Thursday, 27 February 2020

Right Now Winter 2020

Reading: After plowing through The Babysitter’s Club and Shelia the Great, I hit the jackpot again at the Library book sale and purchased Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and What If I’m an Atheist? A teen’s guide to life without religion for $1. AYTGIMM was really important to me while I was growing up. As my mother was Catholic and my father was Lutheran, they joined a generic Congregational church and like Margaret, I got to decide if I wanted to go through their confirmation process. I probably agreed just because some of my friends where taking the classes. I think there may have been a guy I fancied and I saw it as more opportunity to spend with him. The only issue is that I couldn’t be confirmed as I hadn’t been baptized. I got to select my god parents and was baptized (drops of water on the forehead and everything) in a private ceremony days before the big confirmation on Easter Sunday. Also like Margaret, I got my period during this time. I would go on to chose Atheism in my adult life, hence I bought the other book too. 

Watching: Lots of MSNBC. Meet the Press. Real Time with Bill Maher. Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver.
 I’m starting to get annoyed at This is Us again. I find it a bit inconsistent that Rebecca is suffering with memory loss in the Thanksgiving episode, then she’s totally lucid while she’s on a retreat with Kate. I still find Kate to be rather pathetic and while I’ll agree that CrossFit people are totally obnoxious and annoying, I didn’t like how she resented him for losing weight without her. Uh, wait are your waiting for Kate? 

Drinking: I left the house without making my coffee this morning, so I stoped at Starbucks. I was going to get a high calorie fru-fru drink since I rarely ever go to Starbucks, but I opted for a Coconut milk latte. I was kicking myself for paying nearly $5 for the same drink I make a home, but it was only 130 calories. 

Eating: I just discovered that I can balance my little Baby Bullet container of Humus in the console of my car and I snacked on celery and humus while driving to pick up Kate from school. 

Loving: Warmer weather! It was 70 degrees today and is forecasted to hit 76 later this week. Jackets no longer needed! 

Anticipating: Our letter of acceptance or wait list placement from Kate’s kindergarten application. We find out the week of March 11. Time seems to be passing quickly, but as my stomach has been in knots while we’ve been waiting, it feels like forever. 

Hoping: Joe Biden does not win the South Carolina primary. Actually I hope he does poorly enough to convince him to drop out, but I don’t think that will happen. Don’t get me wrong, I have respect for the former VP and I was rooting for him to be Obama’s pick in 2008, but he is the candidate I feel is least likely to defeat Trump. 

Worrying: Everything about this election. I’m worried if Bernie is the nominee. I’m worried if someone other than Bernie (especially Biden) is the nominee. I’m worried about losing the majority in the House if Bernie is the nominee. I really hope we can flip some Senate seats. I’m worried about Russian interference. I’m worried that we won’t have a fair and free election. I’m worried that even if the Democrat wins, Trump won’t leave office. I’m worried that we’re fucked majority.

Browsing: Searching for flight. Kate and I are going to visit my parents in South Carolina for her spring break. 

Celebrating: Husband’s recovery. He had minimally invasive surgery on his Achilles three weeks ago and was on crutches with his ankle in an immobilizing boot. Just after he was able to start putting some weight and walking on only one crutch he complained of having some back aches one night. I was recovering from the cold from hell, so we figured he was coming down with it too and he went to bed right after dinner Presidents’ Day. He woke me up around 11:30 sitting on the side of the bed winching in pain complaining that his ribs hurt. He had already taken Motrin and had been sleeping with a heating pad and neither had touched the pain. He looked in agony and I actually thought he might throw up due to the pain. Then he started apologizing for waking me up and disturbing my sleep. This was a bit unusual. Husband is a whiner. Big time. He’ll come back from the gym and moan and groan for days about how everything hurts as he seeks attention and sympathy. Then I saw that Tyler (who is at best indifferent to Husband) had a concerned look on his face. Animals know when something is wrong. I decided we would go to the Emergency Room. I thought he might have a spontaneous pneumothorax. 

Fortunately when we arrive at the ED, it was a slow night and he was able to be seen right away. Kate and I decided to go home as she had her Kindergarten interview the next day. Husband planned to get and Uber home. My alarm went off at 5 to wake me for swimming. I looked over and noticed that Husband hadn’t come home. I had forgotten to unsilence my phone and started reading the multiple missed text message. He had been admitted after they diagnosed a blood clot in leg that had traveled to his lungs. 

So, not what I was expecting to hear… Despite the life threatening nature of a pulmonary embolism, he remained stable and was discharged in less than two days. Physically he’s doing well, but mentally a bit shook up. He’s also was really disappointed as he will won’t be able to umpire at all this year, but he started to embrace the silver lining and see this as an opportunity rather than a setback. He wants to lose some weight (which will happen just by the fact that he can’t drink on his anticoagulants!) and focus on regaining strength once he’s cleared to go back to the gym. 

Preparing: My Costco shopping list. I’ve been trying to stretch it so I hit Costco every other month and I think the only reason why I’ll make it to March is because February is a short month. 

Finishing: This post which I started two days ago -ha! Actually I just paid off my credit card bills. 

Subscribing: Nothing at the moment. I didn’t renew Kate’s subscription to High Five as we have a lot of untouched issues. I think I’ll start her with Highlights once she learns to read on her own. 

Going: To run a half marathon! My first in nearly five and a half years. I started doing some training runs on Sunday mornings and I actually pulled off my best 10 K time since Kate was born even while I was recovering from a cold. 

Listening: to a Nutrition podcast.It’s been pretty interesting although I don’t think I’m learning too much new information, just a better explanation. However, I’m discovering I don’t as much need information about what I should be eating; I need help not eating those things I shouldn’t be eating! 

Monday, 27 January 2020

Kate 4.5

We made it to four-and-a-half! Kate is very particular about telling people that she is four and a half and not just four. Behavior wise, we are at a much better place then when I was writing her four year old update. Some of the suggestions from The Difficult Child were helpful. The portable digital clock was effective, the goodie plate not so much. Mostly I think she just needed time to work out what ever issues that instigated the regression, but I feel that is one of the greatest challenges of parenting -when to know what is ‘just a phase’ and when to know when to intervene? Sometimes the explanations are apparent. My parents came to visit for two and a half weeks over the Christmas holiday, we had a few parties and hosts guests at our house. Then my parents left. A few days later Husband went away for the better part of two weeks and Kate was left with me and Tyler. She became especially clingy during our morning routine; wanting me to dress her…needing me to keep her company when she goes potty… following me around like a shadow. I know there will come a time when she’ll want nothing to do with me and I’ll be longing for these days, but really, is it too much to ask just to go to the bathroom alone?

Height 42 inches
Weight 48 pounds

Eating:  While my parents were visiting for Christmas break, Husband, Kate and I went out to a holiday party for his work. When we returned we found my parents sitting in front of the fire drinking wine and eating out of a box of Che.x Snack Mix. Kate asked if she could have some, and my mother responded that it was late and “she probably ate enough at the holiday party”. She then followed up by asking “What’s your weight goal Kate?” TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE QUESTION TO ASK HER! I informed my mom as I ushered Kate to her room as it was way passed her bedtime. The next morning, I noticed that my parents ate half of the box. I was tempted to throw the ‘weight goal’ comment  back at my mom, but I didn’t as that would be a dick thing to say. 

A few days later, we hosted my aunt and uncle for dinner on Christmas Day. I served a Frozen II themed cake for dessert (because that was all that was left at the Safe.way bakery when you wait until the last minute and pick up a cake after work on Christmas Eve). Kate ate the frosting off her piece and asked her another slice of cake. I quietly replied that she was only going to get one peace of cake. Once again, my mom asked Kate about her weight goal. I fucking lost it and blew up at my mom. I called her out on the fact she can’t give Kate multiple temptations (she put candy canes on our tree, gave Kate in her stocking and they made seven different types of cookies) and then shame her. As I excused myself to do the dishes, I heard my dad mumble something about my mom bugging him about his weight goal.

My mom joined me in the kitchen to let me know that she thought my response was inappropriate and ‘hurtful’ to her. I stood my ground and said it was absolutely justified given that this was the SECOND time I had to tell her that her words were inappropriate and furthermore, most anorexics cite one specific comment that triggered their illness. I had to stop her before she utters something when Kate is older and more impressionable. I also informed her that asking someone about their weight goal is a dick thing to say to anyone, especially when it comes from someone who has never struggled with weight issues. “Well, what are you going to do about her eating?” She turned the tables to me.

Here is where I have to admit even before her words, I have been concerned about Kate’s eating and her size. While I don’t bring many snack foods into our house (Fruit Snacks, Z-bars and crackers are our staples) I feel I’m too lenient when we go out. Kettle corn at the Farmer’s market. A cake pop from Starbucks while we’re shopping. During the CrossFit Open last autumn, I had to bring Kate to the gym and I know she gorged on cookies and cupcakes from the pot luck table, while I was warming up and competing. I checked her stats and she’s gained 4 lbs  and grown half an inch since her forth birthday. She’s developing a bit of a belly and some of her (size 5) clothes don’t fit. She often gets a Plummer’s crack with her pants and her shirts ride up like Will Farrell in the infamous “Cowbell” sketch on Saturday Night Live. I purged our panty after my parents visiting (giving up the Z-bars and, but keeping the fruit snacks) and I’m vowing to be more vigilant over her eating and her weight. 

Sleep: So my plan was to have Kate falling asleep on her own without me hanging out in her room. I gave her the privilege (as I really talked it up) of ‘reading’ on her own. Kate does like to look at books on her own and as she’s memorized several books she can ‘read’ to herself. It was a fail. She kept getting out of bed to ask me questions, wanting a drink of water, for one more hug…etc..I ended up going back into her room just to keep her in the bed. Sigh. She has been better about sleeping through the night and staying in her room. The trouble is (and this is related to her late bedtime) it’s sometimes hard to wake her up in the morning. We’re all going to be in for a rude awakening when she starts Kindergarten (which starts at 8 AM) and we’re going to have to push our departure time up by 45 minutes. I’m secretly hoping that kindergarten will wear her down so much that she’ll naturally fall asleep much earlier (and on her own)! We’ve pretty much phased naps out on the weekend (she still naps at school) but she’ll occasionally doze in the car depending on the day’s activities. If she sleeps, great; but I no longer drive around or stay in the car just to her to nap. For the most part she’s been coping pretty well, but we still have some major meltdowns due to her being overtired. 

Clothes: As mentioned previously, she’s now is size 5, as it has been her pattern to be one year ahead. I purged her size four clothes just after Halloween, keeping a few dresses from companies that tend to run a little larger on their sizes. By Thanksgiving, I had to purge those dresses as well. She’s become better about getting dressed by herself in the morning, as I think she enjoys being able to pick our her own clothes. I am anticipating quite a challenge, if she gets into her new Kindergarten, which requires uniforms. Previously, I’ve been very pro-uniforms. It takes away a lot of pressure to buy designer clothes for kids, makes decision easier… I’m now seeing that those benefits may apply more to older children.

My friends’ son attends this school and she noted that it is easier for boys. She just had to buy a few school sweatshirts and then stocked up on navy shorts and white polos at Target, which were much cheaper that the uniform school. Girls have to wear a plaid skirt (which is a nearly identical plaid to my old high school field hockey kit) or a jumper, which I’m sure is much more expensive than the Old Navy and Gap dresses I tend to buy from the sale and clearance racks. Kate refused to wear her current school’s sweatshirt for their field trip (literally the only day they are required to wear it) so yeah, I’ve got some battles ahead of me. Kids can earn “free dress passes” for doing good deeds, or having zero tardy slips and during their birthday month, so I’m going to have to use the possibility of a free dress pass as an incentive to get her out of the house on time in the morning. 

She’s also totally warm blooded. I gave up on nagging her about wearing a jacket in the morning, as I figure experience is more effective -let her discover that it is cold out and a jacket is in order. Nope. She’s not cold and we end up carrying her jacket back and forth to school. Her father wears shorts in the dead of [California] winter, so maybe she inherited it from him. 

Night time Potty training: We had a slight setback in October when she would climb into my bed in the morning.. and then pee in my bed. I started taking her to the potty when she was trying to get into our bed and then after a few weeks, I found she was sleeping through the night (and sometimes in her bed) while staying dry.

Likes: She has become quite the hostess. I was cutting vegetable for my lunches one week and she decided to host a party. She found some old paper plates from her birthday parties, set them up around the house and serves my carrots and cut peppers (after I had weighed and bagged them -sigh) She even grabbed some plastic cups and filled them with ice and water. I decided to let her run with it as it was keeping her occupied for more than an hour. However, I discovered I had let the game go too far, when she was devastated that her friends weren’t able to come over to her spur of the moment party and she was even more mad when I re-purposed the water glasses to the cat’s water bowl. Recently, she wanted to make a fruit plate for dessert and insisted on arranging the strawberries and raspberries in a circle and wanted yoghurt for a dipping sauce.. 

She also loves her bath time and will happily play with her toys for almost an hour. Bath time has replaced nap time for Mommy’s time to get stuff done. She is pretty good at entertaining herself and playing independently at times. We refer to this as Kate being in ‘the zone’. You do not disturb Kate when she is in the zone. You do not talk to her, you sneak by her so she is not distracted. You never know how long she will last in the zone, so you make the most of it when she is there. 

Activities: She’s enrolled in soccer through her school and after skipping a session, I’ll sign her up for Spanish classes again. Although she resists when I try to speak Spanish with her, according to her teacher, she loves it and asks her for Spanish words outside of the class. After our major setback with swimming this summer, she’s really progressed in the past few weeks and is taking some strokes independently. Most of all, there is no resistance. She asks, “is tonight swimming?” Almost every night when I pick her up from school and when she gets out of the pool she tells me “Swimming is Awesome! I love Swimming!” Gymnastic has been more of a challenge. Her previous teacher, who was the head of the toddler program and was absolutely amazing moved out of the area, so she had a string of subs while they were trying to find a replacement. Most of the instructors were good, just not as good as her previous teacher. Toward the end of last year, she got moved up to the 4 year old class and the teacher is a great instructor. He is a also a transgender male, which has led us to engage in some conversations about gender identity. This coach also started the gym’s first gender fluid classes where the participants can learn any apparatus they want. Girls won’t be told they can’t do rings because it’s a boy’s event. Boys can do the balance beam.  I’ve started gearing her to some specific goals; traversing the ‘rainbow bars’ (for some reason she doesn’t like to call them monkey bars) I also started an online course for handstand push ups and one of the features is that if you post videos on their private Facebook page, the coaches with critique you. I’ve been trying to get Kate to do handstand walks while I do my work and I once posted a video of her and asked someone in the group to indulge her with a comment. When I showed her how many people “liked” her work, she was determined to get better. Welcome to parenting in 2020! 

Looking forward to: It’s going to be a busy year. Once it gets a bit warmer, I want to take Kate for some training runs with a goal to actually have her run/walk a 5K in April. We’ll visit my parents during her spring break and we’re going back to Hawaii in August just before school starts. I should start thinking about her fifth birthday party, which she wants a Frozen theme. It’s going to hit me pretty hard, she’s no longer my baby and she won’t be a toddler anymore. As much as I sometimes resent her clinginess, I’m also preparing myself that she’ll want more independence. She won’t want as many hugs or cuddles. She’ll sleep in her bed all night, and I miss waking up next to her in the morning. I’m looking forward to the next chapters, but dreading them at the same time. 

Friday, 6 December 2019

2019 Goals and 2020 Targets

I’m posting this a little early, as honestly, I’m probably not going to accomplish too much in the remaining weeks. Secondly, I actually have some time on my hands. I’m in Arizona for a conference. I feel incredibly cheeky as it was only a one day event, but I flew in the day before and I’m leaving tomorrow morning, when technically I could have flown out tonight. However the price of the later flight was actually more than the cost of my room (in case I need to justify it when I hand in my expense report). I also hired a car (which cost less than a round trip shuttle to the airport) and I’ve enjoyed zipping around in my rental Camry (driving oh-so carefully as I didn’t pay for the extra insurance) and I dropped in on two Cross Fit gyms and met up with an old college friend. I also got my Holiday cards done! Oh and the conference was really good too! 

Weight Management
This year was interesting. I started by working with a “nutrition coach” who helped me gain 6 pounds of muscle. I also gained 1.5 pounds of fat with that muscle so my body fat percentage was the same in April as it was in October and my scale was reflecting the fact that I was pushing close to 160 pounds, which was personally distressing to me. I reached out to my old nutrition coach (who moved and isn’t around our gym as much) and we revised some macros, which I stuck to for a few months. (The one advantage of husband traveling for long periods of time is that I can be more strict on my diet plan when I am only cooking for myself). I almost wasn’t going to to the body fat test in October as I figured it hadn’t changed, or had even gotten worse and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to depress myself. I signed up, but almost cancelled at the last minute. When I realized I missed the deadline for my refund, I decided to go. To my surprise, I had lost some fat and my body fat percentage was only 0.1% off my best! It felt like a huge win and has been a motivating factor going into the holidays. 

I feel the improvement I have made this year include increasing my vegetable consumption and being consistent with meal prepping. I gave myself a week off during my visit to my parents, but other than that duration, every week I’ve chopped up vegetables and have even travelled with my baggies of veggies (I also switched to some re-usable bags to be better for the environment). I’m as active as I’ve ever been and have been very consistent with exercise, but my resounding lesson has been that my weight is much more tied to what I eat that how much I work out. It still bothers me that I am at my heaviest I’ve been in recent years, but I’m trying to focus more on how I feel, how I look and what I can do with my body than a number on a scale. 

Targets for 2020
Keeping weight around 155
PB on Body Fate Test 

I had a few specific targets:
Sub hour Murph Time – Yes! I complete 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air-squats and 1 mile run in 54 minutes and 24 seconds
Handstand push-ups -Almost! I violated the ‘strict before kipping’ rule and got my first kipping HSPU (with one ab mat) and recently began connecting a string of 3 (with two ab mats). I started an 8 week course to improve HSPU so when the next Cross Fit Open rolls around, I will be waiting to crush HSPUs.
Double Unders -Better! I got into week 3 of an 8 week course and became really frustrated, so I decided to take a short break and come back to this skill
Completed BOTH Cross Fit Opens, did one competition and my first Olympic Lifting Comp!
I took a 6 week Olympic Lifting 101 course and definitely improved my Oly lifting technique (although I still have so more room for improvement) I even purchased a proper bar and some used plates to do some work at home

I’ve decided to stay at my current gym for now, despite my frustration with the coaching. I’ve learned that the reality of CrossFit is that you won’t improve with the scheduled programming alone, you have to devote specific time to work on skills outside of the WODs. My game plan is use some on-line coaching programs to advance my skills and I’ll see if any of the coaches take notice. 

Targets for 2020
Murph -sub 50 minutes (really need to work on running to achieve this)
HSPU -lose the ab mat
Double Unders -50 Unbroken
Toes to Bar – 10 Unbroken consistency. T2B are such a fleeting movement for me. Some days I can hit 10 unbroken, then I’ll fail after 2
Strict Chest to Bar
Bar Muscle up -it’s a lofty goal, but it won’t happen if I don’t try!
Snatch 45 kg
Clean and Jerk 60 kg

I hit one of my goals, which was to avoid any long breaks (other than due to Husband’s travel) but they were a few days when I opted to go to CrossFit (especially if it was a really good WOD or a specific re-test) rather than swim, which has made me wonder if I should stop swimming to focus more on CrossFit? Then our meets come around, and I remember how much I enjoy the competition aspect of swimming (and getting ribbons!) and I don’t want to give it up. At least not yet. We’ll see what happens next year when Kate starts kindergarten at 8 AM and I’ll lose some of my morning workout time. 

I did manage two PRs at our SCM Championships in October -in my longest and shortest events! I dropped over 20 seconds off my 1500 Free and validated my 50 Free PR. Four years ago, when I was three months postpartum, I finished nursing Kate, handed her off to a teammate and wiped baby spit up off my shoulder as I climbed onto the blocks to swim my 50 Free. I don’t recall anything feeling special about this race, so I was in absolute shock when I saw my time 36.92. How the hell did I manage a PB when I was only three months postpartum and could barely manage a flipturn. I was. In total disbelief until I saw it recorded in the USMS database -yes, that was my time. In the next three years of swimming SCM, I never came close to that time. The doubt continued to linger. Maybe that wasn’t my real time, there was just a glitch in the timing pad (yet I’m not sure how). Then I swam lead off in the 200 Free relay (which granted me an official time) and I did it in 36.90! By 0.02 I had set a new personal best! Then I swam the 50 Free again as an individual event and bettered my best time with an 36.6. 

3. Setting out birthday cards
Awesome! If your birthday is early in the year! Not so much as the year goes on and my card sending drops off. I use Birthday Alarm, but I sometimes find it annoying that I’ll send one card and then get another reminder. I stock up on cards and stamps, so there is no excuse other than laziness.. My charge for 2020 is that I’m going to try to send them in monthly batches. People have let me know that they appreciate the cards and I think it still represents a bit of human touch in our digitalized world, so I want to keep it up. I’m sure people will be fine getting a card early than not at all. 

4. Sending photos to my in-laws
I actually sent a few around Kate’s birthday and on her first day of school and didn’t receive any response; only because (as I noted previously) I don’t think my in-laws know how to use the WhatsApp. Although I find it annoying, I’ll go back to sending things by email, as I know my FIL can use email and he has told me that he appreciates them. Maybe I’ll coordinate with sending out my bday cards. Can you guys help me with this? For those who are friends on Facebook, if you notice that I’m liking cat videos or posting some political rant, remind me that I could be using that time to email my in-laws. Husband recently shared that he has the feeling that this year could be his dad’s last, so I want to try to fill it with as much of their granddaughter as I can.  Husband is good about FaceTiming with them on Sunday morning while I am at the gym. I skipped going to the gym on Sunday morning, and suddenly remembered why I go every Sunday. You know, because fitness and stuff… 

5. Run some 5K races with Kate
It was not a good year for running. I did a 10 K with some gym friends in February and then nothing until our traditional Thanksgiving weekend runs. This year, Kate did her first 5K by herself! As we approached the starting line, I noticed the jogging stroller had a flat and I made a last minute decision to ditch it. Kate ran the first mile by herself last year, so I figured it would be easier to manage just her rather than her and a busted stroller on a hilly trail. There were a few flaws with my plan. One: Kate’s willingness to run is predicated on whether or not she has the option to go in the stroller. Second: Since we had to be up early (and Kate had gone to bed a bit later the night before as it wasn’t a school night) I let her sleep a bit later and figured she could eat her breakfast while she was in the stroller (also if she stayed in the stroller for the whole race, I could run the course and get a better workout in). When I ditched the stroller, I forgot to grab the snack bag, so I had a hungry kid, who soon became a whiny one. As I knew our only option was to get to the aid station as quick as possible, I was urging her to walk faster and I know to everyone who was passing by, I must have looked like the meanest parent ever. I wanted to issue a disclaimer, ‘look, I know my kid, SHE IS JUST BEING DRAMATIC!’ She proved my point, by informing me that she only runs from monsters. So I pretended to be a monster and we ran 1.5 miles to the aid/snack station. 

A friend recently asked me to do a half marathon with her in May, and as I’ve recently struggled with some running in our WODs, I’m realizing that I am going to have to do some training.
Targets for 2020
Get a sub 10 minute mile
Complete a half marathon 

6. Parenting
I think one of my goals at the beginning of the year was to get Kate night time potty trained and I can happily report we reached that goal. When I last checked in we were trying some suggestions from The Difficult Child. The travel clock helped a lot, but the snack plate.. not so much. Kate wouldn’t want anything from her snack box and would head to the pantry, but I replaced the panty snacks with healthier options, so maybe we’re making some progress. I tried getting her to go to bed by herself by letting her read books on her own, but she kept getting out of bed to ask me questions, so it really didn’t work out too well.

Targets for 2020: Getting Kate to sleep on her own. And earlier.
Limiting her TV time. When I deliberately put on a Barbie movie to give myself a good block of time to get my Thanksgiving cooking done, I realized how much I rely on her being pacified. I’ve been starting by trying to direct her to other activities, or just saying ‘no’. She’ll throw a tantrum, but will eventually find something else to do. 
Other goals: Getting her accepting into Kindergarten and getting her ready for school. 

7. Maintaining friendships
I didn’t list this as a goal when I wrote this list, but it is something I have put an effort toward. I arranged a few play dates for Kate, which has allowed me to spend some time with her friends’ moms. I had two girls weekend trips and I’ve kept in touch with two friends who moved out of the area. I read somewhere that when you reach your adulthood, if you’re not making new friends, you’re losing friends. So included in my targets for 2020 is to maintain my connection with my blogging friends. I know since many of us are posting as frequently (or at all) and blogger has some glitch that doesn’t allow me to comment, I’ll reach out to message more regularly. 

8. Miscellaneous 
I finally got our pictures hung!  As we started planning our next Hawaii trip, I realized I had to get these pictures up before we get another batch. We made somewhat of a last minute decision to get professional photos done, as when else do we have the time and gorgeous scenery? Unfortunately, the only time we could book the session was early in the morning after doing a luau the night before. So I’m hungover in all of photos (which are now hung around our house) and I look pregnant with a food baby. 

So my targets for 2020 -getting professional photos in Hawaii again (maybe at Sunset -before dinner and drinking!) and this time I’m using Framebridge. Myrtle introduced me to Framebridge when she requested a gift certificate for Christmas last year. I was tempted, but I needed to match an existing frame we had in our living room and I had hand painted frames to match our bathroom cabinets (when I painted the cabinets) and I wanted to reuse them. I forgot what a pain in the ass it can be to frame photos. I had to get new mats. Change the orientation. Yeah. I’m so going with Framebridge next time although my former DIY self is cringing that I can’t even manage to frame photos. 

We also managed to finish the landscaping in our front yard. We planted and then got hit with an early frost and I think most everything died. So, we’ll likely be planting again next spring.. but hey we got it done. Targets for 2020 include updating the front yard, finally finishing the back yard and maybe tackling the mess on our hill. 

I wish you all the best of everything in 2020! 

Friday, 15 November 2019

Right Now Autumn 2019

Right Now
Autumn 2019

Reading: The Baby Sitter’s Club: Kristy’s Great Idea and Otherwise known and Shiela The Great. Not kidding. I found these books for sale at our local library and I couldn’t resist purchasing two classics for $1. I really suck at reading. I heard that children of readers are more likely to be readers themselves, so I’ve been trying to make sure Kate is seeing me read. I was bringing a book to her gymnastics and swim classes, but then I started sewing non-slip elastics in my gym shorts, so her class time became my sewing time and it’s been getting too dark at the pool to do anything. 

Listening: Hamilton: An American Musical Original Broadway Edition. I saw the play with my parents this summer and like many others before me; I’ve become obsessed with it. I carved a Hamilton Star for our Halloween pumpkin, and like Martha Washington, I’m considering naming my next Tomcat after him. (Kidding)  Kate and I listen to it Non-Stop. Kate has focused in on the more colorful lyrics. “Mamma, can we listen to the song ‘I’m keeping her bed warm while her husband is away” “Mamma. He just said ‘fuck’” Yes dear he did. For the record it took me 4 of 5 times listening before I caught that f-bomb and you picked it up straight away.

Watching: I just watched the finale of The Affair. The fifth and final season has been really scattered and rather annoying, but the last episode ended on a good note -and even included a dance number. I’ve been keeping up with This is Us and have been relatively pleased with this season so far, especially as I felt it became really irritating last year. Kate is generally my least favorite character, but I like the story line about her developing friendship with her neighbor as he recovers from a stroke and shout out to the casting as the actor himself is recovering from a stroke in real life. Sadly, my other television pleasure is the children’s show Bluey. It’s a Australian cartoon and I like it because unlike other kids shows, it’s really relatable to kids. It addresses sibling disputes, being too bossy when playing with friends, to meeting a friend on holiday and then being disappointed when they leave to go home. It’s also really relatable to moms, as the dad somethings struggles with the kids at times. (Such as the kids are acting up when picking up Chinese food because Dad is waiting for spring rolls while Mum tells him it’s not worth it while the kids are hungry and tired or Dad takes the kids to the pool and forgets everything) I’m guilty of enjoying watching Dad struggle. As it said, it’s really relatable.

Eating: 110 g Carbs/48 g Fat/125 g Protein for a total of 1372 calories per day 

Drinking:  A protein shake as my dinner. I started a holiday weight challenge at my gym.

Wearing: My favorite gym shorts and shirt from the 2018 SCM Championships. I read my last Right Now Post, which was October 2018 and I was wearing the same thing. HA! 

Anticipating: I’m participating in my first Olympic Lifting competition this weekend! Feeling a mix of excited and nervous 

Hoping: Kate gets into our first choice of kindergarten. We have our first open house next week and start the application process in December. 

Loving: As of today, Husband is DONE umpiring collegiate field hockey games. He has been away for a total of 40 days and nights this season. Even better, he’s planning to take off the 2020 Winter Men’s league, so I won’t lose my weekend gym time. 

Following: The Impeachment Hearings

Worrying: That the Senate will not vote to remove Trump from Office. I really fear what he could do next and I worry that he will not leave office, even if he loses in 2020 or even if he gets re-elected and serves another 4 years. 

Planning: My vacation time for next year. My work situation is not necessarily better but definitely not worse than it was last year. Basically I get through each day by counting down and focusing on my next day off. I try not to have more than 5 consecutive weeks without a day off.  We’ll likely visit my parents in SC over Kate’s Spring Break and we’ll go to Hawaii in the summer. 

Contemplating: Seriously naming my next cat Hamilton. Also, I’ve been considering switching to a different CrossFit gym. For a long time, I’ve felt that I’m not in the coach’s clique, but lately I feel practically invisible. It’s to the point that I’ve been questioning why I am paying money to a gym where most of the coaching staff don’t given a shit about me. The answer has been that it’s cheap (since Husband is also a member we get a family discount) and they have class times that are convenient to me (with Kate starting Kindergarten next year, I may need to go to a 5 AM class and our box is the only one in the area with a 5 AM and Sunday classes) I’ve also been questioning if the grass is really greener on the other side, or if the devil who know better than the devil you don’t know. I’ve decided to stick with them for now.

Wondering: Why my 81 year old aunt is having to host Thanksgiving at her house this year after we did it at my cousin’s house last year. I wonder what I’ll need to bring. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

A Day in the Life Autumn 2019

3 September 2019
Husband 44
Jane 43
Kate 4
Tyler 6

0227 Tyler is meowing
0228 Seriously, he has been MUCH better
0229 Tyler jumps on my bed for snuggles
0347 Kate enters our room, I make sure she is dry and let her onto our bed
0350 We both quickly fall back to sleep
0500 Husband has to get up to catch a flight to San Diego
0511 Enjoy the fact that I am sleeping through my usual wake up time
0555 Husband comes in to say good bye; Kate wakes up and says goodbye as well
0556 She wants her milk. Husband agrees to get it for her
0700 My alarm goes off. Quickly check news stories before waking up Kate
0705 Agree to snuggle with Kate for “five minutes” before getting in the shower
0715 Consider my plans for the day. I was going to go into work after dropping Kate off at school as I have a lot of catch up work to do, but I’m loathe go spend extra hours in the office as I have an all day training on Saturday
0720 Decide I’ll go to the gym before going into the office and pack my work clothes into my gym bag and change into my gym clothes
0730 Direct Kate to the kitchen, she says she doesn’t want breakfast and goes to her room to play
0735 Finish packing our lunches, make my protein shake
0740 Sit down to eat my breakfast
0749 Throw my breakfast dishes in the sink. Since Husband isn’t home I can leave them to wash later
0750 Start to get Kate ready a bit earlier so we’ll have time for photos.
0753 Kate is playing in her room and is completely ignoring me as I am standing next to her telling her to get dressed
0754 Repeat the warning. Still ignored
0755 We’re supposed to give kids options. I inform Kate she can choose to put down her toys or Mommy will snatch it out of her hands
0756 Still no response. I warn her that no response means she wants me to take it out of her hands
0757 Still nothing.
0758 I grab the Mr Potato Head out of her hands and apparently I hurt her thumb. She is now hysterically crying, which is just slightly out of proportion to the amount of contact.
0759 She is now running away from me as I am trying to get her dressed. Fuck. We don’t have time for a meltdown today
0803 Somehow I manage to calm her down and I apologize for hurting her thumb. Of course, I can’t resist bringing up that if she put the toy away when I asked, she wouldn’t have hurt her thumb..
0804 and we’re back to crying again! Fuck.Me.
0806 I ignore her for a few minutes to make my coffee and I decided to bring the lunch boxes and school bags to the car.
0808 Kate was freaked out thinking I was leaving without her and is now getting her shoes on to go outside for her picture
0815 Manage at least one decent FDOS photo in front of her front door.
0817 Buckle Kate into her car seat, she starts screaming “it’s too tight” “IT’S TOO TIGHT!!”
0818 Drive off as she is screaming. Figure she either needs something else to be an issue or it really cutting off her circulation
0823 I start playing ‘What Makes you Beautiful’ by One Direction on repeat. Kate starts singing along, so I guess it’s not cutting off her circulation
0835 Ugh. It’s the day after a long weekend traffic…
0845 Arrive at Kate’s school and fortunately find a parking spot. I also discover that her new Peppa water bottle is leaking
0847 I sign Kate in and notice that while she still has the same teacher and classmates, she’s in a different classroom
0848 I also discover that someone Kate’s friends won’t start until later this week. Whoops I was talking about seeing a few of them during the drive
0850 Kate is starting to get clingy and teary at drop off, but her teacher distracts her by showing her new books in the library.
0851 I run out while I can!
0907 The traffic on the way back is even worse
0920 Since I’m already late to the gym, I post our first day of school photos to IG while sitting in the parking lot
0930 Walk into the gym. Gutted that I arrived so late as it’s one of my favorite instructors. He offers that I can jump in. It’s a Tabata style WOD that I can actually do from home, so I’ll save if for a time when I can’t go to the box and I’ll do tomorrow’s WOD instead
0940 After warming up, the first part of the WOD is a three rep max of a back squat.
0955 I warm up at 45, then add 10 kilo plates to go up to 65, then add 5 kilo plates to hit 75 kg and finally 2.5 kg small plates to reach 80 kilo.
1010 A guy who just finished the class comes to chat with me. He’s 71 and is fitter and stronger than some guys who are half his age. He competes in triathlons and I’ve been trying to get him to join our swim team. He asks me if I want to do a competition with him in a few weeks. Unfortunately, I can’t as I have an event at Kate’s school, but I’m really flattered that he asked me. Plus, as my parents are friends with their neighbour’s kids who are younger than me, I like to report that I have a friend who is their age.
1020 Hit 3 reps of 85 kg which was my goal.
1021 Decide to push for more and attempt 88 kg, definitely not as low in my squat as my earlier rounds, but still breaking parallel
1023 Since I didn’t die at 88, I decide to try 90, even if it’s just one rep.
1027 Complete my third rep at 90! I think my last one just barely went slightly below parallel, but I’ll count it.
1030 As I’m putting my weights away, I decide I’ll call it a day and not to do the other part of the WOD which is “Karen” 150 wall balls
1033 I can hear my swim coach’s voice in my head “IT’S ONLY 150 WALL BALLS OF YOUR LIFE!”
1035 I decided to do it. Plan to break it up 25/12/25/13/25/13/25/12 with 10-20 seconds rest. We’ll see how this goes
1042:43 Failed at 19 during my last round of 25, so finished with 18 in a time of 7:32
1045 Log my workout. Surprised at my time as the national average was 9:00
1047 Head to the gym’s shower. Fuck. I discover that I took out my travel shower stuff when I went to Chicago earlier this year. I am going to have to be that person who uses someone else’s soap and shampoo
1052 Unfortunately there is only one woman’s shower gel as everything else is Irish Spring or Axe or some other manly scent. I take a scant amount and try to put it back exactly where I found it as I fear there will be a facebook post in our members group page about not using other’s shower stuff.
1105 Leave the gym and head to work
1125 Sit down at my desk and sign into my computer
1127 My inbox isn’t too bad for coming off a long weekend
1315 Stop for lunch before my afternoon starts
1335 Receive a message from an IVF patient who had some spotting over the weekend. Agree to see her at the end of the day
1415 Co-worker comes over to my desk to remind me about an upcoming training we are attending this Friday and Saturday. I thought it finished at 4, but she informs me that it goes until 5. Fuck. I was hoping to have some free time before I need to pick up Kate
1600 ohh my legs are starting to feel stiff. I’m going to be sore tomorrow
1705 The IVF patient is still viable. I suspect the spotting was from stopping her luteal phase meds
I have a connection with this patient. She did her first IVF cycle at the same time I did my forth transfer. Mine was a BNF. She became pregnant, but miscarried at eight weeks. Then she spontaneously conceived and she was about a week behind me when she miscarried again. Now she’s finally pregnant and just passed the fateful gestational age.
1735 Finish a few emails and leave the office a few minutes late
1745 Fuck! Evening traffic is heavy too. Not good to be late with pick up on the first day
1803 The sign out book is in a different spot. I pretend that is the reason why I am late
1810 Buckle Kate into the car seat. She’s asking for a snack, which of course, I forgot to pack.
1811 Give her a granola bar that I saved from her birthday party to give to the homeless
1820 Remind Kate that she has swimming tonight
1825 Kate asks if she can skip swimming. I had been considering giving swimming a pass tonight as it was the first day of school. [My swim coach later informed me that most youth swim teams don’t hold evening practice for the first two weeks of the new school year to let the kids adjust to their new school schedules]
1826 Agree that we can skip swimming, but realise I probably shouldn’t have let her have the granola bar
1835 Arrive at home and bring lunch bags into the kitchen
1840 Decide to let Kate watch TV in my room, so I can watch the US Open in the kitchen. Feel more selfish about letting her miss swimming
1855 Finish washing containers from my lunch and Kate’s
1900 Make “energy balls” for Kate’s lunch tomorrow. My new school year’s resolution is to try to make things from the Little Bento book that Myrtle gave me for Christmas
1915 As I put these together, I wonder if they will be rejected by the lunch police at Kate’s school since they are made with cocoa powered and a few chocolate chips [they were]
1935 Finish the proteins balls. 10 minute prep time, my ass!
1940 Realize I should start thinking about dinner. We usually do Annie’s Mac and Cheese on Tuesday’s as it’s quick to put together after swimming. Feel guilty giving her such a high carb dinner when she didn’t go to swimming.
1950 Wow. The Federer match is going to a fifth set
2005 Oh shit. I got distracted watching the match and forgot that Kate needs a bath, we usually do a quick shower at the pool after her swim lesson
2015 Put her in the bath and try to go back to the kitchen; she is insisting that I wash her now
2022 Finish with Kate’s bath and send her to her room to get dressed for bed. Agree to let her play so I can finish up in the kitchen
2040 Pick up I my IPad and head to her room, put away some of her clothes and tell her to wrap up her play
2045 She selects her books and sits on my lap in the glider. Tyler walks in and jumps on Kate’s bed. He hasn’t been joining us for stories as much since we upgraded to Kate’s big girl bed.
2103 The last story runs late; quickly usher Kate to the bathroom to brush teeth and go potty.
2108 Finally get her into bed
2110 She wants one more hug
2115 She’s been quiet for a few minutes, maybe she is falling asleep!
2117 Husband comes through the garage door and she wakes up
2120 While Husband says good night to Kate, I sneak out to catch the match. Federer is down a break.
2123 Put Kate back to bed. Feel guilty about my 4 year old staying up so late
2130 Brief chat with Husband about our days. He turns the light out as he’s knackered and wants to go to sleep
2135 Realize that I forgot to pack me swim gear. Grab a suit and throw it in the guest bathroom. Discover that I left my towel in the dryer from Monday morning. It’s still damp, run the dryer again
2140 Tyler jumps on my chest for a cuddle
2200 start to drift off to sleep, interrupted by the dryer
2201 Place the towel over the garage door handle as I fear I’ll forget it. Feel that I spend most of my time prepping and packing
2210 Find I can’t fall back to sleep. Husband is snoring next to me. Attempt to watch the latest episode of the Affair as I feel asleep on it this past Sunday.
~2230 Fall asleep on it again…
September 25, 2019 2352 Finally finish this DITL post…

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Life’s hard lessons

Life’s Hard Lessons

Astute readers may have taken note that while I wrote a lot about my old cat Angus, especially his rather sudden illness and death five years ago, and I write a lot about Tyler, I don’t mention our other cat Kayla too much, except to occasional acknowledge her in a DITL segment. There is a bit of a reason behind that. Kayla was meant to be a cat for Husband, as he was very jealous of my relationship with Angus. While Angus was welcoming toward Husband when he moved in after we married, he always made it clear that I was his human. We added Kayla to our family when she was a four month old kitten, she bonded with Husband and would sit out his lap while he worked.

When we moved to our new house two years later, I noticed she was less friendly toward me. She would tend to run away if I approached her, but if Husband were away, she would come to me looking for affection. She was never a lap cat in the way that Angus and Tyler were, but she would enjoys some pets and cuddles and then move on when she was done. As I look back now, I think she became more standoffish near the time when Angus became sick, but eventually she would start to run away from everyone all the time and never seek any attention. I once joked with my vet that I thought she might be on the Kitty Autism Spectrum as she refused to make eye contact and my vet replied “Oh, I’m sure animals have all those disorders; we just don’t know how to identify and diagnosed them”

Perhaps, she was trying to signal to us that Angus was getting sick. I have no doubt that she knew long before we recognized his drastic weight loss. She started peeing on stuff. It could be the bath mat. Or out bed. She would pull towels off the drying rack so she could pee on them. Husband and I both made the mistake of leaving a jacket on a chair only to have her drag it to the floor and urinate on it. It was an effective tool as I often remarked how sometimes Husband could get as close as to hang his jacket on the knob of the closet door, but not go the distance to hang the jacket inside the door… I set up a special litter box of cheap towels for her in our guest bathroom. It was both awkward to shop for towels for your cat to pee on and then to explain to guests not to use those towels. However, it worked. For a while…

Then she started peeing on our couches. At first it wasn’t too often. We’d wash the couch pieces and spray with Feli.way spray, which is supposed to help cats feel more calm and less stressed. I brought dipsticks home to test her urine. Always negative. The vet ran bloodwork. Totally normal. We tried more Feli.way diffusers. Kitty anti-depressants and CBD oils. We’d be pee free for a few months at a time. During my parents visit this past Christmas there were some peeing episodes which prompted an urgent cleaning session as we were hosting my aunt and uncle on Christmas Day and our friends on New Years Day. Despite the team effort to clean every piece entirely, the horrible stench of cat urine still lingered. I lit multiple “Evergreen” scented candles to try to hide the scent,  which I explained was to compensate for our artificial Christmas tree. A clever rouse, but I’m not sure if anyone bought it.

My mother suggested that we try to rehouse Kayla and Husband was on board with that idea and suggested we pursue it after we returned from England and Ireland at the end of January. I knew it would be very difficult to place an older, unsocial cat with a behavior problem and knew we had to consider a different solution. We came back from our trip and continued to wash certain couch cushions and covers on a monthly basis. Like every prior occasion, we just hoped that she would magically stop. Then one week in June, while Husband was away, I thoroughly cleaned each piece of the couch. One week. Only one week later, Kate and I came home from the Farmer’s Market on a Sunday afternoon. When we pulled into the driveway, I discovered that Husband had taken apart the sofa cushions yet again. The smell of cat urine filled the garage. We couldn’t live this way any longer.
We never used our living room. The couch was draped with blankets and plastic scat mats to discourage the cats, but they only worked for so long. I was reluctant to have anyone over to our house because I was afraid our house might smell like cat pee. We asked ourselves if we were sure that it was only Kayla doing the peeing. I was and it was more than just my instincts to protect my Tyler kitty. There was never any pee in the other places of the house where Tyler spend his time. Not on our bed, not in the guest room or on the glider in Kate’s room. In fact, I took note that Kayla never spent any of her time outside of the living room. I began to question what quality she had to her life.

My vet had the same thought when I contacted her about putting Kayla down. If she was urinating outside her box that much, then she must be really stressed. I reckoned that she never really got over Angus’s death and was never quite the same after he passed. I began to think about them being together again as a way to make peace with our decision. “Are we doing the right thing” Husband must have asked at least a dozen times. As hard as it was going to be. My answer was always yes.

Not as hard as having to explain it to Kate. We briefly introduced the concept of death when explaining about the dangers of cars and why she must hold a hand in a parking lot and not slip her arms out of her car seat straps and my little Houdini is so good at doing. “If you get hit by a car or if we get in a car accident you might die, which means you wouldn’t ever see Mommy or Daddy again” Husband explained, perhaps with a bit of fear factor thrown in to get her to comply. Since the date we scheduled for the cat’s appointment was the day after Kate’s birthday party and I didn’t want it to be a sudden announcement or for her to look back and remember it was right after her birthday party. We started explaining that Kayla was very sick, and sometimes when you’re sick the doctors can’t make you better and you might die, which means you leave this earth.

“Just tell her that Kayla is going to live on a farm with other cats” Co-worker suggested while admitting that is what she told her soon to be six year old twins earlier this year when she put her ailing cat down. “The boys said goodbye to [their cat] but this way Kate won’t worry about you and Husband dying.” I just couldn’t do that. I feel we’ve whiffed a bit at explaining some big issues. Husband did the ‘Santa couldn’t fit this toy on his sleigh and gave it to us to give to you’ when she found an unwrapped present in my closet. When Kate asked about the few spots of blood she saw on my underwear? “Mommy has an owie.” “Yes, on my hoo-ha” For the record, she does know the proper word for vagina. It just is really cute when she says hoo-ha.

This time I knew we needed to step up to the plate and deliver. I went to the library and searched the card catalogue for books about losing a pet. I flipped through the first one and started bawling in the children‘ section of the library. The second one I found was by Fred Rodgers. I didn’t even open it in the Library. It just seemed so full circle. I grew up with Mister Rodgers and long after his death, his lessons and his love would help my child through one of the most difficult times of life.

So we plowed through the difficult conversations. Reassuring Kate that Tyler, Mommy and Daddy, Grami and Papi, Nan and even though my FIL was recently admitted to the hospital as he barely had a blood pressure, none of us are dying anytime soon. Talking to Kate about what happens after you die “No one knows, so we make up what we want to believe about it” was the answer from an atheist. Saying goodbye to Kayla that morning and explaining to her on the way to school that no, she could not come to the vet with us. “Kate, I don’t want to be there!” I expressed in a hopeful attempt to get her abandon her request.

As we were busy unpacking and cleaning up after Kate’s birthday party, it provided a bit of a distraction, but I couldn’t help feel waves of guilt every time I looked at Kayla. She doesn’t know this is her last night. Her last time eating… I had taken the afternoon off from work. Husband closed all the doors to the bedrooms to make it easier to capture her. As soon as I walked into the living room I saw her looking out the sliding glass door window. That’s her last time looking outside… Tears welled up in my eyes at that moment and as I’m typing , once again, they are rolling down my cheek.

It wasn’t too much of a chase before I was able to grab her and put her in her cat carrier. I held her on my lap while Husband drove. She meowed a bit and I stuck my hand in the carrier to pet her. It’s probably the most affection we’ve shared in years. Our vet had been really supportive of our decision, she acknowledged that we had tried so many things to stop this behavior and she she twice revealed that she probably would have done the same time. She is also nine months pregnant and the other factor that added urgency to our situation as I wanted her to be the one to do it, rather than an other vet in the office. She’s a fellow swimmer (taking a break during her pregnancy) and she was the one who gave us Angus diagnosis and grave prognosis.

I’m believing what I want to believe, but Kayla actually seemed at peace when we arrived at the vet, and that was before the vet administered the sedative (I was relieved she didn’t have to place an IV). We all pet her during her final moments and I told her that we loved her and let her know she was going to see Angus soon and I asked her to tell him about Kate. Husband and I both broke down in tears. When we went to pay and make arrangements for her cremation, the receptionist asked if I wanted her name etched on the box and if so to write it down on the form. It wrote “name etched on the box” on the line where it asked ‘Name:’ “No, the woman explained “You have to write the name as you want it to appear on the box” We finally had some laughter to cut a bit of the tension on a terrible sucky day.

Husband and I went furniture shopping after we left the vet. While it did feel that we were dancing on Kayla’s grave (even though she’s being cremated) it’s a rare event that we have some time to ourselves without Kate to do boring adult things like furniture shopping. Also, as Husband hates spending money, I kind of had a fear that it we didn’t get a new sofa now, we might be stuck with our pee stained ones, which might encourage Tyler to get through his grief by peeing on the sofa and we’d be in a whole new cycle.

Overall Kate handled the situation rather well. We let her Pre-school teachers know what was going on and the school director actually printed some pictures of cats for her to make a special art project on the day we put her down. I’m somewhat viewing it as a ‘dry run’ for the next time such a situation presents. Kate’s actually been dealing with another tough lesson in life; her best friend at her current school is moving on to a different school. I can relate to this as my friend from the gym just moved to SoCal this week. She’s accepted a 1-2 year teaching position and is hoping to be back (they haven’t sold their house, so I’m somewhat hopeful that they will return, especially as her husband really wants to come back, but my last friend in academia who left for a 3 year position in Scotland 8 years ago hasn’t returned…). I’ve been in denial about it for quite a while, but she moved this weekend so it’s finally real. It’s hard to be a mom in your 40s and find friends, who are your age, your kids are about the same age and play well together, and you have something in common outside of your kids. I just really wish I hadn’t taken so long to see her as a potential friend. That’s the lesson I’m really trying to share with Kate. You never know when people and pets will be in or out of your life, so appreciate all the time you have with them.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

2019 Goals: mid year update

1. Weight Management

I’m scoring this as Mixed. After I was disappointed with my weight gain over the holiday hold ‘em competition at my gym, I decided to try an on-line coaching program recommended by one of the coaches. I like the approach, you follow foods in categories, vegetables don’t “count” (think zero weight watchers points) you eat fewer carbs on your rest days, and you don’t track any calories, which I though was odd, but the coach was very strict about this. I had to weigh in twice a week and they coach would make adjustments to my template. The first issue that I had was that I would do all my meal prep on Sunday and he would tell me to make changes after my weigh in on Monday. Not only do I not have time to re-do my prep, I can’t afford to waste foods. While I did get some helpful tips, and I feel I pay more attention to pre work out fuel and post workout recovery, I didn’t find the coach was that helpful (Definitely not worth the cost, which was really disappointing) I also started gaining weight, which was really frustrating and after my compliance was being questioned, I kept ‘accidentally’ forgetting to weigh myself because I just didn’t want to see the number.

Frustrated, I did a body fat analysis in April and learned that in six months I had gained six pounds of muscle and one and a half pounds of fat. Well, I was pleased with the muscle gains, especially as the previous fat test guy told me that it’s hard for women to gain muscle in general, especially he whispered in a hushed tone when you’re of a certain age. I so wanted to tell him “Dude, I know I’m old. There’s no need to whisper about it” Anyway, I had hit a PR for my lean mass, but what about the fat gain? “Oh,” the guy said casually “You won’t gain that much muscle without gaining some amount of fat.” SAY WHAT. You won’t gain that much much without gaining some fat. It’s almost impossible he repeated for me. SO WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT?  I screamed inside my head, but came close to saying it out loud.

I recently met up with my original nutrition coach from my gym who confirmed the same thing the body fat test guy said, although he used a bunch of big words and technical terms such as amino acids, so he sounded totally legit. He thought it was an impressive gain of muscle with a relatively minimal gain of fat, which was comforting to hear coming from someone with his experience, but my body fat percentage is the same it was in October. I’ve spent over six plus months, going nowhere… He slowed my some old photos to show that my physique looks the same despite being heavier. My clothes fit the same. Yet, I hate the optics. I hate the fact that if I go to my doctor for a physical, I’ll be ten pounds heavier and she’ll think “Oh, wow. Jane has really let herself go.” When actually I’m working out more and eating better. Ugh, I still haven’t figured it out. Let see where we are at the end of the year.

*update: If you can permit me to be really catty for a minute. While I was disappointed in myself for not being where I wanted to be when I had my Girls Weekend with Myrtle and our mutual friend, I did feel a bit better about where I am after seeing Myrtle, who is rather frumpy. Additionally, Myrtle wore a denim jacket with every single out outfit during our trip (there were a total of five different outfits that involved three different denim jackets) Insert joke about the 80s calling and wanting their look back. I know, meow!

2. Cross-Fit
I’ve modernized from my sticker card. Our gym participates in an app that tracks all your workouts and activity. So far I’ve had 147 work out days and only 47 rest days this year. I’ve been squeezing in some Friday morning classes and I dropped in a four different CrossFit gyms to keep active while I’ve been away from home. Overall, I was pleased with how I did in this year’s CrossFit Open. I did better than expected in some areas, and my glaring weaknesses were once again revealed. I did place 9th overall for females in our gym (out of 39) and I was 3,834th (of 17,762) in the world for my age group

Targets for 2019
Hand stand push-ups *This was bumped for improving my Double Unders
Rope Climbs*I finally learned the technique and can do them, but don’t do often as they tear up your shins
CrossFit Open plus 1-2 more Competitions *done and scheduled to compete next week
Working more on lifting technique *I’m overcoming my insecurities and I have been videoing myself to improve technique

3. Sending cards for birthdays
Mixed. I forgot some this week.  Including Isabelle

4. Work
Mixed Success. There was a difficult situation involving my colleagues at the end of last year and things got really ugly. We’ve made some resolutions to move forward, but I’ve come to accept that things will never be back to the way there were. I can’t remove some of the things that were said from my mind and I can’t get past they way some people were treated by certain people. Many true colors were exposed and you can’t just cover it up. Some friends and family members were asking if I were considering looking for a new job. It didn’t yet come to that. I want to stand my ground as I’ve spent the past ten years establishing myself where I am. Logistically, it’s an easy commute and close to Kate’s school. Realistically, if I went anywhere else, I’d have a brief honeymoon period, the discover it’s the same shit; different venue.

I also came to terms with the fact that as I am of a certain age (43) I don’t need to be friends with any of my colleagues. I don’t have anything else in common outside of work. Having a job with an easy commute allows me to pursue my other passions (swimming, CrossFit) where I see people I actually enjoy. I go in, do my work and go home leaving my work at work. There’s my success: the subtle art of not giving a fuck.

5. Send my In-laws photos on a monthly basis
Total Fail. Husband set up a chat with his parents on WhatsApp. I sent them videos from Kate’s school concert. My FIL replied a month later “Hello Jane. Sorry I am a bit late thanking you for the pictures of Kate scool consrrt. [new message] there I have made a mess of sending you this message. Sod it part2” I’m thinking WhatsApp might be a little too much for them to handle

6. Run some 5K races with Kate
Kate “ran” a 5K with my parents on New Year’s Day while Husband and I ran the 10K. My Dad was a little miffed about placing last in his age group and he any my mom were delayed by Kate’s potty stop. I informed him that the guy who won his (70-75) age group would beat my 5K time. I did a 10K in February, but we’ve been away or busy during other runs. I’ll do one in August, but then probably not until Thanksgiving

7. More FaceTime with Husband
Getting better, but still need to work on this. We made our Valentine’s Day baby sitter night a double date with some friends, which was super fun, but defeated the purpose of us connecting more. My parents let us have a date night while we were in Myrtle Beach, but we were distracted playing BINGO. We’ve been doing more projects on our back (and front) yards, which has forced us to sit down together to discuss plans and even make trips to look at plants.

8. Swim Times
One of my goals was to avoid any long and unnecessary breaks, but our pool was closed until Mid February and then when it was re-opened, there were still issues with the water’s chemical balance, so we had to practice in the 2.5 feet shallow kiddie pool with 6-7 people per lane. So my training took a hit and I didn’t get any PRs, but I did swim a full program on 7 individual events and 5 relays in the SCY Championships. Oh, and I’ve only swam once in the past two weeks, so yeah, need to work on that avoiding long and unnecessary breaks.

9. Parenting
As I detailed in Kate’s Four Year Old update, we are realizing that we are in trouble. One of my biggest criticisms of my cousins is that they tuned a blind eye to the warning signs that their children were struggling. My second criticism is that the ignored the advice and suggestions they received from my aunt (a pediatric nurse) and older cousin (a speech and language pathologist). So we have been resolute that we will not be the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the sand and we will listen to any helpful suggestions. I was a little offended when our friend of the gym gave us a copy of The Difficult Child as Kate was behaving well at the time and I had considered her to be a relatively easy child, but as I try to teach her; you should always appreciate it when someone goes out of their way to do something nice for you. Secondly, I recognized that just because I didn’t need the book now, it didn’t mean I wouldn’t need it in the future.

Some of the suggestions I’m going to try to put into place include having calm, planned discussions about the expectations for her behavior prior to the actual event. We’re going to get a battery operated digital clock especially for her to help with transition times, such as time to leave for school and bath and bed times. We’ll introduce some rewards for exemplary actions, such as getting dressed for school without being prompted to do so. I’m also going to set up her own snack box in the fridge so she can feel herself and hopefully will have less hunger related meltdowns. We’ll see how all this goes. Hopefully by the end of the year, I won’t fear that my child is heading down the path toward becoming a juvenile delinquent.

10. Miscellaneous
Last Christmas, I asked for some gift cards to a local framing shops so I can finally display our pictures from Hawaii and update photos in out bathroom that we have been looking at for the last ten years. I went as far as ordering the photos, now I have to get in gear to get the mats and frames and then the next challenge is actually hanging them on the wall. I hoping that by writing this task as one of my goals, it will actually get done.

Finish the bluestone and plant one planter box in our back yard. We did a bit of a renovation in our backyard last year. After getting new siding and windows for the house, we ripped out of old deck, installed a newer smaller one, created a patio area with pavers and put in fake grass. We started putting blue stone around the house, but discovered that we (read:Husband) did the math wrong and miscalculated how much stone will needed and we ended up being short and ran out of time to finish last year. Husband also discovered there were roots within our new planter box that needed to be dug up and has spent many weekends digging roots and then complaining about how sore he is after he digs. The back garden is still on a bit of a delay as we’ve received three letters from our HOA about the unsightly front garden, but we’re ordered the stone (although not set a date for delivery) and we’ve started looking a plants for the planter box. Again, I’m hoping that by writing this goal in here; it will get done.