Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Things Aren't Always What They Seem...

First of all, Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  Ours was fine, but I have to say I'm glad it's over.  The kids are back in school and I can rest, lol!

Sooooooo...if you read my last post (from 3 weeks ago, sorry!) you may remember I mentioned some bug bites in a highly inconvenient area of my anatomy.  Well, they weren't bug bites.  Turned out to be poison oak.
We'd gone hiking in a beautiful park in Marin.  It overlooked the city, and we had a great time.
There were no bathrooms.  So I had to hike into a copse, and drop trou.


In exactly the wrong spots, obviously.

I went to my GP, who tried his hardest not to laugh and gave me some cream to rub on  Then he had me take blood test to rule out Lyme Disease.
I'm glad he's thorough.
And so is my bottom.
(The test results haven't come in yet, due to the holidays, but I'm pretty sure it's NOT Lyme disease.)

Other than that, it's been fairly uneventful around here.  We watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, which was a lot of fun.  I don't want to give anything away, but The Doctor + Santa's sleigh=ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!

This Saturday I'm going to a concert.  The first one I've been to in 10 years!  It's Midge Ure, who was the front man for Ultravox back in the 80's before embarking on a solo career.  I saw him in 1989 when I was in college, and now he's doing a solo acoustic tour.

I'm so excited!!!!!!!!

And lastly, there's a new yoga studio that opened up down the street, and they have a $30 for 30 days special, so I signed up this morning.  It's nice to get back into it, and I'm feeling stronger than ever.  I was even able to run on a treadmill at my mom's hotel without having to call the paramedics!

OK, one last thing:  I'm not usually one for New Year's resolutions, but I made 2 this year.  I'm going to stop pretending everything is fine if it isn't, and I'm going to learn to, in the immortal words of "Frozen",  Let It Go. When need be.  Which is a lot more often than I think it is.

And on that note, I will leave you for now.  Take care!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holidays, Moving, and Wishes

We are in the midst of the Great Move...from the 3rd floor to the second.  :)  It's still a pain, even though we don't have quite as much stuff and don't have to rent a truck.  But it'll be a MUCH better living situation, I think.
My in-laws returned last night, having been in Hawaii for the past two months.  So we're getting used to not having the house to ourselves.  Ah, well.  Maybe we'l win the lottery.  Of course, it would help if we actually played the lottery.

I realized a couple of things this morning: It was one month ago today that I arrived in London.  Which is odd, because it seems like I was just there last week.  I definitely need to get back, soon.   I know it's not perfect, and it has its issues, like any city (particularly in terms of how expensive everything is!), but it's been my dream city ever since I was a kid and visited for the first time.  The place I would choose if I could live anywhere on Earth.

The other thing, much closer to home, that I realized is that there only a week and a half until the kids' winter vacation.
TWO WEEK winter vacation.
The refrain has been sounding in my head all morning, like Jacob Marley dragging his chains and calling out for Scrooge.

My mom will be in town for some of the time, and she's planning on spending at least some of that time in hotel with a pool.  Maybe four or five, which would be great.  But the rest of the time she'll probably be here, which means we have to find something to keep the kiddos occupied. And, lately, WG has decided she'd like to be home As Much As Possible, and lets us know her displeasure in being taken Out Of The House in ways that aren't always nice.  (I was sporting a nice scratch on my forehead for a few days from an attempted walk on Thanksgiving Day.)

I really, REALLY wish there were programs for special needs kids during school vacations!  There are plenty for typical kids, but we don't have the money right now to hire an aid for ours...
So, it's up to me to keep them busy, involved, and entertained.  In some ways it was easier when they were smaller.  They were more portable, lol!  Can't just put them in the double stroller and head out anymore.  Now they're nearly adult-sized (LG is taller than both of his grandparents), and REALLY strong.

And stubborn.
Can't imagine where THAT comes from... (looks away, whistling).

So, we'll figure it out as we go.

So, that's been the daily grind around here.
Aside from a series of some sort of insect bites on a rather ...unfortunate...part of my anatomy that have gotten a bit infected.
More than you needed to know?

Probably a good place to stop.

See ya soon, friends!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Where Have I Been?!?!?!?!

It's a good thing that I don't make my living blogging, because I really suck at it.
3 weeks since my last post.

However, one of those weeks was spent in London, which was FAB!  But I didn't bring my laptop with me, and I prefer to not write my blog on my phone.  I'm already near the point of needing reading glasses.  :)

So. London.
Amazing!  Gorgeous!  My hotel was near both Hyde Park and Paddington Station.  I bought a visitors' Oyster card, so I was able to get around very easily.  I'd also downloaded a fantastic app that helped me plan my route wherever I wanted to go.
I ended up walking about 3-4 hours every day.  The weather was very cooperative, which was nice.  But, honestly, even if it had been pouring rain the entire time, I still would've walked.
Since I spent 2 entire days traveling to and from, I ended up with 4 full days in which to explore.  I'd thought about seeing a show, and looked into taking the train to Cardiff to see the Doctor Who Experience, but train tickets are VERY expensive. And I really didn't want to spend 2-3 hours in a dark theater this time around.  Maybe if I'd had more time.  There was certainly no shortage of great shows playing.
But what I really wanted to do was explore the city I love and have missed so much.  So each day I chose a neighborhood and did just that.

I did get to see an exhibit at the British Museum about Gothic literature and film, which was fun.  And I went to the National Gallery.  Most, if not all, of the museums have free admission.  You pay to see certain exhibits, but the permanent collections are free.  So while I didn't get to see the Rembrandt exhibit, I got to see some other lightweights.  Y'know, like Money and Renoir.  ;)

On my last day, I went to the Tower of London to see the poppies.  It was amazing!  I'm so glad I went, as they took them down a couple days later.
From there I walked over the London Bridge to Bankside, through the Borough Market, and on to the Globe Theatre, where I took a tour.  Then it was back over the Millenium Bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral.  I was going to walk from there to a store called Forbidden Planet, but by then it was nearing rush hour, and having ridden the tube during rush hour previously in the week, I wanted to avoid that at all costs, lol!

I also got to meet a friend for dinner on Thursday night.  We'd worked at the Shakespeare company together, and hadn't seen each other in 20 years.  She now lives in London and works as a producer for a VFX company.  It was so great to see her and hang out!

But I spent most of my time there not speaking.  Which was actually pretty cool. Kind of like a silent retreat, but in a bustling, crowded, amazing place.

London has changed quite a bit since I'd last been there.  But then, so have I.  Being alone in a city that is not your own is a great experience.  And, for the first time, I didn't have anyone to answer to but myself.  I went where I wanted, when I wanted, and did what I wanted to do.  
And was able to think.  About Stuff.

I'm hoping to go back next year.  My mom has said that she'd like to go, as she hasn't been in years.  And that she'd pay for a trip for both of us.  Which I think I'll take her up on, lol!  She's assured me that we won't have to be attached at the hip (especially since hers is new, wacka wacka wacka!).  That we can go off and do our own things.  Which is good, because she and I aren't necessarily interested in the same things...

The best part is the realization that I CAN go away for a bit without everything falling apart.  Hubby had  a great time with the kids, and they, in turn, were just fine while I was gone.  Sure, it's a bit humbling, to say the least, to find out that you are not nearly as essential to everyone's well-being as you'd previously believed yourself to be. But it's also liberating.  I can maybe start to let go of some of the Mom Guilt should I actually, say, do a show or get anther job.

Finally, I must say that I'm pretty proud of myself.  I planned a trip and actually WENT.  By myself. I navigated the city on my own (with the help of Google Maps and a couple of kind strangers).  I began the process of rediscovering ME, apart from wife/mom/teacher, etc.

And it only took me a week and a half to get over my jet lag!

OK, that's it for now.  I hope all my U.S readers had a lovely Thanksgiving, and everyone else had a terrific Thursday.  Have an amazing weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

OK, Then. Negative to Hopeful. And Maybe a Bit Kick-A**.

Well that's done.  Election day is over, not many surprises.  Not terribly happy with most of the results, but, again, they were not unexpected.  It seems the political pendulum swings back & forth pretty quickly these days.  So one side will crow and beat their chests, and, most likely, we'll get right back to gridlock and finger-pointing while nothing much changes.
Part of me is wondering if I should just pop some popcorn, pull up a chair, and point and laugh.  'Cause I'm tired of crying.
Truthfully? Yes, I'm upset about the outcome of the elections.  It does nothing to pretend that I'm not, that I'm fine.  But it also doesn't help to panic, either.  On Facebook today, Marianne Williamson said "Don't panic, grieve." That that's the way to figure out the next steps to take.
Makes sense to me.
Across the board, not just with politics.

I do have to admit, however, that sometimes it feels REALLY good to be pissed off at people in my own political party.  'Cause sometimes they just muck it up.  And by not having any backbone whatsoever (politicians) and not voting (citizens), they have no one to blame but themselves.  And if you're gonna be like THAT, then, I'm sorry, but I can't just pat you on the head and tell you it's OK.

Because it isn't.

Which brings me to, well, me. For a long time now I've been trying to remain optimistic about my own situation.  Actually, that's the wrong phrasing.  Because being optimistic is one thing, and completely ignoring the crap is something else entirely.
I won't lie.  It's been rough these past 10 years or so.  We have been through it, and there's no point in pretending it hasn't happened.  There's been a lot of death, a lot of loss, a ton of disappointment.  That's life, yes, but sometimes it seems we've had a bit more than our share these past few years.

Right now my in-laws are out of town.  And, truthfully, it highlights just how hard it is living with them.  While I'm grateful for the roof over our heads and the (occasional) help with the kids, there's a lot of negative stuff that goes along with it. And we're not in a position right now to change that, so we just have to deal.

As always, there is the constant worry about the kids, and what the future holds.

My husband has a horrible job that pays little.  We're working on changing that.

I want my career back.  I'm working on that, as well.

There's more.  I won't go into it all.

The point of all this is to ACKNOWLEDGE it.  Because ignoring it doesn't help.  Just the opposite.  If I deny that anything is wrong, if I keep stuffing the issues down, how can I make anything better?  It didn't work when I ate to cover my anxiety/sadness/anger, why should it work on a broader scale?  If I'm feeling trapped, who else can can dig me out? No one!  I gotta grab a shovel (or even a spoon) and start getting MYSELF out of the quagmire.

And while it's all well and good to care and for strangers, wringing my hands and saying "Oh dearie me" doesn't get stuff done.  Staying awake and worrying at 4 AM won't feed the hungry or house the homeless. Donating food to the local pantry will help.  Volunteering, making donations, those kinds of things make the difference.

It's time for me to get off my butt (and my computer, as I sit typing this :) ), and DO THINGS.

Next week I'm going to London.  By myself.  And it is a trip that is not only desperately wanted, but NEEDED.  I have to get out of my environment, my everyday routine, and figure sh*t out.

(I already know one thing very clearly, that arguing with people on Facebook is nothing but a gigantic time suck that changes nothing.  Actually, that's not entirely true: My anxiety and blood pressure levels change, they go waaaaaay up.)

So this trip: I'm hoping to get some much-needed perspective. As well as a few days of peace & quiet, time to myself, and, as I've mentioned, the first genuine vacation I've had in a long while. See some shows, visit museums, walk the streets, and just BE in my favorite city in the world.

I need to figure out a way to make our lives better.  I'm tired of waiting and worrying.  Again, that will change nothing.

I should probably also say that I'm VERY EXCITED for my trip, lol!!!!!!!!

So, the take-away from all this:
-Don't Panic (and always bring a towel).
-Worry doesn't help.  Feeling the feeling, letting it go, and taking action DOES.
-Petty arguments solve nothing and only create stress.
-Acknowledge the situation as it is, and allow the corresponding emotions to surface. Feel them.  Admit them. Let them go.
-Enjoy my trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK.  Good. This sounds like a plan.
And now, I must go get my flu shot.

See ya!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Where Does the Time Go?

It's been over a week since I posted.  Sorry, again!
It's been an eventful week around these parts.  My sister-in-law & family came in from Hawaii for a few days, and I've been cooking up a storm (I got a new cookbook!). I'm preparing for my trip, trying to find a new pediatrician for the kids, and getting them used to the dentist.  The last one requires multiple visits to the office in order to get them comfortable and familiar with their surroundings before subjecting them to the actual dental work.  We may still have to have them sedated, but we'll see.
I've been writing a bit, which is good.  Working out, hanging out with the pup, and YES, I reached my goal weight!!!!!!
So now I go into the maintenance phase.  And if my weight stays basically the same for the next 6 weeks, I become a lifetime member. Which means I get most stuff for free. :)
And I have stepped up the workouts.  The weight is gone, now it's time to REALLY tone up.

However, it is the first time in about 30 years that I'm not actively trying to lose weight.  It's freaky, but in a good way!

Aaaaaaand, in news that is not ALL about me, LG's new teacher has arrived, and she is FANTASTIC.  WG continues to love her school (what's not to love?), and Hubby is still doing the work of at least 3 people while earning near-indentured-servant wages.

It's hard to believe that Halloween is right around the corner.  Before we know it, the Holidays will be upon us, and then it'll be 2015.
I still sometimes feel like it's 1998!

OK, back to me.  Yesterday I did a Slim in 6 workout WITHOUT taking any breaks.  I usually have to take a breather during the leg lift/booty sculpting section (who knew lifting your leg was so HARD?!?!?!?!), but I did it all! And I was feeling so proud of myself!

Until I woke up this morning and had to crawl out of bed.

All day I have been SO SORE!  I'm getting ready to do a 25-minute kickboxing HiiT workout, and a little yoga.  Hopefully that'll counteract some of the soreness.  And then I'll take a nice warm bath and hope for the best.

OK, that's what's been going on on the surface. Tomorrow, or later, I'll go more in-depth about recent discoveries made.  It's mostly good stuff.

But now I have to psych myself up to, y'know, move.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Sorry for the Blog Silence

Been a bit hectic around these parts lately.  I myself am getting over either a REALLY, horrendously bad cold or possible flu.  I'm kinda HOPING it was the flu, because if it WAS just a cold, and the flu is worse, well, GEEZ!
The truth is, I was supposed to be on a plane to London today.  But the hotel couldn't confirm my reservations, so my trip was postponed until next month.  It is purely a vacation.  Just me.  Because I haven't had a REAL vacay in about 15 years.  One in which I can actually relax and not be responsible for two smaller folks while everyone else goes off and does their vacation-y things.
And, it's a place I want to go to. While I've enjoyed and appreciated all our family trips, they have consisted of either tagging along with the in-laws (usually so that they don't have to drive), or going places hubby wants to go.  Not that I don't love Yosemite, 'cause I really, really do, but London is my favorite city, and I haven't been in 23 years.  I'm hoping that someday Hubby and I can take a U.K tour, but that can't happen just yet.  He's never been, and I'd love to show him around and see some of the places I haven't been to yet.
I also have a friend who recently moved there.  Haven't seen her in 20 years, so it'll be great to catch up.
I'm gonna take in a show (or 2 or 3),  visit some museums, maybe even catch the train down to Cardiff and see The Doctor Who experience.  :)
And ride the Eye.  That hadn't even been built the last time I was there.  Yes, it's touristy, but I gotta do it!

It's actually a good thing the trip was postponed.  Originally I was scheduled to take the red eye to New York last night, and I was in no shape to travel.  I'm feeling quite a bit better today, but still far from 100%.
Hubby, bless him, has been taking care of everyone and  everything while I languished in bed like some 18th century literary consumptive heroine.

Changing the subject completely, I believe I have reached my goal weight!  (I'll find out for sure at my weigh-in tomorrow.)  Now the real work begins; maintaining that weight loss.  20 pounds since late May, and 36 pounds altogether, from my highest non-pregnancy weight 4 years ago.  Originally I wanted to go lower, but I think this is a weight I can maintain without starvation.
So the next step is to kick up my workouts a notch.  Not today.  When I'm feeling better, and can stand for more than 5 minutes without toppling over.  I've once again been re-discovering some old favorites, workouts that have helped me shape up in the past.  I believe I've mentioned Slim in 6/Slim Series, but also Yoga Booty Ballet, which is REALLY fun and lets me shake my money maker in the privacy of our living room.  Because my dance moves (i.e., flailing about like a hyperactive mongoose) are not for public consumption. Or public safely, for that matter.

OK, gotta go lie sown.
Like I said, not quite 100%.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday seems to be my default Blogging Day now.  Makes sense, as that's when I seem to have most of my free time.  I get the kids off to school, do the grocery shopping, a bit of cleaning (let's be honest; as little as I can get away with), and then I chill for a while.  The rest of the week somehow gets taken up with Stuff To Do, although, if you were to ask me on Friday what I'd done for the past 5 days, I wouldn't be able to tell you.
Such is the life of a mom, I suppose.  Even when the kids are in school.

A few days ago I realized that my obsessive worry about my WW weigh-ins was creeping back in.  I'd put on .8 lbs last week. (POINT. EIGHT!)  Mainly because I was bloated out to here (indicates circumference roughly the size of Jupiter) for much of the week.  Apparently, PMS now starts 2 1/2 weeks before Aunt Flow actually shows up.  Yeah.  THANKS, hormones!
I'd also been exercising a little too much.  But, to be fair to myself, part of it was to get rid of the bloating and cramping.  Exercise helps A LOT, and there was a point where it was getting painful. So I'd go for a walk or hop on the bike or yoga mat in the hopes of getting rid of some of that.

So the bloat is a bit better (say that 10 times fast!), and now my face looks (to continue the cosmic theme) like the Belt of Orion.  Just in time to go to the opening of Hubby's show tonight.  Yay!
(And by "Yay" I mean, of course, "*&^%@#$*+%$#@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!")

Tomorrow night is LG's Back to School Night.  And, from what I hear, they have hired a full-time teacher for his class, who will arrive in 2 weeks' time, once the background check has cleared.  I think being in a regular classroom in the actual school building (as opposed to the trailer where they were situated the past 2 years) has made a huge difference for him.  He's calmer, and, according to his teachers, participating very actively. And he is able to finally show the depth of his intelligence!
:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

WG is doing well, too.  There are 2 new students in her class, and they're both quite noisy.  Given her sensitivity to sound, it's been a little difficult for her.  But she is finding her way, and the staff know when she needs to either go outside, have her noise cancelling headphones put on, or listen to music.

I'm so stinkin' proud of both of them!!!!!!!!!  They're such smart, amazing, wonderful kids!!!!!!!!!  How'd we get so lucky?

Since my sister-in-law et. al. moved out, the pup has been a bit more clingy than usual.  Which is completely understandable.  He needs reassurance that he's not going anywhere, and I'm more than happy to give it.  When a 75-pound pit bull needs cuddles, well, he doesn't have to ask me twice!

As I mentioned, Hubby's show opens tonight for a 4-week run.  Which means things will be a bit calmer: He performs 4 nights a week, and can come home beforehand (after work).  Plus, he'll have most of the weekend free, other than Saturday night.  We'll actually get to see his face now and then,  lol!

As for me, well, the job search, such as it is, continues on apace.  And the writing, well, that does, as well.  As much as is possible.  I figure if I just vomit all the ideas that are racing around in my head onto paper, something will eventually come of it.

Aaaaaaand...I may just submit myself for a directing gig at a community theater in Marin.  I LOVE community theaters!  Just have to think of a play...

Of course, it wouldn't be a post o'mine if I neglected to mention "Doctor Who" or "Sherlock" or both.
Looks like season 4 of "Sherlock" won't be happening for a while, due to the fact that both leads are ridiculously busy, popular, and important (good for them!).  Although, apparently, we WILL be getting a Christmas special next year, by all accounts.
Peter Capaldi continues to amaze and inspire as The Doctor.  And Jenna Coleman is being just fantastic.  The entire cast is terrific, recurring and guest, and some of the characters have been SO wonderful, I hope we see them again.
This show, and PC in particular, has rekindled my love of acting and my creativity.  It makes me excited to get myself back out there.

Which reminds me of the dream I had the night before last, in which I was pregnant.  And panicking.  Because I don't want another child at this stage of my life.  "However, I don't think the dream was literal.  I think it had more to do with the above-mentioned creativity: I've waded back into those waters, and it's time to take the plunge.  To birth a new project, if you will.

I just need to find the right midwife.  ;)

OK.  I'm  off. Kids are getting out of school soon and I should...bathe, or something.

Talk again soon!