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Monday, April 20, 2009

Workin' it Out

I’m STILL trying to drop this last 10 pounds of baby weight, and it’s driving me crazy. So I started trying to help myself keep to my diet and my workouts by keeping track of them with this online calendar. You can mark each day as a success, failure, or exempt. Then I was going to reward myself with each milestone that I made. For example, after two weeks of not cheating on my diet and working out at least 4 times a week I could go get a facial.

I had some other good ideas for my rewards, but none of them ending up panning out, mostly because I’m an adult and I can pretty much buy stuff I want whenever I want as long as it fits into our budget. And since we didn’t really have room for a new category in our budget, I ended up not getting those things. So then I was bummed that I couldn’t come up with a motivation to stick to my diet or my workouts. (This reward system might work really well for someone just starting out, though.)

I was sulking about it one day, feeling oh so sorry for myself. So I was telling Michael about it, and he was helping me think through it. So he goes, “Why don’t you just workout because that’s what you do? You’re Annie who works out 4 times a week and eats well.”

‘Huh, that could work,’ I thought. I don’t need gimmicks and tricks; I need a mind shift. I really am Annie who works out 4 times a week and eats well, but I wasn’t believing it. Working out has been pretty much a consistent part of my life (with a few very minor setbacks and two babies) for the past 8 or so years now. But still, I haven’t internalized it on that level. (My husband is brilliant, y’all.)

I had the best workout this morning because of that mind shift. I didn’t complain in my head even once about the workout class; I challenged myself; I was there for me; and it wasn’t that hard to get out of bed when the alarm went off. I did it because I love it; I love taking care of myself; and because that’s a time that I can totally focus on me.

It’s so funny because y’all know that lately I’ve been having a bit of a pity party (and y’all have been so gracious to me – thanks for all the support and love), but I was COMPLETELY overlooking workouts as ME-time. I think that I was doing that because I wasn’t identifying myself with it. It was something I HAD to do, not something I just do. I HAD to go to the gym, instead of I’m going to the gym because I’m a gym member and that's what I do.

What we believe about ourselves is such a driving force in our lives. Fake it til you make it if you have to, but then internalize it. You're believing and internalizing something about yourself (whether you want to or not and whether you like those beliefs or not). So you might as well be in control of those beliefs instead of letting them passively hang out.

I'm Annie who works out 4 times a week and eats well. :-)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Crunchiness Revoked

So my crunchiness label is now revoked. Don’t tell all my granola-head friends, but I think I’m going to quit cloth diapering. I feel like a bit of a quitter, but it was just too much for me. I really wish I could handle it because I love the idea – saving the environment, saving money, more natural for the kid, possible earlier potty training, etc. But for real, y’all, it was a lot of work.

Samuel poops at least once a day, but Levi, my gosh, he poops 2-4 times a day. And with each poop I’d have to go to the toilet and spray it off then take it back to the room and throw it in the diaper pail. That doesn’t sound too bad, but when you have a clingy 14 month old crying and trying to chase down your leg, it sucks, not to mention the crappiness of having to keep him out of the toilet while I sprayed said diaper.

Then I’d have to launder them every 2 days, and that wasn’t so bad, it was the getting them out of the dryer and back into the kids’ room that never happened. So then every time I changed a diaper I’d have to go to the dryer to get a diaper and then to the kids’ room to get a wipe and then chase down the kid and change his diaper wherever he was.

And I know this sounds bad because I know the response of cloth diapering moms, but I’ll say it anyway: I hated having to change their diapers so often! I’d have to change them at least every 2 hours, and I’m sorry, but with disposables you don’t have to do that. So to that a cloth diapering mom would say, “Well, you don’t want your baby sitting in pee for that long anyway.” But you know what, disposables do a great job at keeping the pee away from their bottoms, so I’m fine with that.

Ahhh, it feels great to just admit defeat and go back to wasteful living. I’ll plant a couple of trees or something, okay. For real, though, it was stressing me out and was becoming a strain on my home life. I think our family will benefit more greatly from not doing cloth diapering. There, I’ve said it. [defeated but happy]

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First Things First

So lately I’ve been really dissatisfied with life. Downer, I know. Michael and I were talking about it the other night for a really long time. We were trying to pinpoint why I wasn’t doing that great. There were a few reasons that I identified, one or two of which I won’t tell you. The first of which was that I don’t feel like I have a creative outlet or a thing that I like to do outside of kids or the house that makes me feel like myself. My therapist a while back said that it’s really important for mothers to have that, to not lose our identities solely in motherhood because then you feel totally utilitarian and you may even start resenting your kids for taking your life away.

So I was trying to come up with stuff to do, and I kept finding roadblocks. I was thinking about it, and it’s like I’ve completely forgotten all of the things that make me feel alive. Then I remembered singing. ‘That’s right, I really enjoy singing and worship leading, and I feel really alive when I’m doing it.’ So I tried to venture down that path, but the worship leader at our church is kind of dragging his feet on letting me sing. I don’t know why, but I think the ministry might be a little oversaturated at our church. I feel like walking up to him briskly, pulling two fists full of his shirt and saying, “Look, you don’t know how much I need this!”

The big thing that I felt was missing from my life was simply a connection with God. Michael wisely said that this should be my first point of focus because, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I was really excited about that, but I was also a little overwhelmed.

Having kids necessitates a reinvention of many of ones relationships. A marriage relationship most definitely needs to be redefined when you have kids. It’s no longer just the two of you. Friendships have no choice but to be redefined. You can’t just go hang out whenever you feel like it or stay out until all hours of the night (like I always did – ha ha).

So I think that mothers (and fathers, for that matter) need to realize that our relationships with God will be different once we have kids, too. Having a solid chunk of time to read scripture, pray, play guitar and sing, etc. seem a thing of the past. I’m lucky to pray while I’m in the shower or while I’m nursing and dozing off to sleep. And whenever I do have a minute to myself, my mind is so full of clutter and task lists. And whenever I pick up a bible or another book to read, it’s quickly grabbed out of my hands and nearly torn by my 14 month old. I don’t think I need to keep stating my case, because if you’re a mom, you surely know what I’m talking about.

So I’m re-reading this book called The Busy Mom’s Guide to Spiritual Survival. I’m hoping that I can actually implement the things I’m learning in there this time. But most of all I’m hoping that it really sinks in that having a relationship with God isn’t about doing. I don’t have to do a whole bunch of stuff to be in right standing with Him; Jesus already took care of that. I just want to love Him because I love Him and because He’s worthy. He is, y’all. : )

I was laying in bed a little while ago putting Levi to sleep, and my mind started racing again about friendships (another thing on my mind, as you could see from my last post). I had invited one of the SAHM’s from the hood to this kids’ thing, and she said she couldn’t do it. So I was just like, ‘Forget it! I’m done with them! It’s official!’ But I reminded myself that I’m not even going to trouble myself with all of that or any other friendship stuff because I’m going to seek God first and let Him handle the rest (the rest - as in my whole outlook on life). That brought me so much peace. Ahhh, such joy and contentment in surrendering to Him! On that note, I’m going to bed.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Still a Neighborhood Nerd

OK, so you have to take a new poll for me. Read this then vote. (The poll is on my blog, in case you're reading this on Facebook.)

So as the title states, I'm still a neighborhood nerd, it seems. (See November post for background.) So "the hood" as they call themselves, had a baby shower tonight that I was invited to for a really sweet girl named Jennifer. It was a nice shower, and everyone was really friendly, but the fact that I just haven't broken into this group of friends yet was just screaming at me the whole time. People would talk to me from time to time, but I was just so shy the whole time and felt out of place. They all know each other so well and see each other everyday and have history together. It was like being at someone's family dinner. You introverts know what I mean.

We first met everyone back at the Halloween party 5 months ago. Since then we went to the Christmas party (where we had a blast), and I've hung out with a couple of the stay at home moms like twice. Since I live on the other block, it's hard for me to just run into them. So I wait to be invited to things, but that doesn't really happen a whole lot. I've invited the two SAHMs to my house for playdates, but they're always busy. They're all like, "Drop by anytime," but really I don't feel like I can do that with a person until I know them better and have been invited over often. I'm not that brassy of a gal.

So then there's the stuff that we haven't been invited to. There was a New Year's Eve party/birthday party that we didn't get invited to. I'm sure there are impromptu things that happen all the time that they don't think to call us for. Then, the other day I saw all the girls walking down the street for a nice walk through the neighborhood. I was bored just sitting at home with the blinds up while all 10 or so of them walked by. They didn't think to invite me. But then I was invited to this baby shower, so I was like, 'Well, maybe they do like me.'

So get over it, right? I really like them all a lot, and they're all people that I could really see myself being good friends with. I don't really fault them for not thinking of me much. I am on the other block. So what should I do? Should I just move on and not try to be friends with them because it doesn't seem like there's room for me there? Or should I just try to plug away at it and do more playdates and whatnot? Or should I just not try to do anything and see if it fizzles out or not? Vote now!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Maybe it was the fumes...

…that made me cave on my diet today. I had gone 7 weeks without cheating on my No S Diet, and today I caved. The ceiling in my dining room is being painted because of a leak in the roof, so I had to be home for that. Well, the boys were FASCINATED with the plastic that they covered the room with, so my entire morning was filled with keeping them away from the plastic. They refused to go in any other room, so I tried to keep them occupied whilst in the living room (right next to the dining room), but all my attempts failed. The thin plastic film won out every time.

Well, the fumes from the Kilz that they used to treat the stain were getting to us, so I decided to leave my house in the care of the painter’s helper (complete with tattoo sleeves) who was left to paint the ceiling. (I really wasn’t worried; but I did notice when I got home that I left a bank statement in plain view – oh well.) So we drove around, and Levi was asleep within one minute of driving, so we couldn’t get out. I made a quick deposit and decided to drive around to insure that he fell into a deep enough sleep to transfer him out of the car and into the bed without noticing.

Whilst (I love using that word) driving around I purposely turned away from the Starbucks across the street from my bank drive-thru. I did a loop around the neighborhood, though, and ended up right in front of it again. Screw it! I drove on through! All I ordered was a kids apple juice for Samuel and a toffee almond bar for me. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I NEEDED it. It tasted really great and was just the little treat I needed after a tough morning. I’m not worried about the one little sweet treat making me bloat up; I was just disappointed that my no-cheating spree was over. Now I have to start over.

On a funnier note, Samuel kept calling the painter’s helper “the little man” (he’s probably 5’ 9” and 140 pounds). He said it outside, but then he said it right in front of him. I don’t think the guy was paying attention, but I had to keep myself from laughing.

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