Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sweet Sassy Molassy!

I am trying to encourage old school alternatives to the actual SWEARING my kids have been experimenting with lately. Where the F&*K did they learn that go$d@mn s?it anyways? (No seriously, I have the worst language when I'm not around my kids but I am pretty good about cleaning it up around them---L learned the whole list of them from an "older", i.e. 1st grade, kid who learned it from his 4th-grade cousin). B is my rule-follower who never dared utter even his version of the "S-word" (stupid) but now that L is letting the F-bombs fly (loudly, in public, "what does F&*K mean mommy? Do you know the word F&*K?) he's getting in on the action, too.

Anyways. I'm crawling out of the funk. We had a pretty nice weekend, and this week is somewhat less rainy (except today). Both boys were in uncharacteristically happy moods yesterday which really really warmed me from the inside out. B went to bed saying---completely unprompted---that he loved his day & it was all thanks to "Mommy, Daddy, my teacher for getting us the worms (they are making a worm compost bin, but first studying the little guys), my friends at school, and Daddy again for buying me a Wawa Hoagie". L couldn't stop jumping around squealing that "THE CHICKS HATCHED!"

We finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and haven't quite latched onto our next reading obsession, so just reading bits and pieces of Roald Dahl and old favorite picture books. I think I'll order "Wonder" to finish before the summer. I'm taking the summer off from Harry, we started this last one in January and the next one is even longer.

As the boys get older they eat way more, and we can't realistically cook enough to last an entire week anymore. So I've been meal planning and using inspiration from the Plated meals we've liked to try some new recipes. Chicken thighs have been surprisingly cheap and easy---rub on spice and throw in oven for 30 minutes & serve with salad with some toast for the kids on the side. Sunday I made chicken satay with peanut sauce, with simple broccoli and rice. Yesterday I made shrimp tacos with frozen peeled & de-veined shrimp & some kale/broccoli/cabbage slaw. The boys tried one little bite of shrimp and went back to their Wawa hoagies and vegetables. I want to try more vegetarian/vegan ("plant-based" if I'm being pretentious) meals because damn we finished the ENTIRE package of chicken breasts on Sunday that cost nearly $10, same with the shrimp.

My beloved GRIT class is cancelled for 2 weeks as our instructor is on vacation and they couldn't find a sub to come in at dark-o-clock and help us try to die, so I'm mixing it up. I've done a few different barre classes---I did one Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and my legs were in PAIN yesterday. I'll do Bodypump tomorrow and Friday, and then back to barre.

Oh, and thanks for the birthday wishes! My birthday is actually this weekend. I booked us to go on this "Treetop adventure" thing that opened in a nearby park, with zip lines and such, for my birthday activity. We also have a baseball game with friends, and are going to have neighbors over for a Memorial Day cookout (or cook-in, since it looks like rain). Also have a date night planned for Friday. Last couple of times we went out, we opted for spontaneity and started at a bar for a cocktail and decided what we felt like having for dinner and went somewhere we could just walk in and eat a bit, and then went somewhere else for dessert/nightcap. We are fast eaters and just going to one place ensured that we would be done way before our kids were even in bed, so this is a good way to stretch out the evening, not feel too full all of a sudden, and explore the city.

OK, there is a break in the rain, I may head home to walk the dog and work on my laptop until time to pick up the boys.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Nodding my head like yeah...

L has been really into this horrible Kidz Bop pop music lately (school! damn the "indoor recess dance party") so my head is overflowing with the cheesiest ear worm beats and lyrics.

I've been in quite a funk lately. I'm acknowledging it here as the first step to climbing my way out. Nothing actually has happened, its just that all the little things this time of year take on extra poignancy and weight. The end of the school year, another year of my life, my marriage, my motherhood. Its all getting shorter. Its a weird mix of wanting to take it all in and really LIVE IT and yet being too raw to really engage, so I distract and dissociate.

Another birthday coming up and why do I struggle with all the same things? I cope with eating and drinking and scrolling too much. And then I feel bad about myself for the time lost and the weight gained. The vicious cycle of my life.

ANYWAYS. As I tell my kids...time to turn it around. Positive thinking.

A short list of small things making me happy these days:
  • Spindrift sparking water. Cucumber is the best but harder to find in stores. The orange mango is my second fave. Not a huge fan of the berry flavor.
  • the NYT crossword. I do it every day for a break at lunch time. I can easily finish M-W, it gets trickier after that. I also do the weekend ones, which take at least 30 minutes. It sort of fulfills that "gaming" urge but is limited--you either finish or you give up--so isn't as much of a dangerous time suck.
  • Puzzles. The kids and I have taken over the coffee table for 1000 piece puzzles. We work on them little bits at a time and start a new one when we are done. Its a nice break.
  • The West Wing Weekly podcast. I still adore it and it just makes me happy to listen to those guys banter and riff off each other and try to out pun and dad-joke each other. I've been s loving the recent live events with special guests. 
I will try to incorporate all 4 of these into my day today. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Suddenly Summer

Which reminds me of that convenience food item "Suddenly Salad" which I used to love as a kid, or that show "Suddenly Susan" starring Brooke Shields and her eyebrows.

Anyways. It went from winter to 90 degrees this week. I hate to complain, but damn, what happened to spring? I had to change out our wardrobes in a hurry yesterday so we had something appropriate for today.

So many little annoyances today. Blah. I'm trying not to let it get to me. THREE separate patients calls from people who are VERY UPSET about something not involving me or their medical care but systemic issues in our division/hospital and yet I have to spend 20+ minutes talking them down from the ledge. I entrusted G to go to the boys' report card conferences, told him several times when to go, and watched him put the times into his calendar and HE MESSED UP AGAIN (I messed up last time and had the wrong dates and missed both). And more drama about this proposed construction 2 doors down and basically all our neighbors think our (4 immediate neighbors) position is wrong and anti-progress and if "you don't want xyz, go move to the suburbs" when really, I just want an honest developer with a solid (i.e. not changing every 2 minutes) plan for the development and no restaurant venting into our backyard.  Also all my clothes are tight again. FUCK it is impossible to maintain your weight after a certain age without being constantly hungry.  Plus I still have the tiniest hint of lingering pain over my left eye from the migraine I got last night after trying to go running in the evening with some neighbors. The run went GREAT, but I learned that the thing that used to happen to me 10 years ago where I would get a migraine if I ran in the evening and didn't eat immediately is still there.

OK. Vent over.

Minor annoyances notwithstanding, life is pretty good right now. Apparently the kids are both doing quite well in school right now (G finally got around to the right place and the teachers fit him in), including J's socialization. I love taking them to the park in the evening, and we even somewhat-inadvertently skipped homework once because dammit, kids should go play with other kids in the evening when its perfect and sunny outside. I can't believe there are only 6 weeks left of the school year.

Happy  May! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sunny Days

Well, not today, its drizzly and gray outside. BUT! The weekend was amazing. Even being on call couldn't get me down. Its hard to believe the weather can make so much impact on my mood, but after many months of cold and weeks of rain, the brightness and warmth really lifted everyone's spirits. On Saturday we went to the park and I lay down in the grass for a moment and felt the sun on my face. Aaahhhh. Delightful. We then went "hiking" in the park and poor doggie and MIL were all tuckered out and didn't get up the rest of the evening. The kids, of course, never ever ever EVER run out of energy except exactly at 7:30 AM on a school day when we cannot rouse them out of bed (on weekends they are up before 7).

It was actually not bad for a call weekend, and I got home around lunchtime both days and was able to enjoy the afternoon and evening. I did miss the ability to relax with a beer or glass of wine and of course my morning workouts, but overall I can't complain.

MIL is here until Saturday. There have been some ups and downs in that whole situation, but overall OK. I'm glad I'll be out tonight (book club) to get a break from the tension. She's fine when everything is going her way but there are SO MANY ways to offend or hurt her feelings, its like walking on eggshells.

In frivolous news, I have been doing some online browsing. Boden has some really really cute summer dresses, and I think I will buy myself an early birthday present of a new everyday summer dress, as my two old favorites are both faded and worn. I also need new commuting sneakers (i.e. for walking around, not for running/gym) & a beach cover-up for the summer.

What else? We are in full-on sports season for the boys, with the end of basketball classes (both L and B) overlapping with the beginning of T-ball season (L, and G as the coach) with the 5-week running series on top of it. By the way, if you have kids 2 and up who may like to run, check out the Healthy Kids Running Series---they are all over the country and do fall and spring seasons, with age-appropriate races. The 2-year olds are adorable, and the 10 year olds are FAST. B has been doing his half-mile in under 4 minutes, and he is 4th overall.

I'm reading Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye for bookclub. We went to see the play last month and it was really good but so so sad. Probably because I know what's coming, I've had a hard time finding the motivation to read the book  and I'm just over half way done. I finished Kristin Hannah's Firefly Lane this weekend. It was terrible. Really the worst. Do not recommend. So so cliche and cheesy. OMG. I only finished it because I had it on my phone and it was absorbing enough to distract me from call anxiety (plus I had no other e-books at the moment).  I need a good book soon.

But what we do have is good TV! We've been watching this season of Silicon Valley. Trying to finish up Black Mirror but that show legitimately gave me nightmares so I had to take a break and I can go back for maybe one episode a week, followed by a silly comedic chaser (reruns of The Office work well). G is excited for the new season of Westworld, and I cannot wait to have time to watch season 2 of the Handmaid's Tale---it'll probably be this summer, when the kids are away again.

Speaking of summer, we booked all our many complicated flights to visit our families. It was quite an effort and feels good to have it done, but will probably feel less good when we get our credit card bills next month. We are going to have a LOT of kid-free time this summer and I want to make sure we plan it well so that we can get stuff done at work & home AND have some fun while we're at it. Because of that, I'm not really planning many date nights for the next couple of months, but I may want dinner out on my birthday weekend at least.

Lately at work I've been all or nothing. Either totally mired in inertia and wasting time reading the news and on-line shopping or TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION (TWD) mode where I laser-focus on the tasks at hand and burn through my todo list for today and tomorrow and the next day. The problem is, I don't know what mode I'll be in until I'm in it, so its hard to really plan. But stuff is getting done, so there is that. I'm thinking today will be a TWD day, I feel that pull to finish things, so I'll end here and get crackin'!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Day 4 Day 6

I'm on day 4 of a week long call. Its going OK. More internet surfing than I like to allow myself during the day (in between rounds/consults) and at night, but I'm exercising, eating well, etc...

I'm also on day 6 of a two-week long MIL visit. see above.

I am dreading this weekend. Its like a double-hit of stress. Going straight from managing who-knows-how-many patients in the hospital to managing MIL's delicate feelings and my kids' behavior.

Since I'm complaining, I'm over over OVER the cold. I've come around to being able to actually embrace winter...when it is winter. Once April hits, I'm just done with it, though. I want to be able to be outside more, comfortably. The poor kids were nearly frostbitten after the T-ball game last Sunday! Also, my MIL's feelings definite include dislike of cold weather and she is taking it as a personal affront, which I get to hear about every day. Yippee!

Good things? My kids love being picked up by her after school (and having their bellies and brains filled with treats and screens). G and I can both go work out on the same morning, which means I can get my workouts in during the week, since I can't on the weekend. We won't really have time for a date night, but maybe we can squeeze in a post-dinner drink out next week.

But man, I'm mostly just physically and mentally tired right now. One day at a time.

Friday, April 6, 2018

"...To Change Her Mind"?

Its right there, in the subtitle of my blog...the reason I started writing here was to organize my thoughts in the hopes that this would spark some sort of evolution that would ultimately lead me to acceptance of my "real adult life".

My initial reaction when I remembered this, was "ha!" I'm exactly the same person, only more gray hair, wrinkles, and cynicism. But on further reflection, while my outside life is pretty much what it was 6 years ago, my inner life has changed dramatically.

I actually have focused a good portion of my energy on improving my state of mind, and through therapy, meditation, medication, exercise, socializing, and yes writing, I think I'm in a pretty good place. I'm still working on it, still searching for that ideal balance between striving and acceptance,  dialing down my reactivity so that I don't yell so damn much at my kids, and substituting healthy austere coping mechanisms for wine and carbs. But even being able to articulate what I am working on is a huge HUGE step forward from the constant chaos of anxiety and overwhelm I was dealing with back then.

Anyways, just some deep thoughts on a gray and rainy Friday morning when my first two patients have canceled. The snow (!!!) in the forecast for tomorrow has been replaced with rain, which still leaves our schedule a bit iffy with the first spring running club and T-ball game on the docket (and basketball in between, but that's indoors at least). I have to drive the kids in the car solo for the first time which I'm a bit nervous about. We also have to do our &^$*% taxes. Oh well. Maybe we'll have some pizza to make up for it.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

In like a lion...

Yes I'm back. Yes I did do the things I said I was going to do (finished 2 papers and submitted a pilot grant) plus some other stuff that came up. No, I don't think staying away from blogging had anything to do with that, but having one less distraction certainly didn't hurt!

What else? Lots of snow storms, social events, watching the boys play basketball, reading Harry Potter, getting into a social media war with a developer trying to build near us, and trying to find a dinner all 4 of us can eat.

And, oh yeah, we bought a car! A BIG ASS car. No clear reason, I just started feeling...limited...when it came to weekend adventures and errands. And we had money saved up for many years for "possible future car". So we discussed it, researched it, went to the dealership, and came home with a used Honda Pilot.

G and the boys are driving around in it as we speak, doing errands and getting lunch. They are on "spring break", which is truncated to three days this year, so they can push the school year to August instead of the lovely post-labor day opening I'd gotten used to over the past few years.

Tomorrow afternoon we'll go visit my sister for a couple of days, which the boys are VERY excited about, and Monday I took the day off to hang out with them, though I think probably just do chores and go to the park.

Anyways, it looks sunny outside and is supposedly 60 degrees so I'm going to finish up two more things I had on my list for today and head on outta here. More thoughtful posts in store for next week. Happy Passover-Easter-April Fool's Day!