Weight Loss, 2013, Resolutions

This weekend, and the first anniversary of mom’s death, have come and gone. Friday night was difficult, but I had a lot of love and support pouring in from friends and family but that made it easier to deal.

2012 is ending, and 2013 is beginning – JUST IN CASE YOU LIVE UNDER A ROCK. I’m not a huge believer in resolutions, because I have made several over the course of the years and have not really kept any. I feel sometimes that making resolutions just sets a person up to fail, especially if those resolutions are things like “LOSE ALL THE WEIGHT” or “RUN FIVE MILES TWICE A DAY” or “MEMORIZE THE HUNGER GAMES AND RECITE IT IN ITALIAN WHILE LEARNING TO PLAY THE FIDDLE”.

I mentioned in a past post that my last doctor appointment showed that I weigh the same as I did when I had Nellie almost 3 years ago. Seeing that number on the scale triggered something inside me, and since then I’ve used MyFitnessPal to track my daily calories and exercise. With the exception of a bit of calorie-overage during the holiday weekend (and really, it wasn’t MUCH calorie overage), I have been consistently under my daily calorie allowance for almost two weeks. This is the best I have done so far in my efforts to lose my baby weight. It seems that my resolve is stronger this time than it ever has. I have also been seeking support and encouragement from the website/app LifeKraze. The community there is full of really positive people who love to give virtual high-fives and support.

I am trying to take it slowly with a goal of being 20 pounds lighter by my brother’s wedding June 1st. This goal is completely attainable; in the past, I have lost 20 pounds in just under two months’ time. I am being realistic about the rate at which I can lose weight now – I do not have the free time nor energy to lose at the rate I used to. So 20 pounds in 5 months is my first goal. My ultimate goal is to reach the weight that is pretty healthy for me: 160 pounds.

I have a long road ahead. Losing 50 pounds is more weight than I’ve ever needed to lose before. I’m determined to do it, though. I think this time my resolve is set.

The first month of 2013 will bring exciting things. I turn 29 (WHAT THE EFF? How did my 20s go by so quickly?) on January 9th, my daughter turns 3 (again with the WTF) on January 20th. My brother and his fiancee are coming for a visit. I’m looking forward to what 2013 has to offer. 2012 went by in the blink of an eye; I know that sounds like a cliche, but that is exactly how it feels. It was January, I closed my eyes, and when I opened them my daughter was opening Christmas presents.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year celebration. I will be spending it with a quiet evening at home with my family. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013.

In Her Time of Dying – One Year

DISCLAIMER:

This entry is very long. It also contains details about the night my mother died one year ago today. It may not be suitable reading for everyone, and it may contain triggers for others. Please continue reading with that in mind.

It  has been one year since my mother died. One year to the day. I have kept myself busy all day at work, my best friend and her little girl came over for a girl’s night not too long ago, Josh is out and Nellie is in bed and for the first time all the day, I am alone with my thoughts.

I was okay until the music started.

I made a Spotify playlist of songs that reminded me of my mother. I planned on listening to the songs and writing my feelings out this evening and my feelings have not disappointed. The first song is playing now – “Song for Judith” by Judy Collins. Tears are streaming down my face as I type.

I feel overwhelmingly sad. I don’t miss my mother. This is something I’ve maintained through the entire year. I do not feel a longing for her, I do not miss having conversations with her – she contributed very little to our relationship the last thirteen years of her life. But I feel sad. Heavy. Full of sorrow, longing for a mother I never had and never will. I feel a void inside of me for all the things that could have been but never were.

I am remembering the night she died clearly. Josh dropped me off at the hospital that afternoon. Ellen, my brother Drew, and I whiled away the remaining daylight hours in her room without saying much of anything. I played around on my laptop and wrote. At one point, we pulled up that website, Akinator (if you don’t know what it is, go have some fun with it) and enjoyed some light moments. Drew and I were getting hungry, so we decided to get some pizza at Mellow Mushroom. I was gathering my things, getting ready to go when all of a sudden, Drew began to speak. He began to speak of memories past, of things from our childhood. He sat back down and I did, too. He sat beside her and I sat in a chair at the end of her bed.

It was like there was a silent force in the room with us commanding us to stay. Without ever communicating why to each other, my brother and I began talking. And talking. And remembering. There were a lot of “do you remember” and “so did I ever tell you?”s.

She had changed. Somewhere between my arrival that afternoon and the decision to go out to eat, she had changed. Until then, her arms still occasionally twitched. Her eyes were closed, yet moved beneath the lids like she was dreaming. Now her body was rigid and growing colder to the touch. Her eyes were half-open and fixed. They give you literature in hospice with telltale signs that a person is approaching death. But it doesn’t prepare you for what it looks like when someone is there and also not there. My mother was a breathing corpse.

I sat in my chair, anxious and scared. We all knew the end was very, very near. At one point she inhaled and stopped breathing for a moment only to exhale in a ragged, rasping rattle. I lifted my head and looked at her. Her face had contorted; her eyes were bulging from her head and her lower jaw jutted forward at an unnatural and horrifying angle.  She looked like something out of a  horror movie. I choked back something between a sob and a scream and jerked my head back down. Fat tears spilled from my eyes as I tried to force the image of her out of my head. I thought she was dead.

She began breathing again. I drew my breaths in slow and deep, trying to calm myself down. After a little while my brother and I looked at each other and reached an unspoken decision. It was time for us to leave. We told her goodbye, and went out to grab a bite to eat.

The drive to the restaurant took about fifteen minutes. We climbed out of the car and as we got close to the doors I heard music coming from the outdoor speakers. Jack Johnson’s voice, normally mellow, hit me like a freight train:
Please don’t go away. Please don’t go away.

I stopped dead in my tracks for a moment and exchanged a glance with Drew to see if he had heard the lyrics of the song at the same time I did. I am not sure if he did. I walked through the doors, feeling shaken.

We ordered our pizza and a salad to share. The waiter brought the salad and we each took a few bites when Drew’s phone rang. Our eyes darted up and locked. We knew. Drew looked at his phone and nodded, almost imperceptibly, to me. He picked it up.

She was gone.

It felt like a dream. The noise of the restaurant, the smell of pizza sauce seemed like it could not possibly exist in that moment in time. I texted my husband. My best friend. My fingers were numb. My body was numb. My mind was numb. The waiter came by, all smiles, until he saw our faces. He asked if everything was okay. My brother quietly told him that no, it wasn’t. Without batting an eyelash, the waiter left to have the kitchen box up our pizza and print out our check. I’m fairly certain fate put him in our path that night for a reason. He asked no questions, gave no pity looks or half-assed well-wishes. When he gave us our food and picked up our check, he looked each of us in the eyes and said that he hoped everything turned out okay, and walked away.

In an act of amazing love and friendship, my friend Nicole headed to my best friend Rachel’s house to sit with her little girl, while Rachel came to my house to sit with mine so my husband could hurry to the hospital to be with me. I will be forever grateful for those two women for doing this without hesitation and without being asked.

When we got to the hospital, the door to my mother’s room was open but a curtain drawn so you could not see in. I felt panicky. I felt like I was being held together by a tiny, vibrating threads and that those threads were about to snap apart at any moment. My brother went in to see her and I waited outside the door. When I finally saw my husband appear at the end of the hallway, I felt like screaming and sobbing and falling to the ground into a thousand pieces. I fell into his arms and buried my face in his chest.

He and I went into her room together, the curtain still obstructing my view of my dead mother. I turned to him and felt like I was hyperventilating. I began fanning my face with my hand, tears coming down fast and hot. I asked him through my panic what she was going to look like. If it was going to be scary. He pulled the curtain back just enough so he could look. I studied his face carefully and he turned toward me, his face set like stone.
“Is it horrible?” I asked, on the verge of a complete panic attack.
He put both hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes, steady as a rock.
“You do not have to go in there. I don’t think that  you want your last memory of her to be this way.”
Panicky. Hyperventilating.
“Is it really bad?” I asked desperately.
“She was very sick, honey. And no, she doesn’t look good. You do not have to go in there.”

And so I didn’t. I did not look at my mother after she died. On the drive home I felt like a coward. I felt guilty. I felt like the least I could have done was look at my dead mother.

But I didn’t.

The days after her death are well-documented on this blog. When I think back and remember that night I can remember almost every detail. Do I regret not going in and looking at her one last time, of not saying a final goodbye? No. I still have the image of her contorted face in my mind and that rattling breath that I was sure was her last in my ears. I am glad I don’t have another nightmarish image burned into my memory.

I don’t have anything else to say. I will leave those of you who are still reading with the lyrics to my mother’s favorite song; the song that she identified with the most. If you knew her, you know.

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she’s half crazy
But that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.
And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them”
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

 

Uninspired

I am now, and have been for a few weeks, utterly uninspired.

I should have a thousand things to write about. It’s Christmas, for fuck’s sake. I should be writing posts about the twinkling in my daughter’s eyes as she takes in the joy and wonder of the season. Or waxing poetic about the magical glow of the lights on my Christmas tree. Or writing posts with step-by-step instructions on how to make a snowman out of fucking Dixie cups or some equally Pinnable shit like that.

I should be spilling my guts here. It’s the first anniversary of a traumatic experience; my emotions should be flowing forth from my fingers as they frantically peck away at the keys, trying to keep up with the words that are trapped in my head.

Instead, I’ve been opening up my laptop and staring at a fucking blinking cursor, willing myself to write but finding my word well completely dry. I feel like I don’t have the energy to come up with ANYTHING. I don’t feel depressed but the thought of writing anything now (besides this, obviously) just seems impossible.

I go through dry spells like this. It makes me wonder how the hell big bloggers constantly generate content that attracts readers. WHAT IS YOUR SECRET? I wonder if all bloggers feel this way from time to time, and how they get past it. Blah.

I’m trying to lose weight again. I went to the doctor the other day for a wellness checkup and to get some moles looked at (which earned me a dermatologist referral, by the way) and when I stepped on the scale, it screamed and inexplicably caught on fire.

Okay, that didn’t actually happen but the number did read the same as it did THREE YEARS AGO when I gave birth to my daughter. Want to know what that number is? Of course you do. That number was 209. TWO HUNDRED AND NINE POUNDS. I am five-foot-three. THAT IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS. I mean SERIOUSLY. Luckily everything else about me was healthy. Excellent cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and all that jazz. I’m just a goddamn lardass.

As of now I am doing well tracking my calories, and am doing better with exercising. I am trying to take it one day at a time.

I feel muted. I want to think and talk about this time last year and I also don’t. So much contradiction.

I’ll be funny again soon, I promise. Hopefully. Maybe.

 

Warm Holiday Wishes

Christmas is almost here. I am looking forward to seeing Nellie open her presents on Christmas morning. I wanted to go ahead and share what I’ve decided is this year’s Christmas card. I put it together a little late. The image is from Nellie’s daycare Christmas program and was taken during her class’s set of songs. From our family to yours……….

 

 

 

……………………………… Happy Holidays everybody!

How Am I Feeling?

How am I feeling?

I don’t know. I have had a few people ask, knowing that the first anniversary of my mom’s death is coming up on the 28th, and that this time last year I was unknowingly on the precipice of my world being thrown into chaos. I’m very conscious of the days ticking away and coming closer to the 21st, when I got the call that my mom was in the hospital and had coded. If I am being honest, I check the calendar every day and think about this time last year. How could I not? I was so full of anticipation last year for Christmas. I had grand plans. I was going to bake cookies with my daughter on Christmas Eve. We were going to have omelets Christmas morning and revel in our daughter opening gifts.

The world went to hell on the 21st and I lived in a haze of DNR paperwork, hospice conversations and horrible hospital coffee for the next week.  My holiday sucked. At the time I was pretty numb and was trying to find some good (“well, Nellie was adorable opening presents” was about all I could find) but looking back on it, it fucking sucked. It was the second Christmas in my life that was utterly terrible, the first being when we lost our first baby to miscarriage three days before Christmas.

It seems that three is the magic number for awful things happening in our family around Christmas; miscarriage three days before one year, the death of my mother three days after another.

I feel strange writing this considering everything that happened in Connecticut last week. I feel almost like I do not have the right to reflect and feel my conflicted feelings about my personal anniversary coming up. After all, I have my daughter. I did not have to rush to her school in a panic while wondering whether she survived a mass shooting. I tucked her in at night the evening of the 14th as I do each night.

As much as I feel conflicted about sharing my thoughts and feelings about this first anniversary, I also feel like I haven’t really processed or felt much about it and writing is my outlet. It’s how I cope, and how I deal with my feelings and thoughts sometimes.

So, how am I feeling?

I don’t know. I don’t think that I feel sad. I guess maybe I feel reflective? When I talk to people about this time last year I find myself feeling kind of fragile, like talking about it will make me relive the trauma and I will break into a thousand little pieces. I suspect that maybe my anxiety and feelings about it are manifesting in other ways; bad dreams, short temper at times, overeating.

I am feeling very enthusiastic about this Christmas despite everything. There is a pile of presents under the tree, I’ve already gotten my gift from my husband (a brand new laptop that is 100% MINE and mine alone – I know, right?) and absolutely cannot wait for my girl stumble out of bed with her wild, unruly hair and Christmas footie pajamas and tear into those presents with the wild abandon only a child at Christmas can have.

Right now I am feeling okay. Come the 21st I may sing a different tune, but tonight – right now, I am okay.

A Day of Silence for Sandy Hook

 

The Post Where I Ramble About Kale Chips and Bane

Happy Friday!!!  Bells and whistles and parades and whee! Unless you work weekends, in which case….. Awwwkkwwaarrddd.

I haven’t felt much like writing lately. I haven’t really had much to say. Which, I think, means I kind of suck as a writer. Not that I’m saying I’m a writer. I don’t know if I would ever feel comfortable calling myself a writer unless I wrote a book and got paid for it. I’m more like a typer and word-spitter-outter.

Anyway. I don’t have many full, coherent sentences to string together to form a poignant or even funny blog post, so instead you get a bunch of bullet points that are easier to read than a paragraph, anyway. You’re welcome.

  • I won something. I got a phone call the other day to tell me I won tickets to see the Indigo Girls in Atlanta TONIGHT! I was so excited! I never win anything, and I’ve never won tickets from a radio station (I forgot to mention they were from a radio station. I fail at stories.). Not only that, but I won an overnight stay at a hotel down there. I’m taking my friend and former quartet-mate Lynda. Cannot wait!
  • We watched The Dark Knight Rises the other night. I really enjoyed it and I think it was my 2nd favorite of the series (my first favorite being Batman Begins). My only problem was that even though Bane was an awesome bad guy, he sounded like a drunk robot and I could barely understand him. GO HOME BANE, YOU ARE DRUNK.
  • Nellie has been saying hilarious things and I’ve been trying to compile them weekly. Once I get enough “Nellie-isms” for the week I will share them here on my blog.
  • I just tried to make some kale chips. I put too much pepper on them, and also burned some. So the ones that didn’t either taste like burning or ashes tasted pretty good. Note to self: pay more attention to your cooking kale chips and less attention to your Nook.
  • I’m currently reading “Divergent”, which I really like. I loved the Hunger Games and liked Matched okay. I feel Divergent is superior to Matched, mostly because the female character is more interesting and the whole “dystopian universe” is better than it is in Matched.
  • I’ve been thinking of getting a tattoo, partly because Josh’s Christmas gift from me this year is $200 toward a new tattoo (I didn’t spoil anything, he already knows) and partly because I was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers to get one. I just need to figure out what I want. I was considering “honey badger don’t give a shit”, but then I wondered how in the hell I would explain that one to my grandkids.
  • I’m feeling kind of “blah” right now. I’m not sure if it’s because the anniversary of my mom’s death is coming up, or if I’m just tired, or what. Blah.

Well, that was fun. I hope you enjoyed reading it and if you didn’t, maybe you found something good to watch on T.V. to keep your interest instead. I’ll be back with a funnier blog post soon. Promise.

Velociraptors. Flatulence. 69. Basically the Best Post Ever.

So in an act of desperation and laziness, I reached out to my Facebook friends for blogging inspiration. I told them to give me a topic and I’d blog about it. Dear Everyone: please do my work as a blogger for me. Thanks. Love, Me.

I got a couple of topics that I were so random or raunchy or funny I decided to include them all together in one post. I got a few that  will make good stand-alone posts. One thing I learned from this exercise is that my readers are helpful, funny, and fucking weird. I say that with nothing but love. Thanks guys!

Confessions
Suggested by Rachel
Confessions. Okay. One time when I was a kid, I got arrested for writing in wet cement. Dumbest thing to ever be arrested for, right? But I did. Cop showed up at my house and everything. My best friend at the time and I were riding our bikes around her neighborhood when we saw some wet cement. We were all, “Hey dudes pouring cement! Can we write our names really small in there?” and they were all “NO! GET AWAY! WE HATE CHILDREN! WE ARE MISERABLE AND DON’T LIKE JOY OR HAPPINESS.”

And we were like “LOL OK” and waited until they left. And then we started to scribble things in the cement. Things like, “I love velociraptors” and “Jurassic Park Rules” (I’M NOT KIDDING. Not even a little bit). And then my friend had the bright idea to include our names – OUR FULL NAMES. So the next morning I woke up to my brother standing in my doorway with a maniacal grin on his face telling me I had a visitor. He failed to mention that visitor was a FUCKING POLICE OFFICER. Turns out after we’d left, some other kids had come by and written really obscene things in the cement.
It definitely wasn’t us because believe it or not, I didn’t always have a filthy mouth and I didn’t even understand the things they accused us of writing (I was 9 when this happened). I just wanted the world to know I loved velociraptors.  My dad ended up getting them to drop whatever stupid B.S. charges they were going to pin on him and it was my shameful story the rest of my childhood.

Butts, Farts, and Burps
From @momma23monkeys
Well, basically, I’m an expert in this topic because I have a butt and I fart and burp a lot. Actually my child farts a lot, too. And she’s gotten to the point where she understands the delight and humor in it, and also in blaming others for her flatulence. She also likes to announce when she farts. One time, I picked her up from daycare and was holding her on my hip while talking to her teacher. She broke ass right on my arm and gasped and yelled, “I FARTED!”
We like to keep it classy in my family. She doesn’t burp much. But she’s got the farting thing down. I think farts are funny and probably always will. Butts are pretty weird, if you think about it. I’m not going to expand on that. Just think about butts and how weird they are.

69
From @BashIsHot
THAT IS FILTHY AND I REFUSE TO BLOG ABOUT IT.
I’m totally fucking with you. I say “fuck” and talk about vibrators on this blog. So, 69. Fun fact about that little number. I had to find out what it meant  from my younger cousin when I was about 13. Someone had made some joke about it and I was all, “I DON’T GET IT” and my younger cousin and his friend had to explain. I was a late bloomer, okay? I played with Littlest Pet Shop toys until I was like 14. NOT KIDDING. I didn’t kiss a dude until I was 16.

Holiday Cards and How There’s This Weird Obligation to Send Them
From @baldeesh
OH MY GOD I KNOW. Every damn year I’m all, “I’M SENDING OUT HOLIDAY CARDS! GIVE ME YOUR ADDRESS! I PROMISE IT WON’T BE USED FOR STALKING!….. Okay I can’t promise that but GIVE ME YOUR ADDRESS ANYWAY!” and I have grand plans to take adorable matchy-match photos with my cute family and then I get lazy and sit on my ass and eat peanut butter fudge instead. And then I send out e-cards. Or am just like “Hey Merry Christmas, Facebook!”
I don’t know what it is that compels us to bombard our loved ones’ mailboxes with cards or those family newsletter things. No one reads those. You know who wants to know how my year went? My dad. You know who else?
NO ONE.
Besides. Anyone who reads my blog already knows how my year went. I can’t tell real-life stories to most of my friends anymore because they’re like, “We know. We read your blog”. At least most of my friends are reading. And if they’re not, THEN EFF YOU TOO BUDDY.

This post turned out quite nicely. Thanks for the help, guys! We all have weird brains.