Hello, Provera

It’s been…not nearly long enough. I hadn’t missed you.

I’m not that late this time (day 42 and counting), but my endo symptoms have been severe. Bloating like I’m 6 months pregnant. Having to hold on to furniture to walk around the house. A near-constant headache. An increasing feeling that I have a weight in my abdomen that is tethered to my internal organs, sloshing around painfully when I change position. And, probably, the sugar cravings and the emotional roller coasters. Plus hot flashes, because everything’s harder to deal with when you’re hot and sweaty.

I’m seriously contemplating another laparoscopy. You know it’s bad when I’m considering letting them cut me open and burn blobs off my innards. Especially since I only got 3 months of relief last time.

One step at a time, though. First I have to get through the Provera again. Means my aspirations of starting a cardio class are on hold for about a month, but the need to incorporate some yoga and meditation into my day has increased exponentially.

On an unrelated note, my mother’s in the hospital again. Mild heart attack this time. I haven’t talked to her in a couple of days, but she was doing well when I visited Sunday. I’ve certainly seen her look worse. Which says something about the severity of this heart attack versus the severity of the illnesses she’s suffered these past few years. She was tired, because she’d been up all night in the ER, but otherwise seemed…normal. After a heart attack. MAC infections do not play around is the message I’m deriving here.

Anya was sick over the weekend with a virus similar to the flu that was thankfully not flu. She is better now. I’m hoping Kai and I don’t catch it. It’s supposed to be up to nearly 80 today, and warmer all week; spring is on the way. I’d hate for us to be too sick to enjoy it.



Filling up my cup. Or my candy jar.

The thought I’ve been wrangling with this week is best summed up by this comment I made on 43t:

Whatever you call that place inside you that you use to fill yourself back up when you run dry…mine’s empty right now. Nothing is filling me back up, and I can think of nothing that could.

Then, out of the blue, this happened:

In case you can’t tell, that’s two empty boxes of chocolates pictured. He helped me eat them, but he fed me most of the candy. And afterward…I felt better. Cutting back on sugar can have its downsides, it seems.

So I took a page from my friend Telly’s book and declared yesterday No Law Thursday. Whatever I wanted to eat was okay. I had an English muffin and Little Debbie cakes and cookies for lunch. Took the kids out for Sonic and ice cream after school. Then came home and ate a fistful of Tums, because I’m 43.

I feel better today. Bloated and gassy and still a bit queasy, but better. And I have some ideas about how to refill my cup.

  • Depending on my pain level next week (today I’m back to holding on to furniture as I walk, though I’m hoping some yoga will help that), I’m going to check out a class or two at the local gym. They offer childcare, and their monthly fees are affordable should I decide to go that route.
  • I’m declaring a weekly No Law day (day to be determined). I need to let go and stop stressing about food periodically, but to do so I have to put it on the calendar because I am me.
  • Likewise, I will cut back on, but not eliminate, sugar — at least for the time being. And I will happily indulge in caffeinated tea so long as I am regularly awakened in the night by hot flashes and a nursing toddler. Self-denial has its place, and that is not in the life of an already overextended mommy of littles.
  • Until I get a handle on my current workload (and my current nearly 3-year-old), I’m not taking on any additional work. I’ve worked 40 hours this week, and it nearly killed me.
  • I do still want to get back to my pre-Cesarean fitness level. But I need to come to terms with the fact that until I stop nursing, I may not be able to. So I will put together a small wardrobe of clothes that make me feel good about me right now because the self-loathing is just another layer of stress and I already have more stress than I can deal with.
  • My fitness and dietary goals will stop centering around my waist measurement and start serving my energy levels and health, because I don’t have time to be sick or tired.

All of which means I need to find a new goal to throw myself into. Just in time to start putting together our spring garden.

Rainy Sunday, with snotty raisin

I meant to open Fitbit to log my breakfast and opened my blog instead. So I guess subconsciously I want to write. Or I’m just sleep deprived and typing on autopilot. Either way, here’s the haps:

  • Kai shoved a raisin up his nose last night. He tried to sneeze it out, to no avail. I tried to suck it out with the nasal aspirator, and also tried to blow it out by closing his other nostril and giving him mouth-to-mouth, like the internet told me to do. I can see the raisin, but I can’t dislodge it. So I’m waiting for the clinic to open so someone can pull it out with tweezers. The only thought keeping me together while I wait is “at least it’s not a battery.”
  • I’m having some pretty serious endo pain this weekend. And also hot flashes, so I’m unsure that I will start my period and thus get relief from the pain. It’s…pretty depressing, to be honest.
  • The Medrol the dentist gave me for my oral virus (did I mention that? I have some sort of mouth crud that has made everything from toothpaste to food feel like broken glass on my tongue for two weeks now) is contributing to the hot flashes and giving me red clown nose. Also blinding headaches. But I ate almonds today for the first time in days without wanting to cry, so I will deal.
  • Here is life with this two-year-old: He was, just now, screeching like a banshee, at glass-shattering octaves. “Kai, can you please not do that?” I ask, wearily. “Okay, Mommy. Sorry.” And he stops. I’m torn between pride that I can have a conversation with my son (I didn’t have intelligible conversations with Anya until she much older) and frustration because he’s proven that he hears and understands me, but simply chooses to ignore me 90% of the time.
  • I have had very little sleep. I stayed up later than usual last night because I was in desperate need of me time. Then Kai’s snoring awoke me in the wee hours, which is when I was able to confirm that his congestion included fruit. Wasn’t able to get back to sleep after that, because I was too busy Googling “Toddler raisin nose removal” and trying to find a sleeping position to place him in that would prevent him from inhaling the raisin into his lungs.
  • Anya is all dolled up, but will not be going to the minor med with us because boredom is her kryptonite and I can’t handle two crazy babies on 4 hours of sleep. She is going to Mimi’s. She’s cool with the arrangement for now. But I wonder if she will remain cool when I drop her off and leave with her brother.
  • My bright spot right now is that Kai will very likely doze off on our way to the clinic, so I can have a little break from the terrible almost-threes.

Think good thoughts at me. I need them today. And a swift and minimally traumatic raisin extraction.

Keeping up with the world

I’ve been Facebooking a lot less these days. I know that the plan was for them to show me a lot more posts from my people and fewer things I don’t care about, but I’m not seeing it. Plus I’ve noticed a distinct shift in the types of things I’m seeing: Negative posts from family and friends fill my timeline and horrific, sensationalized stories flood my news feed.

So I’ve stopped checking the news on FB, and only peek in on my timeline once or so each day. I also restrict my Twitter and Instagram checks to one or two per day now. (Not that I post any less. But I’ve always considered my social media posts as a digital form of talking to myself. If I entertain anyone by doing so, that’s a bonus.) However, I’ve come to have a greater appreciation for the news in this brave new world, so I have found other ways to keep up. My two favorites are The Skimm and NextDraft — both highly informative and entertaining, and bonus points for managing to avoid bombarding me with political propaganda and stories about dead babies. (In the interest of full disclosure, if ten of you sign up for Skimm using that link, I’ll get a t-shirt or something.) 

Now I just need to sort out my social media. Because I still want to keep up with everyone. But FB is such an annoying harbinger of doom lately, Twitter is a pit of harpies, Insta’s overflowing with ads and “related posts” I don’t care about, and I’m apparently too old to fully grok Snapchat. I really wanted the 43t reboot to be the end-all, be-all, but it’s not taking off.

It’s not that I don’t care how everyone else is doing. I’m just frustrated with my current means of doing so. I used to get emails. Texts. IMs — on AIM, and before that, AOL. (On dial-up.) And way back in the day, people called me on my cordless phone with the telescoping antenna. Or even ::gasp:: stopped by for a visit, or invited me out somewhere. Seems like nobody does stuff like that anymore. If you want to know how someone’s doing, you must follow them on these sites. And the sites are a cesspool of negativity and capitalism, stupid quizzes and clickbait.

So I’ll continue to project my signal into the darkness. And I guess I’ll keep peeking in on everyone from time to time. But it’d be nice to skip the sites and get an email. Or a beverage.

Even I tire of my hermitude from time to time.

Food, glorious food

I think I’ve mentioned on here that I’m trying to come up with recipes the kids will eat. And I’m trying to trick myself into liking fruit by drinking smoothies. (PS: It’s working.) Now I’ve moved on to my most neglected meal: lunch.

Lunch tends to get short shrift. It’s always been an afterthought meal for me — a sandwich, soup, a cup of cottage cheese, hummus and chips, whatev. Something quick and portable. I don’t ever remember eating a hot lunch on the reg, even as a kid. But now I work from home — in my kitchen, no less — and I can do better.

So I am cooking a lot these days.

It has occurred to me that, as I’m already doing all this cooking, I should share what I’m coming up with. If for no other reason than for me to have my (made up and/or heavily tweaked) recipes all in one place. So I’m going to try to post one recipe each week. Go ahead and give this a cutesy name in your head — Munchie Mondays or something — because I suck at titles.

Ahem. Anyway.

So I made this thing, and it was good. You should try it.

This past week, most of the house has been sick, and I didn’t feel so great myself. Also I was crazy busy with work. Lunch was thus soup, English muffins, and other quickly grabbable things. But Friday was slow, the boys were asleep, and I had veggies getting limp in the fridge. So I made up a sammich.

Not from scratch, mind you. I based it off a recipe I used quite frequently in my cubicle days, only I modified the recipe to be flavored with ranch dressing instead of horseradish because I don’t much care for horseradish. Now I don’t much care for ranch, either, so I had to modify further. And wing it, because I don’t remember where the recipe came from. Here’s my recipe; amounts are all -ish because I only measured the seasoning.

Veggie-Cottage Sammiches

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1 tiny (approx 1/4 c shredded) carrot
1 small (approx 1/4 c cut into teensy ittle pieces) celery stalk
3/4 tsp Penzey’s Greek Goddess salad dressing mix

I mixed it all up, scooped half a cup (or thereabouts) on a toasted English muffin, sprinkled it with salt, and happily scarfed it down along with a glass of V-8. So. good.

I am going to guess this will make three sandwiches. (1 c plus 1/4 c plus 1/4 c divided by 1/2 c = 3…see, I can do math), but as I didn’t measure anything, who knows? You can always adjust the amounts to make more or less. Or just wing it; it doesn’t hurt. (I say this knowing damn well nobody else in my house is going to touch this stuff. If you’re making it to share and want to make sure everyone gets enough to eat, please do measure.)

Next time I might dial back the Greek Goddess to 1/2 tsp, but otherwise it was delish. And I have enough for a few more lunches! I’m nearly out of English muffins, but I’ll come up with something. I bet it’d be tasty on Triscuits, too, if worse comes to worse.

The Year of Calm: February

Calm’s February calendar came on my radar at just the right time. The theme is cultivating compassion, something the world can always use more of. Especially me, towards myself. So I’m in.

The first two days were easy-peasy. I already tally up all of my daily gratitudes over on 43t (which will forever be 43t to me, no matter what they’re calling it these days). And as a mom of littles, I compliment daily; it’s like breathing. Today started with me complimenting my son for correctly naming (most) of the colors on our vaporizer’s nightlight. At 4 a.m. Because he’s 2.

Some of the others will be harder. I can tell you right now the odds are slim of me buying myself flowers tomorrow. But I bought myself some new bras before my last decent bra fell apart. It’s still self-love…just less Instagrammable. But the things I bought will bring me joy a lot longer than a bunch of flowers. And no amount of flowers can make up for your underwire stabbing you in the heart.

Sunday’s I can do. While there was a time I’d have found it painful, I think I can do so fairly easily. The trick is to spend that time doing something fun and fulfilling, not cleaning the house. I’ll, ah, do my best.

A lot of the things on this list appear to be geared towards single people, or at least people without kids. I can pretty much guarantee I will not find 5 minutes next Friday to lay down and listen to a song without being jumped upon as if I were a bed. So I’m going to have to make some modifications. That’s okay, though. A modified exercise still counts. It’s only the exercise you don’t do that doesn’t.

Ask me how I know.

Dear future me: Buy your own clothes

I’ve identified a major stumbling block in my thinking: I’m trying to live in the future. Again.

I caught myself on ThredUp during a lull in my morning work, favoriting shirts and dresses I can’t breastfeed in. I’ve vowed not to buy anything to fit future me, because a) present me deserves nice things, too, and b) future me may not necessarily want a turtleneck dress, even if present me would give anything to wear one.

Oh, how I miss turtlenecks.

Ahem. Anyway.

This theory can be expanded to other areas. I’ve been tying myself in knots trying to make morning meditation/yoga work with a clingy cosleeping toddler who wakes when I leave the bed and demands to nurse for 20 minutes upon rising. I’ve tried stuffed animals. Bribes. Begging. Getting up earlier. Getting up later. Including him in the yoga. Nursing while meditating. Doing yoga on the hard kitchen floor while he shakes the baby gate and wails at me.

The point is not how do I make this schedule work. The point is that I need to wait until the schedule can work. In a couple of years, he won’t want to sit on my lap and nurse for 20 minutes upon rising. He will want to watch cartoons, or play with toys, or eat solid food. He will possibly be going to school. So I should just shelve my vision of myself as a 4:30 a.m. meditating yogi and find a routine that works with my now.

What that may be, I don’t know. I’ve toyed with taking a yoga class at the local gym, which offers child care. I’ve toyed with resuming my brief cardio routine at bedtime, though it’s hard to squeeze in some nights (and Anya’s wanting to do more extracurriculars). Or dropping everything and exercising while he naps. I’ve also toyed with just stagnating physically for a couple of years, because it’s easy and the couch is comfortable.

The problem I’m having, the problem I’m always having, is the reconciliation of who I am and what I can do with who I want to be and what I want to be doing. It’s mindfulness, in other words. The same core problem I’ve had my whole life. I’m gazing at the horizon, and I need to be looking at my feet.

When he’s grown, and my arms ache to hold a baby, I won’t give a rat’s rear end if I have flat abs. And I have years ahead of me to wear turtlenecks again.