Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sad I've Been Gone?



OK, I’m gonna lay it on the line here. I am a neglectful, absentee blogger. At least recently. Here it is, the middle of June and I haven’t written anything in four months. The gaps just seem to be getting bigger, don’t they? In my defense, I have a full time job, four children under the age of five, and I’m trying to lose weight. If that doesn’t qualify as ‘being busy’ then I don’t believe anything does.

Let me try and fill in this gap of time here. My last post was on Ella’s one week birthday. A few weeks after that I learned that the Board of Education, my employer, was implementing a Reduction In Force due to budget cuts. Some 120 people were going to be laid off. One Friday I got a call from work about my leave and health insurance. I was told that since I would not be receiving a check that month that I needed to come in and pay my insurance out of pocket. Ha! Yeah, right, like I have $450 just laying around unclaimed. So I told them to cancel it. I was then transferred to the administrator of my department. He informed me that as of the new school year, July 1, my position would no longer exist. Did…did I just get RIFed? You sure did! When I got back from maternity leave I would have about a month and a half of work and then that was it.

So this is what my life looked like three months ago. Three kids, new baby, soon to be unemployed, and essentially a single parent. Oh, yeah, I never mentioned that one. Dave moved out right before Christmas. The day of the Sandy Hook shooting in fact. Now I’ll always remember both of those events. 

He was there when I had Ella, though, but that’s a different story altogether. It’s a good one, too, that I will be telling. I think hers is my favorite of all my birth stories.

Sorry, tangent.

Anyway, that was what was going on. So I started trying to figure out what to do. I kinda saw this coming so it wasn’t a total shock. Here I was at a crossroads. What to do? Try to find a job that makes what I make now? Maybe go to school? I decided to draw unemployment and go back to school. The hard part there is go to school for what? I know what I want to do, and while there is a possibility to make very good money at it, it is by no means a guarantee. I need a guarantee.

I had planned to go to school for Public Relations and Journalism, maybe get paid for doing this very thing I’m doing right now. My mother has been suggesting the medical field to me once a week for I don’t know how long. It’s true, you can always find listings for RNs in the paper and online. Could I do that, though? Is that something I would be able to force myself to do?

Full disclosure: I love hospitals. I always have. I know it’s weird to some people, but that’s just me. Dave, for example, doesn’t ever want to go in hospitals and he even has to force himself to when I have a baby. He should not be a nurse. I like hospitals. Does that mean I would be a good candidate? It means that I wouldn’t dread going to work because of the atmosphere, but could I do the actual work?

I finally came to the conclusion that the amount of money I would make would be decent compensation for the things I might have to do. I like people and the helping of them. I have four kids so I’m pretty used to taking care of people. This way I could get paid for it. Is being a nurse my calling in life? No. However, I no longer have the luxury of doing the things that I want to do for myself. I have small children and I would like to be able to buy them shoes before their toes start coming through the ends of the ones they are wearing. Hell, I’d like to be able to buy them shoes AFTER their toes start coming through the ends of the ones they’re wearing. So far writing a blog hasn’t afforded me that, so as much as I like it, it’s just not paying the bills. Being a nurse would. I just can’t think of another occupation that I can achieve within three years of schooling that can pay me as much as an RN will.
Oops, another tangent.

…what was I even saying?

Oh! Anyway, so here I sit at what will be my desk for another two weeks. When I leave on June 28 I will be four days away from having worked here for six years, the longest I’ve ever worked anywhere. I don’t think anyone will notice I’m gone.

School has been out for three weeks and my parents have sacrificingly agreed to watch them all until I get the boot at the end of the month. I appreciate it so very much yet at the same time feel guilty that I have to even ask it. I realize now why parents are always so much more excited than their kids when school starts back. Connor is already asking to go back to school, though. I don’t think that’ll last too many more years. He will be in Kindergarten next year. It doesn’t seem like I should have a kid in Kindergarten. But my oldest nephew just turned fourteen and I kept him two weeks after he was born so that’s not right either.

However, last week I was mistaken for one of the teenagers taking driver’s ed at the Board this year. I think I’m ahead of the curve.

I will briefly touch on the fact that I am something of a single parent right now. There, I think that’ll do. It is what it is, and while it’s nice to have an extra pair of hands at times, the only way I am struggling is financially. Sometimes I hear “I don’t know how you do it!” Thanks and all, but…what are my options?

I am also waging my war on fat yet again. This is not baby weight. This is Easter candy weight. I sabotaged myself this time. True to form, two weeks after having Ella I weighed ten pounds less than I started. It was the consumption of Easter candy that caused this weight gain. I was actually told later that some people thought I looked sick. My body did what it always does and set up me up for a good looking summer but I went and made it go all funhouse mirror on me. I think this time was the hardest it’s ever been to start back dieting. I’ll save that for another post. I will entitle it ‘My Love/Hate Relationship with Cadbury.’

Hopefully, now that I will have ample time on my hands thanks to the Board of Education, I will be writing more. Tell your friends! And then they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends… And so on...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Where Was I?

So I noticed today that my last actual blog post was before Christmas. In my defense, a lot has happened since then. But any blogger worth her virtual salt would tell you that just means you had more to write about. Yeah, yeah.

When last we left I was incubating yet another little person. I'm done with that one now and she is a week old. Or will be in about three and a half hours. I totally plan on writing about what happened over the last three months, because it is totally worth reading, but for now I give you Estella Grace.

(This is also my way of proving that I do know how to post pictures when I have the means.)



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Name That Baby!

Perhaps you have heard that I am working on a new baby. In all fairness I’m sure no one is surprised. Yes, it’s true. I am 28 weeks today. I believe it is the first week of the third trimester. You know what that means. Time to start getting uncomfortable again! But for the last time…presumably.

If you were not previously aware, this baby is a girl. I always thought naming girls would be easier than naming boys. That doesn’t seem to have been the case here. Both the boys had their names as soon as we knew what they were, or earlier in the case of Sully. Lily took a little longer. This one is proving much more problematic.

I had a girl name I liked picked out before we knew she was a she. Dave went with it, I guess not thinking that it might actually be a girl. As soon as the ultrasound tech told us and left the room he vetoed it. So uncool. That name was Estella Grace, to be called Ella. I still like it and it’s still what Connor is stuck on as he seems to be telling everyone that’s her name. Never ask a four year old to keep a secret.

From there we went to Isla Odessa. I like it, but unfortunately there are some issues with each of those names. If your spouse can’t remember how to say the baby’s name, that’s a red flag. It’s supposed to be pronounced ‘EYE-la’ but mostly he says it ‘EEE-la.’ He still spells Lily with too many l’s to this day so let’s not have him saying his next kid’s name wrong. The problem with Odessa comes from my mom who knew an Odessa, but she was the hired help.

Or maybe she was the ill-tempered poodle. Either way, bad connotations there.

Dave keeps suggesting Bridget. My mind goes straight to Bridget Jones, which I like as a book. However, when I see my new baby I don’t want to automatically see her as a slightly overweight, alcoholic British woman. I think that’s fair.

He likes it, though, so I was open to compromise. I told him that we could use it as long as we didn’t call her that. He seemed ok with that. And also I got to pick the spelling. Deal. So our latest incarnation is Brigitte Indiana whom we would call Indi. I liked it at first. I have wanted to name a girl Indiana for a long time. Unfortunately, it never occurred to me that it just might not work, maybe because I never thought I’d get to do it. Now that I have, though, I don’t really like it. It doesn’t flow, it doesn’t fit with the others’ names. It’s just kind of…off.

So now I’m back to Nameberry.com, hunting for the right name. There are a few that I like, but there’s always a problem. Maybe somebody already named their kid that. It’s her middle name, but I do not want them to think that they had any influence whatsoever in the naming of my child. Just trust me on this. If anything I’m mad at them for taking my name before I got to use it.

Or it’s the name of a girl that Dave knew once who used to do, well, let’s just say she did bad things.

Or it’s somebody’s ill-tempered poodle.

I’ve been sending Dave lists of names today via text and I’m sure every time his pocket quacks he’s cussing me. He’s at work. Most of the names I’ve picked are fairly classic, but then there’s a few that are definitely ones you’d remember. They would lend themselves to good nicknames, though. I’m sure if it continues like this for much longer I will be forced to poll the audience. So stay tuned!

Also it has occurred to me that while I’m sure no one wants to buy more of my offspring MORE baby shower stuff, I sure do miss the food that comes with the gathering. So I have decided that it would be most awesome if there was a kind of you-don’t-have-to-bring-a-gift baby shower. There would still be food, but more people would come because it’s free cake and punch, dude! And also no stupid games that I can’t stand. It’s win-win! Of course, if someone just WANTED to bring a gift I wouldn’t refuse it. That’s just bad manners, after all.

The invitation would probably be via Facebook, but not in status form. I’m not real sure about a Facebook baby shower open invitation. There’s no telling who might show up as you’re essentially inviting everyone on your friend list. How many of those people do you really know? One would assume that only the people you intend to come would see it as a clear invite, but you never know. Maybe that piercer/tattoo artist guy has a day off and wants to score some buttercream frosted goodness and some fizzy pineapple punch. Hey, you invited him…and 462 other people. Hope you ordered a big cake.

RSVP?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hey, The Tooth Hurts

Hey! Let's try this again shall we? I was told by a few people that this post didn't make a whole lot of sense so I fixed it. It should make total sense now. As much as it ever did.


Believe it or not I have actually written several blogs posts over the last month. However, I cannot actually prove that because I have posted approximately none of them. For whatever reasons, after having written them they just did not seem worth putting up. That’s comforting, right? I have actually been saving you from subpar writing in the month of October. October held Halloween, which spawned almost a full week of stomach viruses, and my 29th birthday, which went by almost totally unnoticed. So I guess I’ll have to wait another year on that full day at Spa Sydell.

Although it can’t be counted as happening in October, something somewhat big did happen. On November 2, I had a tooth pulled. That may not sound very big to anyone else, but it was huge for me. Over the last six or seven years I have seen Dave get a few teeth pulled and I also saw all the suffering that led up to said extractions. In the meantime, one of my molars was quietly chipping away in the back, the #31 to be exact. Oh, that’s right, I’m dentally literate.

After so long that tooth started to hurt on occasion, which led to my ultimate boycott of Kettle Chips. Damn, those things are crunchy. Then about a quarter of it just. Broke. Off. O holy Jesus. Luckily no one saw my imminent panic and freak out. So from then on I did my best to chew only on the left and keep all food debris out of said tooth hole. This led to my boycott of Milky Way bars. Damn, those things are sweet.

Time went by and I adjusted my eating to the gaping chasm in my tooth. Don’t ever let a holey tooth run your life. Then you can’t eat things like Kettle Chips and Milky Ways. I’m starting to wonder how I managed to lose twenty pounds.

With the onset of the Halloween stomach virus I had a thoroughly miserable week. First Connor got it and then Lily got it. Then Sully and Dave on the same day. That very night I chomped down on a French fry that would render me helpless and whiny for the next two days. Late that night as I tried to go to sleep I writhed in pain and I sobbed, having never felt comparable pain to what was going on in my lower molar region. I’ve heard people say that mouth pain is unlike any other kind of pain. They’re right.

Into the night I became the next to fall victim to the stomach virus. So I had two types of discomfort going on and I still managed to be mommy the next day while Dave went to work. Let’s face it, Mama has limited options. I ate nothing all that day. I just couldn’t. I can cope much easier with an empty stomach than with a throbbing face. That damn tooth made my throat and ear hurt right along with it. Misery loves company I guess.

I did not go to work the next day. I called around to dentist offices begging someone to fit me in. I ended up being accepted to the place I had intended to go to all along, as they had done Dave’s dental work and he loved them. However. There’s always a however. I had to have permission from my OBGYN for them to pull that confounded tooth. Written consent. So I called the doctor’s office and got a busy signal. I got that busy signal every time I called for almost two hours. This place has an automated answering system, there’s no reason for a busy signal. So I had to take Lily with me and actually go to the office. I told them I had been calling and they said yeah, their phones were down.



You don’t say!

They gave me what they would’ve faxed to the dentist, which just ended up being a list of medications I couldn’t have. Sigh. Shortly thereafter my mother picked me and Lily up and we went to the dentist. They worked me in and I was out of there within an hour and a half. They are awesome.

I could give a pretty long narrative about that hour and a half spent at the dentist, but I think I’ll save that for another post. I will say, however, that they really need to pick a different wallpaper in some of those rooms. It tripped me out, yo. But when all is said and done I am very proud of myself for doing the one thing I had been dreading for years. Now another tooth hurts.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Today I am 26 weeks pregnant. Depending on which online birth calendars you are reading, next week will be the first week of the third, and hopefully last, trimester. If you’re reading a different one, that starts at 28 weeks. Why can’t they agree on that? I guess it’s in line with that whole nine months or forty weeks debacle.

I am finally wearing some maternity clothes, you’ll be happy to hear. Mostly just one pair of pants. I got them for my birthday, they are size small, and for some reason they blouse out in the back. Y’know how when you were a kid you would wear a t-shirt in the pool and it would get that Quasimodo air hump in the back when you swam? No? Just me? Well, it’s kinda like that. Like there’s supposed to be more of me back there to fill it out. Oh, well, they fit everywhere else. I’m not really complaining. A shirt almost always covers it.

Our still tentatively named baby girl is very active. Unfortunately, the shine is off the apple in that area as I guess Dave feels that you’ve felt one baby kick, you’ve felt ‘em all. I guess he’s right. But I am keen to remember that this will be the last baby occupying this space. It will! Don’t laugh!! I’ve never said that before!

I have still not gotten any pictures taken of myself. Even just the stupid bathroom mirror ones that let you see how extremely messy my bathroom is with the crayon on the walls and what looks to be a toothpaste handprint on the mirror. Oh, like your bathroom’s perfect. I’m going to petition Rosa to take some before it gets too cold, for that, too, is upon us.

As much as I love Christmas, it is wreaking havoc on my pregnant hormones. I have been turning on Pandora on the Christmas music station and at least one song per listening makes me cry. You all know how much I like to cry, let alone admit to it. I just love Michael Buble, apparently so much that I feel the need to weep over it.

One last interesting pregnant side effect: I no longer seem to have much control over my arms and hands. I have sustained about half a dozen bruises in the last two days simply from my hands, elbows, and arms just kinda doing what they want. I could do without it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Uterus is Half Full...Half Empty?

Twenty weeks, boys and girls.  That’s how pregnant I am.  Halfway.  I wish I could say that it feels like just yesterday that I found out I was pregnant, but I’d be lying.  A lot.  I found out I was pregnant at five weeks and it feels like every bit of fifteen weeks since then.  That’s ok.  I can’t imagine it’ll be the same from here on out, but you never know.

Before I got out of bed this morning I was trying to think of something cute to post today to commemorate the halfway mark.  The only thing that really came to mind was posting pictures of food that I could probably only eat half of.  I’m just going to say I was still asleep at that point.

It seems like over the last weekend I all of a sudden got pregnant.  Not make sense?  On Friday I felt like I always have for the past four or five months.  By Monday I felt pregnant.  Twinge in the back, hard to get up, can’t catch a breath pregnant.  WTF?  What just happened here?  I believe I am now showing.  I should be at five months, grumble grumble.   Though I did have a dream last night where my OB told me I had lost more weight.  It wouldn’t surprise me if it were true.  That seems to be how I roll.

Now when I go to get out of my chair at work the first couple steps are pretty funny to witness.  The first footfall is accompanied by a sharp pain in my lower back, the second is my other knee buckling, but by the third or fourth step I’m all right and walking normally.  The process to get to that, however, is entertaining.  Usually by lunch time my back is aching as I sit.  I have a little pillow to put behind me, but my damn chair has a gap between the back and seat cushions and usually it just gets wedged between them and does me no good whatsoever.  It gets better if I get up and walk, but too much of that starts to hurt, too.  I remember this game.  It’s called “You’re Not Going to Win, Stupid, So Quit Trying.”  I’ll lose for another few months but I will triumph in the end.

So now apparently I’m pregnant, yet still sitting pretty in my size 6 Old Navy jeans.  That’s right, homey.  Still not wearing maternity.  I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone into a pregnancy without wearing any maternity at all.  I’m all right with it.  Somewhat out of character, my husband told me a few days ago that in the next few weeks he wanted to take me shopping for maternity clothes.  He quickly added that I couldn’t go anywhere where t-shirts are, like, $50.  So I said Motherhood and he said even they were too expensive.  New flash, Ace, they’re the cheapest it’s gonna get unless you go to Wal-Mart and, sorry, but no.  Some things are fine to buy at Wal-Mart, maternity is not one of those.  Oh, well, it’s the thought that counts.

Last week at my trip to the perinatologist in Atlanta, the little doctor man told me that my placenta was low and that there was a pocket of blood beneath and on top of it.  The ultrasound tech who scanned me before he came in had asked if I had had any bleeding.  I asked her if that was a common question they ask or if there was something on the screen indicating that.  I don’t think she quite knew how to answer that as she stuttered a little.  She explained what the doctor would also tell me later on which made total sense to me.  If, when all that mess was happening, they had just given me an ultrasound like I wanted we could have all seen what was going on and that would have taken care of it.

I understand the concept of low-lying placenta.  When you start spouting off phrases like ‘blood lake’ it’s pretty obvious that you think I’m an idiot who can’t comprehend terms like subchorionic hematoma and placenta previa.  To be fair, most women have no idea what those things are, but I happen to so, yeah, I felt a little pandered to.

The guy didn’t say placenta previa exactly, just low-lying placenta, but I know that’s close.  He also said that since there’s blood beneath it that it was possible that I might bleed again before it’s all over.  OK, but the reason will be obvious this time and it won’t be nearly as alarming.  He told me no (and this is a direct quote because I would never say this) ‘hanky panky’ for the next like two months.  How hard is it to say pelvic rest?  You just have to make yourself sound as old as possible?  He went on to say no exercise or working out.  I know Dave saw the look on my face after he said that, even if the doctor didn’t notice.  It was shock mixed with “Yeah, right, I’ll try THAT.”  I will not be stopping any kind of exercise that I feel comfortable doing.  He can just get over it.  I know the risk involved, that there could be bleeding afterward, but no one led me to believe that it would be at all detrimental.  He finished up by saying I should have another ultrasound around 26 weeks to make sure it had ‘healed up.’  Uhh, is this a wound I’m not aware of?  I have my routine anatomy scan in town in two weeks.  I’ll just ask then.

So yesterday at work I looked up placenta previa and read up on it, even though no one said that I had it.  Just good to have all the information.  I tried to tell Dave about it last night and I knew I shouldn’t have, but did it anyway.  He’s always convinced that I’m going to die giving birth, so why I gave him one more pebble to add to that nest I’m just not sure.  He partially heard me as he was playing guitar with a look of utmost panic on his face.  I think the only thing he heard me say was that extreme loss of blood and death could occur.  I added that it wasn’t likely, but he was already focusing on how he was going to raise four kids on his own and plan my funeral.  Oh, well.

I also told him that this time around I wanted to see if I could do it without an epidural and he looked at me like I was the stupidest person in the world and asked me why I would want to do that.  I can’t really blame him.  In the past, I myself have talked about how pointless it is to give birth without pain meds these days.  If you don’t have to feel it, why would you want to?  I get to answer my own question on that now.  Because even after having three children, I don’t know what five centimeters and onward feels like.  I’m not saying I won’t change my mind at the time, and if I do I’m not going to feel bad or ashamed or that my birth was “stolen” from me.  Ugh.

I told him about water birth and he told me no, that the baby would drown.  Initially I thought this, too, l but then I read up on it.  I explained how it worked but he still looked skeptical, like he wanted to believe me but that there was no way that was true.  It doesn’t matter anyway because there are no facilities nearby that offer that and we don’t have the space at home, nor do I have the desire to do that at home.  Dave didn’t want to clean up after it.

I also mentioned that sometimes placenta previa makes a c-section necessary and he said something about how it’s getting harder and harder for women to have babies the normal way.  I corrected him and said that it’s no harder now than it ever was, there’s just a lot of medical intervention and impatient doctors now who want to get home to eat dinner and watch Honey Boo Boo.  I mentioned alarming c-section rates and then just changed the subject.  I don’t think he quite understood what I was saying.  Even on topics like this, he’s convinced that he’s right and there’s no point in challenging him.

So as much as I might like to do things differently this time around I probably won’t get to.  At your first OB visit now they make you sign a contract that agrees with all the things they require you let them do including constant fetal monitoring and an IV.  You are not allowed to walk around and you must lie on your back pretty much the entire time.  My only way to combat these ridiculous conditions is to labor for as long as possible at home and go to the hospital at the last possible minute.  I’ve never done that before.  My first labor started with my water breaking and I was induced for the other two.  No induction this time.  Let’s just see what we get dealt.

Oh, and Craver baby #4 is a girl.

Monday, October 1, 2012

When I Grow Up

Remember this?  When Do I Have To Grow Up By?  No?  Go back and read it then.

The main idea of the aforementioned post has not really changed in the two years since it was written.  The only thing that has changed is the number of job possibilities that have newly sprung into my head since that time.  Yes, there’s more now.  It doesn’t help me in the least.  In lots of situations limits provide us with freedom.  There are no limits here.  I wish there was somebody you could pay to pick two or three of the choices in your mind and just say “OK, these are your only choices.  Pick one and shut up.”

One of my newer job revelations is actually something I’ve been interested in for a very long time.  It just never occurred to me that it could be a career.  For years one of the things that has almost always been on my mind is physical appearance.  I do know how shallow that sounds, yes, but hear me out.  You’re lying if you say you’ve never been concerned with your own appearance.  Losing weight, diet, nutrition, cardio, weights, all that has always been a preoccupation of mine.

When I became a Zumba instructor I realized how much I enjoy helping people get into better shape.  A few months later I decided that I would buckle down and stop silently complaining to myself about the changes I wanted to make and do it.  That’s what Dave has always told me.  Any time I would say how I wanted to run a mile in ten minutes or how I wanted to lose thirty pounds, he would tell me to stop talking about it and just do it.  It seemed kind of mean at the time, but it was good advice.  Especially since I got to use it on him later on when he complained that his chest wasn’t big enough.

Not long into my Zumba classes I had a few people asking for help and advice on losing weight.  So I told them what I knew and had read and sent them on their way hoping to have helped.  However, as they thanked me and turned to leave I wondered if I should have added “but I’m not a professional!”  Why would I want to say that?  I don’t know, so that maybe if my instructions didn’t work they couldn’t quite blame me?  No, I knew that my advice was actually good and I don’t think a certified professional would have given much different gospel.  I just didn’t feel like I had earned the right to dispense it.

Around the same time as my classes started I decided to stop talking about it and do it.  My goal was to lose thirty pounds in six months, a goal I felt was reasonable.  Five pounds a month is a little more than a pound a week and that’s not considered unhealthy.  I had already prepared myself that it wasn’t going to be instantaneous.  Results were not going to be obvious but that they would come.  And they did.  I recorded my measurements each month or so and only weighed myself about as often.  Daily weight fluctuates with water and, for women, cycle and I don’t think it is mentally healthy to weigh yourself daily, nor is it safe for your scale after you fling it through the window and into the street.

I won’t get into the little details, but I used what I knew and somehow manifested some will power and I managed to lose twenty two pounds.  However, the inches lost far outweighed the weight loss.  I lost 38.5 inches total from my body.  That’s more than three feet of space.  To me that’s just astonishing.

I wanted to be able to help other people achieve that.  I looked into becoming a personal trainer and dietician.  There wasn’t really any official schooling involved.  All you really have to do is buy the books, study, and take the test through ACE or AFAA.  Yeah, it’s not cheap but it’s much more affordable than a four year degree.  So for a while that was what I wanted to do.  Then of course my mind changed because of what was going on.  I went back to writing and thought perhaps that was the path for me.  I really hate how indecisive I am.

When I got pregnant in June of this year my fitness and weight loss goals obviously had to be put on hiatus.  A lot of people might consider pregnancy and the state right after giving birth to be a huge setback in a journey of weight loss.  I am fortunate enough to see it much differently.  I see it as a fresh start, which is exactly what I needed.  Right before I got pregnant my attention and determination had waned considerably and I stopped doing what needed to be done.  I had a brief surge in my motivation and it is reflected in my June measurements as they were my smallest to date, but then I got pregnant.

If you’ve read my posts then you know when I get pregnant I start getting all kinds of ideas about doing things that I can’t while pregnant.  Running being the most prevalent.  This time around it has extended to burlesque dancing.  Definitely not something you want to see a pregnant chick doing.  I feel that this is kind of like that, but not really.  This is something that I’ve thought about before, the only different is that I want the formal education that goes with it.

Recently I read a pretty popular article on MSN and Huffington Post.  That article stated that by the year 2030 that 50% of Americans are projected to be obese.  That’s half, yo.  HALF.  That’s like one out of every married couple.  Does that scare anyone else?  That said to me that healthcare is going to be an even more stable field to work in firstly.  With the fat comes the disease; high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, all manner of debilitating health issues. 

I know I won’t be part of that 50%.  That probably sounds arrogant, but here’s why I say that:  I won’t be part of the obese 50% of Americans because I won’t allow myself to be.  That’s why I am so confident in saying that.  Moreover, I won’t allow my kids to be in that number either.

That number petrified me when I read it and it inspired me to want to help beat that number back even more.  Half the population being fat is simply unacceptable.  I told Dave all this a few nights ago and he said something to me that pushed me more, though I don’t think he meant it to.  He said “I know what your thing is now.  Your goal.  You are waging a war on fat.”  I can’t help but think he said this to make it sound a little frivolous and stupid, but he was right.  There it was.  Never able to really put it in words (Shocking, I know) Dave was able to.  Sean, our roommate, made it even better when he said that it was a good war to fight.  It’s true.  Someone is going to have to battle this.  Really, it looks like half of the country is going to have to battle it, but someone has to guide the resistance.  Why not me?

I know how to lose weight.  I can tell you how, but I can’t make you do it.  That’s the hard part.  I’m going to be reading and researching and studying all this anyway, why not do it for a living?

As for writing, I can still do that.  See?  I just proved it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gotta Have A Gimmick

So here’s the thing.  With pretty much every pregnancy of mine, somewhere towards the middle to end I get the itchy feet.  Not literally.  I’m not over here hopping around with Athlete’s Foot or anything.  I get antsy.  Slowly, the physical things I can put myself through diminish.  They become fewer and fewer until it’s all I can do to get out of bed and go through the motions.  That’s the bitter end usually.  As that starts to happen I start to develop delusions of grandeur.  Usually this involves running.  A 5K, 10K, marathon, whatever.  As I dream of this, though, there is a voice in the back of my head reminding me “dude…you hate running.”  I mean, it’s whispered but I can still hear it.  Yes, it’s true, I hate running.  I really want to like it, though.

This time, however, as I am a day away from being 18 weeks, the itch has begun but it’s not running I’m thinking of.  Usually I don’t start to think of things I physically can’t do until…well, I physically can’t do them.  There’s not really anything like that yet.  Almost at the halfway mark and I’m still working out every week.  Maybe not as many times as I was six months ago, but I’m still there doing Zumba and lifting weights. 

People still can’t really tell that I’m pregnant, which is actually kind of disconcerting.  I rant on this a good bit because I don’t really understand it.  With all of my other pregnancies I started out weighing between 150 and 160, overweight by medical and statistical standards.  I would gain very little weight, have an average size baby, and two weeks later weigh ten pounds less than I started.  It was a great thing.  My body seems to have the innate ability to use everything I have already in stock before it starts requiring outside inventory.  Every other time, though, I was showing by now, and that’s even with having been overweight.  My mother insists that I was not overweight, but I’m 5’4.”  That is not tall enough to comfortably weigh 160 unless you can also bench press 160.  I could not.  Sorry, I was overweight.  I’m ok with it, you should be, too.

A year ago I began recording my weight and measurements, started using MyFitnessPal to log what I was eating and keep track of the calories, and I started to lose weight.  All it took was a conscious effort and it started happening.  When I started doing that on August 19, 2011 I weighed 152.  When I got pregnant in May of this year I weighed 132.  Granted still ten pounds shy of my goal, but I’m not really sure even now what that might’ve looked like. 

The point is I weighed about 20-30 pounds less than I usually do upon getting pregnant.  I needed to prepare myself for what my body might be about to do.  Surely, I wouldn’t gain such minimal weight this time around because there wasn’t excess laying around for my body to use.  I figured I’d start gaining weight pretty early on and start showing a lot sooner, this being my fourth and all.  Oh, life, you continue to teach me that I really don’t know crap.

I have kept recording my measurements every month and I let my doctor’s office watch my weight.  As of my last week’s appointment I have gained 16.5 inches and LOST two pounds.  WTF?  If you understand that, then please explain it in the comments.  So I’ve gotten bigger and yet I’ve lost weight.  See why I’m so baffled?  And to top it off, I still don’t need maternity clothes and most people have no idea that I’m pregnant.  Though I believe I am now at the point where it looks like I’m just getting chubby.  Everyone’s least favorite phase of pregnancy.  So maybe, just maybe, I’ll be showing my Thanksgiving.

I know it sounds like I’m just bitching and that the women who gain 50 pounds would love to have my problem.  I asked the doctor last week if my weight was anything to be concerned about.  My weight has been the same up to last week where it dipped slightly.  His answer made me recall that this guy is a hippie.  He said he wasn’t worried and then he said he’d tell me the story of one of his favorite patients.  He said that this woman got pregnant and started off not feeling well so she lost 70 pounds.  Not 7, SEVENTY.  He had to clarify that number.  Meanwhile I didn’t think I had misheard him, I was just noting that she had seventy pounds to spare.  He said then she started to feel better and she gained 140 pounds.  So in my head I’m thinking, so she actually just gained 70 pounds total.  He went on and said that you’d think that severe weight loss and then gain would have hurt the baby, but she had a perfectly healthy seven pound baby.  So my inner monologue is commenting that she must’ve still had like sixty pounds to lose.  I know that’s not why he told me that, but it’s just where my head goes.  So clearly he’s not going to worry about my paltry little two pound weight loss.  My body is totally efficient, perhaps a little too efficient, but it takes care of itself pretty much without my knowledge or consent.

I realize I’ve gotten off on quite the tangent here.  I’ve written a post within a post.  It’s postception.  Enjoy your two for one blog entry!

Annnnnnyway…

My crazy thing I’m planning for my fourth and final pregnancy?  Nope, it’s not running.  It’s burlesque.  Let me just clarify briefly here, that Cher-Christina Aguilera movie that came out a few years ago?  That is not burlesque.  That’s just a big flashy movie that people didn’t watch.  Real burlesque roots go back to the turn of the century.  Wait…two turns of the century?  Not this last one, the one before.  It has enjoyed a revival in the last twenty years thanks to entertainers like Dita Von Teese.  Even if you don’t know burlesque, you know who Dita is.

Burlesque troops have sprung up in key places like Vegas, New York and Texas among others, resurrecting and reinventing burlesque.  Sadly, Atlanta has not really taken up the call to burlesque.  It’s not the hub that Austin or Dallas is, though it really could be.  Burlesque is comedy, and music, and of course, girls.  Have you got where I’m going with this yet?

I know that you’ve probably never even heard of someone saying that after they have their fourth child they’re going to embark on a career of scantily clad dancing.  Don’t worry; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say it either.  So I’m the first!  Hard to equate this with running 26.2 miles, isn’t it?  It’s challenging in so many more ways.  Not only do you have to be in pretty good shape, you have to be creative, you have to dance, you have to have confidence, and most importantly you have to be able to accept your body.  That’s the great thing about burlesque.  Some of the best performers are not the rail thin, socially sought after forms.  These are girls that have a little something to them, and their confidence in that makes them so much more awesome.

I know also that a lot of people are probably going to be terribly disenchanted and unhappy by my admission of what I want to do, maybe even disgusted.  That’s ok.  I’m not doing it for them.  I’m doing it for me.  Every (or at least most) mother knows what it’s like to have to put yourself last.  Not because you want to, but because it’s what has got to be done.  At my house, everyone eats before I even think about feeding myself.  Kids, husband, whoever.  Kids get clothes and shoes first.  Necessities are first, wants are last, and Mommy’s wants are dead last.  If we don’t do it, no one will.  Trust me, too, when I say that I will not see my kids go hungry or cold just so that I can have those new giant ostrich feather fans.  We have to put ourselves first sometimes, though.  Do I intend to make this into a career?  Only if it does it all by itself.  I’m not about to slap on some pasties and go looking for an agent or anything.

I know this will probably be looked down upon, kinda like some people sneer at the people with a bunch of tattoos or multicolored hair.  I do hope, though, that someone might be able to see this as a positive thing and encourage it. 

Of course there’s always the chance that this is just something to content myself with while I’m pregnant.  Heard about me running any marathons?  Yeah, me neither.