Monday, January 31, 2011

Things I Love Right Now

I am firmly in the doldrums of winter, I think.  Tired, cranky, all I want is bad-for-me carbs and sweets and the motivation to exercise is dwindling.  (But don't worry- I'm still working out 6 days a week- logging about 20 miles and 2 sessions of strength training- I just resent it!  Ha!)

We're doing our best to stay on the straight and narrow but I find myself trying to rationalize calling in sick, one more biscuit with butter, another chai...

And so, in my grand tradition of trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps and remember the good shit, here's a list of (healthy) stuff I'm loving right now:

1.  Classical music.  I listen to our local NPR station's classical frequency at work and I find that it gives a nice sophisticated calm to my day.  They play really great stuff.  Lately I've been pairing it with

2.  Green tea with local honey.  Nom.  I feel much better when I have a big thermos of this in the morning...its scary but I think coffee and I may have broken up for now...

3.  Avocados and blueberries.  These have both been on good sales at the supermarket lately and the nutrients and antioxidants really do give me a boost. 

I've been putting avocado in pretty much anything and everything or just eating them on their own, scored and salted then drizzled with lime juice.  Their (good) fat content satisfies my cravings for fatty fatty goodness.  (For the most part :) )

The blueberries have a place in my cereal bowl every morning and go after that sweet craving I've got going on right now.

4.  Books, blankets and rice bags.  Nearly my favorite part of every day is when I finally get to curl up under my down comforter, crack open a book (or turn one on, if I'm using my e-reader, heh) and snuggle in with a warm rice bag on my aching, stress-harboring shoulders.  Heaven.

5.  Soup.  I've been making this veggie-packed Minestrone (from my favorite cookbook)  and it is nourishing and filling and healthy- onions, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, chick peas, pasta...the only think I really do differently is use chicken stock or broth instead of water.  We've had this at least once a week for the past month or so and we're all addicted.

6.  Of course, my kiddo is a bright spot of color in this monochromatic landscape of winter.  I'm so lucky to be his mama.  We've been taking advantage of any sunny days that come our way by going outside for as long as possible, which seems to pay off in lifted moods.  I lurves him.

And hey!  Its almost February.  And we have a fat tax return headed our direction, which is always heartening.  See?  It's all going to be ok.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bring it.

So far this new year has been fast and furious- I have a new boss at work and we are SUPER busy.  Lots of meetings, phone calls, work piling up.  BUT.  The work is challenging, engaging, and dare I in a lot of ways.  So it could be worse.  And I'm actually surprised at the amount of overtime I haven't had to put in, considering.

Also in the first week of the new year I:

1. had the toenail on my left big toe removed because it was dead and gross (from in-grown toenail surgery 2 years ago and from being a runner) and

2:  confirmed that I have hearing loss in my right ear- mostly in the higher frequencies.  The loss isn't bad enough to warrant a hearing aid (yet) but  I might need a better phone at work and to learn how to read lips a little in situations with lots of background noise (which I already do.)  This makes me feel old.  Pout.

We have, thankfully, been able to carve some time out for fun stuff.  We got the kiddo a pair of snowshoes for $18 on sale and we took him out for his first real trek last weekend.  He did so great!  We were out there for an hour and a half and there was no complaining, crying, being too tired...nothing!   I think he road in the sled up a couple of steep hills and that was it.   A good time was had by all.  Evidence:

It wasn't super cold- especially with our new wool socks we all got for Xmas.  Still, once we got back home, hot chocolate and popcorn were deemed necessary :) 

As an aside:  I LOVE living so close to National Forest areas.  This system of ski and snowshoe trails is 12 minutes from our house.  12 MINUTES!  And we have more National Forest recreation areas 30 minutes the other direction.  And there's no traffic, no crowded parking lots at the trail heads.  Heaven!

As far as other fun activities, (and this one's for you Dandelion Trail) we've had fun lately making homemade toys out of cardboard, paper sacks, toilet paper rolls etc.   A ship for Buzz Lightyear, for example:  (and yes, someone is really into Toy Story and grandparents are obliging by purchasing every related piece of apparel they can find.  But hey- free clothes are free clothes!)

Notice the dog emitting lasers from her eyes.  I'm pretty sure Otto was making her play the role of the evil emperor Zurg the other day.

Never a dull moment but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Bring it on, 2011!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

About Face

Yesterday was One Of Those Days.  It began slightly after midnight.  My kid woke up screaming and crying and refusing to go back to bed.  It took me 30 minutes to coax him out of whatever dream/night terror state he was in and convince him to get into bed with me.  At last he fell back asleep- but guess what?  I was wide. awake.  And just laying there, my brain swirling around in my head, digging up the dregs of old to-do's and worries.

I decided to get up and go do something else for a bit- maybe reset my brain back into sleepy time mode.  For some reason, I grabbed our little Flip video camera and decided that I would get the baby videos off of it that have been on there for, say, 3 years.  So, at 1:00am, I plug it into my computer and attempt a download.  YOU NEED AN UPDATE it says.  THIS CAN BE DONE WITH A CAMERA WITH VIDEOS ON IT, BUT IT WILL TAKE LONGER it says.  This is fine.  I have all night!

I begin the update and everything seems to be going fine.  I feel sleep creeping back up and go to bed.

Fast forward 4 hours or so and I'm up, checking on the camera.  CAMERA HAS BEEN UPDATED. Goody!  I check the camera after I (safely) remove it from the computer and...(I'm sure you can see where this is going) the videos are gone.  The thing is wiped.  Empty.  Ready to Record!  What. the. fuck. 

I have what basically amounts to a very ungraceful panic attack, searching my hard drive, the camera, for the missing baby videos.  I download and run recovery software, to no avail.  I'm crying, remembering the precious footage of Otto's first day crawling, his first steps, singing Twinkle Twinkle.   Otto's looking at me, confused.  "We're sad about baby movies, Mama?  But I'm a big boy!"

I go to work upset and sad.

Work is work, only times a MILLION because shit is hitting the fan and we're super busy and I have, like, 87 meetings scheduled and everyone is pissy and etc. etc.  And the entire time, I'm on the edge of a melt down, thinking about the fucking baby videos.

Finally, the day is over and I get home.  The Husband, bless him, has carnitas in the crock pot and a six-pack waiting for me.  It is at this point that the day begins to slowly turn back towards the light.  We have an amazing dinner, I do the (minimal) dishes and decide to call a good friend for a little venting session. 

We have a good talk about woes, parenting, books, work (love you, L!) and I hang up feeling more centered than I have all day.

At this point, I get a text from the Husband, who is downstairs with the kiddo that says, "You can't find us.  Hahahahahahahaha!- the Potzula Gang."

Laughing, I go downstairs to see that an elaborate fort has been constructed with an old quilt and two pairs of shoes are poking out, one little, one large.  Copious amounts of giggling emanate from under the fort.  "FEE FIE FO FUM, I SMELL THE BLOOD OF AN ENGLISHMAN"  I boom, as I thump down the stairs.  The giggling intensifies.

After playing a bit, while the Husband is doing jammies/brushing teeth/reading stories duties, I turn once more to my computer.  Sighing, I log in to check my email, resisting the urge to throw the stupid Flip camera across the room but also realizing that its not the end of the world.  While videos, pictures and keepsakes are nice, I have awesome friends, an amazing family and I get to LIVE in these moments. 

Suddenly, on my desktop, I notice a folder way down in the lower left corner that I haven't noticed before.  Flip Video Backup, it says.  I click.

And yeah, you guessed it.  The missing baby videos.  All there.  All beautiful.  All not lost.

I go to bed happy, loved, realizing that losing those little movies wasn't the end of the world.  But I'm glad I have them back.  We all sleep through the night, waking up to a new day to cherish and new memories to record. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

New beginning

Every time we come back from an extended break, like over the holidays, the first day is killer.  I actually cried in the car this morning after dropping my kid off at daycare.  I miss him.

To distract myself from this gross intrusion of 'real life', I'm thinking about my goals for 2011.  A new year.  A chance to start over in some ways.  Or, alternately, just a good excuse to thinking about habits we'd either like to change or to cultivate.

Here's what I've got so far:

Do less:

-Consuming:  I'm going to "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  Or at least do my best.   I'm going to continue to reuse whatever can be reused and buy pre-owned whenever possible.  We're blessed here with  several used/second hand stores and while I already take advantage, I'm going to kick it up a notch.

- TV watching:  This isn't a huge problem for me, but I think I could do better.  My default at the end of a shitty day is to veg in front of the tube with a libation.  And even if its just a half hour, my time would be better spent (and probably more relaxing) if I read, knitted, listened to music or did something that didn't completely shut my brain down.

Do more:

-Snuggling, listening, playing with my kid:  I feel like we do a lot of this, but there's always room for improvement, right?  My goal is to give him more of my UNDIVIDED attention. 

- "Snuggle" with my husband:  Yeah, um, sometimes the husband and I get distracted by everything that's going on and neglect to make time for eachother.  Ahem.

- Yoga:  Its SO GOOD for me and I know that but for some reason, I do it like twice a month right now.  But after a good yoga session, I'm noticeably less stressed, more at peace and I even see improvements in my running.  Yoga = good.

What goals do you have for this new year?