Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pic of the week: By chance

Tonight while mom and I were getting ready to make dinner, I glanced out the back door. I saw what I thought was a green plastic sack stuck in the frame of our swing. It was pretty large to be a plastic bag and it seemed to have a round opening in it. Mom and I went out to see what it was.

It was a paper balloon, made if something like tissue paper. Its round and open at the bottom. Mom.thinks they are made with something you can light in fire in the opening, like a hot air balloon, so it becomes a floating lantern. On it, written in black marker, it says "In memory of Michael Aaron Roddy 5-31-76 7-18-13 #1 Love Ya Always". What a beautiful thing to find, what a nice tribute.

I went online and found his obituary. It was just the basic one, with birth and death dates and funeral information. So I googled his name and found him listed on the funeral homes website. There was a place to sign a guestbook so I left them a note saying I'd found it.

I feel honored, somehow.  Even though it was just chance that made it land in my yard, I feel honored. Rest in peace Michael Roddy.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Living Healthier Living

I've been making getting healthier a priority for almost two months now.  It's definitely challenging, but I know it will be worth it!  For the longest time, I have had nothing but excuses when it comes this subject.  I don't have time to exercise, I'm too picky to eat healthier, etc etc etc.  But I'm done with that.  So here's a few things I have been doing to get healthy:

Counting calories:  Yeah, I swore I'd never do this!  But I am.  I use My Fitness Pal and keep track of my calories throughout the day. That has meant some serious education about the foods I eat and what is in them!  I was amazed at how many calories can be in foods.  Even something as simple as salad dressing can be packed with calories.  These days, my goal is about 1200 calories.  That seems like next to nothing!  But most days, I do pretty well.  It's meant some pretty serious changes!  This includes buying lower cal and fat foods, cutting out most junk food, eating more fruits and veggies, and drinking more water.

Exercising:  This is a huge one for me.  And really tough.  I'm a working mom to two very active boys.  I have a house that needs cleaned, family and friends to see, errands to run, and much more in the limited "free time" hours.  So for ages, I used that as an excuse.  Now, I fit it in.  Usually, I don't get the chance until after the boys are sleeping, around 8:30 pm.  I know that isn't a great time to work out, but since it's what's available to me right now, I figure it's much much better than nothing!   At first, I just walked. I walked around our neighborhood in the evening.  After that, I jumped into the 30 Day Shred workout DVD.  I really enjoyed it, and completed about 16 days of it before my back issues sidelined me.  When my back started improving, I chose to ease back into my workouts by sticking to my elliptical trainer for awhile.  That's what I've been doing lately.  I plan on starting the Shred over at this point, possibly September 1.

My Elliptical Workout:
0:00-3:00 traditional "ellipticalling" (LOL new word)--I do NOT hold on to the handle bars when going forward.  Instead my arms are bent at the elbows, sort of a power walking motion.
3:00-4:00 biceps w/forward motion.  For this, I take hold of the handle bars and pull them to initiate the forward motion.
4:00-5:00 backward "ellipticalling" This works a different set of muscles, including the gluts.
5:00-6:00 triceps.  Same as biceps, but I push the handle bars instead of pulling them.
After this first set (6 minutes), I ratchet up the resistance.  My machine just has a dial, so I go up about half a turn.
6:00-12:00 Repeat cycle
12:00-15:00 forward
15:00-17:00 backwad
17:00-20:00 forward, lowering the resistance

Deprivation: I avoid this!!  I still eat out, it's just part of my lifestyle.  However, whenever possible, I look up the nutrition information for where I am going ahead of time so I can make a good choice.  I also find that I do better if I know what I am going to be having for dinner, which makes it much easier to budget my calories.  I'm still working on balancing things out so I can allow myself to snack when I am hungry.  I've been finding some great recipes for low cal snacks, like trail mix.  Other favorite meal accompaniments and snacks are watermelon, celery sticks, carrots sticks, raisins, salad with low cal dressing (I'm learning to love vinaigrette) and water with crystal light liquid added to it.  I still eat sweets and snack foods, but in strict moderation.  Last Saturday we went to Baskin Robbins.  Instead of the waffle cone, I opted for a dish and just one small scoop of my favorite flavor.  I followed it up later with a light dinner, making up the calories so I stayed on budget.  MFP allows you the option to eat your exercise calories, but I try my best to avoid that.  I even gave myself a true day off for the state fair, allowing myself to have what i wanted.  I didn't gorge myself, but I did indulge a bit!

I still check my weight more than I probably should, but I like to keep an eye on it.  My official weight in day in Monday, but sneak peeks tell me I have lost more than 10 lbs!  I feel good about that. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ask An Infertile

As I've posted here before, while I was TTC AJ, I wrote for a blog on the website Countdown To Pregnancy.  From time to time, I still get comments on my posts.  Sometimes the comments are thanking me for sharing a particular story or experience, sometimes they are wishing me well, and sometimes they are asking questions.  Even though I don't post actively anymore (since I'm not TTC), I still always pop over there and thank them for the comment or respond to their question.  I even wrote a follow up post a few months ago, to thank visitors for reading and let them know that my pregnancy progressed and I delivered a healthy baby.  Today I got a notification email from the site, telling me I had a new comment on a very early post.  I went to the site, read the comment, which was a question from a reader, and respond, both in comment form and by email, checking a few facts as I wrote so I was sure I was giving her the right information.

I always get a little rush when I get one of these comments.  My infertility story wasn't SO dramatic, really.  19 months off ttc, unexplained secondary infertility, an early loss and with the help of fertility medications, a successful pregnancy and delivery of a healthy baby. In terms of infertility, I was one of the "luckier" ones.  So for people to find my story inspiring or for them to appreciate me sharing it or for them to want to ask for my advice...well it truly amazes me.  I love to share what I know about infertility.  I love to advice others about it, to encourage them.  I may not have had to suffer nearly as much as others, but I have read a lot about all forms of infertility.  I don't consider myself an expert, but it's definitely nagged on me for awhile that I would love to do more, be more involved. 

Of course, if you've read here long, you know I've been toying with the idea of writing a book.  That's still something I'm considering and something I have started, but it's definitely in it's infancy right now and in no way a sure thing.  So I got to wondering if there was something else I could try. 

So I've decided I'm taking the plunge.  And I created this:

Ask An Infertile

Maybe I'm crazy.  I know there are TONS of websites, blogs, blogs, forums, etc that deal with this stuff. But there is never enough, is there?  My goal is to gather a team of contributors, specifically woman who have experienced a variety of issues with infertility, ttc, and pregnancy loss, and have them tell their stories and share their wisdom.  Eventually hopefully it will build up to also including answer the questions of readers (researched answers, not just from personal experience).  It will have links and resources and offer advise.

Yikes.  I hope this doesn't completely flop.  I don't have a history of a lot of readers.  I think I have about 25 followers...Hopefully some of you still read!  Spread the word!  And if you or anyone you know would like to contribute, contact me!  Leave a comment here or on the other blog or email me at askaninfertile dot yahoo dot com.

Here I go!  Join me!?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Staycation struggles

Hubby and I took a few days off work last week. We did a LOT of running around!  Here's a rundown, bullet-style:

  • Saturday was errands: Running to the Comcast Xfinity store for a new remote.  Our old one took a dip in Tyler's potty one day, thanks to Gracie knocking it off the couch one day when we hadn't gotten around to emptying it's contents.  Icky.  Then it was off to grab some lunch, then we stopped at the second hand kids clothing store (Once Upon a Child) for some great deals on shorts for both boys and a couple of onesies for AJ and a couple of DVDs for Tyler.  Then we did our usual shopping at Walmart.
  • Sunday was grocery shopping and then my mom and Tyler and I went out looking for shoes for my mom.  She didn't find any that day, but I'm still tempted to go back for a pair of feather light super comfy sketchers I saw at shoe carnival!  
Mom and I loved these!  They were actually really comfy. Anyone know of a pair sans glitz?
  • Sunday afternoon Adam, the boys and I went to Adam's sister's house for her middle's son's 11th birthday party.  He was born just a few months after Adam and I met.  Happy birthday Dagyn!  Tyler had a ton of fun playing with his cousins!
  • Monday, we visited one of Adam's favorites, the Goodwill outlet!  He likes to rummage in the bins and find things to resell on Ebay. And of course Tyler likes to find little odds and ends, especially hot wheels!  Then we went to Walmart and my mom found some shoes and we purchased a much needed swiffer wet jet and a mini vacuum.  Crawling baby means vacuuming much more often!  We had lunch at a buffet and even AJ enjoyed it, eating quite a large portion of mashed up potatoes and carrots and some applesauce!
  • Tuesday we did a little more Goodwill shopping where Adam found some great deals on software and I scored a 4x6 photo printer!  Then we stopped at the cemetary where my sister is buried and put out new flowers (we'd been meaning to do it for months!  We bought everything ages ago, but the weather was bad and then we just kept forgetting!).  Then we took a little picnic lunch to the park and had lunch and let Tyler run and play!
Tyler at the park.  He's not very sure of climbing still.
LOVE this kid!
AJ at the park.  It's a bit sunny for him!
  • Tuesday night my mom watched the boys so Adam and I could go out for a little date night!  We had dinner at our favorite, Texas Roadhouse and then went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness.  BONUS, it was playing at the $1.50 theater!  It was a really good movie, I always like them a lot more than I think I will!  It was nice to have time with my hubby!
  • Wednesday the weather was just perfect, sunny but cooler. We'd reserved it specifically to go to the State Fair.  We had a great time, ate all the great foods, browsed the shops, rode a few rides with Tyler, and my mom and I even got to take a turn in the Lottery's bonus booth, gathering up as many points as possible via flying papers to earn prizes!  It was crazy!  Tyler had a blast and AJ was good too, only really fussing when he was hungry. Love the fair!!!  I can't remember a year when we haven't gone!
You can't really tell, but that's Tyler in there.

  • Thursday-Friday was back to work, where our brand new air conditioner had ceased to work. Again.  Good times.  It's not quite so horrible this time, it seems to be pretending to work just a little bit.
  • Saturday and Sunday were various errands and general cold-induced lying around.
Bathtime for AJ!  Don't mind the mohawk

I was challenged with my calories while I was off. I knew I would be.  The fair day was an official "freebie" day where I didn't really worry about calories at all.  I splurged on date night as well, but I was fairly good the rest of the week, staying in my calorie goal.  I only got in a few workouts because my back was acting up again.  It's finally feeling normal again HUZZAH!  But now, I have the cold of DEATH.  BOO.  My weight in today showed that I was able to maintain my weight exactly, which I'm taking as a win this week.  So for now, I'm down 8.8 lbs.  I will be to the ten pound mark by this time next week, I am determined.  So determined, I allowed myself my 10 pound reward of a little shopping trip on Saturday, since I knew Adam will be working this weekend, so I wouldn't be able to get away.  My favorite clothing store yielded two cute tops, two pairs of earrings, and a necklace :) 

AJ is suddenly a master at crawling and sitting up.  He had us a little worried with his lack of sitting up unassisted and now he does it and is like, "What?  I knew I could do it." 

Forgive me, I'm trying to finish this up on my phone on the way to work
Adam is driving of course
) but
I am feeling distinctly fuzzy-brained. Blah summer colds

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pic of the week lives!

I really thought I'd do this more often! Ah well. I've got an update post started but for now you get this. Yes, that's a sea gull. One of about five that were hanging out in a parking lot yesterday. In central Indiana. Yeah, I don't know why either.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ouchies x 2

I never thought I would be so frustrated to not be able to exercise!  I was happy to find I'd still managed a modest 1.2 lbs loss last week, even with only three days of exercise before my back issues reared their ugly head.  On Friday, the pain was just as bad as Thursday, so I called in to work and went to the doctor.  No surprise, I was suffering from severe muscle spasms.  Apparently, a nerve in my back gets caught in the spasming muscles and that causes the sharp sudden pains.  Not fun.  I left with prescriptions for a five day course of steroids, plus a pain reliever/anti inflammatory, and a muscle relaxer.  I got home, took the medicines and spent the rest of the day sleeping.

Friday and Saturday were also our yard sale.  I wasn't much help on Friday, but I managed to help a little Saturday morning, taking money and giving out change.  By Sunday my back was feeling a little better, so I managed grocery shopping and a little bit of laundry, but mostly I rested.  It's still painful, particularly in the morning, but it's much better now.  I wish it was completely pain free, but unfortunately that is taking longer than I expected.  I am considering a short workout on my elliptical tonight to test the waters and see if the low impact exercise works and doesn't aggravate it.  I'm dying to get back on track, but I know I can't rush it and I don't want to make it worse.  We'll see how it goes.

I had to take Tyler to the doctor today.  He got what we thought was some sort of bug bit on Sunday night and it was looking nasty and his leg was really swollen.  The doctor thinks it was more likely a hornet sting!  Poor buddy!  He's going to be on an antibiotic just in case the swelling is indicative of an infection and it should be better in a few days.  Poor guy!  He was in a good mood though, talking the doctor's ear off!  I swear that child loves the sound of his own voice!  He runs around telling people anything and everything!  He went on and on about our yard sale and how we made lots of money for the fair.  And about his trip to the Children's Museum, which has to be six months ago!  LOL I love that little man!

Last, but not least on the updates!  We have a CRAWLER!!  AJ has been working on it for weeks now, rocking back and forth, lifting his hand but not quite putting the pieces together, but finally Sunday morning, with all of us watching, he crawled!  He's no pro at it, but I think he'll have it mastered pretty quickly!  He's getting so big, almost 10 months already!  I can't believe it!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

SetBACK and Photo challenge: Workspace

My Workspace
So that's it! Photo challenge finished!  Thanks Fat Mum Slim (Chantelle)!  I need a little break from the rigors of everyday posting, but I think I'll definitely join in on this monthly challenge again down the road!  Oh and readers, if you can spare a moment, go and vote for Chantelle and her amazing blog to be the most click-able woman of 2013!  She's awesome and she dreams of creating an app for her photo a day challenge, which would be epic!  Read about this here and click the link on the post to vote! :)

So there it is!  July in photos!

So I woke up this morning and about 10 minutes later, my back started hurting.  I'm not unfamiliar with the pain.  I have had a bad back for a long time, since back in my skating days.  I was once told that the cartilage between my bottom two vertebrae has been worn away. I've also been told I have had pinched nerves and muscle spasms.  I blame the latter for my current pain.  A couple of times a year, I'll have an "episode" where it hurts a LOT for a few days.  If it's not too bad, I wait it out. If it gets very bad I got to the doctor and am usually given an RX for anti inflammatories, steroids, and/or muscle relaxers.  Usually the pain goes away in a few days.  The worst it's ever been, I was putting on a pair of shorts one morning and ended up on the ground in pain.  That was on the day of my second interview at a job I had right after we got married.   That one sent me to the ER, AFTER I went to the interview.  On crutches.  Yes, I got the job.

That was the worst.  Today at times has been worse than that.  I made it to work okay.  I was very stiff, slow, and hunched over, but I made it.  If I sat still it wasn't horrible.  Advil seems to have no effect at all, but I took it nonetheless.  However, late morning I got up, walked to the restroom, stopped to talk to my coworker and it got much worse.  My back was spasming and the pain was not easing no matter what I did.  At one point bending over and resting my head on my desk helped a little and my boss found me in that position.  The pain got so bad I was trying not to cry.  

Thankfully it eased a little and I was able to get through the day.  But it is obvious I am not going to be able to exercise today.  Hopefully it will be better tomorrow and I can get back to business but I can't let this defeat me!  Missing a day or even a couple of days will not give me a reason to stop!

Now can someone hook me up with a good masseuse?  And cheap?