Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Healthy Holidays to you!

Did you know the average person eats crap during the holiday season? Cakes, pies, chocolates, fudge, gravy, and candied yams sure taste amazing but don't give your body much nutrition. Did you know that the average person has less time to work out during the holiday season? All of the shopping, parties, presents, and eating can really put a dent into the gym routine. This contributes to the average person gaining weight during the holidays and starting out the new year with a little extra pudge and a little lack of cardiovascular ability. Of course when I say the average person I really mean....ME! Not this year my friends! I.will.not.do.it. I will not take the next four weeks as my eat-anything-and-everything-I-see-total-free-for-all. Because you know what? I have done it before...actually 3o times before, and where did it get me? I ended up having sugar crashes, starving all the time, and oh yeah - a little post holiday pudge. So, no I am not doing it this year because I have been there, done that, so what is the use of pretending like I have never met a chocolate cookie before or that I never will again? I don't plan on abstaining from all Christmasy goodness I do plan on being smart about it and keep myself well these five ways....
1. It is ok to eat Christmas food and goodies ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. These special occasions include our big family Christmas dinner and maybe an office party. Special occasions are not every night between now and Jan 2nd. The temperature dropping below 30 degrees is not a special occasion and therefore does not call for baking cakes, cookies, and hot chocolate. Other than the true special occasions I will proceed as normal - eating clean, low sugar, and lots of protein. I will remind myself that this is how I feel the best and feeling good is very important to me. Almost as important as that homemade cinnamon roll that tastes awesome but makes me nauseous after I have a sugar crash.
2. To combat the We-are-so-busy-with-Holidays-there-is-no-time-to-cook-so-I-will-grab-a-pizza disease I will preplan meals and most of those meals will involve a crockpot. It is super easy to throw something in the crockpot in the morning, work all day, pick up Fisher at daycare, and then chow down. It is almost as easy as stopping and getting a Hot N Ready from Little Caesars, and actually tastes much better!
3. Before holiday get togethers or going places where I will be assaulted by holiday goodies, I will make sure I eat a snack and I am not starving. Hunger makes me do insane things, like down a whole loaf of banana bread. So hunger will not be allowed to the parties and dinners. When I am not hungry, I can make informed decisions and if I chose to eat something super processed (pigs in blanket anyone?) or super sugary, I will be able to eat a reasonable amount.
4. To combat the We-are-so-busy-with-Holidays_there-is-no-time-to-work-out disease, I will do a 30 minute exercise routine every day from my computer. I have already started actually! I am doing 30 days of Shred (Jillian Michael's DVD) and I am on day 2. Since it is on my computer and I take my computer everywhere I will have the workout with me on the go. And 30 minutes? I spend more time facebooking every day than that :)
5) And finally - my fifth way to ensure a healthy holidays- is to laugh. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Laughing is a great way to workout the body and the mind and is guaranteed to counteract the stress and the frustration that can come with the holidays. When stuck in a traffic jam on the way to my parents house - I am going to turn up the radio and sing and dance with Fisher - it never fails to end in laughter. When great aunt Grace starts giving me a lecture on what is wrong with the young people of the world today - I will laugh it off. I will take the holidays as a time to hang out with my family, laugh about old stories, and create new memories.

What do you do to stay healthy during the holidays and counteract the stress?
Whatever it is, I hope you have a very happy, healthy holiday season to you and yours!

"I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Earth Footwear "All's Well That Ends Well" blogging program, making me eligible to win a pair of Earth Footwear boots. For more information on how you can participate, click here."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mamavation Monday

I just the Mamavation Sisterhood at the craziest point in my life to date. Work is insane, we are trying to get our house on the market immediately, we are traveling, taking care of a 14 month old, and trying to plan for the upcoming move out of state. We have been eating crap and not working out. Today on my four hour drive I listened to several podcasts including a few of Pete Cohens and the one where he interviewed Leah. Doing so inspired me to get serious and make steps in the right direction and to put my health as a priority. Several things that were said inspired me - but what makes the most sense is when Leah said she started her weight loss/get healthy lifestyle by trying to lose 5 lbs. That is such a manageable number; not overwhelming. Even right now in this crazy time, I am going to take a deep breath and try to keep things in perspective -
- I need to be healthy and make healthy choices no matter how busy things are.
- Until we get the house on the market, I need to eek out at least 30 minutes a day to exercise. Not only do I need it physically, I also need it for stress relief.
- I need to stock the house up with healthy foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables and meals that can be prepared super fast and easy, but are healthy!
- I need to remember that while I do not have control of so much in my life right now, I do have control of what goes into my body.
-I will not get overwhelmed, but focus on my goal of losing 5 lbs.

I am joining some of the other Mamavation Moms in doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, it starts tomorrow and I am excited! It is a workout I can do from home and is only 30ish minutes, so I have no excuses!

Hope to join Mamavation TV to see what Dr. Lynn has to say about sex ;)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving thanks in a new way

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. It is usually the only time each year that my entire family that lives in several different states can get together. As my sisters and I have grown up, went to college, got jobs, etc it has been harder and harder for everyone to get together. But we all make a concerted effort to be there at Thanksgiving. At Nana's house. Nana was the matriarch of the family. She loved to have everyone at her house and made sure she had each person's favorites - frozen waffles for Emily, peppermint ice cream for Jonna,sausage balls for Shanna, orange juice for me. Each year she welcomed us to her house with a big Nana hug and an even bigger smile. Thanksgiving was a blur of family, stories, laughing, food, and usually a trip to the Smoky Mountains. And each Thanksgiving we made an official Thanksgiving picture. Everyone has their "places". Each year we all centered around Nana, each in our particular spot.

This will be our first Thanksgiving without Nana. While I am definitely looking forward to seeing my family I know things will be different. In fact, we are making things different this year on purpose. I don't know if it will make the void created by Nana not being there better or worse. But I do know that Nana is up in heaven smiling and thrilled that we are all getting together at her house. I know she also expects us to get into our "spots" and take our annual Thanksgiving picture. Her spot is a huge hole that will never be filled. But do you know what? This Thanksgiving I am thankful to have had 31 years and a lifetime of memories with a Nana that is that irreplaceable

Monday, November 22, 2010

A day 14 months in the making.

Today was a big day for me. A day that I have been dreading, putting off, ignoring, and avoiding for 14 months. Today I had a meeting with a lawyer involving Fisher's birth trauma and injuries. I was hoping that if I avoided the issue it would go away. We would pay the medical bills, Fisher would be fine, and we could move on. Alas, that hasn't happened. So I met with a lawyer today just to see if we have a case. I know that things went wrong at Fisher's labor and delivery. I know that my medical records are not representative of what happened - but what I don't know is why things went wrong, why my medical records aren't correct, why Fisher had to suffer. I didn't know if we had a case or if was just the proverbial "one of those things."
So today I took all of my medical records, all of Fisher's NICU records, his Ear, Nose, and Throat records, and pictures of his birth injuries to a lawyer that specializes in birth injuries. I told a very brief overview of Fisher's story. Just the bare bones basics. Explained that his medical records and mine do not match up. His NICU records describe all of his injuries in detail and why they occurred - my records describe me going into labor, Fisher being vertex presentation, I didn't progress, and therefore had a c-section. This is entirely not true. I wish it were the case, I really do, because if that was what happened then I wouldn't be seeing a lawyer today. Unfortunately, putting it in my records that way does not explain the days in the NICU, the four surgeries he has had, the trips to specialists and Children's hospital out of state, or his future surgeries. I said all this to the lawyer who listened patiently...and then I pulled out a few pictures of Fisher's first days that I had brought with me. As soon as he saw the pictures the lawyer said "Unbelievable, we will definitely look into this. This is entirely unacceptable and inexcusable." My sentiments exactly. Just knowing that I have not been overacting and that an actual birth injury lawyer thinks what happened to Fisher is ridiculous and was unwarranted was so empowering. Hearing the lawyer say those words was an extremely emotional moment for me.
So what's next? The lawyer is going to review my case in more detail. He is going to talk with a medical expert and they will get back to me soon to let me know if they decide to take the case. So it isn't definite he will take the case, but from our discussions, I think he will. Even if he doesn't, I am so glad I went today. I healed a little. I took a little piece of power back that I have been giving to the OB for the past 14 months. I feel a little stronger and a little braver and a little less like a victim. It is a step in the right direction for so many reasons - to get my medical records corrected, for Fisher, and for me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Excuse my whining but I am completely overwhelmed. I just got back from being gone for work for two weeks. I return to a house that needs to be on the market right now, but isn't close to being ready to list. I want to have it looking perfect before we list it because I want it gone!
I want to be able to concentrate on the house and get it ready but that is proving to be impossible with a toddler whose middle name is Destructo. Combine that with Shawn being super busy with school work as it is the end of the semester (in other words, he is no help!) and going out of town AGAIN on Wednesday for Thanksgiving and the amazing amount of work for my job that I need to be doing and I am feeling more overwhelmed than I have been in my whole life. I keep walking in circles. I walk into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and I notice the pile of dishes so I start loading the dish washer, go rescue Fisher from whatever eminent danger he has gotten himself into, go back to the kitchen, realize the milk was left out, put it in the fridge, get side tracked by the banana on the floor, set the milk down to pick up the banana....you get the idea. Basically I never do get my coffee!! I feel I need to be super productive this weekend and I have gotten absolutely nowhere.
On top of all this I am meeting with a lawyer tomorrow about Fisher's birth injuries and I think that is adding to my stress. I am just a mess of emotions and frustrations which is not helping me get things done.
I wish I could just have one week alone in my house to get things ready but that isn't going to happen. My family all has their own stuff going on, so there is no help there. So I will just continue feeling sorry for myself until Fisher takes a nap and then I will bust my butt, probably running around in circles getting too little accomplished.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I suck at traveling

I really do. Well, as far as being healthy while traveling - I really suck at it. Unfortunately I travel a lot. And this time of year it is nonstop.
I left my house one week ago and will not be home until this Friday - so that is 13 days of eating out. So far on the trip I have been about 50/50 on my eating. I eat breakfast at the hotel which consists of whole wheat toast (that I bring) and some rubbery eggs they provide. I take a snack of an apple and/or a Lara bar. For lunch I eat a sandwich I take out in the field with me. Dinner has been my shortfall because it consists of eating out at restaurants and beer. Mmmmmm beer.
Oh and water - yeah, I sucked at that this past week too. In my defense - I am raccoon trapping and last week I was trapping a city park. With no bathrooms and lots of people there....while the guys I work with can sneak away and "talk to a tree" I don't have that luxury without my big white booty hanging out for the world to see...so last week I didn't drink nearly enough water.
So I have things to work on this week....eating better in the evenings, drinking more water, and I suppose less beer. boooo!
On the positive side of things - I get a great all over body workout trapping raccoons. We don't hike in too far to set and check traps, but we do set 30 traps and walking to each trap includes climbing up and down hills, over logs, etc. And having a raccoon in a trap and carrying it back to the truck is a serious cardio blast!

Congrats to @MMScarlett for being the Sista of the Week!! Awesome job!

I would love to win a copy of Belly Beautiful Workout. Though we aren't trying to TTC right now (wish we were lol!) I sure hope to have a beautiful pregnant belly again sometime soon!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My shadow

I have always been an independent person. While I don't consider myself a loner, I definitely enjoy time alone and doing things alone more than your average bear. Hell, my husband and I didn't even live together full time until we had been married three years! (because of job/school situations, we had to live in different states and see each other on weekends).
In comes Fisher - the 14 month old mini person that wants nothing more than to strip me of my independence. When I go to the bathroom he does too. When I unload the dishwasher, he climbs up on the door and helps by grabbing dishes and throwing them to the ground to see how loud of sounds they make. When I go out to the laundry room he follows and has learned to put clothes into the dryer. And then the highlight of his laundry experience comes when he gets to slam the dryer door! Oh the excitement! You get the picture - and if you have ever had a toddler you have probably experienced it. I officially have a shadow, a mini me, a partner is crime....and for the most part it is pretty cool! I have fun doing mundane things with him like grocery shopping. I laugh at him when we are out and a stranger says "Hey buddy give me 5!" and he furiously shakes his head left to right and says "NOOOO". It isn't all fun - like when he wants to type on my keyboard as I am.every.single.time.I.get.on.the.computer.
But I have gotten used to it and adjusted my life accordingly. I automatically wait at the door of the sun room for him to catch up so I can help him down the step to join me. I grab the knives out of the dishwasher first thing when I open it. I absolutely can not go grocery shopping without a list or I will end up leaving without the necessary toilet paper as nothing distracts your shopping like a toddler grabbing at anything that comes within a 5 foot radius.
Just one of the many ad hoc things we didn't really anticipate as parents.
Today I leave to trap raccoons out of state. I will be trapping Monday through Friday for the next 5 - 6 weeks, which means I will only see Fisher on Saturdays and Sundays. While the long, unrushed showers will be nice - I already feel a little lost without my shadow. And I can't help but wonder how he will change over these next weeks. I already miss him, my little partner in crime, because doing laundry is not nearly as much fun when you have to shut the dryer door on your own.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Memories flooding in...

I have dealt with all the situations, problems, scares, and fears surrounding Fisher's birth and the few months after so differntly than I have ever handled anything in my life. My normal way of dealing with things is to take them at face value, process them, reconcile them in my mind, and move on. However, I have found that I am doing the exact opposite with Fisher's birth, injuries, and surgeries. It seems that I dealt with things the best way I knew how at the time, just to get through it, but never really processed it. It also seems that as each "one year ago" event comes around I am finally dealing with them, thinking about them, processing them. And to be completely honest, it sucks. I would much rather be able to handle this as I have ever thing else in my life, but I can't. I feel the sadness, the fear, and the anxiety. I have learned from going to counseling that I haven't processed these memories, feelings, and experiences yet and I need to do that so I can move on.
The year anniversary of Fisher's first nose surgeries are no different. The last few days I have been thinking about this over and over. I can honestly say I am in awe of how Shawn and I handled things last year. We were so calm and matter of fact. We took things as they came, without really questioning or getting too mad. I know now that we were totally in survival mode. I was dealing with lots of health problems myself, was in continous pain, and was worried about my own body recovering from the birth. But that was definitely on the back burner, I was very worried about my 6 week old son. We realized that babies only breathe through their nose and they do not have the ablity to breathe through their mouths yet. Fisher's nares were very, very small from scar tissue as a result of his birth trauma. His nose flaired in and out and made a raspy sound with each breathe. It seemed to take too much effort to breathe. The Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor was obviously concerned about this and asked us many times if we had noticed his lips or finger nails turning blue. I racked my brain, trying to think if we had ever noticed a blue tint. What if I had missed it? What if he turned blue when I thought he was sleeping? Would my son be forever damamged from a lack of oxygen? Would he stop breathing at night? My brain had continious questions going through it, but I never vocalized them. I just answered the ENTs questions as best I could.
Then the ENT asked if he seems to have trouble nursing. Does he stop latching and gasp for air? Again - I didn't think so, but this is my first child. I hadn't really paid attentiont to babies breastfeeding before. Did he do it right? Was he having trouble breathing while eating? I remember wanting to ask the ENT to watch Fisher breastfeed to make sure I wasn't missing something. It was torturous to be a new mom, definitely at the bottom of the learning curve and being asked questions that I honestly wasn't sure about. I didn't have the confidence to know that I was doing everything ok for a healthy baby - much less a baby with problems.
I was so worried I was going to miss something because of my inexperience.
The ENT decided that Fisher needed nose surgery to try to increase the size of his nares. He scheduled the surgery for a Monday, which was about a week away. However, the ENT himself called me back that night after we saw him and said that he would rather do the surgery as soon as possible. He said he couldn't live with himself if something happened to Fisher before his scheduled surgery day. So we had Fisher's surgery done the next day. It was scary to have Fisher go under anesthesia at six weeks old, but at the same time it was relieving, because I felt like once his first surgery was over I could breathe a little easier.
Fast forward to yesterday....I was in the doctor's office with Fisher for a routine childhood sickness (coughing/wheezing). We were waiting in a room to see the doctor and in and adjacent room a little boy was inconsible. I could tell by his screams and cries that he was much older than Fisher. It shook me to the core. It was like I was sent back one year ago when I was in the waiting room waiting on word from the doctor that Fisher's nose surgery was over. Before I saw the doctor, a nurse came running up to me and said "Are you Fisher's mother? Follow me, he needs you" On the way to the recovery room she explained to me that he was inconsible and there was nothing anyone could do calm him down. She said he needed his mama. I could hear him from a long way off crying in a way that I have never heard, it was absolutely frantic. I was nervous because I didn't know what he would look like after surgery. On the walk to him I was almost in tears myself, but as soon as I got to him, Mama Mode kicked in. I took him in my arms and held him, talked to him, loved him, and I did not shed one tear. He needed me right then, he needed me to be strong, he needed me to comfort him first, and not worry about my own fears and feelings. And I did, I held him, I nursed him, I loved him, I tried to warm him up, and he slowly starting calming down. He then went to the Pediatric ICU for the night to make sure he was stable after surgery. From that first surgery for the next 6 weeks he had 3 additional surgeries, many doctor's visits, and the whole time I was afraid to sleep. I was afraid his nasal stents would get clogged while I was sleeping and I wouldn't hear him. But we trudged on. Most people never knew how worried I was. They never knew that I would lay awake exhausted but listening to Fisher sleep because if they asked me how I was doing I would say we were doing good. I would say how awesome Fisher is, and how he takes everything like a champ. Becuase he was and he did.
But now, one year later I am in a doctor's office for something so minor and all the memories came flooding in. It is my opinion that we did what we needed to do to get through the tough time. But I guess we still have to come to terms with everything personally, and in our own way. Writing definitely seems to be helping me process everything, come to terms with what happened, how I felt then, how I feel now, and how I hope I feel in the future.