Thank you, thank you…

Gratitude is on the mind — and not just because tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I just finished reading “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan. She spends an entire year focusing on gratitude in her life (her marriage, work, children, money, etc.) It gave me a lot to think about and was especially appropriate for this time of year, the holidays, Thanksgiving, and being at the home stretch of this pregnancy.

I thought I would share a list of things that are especially appropriate right now to me:

  1. My husband: I wrote about him last week so you know all the good stuff, and if you did not read it take a peek at last week’s blogs. Yesterday I randomly said I do not know what I would do without you. His response was: “yes I am not sure what you would do.” So I started listing off all these things that would make my life miserable and he said: “You could just live in a hotel.” Ha. It is so much more than that my better half. So much more.
  2. My health: It is not perfect — but I am making it through each day, and look forward to meeting this little man and taking the tests to find out how I am after delivery. If all goes well, then I look forward to getting back to my running and feeling like myself again.
  3. My future son: I am just so excited that we have made it this far together. Your dad and I are ecstatic and cannot count the days to meet you. That and I would love my body back.
  4. My family and friends: So grateful for each of you. Thank you for being a support to me, a listening ear, and an inspiration. I miss you mom, dad, and Granny Smith.
  5. My team at work: You work hard and play hard, keep it fun, funny, and real. Thank you.

For all of you reading my blog I appreciate you too. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Cherish each moment.

A mini Conk is coming!

So I have been holding back for a while before telling folks. Some friends, family, and work has known for a while (between my breasts getting much bigger and my bump starting to show, I had to let the cat out of the bag). For those of you I have never met, or do not see that often, today you are now in the know. Chris and I are expecting a baby boy on December 25, 2015. I am now 22 weeks (5.5 months) along, and past the halfway mark.

There have been so many times when I have wanted to write about being pregnant and since we were waiting to share I had to hold back! (Although I promise I will not inundate you over the coming months with baby bump updates). I cannot guarantee I will not share the many stories once we meet him!

We are so excited, and patiently waiting for the ‘lil man to join us. All is well, and we are just grateful for health for both me and ‘lil man. We have a little over four more months to go!

Sugar, layaway, and freedom as a kid

My mom did not drink Tab (that I can remember). Tab was too expensive. My mom drank Faygo. The cheap woman’s soda. A bottle was about 10 cents. She could purchase more bottles if she purchased Faygo. Besides, it was basically carbonated sugar-water of sorts. With such high amounts of sugar, why would it matter what it tasted like? As someone who no longer drinks soda, I can only imagine what my future kids will think of me. Hardcore? Mean? Boring? I will not let them drink that syrupy substance that has so much sugar they will bounce off the walls. Hell no. I have gone from being a child who hated her vegetables, to being a hardcore vegetable addict. Not only for the taste, but for the nutrition. Probably more for the nutrition and what that means for my health and energy.

I think we had Kool-Aid, but from what I can remember, it was “fake.” Some other knockoff brand. From what I can remember it still tasted fine. Again, it was just drinking sugar-water. Along with those frozen Fla-Vor-Ice quasi popsicles. They were basically sugar-water. No wonder we loved them. Sugar was few and far between in our house!

I really doubt my mom worried too much about us. She was too busy (when I was really young — before she got sick) trying to make sure we were fed, and that she made it to one of her many jobs on time. If she was not working, she was planning many months in advance how to get us Christmas presents via the longest ever layaway plan. This was before credit cards were so common and that is how you eventually owned products. She was the queen of figuring that out. Going each week to a list of grocery stores to get the best deal, and to a few other stores (such as Target) to pay that week’s installment of layaway. Her Friday nights were a scavenger hunt of sorts from store to store in order to get the best sales and purchase price. Sometimes she had us in tow. It was exhausting. These days we go to different stores not for the deals, but because of the assortment. You know those items that you can only get at Trader Joe’s!

In the summer she spent her spare moments not figuring out her layaway plans, but taking care of our vegetable and flower gardens. While I will never know, I think it was her favorite time of year. She was working with her hands, out in the sun, and most likely it was therapeutic for her. Any of her other waking hours were spent helping us with homework, and giving whatever time was left to her church. Thus why this line resonated with me from this Parenting blog:

“She said get the hell outside, and we did. We made up games and rode our bikes and choreographed dance routines and drank out of the hose when we got thirsty. I swear, my mom did not know where we actually were half the time.”

We did just the same. I do not remember telling her where I was going or what I was doing. I never really got into too much trouble. I was either on my paper route, riding around, at a friend’s or neighbor’s house, or snuggled somewhere with a book. Harmless. Today I bet life and freedom is not so easy to come by. Thank you, Mom, for the freedom.

Standing = 8 less lbs a year

For those of you that know me, I am a multi-tasker.

While in a meeting in a different building at work, I found two treadmill desks. How much I would love to have a treadmill desk at work. I could walk a ton and get so much done. A colleague said he had read an article about how standing at work is like running 10 marathons a year. I had to find it online.

Lately I have been struggling with sleeping on my side and my shoulders hurting in the middle of the night. The only way I have been able to get back to sleep was to stay on my back, or try sleeping on my stomach (a new feat for me)! It has made me start to think about how much I let my shoulders slump forward, or generally how I sit at my desk during the day. I have a high desk, so I can definitely work all day standing up, and yet I often do not. It is easier to sit, and then over time I realize that I am not sitting up straight, I am hunched over, and at the end of the day my shoulders, neck, and back hurt.

I am a competitive one, so if I started tracking how long I stood at my desk each day, and if the article is right, then I would be on track. Maybe not like truly running 10 marathons, but better for my health, better for my back, shoulders, and neck, and hopefully more focused on what I am working on. My problem? I am often not at my desk and usually in meetings throughout the day, so what does that mean for me? That whenever I am at my desk, I should stand? Maybe I should move my chair out of the way, so I know if I have given into the comfort of the hunch.

We are also on a mission for finally getting a king sized bed, so maybe a new mattress will help with the side sleeping dilemma, and standing all day will help my shoulders – and heck, as the article says burn 8 pounds of fat in a year.

Tears, teeth, and that smell

Yesterday I had a dentist appointment. It was a rough day in all ways. We got some not so fun news this week, Chris was traveling, a not so fun day at work, the list goes on. I will not bore you with the details. I am in the dentist chair getting my teeth cleaned, exhausted and almost falling asleep. I keep smelling something that feels familiar and realize it is my hygienist. I told her I was having a rough day and she was great, just kept quiet and did not talk too much. In turn it allowed me to be quiet.

Behind the big green glasses they give you to block their bright light, I felt tears come to my eyes. I had just spoken to my sister on my drive over to the dentist office. The smell reminded me of something from my past which in turn made me think of my mom, thus the tears. I was having one of those “I miss my mom moments” while my head was lower than my feet in the dentist chair. “Seriously?” I am thinking. “I have tears in my eyes at the dentist?” Most likely the emotions surrounding all the events of the past few days are bringing the water works, but did it have to be at the dentist?

No one noticed. Funny how I truly hate going to the dentist, and yet at this moment of cleansing, when they scrape, floss the crap out of your gums, and prod in your mouth, that it was the hour in my day that I needed to just let go, and hide behind the green glasses under the bright light. It always amazes me how the littlest smell can set off emotions in your body, bring back memories from childhood, and make you miss someone who has been gone for 20 years. I was having a day where I wanted to curl in a ball, scream and yell, throw a tantrum, and have my mom tell me it was all going to be alright.

My sister consoled me, Chris later consoled me, but sometimes all you want is your mom. Life is real and raw and painful sometimes. People let us down. We move on, we grow thicker skin, and somehow we make it through it all. Sometimes though we just want our mom to tell us that we did all we could do, and that we are going to be alright. I am looking forward to a new day full of opportunities to be quiet and listen, dance and run, and snuggle and hold those that are dear close to me.

Oh, and I have clean teeth now.