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Hiatus II

So.  Life.  What’s going on for you all?

Me?  Oh, not much.  Just another crappy year, so far.

My husband is now into his third year of looking for a full-time job teaching English to students between 7th and 12th grade.  It’s not looking too great.  Usually I really prefer to keep a more optimistic view of things, but at this point I’m starting to wig out just a bit.  I’m getting really tired of living with my parents.  I’m getting really tired of not being able to find work because we can’t afford daycare and my parents work too much to be reliable babysitters.  For that matter, so does my father-in-law.

My husband has had three interviews.  We’re supposed to hear from the latest school her interviewed with any day now, and I’m still somewhat hopeful, although he’s about ready to give up.  He says it was the best interview he’s ever given — except for the whole part where he was, for some reason, sweating uncontrollably and couldn’t stop.  He never gets nervous enough to sweat during an interview.  Maybe they didn’t have the air conditioner on?  But he seemed to impress the interviewer(s?), so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

We just need this so badly.  I really want to get on with our lives, move out of my parents house, rent a nice townhouse or maybe a small house, live in a good school district, save for a down payment for a house, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD get off of food stamps. 

I am a fan of how well the federal government has taken care of us in this rough significant portion of our lives and our son’s life patch.  Could they do more?  Only if we, as the American public, agreed to raise taxes for the good of the whole (country, that is).  I wish it could be that way, but I probably won’t get my wish unless I move to Canada or a Scandinavian country… maybe France.

But I digress.

So, I’ve been feeling a bit depressed lately.  Weekly counseling has helped.  Medication has helped the physiological part of it.  My relationship with my parents, and the current strains on those relationships, aren’t helping.  The slowly rebounding economy (at least, I keep hearing it’s coming back — I don’t personally see the evidence of it yet) isn’t helping.  And my relationship with my husband, which has reached a certain point, isn’t helping.

We’re in “family counseling” sessions every other week, working on our marriage, in addition to my weekly individual therapy.  The policy of the office is to have each partner come in for individual sessions.  Then each partner and each partner’s counselor meet, all four together, for the group sessions.  My thought was that my husband’s individual sessions would continue.

But no.  Clearly it’s too much to ask for my husband to work on his issues while I work on mine and we attempt to work together on ours.

I’m sorry.  That was bitchy.  Let me try again.

I have come to my husband several times, suggesting, asking, and then begging him to please see a counselor on an individual basis to work on his personal issues.  It’s not like I think he’s the only one with issues — if I did, I wouldn’t be in therapy for myself.  And I understand, and have expressed my understanding, that therapy is difficult, and uncomfortable, and the only reason it seems to be easy and comfortable for me is because I’ve been in and out of counseling for more then ten years.  I’ve come to realize that I function and handle my depression best, when I am taking my medication daily, seeing a good therapist that I like and mesh with weekly, and when life is… well, easier than it’s been for a long long long long long long long long time.  I don’t need a cakewalk, but is a full-time job between the two of us too much to ask?

The good news is, my husband was able to substitute teach many days this past school year.  He was also able to acquire a position as the Education Director for our local theatre company, which is more a resume-padding volunteer position than an actual job, for what he gets paid.  That said, I hold no resentment against them.  Objectively, they are a fairly amateur company.  Subjectively, I enjoy the people involved, the productions they present, and the opportunities afforded me (auditons).  And thirdly, he picked up a temporary job with the Census Bureau.

Unfortunately, school is just about over in most districts.  Census work will end in about a month.  But, again, good news: I had a (what I thought was) pretty successful job interview last week.  I should hear sometime this week whether or not I have a job.

So, if you’re the praying type, say a quick word for us.  If not, any positive thoughts or energy would be greatly appreciated.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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Hiatus

Well, I guess that’s one resolution down the drain.

Pause for a moment.  I’m going to apologize now, because I may sound a little whiny for the remainder of this post.  Rest assured I’ll be back to my witty blogger self next post.  Just bear with me for the time being.

This is not my first blog.  I have, in fact, created four blogs to date — this one included.  With each one, I have been inconsistent at best.  Inconsistency is kind of a thing with me.  It’s on my list of things I’d like to change.

My first attempt at blogging was inspired by a close friend of mine who happens to be a mommyblogger.  She was packing (and shopping!) for BlogHer ’08 and Tweeting about it.  (Um, do I need another reason to shop?  Abso-freakin’-lutely!)  Plus, the Twitter thing just looked like fun — that was my first exposure to it.

Then she came back the next week with pictures, stories, contact info for new friends, and tons of swag.  She got cool free stuff in the mail for her review blog.  Plus, she’s actually a really talented writer.

Fame, fortune, and cool shit?  Sounded like a plan.

Obviously, this was all easier said than done.  My mommyblogger friend had been blogging steadily, probably at least a few times a week, for almost five years by the time I got started.  She had a good readership going, and like I said, she had a separate blog for product reviews.  She already had a lot of good connections with other mommybloggers, and she’d already been making money off of her blogs.  I should have known that when it sounded to good to be true, it probably wasn’t what I thought.

When I started my first blog, I wanted lots of traffic.  So I told all my friends and family all about it.  I wanted everybody to visit.  I wanted feedback from people I knew and trusted on my writing ability.  I didn’t know I was setting myself up for self-censorship.  By telling everyone I knew, I didn’t have a place to vent.  Sometimes you just need to air things out.  That’s what anonymity is good for.  I’ve since learned my lesson, clearly.

I also didn’t feel like I really had my own identity as a blogger.  I jumped on the mommyblogging bandwagon, reading the folks on my friend’s blogroll, participating in her memes and contests, and just kind of piggybacking on the contacts she already had.  It didn’t feel right.

A few months after creating my mommyblog, I created a separate blog for essays that were spiritual in nature.  I’m Wiccan/Pagan/Neo-Pagan/a blend of many diverse paths that end up being a fairly unique religion that works for me.  But I didn’t really want to put all that pressure on my mommyblog.  There’s an awful lot of baggage that goes with that particular spiritual label, and I wasn’t ready to accept responsibility for losing readers just because they didn’t see eye-to-eye with my beliefs.  I thought that by being open about my spirituality, I would be opening myself up to rejection all over again (since I’ve opened myself up in my personal life to most of those people I’m close to).

With both my blogs, I ran into the time constraints of a mom trying to work full-time, take care of her toddler son, take care of dinner, groceries, cleaning, etc., and attempt to emotionally support a husband who was in school and student teaching to get his license.  I wrote more and more infrequently, and eventually, I abandoned both blogs.  Even after I lost my job last July, I didn’t try to get back into the blogging thing.  I figured it was too late to resurrect either one of my sites.

Last November, I created a new blog, with the idea that I would start it off by participating in NaBloPoMo, and thus kick my habit of inconsistency in blogging.  (Actually, my inconsistency basically permeates every facet of my life.  This is something I’ve had trouble with for as long as I can remember, and is one of my big projects in therapy.)  I didn’t even make it past Day 2.  So what did I do?  Give up.  I told myself if it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t worth doing.  I deleted the blog.

That brings us to this blog.  I’m still having trouble with the inconsistency, the perfectionism, and the lack of confidence.  But today?  Today I am publishing a new post.  And that is good enough, dammit.

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Couch to 5K: Week 2, Day 1

Well, it certainly went better than Week 1, Day 3 on Saturday.

I didn’t want to talk about it then because I was ashamed for quitting about halfway through.  I was running outside for the first time, on an empty stomach sloshing around with coffee from that morning.  I was cold, hungry, thirsty, and jittery.  I talked to my friend Krista about it yesterday, and she asked me what I learned.  I joked: “I wanted to die?”

But really, she has a point.  I learned (with her help) to drink water steadily throughout the day before running, not coffee, to eat a small, protein-rich snack about half an hour before I run, run inside or dress more warmly, and start off a little bit slower.

Last night I ran W2D1.  I completed the workout (5 intervals: 90 seconds of running alternating with 2 minutes of walking), although I did start walking 15 seconds early on Interval 4 and 5 seconds early on Interval 5.  Had I been paying attention on Interval 5 and realized that I only had 5 seconds to go, I would have pushed through to the end.

I did have too much to eat and drink beforehand, and when I was doing my 5-minute cool-down walk, I felt like I was going to throw up.  Apparently, sitting in the sauna for a few minutes afterward helps with that.  Or maybe it was just sitting down at all.

But I feel like for the most part, yesterday went waaaaaaaaay better than Saturday.  It’s nice to feel some sort of accomplishment.  I can’t believe I ran 90 seconds without stopping!  It may sound small, but to a non-runner exercise-avoider like me, it really is an accomplishment.

Next goal: to complete Week 2, Day 2 tomorrow (Wednesday) or Thursday — depending on when I can cajole my husband and/or parents into watching my son — and run each interval all the way through the 90 seconds.

Support another mom doing Couch-to-5K!

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Fitness Plan Journal, Day 7

Fitness Plan Journal:

  • Went to bed at midnight last night.  I woke up at 8:50 AM physically feeling pretty good, weighing in at 106.0 pounds.
  • I ate breakfast at 9:40 AM: 24 Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats, Bite Size, with 1/2 cup Kroger 2% milk, and felt satisfied afterward.
  • I was thirsty at 10:30 AM, so I drank 8 oz. water and my thirst was quenched.
  • I was hungry again by 11:00 AM and ate the last 1/2 cup Kroger small curd cottage cheese, and was just satisfied, so I drank 4 oz Kroger 2% milk and felt full.
  • I was hungry again by 1:10 PM.  After fixing lunch for my son and myself, I ate a sandwich at 1:25 PM consisting of: 2 slices Private Selection (Kroger’s “posh” brand) sliced Genoa salami, 1 1/2 slices Private Selection hand crafted Provolone cheese, 2 slices S. Rosen’s dark Jewish unseeded rye bread, 1 Tbsp Kroger Classic mayonnaise, and 1 tsp Plochman’s mild yellow mustard, after which I felt satisfied.
  • At 2:30 PM I felt very thirsty, so I had 8 oz. water and felt better.
  • At 7:55 PM, I was babysitting, and I had a glass of chocolate milk, 2 slices of pizza, a piece of gum, and some SweetTarts.

Nutritional information:

  • Calories: 1042.5
  • Calories from Fat: 415
  • Total Fat: 44.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 19.75 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 122.75 mg
  • Sodium: 1607.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 118.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8 g
  • Sugars: 59.5 g
  • Protein: 49.5 g

Not included in this nutritional information are the pizza, gum, and SweetTarts.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Bedtime certainly better than the night before, although I think most nights I’d like to aim for 11:00 PM.
  • I forgot to bring the baby monitor upstairs with me when I went to bed last night, so I didn’t hear my son until about 8:45 this morning.  I feel like such a bad mom!  I haven’t been getting him out of his crib right when he wakes up for DAYS.
  • I’m still not sure why I’m losing weight.  I’ll have to look closer at this whole week’s worth of journal entries.
  • I find it pretty difficult to avoid snacking when people around me are snacking (especially snacks that are less-than-healthy) — for instance, the kids I was babysitting.
  • I thought it bore mentioning that I try to be as thorough as possible when describing what I’m eating.  This is why I include the brand name, type, amount, etc.  I am not receiving payment or reimbursement of any kind from any of these brands, manufacturers, distributors, etc.  I feel it is my obligation to you, as my readers, to provide you with all the information that I have.

Edited to add: I didn’t realize this was still unpublished.  This was for the day of  Tuesday, January 13, 2010.  Sorry!

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Fitness Plan Journal, Day 6

You know the drill.

  • Last night I stayed up watching television and doing word puzzles until almost 1:00 AM.  I guess I just lost track of time, but I knew what time it was at 11:00 PM, and I knew I wanted to write Day 5 then.  I just couldn’t seem to get off the couch.  Probably because I had spent most of my evening watching How I Met Your Mother, Accidentally on Purpose, Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, and Castle.  Monday is the only night of the week that I watch television for three solid hours.  I barely watch any t.v. at all for the rest of the week.  But I digress….
  • I woke up at 9:00 AM to my son jabbering away in his crib.  I must have needed the sleep, because I never even heard him start to stir.  Guess I’ll be going to bed earlier tonight.  I wasn’t tired at all when I woke up, nor were my muscles sore from Sunday’s run.  Weighed in at 106.8 lbs.
  • Ate breakfast at 10:00 AM: 24 Frosted Mini Wheats (that’s the serving size, people) with 1/2 cup of Kroger 2% milk.  I was just satisfied, but didn’t notice myself being actively hungry for the rest of the morning.
  • At 12:30 I was STARVING.
  • After fixing my son’s lunch, I ate a PB&J sandwich for my own lunch, consisting of 2 tbsp Kroger creamy peanut butter, 1 tbsp Valu Time grape jelly, and 2 slices S. Rosen’s dark Jewish unseeded rye bread (nope, that’s really the brand name and such).  I felt satisfied, but very thirsty.  I drank 5 oz. of water, and was still a bit thirsty.  Forgot about that, though.
  • By 3:20 PM, I was hungry again, and ate 12 Kroger grape tomatoes with 1 Tbsp Hidden Valley Ranch dressing.  I felt just satisfied.  Ate 1/2 cup Kroger small curd cottage cheese at 3:50 PM, and was still a little hungry.
  • Drank 8 oz of water at 4:45 PM.  Still hungry.
  • Ate dinner at 5:45 PM: rotisserie-style chicken, 1 leg; mashed potatoes with Olivio and au jous, green beans; felt full.
  • I was a little hungry, but mostly wanting a snack at 9:30 PM, so I had 3 Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies.  I wanted more, but told myself I didn’t need any more empty calories.  So that’s all I had.

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 1165
  • Calories from Fat: 481.5
  • Total Fat: 52.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 16.75 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 50 mg
  • Sodium: 1735 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 142 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 12 g
  • Sugars: 44 g
  • Protein: 38.5 g

I didn’t have information for the chicken, au jous, or green beans today.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I gained 0.4 lbs over yesterday.  Whatever.  Weight fluctuates.  What I’m going for is a general, gradual increase of muscle mass, that I figure will be evidenced by a higher number on the scale.  I mean, I’m not looking for a body-builder kind of figure here, just some tone and definition, and maybe a little something extra on top of that in my arms.  I like my arms.
  • Sodium is absolutely improved over yesterday.  I just find it so hard to believe that everything is SO salty!  I mean, I don’t really care about the fat content of foods or whatever, but I don’t want to be unhealthy.  I don’t want to consume way too much sodium, cholesterol, or sugar.  And some days it seems that’s exactly what I’m doing.  Cholesterol was good today.  And sugars were way better than in the past few days as well.
  • I’m pretty proud of myself for my lack of unhealthy snackage today — especially considering how poor my diet has been in the past few days.

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Fitness Plan Journal, Day 4

Today was also Couch-to-5K Day 1 for me.

Ouch.

But more on that later.

  • Today I woke up at 10:30 AM, since it was my turn to sleep in while my husband got up with our son.  I was pretty tired, but only a little hungry.  I weighed in at 107.4 lbs.
  • Ate breakfast at 11:15 AM, again the usual 3/4 cup Lucky Charms cereal with 1/2 cup Kroger whole milk.  I felt satisfied, but not necessarily full.
  • At 11:30 AM I decided to finish off the chocolate milk — 12 oz., after which I felt full, but not uncomfortably so.
  • At a little after 1:00 PM, I headed out for the Hilliard YMCA to meet with Krista and do the Couch to 5K Day 1 workout.  I’m going to write a separate post about that so I can go into more detail without screwing up my tidy system for the journal entries.
  • Spent the time from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM changing into workout clothes, stretching, warming up, running/walking, cooling down, stretching again, and changing back into street clothes.  At first I felt excited and nervous, and then dread and exhaustion set in as we ran.  By the end of it, I was pretty sure I was going to die.  I felt both better and worse as the rest of the day wore on.
  • I was pretty hungry when I got in my car at 3:00 PM, and ate an avocado as soon as I got home at about 3:45 PM.  While I was eating it, I soft-boiled 3 eggs, and then ate those as soon as I finished the avocado.  I felt full, but thirsty, and really wasn’t interested in drinking water.  I had 4 oz of Kroger whole milk, and then felt FULL.
  • We went over to my sister’s house for dinner.  While she was cooking, I had a dark chocolate/white mint Ghiradelli square.
  • My sister made cornbread chili, a recent quickie recipe of my dad’s.  I’ll get the recipe from my dad and post it later.  It consisted of cornbread, beans, tomatoes, and ground beef, with a bit of sour cream on the side.  We also had French-style cut green beans.  I was FULL.
  • Drank water from my water bottle all day, but it never reached empty.  Wasn’t really thirsty today, except while I was running.

Nutritional information I have for food consumed today (again, all produce information comes from The Daily Plate):

  • Calories: 1746
  • Calories from Fat: 545.5
  • Total Fat: 60.75 g
  • Saturated Fat: 23.52 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 712.5 mg
  • Sodium: 1984 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 246.65 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 24.7 g
  • Sugars: 123.83 g
  • Protein: 62.5 g

Thoughts and observations:

  • I feel like maybe I woke up in the middle of a sleep cycle.  So even though I got what should have been enough sleep, I still felt pretty tired.
  • I have no idea how I lost a pound and a half, since I pigged out on pizza and Coke last night for dinner.  Weird.  But I ate much better today, so I’m not too worried about it.  If I continue to pig out, then I’ll have to reassess my habits.
  • I eat cereal for breakfast every day.  I knew that.  I just wanted to make you aware that this is completely normal for me, and pretty much has been since childhood.  I may think about changing it up a bit, having a hot breakfast on weekends or something.
  • It seems that the chocolate milk became more of a temptation than a treat.  I want to be able to have treats now and again, but be able to have them around without succumbing to their wiles every day.  The chocolate milk was starting to call to me almost every time I opened up the fridge.  I’d like to say that my willpower is stronger than that.  Sadly, it’s not.  It’s something to work on.
  • I’m very proud of myself for having the avocado and eggs instead of junk when I was STARVING upon arriving home from my workout.  I imagine that those plus the milk was plenty of protein to help build muscle.  Or do you have to eat meat for that to work?  Oh well, there was beef in the chili.
  • Cholesterol seemed very high today.  The vast majority of it was, of course, the eggs.  But eggs are good for you.  As long as I don’t eat 3 of them every day, I shouldn’t have to worry about my cholesterol… right?
  • Sodium still very high.  Need more whole foods, fewer processed ones, probably.
  • Sugar also seemed high again today.  No more chocolate milk for awhile.
  • I have a headache.  I think it’s stress-related, but it could also be that I probably didn’t drink enough water today, especially considering the exercise I did.
  • I’m also hungry again.  Could be why I have the headache.

Off to find some sustenance.  Will update again with those calories, etc.

Edited to add: Felt so stressed that I drowned my sorrows in a couple of Pop-Tarts.  The nutritional information above reflects those empty calories and needless sugars.

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