New Blog, New Focus

January 18, 2013

Sometimes it feels as though at least six of the nineteen years I spent in school went down the tubes after giving birth. I would really like to keep up with this blog (well, actually, create a new one), but you are going to have to forgive my writing skills if you are going to read this. Somehow, once I started raising my babies, my beautiful wonderful babies, my concentration went out the window. My ability to complete a thought that both makes sense and has a wonderful flow to it is gone. I want to write. I want to express meaningful ideas, but it frustrates me something horrible when I read something I wrote, and it sounds as though all the student loans my husband is now paying off were for nothing.

I think that part of my inability to organize my thoughts is due to not being subject to the organization that school forced on me. Even in college and grad school, with a flexible schedule, there were due dates. There were tests. There were discussions I was expected to take part in. After grad school, I worked in a school, which also forced me to have some sort of organization to my life. There was a set schedule. Even if my papers were all over the place, my notes were crazy, at some point, in order to achieve my goals at school, I had to stay somewhat organized.

That brings me to another point. Goals. In school, and at work, I had goals. In school I aspired to achieve certain grades, to obtain various degrees or licenses. At work, I had continuing education goals and goals for the children I worked with. Writing down personal goals was encouraged, and, of course, writing down and meeting in regards to goals for the children was required.

And so that’s the thing. As a person, I am NOT naturally organized or goal oriented. I am the opposite. I am messy. I am an unorganized multi-tasker. I have anxiety. And, I think I’ve discovered that I am a little bit lazy when this organization and goal-setting is not forced upon me!!!

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to taking care of my babies (Big Boy and Little Boy), I am quite capable. They are certainly not in any danger of their needs not being cared for. In fact, sometimes my unorganized nature and messy nature is an asset to my job as a stay-at-home mom. I’m not freaking about about neatness. I’m flexible when it comes to the tantrums and breakdowns of three and one year olds. As a mom there has to be some degree of being able to just stop doing whatever you are doing and say “Ok, this day…or month…or year is not going to go quite the way I thought.”

As helpful as those attributes (or, should I say lack of) may be though, I’m at a point where this sort of fluttering about is contributing to a great deal of anxiety. I need some organization. I need some goals. I need direction!!!!

So, it’s time to start making some goals. Time to start taking just a little bit of control of life, both for myself and my family.

Right now I’m in the idea stage. I need to pick and choose, as too many and unreachable goals will result in ungoodness for me and others. I want to use this blog to develop goals, long term and short term, and to develop a game plan to reach those goals. And, of course, I want to try to keep some accountability when it comes to my effort to achieve those goals. So, here goes. Even though I don’t make them that often, I enjoy lists, so, that’s how I’ll start.

POSSIBLE SHORT TERM GOALS
Help Big Boy memorize some sight words
Help Little Boy learn his colors
Start working out once per week for 40 minutes
Limit coffee to every other day (and, obviously, only an occasional Startbucks- I’ve only been drinking it about once a week or less- other days it’s 7-11)
Cook dinner twice a week (as in, a fresh dinner versus warming up leftovers or sandwiches).
Read a book club book

POSSIBLE LONG TERM GOALS
Help Big Boy start learning to read
Help Little Boy recognize shapes/numbers/colors/uppercase letters
Work out three times per week for 30-40 minutes
Limit coffee to once or twice a week
Cook dinner 3 times a week
Move Big Boy and Little Boy into same room and create separate play room.

In the grand scheme of the world and it’s problems and achievements, these goals are probably pretty lame. In my little corner of the world though, this is the school of my life.

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Sugar Monster

November 2, 2012

So, I’m not quite sure when or how it happened, but the big, bad sugar monster has reared its ugly head again. Perhaps it’s the cooler weather. Perhaps it is the holidays coming (darn Starbucks red cup!). Perhaps it is all the delicious looking pinterest desserts! Nevertheless, time to get myself back in check with the sugar. Now, I have no problem eating chocolate, ice cream, etc. But eating a bag of chocolate chips in less than a week is probably not ideal- particularly now that I’ve learned that a lot of chocolate is also full of GMOs, etc. Need to look for those natural sugars!

We received a visit from the Halloween fairy last night. Quite the last minute quick story I adapted from a whole foods website I skim. The Halloween fairy came to collect big boy and little boy’s candy (big boy WAS given a choice whether or not he wanted to leave it for her). She feeds her cat the candy and left a Halloween Book for them in return. What am I going to do with that candy now? Ugh. Not sure. There are places collecting it for troops, but, the way I see it, if I don’t want my kids eating it why am I sending it to the people protecting our country? Any suggestions?!

So, a month is up!

August 23, 2012

Well, I am still aiming for no Starbucks, but I’m trying to decide what my next goal will be. I have a few ideas, but need to make a decision.

One goal I have this month is to read The Highly Sensitive Child, as I think it might help with some of Big Boy’s meltdowns.

On a side note, I got some bloodwork results back and seem to be back to square one. Frustrating! One of the doctors I saw today said “Medicine is a guessing game.”. Great, just great.

Day 29

August 20, 2012

Wow! Tomorrow= one month!!!! Albeit one of the shorter months 😛 Don’t worry though, faithful readers. For next month I shall start yet another month of no Starbucks as well as add an additional goal.

But, before I announce my new endeavor, I NEED to have a plan for tomorrow! It is yet another Monday, and, as I’ve said, Mondays without a plan are NEVER a good thing!

Big boy and Little boy (of course Little Boy) will need naps tomorrow. I need to do dishes and laundry, and I need to come up with something to cook for dinner. I also need to pick up a prescription. Dishes usually get done in the morning (with a little help from Disney or Nick Jr.). Laundry will hopefully be completed during nap time. We need to take a trip to the store for the prescription. I’m hoping I can tackle that after lunch, and hopefully the boys will fall asleep afterwards. Tomorrow is SUPPOSED to be nice, so I’m thinking it will be park time in the morning. If the weather fails me, I think we’ll head to the mall to mail some things and ride the train.

New goal setting tomorrow night!!!!!!!!

Day 27-28

August 18, 2012

If it was February, it would be a month 😛

Just posting out of frustration tonight! I recently bought some flax cereal after I read that it was really good for fighting inflammation and getting your essential fatty acids. And now what do I find out? It also interferes with TWO of the medications/conditions I am taking/have!!! This is what I mean by it being SO frustrating trying to figure out what one should eat!!!! So, here’s hoping that my sudden increase in flax consumption doesn’t affect that bloodwork I had done this week!

Day 25-26

August 17, 2012

Wow! I didn’t really think about it being 20 days. Isn’t there a saying about 20 days and habits or something?

So, the good news from my dr. appointment is, no new meds prescribed- yay! I do need to begin some supplementation, but that doesn’t bother me as much, for several reasons. And, if blood work comes back the way the dr. expects, it could explain at least SOME of my symptoms. If not, I’m back to square one.

I made apple pear bread yesterday, with apples and pears from our backyard. I think I should have used the recipe for the other pear bread I made, as this one turned out a bit dry, but I guess this baking thing is all about experimentation! I also made our own mac and cheese tonight with whole wheat pasta, some butter, asiago and romano cheese and milk. The boys (ALL 3!) ate it with no problem, so yay! It was pretty good. Maybe not as cheesy, but also much less salty!

On the frap front, I may splurge a bit with Gloria Jeans this weekend. My husband is giving me a “me” afternoon by watching the boys while I get my hair done, and I’ll be at the mall. I think one day a week is not a bad deal. Last weekend was kind of sugar-full, but I think that’s what I need to learn- moderation! A day, or weekend of extra sugar isn’t going to be the worst thing. It’s the day in day out that is going to most affect my health!

So the “need” for Starbucks has pretty much disappeared. There are days when I think “Oh, that sounds nice.” or “That sounds convenient.”, but the “Wow, I don’t want those creepy chemicals in my body.” voice has thus far been louder.

In other news, I have yet another doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I’m not terribly optimistic that this doctor is going to be any more helpful than any of the others, in fact, I’m guessing she’s going to try and put me on ANOTHER drug. What is it with doctors and handing out drugs like candy?! Anyway, I am still going to see her, as I think, in the back of my mind “One of these doctors should make the connection between al of these symptoms and tell me what is going on.”. Yet, I don’t think that is the case, unless all of these specialist would come together, as they do at Mayo or other major medical centers. Of course I don’t want things to bad enough that I would go someplace like that, but I wish that was what our regular medical system did- doctors talking to doctors- specialist working together to put pieces together. Do people have to be REALLY sick to get that kind of service?

Ok, rant over, for now.

I’ve also scheduled various other tests and appointments that my general doctor ordered, so go me.

Days 17 and 18

August 9, 2012

So, having been somewhat obsessed about chemicals in and on our food, discovering the pear tree in our backyard was a source of great excitement for me! It’s like our own source of organic fruit- at least for a short time! We don’t spray anything in our yard, so I know exactly where the pears come from and what is NOT on them! If only I knew how to can!

Today I made pear bread with them. Granted, I used white flour and sugar, but I’ve recently discovered how satisfying it is to bake from scratch! I’m hoping our weekend guests will enjoy the bread, and I feel good giving it to the boys.

Homemade frap again today. Tomorrow will be a bit long, as we have no concrete plans. Based on the weather report, it will be an indoor day, so I’m thinking the library and Trader Joes (for Saturday night dinner shopping). However, if the sun shines, we can replace the library with the park. I’m also planning on scheduling another procedure tomorrow. Not one that I think will be terribly helpful, but one that the doctor won’t see me again without completing.

I’ve decided this is a VERY good thing. I’m not saying I won’t grab a bucks every once in awhile (AFTER the month is over), but making my fraps is much more satisfying despite the time it takes in making it and dishes to do.

A not good thing- trying to manage healthcare issues. I like doctors. I really do, in general. I guess when you are put into an inpatient setting, you kind of have to hand over your life to them, so they become people you look up to and trust. Now, years later, I am finding them somewhat frustrating. I get it- they have their own lives, and they know more about biology than I do. Sometimes though, it feels like they don’t know THAT much more. I feel like the symptoms I have may concern the doctors, but since they don’t have blood tests or other tests that point to what’s causing them, they dismiss me. Or, they want me to do tests that don’t really relate to the concerning symptoms before they’ll see me about what I’m concerned about. I managed to get ahold of an actual person (versus an automated message) today to schedule one test, but it wasn’t even a test that I feel is going to help anything- just something for the heck of it, but one of the doctors wants it to have a baseline. I was too frustrated from trying to get in touch with people or get appointments last week to start trying to contact other doctors today. Perhaps tomorrow!

On a positive note, the kids and I had a much better day. I think it’s because I planned ahead. Note to self: plan ahead for Mondays!!!!!!

Day 12-15

August 6, 2012

Wow! Halfway through the month, and thus far I’ve survived my Starbucks hiatus! I DID have a bit of a cheat day today. I had a Burger King Frap. It was a small, but still, contained caramel color, most likely, and hfcs. It didn’t taste as good as I thought it would, which is good news I think! It tasted VERY sweet. I can honestly say I like the ones I make without SO much sugar better! But, once in awhile folks, the dishes just get a little overwhelming, and I break down wanting that sugar/caffeine rush. I’ve started to feel ok about a little extra sugar once in awhile since I’ve been trying to make sure I’m not snacking on sugary stuff all day. And I wish I could find a commercial frap without all the chemicals, but that is proving to be impossible 😦 If only whole foods had a coffee bar :P!

A triumph this weekend in that I made Little Boy’s first birthday cupcake and it was really good! It came from a recipe book I got at the library featuring recipes using whole foods for babies. I tried making a healthy cake for Big Boy’s birthday, and it just didn’t turn out that great (it is the first cake I had ever made from scratch). This was a carrot cake using only 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and it turned out really yummy! I made the frosting by straining some organic whole milk vanilla yogurt, which was different, but good. The rest of the ingredients were not organic, but there weren’t any ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. I felt really proud, since it’s the first cake I made from scratch that turned out right! Little Boy ate it up with BIG smiles!

The first thing I need to do to avoid an emergency Starbucks run is make a plan! I think the boys and I will try to go to a park in the morning if it is nice and then run to the store to pick up some RXs.