My grandma

There will be a break from the usual Food Diary posts for an unforeseen number of days.  My grandma (my dad’s mom) passed away less than an hour ago.  She fell down in the middle of the night, lapsed into a coma, and never woke up.  My day has been filled with phone calls both to us and to others for updates and plans.  I was fortunate enough to have a few friends over this morning (I debated calling & telling them not to come) and they were very sweet & comforting.  I’ve eaten nothing but junk food.  It is good for the soul, if nothing else.  Very soothing.

In any case, I’ll be taking a bit of a break this week.  “Talk” to you again next week.

Food Diary: Day 3

Breakfast:

 

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The remainder of 3 kids bowls of off-brand Honey Nut Cheerios.  Yes, that made up an entire bowl.  They started pouring cereal into bowls 3 minutes before it was time to go to school (while I was changing clothes).  This mornings tea: Bigelow’s Cinnamon Apple (in my new Volunteers Make a Better World mug)

 

 

Snack:

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One Lime Zinger cookie with the boychild.  Also a mug of GoodEarth’s Lemongrass green tea.  Yes, I drink a lot of tea. :)  He had chocolate milk and told me that I needed to tell you all that.

 

Lunch:

 

 caesar

We spent 25 minutes waiting at the pharmacy counter in the grocery store while the pharmacists all stared at the computer screen, scratching their heads, wondering why all my prescriptions were canceled.  That made us late getting out of the store, which meant there was no time to make the sandwiches that we were in there buying bread for before heading up to the kids school to have lunch with the middle child.  So smallest boy got a lunchable (ew) and I got a deli salad (which proclaimed: NOW ONLY 230 CALORIES.  My nearly emtpy tummy and I agree: very low on calories.)  Also ate the middle child’s apple, since he was about to throw it in the trash.  Silly, silly boy.  Drank water out of my giant MOPS water bottle.

 

Dinner:

frenchdip

For dinner, I had a meeting with the other MOPS coordinators in my area (technically I’m not one, but I’m the behind-the-scenes-silent-partner) at McAlister’s Deli.  Had a french dip sandwich and some salad.  Sweet tea to drink.  Mmm.  Sweet tea.  Theirs is the best.  :)  Had half of an oatmeal cookie for desert.

Food Diary, Day Two

It’s only Day Two and I’m already admitting failure: lunch was grazing across two outings.

Breakfast:

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Husband-made Belgium waffle with local honey on top and some strawberries & pineapple with English Breakfast Tea to drink

Lunch:

At the PTA Volunteer Tea Party: one sugar cookie (medium), one lemon mini-cupcake, one small chunk of watermelon, and a teacup of raspberry iced tea

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At the MDO End-of-Year party: toddler sized portions of teeny-tiny chunks of cheese, cheetos, one chocolate chip cookie (small), & a juicy juice grape juice box (no hot dog for me!)

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Snack :

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(the thing I packed as my lunch, but forgot to eat)

Dinner:

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Cheesy grits, Chicken with Italian sauce, and Broccoli (all husband made, of course) with water to drink.

Food diary, day one

You already saw what I ate for breakfast earlier, so here’s the rest of the day:

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Snack.  I started eating the crackers, had three, then decided they were much too salty, despite being the right caloric intake.  So I ate celery with homemade ranch dressing (which is made mostly with plain lowfat yogurt) and drank some Passionfruit, Jasmine, & Orange Green Tea.

p_00072 (3) Lunch was leftovers as well: Zucchini with corn meal (not breaded, exactly, just tossed with), brown rice pilaf (rice, spices, chicken stock), and my husband’s version of chicken salad (chicken, plain yogurt, celery) with water to drink.

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Another snack (my kids have two a day, so I do as well): carrot sticks & the aforementioned ranch with iced Lemongrass green tea.

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Monday night is Scout night, so it’s easy-to-fix dinner night: 100% white meat chicken breast nuggets, green beans, instant mashed potatoes mixed with the other half of that ranch seasoning packet and yet more water.

Things that didn’t get pictured: one tiny chunk of mancheego cheese that Nick had me finish and one small red lollipop that I ate to be polite and one adult beverage because it’s my last night before methotextrate starts back tomorrow.

Another quick note: I didn’t talk to my husband about all this “trying to eat healthy” again thing, so our available leftovers & dinner menu for this week do not reflect the new plan yet.  I’m trying to make the best choices based on what’s around, which is generally pretty healthy food.  (Even the chicken nuggets: as healthy as we can purchase pre-made convenience food.  We’re label checkers and this is as good as it gets.  The mashed potatoes actually never get eaten.  They are gross.  I’m tossing that box tomorrow.)

Back on the Health Bandwagon

I’ve had one of those whirlwind kind of months, you know the kind where you aren’t home more than an hour a day and every meal you eat is eaten a) at a fast food place or b) in the car or c) lunchables at a children’s school event.  Between that and all the prednisone I’ve been taking I’ve gained 15 pounds, so I’d like to go back to concentrating on losing that weight and eating more healthily.

 

A few of my friends have benefitted from posting photos of what they’re eating, both in terms of it keeping them on track healthwise and in terms of “hey, remember that you’ve eaten?” (I can’t remember that all the time).

 

So if you’d like to follow along with me for a while, this is what I’ll be doing: one post a day of food choices for the next two weeks.  I’ll do the rest of my food tonight, but leave you with a photo of my breakfast to get you in the mood:

 

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homemade spinach quiche (heavy on the spinach, made with 2% mozzarella cheese) with strawberries & pineapple and 1% milk

Trying out something new

I don’t know how this is going to work out, but I’m trying a new program on my computer for posting things to not only this blog, but to my other ones as well.  :)  We’ll see how it goes.

 

me, in a dinosaurs mouth

 

Water as therapy

I am a pool person– I spent nearly every day from March til October  in the pool from the time I was 6 until I turned 22.   Then we moved away from home and although we had access to a pool, it wasn’t a lap pool, more one of those artistic looking things that really didn’t encourage swimming.  The town we moved to after that (our current one) doesn’t have a decent public pool.  We have a few college pools that require you to be a student to use them and several private membership pools, but nothing for the general public that doesn’t want to spend $600-$1200 a year on swim club fees.  So outside of swimming lessons for the kids, we haven’t swam at all for the last 7 years. 

So today I went in for my first day of Aqua Therapy.  I was so excited to get to go in the water all alone, no kids dragging on me at all.  I got there early, showered, was all ready.  (Note to self: you need flip flops and you don’t need a towel and bring a flatter bag next time!)  The instructor was there and there were more than 30 elderly people in the pool already.  I was the youngest person there, excepting the intern.  I got in the water chest deep, and started walking as instructed.  Boy, was it hard.  I hadn’t expected that.  After a while the instructor told me to walk sideways, which was even harder.  My hip started hurting, then my knees, the the tops of my feet near my ankles.  I finally whispered to the lady across from me if it was supposed to feel this way and she told me to talk to my therapist, who when I finally got back over there told me that my time was up on that exercise anyway. 

Next up was low marching, which was not a problem, and then a goose-march step, which wasn’t much more difficult.  Squats were so far from not bad that I was shocked.  Squats outside the pool are not possible for me at all, but in the pool, it was just up-down-up-down (this is not to say that there wasn’t any knee or hip clicking or popping- there was – but it didn’t hurt). 

After all that I made my way to the deep end with some arm floaties and made v’s with my legs – open -close – open out to my left and right sides.  The instructor thought that would hurt, but it wasn’t too bad. Then out and back front and back. That one nearly had me crying.  It hurt so much.  I stopped early on that one.  Then I got to bicycle my legs, which started off easy and ended up with me feeling very tired.

Then I was done.  I got a sheet of things to work on once the pool at my gym opens and I went to get out of the pool.  I felt pretty good walking to the stairs, but with each one I climbed, gravity reasserted its pull on my limbs and I felt heavier and heavier.  By the time I got to the top I was so heavy and sore that I could barely walk to the locker room.  By the time I got to the door I was crying, not just from the pain, but from the shock of the weight of the world.  I had forgotten how heavy real life feels. 

In the locker room I talked to one of the other ladies that had been in therapy with me.  She told me how she usually schedules an extra hour into her daily plan for therapy days, as she can’t get straight out of the pool & straight back into clothes right away and how she has to rest for another hour after that and to plan to have convenience foods for lunch or pick something up.  That it hasn’t really gotten any easier for her, even though she feels like the therapy is helping her in regular life.  I thanked her for her advice because this is the kind of stuff that the doctor never manages to remember to tell you.

I made my way in to shower, but ended up just rinsing off, as I couldn’t really raise my arms or my legs.  It was so demoralizing.  I finally got into my clothes and got out to the parking lot, limping all the way.  The lady that watched my youngest child while I was out was nice enough to feed us lunch when she saw how exhausted I was and then I had to go pick up my middle child, who was throwing up in his kindergarten classroom.  We’ve spent the afternoon resting and watching TV/surfing the internet. Even four hours later I’m still limping through the house.  My ankles and knees and hips hurt from all the activity.  My shoulders hurt from the strain of holding my body up on the floaties.

I hope this is worth it.  It is, right?  Everyone else thinks it helps?

Happy Mother’s Day

This is what my day has included so far: 

(some cell phone photos are not great quality, sorry!)

Some of my cards & gifts (the ones that aren’t in the car) 

Mmm…Nutella, Strawberry, & Banana Crepes

Me and my smallest boys

My husband and our biggest boy

Me, on the couch with a guilty pleasure

The boys all outside gardening & clearing the yard of hickory prickle-balls.  Such a nice day.

 

After my book was done, I spent the day organizing in a new-to-me (stolen from my kids room) bookshelf to accommodate all those borrowed books & movies & overflow from the living room (not done yet, but it’s still early days).

I traded my hope chest for the bookshelf (it has a safety catch lid, so it won’t hurt the kids, but we’re storing toys in there that they never play with anyway – the toys on top won’t stay there, but I was vacuuming in there when it occured to me to take a picture.  And yes, that room is quite crowded.  It’s time to purge some stuff, but we’re waiting for the summer for that).

It’s been a great day!  The kids have wandered in, one at a time all day long, coming in for hugs and love and well wishes.  So very cute!  My husband is cooking me a fabulous dinner tonight, too!  What a special day I’ve had!

Hope all of you are having a fabulous Mother’s Day as well.  🙂

Cathartic

Yesterday I had one of those bad days where I woke up feeling bad, taking my meds made me feel worse, and I couldn’t do anything but go on with my day because I had a bunch of errands to run, a neighbor’s children to babysit, and PT at home to do. Everything went wrong, everyone that called had bad news, and I kept feeling worse. The only good part was babysitting, which I had actually thought would be the worst part of the day.

So, after having a bad day, I locked myself in my bedroom and tried to avoid people for a while doing laundry. I tried all my usual cheering myself up things, but everything was making me want to cry: the sunlight, the trees, the books on the shelf, the trinkets from my past. Everything.

So you know what I did? I sat down and let myself cry. I cried over big things, like all of my friends having someone close to them die lately. I cried over small things, like the tiny little cut on my thumb that’s been throbbing for a couple days. I cried over things from the long distant past, things that shouldn’t bother me in my life now, but somehow managed to sneak up in that abyss of sadness into yesterday’s crying jag.

We went to bed early last night, so it was no surprise to me when I woke up at 3am. What did surprise me: I was in a great mood. A productive mood. An I-can-do-anything mood.

And so since I knew I wasn’t going back to sleep, I spent the rest of the night methodically taking all the books off my bookshelves and all the cd’s/movies off their shelves, then moved the shelves all over the few feet needed to accommodate my piano (which needed to be moved from its location due to the regular overflow of my washing machine). When my husband got up, I got him to help me slide the piano into place (he lifted & pushed, I made sure the legs didn’t get trapped sideways; it’s a spinet model). It is amazing how much bigger my living room looks & feels now. And how good I feel. Even though I still have to deal with all the yuckiness from yesterday, I’m in a much better mental space today.

I think I’ll let myself cry a little bit more often in the future.

Physical Therapy

As is the way of things in my world, everything went wacky along the way to physical therapy. At first it was that the scheduler called while I was driving the kids home from school. My eldest son answered the phone just as I was attempting to drive past a house that had tree cutters out working on their front yard (which, if you’ve never experienced this, involves several men standing in the street staring up at the man in the tree, at least two tree service trucks and also some sort of grinding trailer), and directly in front of us a police car drove up, parked sideways in the street, and sat there without anyone getting out. I had to make a turnaround amidst this craziness and David handed me the phone anyways. So I got confused, told the scheduler the wrong information, and made a bad appointment date…which turned out to be the right one in the end because I’d miswritten my middle child’s school field trip in my calendar. Anyways, after a bunch of confusion and rescheduling, I finally managed to get an appointment on a day I could go, found someone to watch my child, and all was good. Right? Wrong. The morning of my appointment the babysitter called and said her child was throwing up. As I was driving there. So I took my youngest son with me.

We made it over to the appointment & found good parking, so we had time to spare.  I set him up a little spot to read his stories while I filled out forms, which did not take nearly as long as they allocated them to take.  The lady that ended up later being my physical therapist brought out a toy (the kind that is like a wiggly wonky abacus) for Greg to play with, which was excellent, as it turned out that they’d triple booked the therapist I was supposed to see, so we ended up waiting for an hour before we got to see someone.  When we got back into the office, my little boy was not interested in his books or his toys any longer, but I had a trick up my sleeve: treats hidden in my bag.  So he ate some cheerios & drank some juice while I got through my evaluation.  Fortunately he’s the kind of kid you can take anywhere.  🙂

The first thing the therapist told me shocked me: my insurance requires a co-pay per appointment and my doctor requested 12 sessions for me.  The insurance would start covering 100% after 60 sessions at $35 a piece.  She thought that was unreasonable, especially since we had evidence from my last bout of PT that showed that the insurance used to just have me pay $35 for the first session, then up to 8 “follow-up” sessions were covered 100% before I had to pay another co-pay.  Ridiculous.  So she evaluated me and we decided amongst ourselves that since I have a gym membership that includes a room full of yoga/stretching equipment & a pool, I can do most of my therapy on my own, and come back every few months when the exercises she gives me start getting easy. 

After the first session, she sent me home with stretching exercises that were nearly identical to the ones that I was doing at home anyways, so when I went back on Tuesday I was able to tell her that I’d passed section one.  I was able to go alone to that appointment and the therapist I saw on Friday came and gathered me up before the person that had been allocated to me for that session came and found me.  Which was good, as she had prepared an entire three months worth of exercises for me to do.  I have three layers of hardness.  I start with the easy stuff, then move on to the harder, then the hardest on my list.  I’ll be doing stretching, core work, and giant exercise ball work, along with time on the elliptical machine every day.  The elliptical remains easy going, as does the stretching, but the core work kicks my butt.  Every. Single. Exercise.  So. Very. Hard. 

I’m so excited that I’ll eventually be able to walk again without turning my legs the wrong direction and without all the hip and knee pain.  So I’m going to work hard, harder, hardest and get my core & my legs strong again.