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.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Kate 4.0

 As I always read over my last update before composing my current one, I am laughing out loud as I read that we were passed the horrible Threeranasauras stage. Oh no. It’s like herpes, the gift that keeps on giving. Even though she just turned four, she’s exhibiting all the horrible behaviors of her terrible threes. It started just after Memorial Day weekend, husband and been away, but Kate and I were doing fine flying solo. She spent an afternoon playing with her cousin and was very well behaved when my friend’s husband graciously offered to watch her and another kid while we did a benchmark work-out. The next week Husband went away for two days and she started her school’s summer program, which meant a different classroom, new teachers and a few new classmates as the school likes to mix-up the classes for the summer modules. Then I went away for a few days. Kate was so much for Husband that he called me begging me to come home earlier. We tried to go out to our usual Saturday night dinner at the pub, but she was so poorly behaved that we had to turn the car around and never made it to the restaurant. Then Husband went away for a week. For the second time, Kate was refusing to get in the pool at her swim lesson (she had a new instructor as her regular one was away) I explained that there have been a lot of transitions recently and she doesn’t handle change well. I was hoping that was all this was just a slight setback in her behavior, she’d be back to normal and all would be right with our world again. [insert laughter]

Nope. A month later, things have become much worse. She completely.regressed. I went back to read that post, we are exactly right back where we were a year ago. Wanting to play pretend (baby, kitty, puppy..etc) at inappropriate times. Throwing horrible tantrums where she thrashes all over the ground. Being super clingy and throwing one of those tantrums because I had the audacity to leave her side long enough to take a shower. Not cooperating with getting dressed. Being as difficult as possible as much as possible. One morning she was sitting on our bed when I informed her it was time to turn off the TV and go to the kitchen (our usual routine). When she didn’t comply, I gave her the option “Do you want me to turn off the TV or do you want to do it?” Her Pre-school promotes this approach as kids feel they are more empowered rather that being told what to do. I asked again. I told her that if she is not answering ‘yes, that she wants to do it’ she must mean that she wants me to do it. She said she would do ‘eenie-meanie-miney-moe’. After two endless rounds of eenie-meanie, I turned off the TV, walked out of the room and shut the door to muffle the sounds of her crying and screaming.

I threatened to cancel her birthday party if she didn’t improve her behavior, which worked for a while and fortunately, she was very good at her party. She hasn’t opened half of her presents as we’re saving them for positive reinforcement for good behavior, but there hasn’t been too much to reward. We’ve taken away watching TV in the evenings. I’ve given her specific examples of what she needs to do to earn back her TV privileges (cooperate with getting dressed at swimming, no playing pretend at school pick-up) and she fails to do these and then wants “more chances” to earn her TV time back. After six weeks of a steadfast decline, Husband and I accepted that this isn’t just a phase that will pass on it’s own. I reached out to our pediatrician and I’m trying to set up a conference with her teacher. I’m reading The Difficult Child as we speak and I ordered *Positive Disclipine* from Amazon last night. Has anyone else dealt with a major behavior regression? I vented to a fellow mom at my gym that my kid has turned into a fucking asshole. She just laughed. “All kids are assholes, Jane. Not too many moms admit it out loud as you just did. Recognizing it is the first step, You’ve got this Mom,” Do I? I hope so…


Eating: We’ve made slight progress here. After offering the broccoli tater tots as a desperate attempt to sneak a green vegetable into her, she is actually eating two vegetables on her own. At a CrossFit BBQ, she fixed herself a plate of carrot sticks and ranch dip and she’ll eat yellow or orange peppers if they are served at home. For some reason, she does not eat them when I put them in her lunch box, but since she’s eating them at home, I’ll take it and score it as a win.

Potty Training: I can report a major victory in this category! We have achieved night time dryness! When we got back from South Carolina, I gave us all a week to get over the jet-lag and then started putting her to bed commando and I would set my alarm every two hours to get up and to try to do a dream pee. We had some initial success, but she wouldn’t always pee during the dream pee, but at most was only wetting the bed once a night, which was much better than when we last left off and it was multiple times a night. Then I read some source that suggested that the dream pee doesn’t really teach kids anything, it just means you have less laundry to do. If she wasn’t learning anything, and since he works from home, I can actually get Husband to do the laundry, why was I sacrificing my sleep? I decided to ditch the dream pee and see what would happen. She wet the bed the next few nights. I was completely frustrated and despondent. I was convinced she would be using pull-ups until she went to kindergarten.

We asked Husband’s colleague and friend who has a son a year older than Kate and was finally dry at night just before he was four and a half what worked for them. “I bribed him” was the response she sent via text, but she didn’t quite explain how. Desperate, I just googled “how to night time potty train your toddler” and the magic little person who runs the internet hooked me up with this mom’s suggestion “do a double pee before bedtime”. I put both suggestions into place. Kate usually pees before or during her bath, then we do stories before bedtime. I offered that if she puts pee-pee in the potty after we read our three night times stories.. she will get a BONUS story! Next, if she wants to get into our bed during the middle of the night, she must put pee-pee in the potty or else she goes back to her bed.

BINGO this was the magic formula that finally worked. Kate would be dry when she came into our bed, she would pee and stay dry for the rest of the night. There have been a few accidents, including one in our bed; but for the most part she is dry almost every night. She is now even using the potty in her room on her own before she comes into our bed. Some times she’ll wet her pants a little bit, which I think wakes her up to go to the potty and she’ll even change her Jammie bottoms on her own. I’m somewhat wondering if her behavior regression is to offset this major developmental leap she’s made, but what I know for sure is that I recently realized that I had to wash her sheets as they hadn’t been changed in over a week. Thank you random woman on the Internet who made the double pee suggestion. I don’t know who you are, but I wish I could send you $17 as that tip was much more helpful that Jamie Glow.acki’s nighttime training supplement.

Sleep: We’re still in the same dilemma; when she naps during the day she’s not tired at bedtime and doesn’t fall asleep until nearly 9:30 every night, which is too late for both Kate and Mommy, who is still sitting in her room until she falls asleep. I tried on a weekend to see what would happen if she didn’t nap and she was absolutely grizzly come 7PM. I could tell she was too tired to eat dinner and rather than risk an even bigger meltdown, I let her have some milk, gave her a quick bath and put her to bed. She was asleep before 8:30. Can I tell you how much I was ready to party when I walked out of her room?

I have a few strategies moving forward. Firstly we’re finally going to get her into a twin bed as she has been sleeping on her crib mattress for the better part of a year and she barely fits on it. I had been stressing out over so many bed designs and types and dealing with the limited options for configurations in her room given the location of the window, heating vent, closet and most importantly that her dresser is secured to the wall and the mirror is perfectly centered over the dresser and I really don’t want to move either one. Then I decided that the easiest thing to do would be to just get a day bed with a trundle that is essentially a larger version of what she has now with her toddler bed converted from her old crib. I think it will work for the kid who does not do well with change and for her mom, who is also some what reluctant to change the room from the nursery that I designed for my baby. I’m also going to get a storage unit that is somewhat of a similar style to her old changing table, and for now I’m keeping the glider in the room, mostly because Tyler spends a lot of time sleeping there and I think it’s one of his favorite spots.

My other night time strategies will involve getting her to go to sleep on her own, and I’m keeping the chair in part because I think we may need to ‘wean’ the time Mommy spends in the chair each night, which is actually going to be hard for me because it can be a productive use of time to clean my email, make shopping lists and download my Safe.way coupons. I also want to bring back the OK to wake clock to get her to sleep in her own room all night. As much as I do love snuggling with her at night, it’s becoming harder as she is getting bigger. Despite the fact that we have a Cal King and there really is enough room for the three of us, she crowds my side and I end up sleeping on a sliver of the bed. I thought I had pinched something in my shoulder at swimming or at the gym, but when I went to Monterey for a few nights, I realized it was from the way I was sleeping with Kate at my side. Some nights, I’ll get up and sleep in the guest room, which feel so decadent to have a bed to myself (well sharing only with Tyler) but it’s really not ideal. So that’s our goal by the end of the year; new bed, going to sleep on her own, staying dry overnight and staying in her own room all night. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Looking forward to: Having my normal kid back! I hope! I’m en route to Chicago for my Girls Weekend with Myrtle as I type, which is my last trip of the year. My parents are coming for a two week visit in August and I so desperately hope Kate’s behavior is improved by then, because all my feelings of inadequacy and failure as a parent will only be magnified in front of my mother. Then we start a new school year and Husband will be traveling for hockey (yay! More transition and change!) but we also will be approaching Halloween, Thanksgiving, and (gulp) Christmas. Seriously, how can it be almost Christmas already?