Monday, November 30, 2009

Exhaustion & Sugar

For about a week, baby S was doing whole nights of sleep. It was miraculous! But it seems that blessing was short-lived, and I am now up again. Oy. As I type this I am falling asleep--fingers first, eyelids second....I am considering leaving my sister and husband to sit in the living room while I crash into bed.

I may have clever things to say, but I mostly just want to crash.

In two weeks we are going Christmas carolling with a group. Who doesn't love random groups of singing people? It makes me think of childhood. My sisters and I would rehearse carols in 3 part harmony and walk around the neighborhood singing. I'm sure it was adorable, but honestly, we did it for the profit. We would usually come home with cookies and cash. Ahhh, childhood is so simple. It was a simpler time too--we never once considered not eating a stranger's cookie!

My husband baked tonight--apple carmel pie and cookies. Why did I marry this man?

He simply loves it when we're out and someone asks me if I'd rather cut "my pie". He loves the moment when I tell them I don't bake--it's my husband's pie. It's our rare break from stereotypes.

I finished the packet to send to the new job prospect--cv, recordings, referrals, and letter. I guess we'll mail it tomorrow morning. We had it ready today, but realized in the car on the way to the post office that my cv had no contact info...I mean, I feel destined to get the job, but not giving them any way to contact me seems to be over-testing destiny.

Enough thoughts. Goodnight. Hopefully, I won't be up again until least 7am?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Basic Log of a new diabetic mom

Today's activities/highlights

fed the baby
diapered the baby (she peed a bit)
clothed the baby
tested my blood sugar
got out the christmas/hanukkah boxes
fed the baby
tried to soothe her yucky stomach
peeled paint from the porch (hours)
worked out
tested my blood sugar
fed the baby
tried to soothe her yucky stomach
sat in front of the tv on the carpet watching Schroeder play Moonlight Sonata to a video of brilliant colors while the baby watched, fascinated
said hi to my sister in law via playstation 3
did a little decorating, took insulin, ate some turkey
tested my blood sugar
fed the baby
tried to soothe her yucky stomach
watched some tv, chatted with my sister
ate turkey soup
pumped some milk
made a wreath
waited for husband to go home
typed a blog

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday?

Thanksgiving has a new tradition in my life. My husband always works Thanksgiving day, producing a tv news program, so my family comes to visit (or at least my mom) and we go to the tv station, bringing something to eat (I prefer vegetables, as I would like to be known as "the lady who brings vegetables" and my husband brings pie. And we love each other). Anyhoo, the station usually supplies some form of turkey and the basic bland starches. I was excited to find someone brought liverwurst, because I have the taste buds of an old chinese guy--if it makes others cringe, I am at the least intrigued.

It was a lovely day, with my mother and sister and daughter, sitting around the news station break room laughing and watching interns load up on stuffing. My sister just remarked to me how odd it was to have a thanksgiving meal and then coming home to see the other people at the meal on tv. But with the exception that one family member was notably missing, it was a beautiful day.

My husband is a fan of black friday. Yes, you read that correctly. Honestly, having grown up in some sort of artsy cave, I had never really known what this day was before him. I had never read a black friday ad, I didn't know people camped out in front of stores, and I certainly knew the one weekend to AVOID stores at all cost was the weekend after Thanksgiving. But I didn't know why.

So he got up this morning, wallet in tow, having moved a little cash from our meager savings, and hit his first store at 5am. Yes, 5am. It's the only day all year that he sees the sunrise. When he got to the first store, the item he wanted (to get me, how strange is that?) was sold out. It was 5:15. I was up anyways, feeding the baby, but had no desire to see that kind of madness.

The most humorous part of the day was when I felt like maybe I should get a little shopping done, so I walked into radio shack (casually) at 10:30 AM, on my way to the grocery store, and asked if they still had a sale item available. They looked at me like I was insane. They said, "uh, we sold out of that at 6am". For a moment I felt embarassed and then responded, "Well, I have a 3 month old, I was willing to take my chances and sleep in." Ain't that the truth?

I don't really use coupons. I never have, because I think that the purpose (which is logical) of a coupon is to get the customer to make a purchase they wouldn't normally make. I found black friday to be the same...everything coming together, the goal being that I might buy something I wouldn't have bought if a "doorbuster" hadn't brought me in.

So I may just offer to watch the baby from now on. 5AM is better seen while camping, meditating or painting a sunrise.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fillings and Feelings

I had a filling done today! I start with that because it's 12:31am and the pain just surfaced. Ugh. My mother spent her day mostly alone with baby S (me stopping by occasionally to nurse the baby and then rushing off again in the freezing rain) doing ...photojournalism? I'm not sure what you call positioning the baby with just about everything in the house and taking pictures of her. Entertaining, to say the least.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my sister for Thanksgiving. I miss everyone and I love how happy they are to see my daughter. It really takes the stress off of me having to be entertaining. Much is forgiven, actually, and my mood this week has been horrid.

I can't figure out if it's low blood sugar, or exhaustion, or what it is...but I am a real crab this week. My husband is too, but that's his M.O. I'm trying to teach him not to hand the baby to me every time she cries, but I'm not sure it's working.

The hardest part of a relationship is negotiating someone's feeling language. It is so difficult to determine what things are communicated when you say, "can I put away your puzzle, it's been on the table for a week and I feel like I'm going to cry every time I see it". You think this is a gentle request. He feels this is undermining his source of joy. And how many times did it take of me flying into hysterics when he said something like, "are the cookies gone already? I just bought a whole package" when I've been crying on the couch that I can't believe I ate 7 cookies that day. (how could he know?)

I looked at pictures of myself the night before the baby was born. MAN! I did not look like myself at all. I can't believe that was me, and yet I don't remember not being able to recognize myself in the mirror or anything. I guess you get into a habit of seeing yourself a certain's why that damn scale is so shocking.

I am all over the place tonight. Baby S is asleep, lying next to her grandmother in front of me, while my husband and I furiously communicate in our silent parallel laptops. I feel like I wish he'd come over and hug me and say, "my moodiness has nothing to do with you tonight, you are the light of my life and thank you for taking care of my daughter every day, when you lose yourself in it, and you don't even remember what your dreams were by the end of the day sometimes. I am so lucky."

So this article is either about feelings or fillings or filling yourself with feelings in hopes that the dentist's numbing isn't the only kind you feel.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Exhaustion & Cool Whip

Today at the mall with my husband, daughter and mother, I thought my legs would give out. I was so exhausted I couldn't even see walking back to the car. I have reached this level of exhaustion a few times in my life...studying for comp exams for my master's, learning how to drink coffee as an 18 year old and being forced awake from within for days at a time, etc. However, this seemed new. I checked my blood sugar, it was pretty normal, and had lunch. I hadn't eaten for a few hours, and was running around, taking care of me, baby, home, family. Am I cut out for this? I still ask myself. I am looking at getting a job doing what I love doing, and the thought of that seems so much easier (even though I am expecting massive amounts of work) than running a household. How do people clean, how do you keep track of what day it is? How do you know when you last ate lunch? It's more than exhausting.

We had baby S take her picture with Santa. No lines--that's the good thing about TUesday afternoon in a practically abandoned mall. She is a great baby for pictures. Sure, she doesn't smile on command (what 11 week old does?) but she stares at the lights and doesn't tend to cry (provided she is well fed and has napped). Oddly, I have noticed she does better if her diaper is full of poop. Perhaps it's like sitting in a warm bath, I'm not sure. Not really ready to try it myself.

Hubby is taking some pies into work for Thanksgiving (we will be having Thanksgiving dinner at his workplace--since he can't get off for it, it's our new tradition!) He is compulsively buying pies to bring. Since he is the boss and organizer, I think he has just decided to bring stuff he wants to have in his freezer. Like pie. This resulted in the purchase of cool whip.

We debated in the store how many to get. We decided 1 tub per pie, 1 tub for me to accidentally eat in its entirety and 1 tub for my mom to apologize that she also ate. This was 5 total. We are down to 3. It's lite cool whip. Come on, that stuff is really a freebee.

My mom is a slim woman who I am thinking of tweeting about (can I tweet? that seems wrong). What I'd like to do a tweet on is "what my mom had for dinner". On a normal day this would be: 3 wasa crackers, some egg whites cooked in the microwave, and some "salad toppers" spray. Yep. On a night while visiting me, it's more like: a diet coke, a tub of cool whip, 2 bowls of cereal without milk, but with powdered cocoa, and a few pieces of candy. Then she talks about feeling ill. We are trying to explain to her that tripling your normal caloric intake can do that. Even if you're just going from 800-2400. It's a big deal.

My mother is an expert at self-denial. Really, she puts people to shame. It starts in her fridge. I recently joked with my sister since she said she'd lost weight at my mother's house. I said, "really, is that because the current content of the fridge is water, diet coke, a bunch of 80 calorie yogurts and some eye drops?" She laughed. I was confirmed.

That's why she has to eat the whole tub of cool whip. Can you blame her?

Monday, November 23, 2009


Today I took a long trip in a rented pontiac with a new baby to meet an old acquaintance about a new job. I am so tired.

I finished the day off with a scoop of lite cool whip mixed with coffee grounds. Does that sound good to anyone else?

Oh, and I lost a pound and a half!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

C-Section, or Healing Can Be Slow

Uhhh, I'm not sure if I'm even ready to talk about this, but I'm worrying myself by looking at pictures on the internet, and so maybe it's more rational to go through my experience (and possibly helpful). Note: DO NOT ever do a google image search for "c-section healing + infection". HOLY COW.

I had a c-section. I had diabetes, pre-eclampsia, an induced labor which resulted in my blood pressure going "severely" high and having to have "seizure pads" on the bed (and a crazy experience with magnesium sulfate, avoid at all costs). Finally I ended up with the c. I think this was the right decision medically, I have no doubt about it. However, what happened after that has been the hardest part of mommying.

I initially started a heal from the c-section very well. The nurse said she'd never seen someone pop up out of bed so fast after a c-section. Especially after 2 days of magnesium sulfate pumped into them. I was already running errands with my husband by day 5. I was wondering when i could start exercising. My sugar numbers has been very high in the hospital, but I figured it was from my downing iced coffees like they were water...I didn't worry.

Six days after the surgery I was at home with my mother, and my husband was outside, mowing the lawn. I was in a chair, skooching my body back to breastfeed the babe. And then it happened, the front of my body opened up and poured quarts of red liquid all over me. It was like sitting in a bath. I had no idea where the liquid was coming from. I shrieked a bit, and handed the baby to my mother. My mother, always the optimist, started screaming, "You're Hemmorhaging!" I yelled back, "no, I'm not...I'm not, it doesn't feel like that"...and she ran out into the yard, "Tye...your wife's hemmorhaging"...I could hear her as I stood in the shower, trying to wash off the liquid.

We rushed to the hospital, where nurses said, "oh I hate these c-sections, this stuff happens all the time" and we watched as they re-cut open my wound, and stuffed it with gauze. It was painful. Tye was staring blankly the whole time, as if he'd been shot in the leg or seen a horrible accident, obviously still feeling the immense fear from our rush to the hospital. I kept apologizing for having ruined the recliner in the living room.

For the next six weeks, my husband was educated by nurses on how to open my wound and pack me full of gauze daily, removing the old, bloody, disgusting gauze each time. It was horrible. It was painful for me, painful for him, and made me remain a "sick" person for weeks. Finally by about 6 or 7 weeks past the birth, the wound got too small to pack. It was still open, a bit, but seemed to have closed up from the inside.

The problem is, now I have a very small portion (about the size of a raisin) that will not close. We are 11 weeks out, and I still leak a little from that small sore. It doesn't seem infected, but I am preparing to show this to my internist next week.

When will my body be mine again? WHEN?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Go Blue or Go Home

Early indoctrination

So here's an entirely new experience if you haven't had it: I married a sports fan.

I grew up in a family with no sports "loyalties". We liked figure skaters, tennis players, maybe a few other individual sports. But teams? I remember the first time I asked someone where he was from and he said, "Well, I was born in Illinois, but I grew up in Phoenix, so I'm really still more of a cubs fans, but I have adopted the Diamondbacks as a second team." WHAT??

So I married the worst of them, I believe. My husband refers to his teams as "we" as in "we won". He doesn't like wearing green, or red, or any colors which might be teams which are rivals of "our" team. The most interesting thing is how wins and losses affect his mood. I have never been affected by a team, so I don't relate at all, but I remember the first time I heard my husband curse. We'd already known each other for a year, and his team had lost (against michigan state? ohio state? I don't remember, but I bet it was an important game). I watched the 4th and final quarter with him...I watched them lose. We were tense and quiet. And then, with very little drama, my husband got up from the couch and said, "well, shit." and walked out of the room.

So now I watch Michigan games knowing that it will make my husband SO happy if they win. I hope against hope that the Lions will have a winning season...don't they deserve one yet? I feel invested, emotionally, in interceptions. I kind of hate seeing Ohio State win...ever. It's weird. And it's all because I love him, and I know that he internalizes things.

I remember being in a store and I saw a shirt his sister might want for a gift. I looked at it, and before picking the size, I checked....did it come in blue? Because if it came in BLUE, it would be a better gift.

So Michigan just lost. Normally, this would just be disappointing because I feel empathy for being on a one sided rivalry for 9 years, where those other bastards keep winning! But today, I feel like, "how can I cheer him up?" because I know the level of disappointment that "he" lost this morning.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Small Victories

Working out every day, I have noticed that my body has that slight soreness that I used to feel in my single life. Back then I hated going a week without exercising. By my 9th week of pregnancy, I could not do anything more than walk without some discomfort, and by the 20th week....wooh. I had always heard you should exercise during pregnancy (and I believe it) but even with my idea that I would be the best, most active, perfectly exercising pregnant woman, that did not happen. I walked a lot, but could never do long distances, or hills. The ligaments around my uterus would KILL me with any strain.

So now I'm doing cardio and lifting weights and MAN I feel good! You forget how good this's funny. You forget the level of energy exercise gives you. Sleep is better, and stamina, forget about it!

Even though my weigh-in had disappointing results, I had a small victoy yesterday that I still feel so good about. My wedding ring fit. For the first time since my seventh month of pregnancy. Now--I'm not sure I can get it off, but it's on there and it's comfortable! We celebrated with a little bottle of "bubbly" (apple cider) that Tye got for free at work last June. Who doesn't love a free celebration?

The baby is sleeping peacefully now--it's 10am, and I just had breakfast without feeding her at the same time. Yay! She was up a little more last night. She is really sleeping through the night now--sometimes up to 7 hours. But last night was a lot of eating. I'm guessing growth spurt. She ate all day yesterday.

I will practice my piano and singing today, and get some housecleaning done, and maybe even put on a coat and take a walk! It's a little "Novembery" for walking, but I can't wait to get that cold air in my lungs.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My History of Hot Sauce

The item shown here is the single most used ingredient in my kitchen. I can't tell you how much I love hot sauce. My current favorite is a can of "healthy request" homestyle chicken noodle soup, cooked with very little water and a tablespoon of garlic chili sauce! Ahhh, talk about a cure for the common cold!

I'm not sure where my love of spicy came from. I did not grow up in a household filled with spice! The earliest I can remember the love of hot sauce is with my friend Dari, during my high school years. We built off of each other over the next five years. Dari loved spicy, and together we pushed each other until we were having meals together that made us sweat and burned our pee the next day. She would purposely cook me meals that I knew would be half meal half sport. I remember so fondly going to a thai restaurant with Dari, ordering everything extra spicy, and ordering a bowl of chilies to go with it. We left those restaurants in pain, but laughing, and delighted and energetic.

In college I met the world of "authentic asian spicy" with my friend and conjoined twin, Eugene. I developed a love of my favorite meal: steamed whole fish with black bean sauce, steamed chinese vegetables (chinese broccoli or "gai lan" being my favorite) and rice. By itself, the meal is good, but with the cut up chilies immersed on soy sauce, OH LORDY that stuff was good. It only led to more discovery of spicy foods. I believe my favorite spicy food is still anything stewed in spices. Slowly. For days. mmmmm!

In New York I used to go to chinatown and buy fresh prawns, a few chilies (I don't know the name of these red chinese chilies, but I know 'em when I see 'em) and then take the shrimp home, clean and steam them, and put the chilies in hot sauce for a day. The shrimp dipped in the very hot chili soy sauce! Fantastic. But beware of leaving the chilies in the soy sauce for too long...too intense even for me.

Another deserving mention is kim chee(I'm not sure how to describe this beyond "korean heaven"). I know this is an acquired taste--my husband can't stand the smell of it, but it is so many wonderful things...spice, kick, tang, crunch. You gotta love it! Maybe I can trace this back to my Korean friend in high school and her mom cooking us authentic food on my frequent overnights at her house.

Hot sauce is low in fat and calories, it slows down how much food I can actually eat! I feel energized after eating it, and it's so fun to try each culture's version (although I must say the continent of Asia still does it for me!)

I guess the downside is that my addiction to hot sauce makes everything else bland. hmmmm

My recent favorite meal creation is tilapia and hot nutty noodles
1 thin sliced tilapia filet (works better a bit frozen)
brush with olive oil and broil for about five minutes, until almost cooked through. I prefer if the edges get a little crunch to them.
1/2 cup whole wheat linguine
1 zucchini, thinly sliced to look like the linguine.
boil together until 'al dente'
add soy sauce, 1-2 tbs garlic chili sauce to taste, 1 tsp chunky natural peanut butter
slice up fish and lay on top. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


We have two dogs. Max is a lhasa apso. He is around 8 years old, only about 23 pounds (although that's pretty big for a lhasa). Tye refers to him as "my boy" in a babying tone. He has double jointed hips and walks as though he has just gotten off of a horse. He is cuddly, and very social, but he is also a grump. He has nipped at both of us, and growls when asked to do something he's not in the mood to do. He has some funny quirks--hates to have his paws touched, even gently, always waits to eat until he's seen if there are other "food options", doesn't like going outside to pee in the morning, and "plays" like he's fighting. To the casual onlooker, the way he plays with Ginger looks and sounds like he's gonna kill her. But he never actually does more to her than mat her hair.

Ginger is our pomeranian. She is 10 scrappy pounds of quirkiness. Ginger will be 2 years old next Spring. Tye got her for me after my beloved (but very senior) dog Mini died last summer. She is everything my Mini wasn't....she barks at nothing, loves to run after cars (seriously, you're going to take on that minivan by yourself?) She has perpetual amnesia (or doggy alzheimer's as my dad called it). She can be lovingly sitting in your lap, but you leave the room, out of sight, return, and she barks at you as if you're a stranger. It's odd. She plays with her food, has an incredible love for opera--sings herself, comes running when she hears me start singing, and for lack of a better word, goes "nuts" when she hears it.

They both bark excessively for visitors, but are extremely gentle in the house with the baby.

This morning, after Baby Stevie slept for 6 hours straight! AMEN ALLELUIA!! (sorry, I got distracted) I woke up to get the "house" started. I had to go out to Stevie's vitamin D appointment anyway, and the daughter and hubby were still sleeping. So I ran outside in the verrry cold rain, grabbed my husband's lunchbox out of the truck, and ran back to the house. At this point, I realized I had locked myself out. I was barefoot in an old pair of shorts and a jacket. I proceeded to knock repeatedly, thinking, "surely the dogs will hear me and go crazy". After about 5 minutes, when I couldn't feel my feet, I ran to the front of the house and knocked on the other door. THEN they decided to wake from their fairy-tale slumber.

Tye was utterly baffled as to what I was doing on the front porch. He slowly opened the door as if to protect himself from the strange visitor. I even noticed he was wearing pants.

The dogs? Worthless! They bark every time they see me go outside, but they can't hear a knock from 4 rooms away? The special irony is that Max STILL wouldn't go outside to pee, since it was morning. of course.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Realtors, Romans and Rush

My baby and my beloved republican pizza addict.

Our first friend in Cedar Rapids was (and is) our realtor. She was assigned to us arbitrarily when I clicked on a house on her website. We looked at dozens of homes with her and instead of driving her insane, we made a great friend. She has an "urban" thing about her, a quickness, which I appreciate, while still being originally from this area. She knows what dim sum is. She also knows the difference between a goat house and a chicken coop (which I don't).

Today we had a chinese lunch with her. It was delightful, and Stevie was fantastically calm and sweet, although secretly creating an enormous orange liquid poop in her diaper while she gazed at us. Five minutes after lunch it had already stained her shirt.

It was fun to show off how much we'd done to this house (by "we" I mean largely my in-laws, but we've done a fair amount of slaving work!)and we had a real intimate conversation with her, where she shared her problems and we shared ours, and I didn't feel needy or complaining, which has been an issue for me this year--always needing someone's help becomes old, quickly.

Later on in the day Tye announced that tonight he would be eating Little Caesar's pizza. For the record, my husband loves Little Caesar's pizza slightly more than he loves me. Perhaps in years to come he will remember his daughter's birth happening just a few months before the Little Caesar's opening. He actually clapped his hands in a rather girlish glee-like moment when he saw the COMING SOON sign. He has talked about it daily since we saw the sign, I believe.

So he is off to get his pizza.

Driving around town today we listened to Rush Limbaugh interview Sarah Palin on the phone, while I made comments like, "why do we reward angry people who have their own radio shows" and "how long is this show anyway" and "I must really love you to let you play this stuff". I topped it off with a few quizzes for him on health insurance which he told me he would not participate in. Somehow this is our very functional relationship. We are practicing "true america" I think--you believe the politician you want to, and I will believe the politician I want to, and we can love each other because somehow deep inside we actually want the same things and hope SOMEONE's going to give them to us. In other words, I'll get dim sum you get pizza? Or something like that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hand to Teeth

Today has been difficult. It's a little after 3pm and my family is taking a nap while I try to make a mental list of what I'm grateful for--to get over what I'm stressed about, or try to convince myself today was not as bad as it feels.

I weighed myself this morning and I was up a few ounces. I suppose that counts as "no weight gain" but it is disappointing. I have been heavily exercising, and working out with weights for the first time--so this could be a muscle gain. It could also be a result of my not having met my calorie goal as many times this week as last, and most likely, it's because I talked myself out of recording my food as much as I had been. I know that this is simply a marker of where i am and what I need to do. It is not a death sentence or a judgment, as I am likely to take it.

After this I went to the dentist for my first cleaning and checkup in a few years. This went surprisingly well (albeit painful, since she had to do a hell of a lot of scraping). I have one small cavity. Easy peasy. I asked them about my husband's coming dental work, and she pulled up his file for me, showing me that we will owe (after insurance) over $700. Then I was informed they don't do payments...all payments have to be made at the time of the service. This means that A) my husband knew about this 700 dollars and B) He picked a dentist where you can't make payments after our family income was cut almost in half. I want to cry about this, about having to put 700 on a credit card. I probably will cry later.

I asked him to pick up some d-con for the basement while he was out (on his way home from a root canal, but he was stopping to pick up stuff anyways) and he picked up traps instead. That means I will be home by myself with 2 dogs and a baby when one of those traps accidenally half-kills a mouse and it screams to death for two hours. I've been through it. Several times. And I am not happy. He argues it's better than smelling a dead mouse in the wall. I beg to differ.

I got a bill today from a creditor collecting on 65 dollars from my apartment in NYC (the electric bill). At the time, I had a 50 dollar credit from my cable company I had been waiting for, and a 65 dollar bill for electricity. My plan had been to use one to pay the other--but since the cable company never sent me the know the rest. I don't have 65 dollars. I mean...I DON'T have that money. I also don't have 700 dollars or the 800 dollars that our old apartment wants for 'carpet damage' because they ate up our security deposit on silly stuff like painting a wall we never hung anything on.

We decided babies deserve to have their own parents with them--and I want to be home with Stevie. But financially, I can't even imagine where this next year is going. I have no idea.

I have a huge headache. I'm frustrated, tired, and sad. I have no answers for these financial issues. I also want to point out that not celebrating "christmas" in a traditional way for about 7 years as a single person, I was happy. And now I am married into a world where gifts are expected, anticipated, etc. And I don't know how to do that when I can't pay for my husband's teeth.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dry Run

Well, right at this moment the adorable peanut is sitting next to me, smiling away, as if to say life is perfectly plummy. She is talking some, and blowing bubbles.

This morning was daddy's dry run at having her by himself. I played piano for two church services, meaning that as of 8:30 I would be out the door, she would just be waking up (normally he would be sleeping) and he would somehow have to get the household up and running by 10:30 or so. Originally his goal was 10:00 but I thought that was pushing it.

Like everything Tye tries for the first time, I asked him if he was nervous and he said no. It seems it has become a lifelong goal for me to get him to be nervous about something!

As I left the house, I heard her start wailing from the room. (A wail that seemed to say, "hey someone just left with my breakfast!" I did him the favor of pulling her out of the bassinet and putting her next to him on the queen size bed. I also brought him some warmed-up breastmilk, a towel for when she spits it up (she has not done well yet with the bottle) and her vitamin D drops. THen I said a little prayer and hit the road. I'm not sure why this made me so nervous--he is certainly very capable.

My chest was killing me and leaking all morning. blech. But everything went well, and Tye showed up at the church with her at 10:30, with her in a lovely ensemble-matching from her jacket to her socks! I'm not sure if it was a matter of seeing me, but all was fine until about 10 minutes later, when Stevie had the worst weeping, wailing event I have seen (we rushed her out of the church right on time). She would NOT absolutely not, take the bottle again, and when I finally did get to nurse her in the fitting room at JC Penny's across the street, she was still hysterical. She was hysterical after eating, until I pulled out all my tricks to get her calm again.

This was so stressful that I may need a nap this afternoon.

I am worried about my weigh-in tomorrow. I have been great with the exercise, having kept all of my goals, but my eating has not been tracked with as much care as I'd like. I am writing it down today, but I have had 2-3 days this week with no writing. Arrrgh.

And lastly, to entertain myself last night, by myself, I put Stevie in a flower costume and ran around the room like a giddy five year old taking pictures of her and yelling, "O you are so cute!" over and over. It was embarassing, even more so when I posted some of the pictures to facebook. If I get depressed today, maybe I'll put her in it again!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Do not go gently into that goodnight

I have no picture for's Saturday, which is a strange day for our family. My husband works from 1pm-11pm. This day has become family sleep-in day. We all relax in bed until about 11. Then we get up, cook breakfast and he leaves for work. It's just like a normal morning, except 3-4 hours later. That means I just looked at the clock after a little cleaning around the house and it's 3:30. I also need to exercise now, while the baby is finally sleeping, and I don't have to put her in the frontpack. (If you haven't done it, 45 minutes of aerobics with a 12 pound baby strapped to your chest is seriously difficult).

Last night we went to a mexican restaurant. I insisted, because I wanted something spicy. I also wanted a margarita. I was pretty disappointed--I felt the margarita tasted like gasoline on ice and drank maybe 4 sips, and the way they made my "Pollo chipotle" spicy was by throwing raw jalapenos on top. You know a dinner is disappointing when you start wishing you could just run into the kitchen and re-do it.

I miss NYC food. A lot. Honestly, this deserves it's own blog, but I will briefly comment: Though I am not a vegetarian, I eat MANY meals without animal in them. In fact, I think food should always be good enough to stand on its own, and then a small amount of meat well-cooked can be added to that. If you think that chicken will somehow "carry" your plate, and that the rest of the stuff on it should not be good, well, sir, do not serve that to me. It's disgusting. Don't serve me something without a vegetable. EVER. I know your veggies are frozen, or canned. I know you pulled that garnish out of a tub from this morning. And most of all, do not think that melting cheese on something makes it better. Again...masking. I see through it!

Perhaps I will return to this subject.

What I was thinking when I started was....when do we change from thinking that falling asleep is uncomfortable/painful to blissful? When the baby is in the frontpack, she has a great time...until the moment when she starts feeling tired. She fights sleep, flails her arms, and cries. I then have to facilitate her sleep a bit...turn down the music, keep moving, sometimes use a pacifier, etc. And if not, it appears so PAINFUL.

Let me tell you, if someone put me in some footie pajamas and laid me down in a clean crib in a dark room I would be in HEAVEN! just thinking about it now makes me feel a little softer inside. It must have been, 34 years ago, that I felt like her--fighting sleep tooth and nail. So when the change? College? When I would force myself to stay up? High School, when I never wanted to get up for school? Who knows? She's out like a light, in the swing right now. If I slept with my head curled over the way she does my neck would KILL me. But she hates to be laid sleeping sitting up it is! Sweet Baby Sleep.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happiness in a Nutshell

When I was pregnant, mostly to cheer myself up because I was so miserable being pregnant, I used to imagine what would be the BEST part of having a baby. I would picture the cute little hands and feet (why are those things so adorable!??) and the sweet milky breath and the way the top of a baby's head smells like heaven. But still, just like marriage, I had no idea what to expect.

One of my great joys is actually breastfeeding the baby. Who knew? I decided I wanted to breastfeed for a bunch of practical reasons: I was going to be home, it was cheaper, and in my experience nannying the breastfed babies always seemed to have fewer GI problems. So, that was it.

The first few weeks were very difficult. She never opened her mouth enough, and ended up pinching the heck out of my nipples. I got a "milk blister". Sound terrible? It is. The thing about breastfeeding is that if you let yourself rest...if you let her wait between feedings, or use any formula, or use a pacifier--anything at the beginning really, it might not work. Therefore, if your breast hurts, if the baby is screaming, if you have to wake her up and piss her off, or sit in the back of an SUV in a mall parking lot, you do.

And then by about the 5th week, it was old hat. She and I have a rhythm. She loves to wave her hands over my arms while she nurses, and it makes me laugh and smile. She makes sighing noises while nursing, like, "this is so freaking good". I think I make the same noise while eating chocolate souffle, or my first time having korean barbecue, or eating at Matsuhisa in Los Angeles. She loves the physical closeness of the feeding, and therefore, I have grown to love it.

I love the softness I feel during nursing, and the way she looks at me after eating. She's mad at me if I don't allow her a bit of 'afterglow' actually. A bit of time to smile at mom, and rub my arm, and grab at my hair, and smile until a dimple appears on her left cheek.

Not to mention I finally have boobs.

I am working on a CV today. I have no idea how to do this, so I'm trying to look at examples. Happiness is really having a sense of purpose. A place in the story. And so the combination of my daughter sleeping (under my arm, she seems to love that)and my working forward, thinking of what would come next, creates a beautiful morning. (Even though I haven't showered and it's 1pm).

Tye and I used to be asked if we were "excited" about parenting. Jokingly, we would answer, "Well, we've heard good things." Truth is, it's one of those experiences you can't imagine until you get there.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stevie-11 weeks

Something new every day! Here Stevie discovers the rings on her bouncy chair! She had grabbed them a few times before I dragged out the camera. Sorry about the clicking sound, that's the camera!

Mice follow me

Stevie this morning.

I was going to write about the joys of breastfeeding this morning, until last night while cleaning the kitchen--I discovered a little hidden area with a big pile of mouse poop. Now, that's all I can think of. I have a long, interesting history with mice.

First Encounter: An early memory I have is in my family's "red and white house". We moved out of this house when I was 7. In this memory we were all in the back room when a black mouse dashed out. My mother jumped up on a chair, screaming, and dad chased it with a broom. I remember running around with my dad, trying to "help", but silently freaked out.

Second Encounter: I was about 12, at a camp in Payson, AZ. The second night, we were in a cabin full of girls. I was falling asleep, I heard a scratching sound near my head. I realized it was was on the other side of the cabin walls, but I couldn't sleep, imagining it would get closer to me. And it did. As the scratching continued, in the silence of the night, I called out to the girl closest to me, whispering..."Sarahhh" but she did not wake up. I was so scared I couldn't make more noise than that. The scratching kept getting louder, though now it seemed not that near my head. It was hard to tell in the dark, but it was definitely the wall closest to me. Finally, it stopped, and there was no more scratching. About 3 minutes passed before I felt a small weight land on my foot. As an instinct, I kicked as hard as I could, and literally heard the mouse fly through the air and land on the other side of the cabin with a thud. Suddenly I was standing up, screaming, and so were 6 other 12 year old girls. The mouse scurried away, but with our flashlights, we found the hole next to my bed, where he'd gotten in. I still get chilled thinking of that.

Third Encounter: My first apartment in NYC was shared with an obsessively neat guy. About a month after I had moved in, I was reaching in kitchen cabinet (under the sink). It was night, and I didn't look when I reached in. A mouse RAN ACROSS my hand. Later we found another two mice in my room. One morning I called in sick because a mouse was sitting on my purse! Literally. I couldn't reach in there and get a subway card. Luckily, he had no fear of mice, so he really helped me get rid of them. Because as much as I was terrified by them, I certainly couldn't kill them.

Last Encounter in NYC: In my own apartment in New York, where I stayed for five years, we had a mouse 'problem'. By "we" I mean all of the people in that old building in a dirty neighborhood. My first winter I killed over 12 mice. With snap traps. It was the only way I could imagine being able to do it...sudden death, hopefully while I was sleeping or out of town. I once caught two in one trap at the same time. Once the trap did not get the mouse completely and he screamed. HORRIFYING. I actually left the apartment. I had no idea what to do.

Last night: I had left half of a squash on the counter. I was planning on using it one half at a time. When I went to use the second half, it was filled with mouse poop. It also explained the other night, when the dog's favorite ball (that makes noise when you move it)suddenly made noise with the family and the dogs in the other room.

*sigh* so I am not sure how to deal with this now, with all the different species we have in this house-including a husband who's "allergic" to mice? What does that even mean? Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Success and Dropping the Baby

Moments after the big drop...
Oddly, I am breathing a sigh of relief that my husband was the first one to drop the baby. Now, obviously, it was a small drop, or I would be much less concerned--but as a former nanny, I know that there comes a time when the baby rolls off of something. Yesterday, I was sitting on the other side of the room when I saw him put her on a pillow, so he could work on the computer (he was within inches of her). I felt for a moment that I should say, "you know, she's starting to do half-rolls" but I had just read that having a happy "parenting marriage" is helped by NOT telling your husband what or how to do with the baby.

Moments later, I heard him make an unintelligible sound and reach out, as she rolled off of the pillow, off of the couch, and on to the floor. The couch is low, and the floor carpeted (plus she fell head-last)but boy did she scream! The screaming stopped pretty quickly as he put her on his lap and kissed her, but it was another few hours before she was put down again. Ahhh, parental guilt.

I got up in the middle of the night last night and ate a combination of cool whip, half of a banana, peanut butter and keebler cookies. So today I'm going lighter, and maybe exercising longer. I'm trying not to feel frustrated for making the poor decision.

Last night I did something I haven't done in a while--I stumbled upon some former opera colleagues' names online, and started what I called a "jealousy search". This is not unique to me, as I have met other singers who do this. Once you see that a former singing colleague is having more success than you, you start searching for others--looking at opera seasons, resumes online, websites, before you feel bogged down by a sense of jealousy and failure that you're not having a FABULOUS career. It's nothing but self-destructive, really, but just like the cool whip, once I start down that road, it's awfully hard to stop.

Is there a point at which I stop judging myself by success in this one field? I once saw an interview with Renee Flemming, a world famous opera singer and mother. The interviewer (cruelly) asked her, "Do you think you're a better mother, or a better singer?" and she quickly answered that she was a better mother. I will always question that answer--after all, she had two young daughters and a career that took her to every corner of the world most of the year. She was an amazing, world celebrated singer. What's the chance that she was better at motherhood??? But how do you look an interviewer in the eye and say you don't think you're the best parent?

Someone told me yesterday that being a "full time mom" is a hard job. And I felt patronized. Don't I take this success seriously?

It's work. But it's love--so it's pretty hard to think of it in terms of success.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Smiling or Pooping

Right now, my adorable little 10-week old baby is pooping on my lap. She's staring at me, and smiling, and occasionally pooping.

This is a game you play with 10 week olds. "Is it smiling, or gas?" It's really the only time in your life you play this game (at least, I hope so) and I'm not actually sure it's mutually exclusive. After all, couldn't she be really happy while having gas on my lap?

She's getting beautiful dimples. I am so excited about this! I always wanted dimples. I also wanted long legs. I suppose all these things would feel validating just to know I could genetically carry them, even if I didn't display any of them.

Today is peaceful. I have a lot of good news, a lot to get done. I am still avoiding calling someone who wants me to pay them a large unexpected amount of money, so who knows what will happen with that? I have always preached not to avoid people trying to get money from you, and here I am, a hypocrite!

Today I feel like I have what I need. Tomorrow--I have no idea. I am excited that our country might actually get healthcare reform, that people like me and my mom and all of my working poor musician friends in NYC have a chance of actually getting treated when they get sick.

I remember watching this show on television a few years ago that was talking about the growing divide between the rich and poor in the US...and having experienced that first-hand in NYC, it is something that makes me feel so heavy-hearted. I think about my baby growing up in a country where a middle class family can't send their child to college anymore, or get healthcare if she's freelance. I remember years of trying to get healthcare when I was single, for me or my mother, and being denied, or told it would cost me more than rent. What if Stevie chooses to be a freelance worker? Or a musician? Or a writer? Would she be "less than" other people because she did what she loved? And I feel inspired that there are people who care enough to change that, even if it's wrong, and the system is yet another annoying government system! (Ha, when does the government have a perfect system? But when is capitalism not greedy either?!)

ahhh change. Its good. Traumatizing, but good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

3 pounds

Yesterday I was definitely not careful about writing what I ate. I'm sure this was encouraged by my husband's 2 dozen no-bake cookies sitting on the counter. By 1pm I had to move them to the fridge, since basically if I SEE a cookie, I will want to eat it.

But the best thing I've ever been told about weight loss sounds like a word problem from third grade: "If you're on a train from Los Angeles to New York, and it breaks down in Chicago, do you say, 'well, we might as well go back to LA? No, you find a way to get to your destination from where you are.'" And that alone makes me think it's just perfect to wake up this morning, see my 3 pound weight loss and go, "ok, back to the writing again!!" I am only .2 pounds lower than my lowest since losing the baby, but that's ok. Lower is good :)

For years I have been a regular attender of overeaters anonymous, and don't really have a way of getting there since the baby. However, what you learn there doesn't "go away". Not everything about that program fits me, but I will say this: the thrill of losing weight, however temporary, is nothing compared to the peace of dealing with your life with tools other than physical fullness. The serenity I had in working 12 steps was so much greater (and harder) than just losing weight. And I know as I go--that this accomplishment has to be a spiritual one. It has to be about so much more than just food and fat and calories, or I will rebel, i will cheat, I will beat myself up.

This all makes me smile, knowing I can do it all from here!

I used to go to a special group in NYC called "Body image", where I'd sit in a room full of incredibly beautiful NY women--actresses, dancers, etc...and women that our culture would not consider beautiful. There were famous women, brilliant women, and an occasional sprinkling of men. And at this meeting, my world changed, because every person in that room expressed pure hatred of their bodies, confusion, sadness, delusions, and were attempting to live a more sane life where their bodies were not the be-all-end-all of their existence. No one dominated the room with self pity. We could only speak for 2 minutes at a time. I heard women who seemed like they had no problems, that were the object of my jealousy, my fears, my own personal sense of rejection, say that they never felt they were worth anything, and it changed my perspective on myself, on women in general, and on the illness of our culture, that if you're not hot, you're nothing. And no one even really knows what "hot" means.

To me this "not hot" thing is like the barren women of the bible. Struggling, we our told by our culture that this one thing should give us our self-worth. And it never will.

And so 3 pounds, while wonderful, is just 3 pounds. And I am most importantly someone who believes in myself enough to set a daily goal and try to slowly move the wheels of change. And someone with enough faith in a higher power that I know I can't do it on my own.

On the lighter side, my baby has discovered her tongue at 10 weeks. She's always showing it to me. It's delightful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rookie Mom Mistakes

Thursday and Friday nights were blissful at our household....Stevie was sleeping 5 hours at a time! Well, more like 12am-5am, and then a 15 minute feeding, and then 5am -8am. But this was still a major improvement!!! I was feeling so well rested before the rookie mom mistake.

On Saturday, she slept like an angel. ALL DAY. I could hardly wake her up it seemed, especially int he latter half of the day/early night. I took this as an opportunity to get stuff done! I touched up the deck, cleaned, organized, made calls, and felt like a free mom.

Somewhere around 2am the error of my decision reared its ugly head, as she was awake; cute and happy and smiling, and it literally HURT to be holding her. I changed 4 poopy diapers, and she peed during ALL FOUR changes. Ugh. I remember looking at her, smiling lovingly at me and thinking, "this would be adorable if I didn't hate you a little right now."

My husband had had a terrible day at work on Saturday, so I didn't want to wake him--we spent hours in the living room, on the couch sleeping finally, with her on top of me! ugh.

I am too tired to be clever in this blog. Just updating, really.

Today I will have to torture her to stay awake!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why I have to be perfect at everything

Yesterday I complained to my husband about the fixer-upper that we bought. Do I love this house? Absolutely. Does my husband have time to fix up a house? No way. He works at least 50 hours a week, and I am home having NO idea how to "DIY" on projects I am eager to just attack myself (in between taking care of the baby and the cleaning of said house, which is no small task).

THe problem is, I am not good at this stuff because I've never done it. So everything is an experiment in reading instructions (and FYI, do it yourself instructions are always worded for people who have experience doing these projects) and then praying, spending money that we don't have, and attempting to do it with my own totally inexperienced hands, hopefully within the time the baby is napping.

I love a good project--the problem is that when you do a home project, and it doesn't go well, everyone who comes to your house has to SEE that project. Not like you can hide it.

Yesterday I stained the deck--because Tye has a money-making project that he's already been paid for and needs to finish, and our brief indian summer is the only time we will be able to stain a deck to protect it from coming weather (or the wood will turn grey). We bought a tool for staining that seemed like it might protect my back, which has been terrible since the baby, and I spent a total of 3 hours peeling paint off of part of the porch, and staining our deck. The color is great, but it is SOOOO streaky. And I want to cry.

So this begs the question--can I not be good at some things, or does everything have to be an internalized judgment? I can do so many things well that other people can't even attempt! But for some reason, some mundane things I do very badly.

As a liberating exercise, here are some things I don't do well: I never clean as well as others seem to, I don't decorate as well as some, and apparently I am not great at staining decks. I am also not a good driver, honestly. I am not good at moderating my food intake, I eat healthy but way too much, I don't believe in 'correct tools' for anything and therefore frustrate people with my insistence that any tool is what I make it. I don't have a great sense of direction, and have been lost in just about every major city in the western world. I don't let things go. I am too anxious. I am not good at living for today. I can be judgmental. I don't put the cap back on stuff, I don't know how to hang toilet paper, and i don't care. I hate spending money, and have an attack when I have to buy something unexpected. I can't do the butterfly stroke well. I have not been a great aunt. I am not always honest, even when I want to be, and I don't bake.

Now, I am good at almost everything else :) That's not such a bad list, right?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reflections on a freaking good day

I'm not sure what makes a 'good day'. Perhaps a day when you stuck to your diet, took your daughter out for a beautiful walk in the sun, met your husband for a 15 minute lunch during which your daughter laughed (albeit silently) as he suggested someday she might try for a field hockey scholarship to college? Or maybe it was a good day because I had all forms of good expectations--a bright future, possible job coming, watching this beautiful child grow, and my relationship with my husband, as we both get healthier. Either way, I don't have a lot of complaints.

Right before my 32nd birthday I had a devastating fling with someone while doing a show with a director who had a knack for making me feel like crap. I was starting to really enjoy parts of my new york life: I was a leader in a christian artists group I loved, I had good friends, an apartment, a tiny dog. Life was good. But I was sooo lonely. I remember fighting off the feeling that I could just die, in that apartment, and it wouldn't matter. It wouldn't end anyone's life, I wouldn't be longed for or missed. The whole reason I had the fling was because I lost faith that maybe there was a 'right' person out there for me. I had asked God to "break me" so I could finally let go and let the right person find me. It was a life changing day. Be careful what you ask for!

Right after my 33rd birthday I met Tye. I had just written a really scathing letter to an online dating site after breaking it off with a married (I did not know) guy who was weirdly obsessed with tickling I had met on their site. I answered him, figuring I would never even meet a guy that far from NYC.

Right after my 34th birthday Tye asked me to marry him in an O'Charley's (I had the tilapia, it was great) on a night so rainy the streets were empty in Southern Missouri (Rush Limbaugh's hometown, God help me). I used to think "I love him, but I can't be a married person here. I can't be a married person here." Tye was suddenly laid off so they could hire some 22 year old to work for peanuts. We had to move, be careful what you ask for.

On my 35th birthday I was 2 1/2 months pregnant. A few days before I found out I was pregnant I told Tye I thought we should wait until I lost some weight first. Then the smell of coffee started making me want to vomit. Oops.

I know it's early....I've got 4 months left to the 36th birthday, when I'll be a mother of a 6 month old, living in Iowa....and what else? I should be careful what I ask for :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A First or Two

On Nov. 3, I was sitting down to breakfast, my bowl of hot oatmeal perched gently on my arm as I tried to remove dog toys from the chair I wanted to sit in, when I looked across the room at Stevie in her swing (she normally sits in her swing around 9-10am). And Stevie was reaching out, and pulling on a toy with her hands, and smiling. "crap" I muttered, as I tried to capture it on film, and failed. I called my husband who said, "did you film it?" and then told me to try again (which is silly, as babies' tricks only happen once and only when you're not ready).

So it hasn't happened since then.

Yesterday was strange--I worked on the porch, cleaned the house, and designated some afternoon time for "difficult phone calls" including the most difficult one I didn't make--calling our old apartment who is billing us more money than we could ever come up with at this point for the carpet to be replaced. They did that fancy trick where they eat up the whole security deposit with little things we shouldn't be billed for (like painting walls that were in PERFECT condition, and replacing little things here and there which are normal wear & tear after a year in an apartment), and now are charging us for the entire amount of the carpet. I have already yelled at them until they removed other erroneous charges, they were surprisingly nice about that. But back then, I thought I could pay the charge of the carpet. And there is NO WAY in our budget. Blood from a stone, baby. How do we tell them that??

My discovery of a possible artistic life & job about 3 hours from here makes me happy every day. Isn't that crazy? I want to say somehow that having a beautiful daughter and fantastic husband would "do it" and at the end of the day, I am still a person determined to have a life in music. I am less ambitious than I once was, but considering how ambitious I was, that isn't saying much!!

The next step will be getting my husband past the idea of commuting (with Stevie) 3 hours from here. I mean--he will have to adjust, and he knows it. This is part of the deal. The plan was we would move to Iowa, ok, but I would then find a way to do what I've always loved within reasonable distance. And for this, 3 hours is reasonable. Now, I need to just do that lovingly.

Yesterday after nursing, Stevie laid down on my right leg and our 12 pound pomeranian (just about the same weight!) laid down next to her. A few minutes later, Stevie had her arm on Ginger and her face buried in her fur. It was so cute. I attempted some good pics, but it was a hard's one. Those things put me in such a good mood...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Goals and Dancing

me, doing a witch dance

My husband had to work today- elections- so we didn't get to have a weekend. He'll get another day, but I think I missed our two days of play. I'm starting to adjust to not having a 5 day schedule for myself, and it's strange. I don't worry about what time I'm going to bed, or getting up (my husband, a notorious night owl, just had to tell me it's midnight). Everything is scheduled around various needs of the baby, and my individual goals (i.e., laundry, cleaning, part time job work, nurse baby, work out, etc).

I have been reconsidering my original weight loss goals, because I do believe that what would help me now is a new way of doing this weight loss thing. I am remembering what my friend the sports psychologist once told me, "if you want to be successful, make your goals the things you can control, not the things you can't." Soooo...I've decided not to set a goal as "lose 10 pounds by December." Instead my goals are:
-1500 calories a day
-30 min of cardio, 5x a week
-20 min of strength training, 3x a week
-writing down what I eat until I get the feeling for the 1500.

This way, each day I can say, 'oh good, i met my goals' instead of crying on Monday morning that my weight is only down 1/2 a pound.

I was very touched by a dance I saw tonight on a reality show, "so you think you can dance." I swear I am watching more TV than I ever have. I find it interesting that this show's judges (while still seeming crazy) seem to love the art so much more than "american idol", where the judges seem to talk so much more about the business, and what sells. I used to find that show ludicrous, as someone who has auditioned probably 100 times, I just want to roll my eyes at some teenager with no experience "telling off" Simon to a cheering audience. Blech. If there's anything you get rewarded for in the arts, it's biting your tongue while some director insults the hell out of you. I am an expert tongue-biter, honestly. I know that I'd much rather have the job than the moment of false victory that comes with telling off a critic.

That being said, I also started to learn that there a number of people I would just rather not work for, even if I get to sing.

So I saw this moving dance, and I instantly wanted to express something--I wanted to sing, or write a piece of music. I love that feeling, that itch. And I knew the amazing feeling of being a part of that performance I saw tonight, where you know you're in that perfect eye of the storm, still and wonderful, and the music is around you, and you know that the audience must feel it, not at all in the same way you do, that's what's so amazing about performing.

That felt like rambling. I need sleep.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Anxiety and Diabetes


I think I have a problem with anxiety. I suppose knowing you have a problem and dealing with that problem makes it entirely different than people walking around doing nothing and waiting for others to revolve around their issues. I know, however, that I spend wonderful beautiful days off with my husband, but usually, at some point, like today, there is an anxiety thing.

We both want to get in shape. I talk about it daily, and my husband never brings it up. But we both weigh in on Monday mornings, and he is currently sitting next to me, assembling a weight bench, which looks like the building of the taj mahal for some reason. He does this quietly, and would rather I not ask him about it.

When I was in NYC, I worked out all the time. I LOVE exercise. I mean--I don't know when it started, but I just love to move. I love to hike, I love gyms, I love walking for hours, swimming, weights, aerobics. It's crazy how much i love it. But I do not like eating less. I like to eat a lot, and move a lot. And in my case this meant I was an overweight woman in NYC without any health problems. In my case I can exercise like crazy--my clothing size will go down, but the scale will not.

So two years ago I left NYC. I left my 5th floor walkup, I left my gym at work, I left my lonely life where I had tons of time to exercise and replaced it with movie rentals and endless couch snuggling, and ice cream sundaes. And I put on 30 pounds. Love will do that to you. Then I got married. And pregnant. I assumed I would be relatively infertile (for no reason whatsoever) and guess what? That is not true at all. So I was pregnant, and having lots of problems, and diagnosed as a gestational diabetic at 18 weeks. THe same day I felt Stevie move. And I hated myself. It was reason to beat myself up for being fat, being lazy, not knowing every square inch of my health. I was protective during my pregnancy, kept the sugars under tight control, and gave myself...uh....5 injections a day, and pricked my fingers before and after every meal. I didn't eat pancakes. It sucked. I even had to have a fight with an on-call doctor who didn't believe anyone could take as much insulin as I had to (as if I would be lying about wanting more insulin???what's the street value on a drug that you can get without a prescription exactly?)

Pregnancy was HORRIBLE. It was so awful. I was miserable, I was sick all the time, dealing with sugar highs and lows, I had screaming carpal tunnel syndrome that kept me from sleeping. I had skin issues, lip issues, increased body hair. Unbelievable swelling. I am unrecognizable in the hospital pictures. Wow, just remembering it makes me want to cry a little.

I kept my weight from going up. Gained only 18 pounds. And then in the 36th week I suddenly gained 12 pounds from pre-eclampsia. I couldn't wear women's shoes. I was in the hospital over and over, and finally at home on bed rest, and then in the hospital for a c-section.

And the diabetes is still with me. Which brings me back to the health thing. Either Stevie put me "over the edge" or the last year of my changed lifestyle did. Either way, I am dead set on reversing it. I wish this were a logical decision and not an anxiety fest. Tye wants a treamill, I'm anxious about money. I need goals and lists, and motivational pictures, and, and, and ....I'll go out in the damn cold and walk for an hour if I have to, and I'm so mad about every ounce of weight, and why is my shirt fitting loosely and yet I'm only down a pound and why isn't he listening??? He is, but that's the anxiety talking to me. It always sounds like that in my head. Unfortunately, God help me, that doesn't go away with dieting.

I heard a woman say once that she had "comfort pockets" that she went into when life was overwhelming. And her favorite pocket was "I feel fat". She said her other pockets were so much harder to be in than the comfy, familiar self-abuse of 'i feel fat.' God, help me reconcile what that means for me. I need the reality of what I can change, with the awareness that self-abuse has never, and will never be a helpful tool, so much as a shackle, or a place to hide.

The diabetes numbers were nice and low today, by the way. whew.

My Arms Hurt

Stevie is happiest being held. This includes all 24 hours. I can get a good night's sleep if I hold her all night. Kind of. She has a special sense that enables her to feel when I am putting her down, no matter how deep into REM sleep she is. And when she is being set down and is awake enough to know it, she arches her back, so I can't lay her on her back, as I'm supposed to.

THis means that as I write this, I am not exhausted but my shoulders are KILLING me. I figure I'm going to have the biceps of a pro wrestler by the New Year.

When I woke up this morning, she was cuddled by my side, and I watched her wake up as I separated from her. I've never seen anything as entrancing as a baby. She's just stretching, kicking her legs in her footie pajamas, and squinching up her face, and I watch her like she's the final scene in a romantic comedy. I think she may possibly be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Yesterday I got nothing done. The whole day was about the dogs barking, stealing my lunch, and the baby crying to be held. Every time I started doing something, it was derailed. At least I got my 45 minute walk in, and did the dishes. I get partial credit for that, right? I got the baby dressed, and changed, and dressed again, and fed about 10 times, and given her vitamin D supplement. And that's a little short of my goals.

I am starting to have this enormous divide inside me. On one hand, I want to go to work--I want to be back in the music world, and I want to talk about adult stuff with someone besides my husband. But on the other hand, when I think of not seeing Stevie all the time I feel so sad. I feel sad thinking about when I won't be nursing her any longer--I just love that time with her. I love the way I can make all the bad things go away. I really don't want that to stop.

By the way, down 1 pound. That puts me at my STARTING weight (from Sept 19th when I set my goal). I am frustrated. My goal is 10 pounds by Dec. 8, so I now have 10 pounds to lose in 37 days.