Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pregnant or PMS?


When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was in complete denial. Not that I was pregnant. That was so obvious my mother in law told complete strangers I was too large to fit into my car. I went quickly from a ninety nine pounds wet girl, as my husband’s boss used to say to a wife the size of a duplex. All because of a baby? No. Not so much. Maybe more because of the baby, the macaroni and cheese, the constant peanut butter and jelly sandwiches chased by a spoonful or two of just peanut butter followed by at least one bowl of cookies and cream ice cream and milk to wash it all down. And hormones convincing me those are all good choices. Times three. For each baby I had, I had an extra bowl of ice cream each evening. They are still very young and I am back to a size six, but my butt will never be the same. I really only say that because my butt is the one thing I don’t have time to look at. My kids like it well enough. It’s their view from the their height, and since my oldest is now six years old and I let her say the word butt, it’s quite the topic these days. So with my kids checking my butt daily for change, I’ll keep focus on things like the baby blanket they left in my belly and my thighs that have become so close to one another they seem to be sharing secrets; like the secret of how to keep them from touching one another.
What I can’t get a handle on these days is PMS. For years I denied I had PMS. It was a gentleman’s term created to give men a reason to blame women for their own faults their wives disliked. Then I got pregnant. Nine months of premenstrual syndrome. Growing bigger by the second and pissed off about it, I denied I was completely miserable during my entire first pregnancy. My husband tried to tell me how angry and mean I was, and I denied it all the way to the hospital. And really for the fifteen months of nursing after the baby was born. By baby number two my hormones hadn’t evened the slightest amount, so I was crazy still and knocked up again. Rinse and repeat; by baby number three I didn’t even know who I was anymore. Lost among hormones coming and going as they please, no sleep and making milk faster than the Keebler elves can dip cookies into a vat of chocolate, I spent most of my days chasing a preschooler and a toddler and nursing an infant. I only knew if it was day or night by whether the coffee pot was churning out the coffee – which was decaffeinated because I didn’t need a baby on speed after all – or whether or not I and my bed sheets were soaked in milk. After our first baby was born, I caught my husband putting a can of cat food into the coffee filter as he was preparing to make coffee, so who knows if I even had my coffee making skills on target for daytime hours anyway.
After being pregnant for twenty seven months and nursing for forty five months, I was surprised to find myself waking from a dreamlike state with three healthy, rather happy and well adjusted children. Two of them were in school and the other was walking and talking. My husband was still married to me by choice and it was time to find myself again. I was sleeping for the first time in six years. All night. Every night. Did I say all night? I even made a new best friend that helped me sleep. It was my little blue pill. I would ask my husband to get my little blue pill and he wouldn’t even become defensive thinking I was accusing him of needing that blue pill. He would get me Tylenol PM and within two hours I’d be fast asleep dreaming of all the things I might be able to do the next day after at least six hours of good slumber. Those things of course would never get done because…well because I have three kids. So every few weeks I’d get by with what I could do and the other week of the month my family would want to move away from me. Far far away. Once the house was cleaned and I had some time along I would come back from cloudy hell and be nice to my family. On about month six of this, my husband asked me if it’s possible I could be pregnant. Once I even took a test to find out what I knew. I wasn’t pregnant. I was facing PMS. It was getting worse by the month. So indeed I have come to realize there is not much difference in being pregnant or dealing with the hormones of just being a woman. I no longer need my uterus really. The ovaries have done great work for me. My hormones adjusting up and down, across and sideways, over, under and all around just plain sucks! But here I am with three beautiful children, a supportive husband and no monthly trip to the Bahamas to get away from it all for just about ten days. I am convinced the monthly trip to a beach somewhere all along would solve all my problems, but I can’t convince my husband to give me the plane ticket each month and stay home and clean the house for me. My next step is to find another solution starting with exercise and a healthy diet – which I have down at least three weeks of the month.

Friday, January 21, 2011

In a Year



In a year, we have missed your presence, your touch, your smile and your laughter. We have missed your tears but shed our own. We have celebrated your life, your journey and have wondered when we will meet again. In a year we have asked people to learn from us, take lessons in pain, forgive and move forward. We mourned many losses next to the huge hole left in our hearts three hundred and sixty five days ago. We have held celebrations while seeing your little smile and thinking of all the things you would be doing now. We wake each morning grateful to see the sun all while thinking of the view you have from above. We cross our hearts, hope not to die, but instead cry deep inside. We know our purpose here has not met its needs, yet yours was fulfilled so quickly. We try not to think of the things we do each day that you cannot do. We practice our arrogance thinking you are missing so much when what we don’t know is what we are missing not being there with you. We know you’ll not climb a mountain one day as you may have dreamed, and we won’t witness your wings soaring over sights we don’t see. But we know you are there. We can feel you. We look up into the bright sun’s rays and see your smiling face looking down upon us; drying our tears and pulling our hearts back up into warmth. With your presence recognized again in a form we cannot begin to hold, we have hope. We know you are. We know we will be. We have faith, and the more you allow us to feel you, the more powerful we will feel. We can heal and understand there is no need for forgiveness to move forward. We are used to questioning, asking why, what did we do wrong, why, and why again? We are not used to giving ourselves away to blindness, but now that we can, you give us strength. With each breath we take, we can feel your warmth. With each step we take, we can feel your hand, so much stronger than it was just a year ago. We know you are gone from us, and we hurt still from the pain left behind, but you are here in ways we never knew before. We love you, cherish you, miss you, and can go on because you give us strength.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Positive Spin on You


Rather than complain about you today, I’ve decided to take the positive spin on your actions and decisions. I feel you should be commended for not even grazing my small child as you drove on the sidewalk today. He’s really very little and the sidewalk is so narrow, what compared to the road, it must have been hard to actually miss him. And I’ve been thinking about those two different times you interrupted me to speak to the person I was talking with and I’ve decided that your rants about housing prices was obviously so much more important than whatever nonsense I was talking. And though I usually look down upon people that continuously park in the fire lane, I figure since you are there while I’m releasing one of my three children from school and have the baby with me at all times, really I only risk losing one child should the fire trucks not be able to put the fire out in time as you move your van out of the way. Saving two out of three ain’t bad, eh? And finally, after seeing a child lift her car seat with her when she stood in the car before getting out, I decided after all you should leave your smallest child in the car while you run in to get your middle child. It all goes back to saving two of three ain’t bad. I see now that parking in the fire lane makes your trip into the school so much easier while leaving a small child in an unattended car makes your trip all the quicker. Sure the walk home will suck the day your car and your child are stolen, but you managed to save about ninety seconds by not taking her with you. I get it. I understand. Maybe those firemen will save her when they break your windows to get the hose through your car to put out the fire that may come. Or maybe not. Maybe some random sicko will take your van with your small child left inside and drive away. But no worries…you will still have two more children, and I will be happy to drive you to a field and drop you off after I leave your remaining children at a safe home or the police department. I’ve decided it’s also a great thing that you advertise to everyone that you have left your small child in the car. I hate it when criminals actually have to work to get their jobs done. I constantly hear about how many car doors they had to try before finding the one that was unlocked or before they found the one with the cute little girl left inside. Molesting takes time you see and when they have to waste so much looking for small children, they lose a lot. So I’m sure they are so appreciative of your loud voice carrying all over touting you left your kid in the car. Me, I’m not happy it’s a choice you make, but I also wasn’t happy about almost losing my child to your wheels or your rudeness or even your need to control people you do not know. But since looking at the bright side of you, I’ve decided if I hear you talking about leaving your child in the car again, you just may find the police waiting for you when you return. That would bring a smile to my face and I’m sure the alternative of someone stealing your van and child would be so much worse. Yep, this positive spin is so much more fun when dealing with you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One vat of cold coffee, please

Starbucks has introduced a new cold drink size to its menu only to compete with McDonald’s regular soda drinks and 7-11’s enormous Slurpee. The media seems to be making a big deal because evidently the drink is larger than an average adult size stomach. Hmmm….where were these people when McDonald’s offered the 42 ounce Super Size or more the fun loving 42 ounce Summer Size soft drink? And don’t we realize thanks to the likes of McDonald’s super drinks and the fact that Americans can’t make responsible choices, the size of the average adult American stomach is much larger than it used to be. Despite the media’s blame on the new Starbucks vat sized cup that was just released, it’s because of poor American sized choices and screw ups that we are larger than we should be. It’s actually a shame the new Starbucks Trenta cup was tested in Arizona where it’s about 116 degrees. I wonder if it had been tested in Minnesota if it would be for hot drinks instead of cold drinks. If that were the case, I’d surely ask for a vat of Americano with room for cream and several shakes of sugar.

Kiss it! ....or make out with it

A few months ago I took a Team Fitness class. I learned a lot, remembered a lot I had forgotten, toned up, lost a few pounds and was down two pant sizes putting my waist back to that little waist that walked down the aisle to greet my husband over eight years and three babies ago. Then pneumonia hit our house along with bronchitis, meningitis, chocolate, the common cold, Thanksgiving, green snot, guests, errands for Santa, peppermint cookies, Christmas, beer, queso and another round of coughs and colds. It’s been two months since I last walked into the gym. Luckily for me, only the queso was bad to me.
So I’m back at the gym and it feels like home again. I love those people, those machines and the child center that entertains my children. My oldest loves the climbing wall. Getting back on track after two months can be tough. I can’t imagine years going by without taking care of myself. What is hard is finding that zone again. After months of daily cardio and kicking my ass all the way to the cookie jar, I knew my numbers like the back of my hand. I knew just months ago at what heart rate I would get the best results and which one would make me go further or faster and which would make me pant like a large hairy dog in the middle of July in front of a hose that no one will turn on. I was told in my class to kiss my anaerobic threshold heart rate, and twice I was asked to run for thirty minutes at that rate. The first time was to see how fast I ran and how far I could go. The second was to see if I could go further at the same speed and the same AT rate, and also to see how quickly the paramedics would arrive since I was recovering from bronchitis at the time. My trainer started her shift at 4 o’clock in the morning, so I was certain her teeth hadn’t been brushed for hours, and I was sure I didn’t want to play around with the idea that she might have to bring me back to life. This past week I’ve felt like I have to make out with that AT rate. Instead of a simple kiss, I come up for air and pant until my ass is kicked and my legs are weak. Weak legs usually mean a great make out session, not just a kiss. And I’m down two pound again. So to my trainers I say my AT rate has changed in two months of not visiting you, but I do like making out, and you can kiss it!