Monday, August 18, 2014

The Hoodie

So parents, back me up on this one. You have a few favorite outfits that your kids wore when they were smaller, right? Those outfits that you see in pictures and smile. And you wish your kid was smaller so they could wear that adorable thing again. Right?

So I'm packing the girls' clothes for a camping trip. And I'm looking for my favorite hoodie. It's green and turquoise, and matches a little outfit that's actually NOT made of girly colors. And it's so cute. (And rare in our world of pink and purple!) And LittleDebbie will look adorable in it. And I can't find it. I want that hoodie. I've looked everywhere. And it's nowhere to be found. And I'm going crazy. I need. That. Hoodie.

This is normal, right?

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Year

We celebrated a huge milestone yesterday.
We've survived a full year of having 3 kids. 
In other words, Happy Birthday LittleDebbie!

So much has happened in the past year:

  • I grew out of and back into my old clothes.
  • I forgot was sleep was like, then was reintroduced to it again. 
  • LittleDebbie transformed from a tiny bundle of preciousness to a smiley bundle of perpetual motion. And perpetual trouble. 
  • I learned to keep track of 3 different bodies moving in 3 different directions at 3 different speeds. 
  • I learned that I can fail at meeting my goals daily. But I still need to try again the next day. 
  • I learned to translate she-said/she-said disputes into a semi-predictable "so she did this inappropriate act, and then you did that inappropriate act" format. Is this how Judge Judy got her start?
  • I broke my addiction to sugar. And then rekindled it on vacation. I have a trip to rehab planned for my near future.
  • I put in a lot of mileage driving a little girl to and from school. 
  • I watched that little girl transform into an even bolder and brighter version of herself. And I watched her become a sensitive and doting big sister to an increasingly adoring baby sister.
  • I watched our middle child become quirkier and funnier, and watched a fire ignite that pushes her to keep up with her older sister. And a sulking stubborn streak develop. 
  • All three girls became stronger, taller, faster, and more capable at just about everything.
  • My husband became even more adoring and doting towards our little gaggle of girls. Simultaneously, he became more adorable. And sexy. (We'll see if he actually reads my blog posts and reacts to this one...)
  • I realized how much motherhood has changed me. And more recently, I realized what I want the next 6 years of motherhood to look like. 

It's been an amazing year. I can't wait to see what happens this next year! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Date

So I went on a date today. And not with my husband. He knew I was going. He even chuckled when I told him.

I was surprised when I was asked out. A little flattered, but surprised. I was momentarily creeped out. It was a clinician asking me out at the end of the appointment. I wondered if it was crossing a line somehow. HIPPA training didn't prepare me for this....

"We should get the kids together sometime. Maybe at the playground?" Our kids are different ages. It wasn't about the kids really. They were just an excuse to get together. I paused for a moment before answering.

"That sounds great! Which playground do you go to?" We frequent the same playgrounds. Surely it's innocent, right?

Yes, I was hit on for a Mommy Date. And I accepted. Yes, I have trouble seeing my existing friends as often as I'd like. But why should that stop me from meeting other mommies and making other friends? There is so much frustration and judgement in the life of a parent. And it's really hard to make new friends. I need as many familiar faces and smiles as possible as I go though my days. I'm not positive that we're a perfect match. But she's really nice, we have a lot in common, we had a nice playground outing and picnic, and I think she wants to see me again. And I want to see her again. And I think that all counts as a good date.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Checking In

We're still here. We're actually all doing quite well. We're having a great summer, and we're quite busy. I'm not the type of person who likes to keep us running all day, so this busyness is a bit exhausting and disorienting to me. And it causes me to curl up in a ball and not blog. Or make phone calls. Or emails. But really, we're fine, I promise.

We had a great vacation to see BestestHusband's extended family. The girls had a blast with their cousins. And I had some quality time with my sister-in-law comparing notes and trying to navigate the world of being married to men from BestestHusband's family. (It's a pleasure and a conundrum, all at the same time.) And we ate a lot of good food. And drank a lot of beverages. And spent a lot of time on a lake. And it was grand.

Then we came home and I got a visit from an old college friend, and got to meet her two kids. There were 5 kids aged 5 and under in the house. It was pandemonium. And a cacophony. But fun. We even made a visit to the art museum, which was a fun adventure. I mean, where else should you take 5 young children? But my girls can't wait to go back. Well, maybe HeyMama can't wait. MeToo was upset that there was no toy room like the science museum. 

Then we took the older girls to Tanglewood. There's nothing more magical than listening to the Boston Symphony play music you grew up loving and playing, while sitting under the stars and drinking wine. Unless it's doing that while snuggling a cold bored 4 year old in your lap. (As an aside, when planning a fancy picnic, read all ingredients carefully. The "fancy lemon drink" I bought for the girls was a lemon shandy. I assumed it was like a lime ricky. Shandy, ricky, whatever. I did not learn until we opened them at the picnic that a shandy has alcohol in it. Trader Joe's did not do me any favors by featuring these bright yellow cans at the end of the aisle, away from the rest of the beer. Thanks a lot, TJ's.)

Then I hosted a few friends for an evening of facials while BestestHusband and the big girls watched the Lego Movie at our local park. Now the girls want to watch it again when our friends' housing association plays it again this week. I guess at least I'll get to watch it. With great skin.

Somewhere in all of that BestestHusband and I celebrated our 9th anniversary. One night in his hometown, we actually snuck out after kid bedtime, went to a bar on the waterfront, and enjoyed uninterrupted conversation while ordering cocktails that perplexed the bartender. (Unfortunately, it wasn't that difficult. Expectations for a great evening out change after 3 kids). We discussed the next year of our marriage. I'm greatly looking forward to all that it might hold. 

And then there's the daily grind. We go to the gym. We go to playgrounds. We go to the library. We meet up with friends. We wait for the baby to finish napping. We go to the farmer's market and have everyone ask to pet the dogs. And ask if all 3 girls are mine. And ask if we're trying for a boy next. (the answer's no!) And choose produce based on color. (We got purple carrots!) And then get cookie treats and face-painting.

And somehow the summer is racing by. Wow. I'm not sure how. There's so much we still need to do!!!

So forgive me if I've been a bit distant. My goal is to blog more often, even if the posts are shorter. 

See you soon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Realistic Expectations

If, at the end of today, I can truthfully say that I kept the baby alive, I will consider my day a resounding success. Good gracious this child is into everything!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

On and off the wagon

Hi. It's been awhile. Sorry about that. I'm not sure where all of my time goes, but it obviously hasn't gone towards blogging. 
Right now my time is spent at the crib side of an overtired, fretful baby. She should have gone to sleep over an hour ago. But she's too cranky to let herself do it. So here I blog, trying to keep her from freaking out because she's fretful and alone. 

I've been asked a lot lately about how the No Sugar diet is going. As I mentioned about 3 months ago, I've cut out added sugar from my diet. Well, I've almost cut out added sugar. The problem is that it's in almost every packaged food you get at the store:  bread, tortillas, hamburger buns, chips, crackers, cereal, etc. if you notice, those are not food items known for being sweet. Those are the "bland" and sometimes "salty " items. And they all have sugar in them. Pasta sauce does, as does ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, and most other sauces and condiments. It's everywhere. And it's scary. 

So, unlike a friend of mine who gets joint pain when consuming sugar, I haven't managed to cut it all out. Because I don't suffer when I eat takeout pizza. And many of the store-bought staples I listed above. Because I haven't committed yet to making my own mayo and ketchup. But maybe I should...

Occasionally I'll let myself have sugar. Because occasionally I crave something desperately. Like a Klondike bar. Or a brownie. So I let myself break my sugar fast. And it tastes so good. And then I want more sugar. So I have it. And I want more and more. Some of it tastes good. Some of it's pretty awful. And I feel nauseous. And my head feels a bit funny. And the first day of re-detox is tough again. And after all of that I'm glad to return to my new lower-sugar lifestyle. I've plateaued after losing 8 lbs. I haven't counted a calorie or cut back on anything other than the sugar. I've actually piled on the fat - butter, creamy cheeses, etc. It was the sugar that kept the baby weight on.

Here's the problem with a low-sugar life. It's really hard to do. Even just logistically hard. Want a summer cookout with burgers and fries? You have to make your own buns, ketchup, mustard, mayo, fries, and dressing for the pasta salad or potato salad. Let's not even get started on no-sugar snacks or desserts. 

Do you have time to make everything for every meal? Can you afford a chef to do it for you? 
What, no? Hmmm, what to do?

I've adjusted my habits and expectations quite a bit. The girls wanted cereal bars for a snack the other day. I ate matzo crackers with parsley pesto. And it was good. I don't have jelly on my toast any more. And I don't miss it. But filling convenience foods are hard to find. And pricey. And let's face it - most of us need convenience foods and snacks from time to time. Especially if you're trying to run multiple errands with small children.

I believe that I can continue with this lifestyle, especially if I allow myself occasional lapses. I just know that I'll suffer for them later, and I'll need to make sure the sugared food is worth it. I'm trying to figure out how to wean my children off of sugar. One of my girls can take-it-or-leave-it. One of the others demonstrates addictive tendencies, like me. How do I remove more from their diet without making them aware and reacting by eating more of it when they can? This is my challenge. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Road to Sobriety

First, a disclaimer:
I'm not trying to compare my struggles to those of alcoholics or drug addicts. By no means am I trying to minimize what they go through or elevate my experiences to theirs. No, I'm just trying to highlight how dependent I became on sugar - that it was my drug of choice. And trying to break the addiction has been very hard for me. 

I've been sober for 3 weeks now. I decided that my relationship with sugar was an unhealthy one, and that I needed to part ways. I needed to give up on sweets - chocolate, baked goods, candy.  They were my crutch when I was unhappy, bored, or hungry. And I didn't want to be dependent on them anymore. So I gave up added sugar. Fruit and dairy sugars were fine. They weren't what my body craved, and they had lots of healthy things attached to them. But cane sugar? I declared it my enemy. 

The first week of detox was hard. I paced and cried. I was in serious withdrawal. My body itched for sugar. I was miserable. 

The second week was easier. I felt a little better, and was encouraged by this change. It convinced me that I was doing the right thing. 

The third week was even better. My taste buds are changing, re calibrating. Things that didn't used to taste sweet now do. Things that used to taste bland now have more flavor. I'm developing an appreciation for sourdough bread. And coffe with cream instead of milk and sugar. 

Last night I went to a grown up birthday party. (Happy Birthday Debbie!) A beautiful Oreo ice cream cake was served. Previously, I would have found a way to justify having a second piece. But now, it didn't seem as appetizing. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything by not having any. This is a huge change for me. Huge. 

So I'll keep going. 

I must admit that I haven't avoided all extra sugar. It sneaks in through odd doors: pita, crackers, veggie dip, mustard, vanilla yogurt, multigrain bread. Avoiding it completely requires that I make everything from scratch. And while I generally cook a lot, making my own ketchup and mayo are a bit further than I'd like to take this. 

But I'll keep going. At some point, I'll start eating natural sugars, such as honey and syrup. I'm not sure when. Maybe when I've stopped losing weight? I'm still 10 lbs above my ideal. And giving up sugar has reduced that from 13. Maybe by then, I will have morphed into one of my little old ladies at the hospital who bites into a piece of fruit and declares, "Ooh, too sweet!" 

One can hope.