Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Riddance 2011

While this year had some great things happen - I have to say I am not going to miss it too much.  Shawn and I had lots of fun with Fisher, we sold a house, and moved to a much better city for us.  We have really enjoyed living in Knoxville and don't miss much at all about Ashland. 
But I will look back on 2011 as a tiring, rough year.  Moving, adding many job duties (and of course no more pay), the stress of finding Fisher a daycare and then not being happy with it and finding him a new one, had my gallbladder out, Shawn had his tonsils out and had several complications, etc,etc.etc.  Of course the most memorable thing for me personally is getting pregnant and then losing the baby.  That was hard physically and emotionally.  I had some stuff go on at work that was hard and some of it is tied into my pregnancy which has changed my feelings about some work related things and people.  So good riddance 2011. 

I am sending out 2011 on a positive note though!  My little sister Rebecca came in to spend the weekend with us.  We had a great time last night drinking wine and talking.  Today we went and had lunch with my grandmother, Mamadot.  I can't imagine anyone else I would rather spend the last day of 2011 with.  I am so thankful and blessed to have a healthy, amazing grandmother still in my life at 32 years old.  I enjoy every minute I spend with her and don't take any of them for granted.

Lunch date with Mamadot

Here's to a very Happy 2012 for our family and yours.  May this year bring lots of happiness, love, health, and joy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A relaxing Christmas

It was fun experiencing Christmas with Fisher this year.  He didn't quite understand Santa but he sure understood waking up and having a tree full of presents!  Santa had set up a train table and a wooden train set and Fisher went to town.  We spent the entire day in our pjs - relaxing and playing together.  It was definitely a fun, relaxing day.

I have been thinking off and on about our little baby we lost.  I would be finishing up my 2nd trimester and prior to losing the baby I  was really looking forward to being pregnant at Christmas.  My mom and I had often joked that I missed out getting a pregnant Christmas ornament when I was pregnant with Fisher because I found out I was pregnant right after the first of the year.  I have wished often when looking at our Christmas tree that I had a pregnant Christmas ornament this year.  

Overall, we had a good, relaxing Christmas.  Shawn and I decided not to give each other gifts this year so it was all about watching Fisher enjoy his gifts which is good enough for me. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Gray Area

 For the past two years I have tried to reconcile my thoughts and feelings over Fisher's much needed c-section with my desire for a natural birth.  It is not unusual for women to have a c-section and then regret it.  Or to do research and question if a c-section was ever needed in the first place.  I don't fall into that camp.  I wish I would have had a c-section earlier on.  Go ahead and gasp if you are a natural birth advocate, but please read on....

Prior to having my son I did a ton of research on "unnecesareans" and I really felt like if I could go into labor naturally that I would have a vaginal birth.  I was super excited for labor and was ready to let my amazing body do what it was meant to do. I knew prior to having my son that coming into the world naturally would be the best start for him and for me as his new mother.  I knew that from all the research I had done but I also knew it inside.   It just seemed right to me.  I also knew that in the area I lived in this was very,very unusual.  But I wasn't worried because I had a plan.  My plan was to go into labor naturally and go to the hospital and put up with some BS but by avoiding the induction I would ensure myself at least a vaginal delivery. 

Things didn't end up that way though I did go into labor naturally.  I had been in prodromal labor for a couple of days and when my water broke I went to the hospital like my doctor instructed.  I was happy and felt so excited because I felt like I had won the battle.  I went into labor naturally and thus I was going to avoid major abdominal surgery (inductions increase your c-section chances by 50%)!  I was going to have skin to skin contact immediately after my son was born, get to hold him, look into his eyes, and introduce myself to him.  I was going to breastfeed him and cover him with kisses.  And oh yeah - I was also going to have an easy recovery and get back on my feet quickly because that is what I do. 

Things didn't end up that way either.  I get to the hospital with my water broken and in labor and the nurses pretty much freaked out.   The on call doc came in and introduced himself to me and I didn't see him again for about 18 hours and after I had been pushing for over an hour.  During that 18 hour time period where I didn't see him in person - he was ordering all sorts of things to "fix" my labor.  Pitocin, more pitocin, and more pitocin.  At first I declined because I knew that labors can stall out - but after a little longer I agreed to some pitocin. I thought it would be just enough to send me over the edge and let me push that baby out and move on to the next stage!  Ah, but the pitocin wasn't working and Fisher's heartbeat was decelerating.  So the pitocin was stopped for a while and tried again - he seemed to tolerate it better though I still was not dilating.  So more and more pitocin was ordered.  I was very uncomfortable with it, but I was afraid to say anything, because I am not medically trained.  Just some crunchy wildlife biologist who thinks that she is a mammal or something.  During this time I was never examined by the doctor.  He somehow knew what was going on in my stomach from afar.  After all, it was Sunday. 

So after hours and hours of pitocin hell I finally get to 10 cm and I get to start pushing. It was elated!   I freaking did it - I put up with all the pitocin and not moving but I was going to push my son out and hold him and that would make it all worth it.  Just give me my baby!

Only it didn't happen that way.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  I worked harder than I knew I could.   The doctor came in after a while and I pushed and pushed some more.  He said he needed to use a vacuum.  I was just ready to be done.  The vacuum seemed to go on forever.  I knew that pushing a baby out could be hard work and take some time, but I started to get the feeling that something wasn't right.  And then the doctor said he thought something was wrong and I needed a c-section.  At this point I KNEW I needed a c-section.  It didn't make sense to me, I had no idea why in the world Fisher wasn't coming out, I knew it wasn't for lack of trying, but I knew that something wasn't right. So I went to the OR completely exhausted but not deflated.  I had done everything I could do and I knew it.  I was going to finally meet my son.

And then my son was born.  He was born beaten up, bruised, swollen, and was whisked away to the NICU.  The OB explained that he had been brow presentation which is why he wouldn't come down the birth canal - it was geometrically impossible.  And that geometric anomaly caused lots of problems.  Fisher had major facial trauma from his face being crushed against my pelvis with every contraction. See, I wasn't dilating for a reason.  I wasn't dilating because my son wasn't positioned properly to make a decent down the birth canal.   My body IS pretty awesome. It didn't fail me at all.  It knew that Fisher couldn't come out the way he was positioned so it didn't dilate past 5 or 6 cm.  But what my body and Fisher wasn't prepared for was the onslaught of fake contractions.  Pitocin induced contractions that after hours and hours, finally pushed his forehead down hard enough to dilate my cervix to 10 while crushing his face.    And the vacuum - the vacuum continued the assault on my son's head.  Pitocin and vacuums are contraindicated for brow presentation babies because it can cause these injuries. And they can also break a baby's back. Thank God that didn't happen. 

So basically, I am in this weird gray area. I am a very natural birth friendly mama that wishes I wouldn't
have even attempted to vaginally deliver my son.  He would have been so much better off. My son needed to be born via c-section as soon as I came into the hospital with my water broken.   Brow presentations can convert to full face or to vertex but if they don't convert they can't be delivered vaginally 99.9% of the time (a lot of medical literature say 100% of the time, but I have found one or two stories in which a brow presentation was delivered vaginally.  Regardless, it is pretty much impossible).   Because of this most OBs recommend a c-section immediately upon diagnosing a brow presentation.   However, that didn't happen because the OB didn't realize my son was malpositioned. 

So where does that leave me?  It leaves me at a place where I feel like the system failed me.  Many women have a realization after a c-section that the system failed them and they maybe could have avoided the c-section.  I am on the other end of the spectrum.  The last thing I wanted was a c-section, but under the circumstances that was the one thing I needed more than anything else.  Does that make me pro c-section now?  Kind of - I am very pro c-section in certain circumstances.  But what I learned from my son's experience is that what was was lacking was the one-on-one care, concern, and attention by a skilled provider.  See, I had convinced myself that I didn't need a provider that really took time to know me and one that I trusted because I was the one having the baby.  The OB was just there to "catch" it.  Most of the time I think women's bodies are amazing and will do exactly what they need to do to birth a baby.  But there is always those exceptions and THAT is why we pay people to be there for us.  To notice signs that something might not be right.  Not to search for problems that don't exist or to start throwing interventions and drugs at women to have them labor according to a schedule. 

The bottom line is I really don't want any other women to experience what I did.  I don't want any babies to be hurt like my son was.  What I want is for women to allow their bodies to do what they were made to do but when an intervention is needed I want it to be noticed and explained.  I want women to be able to trust their caregivers and know that they are being given information about what is best for them and their baby.   There is obviously a time and place for c-sections.   But there is no time or place to assume that all laboring mothers fit a mold and can be "managed" a certain way.    Nine times out of ten it might work, but for that tenth mother and baby it can be life changing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Serendipity at Blue Hole Springs

I had a really cool experience this week at work and no it didn't involve bears, raccoons, or any other furry creature.  It involved my nana and granddaddy - who unfortunately are not living anymore. 
I have this childhood memory with my nana and grandaddy from when I was probably 5 or so.  They took me to a park and we went on a tour with the naturalist.  This is what I remember from my 5 year old memory.....

Nana and Grandaddy took me to a park and it was just me and not my sisters.   At this park we took a tour with the ranger and the ranger talked about the Trail of Tears and I remember being sad because she told about how horrific that was for the Indians.  And then I remember going to this Blue Hole and what I remember is the Blue Hole was a bottomless hole of water that the Cherokee Indians drank water and where many children drowned because it was a "bottomless" hole.   I remember it just being a kind of creepy, scary, but really cool place - because to me this was almost a haunted hole - where kids die.  (In hindsight I have no idea if the ranger actually said anything about kids dieing or if my grandparents just told me to stay close so I wouldn't fall in and drown).  Even at a young age I was a good swimmer, as I had taken lessons starting very young.  I couldn't understand why people would drown even in a bottomless pit - because it isn't like you need a bottom to swim.  I thought maybe there was something weird about the blue hole that sucked people in. 

For some reason this memory has stuck with me all these years and I have always wondered about that hole.  I obviously no longer believed that I had seen a bottomless hole that sucked unexpecting children in -but I have always wondered where we were and has always been one of those places I wanted to see again.  I am not sure why but I never asked my Nana about about that trip to the blue hole - probably because I knew my memory was from a young child's perspective and I didn't know if was anywhere close to reality.

This week at work I went to check out Red Clay State Park which is south of Cleveland, TN about the possibility of trapping raccoons.  I went in and talked to the ranger and she showed me a map of the park.  I quickly saw a landmark called "Blue Hole Springs" and I asked the ranger about it.  She explained that it is a natural spring and the hole was 14 feet deep and created the blue color.  I was so excited and knew that this was the place from my memories.   I didn't tell her that I remembered it being a bottomless pit that sucked children but I did ask her where the Blue Hole was so I could go see it for myself.

I walked down to the Blue Hole and sure enough - that is the one from my memory.  Well, probably a lot smaller and less menacing - but definitely the one I remember.  I think it is funny that my "bottomless child sucking hole" is a 14 foot natural spring.   Regardless, I was so glad to have happened upon this memory!   It made me miss my grandparents and then feel comfoted by them at the same time.

Monday, September 26, 2011


It has been one heck of a week - which I expected.  I am way more exhausted and physically drained than I expected.  Emotinally sometimes I am doing better than I would have expected and sometimes, well sometimes I am just overcome by sadness - and I expected that. 

The support and kind words have been amazing.  I had been told by several people, including the medical staff at the hospital, to expect people to say things that hurt in their attempts to comfort (i.e. at least you lost the baby now instead of when you were attached to it,etc).  Honestly, I heard a few things that I don't "agree" with, but it didn't bother me.  I totally know it is awkard and uncomfortable for most people because they don't know what to say.  But most people I have talked to acknowledged our loss and offered their apologies.  And really - that is all you can do.  And that really means a lot. 

The hardest part for me the last several days and something that I foresee happening for a long time is the flood of emotions and pain from seemingly innocent or normal occurences.  For example, when I see a little boy that is about Fisher's age and they have a baby brother or a sister that sets off feelings of sadness.  I was really excited about Fisher and his sibling being 2.5 years apart and now that won't happen.   When I see pregnant women I am sad that I am not pregnant anymore.   When I hear someone mention something going next spring I am reminded that we will not have a newborn in the spring.   And on and on and many reminders of what we were expeting, what we were so excited about, and what will not be.

I go back to the doctor tomorrow with little expectations.  I see there is no good side of seeing the doctor.  He is either going to say "It is one of those unexplained things" or "I think X,Y, and Z might be going on which caused the miscarriage."  I am not sure which one is more comforting now, but it really doesn't matter.  No expectations - but we will cross whatever bridge we are taken to.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My heart hurts

I literally keep thinking "My Heart Hurts" over and over and over in my head.  It really does.  I think in the whole scheme of things we are doing ok.  I have many moments when I feel ok; when I feel normal.   Doing the normal, mundane things seem to help a lot - giving Fisher a bath, reading him books, all the things I do every day - it is a nice reminder that things are going on and I am ok.  Shawn and I laugh and that feels good.  We actually laugh about some of the things that happened Friday and though I feel demented about laughing about it, it also feels good. That is what Shawn and I do, we laugh.  So I have these moments that I feel ok and I am so glad I have those because it makes me realize that we are going to be ok.  We will carry on, I know we can't erase what happened, but I also know that we some really good reasons to keep moving forward. 
I ordered this bracelet last night.

 It says "I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)".  That just seems perfect.  I know that we will continue going on.  We will talk about this experience less and less and maybe the graphic images will fade over time.  But I also know that I will carry in my heart forever the little one that I missed out on.  Like I said - we didn't have him long, but we loved him completely. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A heartbreaking loss

I can't believe that two days ago I joyfully "announced"  that I was pregnant.  I had told many close friends and family earlier on but on Monday I went ahead and told my work.  I wasn't planning on telling my work until next week when I would officially be in the 2nd trimester but my boss has to take several weeks off unexpectedly so I went ahead and told my boss and many coworkers last week.  After I told my work Shawn and I decided that we would go ahead and share our news.  We tried to take some pictures of Fisher in a big brother shirt and were going to post them on facebook, but Fisher wasn't up for a photo shoot so we decided to try again this weekend.  

On Thursday I posted a blog about being excited about expecting our new addition and within an hour after posting that I started showing signs of miscarriage.  I was in Nashville to give a presentation for work and it was a very good thing that I can talk about rabies in my sleep because I got through it without thinking about what I was saying at all.

After my presentation I called my doctor and they said to come in the next morning for "reassurance."  However, during the night I started cramping and I knew in my heart the pregnancy was over.  It was a long night.  In the morning as Shawn and I were getting ready to to the doctor I started hemorrhaging like crazy.  I couldn't believe how much I was bleeding.  I wasn't sure if I should go to the ER or go to the doctor, but made the decision to go on to the doctor as planned.

At the doctor I explained that things had gotten much worse and they took me on back.  They wanted to do an ultrasound and said that they have seen people come in with substantial bleeding and have healthy babies.  But I knew there was no way that I had a healthy baby anymore.  When they did the ultrasound they realized how much blood I was losing.  At that point they transferred me to the hospital so the surgeon could determine what needed to be done.   I was getting weak and remember thinking over and over that I had already lost this baby and that was awful, but I didn't want Fisher to lose his mother. 

My OB was out of town so I had the OB that was taking his call and I had never met before.  Thank God, he turned out to be an awesome doctor and I can't imagine the situation being handled better than he did.  He examined me and then said that he needed to operate immediately.  The whirlwind started and I had people trying to get an IV in on both of my arms at the same time.  I was so dehydrated and had lost so much blood that they had a really awful time of getting an IV in.  At this point I guess I looked pretty rough, the OB came and got my hand and told me to focus on him and talked to me about Fisher.  I think he was trying to keep me from passing out. It worked and I will forever remember him holding my hand and the trust I felt in him.  Which is actually amazing, if you know anything about me you know that I don't have much trust at all in OBs. 

I had the D&C and immediately upon waking up in recovery I was taken aback by how much better I felt.  I felt better coming off of the anesthesia than I had felt prior to the surgery.  I lost 3 units of blood during the D&C on top of what I lost prior to so I still felt (and feel) very weak.   Amazingly enough after recovering for several hours they did more blood work and all of my blood work looked good (the doctor himself couldn't believe it) and so they let me go on home with the understanding that I would take it very, very easy for the next week and let my body heal and repair itself. 

Yesterday was such a whirlwind I can't believe that so many actions and emotions can be packed into one day.  I am processing everything now and I am not sure how things are going to be "on the other side."  In some ways I see a lot of good in what happened yesterday - I am so thankful that I got the care I needed.  Things got scary, fast.  However, I knew I was in good hands and was actually proud of myself that I let myself trust in the doctors and nurses and knew that they were doing what was in my best interest.  And the information, the compassion, the professionalism, and the care I received could not have been more different from what I experienced at the hospital where Fisher was born. And for that I am truly grateful.  I shudder to think what would have happened if I went into the hospital where Fisher was born in the state I was in. 

Today I keep wondering what is wrong with my body that makes me have such horrific and gruesome experiences.  I really want to love and trust my body but right now I am not sure how to do that.  I know that miscarriages are far more common than most people realize and I know what I am feeling is not unique to me or my situation.   My heart hurts for our baby.  The baby that we loved so much since we found out about him in mid July.  We didn't have him long but we loved him completely. 

 Shawn called and talked to many different people yesterday when I didn't want to and I am appreciative of the love and support that people showed not only me but him.  He is really hurting too.  He again saw things that no one should see and for the second time he saw his wife being rushed away to surgery not really sure what was going on.   That was something I was hoping would never happen again.
Thanks for the thoughts, prayers, kind words, and the acknowledgement of our loss.  I know we will get through this and grow from this experience because I have seen so many of you go through heartbreaking situations and move on with the scars on your heart.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And baby makes FOUR!

It has been a while but the last few days I have had the urge to get on here and write.  There is a lot going on right now and as usual writing is cathartic to me so here I go.

The awesome news.  We are expecting again!  I found out super early (like 3.5 weeks) in mid July.  I was really surprised when I saw that positive show up and I didn't even tell Shawn.  I went to the store and bought another test!  :)  I got home it was definitely positive - so I wrote on the test "I am going to be a big brother" and told Fisher to take it to Shawn.  Fisher complied and Shawn was shocked!  His first words were "Really?  AWESOME!"  We had hoped to have our children relatively close in age so both of us were excited. 

According to my cycle dates - my due date should be April 6th.  I will be 11 weeks tomorrow and so far so good with this pregnancy.  The worst part by far was an 11 day trapping study that I did the first of August.  I was so tired and felt pretty nauseous quite a bit.  And of course no one knew that I was pregnant yet.  So it was a trying 11 days and much worse than the trapping I did in my 2nd and 3rd trimesters last pregnancy.  The summer heat and morning sickness proved to be a bad combination.  But I did it.  It is done and I was very relieved when it was over. 

After the trapping study I went to Lexington for the birth of my 2nd neice - Delaney.  She was a planned c-section and the first time I had ever been to a hospital for a birth other than Fisher's.  We stood at the nursery window waiting for Delaney to appear and there was a baby in the nursery that had just been born. Seeing that baby laying there in this little bassinet completely alone immediatly after being born triggered something in me.  I wanted to take that baby to her mama.  I worried that the mom was missing out on holding her baby those first few minutes.  I started crying and shaking and felt sick.  From this experience I realized that the most far reaching lasting issue I have from Fisher's birth was the seperation after he was born.  When I think of those hours I spent in recovery alone, holding the picture the NICU nurse brought me; the void in my arms feels so fresh.   My biggest hope for this labor and delivery is to be able to hold my precious baby in my arms immediately following his or her birth.   I want to experience a newborn.  I want to see what he or she looks like, feels like, smells like as they begin their introduction into the world.  For me - that is success. That is healing.  That is perfection.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bye Bye Gallbladder

I had my gallbladder out 2.5 weeks ago.  It was diseased  - I didn't have stone, but it wasn't working properly and was causing lots of shoulder pain.  So I got it removed.  I was a little nervous about getting it removed, because it is surgery and surgery can't be undone.  I was worried that the pain wasn't actually caused by my gallbladder and I worried that having the gallbladder out wasn't the right thing to do.
It was :)  Since I have had it out I feel much better - no shoulder pain and I feel less sluggish in general.  I know now that I made the right decision.  My doctors also think my diseased gallbladder may be tied to me not losing weight.  Time will tell on that one, I have a lost a few pounds post surgery but I think that is to be expected since I have not eaten much at all.
The surgeon told me not to workout for 4-6 weeks, other than walking.  I am not really complying, since I am going to start working out again today - 2.5 weeks post surgery.  I am going to go back to Body Pump today - I really really miss it!  But I am going to take it a little easier than normal and probably won't do the ab workouts.
I am excited to get back to working out, even if I keep things low key for another week or two.  My body needs workouts for stress reduction if nothing else.
Hope everyone has a great 4th!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Doctors have a concensus - finally

After seeing four different specialists at four different hospitals I think we finally have a plan of action for Fisher's nose injuries. All of the surgeons believe that Fisher's nose needs more work but the discrepancy has been what to do and when to do it. We went to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital today and met with an Otolaryngoly Surgeon and his plan matched up with the plan of the pediatric ENT we saw at East Tennessee Children's hospital for the most part and it is one that I feel comfortable with.
We will do nothing now as Fisher seems to be breathing ok and he is definitely growing and active as can be! We will take Fisher to the pediatric ENT at East Tennessee Children's Hospital 4 times a year to monitor his nose and then we will see the surgeon at Vanderbilt once a year. The hope is we can delay nose reconstruction surgery until he is closer to puberty so it can be his last operation. If we do nose reconstruction now we would have to redo it at least one time and possibly several times as he grows - so the longer we can wait the better.
If Fisher gets self conscious about his nose at any point then we can reassess the situation.
I think the highlight of our visit is when the doctor said "I had a similar case I did nasal reconstruction on recently." That stopped me in my tracks - we have never heard of anything similar from any of the doctors and hospitals Fisher has been to. The child the doctor was referring to was older than Fisher and was in some kind of accident that crushed his nose. Poor kid! But just hearing that this doctor has dealt with similar issues was reassuring.
In many ways, I am relieved. I am relieved to finally know that we have a plan and that many of the doctors are in agreement. However, I am not "happy." I hate having surgery looming over us - even if it is several years down the road. And I hate how I am paranoid that his breathing is getting worse or will get worse and I won't realize it. But I am hopeful that since we have a plan I can kind of forget about his nose for a while and just enjoy time with my amazing, crazy, wild, fun loving Super Fish!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I never made a baby book

I never made Fisher a baby book. And I don't think I ever will. The first four months of his life are such a blur of worry, pain, and fright that I don't think I can sit down and pull out the "good" memories to put in a book. Not saying that there aren't good memories, there are lots of good memories but unfortunetly I kind of ignore the good ones because when I think of those I am reminded of the bad ones as well.

It is hard for me to believe that I am 22 months out from his birth and I can still break down into tears when I look at his baby pictures. The pain is still so raw even after 22 months of time passing, counseling, and anxiety medication. It still hurts and in some ways I think it hurts more than it did then. I was in survival mode then. I just got through each day, knowing that Fisher was depending on me. And I also think that in many ways I "survived" by avoiding my feelings at the time - my frustration, anger, resentment - were all masked by the day to day craziness of caring for Fisher. I find now when I have to deal with Fisher's ongoing nose problems I can't avoid those feelings. We are going to a new pediatric ENT tomorrow at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital to get a third opinion. The first two opinions from Cincinatti Children's Hospital and then East Tennessee Children's hospital were vastly different (one recommended surgery now and the other recommended waiting until he was around puberty) and I feel like we need a third opinion to hopefully give us direction. So tomorrow I have to go to yet another doctor and explain what happened. I have to take pictures. The pictures that I don't show anyone because they break my heart. I have take those pictures and show a doctor, explain what happened and what didn't happen, and then hear another doctor tell me how unusual this is and how they have never seen anything like it and aren't sure of what to do.
Or maybe it will be different? But the last four times we have seen specialists I had my hopes up only to hear the same thing - unusual and not sure what to do. So I don't really have my hopes up this time. I am usually an optomist. I try to look on the bright side, because I don't want anyone to ever thing I am not grateful for our amazing son. But for some reason tonight looking through pictures to decide what pictures to take to the new doctor I am not feeling very optomistic. I am sad. I am hurt. I am heartbroken that 22 months out we are dealing with injuries that could have and should have been prevented.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Not sure where I am at

It has been much too long since I had a Mamavation post. A lot has been going - travel, work, camping, canoeing, etc on so yes, I have the "I am so busy" excuse. But it is more than that. I get tired of posting the same stuff every week - I work out, I eat well (about 80% of the time), and I don't lose weight. I try to act like it doesn't bother me, but it does. I do see changes in my body - I definitely am getting stronger (been going to Body Pump classes three times a week. Love them!) and my endurance is getting better and better - I am running 3ish miles at a time now. Though I recognize and love these changes - I still don't think it is "fair" that I don't have changes to the scale - and I am not being impatient, this has been going on for almost a year now.
I mentioned this to my new primary care doctor and I assumed I would get the same answer I have been told in the past - it is my thyroid issues, it makes things harder, I have to work at losing weight harder than the average person. However, instead of that he explored some other possible explanations to my stalled weight (which all indirectly involve my thyroid). So the jury is out on that - I see a specialist tomorrow to see what they have to say.
So I guess this is where I am at - I LOVE working out. I really do, I am seriously addicted and I am not going to stop. I also like eating healthy. It makes me feel good. However, I don't like not seeing the scale go down...ever. And I try to tell myself it doesn't matter (even my doctor told me - you are HEALTHY, that is the number one priority) but it still gets to me. So that is why I haven't been posting too much. I love reading and supporting all of you awesome women with your healthy lifestyles - but I sometimes feel like I am doing something "wrong" or something since I don't have changes in my weight. :(

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Big Girls Can Run Too :)

I may be an *ahem* big girl - but I love running! I am on week 5 of my Couch to 10K program and it is going great. I am running intervals for 60-70 minutes, pouring sweat, and feeling strong.
So - if you have thought about running, but think you have to look a certain way or be a certain size - don't let that stop you! Start a program that builds you up slowly and be amazed by your body. Most women spend a lot of time complaining about our bodies - what they look like, what they don't look like, what they don't do. Today, take a minute and appreciate your body for what it can do. Our bodies are pretty amazing when you think about it - they get us around all day, they run even when we aren't feeding them good fuel, and they make babies for God's sake!
I find that when I appreciate my body, love it, exercise it, I also fuel it with better food as well.

1. Rank the following fats from most healthy to least healthy:
saturated fat, polysatured fat, monosaturated fat, trans fat

Answer - monosaturated fat, polysatured fat, saturated fat, and then transfat.

2. How do you measure portion control with your lifestyle?
Answer - Portion control is something I still need to work on. For me, I use a small plate, it a normal portion size and then make myself wait 10 - 15 minutes before going back for more. Often I find that when I wait I don't feel the desire for more.

3. What object does a serving size of meat compare to?
Answer -deck of cards

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win Chef’s Requested steaks

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My place - in the woods and in the home

If you know me, you know I love my job. I have worked my butt off to get where I am, I have moved countless times, went to school for quite a while - all to be one of those people who can say that they love their job and it doesn't feel like work.

I am a wildlife biologist and very proud of that because I know what I did to get here. I know it hasn't been an easy road but one that I would do all over again.

And then enters motherhood. I guess I should point out that I am the first employee in my program that has had a baby. My program covers two states and there is only one woman that is a field employee in those two states - I will give you one guess who that woman is. Yeah - me. While I was pregnant I was asked by our program director what my plans were after having children. "Um, work." was my answer. I explained that I loved my job and I planned on loving it after I had children as well. He told me that recently another female biologist in another program had a child and then decided that working wasn't for her, so she quit her job. I think he was trying to feel me out to see if that was on my radar. It wasn't, but I have to admit I was a little nervous about feeling differently after having my baby.

Fast forward 1.5 years and now I am an officially a working mom. My son goes to daycare five days a week and I work straight through 8 hours without taking breaks so that I can pick him up as soon as possible and spend the rest of the day with him. I wake up at 5 am to workout before going to work, so that I don't waste any of his waking hours working out. I juggle, I manage, I am tired, I feel overwhelmed sometimes, but you know what? I love it. I think I am doing a pretty damn good job at both my job and being a mom. My son is awesome, well adjusted, laid back, and I love him more than I realized was possible. And I think I am managing my job quite well also - I cover two states which requires travel and long days at times. I do it, happily, even while missing my son and my husband.

Recently I found out that someone I work with feels that "a woman's place is in the home, raising the kids." and while I initially blew it off, it just keeps coming up in my thoughts. While I respect women that choose to b full time moms and stay at home with their children - I also have a respect women who choose to work and raise their children. I don't like the thought of people looking down on me and judging my choices. I think I get annoyed when people assume that I would rather be home with my son and feel sorry for me because I "have" to work. Well yes, financially I do have to work. But even if we didn't depend on my income, I would work. Again - I love my job, it is something I have been passionate about my entire life. Of course, if I had to choose one or the other- I would definitely choose to be a mom. But my point is - I don't have to choose. I can do both. I can be an awesome mom and a pretty darn good wildlife biologist. I don't have to feel guilty, I don't have to answer to what other people think I should do, or what I should be. Because you know what? I am me and I kind of like myself. And I really feel like my son is going to benefit from that in the long run.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I learned from my freak out

I made it through my first OB/GYN appointment since having Fisher. I was really worried about it and didn't know how I would react to going.

While I was in the waiting room I felt my anxiety building. I wanted to walk out, but I kept trying to distract myself. And then my name was called. I followed the nurse back to get weighed and as I stepped on the scale, I lost it. I started crying and shaking. It was pretty bad. I tried to tell her that I had anxiety about seeing a OB for the first time since a traumatic birth experience, but I am not sure how much of that she could make out. I was utterly embarrassed at the same time. I kept apologizing. She was very nice and told me not to appologize. And then she gave me the robe to change into.....

If nothing else, I learned the key to getting seen FAST by a doctor. Have a freak out. I barely had a chance to get undressed before the doctor came in. I start crying again. Of course, he had no idea why I was crying - as this is the first time I have seen him. He sat down and asked me if it was the yearly exam that was causing me anxiety. I said no and tried to explain that it was the traumatic experience with my son's birth and I told him that I knew I would be nervous about getting seen by an OB/GYN but I had no idea I would have the reaction I did. And, my goodnes, the doctor could not have handled the situation better. He started asking me about my job, I knew he was trying to get me talking about something I was more comfortable about - but it worked! I slowly started calming down and then we got back to talking about Fisher's birth.

I told him an abreviated story of Fisher's birth and explained the medical records "mistake." and then I told him that because of this I don't trust OBs. Hey, I laid all my cards out on the table. After crying hysterically in front of a complete stranger, there is really nothing to lose.

Again, he handled this all great, didn't seem offended that I just told him I don't trust him and his peers. He explained to me that he has had two brow presentations in his career (and he is in his late 50s) and that the last one he didn't pick up on until he had checked her a couple of times. But he did figure it two points for that. And then he told me that if I were to get pregnant again, I would have the option of having a scheduled c-section or a VBAC and asked me if I had strong feelings either way. LOL. If you know me at all, you know I have a tiny bit of strong feelings in preferance for the VBAC and I told him this. He said that I was an excellent VBAC candidate, he didn't see any reason why I couldn't VBAC. He said that I could wear a mobile monitor and cruise up and down the hospital halls as much as I want. (Wait, I thought it was certain death if you got out of bed while in labor???)

The only thing that was concerning to me was that he told that he doesn't support VBACs for women with a baby measuring above 9 lb 14 oz in utero. Fisher was 9 lbs, 3 oz and was not fat at all. He was long and skinny. Shawn and I are very tall, big structured people. I am 6 foot and Shawn is 6'6. So I think there is a very good chance that a baby of ours would measure bigger than 9 lb 14 oz. And we all know the problems with ultrasounds not measuring correctly. So I guess I will cross that bridge in the future if I need to.

But overall, I am happy with the appointment. The doctor spend almost 45 minutes with me, which was more than my last OB spent with me my entire pregnancy! He was calm, listened, reassuring, and honest with me. I appreciate that. Many of the fears I had about seeing a new ob were eased. I was worried that he wouldn't believe me since my medical records don't match what happened. I was worried that since I know I have inaccurate medical records I wouldn't be allowed to VBAC, I was worried that I would have to stay in bed while laboring. All of those things I am not worried about anymore. I hate that I had to have a panic attack and freak out to get those answers and things resolved. But I am going in the right direction.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Regaining trust

I have an appointment with an OB/GYN today in my new town. I called yesterday morning to set up an appointment and was told that they just had a cancellation. So I took it. And man, the anxiety has kicked in. I find it hard to believe myself that I have so much emotional issues involved in just going for a routine yearly appointment. Obviously my body, my mind, my soul know that it is more than that.

I don't worry so much about what happened with Fisher happening again, because it won't, I won't let it. I worry about what I might have to go through to make sure things don't go that way. I felt like being amiable and going with the flow was the right thing to do with Fisher. I felt like at the time,I was "suppossed" to ignore my instincts and what my body was telling me to do and do what the hospital told me I had to do. To go along what was hospital "policy". I thought by going with the flow, controlling what I could, things would be easier on me and Fisher because I wouldn't be fighting with hospital staff. Boy was I wrong. And I deal with the reminders of that every day. I am obviously still not "over it" and I don't know when or if I will be. I don't think I will be until Fisher has no more pending surgeries.

I don't talk much or often about all the anxiety, angers, fears, and regret. I might mention it, throw a comment out, bitch about the doctor, or the hospital, but I usually happy it up, gloss over it, pretend that I am ok. But I know I am not ok. I know from counseling that I avoid digging too deep into what I really think and feel about what happened. And here it is - in my face. The anxiety, the rushing thoughts, the fears, the lack of trust, the guilt. And I am worried about seeing a new doctor, because I am either going to 1) act like it is no big deal, pretend that I am ok, when I am obviously not or 2)put my true fears, anxieties, regrets, and hopes for the future out on the table and have the chance of it being minimilized, trivialized, or even not believed (thanks to the falsified medical records).

I pray that things go great. I click with the doctor, I am able to get answers to some questions I have, I get a good report, and I hope that the new doctor doesn't trivialize what happened, because I think one of the hardest things I have had coping with is the fact that the medical records do not show what happened. That what has been such a big deal to me and Fisher doesn't even appear on the records. I think my emotional state would be so different right now if the original doctor offered an apology, an explanation, and some compassion and acknowledgement of what Fisher and I have went through and are still going through.

So today is a big step for me. And hopefully it will be one that offers some healing and maybe I can start regaining trust in the medical community.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Focusing on food this week

I have got the workout thing under control. I love, love, love my new gym and since I am actually living in a town with friends I have people to work out with!!! I met my friend Crystal at the gym yesterday, we took our kids to the daycare, and then we hit the treadmill. We got great workouts in and then we took the kiddos to the gym pool. Today I am meeting a different friend to do zumba at the gym.
As I celebrate the successes of working out, I can not say the same about my eating. I have been on a sugar kick much of this week. Not good. So my goal for this week - No sugar. I know that I feel better when I avoid sugar, so I am not sure why I go back to it. Other than the sugar I did pretty good in the eating department this week - I followed the meal plan I made last Sunday. I am getting ready to make my meal plan for this week.

I am looking forward to the twitter party Monday night! I can't wait to see who the next Mamavation moms are! Good luck to all the finalists!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The expense of being healthy

What is up with being healthy being so darn expenisive? Why is it so much more expenisive to go to the store and buy whole, healthy foods than it is to buy processed crap? And don't get me started on organics....

Now that we are settled into our new home and our new routine I am working on menu planning and making whole, healthy food for our meals again. I am going to spend some time today planning a grocery list and then going shopping tonight. The real point of this post was to talk about the money spent on running. You would think that running would be the cheapest activity one could do. However, not in my case. Getting back into running is proving to be an expensive endevour. First of all there is the issue that the majority of my runs happen long before daylight. I don't feel comfortable running outside in the dark, so a gym membership was the answer. That was $600 (I paid for the entire year at once). Second my shoes. My feet changed sizes during my pregnancy and I found that my running shoes no longer fit. I overpronate so I have to have special (i.e. expensive) running shoes. I went to the shoe store and dished out $120 for them. But man, they make a HUGE difference. There is no way my knees could take running without.
Third, the ladies. Along with my feet, my boobs also changed size during pregnancy. While this is a welcome addition to many women - I was a DD BEFORE getting pregnant. I won't even go into what I am now, but lets just say that a good sportsbra is not a luxery but a requirement in my situation. I have found that the Enell bra is amazing, though expensive. I bit the bullet and bought a new one. There went another $60.

And then for some reason I have been starving all day long after my morning workouts. I hit the nutrition store and bought some protein to try to stave off the all day munchies. Bye, bye $25.

So in the past two weeks I have spent $815 just to get back into running. And being a typical mom, I feel guilty about spending that much money on me. But you know what? It is worth every,single penny. That little block of time when it is just me and my ipod lets me recharge. It lets my brain wonder and process the different events and situations happening daily. It reminds to appreciate what my body can do and it is getting healthier with each run.

So - Where will your feet take you this year? Any plans for a big hike, race, or just a lot of walking? I have big plans for my feet this year. My feet are getting me back in shape. I am going to run a 5K in a few months and then a 10K after that. I am going to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains as much as possible this spring and summer. I would love to try some Earthfootwear to help me on the journey this year! Congrats to all the Mamavation Mom applicants and finalists. I look forward to cheering you ladies along your journey!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting into the swing of things

I have found that I am an all or nothing type of person. Meaning, when I make big life changes (i.e. new job, moving) I need to go ahead and make other changes at the same time before I get into the routine of the new situation. So I started working out of my new office in Knoxville two weeks ago and I went ahead and joined a gym. I did some soul and time searching and realized that the only time I could faithfully go to the gym was first thing in the morning before work on days that my husband can get Fisher up and to daycare. So this past week I woke up at 5:15 and headed to the gym on Monday and Tuesday. I was shocked at how great I felt afterwards and all day! I am sold on the morning workouts once again (I used to work out first thing in the morning pre childbirth) and I am already looking forward to it this week.
I think part of it is waking up before anyone in my house, quitely getting dressed, and then slipping out of the door unnoticed. And once I am out the door, I am FREE! I go to the gym, work out, take a shower, grab some coffee, and then head to work. I feel refreshed, awake and ready to knock out the day.
In not so good news, my son got the flu this week. I have never had the flu, but I can tell you that the flu in a 1.5 year old is not fun. I feel so bad for him, he has been sick with a high temperature since Wednesday. I took Wed, Thurs, and Fri off work to stay home with him because my husband was out of town teaching. However, when my husband got back Friday - I hit the gym! And I also worked out Saturday. I am proud to say that I got four, hour long workouts in the week even while playing single mom and dealing with the flu. Go me.
I started the Couch to 10K program. I have done the Couch to 5K before, and it was awesome. I went from barely running 1 minute to being able to run a 5K, and then I went on and was able to run for an hour straight! I don't run fast, I enjoy jogging, so jogging an hour is my goal.
So this is my workout plan for this week -
Sunday - Couch to 10K, Week 2, day 1
Monday - Couch to 10K, Week 2, day 2
Tuesday- Weight lifting
Wednesday - Couch 10 10 K, Week 3, day 3
Thursday - Weight lifting
Friday- day off
Saturday- traveling, will try to walk

One of the bad things about getting up at 5:15 to workout is that I have been in bed by 9 most nights! Which makes getting to Mamavation TV difficult on Mondays as I am long asleep by the time it starts :( I hate it, but if I am up I will try to make it!
Are you a sweet or savory snacker? What do you look for in a healthy snack?
I am a sweet and savory snacker! It depends on the time of day. I like savory stuff during the day and sweet at night. For a healthy snack, I try to find things that are super filling and won't leave me looking for more!
Thanks to Orville Redenbacher's Gormet Popcorn for sponsering this week's Mamavation Monday!
I hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New city, new house, new office, new leaf

Moving sucks. I don't need to go into details, because if you have ever moved you need no explanation. So on to the next topic.
We are settled in and I LOVE living in Knoxville again. There is so much to do! The zoo, hiking, bike trails, jogging trails, parks, lakes, rivers, fishing, canoeing, play dates, friends, family ahhhhhh I am a happy woman right now.
Unfortunately, I am not happy with my eating habits of late. Not pretty. However, tomorrow is a new day, right? And it also happens that tomorrow I start working out of my new office in Knoxville. I worked out of a home office in Kentucky and there are some definite pros and cons about switching from a home office to a traditional office setting. One of the things I look forward to is not having access to my kitchen all the time! I will be taking a healthy lunch and a few healthy snacks and not have the temptation of what lurks in my cupboards. Another benefit of working from an office is that I will have the structure of more normal office hours and days. I thrive on structure so I think this is a good thing for me.
I am really wanting to join a gym here, however it looks like the only time I will have to go to the gym is after my son goes to bed (thank goodness he goes to bed early - by 7!) I am a little worried about that because I have always been more faithful to working out when I go first thing in the morning, but I don't think that is feasable here. Working out at night is going to be an adjustment for me, but I am sure if I can kick my butt and make myself go I will quickly get used to it and look forward to it.

Question: What are your strategies to fit everything into your busy life? Any areas you need to work on?
The question this week is very timely as you probably notice from my post. Life is BUSY and just seems to get busier! I feel like I do a good job of fitting in household chores. Since my son sleeps so much and is in daycare a big chunk of the day - I spend all the time that he is awake and not in daycare with him. While he eats in his high chair I clean the kitchen, he "helps" me with laundry, etc. On weekends when he is napping I am one efficient mama! I run around like a crazy person doing all the things that I can't get to with a shadow. For the most part the household stuff works.
However - I desperately need to work on fitting in exercise into my life! Like I said - I try to spend the time my son is home from daycare and awake with him so that leaves early morning or after he goes to bed. I am much better when I exercise at a gym, so I need to fit gym time into my life!
I am hoping to make it to Mamavation TV Monday night! I really need to learn some tips about fitting everything in, and of course I would LOVE to win some Earth Footwear!!
“This post is sponsored by Earth Footwear and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mamavation Monday - Valentine Edition

This week was moderately successful considering I didn't work out much. But I did stick with my plan of eating healthy and not turning to fast food as we prepare for our upcoming move. I lost 1 lb this week.

I am leaving today and will be traveling for 6 nights for work. I have a conference to go to and luckily it is in the town where I will be moving in less than two weeks! So I am going to be able to use the traveling time to do the conference as well as hopefully find a place for us to live and get Fisher on some daycare waiting lists.

So this week I am out of town all week and next week is the big move! I can't believe everything is happening so fast! I am getting super excited about moving to Knoxville. I went to college there and never really thought I would be able to live there as an adult because of the job situation, but after several moves, twists, and turns I have a great job in a town I want to live in! Definitely not something I take for granted in my profession. I am very much looking forward to getting established down there and taking advantage of all the awesome outdoor activities!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Valentine's Day. Since I will be leaving this evening for Knoxville Shawn and I will not be together on Valentine's Day. I don't think we have spent an actual Valentine's Day together since we have been married (almost 6 years). We are going to go to dinner this afternoon before I leave but since we don't have a babysitter lined up it is going to be a family event. Oh well. Maybe next year. lol

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a long, strange trip it's been.

In two weeks I will be a Tennessean again. It is finally starting to set in and I am getting excited. I know this isn't a big deal to most people, because they live and work where they want - but in my profession you rarely get that opportunity.
I went to undergrad at the University of Tennessee and majored in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. The professors were awesome but very honest in telling us that in order to "make it" in the wildlife world we need to be prepared to move for jobs. Wildlife jobs are not that numerous and very competitive. So your best bet is to have your bags packed, apply for every job you see, and jump at opportunities. Sounds fun and exciting when you are a 20 year old college kid - but fast forward to real life with bills, family ties, possibly a spouse,house, and children - and this is HARD. Unfortunately, the majority of people that start out in wildlife don't end up with jobs in the field, life gets in the way. And those that do end up sticking it out with a wildlife profession are often living in places far from home. Which is why I am in shock and grateful for the long, strip trip my life has taken me on.
I went from UT to Arkansas for graduate school. In graduate school I met Shawn who is now my husband. It takes a very special man to be married to a wildlife biologist who asks him to move every couple of years and I am super thankful for him. I landed my first wildlife job in Southern Florida - south of Miami. This was my first "foot in the door" job and I am very glad I did it - though it was hard to be away from Shawn who was in Arkansas in college. After we got married (yes we got married when I was living in Florida and he in Arkansas!!) I looked for a job closer to him while he finished up college. I got a job in Oklahoma, which was 2 hours from where Shawn was in college. So I moved to Arkansas for the weekends and was in Oklahoma during the weeks for work. We had such an awesome time and were so thankful we were able to spend every weekend together. As Shawn was finishing up college I started looking for a new job. I had a great time at my Oklahoma job but I wanted to find something where I would have more opportunities professionally. I applied for a ton of jobs all over the Eastern United States and I ended up getting the one that I have now, which is with a federal agency dealing with wildlife disease. I was stationed in Kentucky and was super excited about that, because my sisters are only two hours away and my parents are five hours away. After being 16 -20 hours away, this seemed too good to be true!
So I have been in Kentucky for the past three years and I have loved it. I love my job, love my house, love the family that Shawn and I have started. But then things fell in place to move to Knoxville for my joba. Knoxville has always felt like home to me. It is where I spent the first 10 years of my life, where I went to college, where my grandparents live, where we spend every Thanksgiving with family.
So I was cautiously optimistic about moving to Knoxville. Yeah, it would be great and all - but we had this little thing called a HOUSE to sell in Kentucky first. I was so worried about selling our house in the down economy in a down region. But things lined up better than I could have imagined. Our house was bought by the first people to look at it, with cash.
So now we are two weeks away from moving to Knoxville. And it is starting to hit me. I will soon be back in the area that I want to live in. An area with family, friends, mountains, and ample outdoor activities. I can't help but be thankful and a little in awe of how things have worked out. I honestly never would have imagined it and feel like God is directing our paths in that direction.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I am a house selling Mama!!

This week was absolutely insane. Since my last Mamavation Monday post, I SOLD my house and it has already CLOSED!!! Amazing, huh??? The buyer paid cash, so we agreed to an offer last Monday and then we closed on the deal on Friday. We don't have to be out until the end of March - but the house is no longer ours. It is very bitter sweet, I wrote about some of the awesome memories we made in this house here.

I continued with the Cinch! plan for the majority of the week, but mid week I was down another pound and a half...but it was back as of this morning :( I am definitely retaining water right now so I am just ignoring the scale for a few days and focus on eating well. I am going to be honest now - I have to be out of this house in three weeks. One entire week I will be out of town for a conference. And I have to find us a place to live in Knoxville. I am highly doubting I will be working out too much until we move. And I am going to counteract that by making sure I eat healthy each and every day. I am not going to overeat and not going to to turn to fast food as we get crazy busy.

This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by Chef’s Requested. Two blogging carnival participants will receive a grip of Chef’s Requested steaks.

Mamavation TV - Our guest this week is a relationship expert. She has valuable tips for all of us whether we have been married for years or are still looking for that right someone. It is good to know what you have to offer and what you want in a relationship to make the most of your experience.
Special Guest: Allana Pratt (@allanapratt)

Question: What are you doing to keep your heart healthy?

I am cutting crap out of my life - eating clean, not fried. Working out and laughing as much as possible.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ode to my first house

Today we closed on the sale of our first house. What a bittersweet process. I love this house, I loved this house when I stepped in the door way 3.5 years ago and knew it was our house. Though the house was built in 1941, we were only it's second owners. The original owners were also the builders and they built it with love and attention to detail. When we closed on the buying of the house the old man took me around the property and told me lots of stories about it and then when he left he said to me "I am so happy you bought this house, I hope it will be a great place for you to start your family" And it truly has been. In the three short years we have lived here our lives have changed and been enriched in amazing ways. This is the house where Shawn and I passed the all important test that led us down the road of being parents. We stood in the kitchen and couldn't believe that we were going to be parents and couldn't have been more excited.

This is where Shawn and I watched my belly grow and we documented it in front of the arched doorway to the dining room.
Here I am at 37 weeks -

This is the house we brought our amazing baby boy home too. This is where the three of us got to know each other as mother, father, and son.

This is the place that many of my friends and family first met Fisher. One memory that is a favorite of mine is when my aunts, Teresa and Jonna, brought my grandmother, Nana here to meet Fisher for the first time. I was so proud to show off my little boy. My Nana has since passed away and one of my favorite all time memories of her is the picture below - her rocking her first and only (so far!) great grandson.

And of course all the big firsts in Fisher's life - rolling over, crawling, walking, talking took place here. The big first birthday bash was celebrated in our little house.

So yes, it is just a house but I am obviously emotionally tied to it. We no longer own the house but I know the memories that we have here will last our lifetime. I just hope the new owners don't burn it down while frying a turkey like they did their last house.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mamavation - It's a Cinch!

This week was one of those weeks that felt like a year. I started the week by going to Raleigh, NC for a workshop for work. It was a media training workshop which involved being interviewed numerous times on camera. Uh yeah, the camera adds 30 lbs right?
I was determined to not go crazy and eat crap on my trip and I am happy to say that I followed my plan. When I got home I was up 1.5 on the scale, which was water weight from the excess sodium. It is gone now...and more! Which brings me to the main focus of my week - The Cinch Plan.
I was intrigued by Cynthia Sass's book Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches after I learned some about it during the Mamavation twitter party - a plan where you can eat out, eat dark chocolate, and carbs, count me in! I ordered a copy of the book that night and when I returned from my trip to Raleigh the book was waiting on me. I was excited to read about the plan and get started. The book basically outlines a low glycemic, very clean diet - which is exactly what I need. It is amazing to me how great I feel when I eat low glycemic foods, and I needed this plan to remind me of that. The plan starts with an optional "Fast Forward" where you eat a very limited diet for 5 days and it kind of detoxes you. I decided to do that and I am on day three. I have to say it is going pretty good so far! I have stuck with the 5 day plan and I haven't felt hungry, which I LOVE.
I look forward to making a meal plan this next week using the recipes in the book, they are all really simple but appear to be very tasty!
The best news - After 2 days of the Cinch Fast Forward I am down four pounds! That includes the 1.5 lbs I had gained from my Raleigh trip and an additional 2.5 lbs! I am super excited about that. This just reiterates how important low glycemic, whole foods are for my body.
My plan for this week, continue the Fast Forward plan through Tuesday and then start the Cinch Core plan.
The Mamavation question this week is "What does wellness mean to you?"
Wellness to me is feeling alert, content, and confident. Having a stable blood sugar helps me in all of these ways - I hate the feeling of blood sugar highs and lows, it effects everything about my day. Eating clean and healthy coupled with an active lifestyle result in me feeling my best and therefore I am happier and more productive.
I hope I am going to be able to join in for Mamavation TV Monday night. I want to see how the Mamavation Moms are doing and of course winning a pair of Earth Footwear would be AWESOME! I so want some!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mamavation Monday - On the Road Again

I hit the road again today. I am heading to Raleigh, NC to go to a workshop on dealing with the media, doing interviews, etc. I do interviews and deal with the media a few times a year and I never look forward to it. I am always afraid I am going to say something stupid, be misquoted, or just look like an ass in general and then have my name and agency attributed to it. So if I learn anything at this training it could be worth my pride in the long run.
I worked out 5 days this past week. I am loving my EAS active 2 for my Wii! It is so much fun and I love that I can get a workout during my lunch break (I work from a home office) and especially after I put Fisher to bed for the night.
I have logged everything I have put in my mouth for the past 28 days. I have only went over my calories one or two of those days. I am proud of myself for keeping up with my calories and sticking to my calorie goal. However, I am super bummed that as of this morning - since I have only lost 1.5 lbs total since logging my calories AND working out. I know I lose slow, but DAMN! It is even hard to lose 5 lbs at a time when it takes literally months to lose 5 lbs. So I am meeting with a doctor so she can assess my medications (thyroid), look at my calorie intake, and hopefully offer some suggestions and/or changes. I have been eating clean for the most part. Lots of whole foods but probably still too many whole wheat breads. I am going to try to eat less breads/carbs and see if that helps. I am trying not to get discouraged - because I do feel better. I feel like my body is slowly losing, even if the scale doesn't appear like it. I feel like my jeans fit me better and I feel a little more firm since I have been able to work out so much lately. So please remind me to focus on the positive and not give up! :)

Question: How are you getting more fiber in your diet this New Year?
I have been eating a ton of fresh fruit and vegetables. I have made it a mini goal for me to only snack on raw fruits and vegetables if I want to eat something between meals. This has helped me increase my fiber intake and increase the amount of healthy fruits and veggies I am eating!
I have never tried Kellogg's Fiber Plus, but I am getting a free sample, so I am excited to try it out! As a super busy, working, traveling mom - if I can get anything quick and easy I am all about it!

I’m writing this post as an entry to a blogging carnival sponsored by Fiber Plus. I will be receiving free product in return.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mama worries

One of the things I have heard over and over from many different moms is that I should prepare to worry about my child (or children) their entire lives - it never stops. In the short 16 months that I think I have been pretty normal in the fact that I have worried about many things - some completely valid, some not so much. As Fisher grows and develops I think back to some of my earlier worries and laugh. I already wish I could go back in time and tell my new mama self not to worry so much! I am sure I will have those feelings over and over again throughout my mamahood career. What I have learned already is that the majority of the things I have worried about are non-issues. The first few months when we had Fisher sleeping in our room to monitor his breathing, I worried that he would be 15 years old and still sleeping in our room. At four months he outgrew the cradle, got the go ahead from the doctor to be in a room by himself, and slept better than ever in his own crib in his own room. No reason to worry.
I was worried that Fisher wouldn't be able to roll over, crawl, walk, and meet the developmental milestones because he couldn't do tummy time for the first several months. I even took him to the doctor when he was 3 months old to discuss my worries. The doctor was kind and did a full evaluation and then assured me that I had no reason to worry at all. He was developing as a normal 3 month old baby. And of course Fisher crawled at 6ish months and walked at 10.5 months. Again, a non-issue.
I guess it never ends because the other day I was reading a toddler book and it mentioned that toddlers should be able to point to a certain number of body parts by 18 or 24 months. I had a panic moment. My son is 16 months old and I haven't started on the body parts! Worst mom in the world. Would Fisher ever get it? So that day (which happened to be about 3 days ago) I started with "Fisher, where is your belly?" and showed him. About two minutes later he was doing it when asked. I then did toes, ears, nose, and head...all of which he has picked up and has been proudly pointing to when asked the last few days. I could repeat this type of story with his talking, his sleeping, adjustment to daycare, napping, and a thousand other things that I suddenly worried about, only to realize once I relaxed and let Fisher develop on his own - he surpassed my limited expectations.
I am daily amazed by what he has figured out, what he is putting together, what he is learning. Now if I could do a little learning of my own - I need to remember to relax and enjoy my amazing little boy and save the worrying to real issues.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mamavation Monday - Losing it, finally!

I had a loss this week! I am super stoked because it has taken me a long time to have one! Between my crappy thyroid and not being able to work out due to my ankle - I have been doing good holding it steady. But not this week! I have lost 1.5 lbs, which for me is great.
I was able to workout 5 days this week. My ankle held up pretty good, though I have definitely been protecting it some -but I am very happy it is slowly getting back to normal. I have been loving my EA Active 2 on my Wii! I finally got to bust it out this week. My only complaint is that the resistance band does not seem to be made for a 6 foot tall person. I love being able to watch my heart rate and the amount of calories I am burning - it makes me work harder.
We might be trying something new in our house, which will probably help me in the weightloss department - we are thinking about going gluten free. My husband has had major stomach problems for years. He also has a really crappy immune system. He hasn't been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, but I was thinking it might not hurt to try to eliminate gluten from his diet to see what happens. And being the awesome wife that I am, I will join him on his quest, to also see what happens :) So, if you are gluten free and love it,hate it, or have any suggestions and comments - please let me know! I am a whole wheat addict, so that is going to be the biggest change for me - but we shall see. It might not make a difference to Shawn and we might be back to our whole wheat loving selfs.
This week I am looking forward to working out. I plan on working out 5 days this week.
I also am going to make drinking plenty of water a huge priority. My hydration seems to fall to the wayside every so often and I have to remind myself to drink up.

I am really looking forward to the twitter party tonight! Can't wait to see which two of the Mamavation finalist will be the next two Mamavation Moms - they all are deserving.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bye, bye mullet

Fisher may look just like his daddy, but I think he got my hair. That poor child had the makings of a pretty righteous mullet from day one and over the months it has crept farther and farther from cute baby hair and closer and closer into serious mullet territory. Add that to the fact that Fisher is an extremely messy eater (as are most 15 month olds that I know) and Fisher's napkin of choice is the back of his head. Seriously, that child does not eat without sharing his nutrition with his hair. And you can imagine how much he loves having crusty food brushed out of his hair. Yeah, not so much. So, it was time to cut the mullet. We tried to put it off for as long as we could because as Shawn said Fisher's curls had a "George Washington Charm." Who wouldn't want that?

The Before

However, the George Washington Charm came to an end on Saturday. We took Fisher in for his first hair cut with an entourage of 6 people - my two sisters, my niece, my brother-in-law, and of course Shawn and myself. We went to Cookie Cutters in Lexington which is a kids only hair cutting place. What a neat place! They have video games and a slide for kids to play on while waiting. Kids can pick what car or horse they want to sit on while they are getting their hair cut and they get to watch cartoons the whole time.
Fisher chose the Firetruck. He got in it, was content sitting there for about 2 seconds until the hair stylist wet his hair down to cut. If there is one thing Fisher doesn't like - it is getting his hair you can imagine what was next. A little crying, a little wiggling, a little fussing. One balloon and a sucker later he was content enough to complete the right of passage.
And bam - my baby was no longer a baby. Even though I have been warned by so many people - I was still shocked at the difference one hair cut made. Fisher may look very different, but he is quite the handsome devil, if I do say so myself :)
It was a little bittersweet, but I am honestly glad it is over. I couldn't imagine trying to contain Fisher in a chair long enough to have a sharp object cutting at his head - but the stylist at Cookie Cutters was amazing and was so fast. So another biggie is in the books (or in the blog) - the first hair cut is now behind us. What is next? College graduation??

The after - my handsome young man -

Trudging on

I have not been posting much to my blog lately. I have several things I want to write about and share about, but I have to find the time to do it.
In the meantime I want to continue with my Mamavation Monday posts. It is good for me to be accountable each week as it reboots me for the coming week.
This past week I did alright. I still haven't been able to work out, due to the ankle. But I ate pretty good, until the weekend when I went a little off track. Back on track now and I am thinking my ankle is healed enough to ease back into cardio. I won't be jumping this week, but I am going to try my new EA ACtive 2 for Wii. I can't wait to see what it has in store for me.
Weight - held steady this week, which isn't bad considering I am, um...bloated. Thanks Mother Nature. The good news is, usually once the bloat goes away I am usually down a little, so I am hopeful that next will be a good weigh in!

To answer Leah's questions this week -
Have you ever been injured starting a new exercise routine? Tell us about it…If not, do you get any aches and pains? Where?
I have never been injured starting a new exercise routine. I usually ease into things and the worst I have had is aches and pains from long, long hikes and such the day after. For the most part I think I have been pretty lucky in the injury department (until the ice incident of a few weeks ago).

Congrats to all the Mamavation Mom finalists!!! I am excited to see what Leah has in store for you ladies this next week.
Looking forward to seeing their mugs tonight at Mamavation TV. Hosted by Salonpas

Monday, January 3, 2011

Here we go, here we go, here we go again

Another year is on the way and like most folks I am hopefuly that this year holds a lot of great things for my friends and family. For me personally, I plan on striving to improve my health this year, so here I go, here I go, here I go again.
I have been tracking everything I eat on my iphone through the My Fitness Pal app. I love doing that! It keeps me motivated to eat foods that are healthy and good for me and not go crazy over board on anything. If you use My Fitness Pal, feel free to add me as a friend, my username is erinmcpatrick.
The workout has been two weeks and I am still limping on my sprained ankle. I talked to my sister about it yesterday, she is a physical therapist and a ton of help on so many workout related questions! Anyway - she said that I should allow at least 4 - 6 weeks to fully heal and until I can walk without pain I don't need to push it. She gave me some strength building exercises for my ankle, which I have started doing.
Weight, stayed the same this week. Ug. I hate that, I was down about 1.5 lbs earlier this week, and now back up. I guess at least I didn't gain.
This weeks plan is to continue eating clean/whole foods, which I have been doing probalby 80% of the time, drinking lots of water, and doing some strength exercises as I can.
I can't wait to get my ankle back to normal, so I can start my EAS Active 2 on my Wii!! I just got it for Christmas and I am so looking forward to it! I love using my Wii to work out from home. I also like DVDs. I am going to get back to the 30 day shred as soon as I can as well. Working out from home has become important since having my son - getting to the gym just wasn't happening for me. When I changed my work out routine to the house, things clicked again!

Looking forward to this weeks Mamavation Monday, hosted by Gamestop!