost bitten by people’s unsocialized yard dogs, I gave that up. Let’s just say my pants fit a tiny bit tighter. Haha!

If you remember, last week Hurricane Irma had Florida and Coastal Georgia evacuating. We evacuated to my Grandmother’s in Alabama. Irma fricking followed us and went right over us. There wasn’t any damage or power outages where we were. Our Savannah house is fine too. We had quite a bit of tree debris within the pool…still do. Our neighbor, who sits just slightly below us on the sea level table, had slight flooding within their garage. The entire neighborhood had flooding issues, downed trees/snapped limbs, and 12-24 hours power outages. In the grand scheme of the damage Irma did to other parts, our area is fine. Tybee Island sustained a good bit of damage though.

During the evacuation, SP stayed with her NanaPop (what she has coined them). She had a blast! She visited Pop at work, saw where Nana worked, rode elevators, walked in an under-the-street tunnel, went to the zoo, rode the zoo train, made muffins, and practiced writing her letters. (That’s how how you know she’s my kid…practicing writing her letters for fun. HAHA!) Basically, SP thinks an evacuation is an Alabama vacation.

Hubby evacuated with us, but had to come back for work, since the hurricane missed Savannah. Then he drove right back to Alabama for our son’s first birthday party. He’s done a lot of driving. We both bought new cars and need to get the new tags. We were hoping to do that on this trip. However, Savannah’s mail actually goes through Jacksonville and Tampa, FL. Both of those mail facilities were shut down for the hurricane and messed up the entire mail delivery process. Our paperwork wasn’t received in time for us to do the tag process. (They received it this Monday, the day after we left.) Hubby used today to drive my car down there and back. He has to be back tonight because he has to work the weekend too. Just to make it better, he will be out of town all next week for work too. (So, when people fret about the kids and I moving back home without Hubby, because “how are we going take care of ourselves?”. Trust me when I say…I can handle it.)

The main reason the kids and I stayed the entire week in Alabama was because of HB’s first birthday party being the following weekend. SP’s school closed until Wednesday. I wasn’t driving 6 hours in heavy traffic for one day of school. I loaded my car down with HB’s party supplies and hit the road for the evacuation. I spent the week DIYing birthday projects and finalizing catering details. I will have a separate post about his birthday. It was great!

This week I have hit the ground running and scrambling to re-schedule things on top of a busy week of activities. HB had an 1 year wellness appointment, but that was cancelled. I only have Friday’s available for such appointments. With traffic, it is hard to drop SP off at school, drive to an appointment within an hour, have the appointment, and make it back in time to pick up SP from school. And guess what I’m going to attempt to do…just that! Unfortunately, the pediatrician doesn’t have any Friday appointments available for several weeks. We’ve been “squeezed in” for next Wednesday within the hour I drop SP off at school. I don’t know how I am going to make this appointment on time, much less pick her up on time too. I love our pediatrician, but his appointments are never on time and I end up there for hours. To add the cherry on top, Wednesday is our busiest day of the week with a super short nap. (Someone’s kids will be grumpy…)

Speaking of busy Wednesday, I also begin to lead my Ruth small group study.

I’m feeling all the nerves. I just hope God uses me to speak the right words to someone who needs it. This study has been such a healing experience for me too. I can’t wait to blog about this experience.

Making Changes

Happy Wednesday!

I noticed my Fitness Friday post published on WordPress, but not to my Facebook. So, I will not blog on Friday; but share my last Fitness Friday post on Facebook. Technology kills me. A small victory, I did figure out how to schedule a post to publish.

So, last Wednesday I mentioned our family will be going through some changes. Our first change was trading in my precious Audi Q7. It was an amazing SUV! Unfortunately, every time I filled it up at the gas pump; it felt like a punch in the gut. Not only did it take premium gas, but it didn’t have the best gas mileage either. When you are $2.68/gall gas in your car every week; it begins to add up. We finally made the decision to trade it in on something more economical. I’ve been wanting to try the Subaru Outback for a few years now. That’s what we did! I test drove the new 2018 Outback and loved it. Even better, it takes unleaded gas and gets WAY better mileage. It has the same safety features as the Audi, rides/handles better (in my personal opinion), and has Apple CarPlay. Overall, I am extremely happy with our trade. Not to mention we are saving a few hundred dollars a month on gas, insurance, maintenance, and payments. (Yeah, you read that right….A MONTH!)

We’ve also decided to trade in Hubby’s gas guzzler truck too. We began talking about when we truly used the truck for hauling things. Hardly ever! We just do not have the need for the truck in this moment of our lives. So, we are trading it in on something more economical too. He is looking at a Honda Accord. (In high school/college, I had a little Honda Civic. It had amazing gas mileage and lasted us forever!) Plus, Honda has come a long way in their luxury department. We are confident these cars will last us to pass down to our kids to drive.

A major factor in us wanting to make these changes is throughout the year, we make several trips to Alabama. Each trip was costing us mostly in gas! We felt like that was crazy. In a year, we’ll be making these trips even more often.

Which brings me to another announcement. It’s a bit of a doozy…

I’m coming back home!

Well, to Auburn, home.

It will not be until after May, so we have some time yet. However, I am so excited to be coming back to the Plains. We still have a lot of details to work out. It will be a huge adjustment to our family. We’ve discussed and prayed about this for sometime now. Sadly, Hubby will not be making the move with us. He has to stay in Savannah for work. It isn’t ideal not to have him with us; but we do feel it is best for our family.

Of course, I have fears with this huge change. One thing I’ve noticed is when I give my fears over to God, He always helps me see them through. I know there will be challenges; but I think they will be worth it.

Fitness Friday: Fitness Blunders Pt. 3

Well, well, my Friday was so busy that I forgot to publish my post! I guess now you’ll have to call this “Fitness Friday: Published On Saturday”. I had a one track mind once we were back home last night. Feed the kids, bed for the kids, feed us, and bed for us. I’ll elaborate more about that on Wednesday though.

This Friday’s part 3 Fitness Blunder is about being too reliant on fitness trackers. I know. I know. I have a Fitbit too. However, it is so easy to get sucked into the mindset of “Whoop, whoop! I hit my 8,000 or 10,000 steps today! Now I can take it easy.” This type of thinking will ruin your fitness results. I enjoy going for morning runs. While I easily hit my 8,000 step goal during that time, I’m not a lazy bum the rest of the day. I keep moving around. I do this for many reasons. 1) If you do not keep moving after an intense workout, muscle soreness sets in. I even go as far as to do mini stretches through out the day. I also have two rambunctious kids that I chase around, pick up all day. 2) *This may come as a shocker!* Fitness trackers aren’t an exact science…just like those pesky food trackers. Sorry guys, its true! These devices are easily tricked. For instance, say you are a teacher. You may be standing on your feet most of the day; however, you aren’t necessarily walking all day. Your arms are moving most of the day. You can rack up steps by sitting at your desk grading papers or standing at the whiteboard writing. Those aren’t taking steps. Your fitness tracker just overshot your step goal. On the flip side, during my WOD and cycle workouts, Fitbit never tracks my steps or workout. I’m not in a constant motion long enough for it to recognize I am working out. Plus, I’m not necessarily walking either. I’m lifting weights. In this case, Fitbit is under estimating my workout and steps.

Being too dependent on the fitness tracker will inhibit your fitness results.

You have to be honest with yourself. Did you really walk around that much? Walking is a great starting point for working out. Yet, it shouldn’t be your only source of exercise. Lift weights, go run, do yoga. You need an intense workout, where you become breathless, 3-4 days of the week. (Even that depends on your fitness goals.)

Do not rely on your fitness tracker as a primary source to gauge your activity level. You are most likely not as active as you think. Your body is telling you this by hitting a plateau and not losing weight. Try a different workout, evaluate your meals, and listen to your body.