Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Starting Again

I am on a health kick. Or shall I say, a healthier kick. I know, I know, shock! A new year so a new fitness outlook! Actually, for Jeff and me it was the result of several weeks of holiday eating and laziness that eventually made us feel like blah slugs. It was not only the holidays but a trip to Gatlinburg, just he and I, that we really enjoyed, but we also over-indulged the entire time. I mean, we chose where to eat one night by which restaurant would serve fried pickles. I won’t say which one of us requested that. Ahem.

So, once the last party was had and the last meal based on cheesy/buttery appetizers was eaten, we Got Serious. Now, we have Gotten Serious many, many times before but I feel a little different this time. One reason is that we are not trying to suddenly get fit before an event, like when we suddenly took up running before Warrior Dash. I’m not trying to lose weight for a vacation, I don’t have a timeline. I’ve been on the treadmill every day now, for at least 30 minutes. I’ve started a few exercises that I do every other day like pushups, crunches, lunges . . . things that don’t take any equipment and I can do while watching t.v. or listening to music. This little set of exercises takes maybe 10 – 15 minutes. I’ve started off super small, I can barely do anything I’m so out of shape, but I’ve noticed a difference already. I can do more pushups. I can do more lunges. I can go faster and further on the treadmill. I have more energy. I don’t feel like the laziest person on the planet anymore. This all feels fabulous and I do NOT want to pause the momentum.

I don’t know if I’m necessarily eating much better, but I am awful aware of what I’m eating. I have an app on my phone that is a calorie counter sort of thing, and after a few days of logging what I eat it has made me super aware of portions and how much I can allot myself for the rest of the day. This means a bunch of little changes, like less creamer in my coffee (I never realized how many calories I was drinking every morning), eating just a sandwich without any sides, not snacking constantly throughout the day. I know that there are many more changes to be made, but I’m all about going slowly with food changes. I’ve found that going hardcore all of the sudden makes me binge later. I know that I’ve got to start considering how much caffeine I’m drinking but, again, I will address that at a later time. Caffeine is my best friend on the mornings that I have to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to spend the day at the hospital.

One of the hard things for me is realizing that I’ve been down this road before, lost the weight, after two pregnancies, and now it is so much harder on every level. It’s harder to find the time, what with two kids and a full time school schedule and a husband who is out of town for a good portion of the week. It’s harder with the kids being older, and that’s what I have to keep reminding myself; when I lost all the weight before, the kids were eating baby food and such. Now, we have snack foods, foods for lunches, casseroles made with lots of calories. I’m not going to put the kids on a diet just because I’m on one. I realize that children need to eat well and have healthy snacks and all, but I want to have cookies in the house for goodness sake. I’d like Faith to be able to take chips to school for lunch once in awhile instead of veggie crisp sticks. Also, the kids are such picky eaters that if I have to get them to eat a wider variety of food by baking it in a casserole containing butter and cheese and bread, then that is exactly what I’m going to do. My kids are on the skinny side anyway, and the extra calories won’t hurt them, but it does hurt me and I have to learn to not indulge in their foods. Which means making different meals for me a lot of the time, which I don’t like.

Another thing I’ve realized is how much time I spend sitting down since starting back to school. True, when I’m at the hospital I’m on my feet all day, but when I’m home I’m just sitting. Constantly. School requires such an insane amount of reading so I spend hours and hours just reading textbooks, not moving much at all in the process. So the 30 minutes on the treadmill is just adding an activity level that most people probably have in just daily life. I should probably spend even more time on the treadmill, but I need that time for school . . . and kids . . . and making meals, doing laundry, washing dishes, sweeping the floor, sleeping, etc.

So, it continues to be a work in progress, and a slow progression it is. I lost three pounds and somehow mysteriously put them back on despite my daily exercise and calorie restriction. I don’t understand it, but I’m not going to let it deter me. I have a need for instant gratification and I know that it will be a long time before I can actually have the scale reflect my efforts and a while yet before I can button my pants more easily. But, ah, it feels so nice to be working towards it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

School, kids, hair, pants, study

Time has been traveling at WARP SPEED. I mean, it was summer, and all was well, and I got some sun, and I didn’t lose all the weight I wanted to but I was running, so hey! That was cool. Then school started for Faith, and for me, and Jeff continued his crazy duel lifestyle of two jobs on different sides of the state. At that point I really became obsessed with the fall. Such as continuously fretting about it, and thinking how will I be able to do it? How can I possibly do it all?

Now, it is almost over, this crazy fall semester of woe. Amazingly, I have done it (almost). I just have finals left to consume my worries, and a few miscellaneous papers to turn in. I feel like there should be a giant board hanging somewhere that I should go check off a part of my life. OB/Pediatrics rotation – CHECK!


Doesn’t it make you feel great when someone else complements your kid? That might be one of my favorite things ever. I really love getting complements myself, because I’m like that and I should be ashamed to admit it, but whatever, it’s true. Even better though to get complements on your kids, I find. Anyway, we were at Faith’s school for a Thanksgiving thing and her teacher came over and told us how sweet and smart Faith was, and just how especially sweet of a child she is and how she wants her own daughter to be as sweet as Faith, and so on. I might have visibly puffed with pride, I can’t say. Jeff and I felt like parents of the year after that so we came home and ate hot dogs and chocolate. Parents of the year, indeed.


I have given up summer dirty blonde and instead have gone fall red. Only at first I went subtle reddish brown, but then decided to pump up the brightness so I got one of those semi-permanent hair dyes and . . . it is bright. Like the little mermaid. AND I have to go to this professional thingy with my parents and sister tomorrow, so, I don’t know. I feel a little silly. But dramatic! So yes, there’s that.


I have fallen off the health wagon. I have fallen off and it ran over me. Then it rolled down a hill and crashed into a house and caught on fire. I am fitting into my jeans, but it ain’t pretty. A smart person would just suck it up (or suck it in) and go and just buy a bigger size. Or the size up from that. Rather, I enjoy shimmying into my jeans and then letting them almost cut me in half throughout the day. I do feel like there is a legitimate reason for the weight gain, and I can happily blame that on school. It makes me feel much better when all the women start venting about their weight gain so I don’t feel so alone. Not only is stress a factor, but also the insane amount of hours studying. Just sitting . . . and studying. I have almost worn holes into my couch by sitting and reading textbooks for hours and hours on end. So little to no activity plus stress eating has resulted in me feeling quite awful about myself. It is a goal that I acknowledge and plan to attack with enthusiasm. Soon.


I started a bible study. It has moved mountains and shaken the earth for me. I know, I know, I know. But truly! More to come on this.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Well. Well well well.

I'm not even sure what the subject was that I last chose to write here about. Something about extreme catching up or the like. Why mess with the process, then?

So James is now four and Faith is six. This all happened very recently. It's been an exciting whirl of birthday banners and cupcakes and two cakes and favorite dinners and presents and presents and so many new toys that is seems like they've magically multiplied and now what on earth will they get for Christmas, also, too many toys in this house. So we are going to weed out the old and/or forgotten and less played with and donate.

James has been . . . hmm, how do I say this like a loving parent? Testing my nerves? Making me yell more than one ought? Driving me out of my head and making any ounce of patience I owned zip right out of my body? Something along those lines. He is still very loving and sweet and offers unlimited amounts of hugs and kisses, loves to "give me love" (cuddling) and can be very sweet and easy-going. However, both of my children seem to possess another, darker, side of their personality. His is maniacal. He quickly crosses over to the out-of-control side and then it is madness to try and get him back. He challenges me a lot more now and I'm getting to a point that I never had to worry about with Faith. What now? is a question I ask myself often. What works? Time-out? Taking things away? Threats uttered between clenched teeth? I'll figure it all out soon.

All of these things aside, he is a very enjoyable little boy. He cracks Jeff and I up with his little own little quirks and manners of speech. He has started adding extra 'r''s to things, such as 'put'. "I'm just going to purt this over there!" and Jeff and I are hoping he doesn't grow out of it too soon. It always makes us smile.

Faith is doing absolutely wonderful in kindergarten and it still amazes me when we drive up to the big elementary school that she actually belongs in this gigantic place. It used to fill me with worry, but oh how quickly things change. Such as the bus. In the beginning Faith wanted to ride the bus and I thought, never! Why on earth ride the bus when we live so close and I'm home often around that time and why let a stranger drive her around with no seat belt AAAGHH NO! But then I discovered the nightmare of the car-rider line. In short, you get to school thirty minutes before school is out, wait forever, eventually turn your car off because you are not moving, then they rush the children to their different cars, and I'm frantically trying to reach behind me and help Faith get her seat belt buckled but feel the need to just drive already and THEN James has surely fallen asleep because why wouldn't he? Then we get home and he is cranky and despairing because of being awoken from him impromptu nap. It was about a week or so of this before I started realizing that the school bus pulled down our road exactly at the same time I did, every day. So I could do the car-rider thing OR just stay at home and Faith would be home at the same time no matter what. Listen, I don't have smarts for nothing is what I'm saying.

She's making friends and learning so much, much more than I remember being in kindergarten curriculum before. She is reading (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and writing (sometimes it uses some imagination to interpret, but still) and I am constantly amazed by the how quickly it all happens.

Not long ago, we sat down to watch some videos we made of the kids several years ago . . . Faith was only two and James was just starting to crawl, and it just sort of slapped me in the face and made me tear up. They were that little and now they aren't and I'll never have them that little again and it seems like forever ago - like different children that we somehow traded in for these older ones - and then in the same moment it feels like yesterday, I can see James scooting up to the legs of my chair like it still happens just that way and it all floods me with emotion. Not only are those moments gone, but the time I have now will also be quickly gone.

In other words, slow down, time! Also, it made me want another baby. Yes, truly it did, but Jeff says no.

We do have a new cat though, which Jeff for some strange reason thinks replaces a new baby, but we are all happy. Faith named her Lucy but we all call her kittyboots, because that's just how we do. She is a diluted calico color and is a very sweet and loving cat that lets the children tote her around. Faith even came down once with the cat in a dress and a pink and purple pearl necklace on. The cat was just purring away. So, good family cat. Also, she's killing the mice that get into the garage so wooohooo! Good investment.

So all is well (and chaotic) and happy (and maddening) and just as it should be.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bad Start


So, I've started a new semester in nursing school and I've had several orientations that all last several hours long and SAY they are going to go over this and that, but really just spend the whole day talking about how difficult this next year is going to be. At times, I wondered if they were using some sort of reverse psychology to inspire us or something, but it just kept getting more depressing and then there were even moments where they told us to "Get more responsible" and we haven't even had the chance to be IRRESPONSIBLE yet. It was sort of depressing and not nearly as exciting as the blindly happy and optimistic orientations the first year had been.

I'm starting clinicals in Atlanta and I live in north Georgia. That means a whole bunch of driving. Which is distressing for many reasons, but the most for me is the whole getting lost thing. Because I do. Get lost that is. Often. Even with GPS. There is no hope for my cause, I have just learned to live with it and mostly it is never a problem, except when you have to be in Atlanta at 6:30 in the morning and you live about 65 miles away.

Yesterday, I woke up at 4:00, drank some coffee, put on a wee bit of makeup and left with plenty of time for traffic (which doesn't really exist that early, who knew?) and getting lost time. I didn't get (very) lost on the way to the first location and all was good and well. Yay, I thought to myself, my troubles are over. But no. Then they announced that we were to go to another location in Atlanta and it only took 20 minutes to get there and we were to have lunch on the way and had an hour before we were to arrive. We would have to wait on everyone to get there to begin, so if we are the last one to show up then everyone will be waiting and angry and watching that person.

That was all that was needed to get my anxiety into full swing. Not only do I have direction anxiety, but I HATE being the last person to walk into the room and everyone look at me. Ugh. I feel chills now just thinking about it.

So, I thought, alright, all is well. I have the address, I will put it in GPS, I have a whole hour to get there. All will be fine.

I started walking towards the lobby and got confused already. Where did I park? Oh, I will follow the other students. Then I hear them saying that they parked in the visitors parking and I had parked in the staff parking. So I walked back trying to find a friendly face to walk out with and there was no one to be found. To make an entirely too long story shorter, suffice to say that I spent half an hour in a creepy parking deck looking for my car. That is not an exaggeration. I was on the wrong parking deck for 20 minutes before I found the scary looking tunnel that looked like it went to a dungeon that actually led to staff parking. Then I spent another ten minutes walking around frantically clicking the button on my key ring hoping to see my lights flicker.

By the time I found the car, I was literally sweating in my "professional attire" with my white lab coat. I tried to plug the address into GPS only for it to tell me that it didn't exist. I started to feel real tears threaten my eyeballs. Only half an hour! AND I had to catch a shuttle to the hospital from the new parking deck? I started driving around Atlanta getting mixed up before my phone argued with my GPS and offered the suggestion that perhaps the address was actually Decatur instead of Atlanta? So while I tried to plug the new information in I almost ran a red light and got killed. But I didn't. I'm still alive.

I got to the new parking deck and saw a bus start to head off so I ran uphill, in my "professional attire" with my damn white coat flapping in the breeze, in the middle of the damn day, in the Atlanta (Decatur) heat, to catch this bus and the driver opens up the door and I ask if it is shutting to the hospital and NO it is not and then I hear my name called and turn around and there are 25 other students sitting in a cool, glassed in room, watching me make a red-faced sweaty fool of myself.

So everyone ended up looking at me anyway. The end.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Essay

What I have done on my summer vacation
by Jenny

I started off the summer going full blast, taking care of my lawn, buying flowers and even planting some of them, and then just shoving the dead ones out of the way. I got some sun and am now a "deep ivory" with tons of freckles, so I'm the darkest I've ever been. I am still pale, however, but less zombie colored. Jeff gave me a new chore, which is mowing the grass, and I have killed the lawnmower. I've kept the house clean, though.

I'm glad Jeff doesn't read this, because he may or may not agree with that last statement.

I took a statistics class, which was three and a half hours long in a sad little classroom at the college, which was depressing, but I got an A for my efforts. Then I took an online Spanish class, which was much more difficult than I anticipated. I got an A in there too, but I'm still not quite sure how. My fall semester starts back in less than two weeks, and I am (not) looking forward to it.

I spent some time in Savannah and the local beach, Tybee Island, and it was so much fun. The kids loved the sand and the water and it was the best two weeks of the summer. I woke up at six in the morning, drank a bottle of water, donned my shoes (and other appropriate wear, I assure you) and went running on the beach at sunrise. This is amazing to me still, because it is exactly the type of thing that I often dreamily state that I would like to do one day, but then I most certainly never do. On my first morning there, however, I was up early due to sleeping bad and I thought "why not?" and so I did and it was such an experience that I had to do it again, and again. Then I had that good trembly feeling in my legs and the inner feeling that I had already accomplished something so early in my day. Then it let me eat a lot without feeling too guilty about it.

The kids and I did crafts and strung beads, and now my house is littered with all sorts of bracelets and zipper pulls and keychains . . . and I can't throw them away. We made them! We must keep them!

Faith started swimming! Yes, it is true, which is an amazing feat in itself especially since at the beginning of the summer she had meltdowns of epic proportion, clinging to our necks, screaming in our ears, terrified of the water. One day I was in the pool alone with her and James, and was letting her rest her belly on my hand and held her arms length away from me and told her that I was going to let go, and would she swim to me? And she said yes, and then she did. I then whooped and hollered and smothered her with kisses. I was proud that she swam, of course, but more proud that she just went for it and that she trusted me. The next day she swam around the shallow end without her floaties, the day after that she swam with her face in the water. Another milestone, reached.

James has had no such luck, but he still swings wildly from a sweet boy with the most charming smile to an awful little demon who laughs when I lose my mind. I was debating putting him in daycare this fall to let him be around other people besides his family and warm him up to pre-school next fall, but we just don't have the money. All will be well with James, I predict. I just need to keep working to figure out how to discipline him in the most effective way. He is still the most snuggly thing in the world, and he's often my alarm clock in the mornings. He's an early riser, and he likes to come into my bedroom and scoot in beside me and hold my face so that when I open my eyes I'm looking into his blue, smiling ones. It's so sweet that I can't even be mad when he wakes me from my sons of anarchy seduction dreams.

Speaking of sons of anarchy, I am watching as much television as one can do, since I know that my fall time will be filled with school and children and not much else. Since mad men has come on netflix I haven't been doing much else and the kids say "Again?" when they hear the intro music. I can't help myself, kids!

Jeff has spent all summer working, and now is working 7 days a week, truly. That is sucktastic in so many ways. I keep reminding myself, it is all for something, it won't always be this way. That helps sometimes, other times I just want to shut myself up. We did go on an awesome date in Tybee that was like an epic food/drink crawl, followed up by a walk on the beach and then the pier. Jeff lost his sunglasses, and I kept marveling at how young everyone else is which means that I myself am aging, but I was more amused than sad, so it was an excellent date.

I haven't made it to church that much, which is awful and made more the awful that I think everyone else is thinking it is awful. Our pastor left for another church in another state and I really liked him. He was young, I liked his wife and his little family, he seemed on fire for what he was saying, and I always felt that the sermon that he preached was just what I needed to hear that day. So now, boo, I'm being a baby I guess. And feeling guilty for it.

Other times this summer I would think that I needed to blog and record some of these memories going down here, but I just didn't get to it. Lazy fingers.

What else? Let's see, food, television, lazy, school, kids, books . . . I think that just about covers everything.

For the next week and a half, I'm going to get my mad men on, eat some good comfort food, and relish in the lounging around because when my fall semester starts it's going to be No Joke.

Monday, May 23, 2011


It's . . . wait . . .May? Like, toward the END of May? Huh.

Instead of struggling with the basic logistics of how that happens (such as time, sun revolutions, calendars, and the like) I will just instead declare that I am indeed done with the first year of nursing school. Done! With an A! It's true. I worked hard for it and those around me can tell. I received two text messages from friends inquiring as to what it was that they did exactly to make me mad enough to have nothing to do with them. I have tried explaining that no, my school had taken over my life. My time, for sure, and my thoughts when I wasn't dedicating my tasks at hand to school related projects. I always felt that I had something more to do, and that feeling hung like a dismal cloud over my head all year long. It's still there, it much lesser and slightly brighter form, since I am still taking some lighter summer classes (if one can call statistics lighter) and have some various nursing school tasks to tidy up before fall semester begins. One more year and I will have graduated and hopefully already have a job in place. I hope, I pray, that this next year flies by school-wise, but crawls along when it comes to my family and friends. Odd, that time thing.

Jeff is working diligently to pursue another career entirely, and I am supportive because it would mean a future that involves evenings spent together as a family. His night shift is horrible and I hate how our time together is so limited. Hard work on his part, hard work on mine, and hopefully a brighter future.

Faith has graduated pre-school, as they do apparently, which is cute/strange, but I got some really adorable pictures of her in a cap and gown so I'm behind this nonsense. What I am loving most of all is that the mornings are no longer a rush of waking, breakfast eating, sock-finding madness. We didn't even set the alarm this morning! That right there is one of the qualifiers of a "good-life" to me. Absence of alarms. The drawback to Faith being at home all day is that she and James have so many more opportunities for attempted murder of each other. It will never cease to amaze me how happy they can be one moment, with their original ongoing games, an ever-evolving storyline of stuffed animals with their offspring, to switching over to the dark
side. Their fights are maddening, with few amounts of actual harm done despite their best attempts. I don't want to be the parent that yells, but I am honestly predicting a summer of raised voices. I'm down with the truth.

Oh! And! I did something fun and physical and I did the minimal amount of training (if one can call huffing and puffing on a treadmill for a couple of weeks training) AND I completed it! Warrior dash, it was, which is technically a race, though my group just did it for fun. I ran a 5K with obstacles thrown in, and I have been insanely proud of myself for the past couple of weeks. I mean, me, queen of the lazy, scaled a fifteen foot wall! It's true, I say, and it inspired me a bit. It made me want to actually train and try again but aim for a competitive time. So, yay, summer may mean some sweat and muscle too.

Aaaaand. That's all. Hullo, blogworld.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Well then.

I feel as though I have been going and going and going, and now I am just stopping for a few savory minutes and shall type instead.

School has started again for the spring semester and it has taken over my life, as school often does. This semester is certainly more grueling than the last and all that is well since I’m making good grades again (OH YEAH) but they weren’t kidding, despite their polite laughter, in orientation when they warned us we would have no life. Jeff and I haven’t spent time with our little group of friends/family since New Year’s. This is true, and this is sad. If there isn’t a test to study for then there is a paper to write. It is rare when there is no school related workings needed to be worked, and we have a moment for other things.

Which leads me to the death of my aunt. She passed a couple of weeks ago and though it is sad, it is one of those deaths that is right and almost welcome. She was so miserable at the end, she told my mother that this wasn’t living it was existing, and I can only imagine what she had to go through. Though still, I imagined her when we went down there to her home and it was strange that she wasn’t sitting there and it’s all so strange still. My mother is staying with my uncle to keep his spirits up and manage the many projects they have going on down there. So that takes Jeff and I to Savannah frequently and we are planning on leaving early in the morning to head back down for a variety of work and chores. That is what family is for we tell them. That is what family is for, we have to remind ourselves.

Faith continues to be the perfect child and James constantly tests my patience and when he isn’t making me lose my mind he looks so cuddly and sweet and makes me spoil him truly rotten. He does it, not me.

Now the children are running around the couch that I’m sitting on playing some sort of horse/monkey hybrid. I wish I could harvest some of their energy in pill form.

Okay, now someone is about to get hurt. I can sense it.

Anyway. Kids. School. Savannah. House (ha! It is sometimes clean and sometimes not, but entirely livable). Exercise (cough.) and church/friends/family/hobbies. Bah. Writing that makes me realize I need to prioritize better or balance or something because that just ain’t right.