Gotta love this time of year

This time of year is tough for everybody. The holidays are over, and winter is settling in. We still have to make it through February, most of us hoping for maybe ONE snowstorm but beyond that, nope, we’re good. Come on if you live in New England you really need to have SOME snow! ahh, but also what comes at this time of year is all the illnesses. In my house, it usually rotates from year to year with only one of the three of us getting something. Not this year, we went for a twofer! Ryleigh got strep and I’m not exactly sure what I had but it was bad!

After R was diagnosed with Strep, I decided I better call my doctor (I have to be careful because of my Chronic Bronchitis). I had been feeling a little off for a week or so but just couldn’t put my finger on it, nothing I could call anyone about. My doctor suspected pneumonia but a chest x-ray ruled that out. That night, though, some freight train came through and slammed into me full-on! Wow, I was down for the count for the next two days in bed, fever, cough, fatigue. Probably a combination of Flu and Strep. I missed classes all week because of it. Luckily it’s only two classes and it’s still early on, so I didn’t miss too much and will be able to catch up.

I’m feeling better now, but this darn cough will end up hanging on for awhile. Usually it can last a month or more, but I’m hoping because I got on antibiotics so quickly that maybe it will be better this time. When I was able to get up and clean the kitchen, Iknew the worst was over. (Sad huh?) The girls hate it when I’m sick, but I hate it when they’re sick too. You never like to see someone you love hurting in any way.

It’s quiet in here this morning. The girls are at Daddy’s, they’ll be home later. The house is realtively clean, which is nice. I put Dixie out this morning and she’s limping. Something is wrong with her back leg. She didn’t cry when I touched it, so I’m thinking that maybe she pulled something, she doesn’t seem to be in pain. She’s getting older though, she’s almost 9. I haven’t been able to bring her to the vet like I should but I think I really need to now. Many years ago, we had a Doberman, and when she was getting to the end, we knew it was close. One day, she collapsed and it was awful, the look in her eyes as she looked at me, I could see she was so scared. It turns out she had cancer and it was all over her body. The best thing we could do for her was to let her go and not be in pain anymore. I just read that cancer is very common in Boxers and it’s one of the leading causes of death. I really hope it doesn’t happen to her.

I’ve been worried about what I’ll do with Dixie when it come time for us to move. She’s not fixed so I can’t bring her to the apartment complex. I could get her fixed but at her age, it seems a little unneccesary. John had said he would take her, but I’m not sure that he meant permanently and even if he did, she is getting older and now is when she could potentially start getting more expensive. I have a lot of thinking to do. I guess the first thing I need to do is find a vet and get her checked out.

The sun is out today. Two years ago we had just had the first of many blizzards that winter. Snowmageddon 2015. Almost 106″ of snow that year. Think about that: that’s almost 9 feet of snow! I got into a car accident and my Camry got totaled. That sucked. It sucked even more when they said *I* was at fault! I fought it though and luckily I won and it was reversed. Talk about serious anxiety that winter, just constant snow for almost two months, driving was awful, the streets were not plowed well and there was nt a lot of wiggle room anywhere. My street was literally ONE car wide for awhile. The state had to have the National Guard come in and help do cleanup! One night I listened to front end loaders all night and the next morning the street was once again two cars wide. Still not ideal, we had HUGE snowbanks and it was really hard to see to get in and out of the driveway. I thought I would have snow in the yard till August that year! (I didn’t, but it lasted quite awhile! I think the last smnall snowpile went away in late May?)

Luckily so far this winter, it’s been much milder. We got through January (almost, 2 days left with no snow forecasted right now), then it’s just February to get through. I’m slowly clearing out the house of all the extra STUFF, I have two classes to finish until graduation and I need to start talking to realtors about the house. It’s getting there, it’s all coming together.

This is Me, Part Two

This me, part two. There are way more than two parts to me, but for right now, these are the two biggest parts. First: Mom and student. The second part is me. Huh? AS a mom I don’t always put myself first, hell, I’m lucky if I’m third, fourth, or fifth! Even being a student, yes that’s for me, but it’s also for my family and my future. Today it’s about me personally and the things I need to do for myself to be happy, healthy and satisfied.

Sometimes I buy myself treats. Nothing extravagant. One: I don’t need it and two, I can’t afford to anyway! So it’s things like a new purse, a little nicer than I usually buy, or maybe a nice teapot and some really good tea. My latest thing was deciding that I need to take care of myself, my body. Ugh, I got on the scale the other day for the first time in awhile and oh dear Lord, TEN pounds more than the last time I weighed myself! No wonder my jeans are really tight lately! I realized something very eye opening, at least for me. When I went back to school, I couldn’t look at how long it was going to take me, I had to just jump in and do it. When I got done, I got done. My weight has always been a struggle for me. I’ve had minor success along the way, but I always put the weight BACK ON, and then some. Today I weigh almost as much as I did just before I delivered the girls. That’s scary. I was carrying TWINS!! The ironic part of that though is that while I was pregnant with them, I was personally losing weight! Yup. I gained 30 lbs while I was pregnant with them and lost 60 when I had them, which means I lost 30 pounds WHILE I was pregnant. I lost another 20 or so after that, but as I just said, sadly I have put ALL of it back on plus. Not good.

What makes it easy for me to ignore (unfortunately) is that what I see inside my head is not nearly as bad as what is really in the mirror, and also medically, my health is actually pretty good! My numbers are all in the healthy range. Sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, all good. Luckily there are some signs telling me that things aren’t as good as my brain thinks. I get tired really easily. Energy? Uhhh, no. Knees? Oh crap, if I have to bend down, it is torture to get back up! My body gets sore easily and my back hurts (Uhhh, yeah! It’s from the ALL that extra weight you idiot!)

I had somewhat of a revelation the other day. It’s been four years since I started school. I’m graduating in May. I didn’t think about WHEN that would happen, only that it would. I got frustrated along the way and wondered if it was all worth it. I needed pep talks from friends, family, faculty, advisors, anybody who would help, and I got through it. The revelation was, WHY couldn’t I apply this to my weight loss journey too? Weight Watchers tells you that all the time and I heard it, but I didn’t HEAR it. Do you know what I mean? Going to school, I really don’t do well with online classes. I NEED that interaction, the immediate feedback, the ability to ask questions and get answers now. THta’s how I felt about Weight Watchers too. I do much better when I go to meetings. Unfortunately, that’s just not an option right now. Just not in my budget. But, with a little rearranging, I can do the online program. I’ve done this program so many times that I know what I have to do but doing it on my own, there is no accountability to anyone but my brain and I can trick that very easily. My brain got smart though and said, Nope, not this time! This time you’re going to take it a step at a time, just like you did with school. Do online for now and if you can, go to meetings later. Hold yourself accountable, track the food, honestly and completely, the only one you’re lying to if you don’t is yourself!

Last night I made dinner for the three of us and made a Weight Watchers chicken recipe. The girls loved it. (Ryleigh’s throat is sore so she complained that the spices “burned” her throat but there wasn’t anything in it that was “spicy” in it!) The trick this time for being successful at this program is to make it something we all do, we all eat the same food, not a special meal for me and one for them. It’s finding the things I like and trying them in new ways. For now, it means avoiding my trigger foods: crunchy, salty, fatty chips and soft chewy candy.

The other thing I really need to watch out for is getting to the point where I just don’t care and I want it NOW and I want the chips or the Twizzlers. I have to be stronger than that and make sure that I have good alternatives on hand to get myself past that urge. I want and need to keep myself accountable. I have to take this one step at a time. The goal is there. I just need to remember that and at least keep it in sight, but not worry about how long it’s going to take to get there.

This is me

This is me. Today, January 22, 2017. Well, the picture wasn’t taken today, it’s from a few months ago in actuality. But it’s still me pretty recently. But I really like it. I don’t always like my selfies. Takes me about, oh ten or so pictures to decide on one.

I am a mom and a student. I guess for the time being I’m a graphic designer too but that is slowly going away. I’ve been a graphic designer, officially for more than 30 years, since before I graduated from high school. But I really started to become disenchanted with what I had always loved doing. It just wasn’t as much fun as it used to be. On top of that, a few years ago though my life was in chaos, I wasn’t happy personally or professionally. My personal life was a complete mess, separated for almost eight years with two young girls and no idea what was going to happen. Looking back, I did know, I just couldn’t and wouldn’t admit it to myself. Or anyone else for that matter. Eventually of course I had to not only admit it, but face it. Once I did though, there was no looking back for me, only forward.

I went back to school to complete what I didn’t the first time around, only this time I had a totally different outlook, different reasons for going and a new profession to look forward to. I decided I wanted to teach. In the space of only a few short weeks, I applied to North Shore Community College (NSCC) and started classes. Four years later, I will be graduating in May. Yup, two year school took me four years. But I had to do it part time so it is what it is! Most importantly, I’M GRADUATING! When I started that first semester I decided that I couldn’t look at how long it was going to take me, I just had to take it one semester at a time and just do the best I could. And that is exactly what I did.

So why am I writing this? Who am I writing it for? Well, right now it’s for me. I’m writing this so when I look back on it later, years from now, I’ll know what my mindset was. I can’t imagaine I’ll ever forget what this feels like but in time, memories do fade, or the details get fuzzy. We lose the day to day feelings, the big stuff, we remember that but the little things get forgotten. I try to take time every now and then to just take in an ordinary moment and imprint in into my memory. When I was younger, I used to keep a journal and now I like going back and reading what the 12-, 13-, 17-year-old me had to say. Maybe this is for my girls, so that someday they’ll have a record of things from my perspective. Who knows, maybe I’ll even put this out there for anybody to read.

I have two classes left this semester until I graduate. The girls will be graduating from elementary school. (My God, I am going to have Middle-schoolers??) Our house is going to be sold. Aside from the girls it’s the only thing left of my marriage and I’m finally at a point where I’m ready and eager to let go of that. We’re moving to New Hampshire hopefully in early July and we’ll be starting a whole new life.

I’ll be going to Southern New Hampshire University to finish my degree and become a teacher (still debating, it’s between Middle school ELA and Middle School science, leaning towards Science right now). The girls will be in 6th grade, middle school. We’ll be living in an apartment and I can’t wait!

My girls…they are my world, my love, my LIFE. Plain and simple. Ryleigh and Brenna. My amazing, beautiful, smart, funny daughters. AlI ever really wanted in life was to be a Mom. I wanted my career too, but being a mom…that was number one. It didn’t look like it would happen for awhile. That’s a whole other story for another time, but the end result is, I got to be a MOM and that’s what drives me everyday. Raising them to be responsible, self-sufficient, confident women is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it has been the one challenge that I just say “Bring..It..On!!!” I went back to school, not only for me, but for them too. I want them to know that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. It takes hard word and determination, no one just hands it to you, you have to want it and work for it.

Part of me could just keep writing and writing. But I need to stop for now. When I write, I want to stay focused on one thing. It’s far too easy to go off on tangents and lose the original point.

So, this is me.