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My Punny Valentine February 11, 2015

Filed under: Getting my Martha On — booksunread @ 12:48 pm

I was inspired to get my Martha on for Valentine’s this year by this post by Heather Spohr. I took her idea and gave it my own twist.
Miguel thinks this is the last year for this type of cutesy stuff. Guess it’s stupid Transformers or Star Wars cards next year. Sigh.

Weenut’s Kgar party is today and I’m volunteering. In deference of him growing out of the cutesy stuff, I got him a red MineCraft t-shirt with a creeper on it that says “Be Mine.” I’m all about the puns this year!


Parenting Fumble October 22, 2013

Filed under: Schmooper — booksunread @ 2:32 pm

I think it’s well established that I’m not very good at explaining the mysteries of the world to Weenut. When I was trying to explain God and how he was everywhere and all powerful, I might have made a comparison to Superman…

I was raised Catholic and we stopped going to church sometime before reconciliation. In general, I’m pretty agnostic. I don’t think any religion really has it right, except for the core belief that you should try to be a good person-although many religions seem to believe things that directly contradict that core belief. I don’t really believe the bible is more than a collection of fables. I don’t believe that there is some divine being that intervenes directly in people’s lives to perform miracles. I just can’t reconcile that with the randomly awful things that happen to perfectly good people and the evil that goes on unfettered every day around the world. At the same time, I don’t begrudge anyone religious beliefs that give them a framework with which to make sense of the world.

Still, I can’t say that in times of trouble and stress, I haven’t found myself turning to “prayer.” When I found out I was miscarrying years ago, many, many times the thought passed through my head “please, please god, do not let this happen on its own, please let me make it to the d&c next week.” When my dad was first diagnosed with cancer, I taught Weenut the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer adding on a round of “God bless Pepere, Memere, etc” to the end. There was comfort in the ritual, whether or not I really believed that god was up there changing the course of destiny. Plus, there is nothing wrong in teaching Weenut to be thankful for the people in his life.

Soooo, I don’t know, there are so many concepts that are just kind of embedded into my consciousness, whether or not I really, really believe there’s someone on the other side waiting to met out judgments at the end. When I pray/wish for something, I don’t know if I’m really throwing it out there to God, fate, the universe, whatever. And because I don’t really have a good handle on it myself, it makes it kind of hard to explain things to an inquisitive 5 year old. As was clearly evident in the conversation Weenut and I had last night.

Weenut: Why are there four seasons?
Me: I guess because mother nature designed it that way. (First thing that popped into my head. Now that I think about it, there is probably some perfectly valid scientific explanation having to do with the earth’s rotation, position relative to the sun, etc. I’m sure Christianity/the bible has some official explanation about god’s design as well.)
Weenut: Was she the first person?
Me: No, Adam and Eve were the first people. (QUICKSAND, MIXING METAPHORS, I am so bad at this).
Weenut: But how did they live if there was nothing else here and no other people? What did they eat?
Me: Well there were fruits and vegetables and nature and stuff. (And a poisoned apple. Why is this so complicated).
Weenut: Well then who made nature?
Me: (Abort! Abort! Getting too complicated! Misdirection needed) Something nonsensical mumbling and then Hey! Time for dessert!


The Tuck October 3, 2013

Filed under: Battle of the Scale — booksunread @ 1:13 pm

So I’m four weeks post-surgery now. I’m healing well with no complications, although it does seem to be taking forever. I’m glad that I postponed the surgery last spring with a trip to the UK coming up four weeks later. There is NO WAY I would have been up for a trans-Atlantic travel and the rigors of that trip at this point in my recovery. So here’s how it went.
A friend drove me down for my 6:45 arrival so that Miguel could get Weenut up and off to school. This was a full two hours before my surgery so there was a lot of sitting around. Getting my vitals checked, IV started, putting on my lovely hospital gown, etc. You have a nurse assigned to you, a patient care assistant and then also IV lady whatever she was called (who did a shit job finding a vein and left me with a lump in my vein that is still not all the way gone).
The doctor finally came in to mark me and kept stepping back to eyeball me and adjusting my shoulders to be more level-I am lopsided. I love full frontal nudity with near strangers (in consult visits, I kept on my underwear onso it was first with the full monty…). It was a lot of marking between the tummy tuck marks, and the breast lift marks and the lipo she also did around my hips. She also promised me some kind of sedative to relax me before heading in to surgery. I was like okay whatevs-I really wasn’t all that nervous. Mostly because I was refusing to think about what was about to happen. And also because I was voluntarily choosing to do this to myself of my own free will and not because of any health issue.
The pre-op cocktail was quite warm and lovely and fuzzy and before I knew it they were popping on my orange “latex sensitive” shower cap/hairnet and wheeling me off to the OR. A bunch of masked people were introducing themselves to me and the last thing I remember was being moved to the operating table.
I woke up in recovery feeling no pain or disorientation, I was even able to direct the nurse to exactly where my glasses were stowed in my bag. I was finally transferred to a room sometime before 1 and Miguel and my friend were allowed to meet me there. The nurses got me all settled, explained the morphine pump to me and I was basically like alright guys, you can take off because all I’m going to be doing all day is riding this morphine wave and sleeping.
And ride the morphine pump I did. The nurse in pre-op had given me kind of a mini lecture about not being afraid to take advantage of the pain meds, to stay out in front of the pain rather than wait until it was really bad. The morphine pump works like this-you can hit the button whenever you want but it will only give you a hit of morphine if it’s time for more (GENIUS). It beeps once if it’s delivering the morphine and three times if it’s not time for another dose. So every time I drifted into consciousness, I hit the button to see if it would give me some. So basically, every single time I was medically able to get morphine without od’ing, I got one.
Which was super awesome until the next morning, when I had to get weaned off of it, have my catheter removed and start moving around, coming back to the land of the living with the goal of being shuttled out the door in the late afternoon. And I was super super nauseous. You have to pee before you can leave, but I couldn’t eat or drink anything to get some pee made. I tried some saltines and water but it didn’t go well. Before long, I could tell they were coming back up, but the basin was on the table out of the reach of my limited mobility (not to mention the thought of hurling when your stomach is all stitched together is not a fun prospect). I pushed the nurse button which thankfully was within reach. “Yessss?” a bored voice asked. “Helllp” I croaked (I was afraid to talk/open my mouth too much for fear it would all come spewing out). “What?” “Helllp.Vomit.Help.” Three people came in and they were like “I don’t know” I stretched my hand out for the basin and the nurse clued in and got it under my chin just in time.
Meanwhile. It’s been about 6 hours since the catheter came out which is when they expect things to start working. No pee. Since I can’t hold down liquids, they push some more via IV. And give me an anti-nausea med that knocks me back out. It’s getting later in the day and nothing is happening. The hope was Miguel would be able to get me settled at home before picking up Weenut at daycare. So as the day wore on without any pee, I was getting more stressed out about not getting out. I finally did pee late afternoon and was like alright, let’s roll. But I was still super nauseous.
So the doctor had decreed they wanted me to be able to keep down some liquids/food before they’d release me. It was after 4 by this time so I had some broth and juice or whatever. But then that still wasn’t good enough, they wanted me to have some soft foods. So I had to wait for some oatmeal and a banana and put a dent in that before they’d let me go. It was getting close to 8 by this point and I finally got them to call in an anti-nausea Rx and send me home. I was not about to be spending another night in the hospital on my dime. So Miguel lined up a sitter and picked up my meds and came to get me.
The half hour drive home was long-I had been pumped so full of fluids via IV I had to pee so bad. I waddled into the house hunched over at the waist, straight past the babysitter to the bathroom and stayed there till Miguel had paid her and she left.
I went straight up to bed and spent the night alternating between the recliner and bed, with frequent trips to pee out all that fluid. It wasn’t awful. I was so freaked out from the morphine sickness, I was afraid to take anything other than the nausea meds and Tylenol. I left the valium and percocets alone. But the pain was still pretty manageable. I couldn’t really feel much of anything if I was sitting still and really only a 4 when I was moving.
I was given a surgical bra lined with huge pads of guaze at the hospital and then the stomach incision was covered with what almost look liked padded duct tape. Over all of my stomach was a large adhesive plastic, saran wrap –like bandage, which all stayed in place till my one week post-op. So wound care was just taking care of the boob incisions at first. I was able to shower on my second day home and then had to ointment and re-dress the breasts. And I had drains coming out my lower abdomen that had to be emptied and measured every day for that first week. So gross to see your body juice on the outside. Luckily they came out after the first week.
The biggest pain point throughout recovery was that I couldn’t stand upright. And eventually that was taking a toll on my back, with spasms and tightness if I was up and walking around for any length of time. I had to shower sitting down. This pain led me back to the valium and percocets which I tolerated without nausea, thankfully. I took the combo at night for a while to ensure a good nights sleep and weaned myself back off once I went back to work in the office (I was off 1 week, then worked from home for a another week and a half).
It’s now almost 3 weeks later-7 weeks post op. I’m back to running (just a mile at a time) and doing some low impact cardio + light weights. The tightness through my abdomen is easing, but I still can’t do anything really core intensive like situps or pilates. My lift is still settling so the shape, evenesss and scar appearance there is changing daily. Not sure how I’m going to like where they finally settle. They’re still a little heavy/tear shaped which I knew I was going to get without an implant. But I’m sure if I go back to look at my before pix, I will be super happy to compare. The real test will be can I wear a halter style bathing suit in the summer without it looking awful.
My abdominal scar is still looking pretty gnarly. I’m using scar regimen once a day and massaging with vitamin e cream every night. I’m not looking to wear a bikini when this is all over, but I’d rather not look like Frankenstein either, so I’m eager for it to fade. I read somewhere (after the surgery) that it takes two years for the tissues to fully heal. So that’s where I’m at.


Summer Catch Up July 25, 2013

Filed under: Daily Grind — booksunread @ 1:29 pm

The big 5 year birthday party madness is over and now I have a real, honest to god little boy in my house. Ack he is so big! But still so sweet and cute. But also still maddening and semi-spoiled. That’s something we need to work on. It’s the great parenting Sopie’s Choice-the short term payoff of not having to listen to the whining that accompanies making them do something they don’t want to do vs the long term payoff of them taking care of that shit themselves in the near future. Sigh.

With that the summer is winding down and we’re looking at another chaotic busy few weeks. I’ve got a lot going on at work taking on some new big projects and then Weenut and I are going home for a few days and then I have my surgery scheduled. I’ll be off of work and using vacation time for a week, and then working at home for the next week. And oh, yeah, Weenut will be switching schools 4 days post-surgery. So not much going on…

We decided that the best course of action would be to switch daycares at the start of the school year, when the transition is happening for everyone else to Kgar. How much I hate the current daycare administrator and a lot of staff turnover for the worse sealed the deal on moving schools. He will go into a pre-k class at the new daycare, which will let him develop a new peer group that will be moving on to Kgar with him next fall. Unfortunately, the new school requires uniforms, and is a bit more expensive than his current one. But it’s a good school and you can’t beat the location-walking distance!

Okay work is calling. So. Much. To. Do. No more procrastination.


Juice Cleanse June 7, 2013

Filed under: Battle of the Scale — booksunread @ 1:07 pm

So I’ve been wanting to try a three day juice cleanse for a while now but I could never find three days in row that I felt like it would be okay if I felt shitty from the cleanse, plus it’s a big monetary investment with the cost per juice plus the shipping required for perishables. I finally decided that one day was doable, and found the juices on sale for 6.99 each at my local Whole Foods, saving in the shipping.

I wake up reluctantly as usual at 5:40ish, shower and get ready. My weight is 154.2 and I’m not feeling particularly hungry at this point.

When I go down to pack my juices for the day and see all the food in the fridge and pantry I won’t be eating today, I start to get a bit hungry. I pack a handful of almonds to eat pre-run and resist the urge to snag a couple. I also pack a hardboiled egg to eat first thing in the morning just to keep me from dying. I also grab a plain tea bag in case I have a serious caffeine emergency.

I don’t have the lemon for the recommended hot lemon water so I substitute lime. I got the hot water from the Keurig and am hoping that there’s some residual caffeine in it. I drink the hot citrus water on the ride to work and start to feel a little irritation in my throat by the time I finish. Along the way, I debate whether or not to actually eat the hardboiled egg, more because it doesn’t sound particularly appetizing than any noble juice-only intentions. Just thinking about it conjures thoughts of rubberyness.

As I climb the stairs to my office, I’m really feeling yesterday’s pilates in my butt/hip area and I’m struggling under the weight of my juice, workout gear and purse. For a minute I attribute it to juice-only weakness and then realize how silly I’m being as I’ve had exactly the same amount of no food as I have every single morning by this time. I am being dramatic. Surprising.

When I get to the office, I head down to the kitchen to peel my egg. Someone has cooked a breakfast biscuit. MURDER. I stash my juice, fill a 24oz tumbler with water and head back to my desk. As feared, the egg squeaks against my teeth. I avoid most of the yolk as it’s not as done as I would like.

At 7:30 I take my usual morning constitutional, without benefit of my usual morning coffee. Things are a little, um, forced. I return to my desk and crack my first juice-Fiji. I take a big swig. Hmm. The first thing that hits me is the cucumber scent in my nose. The other thing that hits me as I’m swallowing is salty. Wasn’t expecting that. It goes slightly sweet with the apple and has a leftover burn that feels like spice…looking at the ingredients it must be the ginger. Sooooo about a third of the way down with big sort of forced gulps and I’m feeling it kind of drip down the sides of my stomach. I’m going to feel sloshy and full when this is done I think. I’m trying to decide if it’s better to chug it or take a sip every couple of minutes…

I log into my webmail. The home screen is a giant ad for BWs, complete with food and a giant shandy. CONSPIRACY!

I finish the Fiji in about 20 minutes and am a little grossed out by the after taste. I hit the water.

Work work work. Maybe a slight headache from lack of coffee, but could also be allergies that have been plaguing me. Have to pee. Not hungry.

9:45 Pee again. Refill water, grab Fuel-a little worried about the turmeric involved. Smell the orange immediately, taste is strongly carrot but not unpleasant with a sweet pineapple finish-just slightly tart. Can’t taste the turmeric at all. This one goes down much more easily and I’m done in about 20 again. I have a vague urge to eat something to get rid of the slight tart aftertaste in my mouth.

11:45. Down another 24 ounces on water, the headache is becoming a problem and I really really need to pee again! I usually have a can of coke zero with lunch and I usually reach for lunch about 11, so my body is really starting to miss caffeine. Oh, and I was maybe drinking some caffeine based metabolism booster every morning. So right now my body is screaming for caffeine. I may have to hit that tea to wash down lunch. Which lunch. Right. The good news is that I wasn’t starving for lunch by 11, which I often am. The bad news is that Green Supreme is not looking like much of lunch and I’m a little afraid of what it tastes like. I’m starting to feel a little liquid logged and I’m worried I’ll have trouble choking it all down… here goes nothing! Make the mistake this time of smelling first. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD this is the worst one. It’s just kale, apple juice and lemon. This is going to be tough. Has skunky finish and aftertaste. It takes slightly longer to get this one down and I feel kind of sick.

It’s almost 1:00, the time I had scheduled for my last juice at work-leaving 2 more for after my run/dinner/bedtime. Even though it’s not a green juice, I’m not remotely interested in it. Not hungry at all.

It’s 1:45 and I’m still not hungry, slowing down on the water and have realized I have a massage appointment this afternoon. So no run. No big; it’s raining anyway, although I was curious to see if I’d have the stamina for a run. I’m guessing I would have felt okay. But that does mean I’ve got to hammer down the next juice now before I leave since I’ll be incapacitated for an hour on the massage table. I thought about waiting but that means 3 juices to toss back between 4:00 and bedtime and that seems a lot if I plan to go to bed earlyish.

2:05 time to sprint this mofo down. Crap. Assumed red color of purify was due to cranberries. It’s not. Beets. Along with carrots, apple, celery and cucumber. Oh that is not good. Tastes like grass. No way I’m getting this whole thing down. If I get to half of this one I’m calling it good. I got all but the last sip of it down and that’s enough.

Go to massage, feel pretty fine after but headache is not feeling so good. Get home at 4:30ish and close eyes on the couch until it’s time to make weenut’s dinner at 5. Only partially resist the urge to scarf down all the leftover macnchz-I break down and grab a couple of bites. Procrastinate on drinking the next juice because I know Glow, another green juice, is going to suck. I have the idea to put it in the freezer, maybe being extra cold will minimize the taste. Bad idea. Leave it in too long and now it’s icy. Who doesn’t want a cucumber, celery, kale, spinach slurpee? I’m so over gulping down things that don’t taste very good to me. I only finish half and compensate by eating the almonds I’d packed for my prerun snack.

By 7:00, I’ve done some work on the computer and played ball with weenut outside for a little bit. I pull the last juice from the fridge, not because I’m hungry, but to get it down so I can go to bed and escape this headache asap. Vanilla Cloud is definitely ending the cleanse on a high note-it’s almost too sweet after the other juices and tastes much like a chai tea. But still, at this point, I’m feeling a little resentful at having another 16oz of liquid to drink. And my head is absolutely throbbing. I finish and close my eyes for a while until it’s weenut’s bedtime.

I get weenut to bed and follow him by 8:30. I have to get up to pee once in the middle of the night, but other than that, sleep pretty well.

I woke up today feeling fine and rested, but by the time I’m done getting ready, I’ve got a headache. I can’t wait to grab my morning cup of coffee. Oh and I’m down to 152.6 so I “lost” under 2 pounds although I don’t expect it to be permanent.

Sooo? Takeaways? I was never hungry, and only felt the urge to actually eat something because it was there in front of me. That was surprising to me. Would I do it again? Probably not. I can’t imagine choking down all those green juices again. I can totally see doing juice only for even a three day cleanse, but it’s probably all the veggies those green juices that keep you feeling full and satisfied all day. I might be able to do a modified cleanse-ONE green juice, and two of the others plus maybe a solid meal heavy on the green veggies in solid form not smooshed all together. I did learn that I’m overly dependent on caffeine. So I’m going to cut out my lunchtime coke and stick with water-and increase my water overall for the day. And I feel like I need less food to feel full. We will see if that lasts.


UGH May 31, 2013

Filed under: Battle of the Scale — booksunread @ 12:57 pm

I am having a hard time with myself right now. I am frustrated with the way my body looks and the way I feel about it. Since January, I’ve been going through spurts of exercising 6 times a week, watching what I eat, etc., with a week or two every few weeks where it’s just not happening for one reason or another and my weight is just yo-yoing up and down 7 or 8 pounds and I’m not making any real progress.

Now, I’m at the point where even my fat pants are tight and I just feel completely hopeless about beating this. I hate this two yearish cycle where I lose all this weight, then let it all slowly creep back on again. Fifty times a day I think about how much I hate how I feel in my clothes and how my body looks in them-and especially how it looks naked.

Since the last down cycle, I’ve wanted to have a tummy tuck and a breast lift-even at close to my target weight there was still a flap of skin and fat on my tummy from the yo-yo and the baby weight gain that just wasn’t going anywhere. And no amount of dieting was going to put my boobs back where they started. I’m a full C, almost a D and would like to wear a halter style bathing suit without it looking like I have two national geographic worthy deflated balloons pancaked to my chest.

But, at the point I had made the decision that surgery was actually something I was vain enough to be willing to invest the money and pain into, my weight was already starting to creep back up. So I put it off until I could get back to where I wanted to be prior to having the surgery. Fast forward 2+ years later and here we are again. Plus feeling like nothing I did last time is making a difference and it’s 10 times harder to move the needle an inch.

So I went ahead and scheduled the surgery for May with the thought that having a date on the calendar would spur me to get down to where I wanted to be. And then it was May and surprise, no weight lost. And then a bunch of other shit was going on with work travel and I messed up my foot and etc., and I ended up postponing the surgery again until August.

So here I am again still desperately hating where I am and in turn hating life and at a loss at what more I can do to fix it. Besides maybe never eating again? If they didn’t make me so crazy and/or paranoid that my heart was going to explode and kill me, I’d be completely willing to try some gimmicky pills or whatever because I don’t really care anymore if it’s a shortcut or whatever, I just want to stop feeling like this. I actually WANT to look sickly and bad if it meant I was skinny. I’m just so frustrated and defeated and hopeless. Like I don’t want to be fighting this for the rest of my life.

UGH and then I feel guilty for even feeling like this because, totally a first world problem, right? Right now, people are dealing with far larger health battles and fears and yet I still can’t stop this tidal wave of self loathing from crashing over my head. #dramaqueen


The Great Kgar Debate March 1, 2013

Filed under: Schmooper — booksunread @ 2:27 pm

Weenut will be five in July. By April, we need to decide if we are sending him to public kindergarten or not. Originally the plan was no, absolutely not. We don’t want him to be one of the youngest, smallest kids in his class, in a city where a lot of people “red shirt” for the asinine reason of giving their non-summer birthday kid a leg up in sports when they get to high school (WTF?). Additionally, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from other parents of summer bdays and educators who say, that yes, maturity-wise/socially nobody has ever regretted holding a kid back and the kids that aren’t held back are still easily identifiable as the youngest of their class even into high school by their social immaturity. But as we get closer, the logistics of actually doing that seem totally impossible.

If I were a stay at home mom, it’d be an easy no brainer. We’d just stay home for another year baking cookies and going on playdates and then enroll in Kgar when he’s 6. He’d never know the difference and neither would his peers. Or if he’d just been born in October or November and we wouldn’t even have to worry about it.

Either of those would have been ideal. That would be ideal. But I’m not a stay at home mom, and I don’t have a time machine to go back and retime his conception, so those are out. Unfortunately/Fortunately, because we have him in a curriculum based daycare, he’s progressed along their standard age lines, and has spent the past year preparing for Kgar. They’ve been practicing writing letters and numbers all year and are now moving into reading and math. He writes pretty well for four. He continually startles me with his sight reading skills. He’s used to the whole classroom drill of expected behavior, transitioning through tasks with the group, etc. In short, he’s more than ready for Kgar. I went to an orientation meeting last week which confirmed that he’s already well past our district’s minimum expectations for Kgar entry. (One of them is just that they RECOGNIZE, not even be able to write, just 21 out of the 26 letters of the alphabet-thefuck?)

So what to do with him that intervening year that we feel so strongly about him needing from a social standpoint? He can’t stay in the daycare’s pre-K class. He can move on to their private full day Kgar, and then repeat public school half day Kgar when he is six. But I have concerns about this plan on a couple fronts. Socially, he will see most of his peers moving on to the exciting new public school, riding the bus, etc., while he’s left behind with a handful of other kids doing private kgar. Throughout his full day Kgar class, the morning and afternoon sessions of public Kgar will be mixed in. So there will be plenty of opportunity for the inevitable ostracism that can come from being left behind. I’m already seeing some manifestations of mean kid bullshit coming home and in mama bear mode at the thought of it being directed at my preshus snowflake. And how will that escalate the following year when even more of those peers move on even further to go 1st grade (most of the other full day Kgar kids will go into 1st grade) and he’s repeating Kgar again? And then of course, there’s the academic worry. If he’s more than ready for Kgar now, how bored is he going to be doing Kgar again?

We could just roll the dice and do full day Kgar next year, and leave the decision about repeating it the next year open-he will technically be ready to go on to 1st grade with his peers if we want him to, but then we’re back to him being the youngest/smallest throughout the rest of his school years.

The other option I’m thinking about is moving him to another full day pre-K program with a new group of peers. That removes the social stigma of “staying back” and if we do a more pre-K oriented program he’ll get kind of an academic break and not be so far ahead when we put him in public Kgar the following year.

I say “I’m thinking about” because I haven’t even broached this topic with Miguel although the clock is ticking. He is a very black and white thinker; for someone so into academia and critical thinking, surprisingly opposed to carefully thinking through everyday decisions, weighing pros and cons. He wants to make a gut level decision, and move on. And as someone who was an August birthday, and therefore one of the youngest and smallest in his class, his gut level decision on this is that he wants Weenut to be six. But he doesn’t want to put any thought into the everyday ramifications of getting from our current point A to point B. Meanwhile I feel sick to my stomach with stress as I’m writing this. I am completely conflicted and stuck in my head. So I want to be clear in my mind before I broach the topic with Miguel.

I made an appointment for next week to see the other daycare option. Hopefully that will help me gain some clarity on the right direction. Of course, I’d hoped that about the Kgar orientation and came out of there even more conflicted.