Storm before the calm

There is one thing I can count on at the start of a vacation. And no, it’s not panicking that I didn’t turn off the oven, that’s the ONE thing I DONT worry about.

Everything else is free game.

As the vacation starts I have episodes of sheer panic, fear and emotion. To the point of physically feeling a panic attack waiting just under the surface.

  • Is it that I am solely responsible for little humans in a foreign country?
  • Is it panic about spending the money?
  • Is it loneliness? Vacations tend to be full of shiny,happy PARTNERED people.
  • Is it that I don’t know how to let loose and just BE?
  • Is it worry that it won’t live up to expectations? Worry that the little humans will be disappointed?
  • Is it that I am worried I am not capable of navigating the unknown?
  • Is it the worry that the “what was” or what I thought would be will sneak in and strangle me if I let down my guard and loosen my grip?

What if…what if…what if…

It’s all racing through my mind…all of it. At once. At the same time.

It’s stupid, it’s silly but it’s real.

Tonight I’ll grab a beer. I’ll enjoy my big babies and I’ll smile like I am calm, cool and collected.

Tomorrow I’ll be fine. We will board the boat. The kids will take off. I’ll grab a book, a drink and a pool chair and finally, finally take a deep breath. It will we okay. It will.

It’s an adventure. We are together. We will make memories. I’ll find my groove. I’ll find my brave and I’ll embrace it all. Tomorrow. Tomorrow it will all be okay.

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A little push

Sometimes you need a little push.

As I am re-inventing me I’ve hit some snags. A week of 0 change in the weight loss journey. Despite being committed to WW and really, truly working the program I didn’t meet my goal. I wanted to be 10lbs down before my cruise. I stalled out at 7. Not enough to even impact a size.

Beyond the scale I am still on track: plenty of veggies, lots of water, smart substitutions and eating their portions instead of mine.

I even managed to exercise–on purpose–multiple times last week AND on Monday…a holiday nonetheless. I abhor exercise but I hate being fat and dumpy more.

And still….0 pounds down.

Yes, I cussed. I bitched and moaned as I ate my sandwich (without bread) and passed by the ooey-gooey cranberry and white chocolate cookies. Shouldn’t having the willpower to NOT eat something be worth at least a few ounces?????

But no. I am stuck in chunky purgatory.

What’s the saying…it’s a marathon and not a sprint? Why-oh-why does it have to be a running metaphor???? Regardless of how much I hate the phrase I took it to heart. I didn’t get this size–although it feels like I did—overnight. Getting it off is a heck of a lot harder than getting it off.

So I hiked up my BIG GIRL yoga pants and squared my shoulders. (This time in determination and not to make my back fat look smaller!)

I am not a Pollyanna (shocked, aren’t you). I am more of a “My glass isn’t 1/2 empty or 1/2 full–it’s cracked and leaking” kind of gal.

But sometimes you need a push.

So I gave myself a pep talk:

  • I hadn’t gained weight
  • I wasn’t settling for my current self
  • I was still establishing some good habits
  • So I wasn’t my cruise weight—the cruise was still happening. I’ll still be fat but I’ll be fat in Cuba!
  • My kids won’t remember my size but they will remember the trip.
  • KMF-keep moving forward has kept me going more than once. Why not again?
  • Fat looks better tan. And I just happen to be spending 4 days in the sun.

Sufficiently pepped I went ahead and packed. The long sleeve shirts were tempting but I gave in and packed my shorts and tank tops. Reality is reality and Key West is hot.

But…meanwhile I needed to do something for me. Needed to be active in the quest to re-invent ME.

Old me.

New me.

So…off with the multi-colored-shaggy pony tail. Hello choppy bob!

My friend and hairdresser tried to talk me out of it at first. She knows me well and knows I’ll bitch when it’s time to grow it out. But I stayed determined. New me. New do.

So she did.

And I feel sassier. And better. And perkier. It was just the push I needed!

And, on the upside, at least I know the next weigh in will be a few ounces–even if it’s just in hair weight–down!

Who is counting?

Note to self. When your daughter has ADHD, is itching with boredom, has spent the last week as an only child with her doting father AND is jealous because she knows you are planning a trip without her-don’t–under any circumstances whatsoever buy said child a child’s cheap version of a Fitbit.

Ever!

Never.

Do you know how many times I was asked, “Guess how many now??”

5,204.

Add a cranky, depressed, irritable, sullen, phone-less teen to the mix and guess how many eye rolls, deep sighs and snarls you get?

5,204. One for each announced step.

Add jacking around to the mix for another 897 steps. Because there can’t possibly be a button…say a reset button…that doesn’t get pushed!

So add 343 tears, 4 fights and 3 hair flips when the cheap child’s Fitbit gets reset in the middle of counting and the tantrum ignites the ire of the text-deprived teen.

Hell hath no fury like a teen whose phone, by her own hand, ended up in the pool. Oh wait a minute…that hell ain’t nothing compared to the teen who has to PAY to repair a phone that, by her own hand, ended up in a pool. A child with her first job who realizes her first check will ALL go toward a phone that, by her own hand, ended up in the pool. Oh wait a minute…that pales in comparison to the hell that ensues when the teen has to take back the bikini she bought for her upcoming cruise to try and have enough to pay for the phone that, by her own hand, got tossed in the pool.

Too bad we couldn’t have coordinated baby girl calling out her steps to the rhythm of her big sister putting coins in her piggy bank to see how much she had toward phone repairs. 1795! (Steps). 89! (Money equivalent of coins).

And what could possibly make things worse?????? Why, a jigsaw puzzle of course!

Yes, in the midst of hearing the count of every, single, solitary step AND hearing about how much change it took to equal $159.00 I had the brilliant idea of buying a jigsaw puzzle to entertain my wounded one this long holiday weekend.

What the hell was I thinking?!?!?!

See the lovely turquoise fit bit in the wrist NOT covered in a bright pink cast?

Did I mention my baby girl had ADHD? Bad?

Did I mention my big girl has a brain like a mainframe computer, is phone-less, irritable and mega-competitive?? All things I should have considered before considering a 300 piece puzzle to chase away Saturday night boredom.

137 fights ensued. Followed by 48 eye rolls, 12 step count announcements (she wasn’t even taking any steps!!!!!) and 3 yells to freeze as her antsy fidgets threatened to topple the puzzle.

300 pieces.

10 goodnight kisses.

2 hugs.

25 steps to her bed.

$129.58 in change for a $159.00 bill.

1 son dying to get to friends.

10:00 call it’s quits for the day.

7706 steps of my own.

Things I learned this week:

  • I can survive a week without my baby girl. Key is the stay busy.
  • To that point I learned I can stay up past 11p. I went to a concert (Steve Earle). He didn’t even come onstage until 9pm. I had serious doubts I would make it. I did.
  • A bonus to being a little “thick”? Tolerance. I had more then 1 beer.
  • I can’t sip a beer but I can darn sure sip a vanilla vodka shot.
  • Lemon vodka makes your pooter pucker. Citrus vodka doesn’t.
  • My son makes a great DD.
  • It’s possible to go out TWICE in a week. Possible but not easy at this age.
  • 7lbs is much more impressive in paper than in reality.
  • Summer +A pool+Friends/teenagers=an empty house.
  • 18 year olds don’t think they have curfews.
  • 15 year olds with 18 year old brothers don’t WANT to have curfews…but they do.
  • Get jiggy ‘wit it is easy when you are a big girl in a Zumba class.
  • Haha! You may be a size 2 with long, lean legs but that doesn’t mean you are in shape!!!
  • It’s hard to judge which stinks more: an 8 year old after a day outside at summer camp or a 47 year old after a Zumba class.
  • It’s exciting when you realize the size 2 teeny booper beside you has the stop in the middle of Zumba to catch her breathe. Even more exciting when you make it-albeit ungracefully-thru the whole song.
  • A teenager who accidentally drops her phone in the pool is the most tragic creature on the planet. And the most irritable. And the grumpiest. And the most depressed.
  • Cauliflower pizza crust is edible.
  • Long weekends with a cast aren’t as much fun as long weekends without one. For the one with the cast or her momma.
  • 18 year old boys are not quick nor eloquent in writing their thank you notes.
  • Thank you notes should be more then 1 sentence.
  • A boy and his friends will quit working the second you turn your back.
  • Running out of toilet paper sucks. Forgetting you’ve run out is toilet the next night sucks even more.
  • Having a 15 year old with a job working 3 hour shifts is a logistical nightmare.
  • 4 dogs and a townhouse is miserable. Not having to board 2 dogs the following week makes it worth it. Kinda
  • Cooled seats DON’T suck.
  • I really, really, really like pudding.
  • Entertaining an 8 year old with a broken arm in the summer is not did the faint of heart.
  • Not everyone thinks I am funny.
  • I don’t have a poker face.
  • I miss getting goodnight kisses from my kiddos.
  • A graduation gift of letters written to an 18 year old boy will make him cry. Seeing your 18 year old son tear up over graduation letters will make you cry too.
  • I can not do latin dances very convincingly.
  • 47 is too old for 60 year old men wearing high waisted jeans, a ZZ Top T-shirt and a belt buckle. I know because he told me so when my tipsy friend asked if he thought I was cute. There is a LOT wrong in that sentence.
  • Tipsy friends will say anything to anyone.
  • People ain’t right.

5 more

I knew this day was coming.

I’ve had 18 years to be prepared.

There were days that I tried to rush time to get to the next stage. I wished away the colicky days. I cursed away the potty training days. Fourth grade was a disaster. More than once I looked forward to “this part” being over thinking the next “part” was going to be so much easier and better.

I put off some hard conversations. I got tired and didn’t have the energy to face that battle so I let it-whatever the it was at the time-slide. I overreacted to many things. I stayed mad a little too often. There were too many days that I was distracted and didn’t read the bedtime story or play that game.

We didn’t drive across country. We didn’t stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon or stand under a redwood tree. I wanted him to climb the rocks at Joshua Tree state park. He hasn’t seen Texas. We’ve never left the US.

But we’ve run out of time.

I want every moment back.

I want to go back and savor those long nights when it was just he and I awake in the wee hours. I’d sing more songs; memorize his little laughs and looks a bit more. I’d sit down in the bathroom floor and play games while waiting on the next potty time. I’d play trucks and build LEGO houses. I’d turn off the tv and go outside to play ball. I’d let HIM teach me to swim. I’d read more bed time stories. Lots more.

I’d give him a phone much later in life. I’d teach him to study more. No…I’d teach him to want to LEARN more. The studying would follow. I’d give him the urge to look a little farther ahead.

We’d go to church sooner in his life. We’d sit at the table and talk more. I’d have those hard conversations. And I’d have them again and again and again until I was sure they were heard. And then I would have them again.

We’d take more spontaneous trips. I’d save more so we could travel more. I’d show him all the wonders of the world so he stayed curious for a world outside of the state line.

I’d make him fish a little more. I’d buy him a few more long sleeved shirts and a pair of dress shoes and find a reason for him to wear them.

I’d help him to cultivate an interest beyond swimming so he was more well rounded. I wouldn’t change a second of his pool time but I’d like to add something else.

I’d ask him to read a little more. Eat a little more vegetables and a little better variety of foods. He doesn’t save enough.

I’d take him to the Grand Canyon. We’d hike trl redwood forest. With the top down and the wind blowing out hair we’d cruise the California coast. We’d buy fruit and vegetables from pike place market and pack a picnic to watch the whales off the Seattle coast. We’d eat lobsters in Maine. Buy boots in Texas.

If only I could turn back time.

Instead the days are going faster and faster and faster and time is racing away.

Saturday his life starts. And our life—the life I built with him–changes. It’s already starting. Soon-he won’t sleep under my roof every night. He won’t have to ask when he wants to go somewhere. He won’t hug me good morning or kiss me goodnight.

He will want to see the world with his friends…though he will probably still want me to pay for it. Dinner won’t be the focal point of the day. No more best part-worst part talks. I won’t know about his days anymore. I won’t know about his friends. He won’t ask an I won’t give him a curfew. He will need me for money, food and tuition but not much else.

I won’t see that crooked little smile much. Won’t hear “mama” as much. Won’t be the center of his world ever again.

Yes, I’ve known this day was coming. But I wasn’t prepared .

How I wish for a few of those moments I passed up on back.

There is a new county song entitled “five more minutes”. It’s perfect. It’s a prefect soundtrack for this moment in life. Five more minutes. I wish I had five more minutes.

https://youtu.be/2dPDBU9MC8c5 more minutes by Scotty Mccreey

Friday Food

A hard thing about dieting…oh…my bad-changing my eating lifestyle is that I miss Friday food.

Monday-Thursday I am fine with normal, mundane meals. Stuffed bell peppers or stuffed zucchini boats with roasted cauliflower and broccoli(sensing a pattern here) are fine for a weeknight dinner.

Sunday I prepped and browned and chopped so lunches and dinners didn’t require a lot of thought. I was able to stay on point (pun intended) and satisfied.

But Friday…on Friday you find yourself looking for something fun. Something light hearted or something that screams,”wahoo I survived the week!”

Friday food shouldn’t be too practical. It’s Friday after all. But it shouldn’t require too much work…it’s Friday after all.

The Friday meals needs to be satisfying. It’s nice if it’s something everyone eats but that’s not a requirement. Friday is unapologetically a you don’t like it? Make yourself something else night.

While I want Friday food I don’t want to blow the diet…ummm…lifestyle changes that I am making. After all-tomorrow is Saturday which is a whole other night in itself. It’s about pacing. Friday is about the food. Saturday you have to have a little wiggle room for a adult pointed beverage if you know what I am saying.

So…I have a set amount of points to use. But I have a hankering for something that constitutes fun, free and Friday. But that requires as little effort as possible.

Voila!

Heeelllllloooo Friday!

George Foreman and I managed to whip it up in no time flat. Thanks to some leftover “prep” food it was flavorful and satisfying.

Turkey burger sprinkled with Mediterranean spiced feta on whole wheat sandwich thin. Slice of dill pickle, spread of Greek yogurt mixed with ranch powder and drizzled with balsamic glaze. Added some spice to the top and BAM! I had my Friday food.

I can’t lie…I missed French fries or tater tot crowns. Missed them but didn’t crave them. A little sprinkle of almond slivers to some ho-him frozen green beans sort of (not really) satisfied the ‘side’ portion of the meal.

Scoff if you must…as a stressed out, single introverted mom who is dieting…uhhh…changing her eating lifestyle you have to find things to spice things up. My fancy, Friday turkey burger did just that.

Topsy Turvy

Big fella turns in his notice today.

Big girl gets her first job today.

Welcome to my current life. One high, one low. One in, one out. Ones irritated at a 97 average. One happy to be passing (slight over exaggeration there). Ones moving on and I am trying to figure out who to move the other one around.

Her job starts the day he graduates. Literally.

His college down payment is due the same day as new Cheer dues and uniform. At this point it’s a toss up for which will be more! But that’s another blog (rant) for another day.

He’s grinning from ear to ear while we all blink back tears.

Everything is topsy turvy.

And just in case that’s not enough I get an email today about my little one. The words eye rolling were involved. As were mean and voice and hands. All those together does not a good email make. But that’s not even the best part.

I don’t think 8 year olds know the significance of the bird aka the middle finger. But maybe they do because the 2nd half of the email was my daughter literally giving the finger to standardized test. Seems as if during today’s math milestone she simply won’t down the list any checked answers. 3 minutes and she was done. ‘Take that Mr. Test Man,’ I imagine her saying. Too bad it’s a year she has to pass the damn thing to advance. After weeks of practicing and preparing she’d had ENOUGH.

I’ve got nothing. My mom mojo in this matter has dried up. I am never, ever glad when she’s not with me. Until tonight. Topsy turvy. Going to let her dad field this one.

On one hand I am trying to stop time. The next minute I am praying for this season to pass—past the pressures of testing. Past the terror of how to finance this next stage of life. Past the question of how to get her from here to there so she can save for a car. Topsy turvy.

You would think I would be used to this: fella was literally trying to tell me about his first kiss as I yelled for my toddler child to not tee-tee on the floor in a horrible potty training moment.

In church we are listening to a series about “packing your bag” which talks about how to be prepared for the next stage in life. I have never felt so ill prepared in my entire life. Ill prepared for him, ill prepared for big girls summer needs and grossly ill prepared to know what to do about my sassy miss.

Topsy turvy. Being discombobulated and out of sorts seems to be the norm these days. Its the only norm but it’s the norm.

3 days until my big girl takes her test to be sure she can work the job. 17 days until graduation. 17 days until my girl is employed. Exactly one month until we set sail. One month and 2 weeks until my fella starts a brand new chapter in his life and I try and create a new chapter in my own.

These are the days of my life. That used to seem like the corniest line ever but not today. Not today.