Friday, June 27, 2014

(Not So) Sweet Dreams, Small Worlds, and Can't We All Just Get Along?!?!?!

I had a dream the other night that I was completely broke.  Not my family, just me.  Hubby still had money, as did my in-laws, but no one would help me out.  The water was turned off, but only for me.  I couldn't bathe or wash clothes or dishes or even drink (I couldn't afford to buy bottled water).  I woke up dehydrated and thoroughly bummed out.  :)
I had to keep reminding myself that, despite what was said in the dream, being a stay-at-home mom does NOT make me a moocher!
I guess that's what happens when I go on Facebook right before bed.  I'd been reading about all these poor folks in Detroit who've had their water turned off.  Last summer it was the electricity, right in the middle of the worst heatwave in the city's history (and it stranded a pregnant woman in an elevator).  Now it's the water.  Detroit has become a third-world country.  It's horrifying.

We are a nearly 2 weeks into Phase 1 of Summer Vacation.  LG started summer school on Monday, and WG is off until July 7th.  So far, not horrible.  I mean, other than colds, runny noses, meltdowns, and complete exhaustion (for all of us).  On Tuesday the kids were so tired they didn't even want to go swimming!  That was a first, seeing as these are 2 kids who would swim in the arctic at 3 AM if given the chance.
We'll try to get to the pool today, even though the weather isn't great. Maybe we'll have it to ourselves, mwahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another 1/2 pound gone this week.  I was kind of surprised that I lost anything, to tell you the truth. Last week was rough, and I certainly didn't work out like I usually do.  I DID, however, take a really nice, 90-minute, heated power yoga class on Sunday. Hopefully I can get there on a semi-regular basis. yet another case of small degrees of separation (which seems to happen a lot), my mom's colleague had lunch with Benedict Cumberbatch the other day.  Why, you may ask, was this man afforded this privilege?  Because he wrote the book "Black Mass" about Whitey Bulger, which is being made into a film, and is currently shooting in Boston.  BC is playing his brother Billy. Who, in reality, is short and bald.  But, hey, it's Hollywood!
By all accounts, he (Benedict) is a really nice guy, and is pretty close to perfecting his Southie accent.  He's also been reading the Boston Globe quite often, which is the paper my dad wrote for.

Small, small world.

OK.  I started this post 2 days ago.  This morning I clicked on one f my most favoritist blogs in the whole wide world, "The Great Fitness Experiment."  Charlotte is an amazing person and a TERRIFIC writer.  She is also thoughtful, sensitive, empathetic, and thoroughly researches the topics she writes about.  Today she wrote about a weight loss system that is apparently very popular.
And, boy howdy, did the trolls come out!

She made it very clear that the opinion stated in her blog was just that: HER OPINION!  And that she read the research that was available to her, as well as talking to a friend who sells the product.  But did any of that stop the personal attacks?  Of COURSE not!  Because we now live in an age in which it's not enough to disagree with someone, we have to belittle them, as well.  One poster said "I hope you understand that the only thing at stake here is your reputation and credibility.  And OH BOY did you ever put those on the line today...Better luck next time!"  While others accused her of misusing her friendship with the woman who sells the product, and of being classless.


This is just MY opinion, but it seems to me there may be some astroturfing going on.  Which is when a person, a corporation, a political group, etc. sends its supporters to a blog or post to troll the comments.  I'm not saying the company necessarily did this, but they do have a number of independent contractors, and who knows what one individual can get up to?

This is the sort of thing that we're used to on Facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc.  Charlotte's blog will get the occasional troll, but they are usually taken care of (gently).  I've been following her blog since almost the beginning, and I have NEVER seen anything like what happened today on it.
Charlotte and I have never met in person, but we have been corresponding for some time, and I consider her a friend.  And if someone goes after my friends, I am not going to sit by silently.  The folks saying nasty things to and about her, by their own admission, don't know her at all.  Yet they feel free to slam her.
Again, it's nothing new.  People will say things online they'd never dream of saying face-to-face.  It's cowardly and mean.  They, themselves, are exhibiting the very behavior they accuse her of.

Here's another of my opinions:  If the company has ANYTHING to do with this, they should be ashamed.  This isn't marketing, this is bullying.  If they're NOT behind it but get wind of it, they MUST denounce this behavior immediately.   And if it IS just a bunch of random individuals, then what a sad, sorry state we are now in.  And those individuals should be ashamed.
But I won't hold my breath waiting for them to know better.

In the meantime, I'm going to go watch some re-runs of "Doctor Who," and dream of a madman in a blue box who repeatedly saves the universe.

Even when we don't necessarily deserve it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Welcome to the Sick House

WG, then, LG, and now, apparently Hubby and I have all gotten sick this week. Nothing too terrible so far (knock on wood), but enough to make us a bit unhappy.
And ruin all our best-laid plans for the week.  Poor LG had only been in the pool for a half hour on Monday when I got the call to go to San Jose and pick up WG.
She stayed home yesterday, and went back to school today.  But LG woke up all sneezy & snuffly, so no pool.  And now he has a fever.

Gah, I HATE it when they're sick!  Poor little bunnies!
Their eyes get all droopy and sad, and their noses run, and they can't breathe well, and their little faces get all red.


Luckily, however, they seem to bounce back pretty quickly.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Summer around here.  Not that we had much of a Winter.  The other day, as LG and I were driving to San Jose, we went past the hills surrounding Stanford.  Normally they are lush, verdant, and green.  Right now they're brown and dry, and probably a pretty big fire hazard.
You'd think, by now, someone could've come up with a way to take the water from places that are flooding and bring it to drought-stricken areas!
But then, we still don't have flying cars, jet packs, or transporters...

This drought is quite worrisome.

But there's not a whole lot I can do at the moment, other than conserve water.  Which we're doing.  So, there is no point in obsessing.

In GOOD news, I've thus far lost 8 pounds since starting WW 4 weeks ago.  And, yes, I am MUCH more mindful of what, and, especially, WHY, I eat.  And I'm working out smarter.  I feel MUCH less obsessive about it all, which is nice. And not what I was expecting.
Because the last few times I tried WW, I DID become obsessed.
I think the meetings make a big difference.  And, perhaps, being a bit older and wiser.  Maybe.

In OTHER other news, it's official: Peter Capaldi is the Biggest Mensch In The World.  He's spearheading the campaign to rebuild the Glasgow School of Art, of which he is an alumni.  Much of it was destroyed in a fire last month, and many of the students lost the artwork they'd created for their show that would determine whether they got their degree.  PC made a video for them.  The best part is when he says "You are artists, and this will only add to your story.  You will be reborn, and rise from the ashes even stronger."
How cool is that?!?!?!
He also says "I wish I could turn back time but, unfortunately, I'm not Cher."  Before doing a little bit with the TARDIS.  :)

OK.  Gotta try and maybe get to bed early.  Gonna need my energy over the next few days.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Roller Coaster

Well.  It turns out PART of the reason for my recent emotional psychosis was hormones.  My period came 5 days early. And it came in with a wallop.
Then lasted 3 days, and was gone.

Yesterday was a really good day. Helped along by the fact that I actually saw my therapist.  It was a terrific session, and I got a LOT out of it.
Today, however, is another day of sadness and worry.  I'm using the tools I have, and I think they're helping.  I need to remember that all of this doesn't mean I WON'T ever feel anxious and depressed, but it does mean I can move out of it sooner.

I'm trying to stay away from the 24-hour news cycle, but living with folks who have either CNN or (G-d help me) Fox on all day isn't helpful.  I have to bring my phone and ear pods downstairs when I make dinner, because the TV is right there, and if I have to listen to that crap, I will surely commit a criminal act.

I'm still going to get back on the meds.  I think I need them.  However, my GP has retired, so I need to find a new one.  Too bad I don't live in an area where there are literally thousands of health care professionals, as well as hundreds of hospitals.

Oh wait...    :)

One of the epiphanies I had (or, actually, was given to me) yesterday is that not only are my imaginary conversations with people who exist but whom I've never met not only NOT a sign that I've gone off the deep end and started swimming for Hawaii, they are actually HEALTHY!

Who knew?

I mean, besides my therapist, who could've told me that YEARS ago if only I'd let her in on the fact that I have those conversations.
All the time.
With many different people.
A number of whom just happen to be handsome, successful, talented men.

Coincidence, of course...

In good news, I lost another pound last week.  But probably gained it back with all the monthly cycle stuff going on.  Which is fine.  I'm trying to focus on how I feel.  And, physically at least, I feel pretty darn good. I'm trying to work it out so that maybe this summer my in-laws can watch the kids once a week, letting me get to yoga class.  It will save my sanity and, well, save my sanity.

So.  We'll see how it all goes.

As of right now, LG is on vacation.  He'll start summer school in a little over a week, but he is, I guess, officially an 8th grader.  He'll be 13 in a month and a day.

It seems like yesterday I'd just dropped him off for his first day of 6th grade!  How did this happen?!?!?!
OK, if I'm being truthful, It kinda feels like he just started preschool last week.

WG has one more week, then she starts summer school in July.
And she's going to turn 11 in November!

I'm not sure I can handle this.

Maybe I should get a prescription for Valium...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Life, Don't Talk to Me About Life

Things have been a bit rough around here lately.  As you know, the living situation is far from ideal, and there's not much to be done about it for the foreseeable future.  We're also coming up to summer vacation, Hubby has been cast in 2 shows (along with his regular, full-time job), and I'm starting to feel the overwhelm coming on.
I think the only way I'm gong to get anything done is to plan it, write it on our calendar, and do it.  For far too long, I've made tentative plans and then crossed my fingers, hoping that the stars will align, the angels will sing, and what I hope for will come to pass.  And what's ended up happening is that I've had to change my plans, putting them on the back burner until some vague point in the future.  
Because I'm Mom, and everyone else comes first.

Which is bull pucky.  Just because I'm a mother, and just because my kids are on the spectrum, doesn't mean I have to continuously come last and sacrifice everything (jobs, friends, etc).  I think I've become my own self-fulfilling prophecy, however, by believing just that.  Believing that by allowing Hubby to do his thing,  and not let myself do mine, I'm making my family happy, even if I'm miserable.  I've believed that asking for what I want, and pursuing it, makes me selfish.

But it doesn't. 

OF COURSE my kids are my priority, but that doesn't mean I have to give up everything else, forever.

So it's time to figure out what I want, and go for it. 

It's also been difficult watching the Bowe Bergdahl story explode.  No one really knows what happened, and seeing him and his family attacked in the national media is incredibly upsetting and disheartening.  Partly for selfish reasons: If a country can turn on a POW like this, with no concrete evidence, what will happen to people like my kids when they're grown and need support?  What happens to the most vulnerable members of our culture?

If he's a deserter, let him be tried.  Here.  At home.  If he had some kind of mental break, give him the help he needs.  

I worry that we're too far gone.  We have become the Romans in the Coliseum, cheering as people are thrown to the lions.  I don't have much hope for the future, which makes the present a very hard place to be.  

And I think I may need my anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds again.  Because I've been feeling levels of anxiety and despair that I haven't felt in a very long time.  The tapping helps, but I think I need a bit of EXTRA help.

The last thing my kids need is a mom who is unable to cope.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weight, Weight, DO Tell Me

I lost 5 pounds.
Naturally, a good bit of that was water weight, as happens anytime one starts a new eating plan.
And I know I'm not supposed to focus on the pounds so much, but they gave me a sticker for it!
AAAAAAND, it was also election day, so I voted, and got ANOTHER sticker!

Seriously, I'm a grown woman, I'll be 45 next month, and I still get excited over the prospect of being given a sticker!  Not buying one, but getting one for something I did.
And let me tell ya: I wore that "I Voted" sticker ALL FREAKIN' DAY!  And I wore it proudly.
OK, a big part of that is the fact that I'm glad to live in a place where, for now at least, I can be part of the process.  I love voting. When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to turn 18 so I could vote.  We held mock elections in school, and I was the first in line. I always went into the voting booth with my parents (as long as I promised not to comment, loudly, on whom they were voting for. Again).

And, of course, there's the whole "Gold Star for Achievement" thing. I don't think we ever outgrow that.

On Wednesday I sat in on my friend's improv class.  Although there wasn't a whole lot of sitting going on, to be honest.  Between 3 1/2 hours of improv, a heated vinyasa class earlier in the day, and the fact that I didn't get home until after 11 (shush, I'm old!), I woke up yesterday morning feeling hungover.  And went through the entire day that way.
But in the evening Hubby and I had a date.  We went out for sushi, then over to the mall to buy clothes for the kids, who insist on growing at frankly alarming rates.

On the workout front: I got a Groupon for a local Bikram studio, but am instead taking  their regular, non-heated, non-Bikram classes.  I prefer them.  I actually like doing hatha/vinyasa in heated rooms, but we still manage to generate heat without cranking up the thermostat.  It's nice to mix that in with the strength/interval stuff.

As for food, I've been paying a lot more attention to my hunger cues.  Last night I ate enough to satisfy, but didn't overdo it, and that made me very happy.  (Also made for a smaller bill, which is always nice.)  And not a whole lot of sugar, except in fruit.  And I don't miss it, which is pretty great.  Of course, having recipes for things like chocolate smoothies (that get their sweetness from bananas or dates) helps a lot. I FEEL a whole lot better, the weight, maybe, is starting to come off, and I'm definitely stronger.
All good.

Now I just need to get a well-paying job I love in my field, and decent child care...


Monday, June 2, 2014

June is Busting Out...

Can't believe the school year is almost over!
Both kids will be in summer school, and we're back to the 2-week overlap, THANK GOODNESS!  Last summer there was NO overlap, and by September I was ready for a padded room.  Plus, we may have some extra help this year: WG's teacher mentioned that many of the school staff are looking for summer employment.  So maybe we can add one or two folks to our respite care, and they can be an extra pair of hands.  And since WG already knows (and loves!) them, it'll be fun! They are all such good folks, too. It takes a special kind of person to work with people with special needs, IMHO.  And they ADORE her!  (Then again, what's not to love, she asked, with NO bias whatsoever!)

We're also getting a (new) mini-trampoline.  :)  We had one, but it got thrashed.  The kids have been bouncing on our exercise ball (and we've had to replace it.  Twice.), and this way they can bounce to their heart's content.  Plus, its good for the lymphatic system.
And, let's be honest, it's just plain fun!
AND...Hubby has promised to be more hands-on with the kiddoes when he's home.  Of course, he's starting rehearsals on a new show come August, just when both kids are home all day.  But he may take a little bit of time off of work in order to help out.  He actually has a specific number of hours each year that he HAS to take off, so that helps.

In other exciting news, at least for me, I got a new pair of glasses for the first time in over 4 years.  It turns out I have a mild astigmatism, because I'm getting old.  But they're purple, they have Transitions lenses, and they sexAY (according to Hubby). Gotta love the Costco opthalmology department!
And I'm going for a hearing test in a couple of weeks.
'Cause as much as I love & miss my dad, I don't want to emulate his auditory behavior.  ("Huh?  What?  Turn up the TV, I can't hear it!"  While the rest of us scramble for the other room before our ears start to bleed.)


Food & exercise wise, I think I'm doing pretty well.  Feeling good, other than my monthly insomnia (thanks a LOT, girly hormones!).  Last night I did "Squeeze," which is similar to barre workouts, only with even more pain.  I haven't done it in a few years, and, yup, it's still as (horrible) challenging as I remembered. Today is slow-flow-yoga.  I think I'm going to cut down to 5 days a week of workouts, rather than 6. I overdid it a bit last week.
I've been reading a book called "Losing Weight is a Healing Journey" by an Aussie lass named Katrina Love Senn.  She recommends, and I wholeheartedly agree, eating a diet of 80% real foods, 20% lightly processed foods (whole grain bread/pasta, jarred/canned veggies & beans, olive & coconut oils, etc.),  and avoiding heavily processed food as much as possible.
It's not about being perfect, it's just trying to feel better, and feed my family healthier stuff.
Having that ovarian cyst last month taught me that it's an experience I'd prefer to avoid as much as possible.  It HURT, man!  And we all know what a complete an total wuss I am. So keeping it real (food), cutting down on sugar, and even cutting down on supplements will hopefully help.  (I read that overdoing it on probiotics in pill form can contribute to the formation of cycts.)

One nice thing about Weight Watchers these days is the emphasis on whole foods.  Most fruits & veggies are zero points, whereas they used to have quite a bit.  They realized that clients were choosing 100 calorie snack packs over, say, a banana, because the packs had fewer points. Which was one of the reasons I'd given up before.  Cal me whacky, but I think encouraging people to eat more veggies & fruit is a GOOD thing, lol!
Plus, it lets me use one of my 4 dozen cookbooks.

AND I can still have my gigantic soy cappuccino in the morning.

OK, enough about THAT.
As predicted, our (in the collective sense) scary, mean pit bull has become my shadow.  He hangs out with me during the day, and plays with the kids at night (which is pretty damn cute).

And now, I must go nap.
While I can.
Before school is out.

Au revoir, mes amis!