Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ah, domesticity

Well, as my luck would have it, as soon as I wrote my last post about getting back on track, our house has been struck down by plague.  Not the actual Plague, but some sort of sickness that gives the kids a fever, runny nose, and cough, but doesn't seem to slow them down or prevent them from making enormous messes.  They've been sick since Monday (but I didn't realize it was a real thing until they got their fevers on Tuesday).  Ah, it's been lovely.  Also, it rained!  Which is awesome!  But between the sickness and the rain, I have barely been able to exercise.  Luckily, thanks to my husband working from home a couple days this week, I was able to get out a few times anyway.

So.  It has been a rough week. To say the least.  Yesterday, knowing it was going to rain and I'd be stuck inside with the kids all day, I decided to defrost our leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make turkey soup (good for the sick kids!), I baked 12 loaves of French bread (probably will not do again for a while, at least not with the kids underfoot), and made a bunch of pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins.  Which my sweet-tooth son will not eat because he's worried that eating unhealthy food will give him a stomach ache.  Sigh.  I feel like a domestic goddess.  But four days of having sick whiny kids is taking its toll, and the TV is getting turned on more than I'd normally like, but right now I don't mind at all.

I've been thinking about my health issues again, lately.  I mentioned that I wanted to try gluten free, then I chickened out, but it's on my radar again.  On one had, I have no hard evidence to support that I have a gluten intolerance.  On the other hand, what can it hurt?  Besides completely changing the way I eat and cook for a while.  Still, I'm seriously considering it, and considering bringing it up with the doctor.

I talked to my sister about my hip pain and she mentioned trying yoga.  I have not had time to try an actual class, nor am I sure I want to just yet since at the moment I'm only looking at specific yoga poses that will help with the hip pain and I don't want to spend an hour in a class that may or may not cover those poses, but I am dabbling.  Here is the specific article that inspired me, since this is EXACTLY my ailment (a painful, stiff left hip after running).  So far I'm only really doing the pigeon pose, since out of the other two, one is too hard for me at the moment, and the other doesn't seem to do anything for me, but man, just that one is really helping.  I try to do it twice a day and hold the stretch for several minutes at a time, although sometimes I only manage it once per day.  This morning I ran 2.5 miles, then did the stretch almost immediately after (instead of waiting until later), and I have been more or less pain-free all day, which has almost never happened in the last 6 months.

So I am hopeful.  I would like to work some yoga and meditation into my daily routine, but I'm not sure how.  For one thing, I need both a time and a place to do it, and with two 3-year-olds in the house, finding both of those things is tough.

So - for my chronic hip pain, I've discovered yoga and I'm considering a potential gluten-free experiment.  I feel happy to have some options.  And I'm hoping the gluten-free experiment might help with a few other things, like the digestive issues, achy joints, and fatigue.  Although it seems like a lot of those things could be chalked up to having small children.  Ha.

Anyway, the cleaners are coming tomorrow, and it's late, and the house is a mess because of the aforementioned sick whiny kids not going to preschool all week, so I better get hopping.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Back on track!

The kids are home from preschool today.  Turtle woke up with a croupy cough and sounded like he was having a mild asthma attack.  He seemed much better by about 10-10:30, but they really didn't want to go to school.  I am still struggling with the school problem.  It seems like it will never end.  I'll write more about that in another post, probably.  So I have more or less scrapped my plans for today.  But my wonderful husband came home to work for the afternoon so I could go for a bike ride while the kids napped, which is great because it's such a beautiful day.

I'm trying to stay on track for exercise, and I'm pretty proud of myself.  I've been managing to get one workout per day, five days per week, pretty consistently.  Since there's a master's swim team at my gym, I no longer have to pay for the city master's swim team, plus I get to use the gym and all the other classes they offer.  I think I may try to work out even more as I get in better shape.  Ironically, I am at my highest weight ever (except for when pregnant), and I'm wondering if there is some other factor, like the Mir.en.a IUD that could be causing it.

To stay on track, I have a lot of goals for this year.  I would like to do at least one sprint triathlon this summer, and if I can, I'd like to try to be competitive (i.e. place at least 5th), but that would be icing on the cake.  If training in the next couple months goes well, I might like to try an international triathlon as well, but I'm less excited about it.  I'm aiming tentatively for a half marathon in April, but I recognize I may not have enough time to train that quickly, which is ok.  If I don't make that, I will see if there is a half marathon in May or June in this area.  So that's the plan for the summer.  We're planning to go to Italy, and I'd like to be in good shape, so that I can be in good shape for outdoor sports while I'm there, and so I can look good and feel healthy while I'm there.  And then I am considering running a marathon in December, the same one I was training for a year and a half ago when I fell and broke my finger and ended up having two surgeries.  That will depend entirely on how the spring and summer go, but I'm feeling hopeful and happy about it.

In addition to all this training, I'm also going to give up desserts and coffee for Lent.  I may try to start sooner than that.  I'm not sure if I'm going to count making coffee at home yet, but definitely no Sta.rbu.cks or (or the super cheap coffee frappe's they have at costco either, sigh).  It's going to be really hard, but I hope I'll feel so much better for it.

And then in the meantime, I'm still working on a ton of other things, including crafts (a baby quilt for my friend who's having her first!  a dress for Tadpole!  stuff for my sister's wedding!), work for my husband, and work on my potential substitute teaching gig that I hope will eventually work out.  And I need to start planning our trip to Italy, since it will need to coincide with several other people visiting us and possibly us visiting some friends who are moving to London next week.  Big plans ahead!  OK, time to get the kids up and ready for soccer!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The sound of raindrops

Hi friends.  Did you hear?  It rained.  It was beautiful, healing rain.  I can't tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed it how much I missed it.  It has been more than a year since I have seen a real rainstorm, and it made me want to dance with joy.  We still need a lot more to help with the drought conditions, but it was good.  For the next big rainstorm, I want to have a warm soup dinner and a cozy cuddle on the couch with a fire in the fireplace.  I can't wait!

Life is not bad right now.  I'm very busy.  I'm working a lot on stuff for my husband's company, I'm trying to keep up with all the housework, and more importantly, I'm trying to make exercise a priority.  I'll talk about that in a minute.

I also started seeing a therapist.  I'm not sure she's really what I need.  Within the first two sessions, she suggested that my mother is mentally ill and confirmed the tentative diagnosis my sister and I had made through our research (mostly dr., but also reading some self-help and lay-person-friendly books).  She would not presume to actually diagnose my mother without ever having met her, but she confirmed that my description of her behavior is consistent with someone with a personality disorder.  She also gave me a book and it seems most likely that she has Bord.erl.ine Personality Disorder, possibly with some Nar.cissistic Personality Disorder mixed in (for fun!), on top of depression and anxiety.  Sigh.

The last few weeks with my mom have been as exhausting as usual.  It's very emotionally and mentally draining dealing with someone like that.  It's not so bad when I don't talk to her regularly, but one of her more annoying traits, which is consistent with someone with BPD, is the need to cling more tightly when she feels abandoned, which often means multiple phone calls per day.  Sometimes when I don't answer, she just keeps hanging up and calling again, over and over, and I can't turn off my phone in case my husband or the preschool needs to call.

Anyway.  Things are actually not bad, as I said.  We had a nice weekend.  I'm trying to exercise at least 3-5 times per week.  I'm swimming twice per week as part of that, and it's great.  I love swimming.  I'm trying to run 1-2 times per week and cycle 1-2 times per week, too.  I'm hoping to do a triathlon this summer, if not 2 or 3, but we'll see.  I still have hip pain, unfortunately.  I will probably try to make a doctor's appointment soon.  I keep saying that, then the pain gets better, but it always comes back, so it's probably time.  I'm tired of feeling like a creaky, achy old woman after I work out.  I also read that gluten intolerance can cause joint pain, in addition to other problems I have had over the years including digestive issues, fatigue/insomnia, and (drum roll please) ..... infertility!  Ah ha ha ha.  Yay.

So I am considering going gluten-free for 2-4 weeks.  It will be REALLY hard.  Insanely hard.  I'm married to an Italian, yo.  We eat lots of bread and pasta.  But I think it will be worth it, if I can either rule that out as the problem or figure out that it actually IS the problem.

I haven't had any time for my substitute teaching application, which is fine since I wouldn't have been able to actually sub anyway, I've been so busy.  I have a lot more work coming up for my husband's company, too, it should quiet down in April, I hope.  Since I am essentially working for free, the company is considering doing something nice for me, such as paying for cleaning, a weekend at a spa, or regular massages.  I'm trying to decide what I'd want.  It all sounds nice!  On the other hand, a series of personal training sessions sounds nice, too.  My sister's trying to talk me into taking guitar lessons, and I've contacted a teacher, but I am really feeling like it might be too much right now.  I'm overwhelmed.

And it's late.  And I should go to bed.  I hope all is well, you may not hear from me for a while with all this craziness, but I'll be back!