Monday, December 2, 2013

Truth From a 5 Year Old

Alyssa: Mommy, you really shouldn't drink that Dr. Pepper.
Me: Why do you say that?
Alyssa:  You're already getting fatter.  You need to lose weight.
Me: (eyes wide...I had no words)
Alyssa: What? It's true.  Shelby said so too. (She's my 13 year old going on 21.)
Shelby: Nice, Alyssa...really nice.  That was really rude!
Alyssa:  No! You said it too!  Mommy, I love you.  I just don't want you to be fat anymore.

This was delivered to me by my sweet faced 5 year old last night after our third (yes, third) Thanksgiving meal. Way to kick a gal when she's down, little one.  But...she is right.  I'm back to post-pregnancy weight from 5 years ago...after I gave her. Two years ago I was within 5 pounds of pre-pregnancy weight. That's a 30 pound difference.  I need to reassess my diet and exercise.  Meaning, I need to cut waaaay back on Dr. Pepper and portion sizes and actually exercise.  Maybe even drink water more than once or twice a day.

Alyssa: I'm worried about you, Mommy.  I don't want you to keep being fat. I love you.

She repeated those words to me this morning while she was putting her shoes on.  I had no response except to promise I would work on it. She seemed genuinely worried.  I remember that feeling.  My mother is obese, so those words struck close to home.  There's just no way I can ignore that kind of heartfelt cry. Albeit, direct....but definitely from her precious heart.  I've got to do something.

Now, to create and implement a plan of attack....that is a LOT easier said than done.  I used to run. Often. Outside.  Me and cold aren't exactly simpatico, i.e, I'm a big, giant wienie when it comes to being cold.  Trying to start up running again in this cold is out of the question.  We have an elliptical machine, but I don't know if I like it. I know this because my hips talk to me every time I have used it.  They protest quite painfully.  My DH recently moved it out of our room into the sun room.  Where it's cold. see how far that's going to go.  Not very.  So....I can give an honest effort where soda intake and diet are concerned, but exercise leaves me with arms up and frustration high.  Running is the only thing I've ever done consistently and done well. 

We don't have the money to join a gym and I've never kept up with anything for more than a week in regards to at home exercising.  As a 40 hr/week, busy mom of three with my anniversary this weekend, Christmas in 3 weeks and my sister's wedding coming up on the 28th, time is just a wee bit tight.

My dad always said, "when time's get tough, the tough hitch up their boot straps and get going!" Time to bite the bullet, kid.  It's time to show the cold who's boss.  I may just have to run regardless of the cold weather.  Rocky did it. That may not be the best comparison, but um, ahem....let's look at what I've found so far.

Here are some tips from Runner's World regarding running in cold weather:

Shape Magazine says running in cold weather is better for you than when it's hot.  Hence, that's why so many marathons are run in the cold. Whaaaat??!!! Check it out here:

WikiHow has these tips on how to prepare for a run in the cold:

Words for the wise from Joe McConkey, Boston Running Center's head coach:

A sweet piece of gear to help get you up and running (I'm not paid to post this link, but I have owned a couple pair of these and swear by them on the ice!!!):

Runner's World breaks down who needs to wear what by which region of the U.S. you live in here:

When is it too cold to run?  Some say never, others say to exercise caution.  And apparently, I love Runner's World.  Here's what they had to say on this issue:

For you who are already running, I applaud you.  For others who are ambitious and want to get started. Here's a link to marathons scheduled across the U.S. for 2014:

I hope some of this inspires you to get up and get moving.  I will have to keep accountable to you and to my precious family on getting myself back out there.  I want to be around for a very long time.  I also want to know how you stay inspired. What keeps you going?  What do you do for exercise?  Leave me a comment or share your story. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving everyone!  While we haven't even cooked our turkey or mashed any potatoes yet, we have Christmas brewing early in my house. Yesterday, my sweet husband brought in all of the Christmas decorations so we could get started decorating before he has to leave town for work.  He'll be in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day and I'm not sure what day he'll return home.  In his line of work, delays can push a return date home out 3-4 extra days.  This can be frustrating around the holidays, but very understandable with the work he does.  My husband makes every effort to prepare us when he's going to be out of town for more than a day or two. He will make the time for projects around the house, make time with the kids and I, and he never fails to take out the trash. 

You might see this as just another chore or even trivial, but it's not in my house.  "It's just the trash can, Kim. What's the big deal?"  Very early on in our marriage, Paul and I would argue about who did what chores around the house.  Who's turn is it to do this or that, why isn't laundry done yet, and "can't you see the trash overflowing onto the floor??"  This always ended up feeling like a competition.  Who's job was harder, who worked more hours, who did what last, who got home first, and so on.... Taking the trash to the dumpster when we lived in our first apartment would wear me out after working all day and taking care of our firstborn.  It was quite a walk from our second floor apartment to the dumpster. I finally broke down and told him that my dad always took the trash out and that it was one way he told my mom he loved her.  My parents divorced in 1998.  Paul's parents divorced when he was very young.  Paul and I married in 2000.  He told he would take out the trash from then on.  He knew I wasn't trying to manipulate him.  He knew how hard I worked every day with my job, taking care of our baby girl, cleaning up around the apartment and making sure he had a home cooked meal every night.  We learned a lot about each other back then.  We learned what each other's love languages were.  Nowadays, we have a house and three kids, ages 13, 10 and 5.  Paul never fails to take the trash out on Sunday night so it's always at the curb for pickup on Monday morning.  Just one of many, many ways that man tells me he loves me regularly. Have you told your spouse or that someone who is special to you that you love them lately. If not, you should.  Do it now! 

Paul will leave Wednesday morning for Atlanta to fly out for work.  The Nestle/Purina plant he'll be working at can only be completely shut down when no one is at the plant, like on Thanksgiving Day.  Hopefully, he won't need to be gone through the weekend.  We will need him home to put the star on top of the tree.  That's the only thing he's required to put on the tree, says me.  I love Christmas.  It is absolutely my favorite holiday of the entire year. I love spending time with family, decorating the house and the tree, giving our kids traditions they can hold on to as they grow up and move out, and oh my word, the baking! But, most of all, I love doing all of this with my husband.  I have told him many many times, he is my best friend, my lover, my mate for life, my safe place.  His arms are where I feel the safest, where I can exhale deeply after a long or stressful day.  He is who I can confide in when something is bothering me and he'll give me good advice.  He's where I can be the real me in all my nerdy, messy, sometimes homeless looking glory.  Our kids see us be sweet to each other often, they see us laugh together, disagree and reach a conclusion, sometimes they see us fight. But, they always, always, ALWAYS know that we love each other.

So, while you're sitting around the table this Thanksgiving eating way too much and sharing what you're thankful for, tell those around you how much you love and appreciate them.  Be they family, friends or neighbors, remind them how much they mean to you.  Shoot, tell your postman and trash guy, too!  Goodness knows they don't hear that often enough!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!

God bless you all!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Memo from Meg & Toast, Inc....

From time to time, to relieve the stress levels that would cause a grown man to cry, I write memos. They're all fake, but inspired by conversations and events happening here in the office.  At times, I will quote favorite TV shows, movies and the like to bring an extra smile or laugh.  They've brought some snorts and giggles over the last few months since I started here.  This one is one of my favorites.  None of this actually occurred, but it was inspired by some of the verbalized fear of tornadoes in our office.  Add some creative thinking, a large dose of sarcasm and modeling the said CEO (named after my boss) after Malory Archer from the TV show "Archer", you get one heck of a memo!  Like Dr. House, but in an office.....ooh...that could be a new memo....plenty of "ammo" around this place...

**Please read first before allowing your children to read. No profanity or violence is present, but the amount of apathy and rudeness is fairly Dr. Greg House.**
**Also, this CEO is nothing like my boss. I used her name with her permission and dubbed the fake company Meg & Toast, Inc. because of her astounding love for toast.  Seriously. This woman squeaks a little when I bring her toast. Especially if it's on homemade bread. I'm so not joking.  It's adorable.**

Here ya' go....

Meg & Toast, Inc.


To: All Employees
From: Megan Freedman, CEO & President
Subject: Tornado Alerts & Use of the company shelter

To Whom It May Concern:

As you know, we had to go to our shelter for a brief time during the tornado last week.  I understand from some of my staff that we have employees that decided to seek out shelter either under their desks or by going to the restroom instead.  This is simply not safe.  However, I respect your need to control your own destiny, therefore I have decided that in the future, those of us in the shelter will begin taking bets as to which one of you sorry losers will be sucked up and carried away into said cyclone of death and destruction.  Many of us are in need of home repairs as of late and could really use the cash, so best of luck! 

I would also like to address those who DID manage to find your way to our shelter.  For those of you who choose to shower and wear deodorant daily, my hearty thanks.  For those of you who do not, please do not bother coming to our shelter again.  There’s plenty of room for you under your desk or with those other pathetic souls in the restroom.  It’s really quite foul what you brought with you.  What on earth do you eat? There is simply no way that you forgot to put on deodorant after you showered.  That’s assuming you actually shower. Those fumes were enough to choke a goat.  Honestly!  Please keep your flame-worthy gases contained from here on out.  I simply will not put my olfactory system through that again.  Toward the end, I was dry heaving with my secretary while she held my hair back.  Unacceptable!  Absolutely unacceptable! 

As always, if you feel in any way offended or wish to speak with me regarding this memo, please don’t.  Go ahead and pack up your things and just go away.

Had to burn that suit due to the smell,

Megan Freedman
CEO & President
Meg & Toast, Inc.

 If you liked it, leave me a comment.  If you didn't like it, I'm not going to apologize.  You can't please everyone all the time.  It's virtually and quite literally impossible.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving, if I don't post again before then!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oh, for Sanity's Sake

I've never been very good at keeping a diary.  I had a few growing up, but they eventually became laden with random sketches.  I guess drawing made more sense back then.  I had more time to put into doing that back then.  Ah, the freedom of escaping to your bedroom and crashing onto your bed just to draw away the thoughts swirling around in my brain.  As a married mom of three who works full time, doodling in a journal is just not in the cards.  Recently, a couple of close friends suggested I start blogging.  "Who knows, maybe you'll help someone else."  Well, then....maybe some good could come out of daily logging my neural download.  Hopefully, you'll glean something from my rambles, laugh at my nerdy jokes and even cry as we connect. 
Everyone has their share of stress in life, some more than enough, some self-inflicted.  Me, I just want to get through one day in life without feeling like I've fumbled through my day. I have ADD.  Every day is a battle. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one for leaning on a proverbial crutch so people will "understand".  I struggle through it as quietly as I can.  I think my husband would disagree, but that's what they're for right? To lean on?  I don't talk about my ADD very much because so many respond with understanding when there's no way they really can, or they don't believe it exists at all.  Worse, some just blame the ADD for a mistake I've made. "Well, that's understandable. I mean, with your ADD, you must have just had too much going on at once."  Phooey. Those with ADD tend to do better doing multiple things at once or with a deadline.  I won't do more than 3 things at once.  Unless baking dessert, cooking dinner, talking with the kids, running a load of laundry and cleaning dishes simultaneously counts....I call that being a mom. To each his own. 
What do you do when you find out that what's "wrong" with you is discovered when your child gets a positive diagnosis from your family pediatrician?  Oh!  So, I'm not crazy, I'm not stupid (knew that) brain is just retarded.  Great.  Turns out, by the long list of symptoms, I got it from my mother, who got it from her mother.  Now my oldest has it.  So where do we go from here? 
I've read several books on ADD that primarily point towards how to help kids. That's helped me get past the starting line, especially with my daughter.  However, certain helpful tips had to be adapted to work for me.  I don't carry around a student planner, I have an iPhone.  I use my Stickies app to leave myself virtual Post-Its on my lock screen.  I make multiple alarms.  I have an alarm to wake me up (not unusual), an alarm to remind me to lock my bedroom door (because my ten year old likes to buy apps on my kindle after resetting it to get around parental controls. Thanks, Kindle!), an alarm to alert me to get my daughter to youth group...and another to remind me to go get her. Not that I would forget her, but I have shown up late because I wasn't paying attention to the time properly.  I have an alarm to send me to our elliptical.  That's alright, I laugh at that one too.  I use the timer on my phone for everything...laundry, cooking, baking, timing kids doing chores.  I can get so many thoughts swirling around about what happened today, what needs to be done tomorrow or this week? I need to do my laundry?....what chores have I slacked on?....are those library books due yet?....I need to remember to make my student loan payment tomorrow....and the list goes on and on.  Sounds normal, nothing unusual....unless you have ADD and your life literally feels like this: 
If you have ADD or know someone who does, you're laughing because you get it.  That makes me happy.  If not, well....maybe next time. 
I'll make no promises to how often I will post on here.  Some could be daily, some could be a week apart.  I hope you guys will join me on this ride for all it's worth.  Thanks for reading!