Friday, July 15, 2016

Stella 9 Months

Time is flying by so fast and my sweet baby is getting so big and changing so much. 

This month was a big one as you finally got your tubes placed in your ears. It was a long time coming and I'm so glad it's behind us. You actually did great minus the hour you were awake at home and hungry. Once we got to the hospital you were super happy and could have cared less you hadn't eaten in a while. After placing the tubes, they retested your hearing and found it to be nearly perfect. Initially it meant you were really scared of a lot of stuff like toilets flushing, hand dryers, people's voices, and hair dryers. You are more clingy and having more separation anxiety issues, but I can also tell you're hearing so much better. You are following some simple directions, imitating clapping and waving, and just so much more responsive. The sleeping wasn't great after the tubes. You also cut two teeth that same week so it wasn't pretty. You were waking a lot and making mommy and daddy exhausted. With some work we've gotten you sleeping in your crib for most of the night. We ditched your "zippy suit" aka swaddle suit and the Dock a Tot and have been letting you just sleep on your belly. Getting you down isn't always the easiest, but you usually do okay once you're down. You're so interested in everything and want to know everything that's going on. Now that you're hearing better it only heightens that. With the teething and tubes you decided you no longer wanted a pacifier. It made things more difficult initially as you wanted to use me as one, but it's since gotten better. I'm bummed you don't want to take one as I felt they really helped with your sisters, but giving them up wasn't fun either. I'm hoping we're just saving that misery by you giving it up on your own. You love to babble and have a lot to say. You produce a wide variety of consonant sounds (b, n, d, m) and often shriek and squeal. You love taking baths with mommy and your sisters. If we let you sit up on your own you don't do too well because you're just so excited. You're around 14 pounds and really starting to crawl. You're moving little bits here and there, taking around two strides before falling back down to your belly. You're getting yourself far enough to get those objects just out of reach. You're so alert with your big blue eyes and are just the cutest little thing. You are so incredibly photogenic and cooperative for photos, at least for now. You'll still wear headbands and barrettes in your hair and I have so much fun dressing you up. Your sisters adore you and you love them so much. You are so bored when they aren't around or are napping and are just so happy to be as much a part of everything they do. You light up when you see them every morning. You love to eat anything and everything. We give you small pieces of whatever we are eating and you're so enthusiastic about it all. You are yet to refuse anything we have given you and you will eat so much. We joke you often eat more than your sisters. You are such a big girl already! I just love you so much sweet Stella and can't wait to see how much you grow and change into a one year old in the new few months!!

Father's Day

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Difference Betweeen Moms and Dads

I've been fortunate enough to have generally good health since my children were born. Sure, there were some days during my pregnancy with Stella that I was so sick and nauseous that we didn't do much, but I always felt physically able to care for my children when needed. 

On Wednesday we met a friend and her kids at the playground. Since Lucy had some weird rash on her chest for weeks without going away, I also made a drs appointment for after. We had fun playing and I had packed lunches for the girls that they ate while we waited to see the Dr. I started to feel a little jittery and off while we sat and waited so I quick ate a larabar.

As more time went on I started to feel worse and worse. My stomach started getting cramps and I felt super nauseous. At one point I pictured myself puking in the parking lot with my three kids. I felt awful.

I somehow got everyone in the car and forced myself to eat a big portion of my lunch as I drove home. I figured that would help me feel better. I really didn't feel much better the rest of the night. When W came home I was able to lie down some, but I couldn't figure out why I felt so terrible all of a sudden. I still helped with baths and bedtime. 

On Thursday morning I woke up feeling even worse. I was still super nauseous and still had the stomach cramps. By 9 am I was greeted by my period. I have to believe the Whole 30 had a lot to do with me getting my cycle back, but holy moly it was bad! Pop-Pop came with us rasberry picking and I felt ok. I napped with Stella that afternoon and that helped a little. By that evening the flow had gotten really heavy and things took a turn for the worse. I had a horrible headache, awful cramps, still felt nauseous, had the stomach cramps, and now was bleeding really heavy!

Friday morning I woke up feeling so awful. Like, I've never felt so awful and had to take care of my kids. W ran to the pharmacy and got me Midol while I sat on the floor curled in a ball and watched the girls to the best of my ability. I reached out for help from my in laws and mom and no one was available. My MiL was willing to meet me at a book sale so I decided I would go. Not sure how I got everyone dressed and out the door, but I did. I cried a lot of the way to meet my MiL. I felt awful and had to take care of my three kids regardless. It was a horrible feeling.

My MiL really wasn't all the helpful, even when I told her I felt awful. She just said, "Well that's unexpected." I basically had to beg her to come along for the other errand I had to do (buying a bday present for a party we had on Sunday).

I dropped her off after and had to pick up lunch for everyone because there was no way I was going to be able to make it with the way I felt. As I brought my kids into a restaurant and waited for our food I wanted to cry again. I felt seriously terrible, yet had no choice but to carry on. I felt like I could hardly stand up my cramps were so bad. 

I got the girls down for a nap and again laid down with Stella. We had a birthday dinner for my SiL that night so I was hoping it would help me feel better. When W got home we got ready and headed over to my in laws. I still felt awful, but didn't feel like we could cancel. 

Dinner was fine and that night I fell asleep early on the couch. The following morning when I got up W didn't budge when the girls were crying. I asked him what was going on and he said he had been up at 3 am vomiting. Having no other choice, I dragged myself out of bed and brought the girls downstairs for breakfast. I would be lying if I said I wasn't super disappointed and a little pissed that not only was I not getting a badly needed break, I wasn't even getting any help. I texted my mom and she was willing to come with us to the lavender festival as I had planned later. 

The day didn't go as I had hoped and I was honestly so upset with the sequence of events. I felt so incredibly horrible on Friday, yet had little help taking care of our three kids. I really had three days where I felt pretty awful, yet still got up and did what I had to. It felt so unfair that W spent the entire next day in bed. I would have given anything to curl up in a ball and sleep by myself on Friday. Of course I didn't want everyone to get sick so I gave him space, but it was just incredibly frustrating and unfair. I guess that's the difference between being a mom and dad. Moms don't get sick days. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Whole 30

The past 30 days I embarked on a personal health journey called the Whole 30. I had completed the 21 Day Fix in February and lost 9 pounds and about 8 inches. It was difficult, but it definitely reset some of my eating habits. After that, I was eating pretty well and exercising consistently, yet wasn't seeing as great of results as I hoped. I had hit a serious plateau with my weight loss and nothing was helping getting through it, not even running.  I was also insanely addicted to sugar. The Whole 30 isn't something I had heard about until recently. W and I have tried a lot of different modifications to our diets, but hadn't ever tried this one. The Whole 30 is basically a 30 day paleo diet (no sugar, no alcohol, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no "treats" even if healthy, and no MSG, carrageenan, or sulfates). As someone who has the metabolic disorder PCOS, I wanted to try this way of eating to see how it made me feel. I was craving sugar and carbohydrates constantly, drinking an obscene amount of coffee, and feeling sluggish, irritable and tired.

During my 30 days I definitely wasn't perfect as that's incredibly difficult with three young kids. To the best of my knowledge, I stayed away from grains, corn, and beans completely during this time. I had dairy a few times including a sundae once (whoops! No, it was a total once-a-summer opportunity to have one of my favorite and local fresh strawberry sundaes, so I decided to go for it). Other than that, I avoided sugar to the best of my knowledge. I ate coconut chips one night without knowing they had sugar and then finished them one other night even though I knew they had sugar. So, like I said I wasn't perfect, but it was still a huge challenge for me and I saw big changes. 

I wrote a little bit every day about how I felt and here are those thoughts. Don't judge because they were my honest feelings and struggles.

Day 1
Easy. Felt great and prepared. Didn't snack at all after dinner. Did plyo workout and it was hard but completed it. 

Day 2
Felt exhausted in the evening. Fell asleep early. Craved sugar after dinner and never felt satisfied. Definitely drinking less coffee. 

Day 3
Craving sugar. Still want sugar. Ran and it was tough but also had 5 days off. Finally ate some prunes at night and felt satisfied rather than sweets. 

Day 4
Super jittery feeling in the am despite 3 eggs and spinach for breakfast. Headache starts in early afternoon but also stressed. Ready to give in to stress with food. 

Day 5
Stella's tubes. So anxious and super nauseous in am. Less tempted by cravings throughout the day. Lunch out at jimmy johns no problem to stick to it and not tempted to stray. Fewer cravings for sugar. Slight headache in afternoon/evening.  

Day 6
Tired. Didn't do much. Ate meals at home. Still craving sweets after dinner. Ate a bunch of applesauce before bed. Stepped on the scale during the day. Down 3 pounds

Day 7
Sunday. Greek festival. Had great breakfast at home. Greek salad, gyro meat for lunch. Ate one piece of feta. SO tempted by baklava sundae!! Extra irritable it seems. Hoping to be better about exercise next week. Irritable. Kill all the things!

Day 8
Exercised in morning but felt like my muscles had zero energy reserve. Mall with Krista. Hard to resist when eating out and she gets coffee and chocolate. My meal may have had soy or sugar in the dressing. Not satisfied feeling by dinner. Frustrating day being tempted so much and not feeling satisfied. 

Day 9
Struggling. Gymnastics performance for the girls and everyone got donuts after. Felt hungry and deprived.  Def less bloated but feeling not worth it today. Made a salad and even a dressing and then the lettuce tasted bitter and bad. Disappointing. Second half of the day not as bad. Yummy dinner (walnut crusted pork and sweet potato mash)

Day 10
SO irritable and annoyed in the morning. Too much whining. Feeling like I'm going to lose it. So emotional all day. Crashed hard at night and then hr+ of insomnia. 

Day 11
Woke up hungry, jittery so had a chia pouch before Pilates 21 days fix video. Not much appetite. Better mood wise. Walt kill all things, especially me. 

Day 12 
Woke up jittery again so had a chia pouch and then went running. Felt pretty good running. Heart rate high. Felt great during the day. No cravings. Splash pad with girls. Good energy levels. Dinner with friends. Cauliflower pizza with a little cheese. Munched out big time on fruit. 

Day 13
Not too bad. Went strawberry picking and was glad was able to eat as many as I wanted. Tempted to make treats so did a strawberry and coconut milk frozen mixture. Prob not ideal, but yummy. Bought an approved snack at all stops running errands. Fell asleep early. Felt really bloated all day.  Energy levels pretty great. 

Day 14
After today halfway through! Father's Day picnic lunch. Not having hard time with breakfast but wanting treats with celebrations or on weekends. W struggling too. Got iced coffees and girls got a treat. Wishing I could have ice cream. Realizing I use any holiday as an excuse to have sweets. 

Day 15
Kate (my sister) came to visit and lunch with friend char. Not too bad. Lunch not delicious but fine. Wanted a sundae SO bad as Kate got one, so came home and ate a bunch of applesauce. Ran in the morning and felt really good. Energy levels good. Scale frustrating but also high for W so idk. 

Day 16 
Feeling low after visit with Kate. Wanted to give up so badly. Forced myself to look forward to fruit and went to wegmans. Felt much better with some (new) favorite items, especially a paleo granola I found. 

Day 17
Fine during day. Ran in morning and felt pretty good. Dave Matthews show at night. Chili cheese nachos looked pretty delicious. Can tell W is done and doesn't want to do it anymore. Not really losing much weight but trying not to lose faith. 

Day 18
Writing that makes me realize it hasn't been as long as I think. Feels really long! 

Day 19
Starting to feel like autopilot. Ran to wegmans for a few things and still wanted lunch at home. Bought something sweetened by accident and ate a little before realized. 

Day 20!
Not tough. Had picnic lunch at hike and picnic while we watched hot air balloons. 

Day 21
Sunday. Went to the lake and brought own food. Wasn't quite enough food so hungry. Wanting a strawberry sundae from dougs. Felt crampy like ovulating or something. 

Day 22
Feeling fine but sick of same foods kinda. Feeling like I'm looking forward to being done. Really wanted strawberry sundae. Called and they'll stop serving them before I'm finished with my Whole 30. Might have to get one. Ate some sweetened coconut chips instead. 

Day 23
Did leg stuff with heavier weights. Lots of sweat but feeling pretty good. Went to wegmans and found a lunch (salad bar). Was ok. Made second lunch with shaved steak and peppers and was SO good. Had again for dinner. Fruit with dinner really yummy. Made me crave sugar after less. 

Day 24
Ran 5k this morning in 32 mins and was so proud of myself. Didn't feel great doing it, but was motivated by times being announced from the app while running. 

Day 25
Did arm stuff in the morning then Green lakes beach. Not even really craving sugar but got the strawberry sundae. Super melty soupy mess. Not as good as hoped. Big fight with W. Obvious food doesn't make me happy, need to find that within. 

Day 26
Was surprised ice cream didn't bother me more. Feeling down and missing Kate. Didn't exercise today. Not really craving crap anymore. Energy really good, head feeling clear. 

Day 27
Ran 4 miles in am. Exhausting, but making nice progress with my times. Headed to Ithaca. Lunch disappointing as I thought the bakery would have more options. Got wings but they were cold and super gross not heated up. Frustrated and a little hangry. Went out for ice cream after dinner and then W came home and tried to eat everything in the house. Obviously sugar put him in overdrive. 

Day 28
Went to the lake. Super bored during nap time and then late dinner made stressful. Fireworks in Emerson park. Smelled cotton candy and scoped if out but didn't really actually want it that badly. Not that important or desired. Brought cherries and ate those. Loving all the fresh fruit options.  

Day 29
4th of July. Went to lake and had picnic lunch. Made list and went to wegmans for mostly whole 30 foods while technically done tomorrow. Got cream for watermelon as a 4th of July treat. Didn't whip but still yummy. Dairy really doesn't bother me and I know I can avoid it pretty easily. 

Day 30!!
Easy and totally habitual. Ran in the morning and wished I'd eaten a little something prior. Still decent time for running. Went to beach with friends and brought picnic. Grilled burgers for dinner. Not missing the bun at all. Finished tonight but still planning to mainly continue as a lifestyle. 

So, what did I take away from this? Well, I'm into the 130's for the first time since the year I got married! The first week of no sugar was beyond rough, but I discovered I can totally "hit the spot" with fruit rather than sweets. Sure, there's still a pretty high sugar content in fruit, but it's naturally occurring and has added fiber. I learned I don't need carbs to fuel my body, even when running a 5k. I shaved a lot of time off my mile and felt great! My energy levels improved dramatically and my coffee consumption more than dropped in half. I slayed my sugar dragon and got rid of so much bloat on my belly. I lost 9 pounds and 8.5 inches, the biggest amount on the upper part of my stomach. I'm hoping to keep up our healthy eating habits as I really don't want to go back to feeling how I was. The biggest take away was how great I felt once I detoxed from all the crap in my body. My energy levels were great, my head felt super clear, and I was motivated to consistently exercise. So there you have my honest take on my experience with Whole 30. I'll try to add before and after pics soon but need to take after pics. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

34 Months (I totally had to do the math to figure that one out)

Still loves monkeys and now Paw Patrol 
Has 4 comfort items she sleeps with (lovey, kitty, big lovey, and purple tissue)
Daddy's girl
Language has finally taken off-still difficult to understand at times
Much less frustrated and "emotionally unstable" 
Physical therapy seems to be helping with balance, strength, and endurance 
Such a big hearted girl, always thinking of her sister and wanting to help
Loves "cooking" dinner with daddy and has amazing food identification skills
Doesn't like to have her hair done other than "curls" 
Still loves the color purple

Never stops talking
Loves princess stuff, especially Little Mermaid and Frozen 
Not napping consistently but stays in her crib for "quiet time"
Loves her baby Stella and is such a great helper with her
Will go, go go when it comes to anything athletic and/or outdoors
Still loves playing with her baby dolls
Has a special headband she wears all the time and loves accessories  
Want to get her hair done in pigtails all the time
Loves the color teal and sometimes still pink 
Helps mommy exercise and is always asking to do it

I'm loving spending every day with them and watching them change and grow. They have such a close bond and really love each other so much. There is so much giggling all the time in our house and van. They are so lucky to have a build in best friend. 

I seriously can't believe their third birthday is coming up! I'm in the beginning stages of planning an ice cream sundae party for them. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

My Sister

My sister and I have been really close for quite some time. A few weeks/months (not sure) I wrote about her and how she wanted to leave her husband. When she made that decision, I was one of the first people she told. We talked about it all often, and I felt in the loop. She even would send me things about how sisters stick together as we talked about getting tattoos together. 

Flash forward to now. Almost 2 weeks ago my sister came for an overnight with her son. I had no idea how bad she was until I saw her. She's lost a ton of weight and was a shell of her old self. She barely paid any attention to her son or me. I didn't see her smile or laugh once, even at her son. This was the first time she had come to visit in at least 6 months. She spent a majority of the time sitting in her car smoking cigarettes alone. When I asked if she wanted to do anything, she had a headache. To say it was a tough visit is an understatement. I felt horrible for her and the way she was doing, but also horrible for her son she basically ignored the entire time she was here, throwing crap food in his direction if he asked. I barely felt like she spent time together because she was on her phone or smoking in her car so much. It was not the visit I had looked forward to, it was an escape for her. 

I'm really not trying to make this all about me because I know she's going through a lot personally. She's obviously super depressed and likely needs medication. I know she mentioned it initially, but as far as I know hasn't done anything about it. She's confused as she has absolutely no idea what's she doing or what she wants. Even though she moved out she's still spending a lot of time with Dave. She's going to his house every night and morning to put Benny down and be there when he gets up.

Initially she told me there wasn't anyone else despite what everyone was saying. She was adamant there was no one, just a friend from high school she was talking to as he was going through a breakup too. 

The thing is, I don't trust her anymore. As more time goes by, it's obvious she's talking to that guy. When she came out she was showing me his picture and when I commented that he was a little overweight she was like,"That's fine."  She talked about how she found some building she wanted to turn into a hair salon and he wanted to help her and back her financially. How are you not talking with/dating that person when you say things like that?

We haven't talked basically since she came to visit (almost 2 weeks ago) and that's highly uncommon. We seriously used to talk almost every day. She always called me on her drives home from work. I've called and texted and basically gotten zero reply. 

It's hard not to feel let down by my whole family. When my parents used to disappoint (which unfortunately is a pretty regular occurrence for one reason or another), my sister and I always had each other to lean on. Our last trip to Albany resulted in some serious conflict with my dad and step mom. You know, that time we drove our 3 kids 3 hours out to my step-sisters baby shower and got a hotel only to find out my kids weren't invited. My mom is spotty at best, coming and going depending on her mood. She's been "bad" since she returned from Florida in May so I haven't seen her much. I guess it feels like my family was held together by my friendship and relationship with my sister and now that's falling apart too.  

 Lately it feels like I've lost my best friend.