Thursday, November 8, 2018

Light Blue

Guys, I'm digging really deep to make it through this week without losing my shit. Its just a cluster&ck of awful/stressful/just busy, including but not limited to:

1) I think (hope) I am at the peak of the P@xil withdrawal. Waves of anxiety and nausea throughout the day and waking me up at night, and just overall feeling ready to cry or scream or both at the drop of a hat

2) I'm sick. Sore throat/fever/coughing etc... Like legit sick where I would love to stay home and rest but I can't because...

3) I'm on call. Thankfully not for the weekend, so I just have to drag myself through 2 more days, but the service is getting busier and busier. And literally each night I've been woken up by a call JUST as I've finally gotten to sleep and then am up for another hour.

4) The election was, of course, super stressful and I stayed up way way too late on a group chat while results came in and am swinging (still) wildly between optimism (so many house seats taken by an incredibly diverse group of women and men! but mostly women!) and despondency (if this election was really a "referendum on tr&mp" then this is not good news and man I'm sad that some of my absolute favorite candidates across the country just barely didn't make it). Underneath all of that though, I do feel a deep pride and inspiration in my friends near & far who put so much work in registering voters, canvassing, texting...I'm inspired to do more in the future.

5) Its just an overall unusually busy week. L was sick so we had to work around that on M/T (yes that's where I got it from). The kids had Tuesday off and half-days Wed/Thurs/Fri for report card conferences. I have to go to these conferences this evening---and then rush to meet friends for the first in a season of shows at a local theater we are going to see together. My parents came last night and while its helpful on the childcare front and I am very happen to see them, its still people in my house I have to feed & make plans for and...well, you know.

I really really hope I feel better by the weekend so we can take advantage of the babysitting and get out! And I've got a "work-cation" next week (work-related conference, but I'm staying with a friend and not planning to do too much work-work and just immerse myself in the conference)

Anyways. Off to round.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Some Sirius Fun

Bullet updates! Better late than never!

  • We did run the race! In the cold & rain! L ran the 1.5 mile loop and B continued with me for the second loop and ran his first 5K in 33 minutes! I was so proud of him!
  • And then we went straight into my new favorite way to socialize as a family: the boozy brunch playdate. We prepped this amazing casserole Friday night and popped it into the oven, set out fruit and salad and pancakes and the kids grazed and played for hours while the grownups had mimosas and chatted. 
  • Sunday it was not raining, so I was inspired to put up the Halloween decorations and paint pumpkins---we did Harry Potter, Hedwig, and Platform 9 3/4. They were amazing and I will try to add pictures if I have time later. 
  • I made two big pots of soup: this African peanut soup (I used kale instead of collards) and this curried cauliflower (I subbed lime for lemon zest, vermouth for wine and used chicken broth since we had it). Both were thick and hearty and made a full meal served over rice. 
  • I've mentioned this before but I really love Halloween in our neighborhood. Its Everything except the candy part. The weather was beautiful this year, in the 60s, and just getting outside and walking & seeing friends & neighbors was great. 
  • G made B a BRILLIANT costume---he went as Sirius Black in the "wanted" poster---he created a whole foam board box, with lights, that he wore with shoulder straps and his face was in the middle (tough to explain...). I would say maybe 20% of people "got" it, but those that did were really impressed. L was jealous at the attention---he was a super cute Harry himself, and quite honestly made out like a bandit by being able to sneak in and grab candy from all the bowls, while B was hindered by the huge box around his body! I borrowed a robe, greased my hair, and put on a dark mark tattoo so I could be a very low-key Snape.
  • I buckled down like a madwomen and analyzed data to create a poster that I ordered as custom fabric online. I HATE carrying a huge poster tube on the plane and I really wanted to try it, but the turnaround is slow and my poster is in 10 days. I am super proud of myself!
  • Definitely not committing to writing daily this month but I AM trying to figure out a regular blogging schedule. I have thoughts and ideas I want to share, and I am missing this space. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Back to the surface

After feeling like I was underwater for a while, I'm feeling like a normal human person again, and the latter part of this week has been great in lots of ways.

Weekend plans:

1) Brunch at our house after a rainy 5K tomorrow AM (honestly, I'm about 50/50 on actually running, but if the kids want to do their 1.5 mile race, I will brave the rain with them and continue on for the extra miles).

2) Making soup! Its 100% soup weather. I'm actually planning on making TWO KINDS this weekend: curried cauliflower & African peanut, because G asked for the peanut but I also happen to have a cauliflower I need to use.

3) Splitting up the boys for some time both days so that we don't have to deal with the fighting and hitting and yelling. I don't care which kid or what we do, but o.m.g. I need a break from the constant shenanigans. Options: library,  grocery shopping, Halloween costume assembling (for B...details to come), board games

4) Putting up the Halloween decorations. I had no energy. It rained. Then I was out the past few nights. Poor L has been asking me literally since October 1st and I've put him off for some reason or another (usually "I'm tired" and "its raining" and "I have to make dinner").

Anyways, trying to finish up and go get brunch groceries before I get the kids and we go home for pizza and early-ish bedtime (because the run is at EIGHT AM and we need to be there early to pick up our bibs). The kids don't get up until 7:30 on weekdays, and its weird to have to get them up even earlier on a weekend but maybe they will go to bed early Saturday night? ha. ha ha ha ha ha.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Just can't get enough....

Sleep, that is. Or rest, really. Restful sleep?

I've been so so so so tired. I've stripped down my life to the core essentials and yet I still struggle to make it through the day lately. I've been needing 8-9 hours of sleep which...doesn't leave a lot of room for anything else.

I decided to talk to my psychiatrist about getting off the P@xil, because its a known sedating drug, so I'm on a slow wean off. I went last week from 25 to 20 mg and this weekend to 15 mg. When I get to 10 mg (and I keep putting this off because I'm a little scared), I'm supposed to add some Proz@c because there are real psychological withdrawal symptoms with coming off P@xil, apparently.

If anything, I've been even more exhausted as I've lowered the doses. I'm trying to be kind to myself---I'm sleeping in, eating a bit more (I was also constantly hungry since I was trying to lose weight), skipping workouts and unessential tasks. I get my work done, take care of the kids, and go to bed. I definitely notice that I'm more anxious and overall more emotional. I feel kind of nauseous (eating helps) and achey all over (compounded by the flu shot I got Friday!)

I skipped a camping trip with the boys and stayed home this weekend to organize winter clothes, meal plan & prep for the week, and generally take care of things so that I could conserve energy through the week.

I just want to feel like myself again. I hope this medication change helps.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Humpty Dumpty had a great...

Hello again. I've been swinging wildly between immense joy and delight in spending time with my family and friends and...utter despair and rage at my realization that more than half the inhabitants of this country are misogynistic racist insert word for horrible people here.

And then there is the usual stress of work and home and life in general. I'm still trying to lose weight, and get an R01 and publish papers and increase my clinical RVUs and exercise and spend time with my husband and kids and keep the house in semi-reasonable order.

Highlights: L's birthday weekend & sister visit. Kid-Free friend outings including Harry Potter quizzo brunch. Low key date night with yummy pasta and wine. A paper got accepted! (2 got rejected, but I'm revising them now).

I'm on a call week/weekend now, and its going OK so far. I'm using this week as a time to really focus on good habits and NOT treating myself with junk food & junk media. I used a bit of unexpected downtime yesterday to write my list of 100 dreams (inspired by the Best of Both Worlds podcast). I had actually started one last year and only made it to 30, so I changed a few (why did I want to make a cheesecake? Or meditate for 30 minutes? And I already went to see Hamilton) and added 70 more. I realized that there was some low-hanging fruit in there so I officially made a list within a list of the 7 things I want to do this fall:

1) Go camping with the dog (we are planning this for later this month!)
2) Try hot chicken (going to Nashville for a conference so I can make this happen)
3) Do a 5 minute plank (I actually was able to to this a couple of years ago, I just built up to it using a plank challenge program and I can do it again!)
4) Laser hair removal on my legs/bikini area. I started doing my armpits this summer and its awesome. I'm going back next week for another session and will schedule the leg/bikini session for November, when my tan will be fully faded (you can't do it if you have a tan)
5) Take the kids to a Broadway show. B wanted to go to New York around his birthday to see the big Christmas tree and stuff and I'm looking into getting tickets to Lion King or Matilda
6) Try crossfit. There is a gym nearby. I will go there one day.
7) Find the perfect cute/comfy/warm sweater/layer to wear in my office. I am browsing online and have some contenders of sweater/fleece hybrids WITH THUMBHOLES! It is FREEZING in my office and I throw on this ugly fleece with our work logo on it but I'd like something I can actually keep on when I run to a meeting

And that is it. I see a few more things that may actually get done this fall, but no big reaches for right now. "Go to South America" and "Write a book" will wait for another season in life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Community, Books, Food, etc...

Happy Wednesday people! Its been a regular ol' week around here so far. We had such a fantastic and exciting weekend without even leaving our neighborhood! For the first time in a long long time (maybe since May?) we were all here and the weather was actually nice enough to be outside. We spent nearly the entire weekend at various parks and it was glorious. Saturday we went to the riverside park---B on his bike (he can finally ride, though starting and stopping is a challenge) and L on his two wheel scooter. G and I got some active time in, chasing them around, and then friends happened to show up and I got some socializing as well. We then headed to the boys' schoolyard for a back-to-school festival. EVERYONE was there! I volunteered at the activity table, caught up with and met so many parents, and ate delicious tacos. Dinner done. Sunday we had a brunch playdate with one of L's besties from daycare. They have a bunch of different food allergies so I was challenged in creating a gluten and dairy free feast. I think it was OK but the frittata just wasn't the same without cheese. Friend stayed over for more play and park and then another neighborhood friend came over and we had 4 boys fighting with lightsabers and for one amazing moment it was...perfect. My kids, their friends, on a sunny Sunday at our house in the city...that perfect happy kid chaos that is everything I ever dreamed of. And then someone poked someone near the eye and I had to break up the game and then someone was hungry and we had to head back outside and then they fought about what kind of tag to play and it all fell apart was a moment. 

A quick list of recent reads:

1) Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton. This was well-written and really fascinating but also quite long and took forever. I almost gave up except that B, who is obsessed with the musical, kept asking me to tell him everything about each chapter, and G was also interested in the history, so I kept it up in service to my family. I do love learning about history. I'm really into politics and current events and it is impossible to fully understand today without the relevant background of yesterday.  I'm going to seek out more American history non-fiction. Recommendations welcome. 

2) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. This was fast-paced and quick, but complex. I'm going to suggest it for my book club because it is right up our ally and will lead to a good discussion. I'm not sure who I was rooting for or what I wanted to happen in the end. 

3) The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Hinton. Highly recommended for fans of Just Mercy, this is the true account of a wrongfully imprisoned death row inmate that Brian Stevenson helped free. I cried more than once, but was also unbelievably inspired. The positive attitude and atmosphere Hinton was able to cultivate really provides perspective for my day to day grumbling. 

4) I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Maria de los Santos. This was just what I needed after some really heavy stuff (and the wrongful accusation themes of the last 2 in particular) I love all her books, the way she writes about romance/love is like she took a peek into my head when I was in my 20s. Its so perfect its right on the edge of cheesy, but she usually doesn't fall over. She revisits the characters from Love Walks In and Belong To Me, and the familiarity was cozy.

5) Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertali. Speaking of cozy....I'm halfway through so far and this book is.... ADORABLE. I want to be in this family, this close-knit group of quirky friends, this theater club, all of it. Its so cute I almost can't stand it, I want to pinch their cheeks and hug them all. Obviously a YA novel but a must-read for anyone. I also love that its set in the south, but the progressive south, a setting that I would consider underrepresented in modern lit. 

Back to back playdates and being at the park late led to us ordering a pizza on Sunday night instead of grilling our own. And Monday was B's social skills and L's soccer at exactly the same time so we all got home at 7. G miraculously pulled together a meal of TJs freezer delights and I was shocked that both kids at the veggie and shrimp potstickers! We bulked up the meal with some naan and leftover fruit salad from brunch. 

So now we have several meals on our meal plan to get through! Last night I made Korean-style tacos with ground chicken seasoned with onion/garlic/ginger and a yummy gyoza dipping sauce and topped with Asian slaw (slaw mix marinated in rice wine vinegar and soy sauce) and kimchee (for the grown ups). Again, surprised that my kids ate most of this, though they did pull out most of the slaw. Tonight its fish and salad, with toast for the kids, tomorrow will be leftover tacos, and Friday we will grill the pizza I guess. 

We are going camping with our next door neighbors Saturday night. We honestly don't hang out with them much, we invite them over often but they are wishy washy and tend to back out at the last minute a lot and haven't invited us over once in all these years! They missed the other two camping trips to their son's dismay, so we settled on this weekend and no one else can come so its just the two families. I hope its not too awkward. They have a 5 year old in KG at the boys' school and he gets along great with L but that'll be good. The dad is super friendly and will talk your ear off but seems to have trouble organizing plans and the mom seems a bit standoffish though when I've talked to her she's really nice usually. I know they are going through IF, she's had several MCs and has retreated somewhat socially (according to the husband who really will tell anyone anything apparently). Maybe this will be a good chance to forge a stronger relationship? 

Anyways. Lots of updates all in one, if I have the chance to write again this week I have some topics in mind! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Acceptance and Expectations

I'm almost positive I've talked about this before, because it is something I've always found challenging. I just don't really understand the whole concept of self-acceptance or self-love or whatever you want to call it. I don't know how to push myself to be the best I can be without at least a tiny little bit of self-loathing.

How do you find motivation without that critical inner voice? I get to work and tell myself "ugh, don't be lazy" and "you will never succeed without working harder" and I get stuff done. I remind myself "you certainly do NOT need that" and poke at my belly to resist the urge to snack or get seconds.

If I start thinking "kindly" to myself, there is no incentive to change my habits.

I know the answer is to think of yourself as you would your kids or a good friend, you want them to be successful and healthy so you encourage the good habits without denigrating their character. I would never call or imply that anyone  else is "lazy" or "fat". I know that positive reinforcement  is way more effective than criticism.

That inner voice, she's a hard-core bitch. But she can be effective. Until I tell her to fuck off and there go the good habits again. Its an endless cycle and I need to get off that ride. How does one expect more for themselves  while still accepting that they are "enough"?