For years now I have been meaning to reconnect with one of my all time favorite former boyfriends. I was 20 and in college in NJ. I was about to transfer to then U of Montana in Missoula. I met him on campus but he was 10 years older than me. Everything in my head told me not to date him but he turned out to be the nicest, funniest and the most chivalrous of any boyfriend I had ever had. He showered me with gifts and took my on vacations. He always paid for dinner. We never really broke up…I moved to Montana and it ended. He was not one to carry on a friendship with former girlfriends so we really fell out of touch. But he has been on my mind often since then. I don’t visit NJ much since my parents moved to NC 15 years ago. I have been wanting to send him an xmas card annually so he could see Sweet E. I almost did last year. He was not on FB and he did not have the same number that he had 20 years ago so there was really no way to get in touch other than snail mail. Well this morning I was internet stalking him and I found his obituary. He passed away last year. I have no idea how or why. But I am devastated that I never managed to reconnect. Now it’s too late. I feel like a small piece of me has died. He was really one my favorite humans. Super sad. The moral of this story is if you have been meaning to reconnect with an old friend, do it today :). I wish I had taken that opportunity.
Just listen here. I am 100% the last person to be writing this BUT I did something for myself the other day that was way out of the ordinary. When I first moved to Colorado I made a conscious decision to go sans makeup. It saves a shit ton of time and money. But recently I looked at a pic of myself about 10 years ago and I looked so much better. I was wearing makeup. Not much but some. I have been so down about myself lately that I took my tush to the Mac makeup store and got a makeover which was super fun. I walked in and said I wanted something natural but to make my eyes pop so I could feel more like a woman. She did a fabulous job and understanding that I was not a makeup gal but just needed a little pick me up. I spent more than I even have for makeup but it was an hour of someone toting on just me! I had her full attention for an hour and it was lovely. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience. And now I have big girl makeup. Haha. Anyway here’s the look. See it doesn’t look like much but it made me feel so good. Ps I don’t do lipstick. I have to draw the line somewhere. Ha! But I did get a brow pencil otherwise you can’t see my super blonde brows. Craziness, I know!!!
I have been feeling really crappy about my body for the last year. Being a single mama with a full time job does not leave much time for workouts. The 15 minute power walks I do during my breaks at school have been doing nothing for the cottage cheese on my legs and belly or the rolls on my back. I have always been in shape, but when the kids at school start asking when you are due to have your baby….you know its time to get serious. I was also getting back up to the weight I was when I was 9.5 months pregnant! I had gained back 20 pounds after all day nursing slowed down. Someone in my local mom group asked what the other mamas favorite videos were for getting fit at home. From here, I started researching what I would be able to do and not lose interest. What I found was Mommastrong! What I need more than anything is accountability and with this website, you have a community of mamas cheering you on every day! The best part for me was that it focused on postpartum issues like your Diastasis Recti muscle. Mine is still apart and I have been searching for ways to help bring it together. The separation of my Di Recti is a big part of the reason I still have a pot belly. I need to reconnect that muscle. ALL of the workouts on this website focus on your core and Di Recti. You can start at any level you need and there is a nice description of where you should start in case you should have any questions. I have found it super easy to keep up. I have done it most every day (unless I take a 9 mile bike ride, then I feel like I can skip a day). By the way, this blog post is totally of my own volition. I don’t get a thing from this except informing my mama friends that this has been an amazing addition to my life. It is only $2 a month to join the group and the workouts are only 15 minutes long! Totally worth it. It even has workouts for pregnant mamas. 🙂
During the June Hook Challenge, I lost all of the cottage cheese on my legs!! I am so impressed at how much I have changed in 30 days 🙂 I feel good about myself again. Maybe not string bikini good just yet, but better than I was. My legs are also starting to look toned again. Even E has joined me and knows that Mama is exercising. Showing him these good habits is important to me (as opposed to couch potato mom). He did get on my case for exercising during our vacation. He said, “NO EXERCISING AT GRANDMA”S HOUSE!!!!” He is a bossy one! I didn’t listen.
Hopefully this helps at least one mama out there who was feeling the same way as I was (no time, no motivation). I hope I can keep up with it after school starts. I SUCK at getting up early to work out. In fact, I detest it. And I am usually so tired at the end of the day that I can’t see straight. I am hoping my accountability group gets me past this because I always feel better once I do my workout. 🙂
**Wrote this months ago and just found it in my drafts**💕
Once in awhile I have a dream where Chad visits. It somewhat shakes me bc I miss him so dearly, but I also revel in that feeling of having his arms around me. Last night I was canoeing with Chad’s brother, Greg. We ended up in the place where Chad was suppose to reunite with us. It didn’t feel like he was coming back from the dead, but returning from a fire. I was the wife of a Wildland Firefighter. Chad worked in Idaho and we lived in Colorado so we did a fair bit of traveling back and forth. In the summer he was often gone on a fire for months. When he arrived he looked sooooo good. SO healthy. Like he had never had cancer. He threw his arms around me and we kissed and kissed and kissed (he actually did this once at the Boise Airport to the point where I almost had to tell us to get a room!!) He really was a lover when he was alive and the dream exemplified that. It felt so lovely. And then….my alarm went off! Argh!!! I immediately tried to go back to sleep to get that hug back!!! I love it when Chad visits me in my dreams. I lay awake and dream of what life would have been like if he never got sick and passed away! OH the sweet sorrows.
I just realized that with the end of the school year and family craziness with the death of my cousin, moving my uncle into senior living, and trying to rent out my house for next year, I plum forgot to post anything about E’s birthday! E requested a fire truck party. I don’t get to pick the theme anymore :(. He is also adamant that he is going to be an elephant for Halloween. He is full of opinions as a threenager. He dove into this new personality head first and I swear it started the moment he turned three. He is a pistol now! Strong willed but still a sweet boy (so long as we are well rested and fed). We are in full swing with potty training. Almost 100% potty trained with #1. Pooping in the potty is a little tougher though he has done it many times before. Not sure what the deal is since he had no problem with it and then just stopped. We are 100% done with diapers though. Not ever going back! We are currently on summer vacation from school until August 11. Taking time to take swim lessons (he is thankfully not afraid of the water this summer!) , ride bikes, hike, and rest. E will start preschool at my school (which is a pre-k-8th grade school) in mid-August. Looking forward to much less driving and more time with my boy!
Mama is being silly again 😉
The Monday after our spring break (which was the last thing from restful for me as I had 3 kiddos all week and it was raining so we were trapped indoors most of those days) I woke up ready for normalcy. I guess it is a good thing when you are ready to get up and go back to work. As usual, I grabbed my phone and went off to the bathroom where I often check my emails for the day. I opened one email that was really upsetting to me. My cousin had passed out the night before and was in the hospital with an apparent brain hemorrhage. It immediately took me back 17 years ago when my aunt (her mother) had a massive brain aneurysm and died very quickly. That was a complete shock for us because we were expecting my grandmother to pass soon. When my mother got off the phone I fully expected her to say that my grandmother had died, but she instead told us that our aunt had passed away. It was so unfair. She had just retired and was just about to become a first time grandmother. After reading this current email about my cousin, I went into a state of shock. This can’t be happening again. She can’t die? She is too young!! She has a teenage son. She is married to the love of her life. She just got a huge promotion at her job. Her life was perfect! Life was good!
I prayed (which I do on occasion) on the drive to work. I called my dad and he said that it was not good. I still prayed for some miracle. I know hope is sometimes the only thing that keeps us sane. By the end of the day, we had learned that she was brain dead and there was nothing that they could do. It was quickly decided that she would be an organ donor and therefore must be kept on life support until they could organize the surgery to harvest her organs. This was all so amazing and so surreal. I have been on the happy side of organ donation before, but never on the sad side. Our incredible loss is many families grateful gain. To think that my cousin’s heart is still beating out there somewhere, her eyes are looking at something, her lungs have given someone new life…all of these things give me some small piece of comfort.
And then there is the stages of grief. I went through many of these stages when Chad was sick before he passed away. I hit the anger stage when it became apparent that Chad would not beat his illness. With my cousin, it is all happening differently. It is not like you leave one stage and enter another and then the next and so on until you are not grieving any more. In some way, we will be grieving for the rest of our lives. As my neighbor once described it when his dad passed away, “I have a big hole in my heart that will grow smaller but will never fully go away”. I am currently passing back and forth between denial and acceptance. I hit anger briefly, but I am mostly stuck in denial. I just cannot believe that my cousin is really gone. Just like that. Living life to the fullest one moment and completely gone the next. I have bargained, I have felt depressed. It is more like a web than a ladder. You don’t climb to the next stage, the stages are intertwined. I am moving between all of the stages. This has been a tough hit for all of us. My cousin was truly one of the better human beings that had been placed on this earth. And I jokingly said that she left this earth early to avoid the pending doom in our political system. I guess I deal with grief by using humor. My heart goes out to her husband who is truly suffering through this shock and not really understanding how to handle his new normal. My heart hurts for her young son who is just becoming an adult himself and whom she adored. I got the pleasure of spending Christmas dinner this past year with them and I commented on how sweet they were and hoped that my boy at age 13 would still want to cuddle with me on the couch. I feel blessed that I was able to Facetime with my cousin just 2 weeks before she unexpectedly passed. She joked with me that my nearly 3 year old son would surely be potty trained before he reached middle school. I loved her sense of humor and her overall kind demeanor. I feel such a deep loss with her passing. I think denial is my coping mechanism to the fact that she really is gone forever. As her brother (my other cousin) said so eloquently, it is going to take some time to get used to this life without T in it. Our new (but not always welcomed) normal.
I remember this from last year. Starting tomorrow, getting out of the house on time from now until the end of the school year becomes a living hell. To solve this issue I decided I would skip naps this weekend. Yesterday was great. We were in bed at 6:30 asleep (well he was asleep, I was binge watching Parks and Recs). He slept 13 hours!!! Woke up with the sun at 7:30 am. Today we got up and have been moving all morning. At 3pm we came inside to at least have quiet time. Plan foiled. This is what 4:26 pm looks like around here:
I am somewhat tempted to put him into bed and call it a night even if we will wake up at 4am. I just cannot be late tomorrow! I teach 1st period 2x a week and tomorrow is that day. So is Tuesday. Argh. Bad timing. Wish me luck! I am pretty sure we are all going to need it!