Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Overdue and Overwhelmed

I haven't posted in awhile.  Some of the reason may be that I've been really busy just keeping up with life, and the other reasons aren't as fun to chat about.  Sometimes I catch myself avoiding sharing the not-so-sunny parts of my life.  Maybe it's because I feel like no one would want to read it anyway, or maybe there are things I don't like to admit about myself.

Lately I've been on this roller-coaster of productivity and procrastination/avoidance.  I have weeks where I feel like I'm just rockin' it as a SAHM/Wife/PhD Student/runner etc, and then I come crashing down to feeling anxiety, laziness, procrastination, defeat etc.   I'm not going to bore you with the mundane details of why I feel this way, but I've just been kind of down and anxious feeling.

I've been stressed and upset about my weight since I gained 10 lbs in 3 days after going off my diuretic 2 weeks ago.  So now I strictly watch my carb intake and I run 3 miles with my friend Nadine 3 times a week at some god-awful early hour in the morning when God is probably still sleeping, because my kid and husband certainly still are!

I've been stressed about getting behind on my sell-made deadlines on my dissertation work.  These are deadlines I've set to force myself to get shit done.  Husband won't even consider trying for baby #2 until my draft is written and returned to my advisor.  With all my setbacks lately, I've had to push all my deadlines back almost a month and that just frustrates me.  I'm trying to accept that everything in life is not life or death, and it's okay to be flexible and adjust your plan when life hands you situations or circumstances you weren't prepared for.

Things are looking up.  I have lost a lb so far this week and running is going great.  I'm signed up for a race in april that I"m really excited about.  I'm about to clean off my desk and get some work done while Mimi is passed out cold from swimming all morning.

The best thing lately has been all the time I've spent with family and the friends I've made here in Austin.  We had a really great visit with my husband's family in CA.  It was so awesome to watch Mimi with her grandparents and all her aunts and uncles.

Baking with Aunt Elisa

Relaxing with Aunty Al

Playing outside with Nonno, Uncle Aunt and Poppa

 I feel so blessed for having found such great people to spend my time with.  In one weekend alone, I helped throw a babyshower, had a cookout with 5 other families with 2-year-olds, had a fun ladies night with my non-mother friends, and even sang Karaoke with my co-workers from Gymboree.  The weekend made me realize how happy I really am here, and how lucky I am for having such great friends in my life.
Me, Melissa (mom-to-be) and Emily @ Melissa's shower

My beautiful and happy friend opening her gifts.  

My two favorite people cuddling in bed looking at pictures of animals. One of Mimi's favorite things to do....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Darker Hair

So I realized in my laziness I could show you guys the new hair color via blogger in my phone and not even have to search for the 'ol camera cord! Ultimate laziness.

And here's a photo of Mimi to show you how warm it is in Austin right now!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Long Time No Blog

I don't even know if I have the energy to plug in my camera to include a recent photo with this post.  I'll try to gum up some energy.  The last two weeks have been nutso.  We've been car shopping, car buying, trip planning, cleaning, dissertatin' (is that a word?) and just been busy in general.  I'll try to do some bulleted updates.

-We shopped fervently for used Subarus here in Austin but ultimately decided to go with a used car and not have a car payment.  We choice a 2005 Honda Element that is decked out with extras like a roof rack, on-demand 4WD, running boards, etc.  We love this thing.  We both daydream of all the camping trips it'll take with us.  We ended up buying it free in clear with money left over.

-I'm coming along on it.  Hoping to still meet my deadlines and graduate this summer.  I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

-LOVE paleo eating.  I feel amazing.  I lose weight and feel full all day.   My LDL and Total Cholesterol numbers are elevated, which is concerning, if they aren't down in 6 months, I may have to make some changes.  I am off the diuretic I was on for my BP (still taking Calcium Channel Blocker), and I gained 7 lbs in two days of not taking it! GAH! Water weight sucks.  Hopefully my kidneys will get the memo and work with me here.  I just signed up for an obstacle course 5K with some of my mom friends in April, so i'm getting excited to work out in preparation for that.  Still on track to try for baby #2 this year.

-Mimi is rocking her "Mother's Day Out"/Preschool and we just enrolled her in the two day a week preschool for fall term at the same place, with hopes that I'll have part time work to justify the cost.  She is a fire cracker.  She loves her plethora of friends, doing crafts, cooking with Momma, etc.  We have been doing a lot of trips to the Science Museum and local parks.  She is doing really well with counting to 20, knows the ABC song and some letters, knows many shapes and all of her colors.  She can cut with scissors and write with a pencil.  She can dress herself and get things out of the cupboard and fridge (much to our dismay!).

Oh and Valentines day?  We didn't celebrate it really, but I did get my hair done for FREE @ AVEDA.  My friend used me as a hair model to teach coloring on "virgin" hair, so I got my hair colored for free and I LOVE IT.  Mimi had a party at school and we went out for Froyo.  My husband is exhausted from work and falls asleep on the couch at 9pm most nights.  I think he's looking forward to our trip to CA this weekend to see his family.  He'll have 4 days off to relax.

I'll post something more interesting later! Promise!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Subarus and Phone Dump

So basically my entire weekend so far has been test driving cars.  I think we've test driven 7 Subarus.  Outbacks and Foresters, used, new, certified pre-owned, you name it!  So far, my top choice is a gorgeous outback premium edition (used) that is magically perfect for me our family and would require us to have a car payment of about $150/month (crappy but doable).  My husband's first choice is a used Forester that is less than thrilling in the "trim" department, but is in great shape and a great price, which would require us to not finance anything.  We'll see what happens over the next few days.  I'm rooting for the Outback Premium for Mimi and I! lol

Here's a dump of my photos from the week.

1.  In Katy TX with Courtney, using her free carousel tickets! I think it made us both motion sick.
2.  Blindsided by another cold (children are vectors for disease), in my comfies
3.  Waitin' in the 'ol doctor office for my quarterly blood pressure assessment
4.  Franks reading to Mimi, how precious is that!?
5.  Mimi and I playing at a car dealership while Franks does the business stuff
6.  Me at the end of the day when my makeup has obviously worn off
7.  Need bangs cut maybe?!
8.  Mimi taking her bath.  50% of the time she hates it, 50% of the time I can't get her out of the bath
9.  My man

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spending the Bacon on Bacon

When we lived in Florida, and beans, breads, and pasta were much bigger staples in our diet, we could get away with spending $60-80 a week on groceries and household goods.  Now that we eat more meat, TONS of veggies (almost always fresh), and barely any processed foods, our grocery bill is closer to $100 a week! Geesh.  I cringe when I checkout at HEB.  I don't even shop at Whole Foods or Sprouts as much anymore because then I'd really faint at the register.

I mentioned before that I subscribed to the Sunday paper with one reason being the coupons.  Every week I'm continually disappointed that the majority of the coupons are for processed junk.  Bright colored yogurts filled with sugar, microwaveable dinners and pizza, processed breakfast foods, etc.  Junk.  I manage to find coupons for things like string cheese, almonds, and laundry detergent sometimes.  More household goods than foods.

We've really overhauled the "food" part of our lifestyle recently.  It's not just about going "paleo" or "primal" or cutting carbs, it's really about cutting out crap and processed foods.  I'm not going to act all perfect and say I don't eat anything processed, I buy processed dairy (milk, cream, cheese, greek yogurt), and I buy salamis and sausage.  I still buy some processed foods for Mimi, like goldfish, pretzel crisps, and those funky applesauce pouches.  I don't bake or cook with grains (white flour, wheat flour, corn meal), but use alternative "flours" like quinoa (it's a grain but it's gluten free), almond meal, and coconut flour.  I use natural sweeteners when necessary like honey and real maple syrup($$$).  Making these changes has not been cheap.  It's not going to get any cheaper when we transition to buying grassfed beef and other "healthier" version of our meat and protein staples.  It's frustrating when I watch people's grocery hauls' and they boast spending only $60/week.  I have to remind myself that food is the one thing we spend money on that actually becomes a part of us.  If that's a place in our budget that needs some growing room, and it's for whole foods to nourish my family, I can accept that.

When I had first talked to my friend Emily, who actually "went primal" during her 6th month of pregnancy, I instantly thought she was crazy and irresponsible.  Then I stumbled on the book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes.  It's about fats, carbs, and the controversial science of diet and health.  It is not light reading.  It's filled with analyses of clinical trials dealing with saturated fats, cholesterol, coronary disease, carbohydrates, diabetes.  The book is kind of eye opening for me.  If you're into non-fiction books about the science of nutrition, check it out.

Tomorrow I go for my followup with my general doctor to evaluate my bp meds and get all new blood-work done. We'll see what he says about my dietary changes and what my blood-work reveals.

I'll leave you with a photo I took tonight of the two most important people in my life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ducks up North

It's kind of strange, but I somehow naturally developed two distinct groups of mom friends that don't know each other.  One group lives near me and one group lives a little north in what my husband calls "the burbs."  It really isn't "the burbs" it's just not in biking distance to ever little hipster coffee shop and natural locally-owned grocery store.

I find myself enjoying that these two groups don't mingle or converse.  It's nice because they're different kinds of people with different parenting styles.  Sometimes I feel like I'm at an icecream parlor and there are always new flavors for me that I love.  I feel really lucky to have found such great people here.

Today I ventured up into "the burbs" for a playdate with two of my friends.  We hiked on this suburban trail that looped through fancy neighborhoods with lexus' in the driveways and found ourselves at this beautiful duckpond filled with ducks and geese.   So many ducks infact, I was reminded of this...


It was gorgeous and 79 degrees here in Austin TX today (you know you're jealous!).  Mimi had so much fun playing with her friends, it's like she comes alive outside. She's definitely not an "indoor girl." We fed the ducks, had a picnic and let the kids burn out their energy for a good 4 hours.  Nice.  I managed to even get a run in later today in the nice weather.  I hope you enjoyed today as much as I did!