Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October update

The kids are doing very well in school this year. 

Sophie loves her high school. She got straight As her first quarter. It's a very demanding curriculum (charter school, ranked #1 in the state and also ranked nationally), so her getting such high marks her first term says a lot about how hard she worked. 

She also did an outstanding job in the school play--she had a lead role in Act 1 of The Musical of Musicals (she was June). She got a lot of compliments from teachers, students, and audience members. It was the first time she had such a large role.  She's also in a play at her acting studio, where she has a lead role, as well; it runs Halloween weekend. It is an original play that her voice teacher wrote, a little over an hour long. 

Luke also did well, getting As and one B (an 89.66 in science--but the teacher only had 5 grades for the entire quarter. It's only 5th grade so I'm totally not stressing over a "B."). 

He got to bring his trombone home several weeks ago, and I was impressed with how much his band teacher has been able to teach him in such a short period of time. Luke seems to be a natural with this instrument. He likes band and doesn't mind getting up early to catch the early bus (at 6:52) to go to band at around 7:10am at the high school (then he rides a bus to his school, which starts at 8:15). 

Last week I started training for the Disney Princess half marathon, which is in February and I am going to do again next year. I got in two training days. The first day was brutal and only two miles. The second day was better and three miles. This week I'm shooting for three days.  My plan is to train Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.  It is next to impossible to squeeze in any time for ME, which is why I signed up for this race (I wasn't going to do it, but Mark told me I should, if it meant I would start running again). And I did run. In tenth of a mile intervals. But I'm running. And even though it's hard, it feels good to be moving again. 

My anxiety still has been bad. I started taking a new medication a few weeks ago. I'm on a very low dose. It makes me extremely sleepy within about 20 minutes, and gives me a bit of a sleep hangover. It seems to help with the anxiety somewhat. I haven't been taking it long so I'm not sure how effective it is yet. 

My nurse practitioner and I talked about what drugs to try next at my last appointment.  I am so against taking a different antidepressant because of weight gain on SSRIs, that I basically have tied her hands on how to help me with the traditional methods. But she totally gets it and has never tried to push me into an SSRI or anything that would cause me to gain weight. 

I've gained about 8 pounds in the last three months. So not happy about that. I've been eating too much in the evenings, mostly carbs, and it has caught up with me. My clothes still fit and it doesn't show too terribly badly, but I can feel it around my waist more than I used to (thanks so much, middle age). I'm hopeful that running again after work will prompt me to make better choices. I also know that being heavier makes it harder to run faster, so that is motivating me. 

Luke turns 11 on November 6th. I "met" most of you when he was around a year old. So we've been doing this about 10 years now.  It is crazy how fast the years have gone by. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to school

Back to school pics. Luke--5th grade. Sophie--freshman.

Luke hasn't gotten a real taste for school yet since they didn't start changing classes (different teacher for each subject) until today. He's getting on the bus at 6:50 for band, learning the trombone. So far he's handling the early mornings well.

Sophie loves her high school. She's handling the workload just fine. It is a lot of work. They have block scheduling and her A days are much more demanding than B days. No bus for the downtown HS. I have two other moms I'm carpooling with, and one of them picks up everyday when school lets out. I could not do this (well or easily or without going crazy) without them.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June update

Hello there!

Yes, it's been a looooong time since I've posted.  Mostly because I'm not in a great place emotionally and don't like to talk about it.  I definitely tend to cocoon and isolate when I'm feeling more anxious and depressed in my life. 

So here's what's been going on. 

Kids got out of school at the end of May.  We have no vacation plans, other than possibly taking them to Louisville for a brief weekend trip at the end of July.  That in itself is depressing, because it's hard to deal with your kids' (teenage daughter specifically) asking if we have vacation plans for the summer and having to tell them we can't afford to take them anyplace special, especially when her friends are taking European vacations and annual trips to Florida.  So that's strike #1 against my anxiety filled summer. 

Strike #2 is that my kids had no camps to go to this summer, other than Sophie going to a one-week sleep away camp earlier this month, so they have been stuck at home by themselves every day. They are homebodies and like to introvert and be in PJs and are indoorsy by nature.  But day after day after day gets to a person.  My mom had been coming down once a week to take them swimming at my sister's house, which was helpful but not really enough to break up the monotony. 

Last week it hit Sophie hard and she had a little mental breakdown and said she couldn't take it anymore.  She had to get out of the house and needed something to do.  So I arranged with my mom to do more with them this week.  It helped.  Mom took them to the library Monday, and then Tuesday and Wednesday she took them to her house and they spent the night and did some things up there in the country.  

Sophie decided she didn't want to be a counselor in training at the camp she usually helps at--she had a bad experience last year and didn't want to repeat it.  And she felt too old to do the acting camps she usually does.  So that's why she had nothing on her calendar but the sleep away camp she does each year.  

Luke hasn't done a regular camp for several years.  He hates being outside when it's hot and I haven't been able to push him beyond his comfort zone to do anything else.  I'm just not THERE to help him.  I can't make my mom be responsible for doing these things to help raise my children during the summer.  So he's become a summer home body. It doesn't seem to bother him as much as it does Sophie.

I have a lot of mom guilt over having to work full time and leaving them at home by themselves. I was left at home alone with my sister when I was a pre-teen and teenager, and I hated it. And I hate relying on my mom, who means well but isn't the best at coping with kids and gets stressed easily.  I think she did OK this week because the kids had fun.  Luke doesn't sleep well at her house, which is also hard to deal with. Sophie was a big help in trying to talk him through some coping strategies but he still had a hard time. 

Strike #3 is that my meds are out of whack and I can't get in to see my nurse practitioner.  She now travels to Cleveland during the week, working on her doctorate, and is only seeing patients on a limited basis.  I had an appointment on 6/27 which was cancelled.  My next appointment is now 8/27.  

My anxiety is off the charts.  I have to take xanax every day just to get through.  I stopped taking the stimulant vyvanse, which I was taking during the winter and spring months, but it can cause anxiety--at least I figured that much out.  But I think my buspar needs to be increased--this is an anti-anxiety med.  I also stopped taking rexulti, which is a "booster" medication add-on, because my coupon was about to expire and I couldn't afford the copay that I was going to have to pay on it.  So I've made two adjustments on my own, one good with dropping the vyvanse (we had discussed going off of it during the summer months), one maybe not good with dropping the rexulti without discussing it with her. 

Sophie goes back to school August 4.  She has two big projects that she's supposed to be working on that are due when she starts school.  I think she's glanced at them and maybe watched part of a video for her history project.  I'm stressed about that, because I know they are time consuming and she's not started them.  Every time I mention her homework she gets upset and says it makes her not want to do it.  She says she's a good student, she'll get it done.  Yet it's not getting done and time is ticking away.  It is so hard for me to keep silent and just let it go when I know she's going to be scrambling at the last minute if she doesn't get started soon.  I haven't said anything for a week or so. I"m trying to keep my mouth shut. 

She's going to Chicago this weekend with three of her friends; one of the parents is taking them. So she's lucky she has this weekend to look forward to and we are paying her way for that. I'm praying she doesn't have any dizzy spells and keeps herself hydrated. Any number of things could trigger her vertigo--the long car ride (motion sickness), if she doesn't drink enough water while they are walking around the city (I'm sending water bottles but she's pushing back on taking too many with her, said she can find water fountains to refill them, but I won't be there to remind her to drink water all the time), if they take elevators up the tall buildings (I have NO idea what that will do to her). She's been doing OK until yesterday when she got dizzy on the golf cart at my mom's. Little things can sometimes set her off. 

Luke goes back to school August 10th.  He starts band this year--he's playing the trombone.  They have band practice before school starts at the high school; a bus will pick him up at home, take him to the high school for band, then the bus will take him to elementary school.  I really really hope he takes to it OK.  I've talked to him about how it may be hard but he has to stick with it. He knows he needs something in his life as a hobby/interest and this may be it. 

Sophie will need a ride to and from school every day; no buses to her downtown school. I thought we had a carpool set up with her friend's mom who lived 3 minutes from our house, but they decided to move this summer to a new house.  So now they live about 12 minutes away.  So I don't know what's going to happen to the carpool situation.  Yet another anxiety producing situation I have yet to deal with. 

I'm still working for Mark a day and a half a week, and working at the college 32-36 hours a week.  I'm not really feeling fulfilled at either job. Both are pretty boring and I don't feel challenged.  So my work life is bleh. Do I tell anyone any of this? Oh hell no.  It stays all bottled up inside and I pretend like everything is hunky dory.  I'm a worker drone like millions of other people, doing my job and living for the hours I get to go home and put on my PJs. Sad, I know, but I don't see a way out and it's just the stage of life I'm in right now. I've kind of accepted it as the way life is right now. 

My weight is staying stable at around 164 pounds.  I only weigh once every few weeks and it's always around 164.  My diet isn't great, but I'm still not eating desserts or binge eating.  No OA meetings and I don't talk to my sponsor anymore.  I really don't have a support system at all. Things kind of fell apart on that front.  But at least I'm not eating ice cream and cookies and cake. That mindset stuck like glue, thank goodness. 

Is there any good news to report?  Well, let's see.  Mark started working out at the gym again, which is awesome.  He needs to keep his heart healthy.  Sophie's vertigo has mostly been non-existent for the last several months (until the brief episode yesterday which hopefully has resolved itself).  We are mostly financially OK, although there is nothing "extra" from month to month. Sophie finished her confirmation class at church and was confirmed as a member a few weeks ago. Both the kids had their physicals and dental checkups this summer, so those are done.  Luke had an appointment for new shoe orthotics yesterday, which he desperately needs since the ones we had made two years ago don't keep his feet from hurting.  We had a nice little day trip to New Harmony last Saturday that was one of the most pleasant family outings we'd had in a long time. Mark and I are planning a Friday-Saturday trip back to New Harmony for just the two of us next weekend. Nobody has been sick with the flu or colds or anything serious. 

So I guess it's not all gloom and doom.  I need to remember that, don't I? 

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading my rambling thoughts today.  I hope you are having a good summer. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

March update (164.8)

I'm still kickin'.

The newest thing is, I'm on an anti-anxiety medication called Buspar. I think it is helping with the small anxiety things. My p-doc prescriber is awesome at paying attention to my needs and trying new things.

The rest of my life is same old same old.

I'm not running and should be. I'm supposed to be training for a half marathon in May. Big regrets piling up around that. I'm either not going to go or I'm going to go half assed trained. I haven't decided yet. I still have time but my schedule isn't getting any better and my body is at rest and not wanting to get in motion.

I work two jobs and they are both busy. I'm not real happy at either. The kids are ok although Sophie still fights vertigo spells. She missed a week of school the week before last. It's so frustrating. I'm having her cut chocolate completely out of her diet. She would eat a little now and then and usually be ok but then sometimes have a spell every few months. We are trying a zero chocolate diet and seeing if that makes a difference.

Mark works 50-60 hours a week and is usually pretty stressed. We don't have money in the budget to hire a full time or part time assistant for him (whether that would even make a difference, I don't know--I still think he'd be overworked and stressed). Nor for me to quit my job and work for him full time. So we are just stuck with what we are doing, with me working for him a day and a half a week (lucky I can do that). It's just a hard season of our lives right now.

Sorry to not have more to say. Just wanted to send something out there to let you know I'm ok and nothing horrible has happened. I'm sorry it has been so long.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January update (170.2)

Tis the season for SAD. Yep, it's hit like a ton of bricks. I've been slogging through life since Thanksgiving basically. I was doing great before that (the mini boost from Rexulti was short lived).

I saw my nurse practitioner Friday and she's definitely not one to just throw up her hands and say "oh well, we tried! Sorry about your luck." She mentioned another anti depressant I could try but ultimately decided to put me on a stimulant. You heard me right. I'm now taking an ADHD med. A newer one, a non-amphetamine called Vyvanse.

So far I can tell a difference. I have more energy during the day. I'm less listless and more focused. I don't crash in the afternoon, and really I can't tell when it's out of my system. I do have trouble sleeping so I'm taking a Xanax to sleep (I sometimes did before so this is no big deal, it's a low dose).

I'm just excited there's something that is helping me through the last of this miserable season. I was seriously starting to lose it. Crying in the bathroom at random times and dreading going to work. It was the moving through mud feeling that I absolutely hate.

The plan is to take it during the SAD season and stop when the light is back. Or I can stay on it if I want, if it's what I need. She's pretty great about helping me do what's best for me. I see her again in a month.

So the big question. How's it affecting my food? I guess it makes me a little less hungry during the day. But my evening appetite is normal. It's not a diet pill, at least not the low dose I'm on.

I finally bought myself some new clothes (and a pair of shoes). I was tired of wearing the same things over and over and not feeling cute at work. We got a new Torrid at our Mall so I went there. It's for size 12 and up. They label clothes 0, 1, 2, 3. I'm a 0 since I'm in size 12 now and the clothes are loose. So it was the perfect place to go shopping. Everything fit and I was the smallest size. :) I got some great pants and 3 long shirts, which is what everyone is wearing so I feel fashionable now. It's all black though. Hopefully by spring I'll either be thinner and can shop for color at other stores, or Torrid will have colorful clothes I can buy and add to my expanding wardrobe. I'm tired of not dressing well just because I'm not my ideal weight.

Kids are good. Sophie got into the charter high school she wanted, which was determined by lottery drawing. It's the number one high school in our state (so they say--I don't know, it's a great school whatever the ranking). It's the only school she wanted to go to so we are fortunate her name was drawn. I'm thankful she was #10 so I didn't have to stress during the drawing!

Expecting snow again tonight so we may have another snow day this week. The kids will be thrilled if that happens. I can't wait for spring. Only a couple months away.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December update (169.4)

A quick update. 

My meds leveled out. I'm pretty much at around a 5 or a 6 (on a scale of 1-10) most days; no more nearly-manic feelings (that was too good to last).  I did go up from 1 mg to 2 mgs of rexulti after my appointment with my nurse practitioner last week.  But I haven't noticed a significant change in my mood for the better (or worse). I see my NP again in mid January; she's good about making sure I check back in with her, which I like at this time of year.

I am really starting to notice the lack of sunlight now. I am using my SAD light, but only about half of the days of the week. Some mornings I have time, like on weekends and on days I go to work later than 8 am (like Mondays and the days I work for Mark--today, for example), and some mornings I don't.

I'm not having trouble getting through the day, so there's not full on SAD dysfunction.  But I don't have energy to do much else but the required minimum of work, home, kids.  I haven't run or walked since before Thanksgiving (and I was really doing well there for a while).  I miss it, but I can't make myself pick it back up again yet.

On the good news front, I am way ahead in the Holidays game.  I sent out our business family Christmas card yesterday.  Still need to do the personal cards but those are not as big a deal as the business cards. 

We have all the kids' presents bought, and I also wrapped almost everything last weekend. I still have several of Luke's to do, and we have a few gifts that are yet to arrive that I'll wrap this weekend. This is a huge deal.  It will make next week so much more enjoyable. 

I am taking next week off, except for Tuesday when I will work for Mark for 6 hours or so.  But I'm not working for the college at all.  Monday I'm going to lunch with a girl I used to work with (excited to see her), the kids are off school as of Wednesday next week, and then on Christmas eve we will spend lunch and the afternoon with my mom and family, then Christmas eve evening service at our church. 

Christmas day is just us.  We don't have to go anywhere or do anything we don't want to.  It's awesome.  Ever since Mark's sister moved to Indy, we haven't had any obligations on Christmas day. We miss his family at the holidays, but it is super nice to be able to spend the day in our PJs.

We are planning to go to a friend's house that evening to watch the Dr. Who Christmas special, since our cable company doesn't have BBC America anymore.  This is a woman from church that I became good friends with during a Bible study that was just the two of us several years ago.  She lives alone since her husband died a couple of years ago, so it will be nice to spend time with her on Christmas day; she doesn't have close family in town. The kids really like her, too, especially Sophie. She's very interesting and well travelled; she's a surgery nurse by profession and is in her late 50s. And she's as big a Dr. Who fan as Sophie is.

So I'm pretty stable, considering the time of year. 

Merry Christmas to you all!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

we have a winner (170.0)

The add on medication Rexulti must be doing it's job. Because I'm feeling emotionally healthy and pretty happy, my intrusive thoughts are way down, I'm getting up in the morning w/o hitting the snooze at around 5am (sometimes 4:30am), I'm eating real foods (and cooking!), I'm cleaning and organizing, I'm going to OA meetings weekly, I'm exercising regularly, I'm working with my sponsor, and I've been abstinent. 

I started rexulti on 10/26.  I'm still on 150 mg wellbutrin and also on 100 mg of topamax. It's a nice little cocktail.  I'm also taking a lot of supplements.  Calcium, fish oil, magnesium, Vit D, Vit C, glucosamine, and I think there are a couple of others I'm forgetting.  I take the calcium, fish oil, & glucosamine twice a day. 

I've done a lot of organizing and decluttering the past couple weekends, in my closet and drawers, in Luke's closet & room, in the front sitting room (which is really a catch-all room and was a total disaster), in the kitchen cabinets. It makes me happier to have a cleaner, organized living space. And I've had the energy to make it happen. 

I've wondered lately whether I'm TOO happy and energetic.  I'm not staying up all night.  I don't think I'm manic, but I'm certainly more happy and energetic than is normal for my normal self. So it's weird, and the thought has crossed my mind.  Is this a touch manic? 

Which is pretty sad, isn't it? That I'm questioning whether this happy energy, this getting up in the morning before my alarm goes off, getting up at 4:30 & going for a run at 5:20 AM (which I did on Tuesday--& it was amazing) is OKAY or if it's abnormal. It's just so unusual for me. 
  
I figure as long as I'm going to bed and sleeping, getting a solid 7 or so hours of sleep (which is about what I normally get), I'm not technically manic and hopefully it's just an awesome combination of drugs, supplements, good food, working my OA program, and the grace of God working in my life. Whatever it is, I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts. Hopefully a realllly long time. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Halloween 2015


Sophie is Sally from Nightmare before Christmas. We bought her dress and tights from Hot Topic. This was the 5th time she wore it. She had a lot of Halloween events this year. Dress is well made. I washed it twice and it held up. Mark did her blue makeup and she did her stitches.

Luke is Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi. You can't buy this costume. Mark made it from a priest's robe (worn backwards and bottom cut off, extra used as belt) and a black t-shirt (cut up and fabric glued to look like a vest/tunic). And I found black gloves for $1 at the craft store.

First year they didn't trick or treat together. Sophie went with her three best friends from the acting studio, then they went to a party. Luke had a great time being the center of attention from us, and we ran into friends of ours who have kids in his grade that we walked with for about 45 minutes.

After we were all done, Mark, Luke and I watched Empire Strikes Back. I picked Sophie up at 10:15. And then she and Luke did the annual candy exchange.

It's been three years since I've eaten a piece of candy. Not tempted by it in the least. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

My Halloween Costume

I dressed up this year for work.  Halloween is a big deal at the college. People can wear costumes all week.  I only dressed up today.  Last year, I didn't dress up at all, and was the only one who didn't. So there was no way I wasn't going to this year. 

The coat was my mom's (faux) from when I was a little girl.  I had the dress from a work event with Mark a few weeks ago.  I bought the wig, gloves & cigarette holder from Amazon (separately) for a total of $25.  Sophie had green eyeshadow and I had the lipstick.  So an easy costume to pull together.  And it's a big hit.  Especially since we have a Vet Tech program with doggies in the Kennel.  Muwahahaha!  :) 

Monday, October 26, 2015

starting over is humbling (172.2)

So your advice, Vickie, about not pushing myself and over training came at a great time.  I had mild shin splints the day I read your comment, and I was ticked about it.  I had gone for a long, fast outdoor walk with a little jogging thrown in on a Friday, and by Sunday my shins were really super sore. I needed to do more miles to stay on track for my (self imposed) "training schedule," but your comment slowed me down.  It would do me no good to keep tearing my muscles & tendons with further pavement pounding, so I just rested until they healed. 

And I brought my training indoors to my treadmill and slowed down to a snails pace.  And I mean slow.  20 min miles last week (3.0mph). Tuesday=2.5 miles in 50 mins.  Wednesday=2.0 miles in 40 mins.  Those were my only two workouts last week.  And I felt like a freaking old woman.  My shins didn't hurt, but it still pissed me off.  So I made sure to eat well and I went to my OA meeting on Saturday morning.  My goal is to get this extra weight off so I can get faster and not be in pain. 

I did do an hour on the TM yesterday with a faster walking pace (I varied it from 3.0-3.5mph), with five or six running intervals thrown in. I ran at a 5.2 mph, couple of times pushed it to 5.5. The running felt amazing.  Nothing hurt. I felt strong and excited to be running again.  Of course after about 90 seconds I was struggling to breathe, and at around 2 minutes I had to slow back down to a walk. But that's how running begins. You don't go from 3.0 to 5.5 mph nonstop overnight. 

Food is much better.  I started cooking again, which I know sounds lame but I really have been super lazy on the food front and just eating what Luke eats or what Mark cooks and lots of frozen and restaurant foods.  I pulled out a couple of old Roni favorites (her greenlitebites website is wonderful), and even came up with an easy couscous/veggie recipe myself (cook couscous in veggie broth, then add chopped 1/2 cucumber, 1 red bell pepper, 1 carrot, add a big bunch of chopped cilantro--that's it. I added some avocado and you could also add black beans).  Sophie & Mark enjoy my cooking; Luke not so much--he's beyond picky (not even going there). 

I still am struggling with needing SOMETHING at night before bed.  So that is what I am going to work on with my sponsor now that I'm going to be working OA again.

I meet with my nurse practitioner this afternoon about my meds. I'll report back. 

Sophie has high school open house this and next week.  She doesn't want to go to the school in our district. She can choose any public school in the county, and we have several charter schools to chose from. So she is looking at one of the toughest charter schools that has an International Baccalaureate program (it is in downtown) but has limited number of spots and usually a lottery system to determine who gets in (there is an application process with an essay and everything).  And then another public school which also has the IB program; my good friend used to teach English at this school before she moved out of state. The principal at this high school has won multiple awards.  I had a student in my office today who went to both of these schools, and she loved the public school and the principal.  At this point the charter school is her first choice with the public school as back up if she can't get in. 

Still working with Mark 1 to 1.5 days a week.  It's going OK. I think he still wants me to work for him more, but that's not going to happen any time soon. For now the college is working with me to keep my hours flexible so I can do this.  They haven't indicated that this is going to change, and while it may not continue indefinitely, there isn't a date as to when it's going to stop in the near future. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SSRIs are not my friends

I've learned my lesson again. The hard way. I cannot take an SSRI without gaining a crap ton of weight in a hurry. No matter the studies, no matter how fancy or expensive. My metabolism, my brain, my body, whatever--they just don't get along with SSRIs.

I started tapering off topamax in March. I gained about 4 pounds by the end of June. Not great but no bigs. Then started on Brintellix on July 11. By August 23 I had gained 7 pounds. By Sept 30 I had gained another 10 pounds. Yes 17 pounds in less than 3 months! I got up to 177. And I was done.

My appetite had increased some and I was eating more but not that much more. It was exactly what happened the year I started Prozac when I was 27 and I gained 40 pounds in a short time.

Well I'm done. I'm weaning off Brintellix. No drug will make me happy enough to offset the depression from gaining back 50 pounds.

And today I signed up to run the Indy half marathon on May 7. I'm going with a girl from the college who recently lost 80 pounds and took up running. She's really excited.

Will post more soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Good news about work

I got the ok to work 32-36 hours a week at the college and work a day and a half a week for Mark. Yay!

I finally had to ask when my manager told me there was a hiring freeze and they weren't replacing my fired coworker's spot. I had been waiting to talk with her until after the new person was hired. But this news forced my hand.

I explained I had to start helping Mark a couple days a week or he was going to either sell the business and get another job, or kill himself working so hard. So it's either the college let me work less or I was leaving to get a part time job and work for Mark.

My boss and the campus president got it approved through corporate, and if I work 32 hours a week I can keep my benefits. For now I'm working two 10 hr days, and half day of 5 hours on Tuesdays, a 7-8 hour day and Saturdays for 4 hours (until Sept 21 it's every Saturday but it will likely go every other after that). I have alternate Wednesday's and Friday's off.

So I work Tuesday afternoons and either Wednesday or Friday with Mark. This is my 3rd week and so far it's going well. I enjoy seeing Mark and seeing his relief at me being there to help. I like the slower pace with his office too. It's less intense and less extroverted. I'm not very efficient yet but any help is a help to him.

Now, this is all supposed to be evaluated by the college in September to make sure it's going ok. But I'm busting my butt and bending over backwards to make it work and keep everyone there happy. As long as I get the work done, and we don't get overwhelmed, it might work for a long time.

And if it doesn't then we'll deal with it then.

On the weight and food front. Ugh. Sunday I started tracking my calories. I was up to 168 and had to buy bigger pants (I have away my size 12s).

And that was The Line.

I knew I had to get my act back together. Because you can still gain weight even if you don't eat cookies, pies, ice cream, or donuts. Pretty much everything else, I ate. I was snacking at my desk. I was eating later and later at night. I wasn't eating fruit and veggies.

Once a food addict, always a food addict.

I can't fit OA meetings into my schedule right now. So I've created a food plan by using the app Lose It. I keep track of my calories and you can't eat crap if your limited to around 1500 calories a day. So far so good.

That's it for now. I'll post more as life develops.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July update

Thanks for asking for an update, Vickie.  Here's the scoop.

We have not made any changes yet with my job.  They fired my coworker at the end of May, so it's been crazy busy for me and just gotten worse.  And it hasn't been a good time to ask for them to lower my hours when my manager and I can barely keep up working 40 hours a week. For all of June I worked 44-45 hours a week, and we were still behind. And I didn't want to just find another job and up and quit. That's a bridge I wasn't ready to burn. 

They still haven't found anyone to replace my fired coworker.  First round of interviews were a bust. They are interviewing another group next week. 

Anyway, the plan is to ask if they will let me work 30 hours a week.  And if they won't, I will probably have to find another job. I want to keep my benefits, of course, and who knows if they will go for that.  It's a lot to ask.  BUT the upscale private university in town pays benefits for part time employees--20 or 30 hours/week.  I know this because I interviewed for a 20 hr/week position with them back in February, and I've called them about a 30 hr/week position (but didn't apply).  So I will bring that up as a "it's not unheard of to pay benefits for less than 40 hrs/week."  

If the 30 hr/week thing goes through, the idea is to work a full day and two half days with Mark. 

I am hoping to address this with my manager at my annual review at the end of this month/early August, or possibly sooner.  I'm scared to bring it up when we are so slammed, but it's starting finally to slow down.  Also I'm just flat out scared.  

The kids are good.  Sophie didn't get a part in Shrek the Musical, but she was the lead in the summer day camp play, Alice in Wonderland (can't remember if she had that part yet in my last update). She had to learn all her lines at home before day 1 of camp, and then in one week they put it together for a show on Saturday night.  She was AMAZING!!!  She was the perfect Alice.  I was so stinking proud of her.  She's now rehearsing for a play that runs the weekend before school starts; she has a small role but at least she's in the play. 

She has had two bad dizzy spells this year--once in March that was really bad (ended up in the ER with dehydration) and another in May; both lasted 2 weeks.  She missed the last day and a half of school.  We weren't sure if she would even get to do the summer play as Alice, because she was still dizzy the weekend before (and still, she learned all her songs and her lines).  Thankfully she was able to push through, although she was "dizzy in her head" several days of camp that week. 

At any rate, we saw a new neurologist (in town) last week.  He basically just listened to her history and gave her a new abortive (triptan) drug, since maxalt doesn't usually work (which is also a triptan, but the new one is supposed to last longer).  

She also has been seeing a physical therapist for a little over a month to work on her balance; I think this is the best thing we have done for her.  She has horrible balance--can't balance on one leg even.  The PT thinks something may have gotten off with her brain's balance system back when Sophie was little and had her first episodes of vertigo, and it just never learned what it was supposed to do.  So we are trying to retrain her brain.   

Vickie you will like this:  The PT office also made her new custom orthotic inserts for her feet--her arches collapse when she stands (Luke has the same issue, called ligament laxity).  She had inserts from the chiropractor from 2013 but they weren't as substantial as these.  Luke has inserts from the podiatrist I took him to last year, but they don't help--his feet still hurt when he walks or stands very long.  The PT said little kids shouldn't have the half-insert hard shell type for their feet, which is what he has.  So I am planning to get him some made, also. 

School starts on August 10.  I am taking July 30 & 31st off to get kids ready (Mark's birthday is also the 31st).  Sophie will be in 8th grade, Luke in 4th.  

It's going to be a big homework year for them both, I think.  Sophie has great study habits; Luke does not.  

For him, I expect a lot of maturity and emotional growth as a 4th grader. They switch classes at his school starting in 4th grade--so he has a different teacher for every subject and the students change rooms (like middle & high school).  In 4th grade the school puts all the high-ability kids in one class together, which is great b/c they can all learn together at the same-ish pace.  

We haven't done much this summer--Mark went to Colorado in June for his brother's wedding.  We couldn't go b/c Sophie was at sleep away camp at the same time (I couldn't have gotten off work anyway).  

Sophie did two weeks of acting camp, a week of church sleep away camp, and now is in the middle of 3 weeks of being a camp counselor at Angel Mounds (outdoorsy) camp.  

Luke.... he did one week of Angel Mounds camp and then has just been home all summer, either with Sophie when she's off, or with my mom & niece (6th grader this year). He's enjoying being a PJ wearing kid almost every day.  Back to school is going to be an adjustment for him, to say the least.  

I saw a new nurse practitioner for my medications last week.  I wanted a new perspective and new drugs.  I weaned myself off of topamax--I could tell it was making me more depressed and anxious.  I've been completely off it for a couple of weeks, but it took me about 3 months to wean off, I went very slowly. I feel better from a depression and anxiety standpoint, but the topamax was helping me with my food cravings, and as I weaned off, I started eating more.  Last time I weighed I was up to 161.  Ugh. 

I started a drug on Saturday called brintellix (she gave me samples, apparently it's expensive).  It's a newish antidepressant.  Also still on wellbutrin xl.  Brintellix is very well studied and doesn't have many bad side effects, according to my NP.  The worst has been it makes me feel slightly nauseous if I don't eat with it.  I go back to see the NP in mid August.  We are starting with this and if we need to add something else for my intrusive thoughts/OCD/perfectionist issues, we can.  

I've been having more migraines in the past couple of weeks.  I need to tweak my food, I think, and get off of processed crap I eat at night.  I don't know what else it would be--my migraines are almost always food related.  So, two birds and all that--stop the migraines, stop the weight gain. 

So basically I am just taking it a day at a time, doing the same thing over & over every day, every week.....with this big work decision hanging over me.  I'm sort of in the middle of the road emotionally.  It's been better, it's been worse.  I'm not complaining, much.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April Update (156.2)

I wrote this on April 4.... it's out of date, being that today is April 20th.  I had a birthday on April 13th & I'm already 45.  But I might as well post what I wrote, and then add some more at the end.

*****
It's April already. It's true what all the "old" people say. The older you get the
faster time goes by. Now that I'm in my mid 40s the weeks are going by
at light speed.

I will be 45 in a week. So I'm now on the climb to 50. Which is fine.
Just acknowledging that it's coming down the pike.

I started this blog when I was 36. My age is in the web address even.
Not sure why I did that--maybe my age felt significant at the time.
So I've has this blog for 9 years. Doesn't seem possible that it's
been so long ago that I read Frances's book and met Vickie and Jill and
Jen and Lori and Helen and Jodie and Shauna and Jeannette and lots of
other bloggers that my 45 year old brain seriously can't remember
their names but do remember their stories.

My face isn't yet showing my age much (aside from what gravity is
doing to the elasticity). I'm blessed with good genes, and being a
geek as a teenager and staying inside reading meant I avoided the sun,
which helped a lot. My body is starting to feel it though. I wake up
with an aching right knee sometimes, like this morning. I put on some
KT tape and wrap it and take some ibuprofen and I'm ok, it doesn't
last. But it's a symptom of things to come, I'm sure.

I know I need to start taking better care of myself. Taking yoga
again. Or just taking walks. I may never run long distances on a
regular basis again. I'm not sure it's a good thing anymore for me. I
don't have time, for one. And two, my joints don't need the beating.

Mentally I have work to do as well. I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow.
I haven't been to an OA meeting for months. Working full time and
trying to do everything to take care of a 7th and 3rd grader and a
household is sometimes more than I can handle. I also help Mark when I
need to on the weekends with his client letters. Mark works 60 hours a
week, at least. His job is really more than he can manage by himself.
*****
That was all I wrote on the 4th.  Incomplete, so I didn't post. So here's some more. 

I'm seeing my therapist again this afternoon.  She had had a cancellation & I took it.  My next appointment will be on May 22. She's just that busy.  Anyway, we mostly talked about Big Life Stuff.  Here's what's going on. 

My husband is beyond overwhelmed working by himself.  He managed OK without me the first year by himself.  It was tough but he did it.  But his clients are becoming more demanding, his practice is changing--people want more financial planning, and that's what he should be doing, being that he is a Certified Financial Planner, and he simply can't do the day-to-day minutia of an assistant PLUS the in-depth planning of a CFP in the number of hours he works.  He puts in 60-65 hours a week.  And he is killing himself.  We have to make a change. 

We are seriously considering me quitting my job and going back to work with him.  When we started looking at hiring someone else, it just doesn't make sense.  The amount I clear after taxes is basically what we would have to pay someone to be his assistant. My hours suck - in my 40 hour work week, two of my days are late nights--I work Mondays until 8 PM and Wednesday until 7pm.  And on Thursdays I have choir practice at church from 7-8:30pm.  I feel like I'm never available when my kids need me.

People keep quitting at the college--things are pretty unstable.  Our Campus President just resigned Friday; he's worked here for 17 years and left for a better opportunity at another private college.  Shizzle is getting real.  This is not a place to make a career.  A year ago, I would have said it was.  Now?  No flipping way. 

But this is a HUGE risk and we would be back to the same financial burden we were before without a second income.  I would have Cobra for health insurance for 18 months, but then we'd have to go on the Health Reform Plan, which ain't cheap.  

We would also be back to "working together," and before that happens, my therapist suggested we write down our expectations and set ground rules for this time around (both of us, not just me). It's not easy working with your husband.  

We've been talking about it for a few months, so I've been in knots about it since.  Mark has been super stressed since late fall.  He just keeps hanging in there and moving forward because he doesn't have any other choice.  To his credit, his business has done better than ever year over year, even with me gone. But again, his health is sincerely suffering.  He can't keep up the work-a-holic pace.  

He'll be 53 this year.  The heart attack risk in his family is real. I can't let my fear of the unknown get in the way of us making this change, because my fear of him having a heart attack from his overworking is much greater.  I don't want to grow old without my husband or have my children grow up without their father. 

That may sound overly dramatic.  But it's not.  This is how much stress he's under.  I see it. He doesn't come home until 9 or 10pm on weeknights (he is with kids on Mondays but every other night he works late).  He's not eating healthfully.  He's not exercising. His dad died at 51 years old.  His oldest brother died at 57.  Both his brothers had first heart attacks at 54 (and lived--neither was on cholesterol medication, which Mark has been since he was in his late 30s).  I see the writing on the wall. 

All I know is, if we make this change, it doesn't create a magic cure-all for his (or my) stress to go POOF! & he's going to be all better.  But it will create space in BOTH our lives for things to open up to healthier roads.  That's the plan anyway. 

As far as the financial stuff goes, we're working on building up a nest egg so we have a cushion before I give my notice.  My therapist said not to necessarily make the "cushion" the determining factor for when I leave--she said to consider that perhaps when I joined him, my being there could also pave the way to him doing more business that would allow the nest egg to be built. So we are thinking on that, too.

And there is enough planning business, Mark thinks, that if I'm with him, it will increase his monthly recurring revenue to offset my current income.  He has done zero prospecting or attempts at growing his business, other than from clients referring family & friends. So financially he can increase his income production, but he doesn't think it will be an issue--the potential now, vs. when I left a year and a half ago, is different from what it was, because his business model is changing. 

Our tentative goal is summer.  Which is a breath away. We will see.  

I had a little break down this morning, because I have too many scenarios in my head, and I ruminate over and over on how things *could* go.  I dropped to my knees and laid my forehead on the floor and prayed that God would just take them all from me and help me to surrender.  Because I can't control one flipping thing in my life right now.  It's all TOO BIG and I don't know where it's going and it's time I stopped trying to control everything. 

If I were going to my OA meetings and working my steps, this is the kind of stuff I'd be working on.  Clearly, I got a lot of baggage--the same baggage I've always had--and it needs to be worked on. 

I've gained a little weight, and it shows to me but probably not to others.  I'm not growing out of my clothes but I'm squishier and I notice.  The other major bonus to me leaving my current job is I'm back to Monday night OA meetings. I need them so desperately. Not just for food.  It's so much more than food. My emotional bingeing is almost more of an issue than anything I put in my mouth.  I still don't eat cookies, cake, ice cream, or any of my other binge foods. And I don't eat at my desk during the day between meals.  But I don't eat cleanly and I don't eat like I need to.  I eat too many convenience foods (again, no time, no space, no desire, for the prep involved) and I eat for comfort more than I should. Even if it's not a binge, eating for comfort is outside of being abstinent.  So, work to be done.  But I'm not bingeing, and I haven't regained a lot of weight. So it's not all a loss. 

Anyway, that's the low down.  I know it's a lot and it's not sunshine and roses.  I'm not in a deep depression or anything.  Just at a big fat crossroads.  I'll update when we make any decisions or have any news to share, good, bad or otherwise. 

The kids are doing well.  They are busy in school!  Sophie auditions for a play this Saturday--Shrek the Musical at her acting studio.  Luke's teacher told us that he scored the highest in the class on their math & English acuity tests, & she hopes that bodes well for his IStep scores (the state's standardized tests--3rd grade is the first year for the test). 

Last day of school is May 22, which is so close they can almost taste it.  I don't have them signed up for any camps yet.  I am SO far behind.  I don't think they are doing much.  Sophie will do more than Luke.  I think Luke will do one full week of camp and might do some half days at a local church, but will stay with mom & Sophie otherwise. They really are old enough that they like to stay home & be together and CHILL more than anything else.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Disney Princess 2015

I finished the half marathon without injury or issue. The first 5
miles I kept up a pace around 14:30-15:00 by walking and jogging
intervals.

Then I hit the Magic Kingdom and my pace went south. I stopped to take
a couple selfies and text people and then there was a bottle neck as
we went through the castle.

At mile 7 I was only 45 sec ahead of pace (16 min mile is pace to
finish to avoid being swept). At that point in the course, we are
mostly down to one lane highways or paths and it is shoulder to
shoulder the rest of the race. So my pace kept getting worse and
worse.

I was already getting tired. Add to that having to constantly dodge
slower people to keep moving through open spots, and I got slower and
more frustrated and tired. I dodged so much my final distance was
around 13.6 miles (forgot to stop my watch at the end so got some
extra steps that didn't count after I crossed the finish line).

I ended up walking a lot more in the last half, which I expected since
I didn't train. But what I didn't expect was to get caught by the
Balloon Ladies after mile 10! These are the pacers that if you fall
too far behind, you get pulled from the course and put on a bus and
aren't allowed to finish. (Two of our group got pulled at mile 8--one
is very overweight, has health issues and didn't train and expected
not to finish, the other is 69 years old--they were together the whole
race.)

Since I started in the last corral, I had no time cushion. If you
start in an earlier corral you can maintain a slower pace and still
finish. I caught up to one of my friends (this was her first half)
soon after the balloon ladies caught me (she was several corrals ahead
of me at the start) and we encouraged each other to keep going.

Sometimes the balloons were behind us and sometimes in front, but we
always kept them in sight and close by. We would jog when we had to.
It was really crowded and the sun was up and it was in the 70s. So the
last few miles of the race sucked.

But we finished together.

Here we all are. The lady in the middle is Queen Mom, mother the the
last girl on the right. The girl next to me is who I finished with and
was her first race (she did train, but her problem was she didn't wear
her leggings and her legs seriously chafed so she was in pain the
whole race--very sad rookie mistake.) The two on the right are sisters
in law (girl in pink married to girl in black's brother).

Girl in pink has lost 117 pounds in the past 14 months. She came with
me to OA when all else failed her. She's my best friend. She has done
6 half marathons. This was her PR. She finished in 3 hrs 10 min.

Way better than me. My net time was 3:35:53. But I'm just happy I
finished with no injuries.

I had a great time at the parks and with the girls. There were three
other girls on the trip other than those here (but I don't have a pic
with all of us and I'm not close to them).

This is my last time to do this race. It's expensive. I don't like
being away from Mark and the kids that long (5 days). I'm not training
like I need to. I've done it 3 times. I don't feel the need to keep
doing this experience over and over. The other girls are planning to
keep on with it. The SILs are going to California (with their
families) in the fall to run the Disney half so they can get the Coast
to Coast medal. But they both have husbands who make a lot of money
(they own a well established family business together) and neither of
them work outside the home, so they can justify it.

Anyway....Mark and the kids survived while I was away. There were
hiccups. Sophie joked that "dad tries so hard." He only messed up
minor things and the kids are pretty forgiving. And he did all the
laundry and cleaned the house while I was gone. I couldn't ask for
more. (The other girls came home and complained they had mountains of
laundry to do!)

So that's the report. I got home yesterday at 2:30am (late flight out
of Orlando, drove home from Nashville) and got 3 hours sleep before
going to work. I slept hard last night for 8 hours but am still tired.
Hoping to catch up more tonight.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

maintaining normal (154.0)

Well, I survived January.  We all stayed healthy (praise the Lord), no major crises occurred (other than our garage door opener was broken for about a week & needed an $80 repair), and basically life is moving along at a pretty even pace. 

I'm doing okay.  I didn't sink into a winter depression, which was a blessing.  I guess on a happy scale of 1 - 10, I'm probably at a 5 most days.  A lot of people might think that's not good enough.  I used to be one of those people. But I've been through a lot of emotional ups and downs.  And this time of year, I'll take a steady 5.  

I haven't been to an OA meeting since before Christmas.  I still work Mondays until 8pm; Mondays were when I went to meetings.  Saturday mornings at 8:30 are the only other time I can go, and I just have not been able to make myself get going on the ONLY morning I have off during the week.  I talked to my sponsor about it (I meet her for lunch every few weeks).  She totally understands.  I am supposed to be looking for online meetings or podcasts, which I haven't done yet.  

But I'm not binging, not eating trigger foods or desserts, not eating between meals, and not gaining weight. I think the roots I planted with OA went deep. I know that I NEED to do more work with the program, and I can't rest on my laurels forever, but for now I'm okay. I know where to go when I need support, if things start to fall apart. 

Work at the College is going well.  But our CFO of 5 years resigned a couple weeks ago and we have put regional accreditation on hold indefinitely (they say because of legislative issues around gainful employment in Washington, D.C.), which meant they let a few people go in our administrative offices in Indy.  They tell us underlings that the school is strong and blah blah blah, but things like that don't make me feel good about long term prospects.  I'm not actively seeking a new job but I am looking at the two major university's in town websites a couple times a week for new job postings, and also getting emails from Indeed.com for bachelor's degree jobs.  I really want to work for the major private university in town.... employees' kids get free tuition.  That's like a $100,000 education for free.  Of course, everyone wants to work there.  It's very hard to get a job at that school. Sophie's a 7th grader, so I have time.... 

Kids are doing well.  Sophie is now in Improv class and voice lessons.  She loves both.  The acting studio had a great article in the paper Sunday, and Sophie was in the main picture (the photographer was at her Improv class).  Luke is in acting/voice class (30 min each) and ukulele lessons.  He is getting pretty good at ukulele.  He can change chords without looking at his hand. 

They are still doing well in school.  Sophie's 7th grade year has been a lot of work, but she's still working hard and stays self-motivated. Luke will take iStep tests (the state's standardized tests) this year for the first time; they start in 3rd grade. I'm assuming his will all be pass++++++.  haha, they only go to Pass+, but he'll be off the charts, I'm sure, the little smarty pants. 

Mark is working 60-70 hours a week.  He's doing two jobs--my old one & his.  It's wearing him down.  We can't afford to hire an assistant for him yet. He's doing the best he can.  But it really is hard on him.  We know we didn't have a choice for me to leave & get a real job, but some days.... some days we wish it didn't have to be this way.  So we just keep doing what we're doing because what other choice do we have? 

I guess the big news is that I am going to Florida on Feb 19 for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, with the same girls I went with 2 years ago. I signed up last summer/fall, kind of on a whim, because my friend Amy really wanted me to go, and I thought it would be a motivator for me to start running again.  Well, guess what? I have run (well, walked/jogged) maybe 3 times since I signed up.  So yeah, I'm doing a half marathon with no training. I'll be walking with a few jogs thrown in so I can keep a 16 min/mile pace so I don't get pulled from the course. I am resting in the knowledge that I walked a 10 mile race this past summer with no training and was totally fine--no injuries, no problems, could have jogged and gone another 3 miles easily.  

I know the Disney course--it's flat and easy. I'm in a walker corral. I'm going to have fun and not beat myself up about it.  I am not having any physical issues--no everyday aches or pains.  So I'm sure I will be fine.  No, it's not ideal and yes, it's a little stupid.  But I've paid a ton of money and can't back out.  And this season of my life--working a full time job with irregular weird hours and with a husband who works an insane amount of hours too--is not conducive to a runner's lifestyle. 

That's how I'm rationalizing it so I can live with myself, anyway. 

I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow. I really don't know what I'm going to talk to her about.  Things are generally pretty good.  Good with my mom.  Good with my husband (for the most part... we barely see each other... which maybe isn't so good but my therapist can't fix that).  Good with the kids.  I'm sure I could fix some deep dark issues inside myself.  But frankly, I don't wanna. 

I go to work.  Take care of kids.  Take care of managing our household (which is a part-time job in itself).  And then in my "off" time, escape through TV & books.  That's pretty much my life right now.  And pretty much all I have room for. Maybe that's what I'll talk with her about.  Getting to a place where I'm okay with my life being summed up in those small sentences.  Those small sentences are what have put me on a happy scale of a 5.  

When the weather warms up, I hope to add more activity to our lives.  And maybe bump up the scale to a 6 or 7.  We'll see.  Things always look happier with more sunshine.  If not, a 5 isn't so bad.  I've had worse. 

Monday, December 08, 2014

December update (153.4)

Pictures in the Park pics are below....  As a whole, they weren't as good as usual. We weren't thrilled with the setting and more than anything it was the time of day.  It was 1 pm and the sun was up.  Cloudy days are so much better for photos than sun.  We still got enough good ones for a good Christmas card, but our family photo has Mark & me in the background.  The other group shots are horrible--shadows on our faces and the lighting is awful.  But it's 20 minute session for $55, and we don't get to see the pics on his camera.  So it's not a big deal.  The pictures of the kids are what really count, and we got some good ones.  

I'm like a lot of people right now--trying to keep my head above water this time of year.  I can't help it.  I am nowhere close to enjoying myself.  We haven't even put up the Christmas tree or any decorations.  Haven't had a free weekend yet.  This coming weekend we should have time, in between seeing a play on Friday night (neither of the kids is in it but we support their acting studio and their friends even when they aren't in a show) and Sophie is getting together with her friends in the show again on Saturday night.  

I have barely done any Christmas shopping, although I did get the kids (and Mark & me) each a Kindle Fire 6 when they were on sale on Thanksgiving day.  It's our first tablets (if you don't count iPods or iPhones).  Very excited for those.  So I have a lot to do on that front.  Thankfully we don't buy for grown ups or extended family--it's just my kids I have to buy for.  

And we aren't doing a big holiday meal this year with anyone.  Not even my mom.  I'm not sure if we are doing any holiday anything with anyone other than going to church on Christmas eve.  I think my mom is coming down to go to church with us, and we might go to dinner before hand, but that's still up in the air.  Since Mark's sister moved out of town, Christmas on his side of the family has been nonexistent.  But usually my mom does something.  She just decided this year not to.  So that simplifies things.

I have the whole week of Christmas off.  We have the 24th, 25th, & 26th as paid holidays, and I'm taking 22nd & 23rd as vacation days.  I'm very excited and can't wait. I'm working the week after; I'm off on the 31st at 4pm, off on the 1st, working that Saturday from 10-2.  The kids are off school for two weeks.  They'll either stay by themselves or Mark will be home with them some the week after Christmas. 

Sophie had her one year check up with the surgeon on 12/1.  Our original date was postponed because we had snow back in November, although on 12/1 I drove through 90 minutes of freezing rain in Illinois. The surgeon said the fusion looks great--it's 90% fused (which is different than what he said 6 months ago... he said it would only be at 60% or something at this point, but I'll take 90%).  She basically can do whatever she wants except full bends and twists at the waist and heavy overhead pulling or high impact sports (which she doesn't do anyway). But if she played soccer, she could be playing full games at this point.  So all in all she's doing great. 

Luke is still playing his ukulele.  He's learning to play Yellow Submarine, which is a tough piece.  He does better when he's challenged so it's a good one for him; he doesn't practice when he's bored. His acting & voice classes (and all the other acting, dance, and voice classes) are putting on a holiday show the weekend after next.  I can't wait to see him perform on stage with his class.  He can be stage shy I hope he does well out there. 

We have all (knock wood) stayed relatively healthy so far this winter, so as long as we can keep up that streak, I think I can handle this madness.  

I had another appointment with my therapist last week.  I needed it!  She's brilliant. Which is good and bad.  I couldn't get another appointment until early February!  But that's OK.  I usually see her exactly when I need her. 

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas.


Friday, November 07, 2014

Long overdue update (155.4)

It's been forever since I've posted.  This is mostly due to my being very busy at work (which is when I find I post updates because it's when I'm on a computer) and partly due to the same old same old with my life--we are all healthy (thank God), jobs are going well, kids are doing well, nothing really new going on.  

But just to prove I'm alive, I'll take a few minutes and share some details. 

I think I wrote last time that Luke was going to start taking ukulele lessons (did I?) and I bought both the kids & myself a ukulele.  He's had 3 lessons and is enjoying playing, although practicing every night is sometimes a challenge to get him to do after a long day of school and homework.  His first song is the SpongeBob FUN song, which has motivated him to play. 

Sophie, being left handed, went back and forth on whether she was going to have us buy her a special left handed uke or just learn to play right handed (which I didn't of when I bought her pretty green right-handed ukulele from Amazon).  She has now played around with the uke,  and learned chords and songs that she's decided just to be a right handed player, adaptable leftie that she is, which will make things easier for her in the long run.  There are a lot of resources out there for left handed players, but if she plays right handed she can just use the regular songs and chords that I have. 

I LOVE the ukulele.  I taught myself by watching some youtube videos and then by printing songs from the internet, which have chords listed with the songs.  I also bought some music books.  I've been playing over a month now and am getting pretty good.  I can play quite a few songs pretty smoothly.  My favorite is Chim Chim Cheree from Mary Poppins--it has some complicated chords which I've been working hard on. And I can play a mean Rainbow Connection.  

The only thing is my fingertips went pretty much permanently numb after the first couple of days of 1 or 2 hour practice sessions.  They aren't just calloused.  I think I did some nerve damage. This isn't uncommon, according to my google searches of people who play stringed instruments.  Even if I take a night off (which I don't often do), they stay numb.  I just deal.  It's worth it.  I love this little instrument!  I play at least an hour a night, sometimes more.  It's a major stress reliever.  I just get lost in the thing.  The music is a puzzle I am solving. And it's pretty and I like to imagine what it would be like to perform on stage (which has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.... but will likely never happen, but I can dream).

Speaking of puzzles, I've finished watching BBC America's Sherlock.  Best. Show. Ever.  If you haven't watched it, please do.  Absolutely brilliant stuff.  Mark was watching Sherlock this summer while Sophie & I were watching Dr Who.  Then Sophie started watching it, then I finally caught on.  Now I am re-watching episodes because there are only 9 of them and there's nothing else I want to watch that even compares.  The next new episode won't be out until late next year. 

Luke turned 9 yesterday! Slumber party at our house tonight (Harry Potter themed--just three boys coming over).   Sophie is in a play that opens November 21--Peter Pan. She's got tons of homework every night but she's getting As and hanging in there.  We go to St Louis 11/17 for her 1 year check up--I'll post pics of her X-rays when I have them.  Mark is doing well; he's handling work just fine, he's got his chronic back issues under control for the most part with quarterly back injections and regular physical therapy.  My job is good; I go to Indy next week for our company's appreciation day.  Our campus is probably going to get Campus of the Year (based on the numbers, our campus Pres thinks we are going to win, which is pretty cool). 

We will go to Indy for Thanksgiving this year with Mark's family.  I get Wed, Thurs, & Fri off work, company paid days off--all three--which is sweet.  It's hard to believe we are already almost to that time of year.  

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Compared to what was going on a year ago, my family life is a giant leap forward easier, calmer, simpler, happier, healthier and more secure.  I'm going to do my best to remember that this Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September update (154.6)

Barely squeezing in an update for this month, since it's the 30th. Work has finally slowed down so I'm taking a break & sharing some info with you. 

This was an insane month.  Really an insane two months.  I started working overtime August 11 (voluntarily). Any week I worked a Saturday, I'd put in 4-6 hours of OT.  Some weeks I'd also work for Mark, so there were weeks I'd work almost 50 hours.  

The work for Mark is minimal--I create the meeting summary letters that are mailed to his fee-based clients; there's a template & I fill in the data and summarize his notes into a letter format. He is doing everything else.  So I don't have to do much for him anymore.  I wouldn't have to do this, but I want to help & it's the ONE thing I can do for him. When I don't work OT, it's not a big deal to spend a few hours every other weekend doing these. 

Anyway, since our Fall quarter started 9/22, OT is DONE. Back to a normal 40 hour week.  But it all caught up to me this past weekend.  

I had a mini breakdown Saturday. Too many things undone, too many responsibilities on my shoulders on a daily basis, too many inadequacies as a mother and wife weighing me down. So I cried on the bathroom floor for a while and spent most of Sunday in a funk.  

I worked all day Monday and a couple hours last night for Mark, and I'm OK today, although the responsibilities and inadequacies are all still there.  I just don't feel like I need to curl up in a ball at the moment. 

I did see my therapist, Julie, last Monday, 9/22.  We talked about what's happened over the past 2 years since I'd seen her last (a LOT), about how to parent Luke (who I've been having issues with), how to parent a teenage girl, about my marriage. I see her again at the end of October (that's the earliest she can see me).  We'll be talking about my breakdown, for sure.  

Mark and I are also seeing a marriage counselor. We had one appointment in early Sept and we see him again on Oct 6. He's the same therapist we saw 15 years ago before we had kids; he's semi-retired, we are lucky we found him!

We had a huge fight--huge--back in August. I won't go into details, but Mark was angrier than I've ever seen him, ever (he has always had anger issues--anger, the emotion that evolves from fear).  His anger during the fight was astounding to both of us, mostly to him. What scared us into deciding to go to counseling was he dissolved into a puddle of uncontrollable tears by the end of the fight. And because neither of us could hear the other's point of view no matter how hard we tried, we knew it was time to bring in a third party.  

Seriously, after the year we've had, I should think we'd need marriage counseling.  We probably should have gone before now.  But as our therapist said, we're "highly skilled," so we've been handling things pretty well ourselves through all these changes.  But we've reached our limit and we need help. 

Oct 4 is my 2 year OA anniversary of abstinence.  No desserts and no binges for 2 years.  Unfortunately I haven't been working my program.  I'm a 3 stepper right now, which I'm not proud of.  This past year has been nothing but keeping my head above water and maintaining the status quo--no room for personal growth.  

On the flip side of that-- I went through a major life change and didn't gain 50 pounds.  So I haven't done my 4th step yet.  I still went to meetings, I maintained relationships, I got out of bed everyday, and I didn't need sugar to get me through the day.  I guess I shouldn't beat myself up too badly. 

As far as the kids go....
Luke is on Harry Potter, book 3.  It's so cool to see my 3rd grader read real books.  In his high ability class (which meets once a day at school), he does advance math worksheets once a week at home, and my goodness, the math that child does in his head.  Blows my mind. He's got A's in all his regular class subjects. Yet the little guy is immature in so many ways. We have to be really careful with making sure when he eats & sleeps, because he will melt down if we get it wrong even a little bit (ADHD kid on meds & also highly sensitive).  Julie gave me a book to read to help me with him, which I've started but haven't gotten far. The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary (she's an "Oprah doctor").  He'll be 9 in November.  Part of me thinks it's OK that he's immature, since he's a boy and he's my youngest.....which is likely part of the problem, eh? 

Sophie is doing amazingly well.  In 7th grade honors classes, working hard for her As. She's self motivated, I don't have to ask her to do anything with her homework.  She's in a play that opens Oct 10th (Legend of Sleepy Hollow) then goes straight into the next play, Peter Pan.  What's really cool is that Peter Pan opens exactly one year after her surgery.  She'll be on stage on the one year anniversary that she was in a hospital bed.  We meet with the surgeon the Monday before the play opens.  Hopefully he'll tell her at that appointment she can finally touch her toes!

One last fun note.  We are all watching Dr Who.  Sophie started watching it this summer.  I started watching with her in late summer, the episodes with Matt Smith (love him!) and then when I would watch TV when the kids were asleep (so I wouldn't watch shows ahead of them), I started at season 1.  I'm still with David Tenant in my "catch up" watching, and I haven't yet finished Matt Smith (I think I have 6 episodes left with him, boo hoo!).  Sophie was home sick yesterday and just finished Matt Smith and is now watching the new episodes we have on the DVR.  We are total Whovians now.  

I even bought her some Dr Who socks on Amazon.  Great story--the 5 pack of ankle socks have a pair that say "bow ties are cool" except they are misspelled and say "bow ties abe cool."  Nice one BBC!  I didn't read the reviews, doh!  She is so clever, though.  She picked out the red threads on the bottom of the "B" so it looks like an "R." We just have to stitch in some white thread to stop it from making a hole. 

I need to get some work done now.  See ya next month.  :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August update

Kids went back to school last week. All in all, everything went ok. We
got Sophie's PE class switched to 2nd quarter in hopes her
restrictions will be lifted (or close to) by then. And Luke has the
best 3rd grade teacher in the school--everyone says so. Fun
fact--she's been teaching 40 years, but she doesn't look it (young and
fit 60s) and she taught my husband in one of her first classes in
middle school!

Sophie gets on the bus really early. Originally it was 6:40! Now it's
6:52. Every extra minute helps. Luke is picked up at 7:40.
Elementary schools start later this year--8:15 to 3:10. Middle school
is 7:30-2:30. This is a schedule change from last year. Middle school
starts 15 min earlier. Elem added 25 min to their day and starts 25
min later. Long day for them.

Best part of this schedule is that the kids don't see each other in
the morning. Luke wakes up after Sophie leaves in the morning. Last
year Sophie picked on Luke constantly, to the point of tears some
mornings (Luke and me both). I was beside myself with worry on how to
parent the situation. Now I don't have to deal with it! Hooray!

Onto other things. I am slammed at work. September start is our
busiest. We can work overtime the next four weeks if we want. It's not
mandatory (yet) but we can if we need to or want to. I will be the
weeks I'm working on Saturday.

I signed up to run the Princess Half Marathon next February, have I
mentioned that yet? Did that a few weeks ago. I have to run a race by
December to qualify for a running corral or else I'm stuck in the last
walking corral. The only local race that will fit my schedule is a 15k
on Sept 6. I'm so not ready for a 9 mile race, but I'm doing it anyway
and praying the weather cools off by then. In the meantime I'm trying
to run. I did 5 slow miles Saturday. I'm so slow. I mean slow. I may
end up in the waking corral after all. Whatever.

I am going back to my therapist. I see her Sept 22. I'm way overdue. I
have too many issues. I'm too controlling. Too much of a
perfectionist. Don't know how to parent a teenager or be a wife to an
aging husband. Medication and OA aren't enough. I need help. And my
insurance covers it (it should anyway).

One other thing I don't think I've mentioned. Another area of my life
I simplified. I haven't been on Facebook for months and months. I
decided that FB is like dessert--it's ok for other people, but it's
not healthy for me. It is emotionally bad for me. I would read other
people's status updates about how fabulous their kids or vacations or
jobs or workouts or whatevers were, or on the flip side I'd read how
sad or angry or disgruntled or righteous someone was feeling -- and
I'd internalize it irrationally. Depending on my mood for the day.

If I was feeling good about myself then it was fine. But more often
than not, I'd feel inadequate and would compare my insides to their
outsides and would make myself miserable. And not just once or twice a
day. But all day long. Because that's how Facebook works. People post
all day long. And the app is on your phone so you have to keep it
current. And when you have OCD you have to read all the way back to
where you finished the last time you read so you're all caught up. So
yeah. Some days it was out of control.

I wasn't that bad all the time. But i was feeling bad enough
emotionally that I decided to just call it quits for good and stop
checking it all together. Yes, I miss out on lots of happenings with
my friends. I have no idea when celebrities die anymore until people
talk about it at work. (I don't watch the news or listen to the radio
either. I live in a bubble, basically.) I figure if people want me to
know stuff, they'll call or email.

I checked it one day a few weeks ago just for a "taste" and the first
post I read was from one of our friends who is an attorney, whose wife
stays at home with three young kids, and they only write Christmas
card versions of their lives on FB. His post was "we're seriously
thinking of giving up cable TV. Thoughts?" I wanted to punch the
phone. Really? I didn't read any further. I got mad at his post
because of my feelings of inadequacy of never dreaming of living
without cable with kids in my house--or for myself. I love cable TV!
And mad at my assumption at his superior attitude of "look at us, we
don't need cable TV." See, this snarky crap is NOT who I am. FB brings
out the worst in me. I don't care if you don't have cable. That's
great if you don't let your kids rot their brains with TV for hours. I
just don't want to read about it on social media. It's my issue. So I
removed myself from the equation. Haven't been back since.

So that's enough of a brain dump for tonight. Thanks for reading my rambles!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back home (154.2)

We made it back from Florida on Monday.  Our flight out of Orlando was at 7:10am and we were in our house by 9:30am (with the change from EST back to CST, we gained an hour, the flight is only 90 minutes, and the drive from the airport is 45 minutes).  

I was awake at 3:15am, and it was a long, long day. The kids were troopers & are great travelers, but we were all wiped out.  We watched the last three Harry Potter movies when we got home. I had the beginnings of a migraine by 1pm (not enough sleep, too much TV).  I took a maxalt by 5pm and was asleep by 8pm.  

I went to work on Tuesday at 10am and worked yesterday until 8pm. I was a zombie most of the day, and had very little appetite. I just didn't feel well all day and wanted to be home.  Vacation afters.

The last two days have not been easy.  I'm still tired and feel out of sorts. We are slowly making our way through laundry.  Mark is helping a lot and I'm just dealing with the mess.  I'm still sleep deprived and adjusting to getting back to normal. 

Kids were home by themselves yesterday, which was a little rough at times on them, and not ideal but we don't have better options.  They are with my sister today, which will be fun because she's taking them to a movie & to feed the ducks (it's in the upper 70s here, gorgeous weather).  

There are only three & a half weeks till school starts; Sophie has one week of camp next week, & Luke will be with my mom.  Then two weeks of just the two of them at home or with my mom.  I wish school started earlier.  I don't want to put them in camps, they don't want to go to camps, but they don't want to be home alone with each other all the time either. There isn't an easy solution. We all just have to deal & make the best of it at this point.

I'm very thankful I didn't gain weight over vacation.  We walked a ton and I never made horrendous food choices and never stuffed myself, so vacation weight gain wasn't really a huge concern, other than the water weight from salty restaurant foods.   

It was a great trip, I'm glad we did it.  I would do some things differently, like not go to Clearwater (although I'm glad we went, because Luke met a boy from Scotland there who he has facetimed & traded addresses with, and hopefully will stay in contact with, and that's really cool), but we probably won't go back there (way over crowded).  New Smyrna was awesome and the hotel was wonderful (Best Western), and that will be our go-to place for the Atlantic coast.  Universal's Diagon Alley is a MUST for Harry Potter fans, but wait a year or so to go. 

10 days is a long vacation, but it's better to be ready to go home than to get to the end of vacation and be regretting having to leave.  We were all ready to come home.