So it's been almost a year of working out (sporadically) and dieting (read: eating well until 3pm and then...). I have not lost any significant weight (HUGE surprise, I know). So I have made the BIG decision to go ahead and have weight loss surgery. I am considering gastric bypass as well as lap-band. Should happen somewhere around January. Will be in a preparation prgram until then, psych evals, 10% body weight loss, learning new habits for post-surgery, support groups, etc. Very excited about it but a little nervous about post-surgery eating (or over eating). Any thoughts?
I relish my alone time. Is that wrong? I feel like almost every moment of my day is shared with someone else. Not just my time, but my body. When you have kids, it's like your body doesn't belong to you anymore. Beginning with pregnancy, you feel odd kicking and poking and rolling and it's wonderful, but it takes over your body. After they are born you are breast feeding and even if you don't, you are still holding the baby all the time. I used to love to cuddle and I still do but sometimes I just want my body all to myself. Sometimes I just want to take a shower without someone peeking around the corner. I want to go to the bathroom without an audience. I want to sit and read without a child (or two or three) sitting on top of me. I want to have a night's sleep with no one but my husband and I in the bed. Then my husband gets home and wants a piece of me and I just have nothing left for him.
The thing is, when I am alone, I feel like I am missing a limb or something. The fact is you can never go back to who you were before you have kids, or even a husband. Sometimes I feel like my body belongs to him as much as it belongs to me. And after ten years together, his body is as familiar to me as my own.
When the kids aren't here I don't quite know what to do with myself. When they go to bed, unless I'm writing, I don't do anything productive. I just sit and enjoy being alone or with Van. When you are a stay-at-home mom, you sort of define yourself by your kids. You plan your life around them because they are your life. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to work and leave my kids all day. I think if I was doing something I love it would be easier, but I think my life would be less fulfilling for sure. The truth is I really love my kids and love spending my days with them. Although I never planned to be a stay-at-home mom (I guess now I am technically a "work-at-home mom"), I don't think think I would be truly happy doing anything else.
So I guess what I am saying is I just need some freaking alone time a little more often!
It's Friday and I don't feel like cooking and my oldest is sick and wants his favorite food, Chinese take out. And since everyone knows there are zero calories on Fridays, of course I oblige.
I called our order in ahead of time and it seems like no matter what I order the lady always says "ok, ten minute" so I always give it 20 "minute" instead.
I arrive just in time. The Chinese lady is gathering my order on the counter just as I walk in. To my left is a lady waiting for her order. She obviously either did not call ahead or believed the Chinese lady with her erroneous "ok, 10 minute" promise. I realize that I know her from somewhere, but where? Ours is a small town and I know she has been on the other side of the counter from me somewhere... let me think, she is always a little bit too pompass and acts like my time is of no consequence... oh of course! She works at the DMV! (Dept of Motor Vehicles) How can I describe the general attitude of the average DMV employee? I guess they act like any other government worker; bored, irritated with others' ignorance of government procedures, slow to act, they answer "No" with no further explanation... the list goes on. For instance there is a disfigured gentleman who also works there who always acts like all of his customers are total morons. I can't help but think that people work there so that they can make others feel as bad as they have always felt about themselves. If you've ever been there you know there is an indescribable quality in these people that just says "you're an idiot and I am miserable because of it".
Last year I had a Nanny who was off from her university. She needed to get a license in our state if she was to be of any use to me so we spent many hours at the DMV. Applying for a license, filling out endless paper work, practicing for the driving portion of the test. This lady standing next to me was always there to make us feel completely unimportant and ignored.
Is it wrong that I am getting a secret thrill from watching HER stand in line for once?! I ask the chinese lady "is this my order?" The DMV lady cuts me off, "no, I've been waiting for 15 minutes so I'm sure it's mine" The chinese lady asks me "what your phone number?" I tell her and she says "Oh this your order, I get one more thing for you" and she disappears into the back. I smile smugly at the DMV lady and say, "It's quicker if you call ahead". I am secretly gleeful.
I am momentarily distracted by my son and the fish tank. When I look back there is a small brown bag on the counter next to my order. "is this mine? I ask. The DMV lady says, "no" and after a moment meekly says, "I think it's mine..." That's right I said "meekly". I am enjoying this ever so much!
The bag is hers. I pay for mine and as I am heading out the door, I say, "I know where I recognize you from... the BP gas station on the corner, right?" She stares at me incredulously, "Uh, no," she quickly corrects me, "I work at the DMV".
Whew, that "blog break" was exhausting. OK I'm just going to be honest here, I forgot my email address for my blog and couldn't figure it out for the longest time. But fear not, 4 followers, I HAVE returned. AND I am ten pounds lighter. This may or may not be due to the fact that in the past month I have had; pnuemonia, strep throat and my tonsils removed. This has been a very special dieting moment brought to you by: starvation or "I dislike pain more than I love food".
At any rate, my mother has been very encouraging and my father is complimentary abou the shrinking size of my ass. "If someone told you to "haul ass" you'd have to make two trips!" He used to say. Now, apparently, I am down to one and a half trips. I'm going to be brutally honest here and tell you that 10 pounds on a larger woman is not that much of a difference. I'm pretty sure all of the compliments were due to my more supportive bra which makes clearer the line where my boobs stop and my stomach begins. At any rate, I'm still working on it! At last check I was *gulp* 282 pounds. Ouch. I'm pretty sure that I could still smoosh a small child, so I try not to sit on mine!
Oh, I'm sorry! Were my children's childish antics bothering you here in this public place?
So I love Target and feel a sort of proprietary ownership of it. As such, I let myself go at Target. I relax, I get a treat from Starbucks, I greet all the employees, a third of whom I know by name... I let my children have fun.
So I am Target for the third time this week. I have my two youngest, Baby Boy, (just turned) 4 and the Diva, 20 months. I am looking at clothes (Target has super cute maternity clothes and even when I am not pregnant, they tend to fit me very well!) and I hear an "older lady" (think Rue Maclanahan from Golden Girls, which I will hereafter refer to her) grumbling about people controlling their children. I take a quick inventory. The Diva is happily babbling in the cart and Baby Boy is... uh oh... where is Baby Boy? Oh there he is, hiding in a clothing rack. He peeks his head out from between some particularly hideous blouses in the plus sizes section which is where Rue Maclanahan is evidently having her day ruined by Baby Boy's adorable antics. I should have whipped out my camera and taken a picture. He was so proud of himself and his clever hiding place. He even smiles at Rue Maclanahan. I smile at her apologetically, thinking, "That smile melts me every time. It's got to work on Rue!" Rue Maclanahan is not amused.
"Have you seen those leashes they make for children?" She asks. She actually said this to me.
At this point I should probably divulge that I am a fan of telling off complete strangers who I feel are out of line... usually when I am in a bad mood or it is a certain time of the month.
(WARNING: LONG SIDE STORY ALERT) Once, in a department store, I realized I had forgotten my stroller. I had all three kids with me and was in a very foul mood. I went looking for a store stroller/cart and there were none to be found. I walked around the store hoping to find an abandoned stroller. I kept seeing people without children pushing strollers full of purchases. Every time I saw one I got more irritated. I spotted an older lady (think Betty white from the Golden Girls) chatting a make-up counter with nothing but her purse in the seat where my baby's butt should have been. I stalked up to Betty and said (I thought politely) exaggeratedly juggling the baby, my purse and holding Baby Boy's hand, "would you mind giving me your cart since you don't have any children with you and I have three?" Betty looks me up and down and then looks at the pancake-faced sales girl incredulously. "Um, no." That's all she said before she turned back to pancake face and rolled her eyes. This pisses me off to no end.
"Those strollers are meant for people with children, not for people who don't feel like carrying their purses!" I say. Betty looks around. "Aren't there any other carts in the store?" She asks. As if I came into the store and targeted her for harassment. "If I could find one," I say "I wouldn't be standing here asking you for your help." stressing my need for help. "Well," she says "my purse is very heavy and I have a bad back." "My baby is very heavy," I counter "and I don't want to drop her." I stalk off, knowing the battle is lost. Freaking Betty.
Back to my recent target story. "Have you seen those leashes they make for children?" Rue has just asked me.
Trying to get over my incredulity, I stumble. "Oh, did those work for your children?" I ask.
It's Rue's turn to stumble. "Oh, no...I don't have any children. I've just seen those leashes and they seem to work pretty good."
My eyes widen. She doesn't have children? Then why the hell does she feel qualified to give me advice?! I quickly recover.
"I think leashes are for dogs, not humans. And my son isn't hurting anyone, he's just being a kid." I say. "Maybe you would get that if you had children of your own."
Rue Maclanahan stalks off.
Afterword I think. I feel kind of bad. Maybe she was incapable of having children? Maybe she lost a child. I would feel truly bad if this were the case. But she said "I don't have any children" clumsily. Not "I never had any children" sorrowfully. On this point I console myself.
Whatever. In either case, she is not qualified to give me child-rearing advice. Even if she were my crazy spinster Aunt, I would still be irritated with her gall in suggesting I leash my child.
And this is my point, young or old, people who don't have children often feel compelled to offer their opinions on child-rearing. Or proclaim, "When I have children I will never let them [insert appalling behavior here]." The fact is, you don't know, you just don't know how it feels until those children belong to you. It's easy to correct someone else's children, to see their faults. It's easy to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with someone else's child-rearing philosophies and suggest your own when you've never actually put yours into practice. So there.
I hope I see Rue again at Target so I can tell Baby Boy to run over and hug her and invade her personal space like she invaded my business. Freaking Golden Girls!
So I complained to my doctor about being tired all the time. I am sleepy at odd times during the day, I fall asleep driving and am forced to pull over to take a nap. She says, "Have you ever done a sleep study?"
OK, so what I picture is laying in a staged bedroom trying to sleep with a group of people analyzing my every move on the other side of a two-way mirror. Plus, I have three children. How could they manage without me for an entire night?
"I really think it would help," she says. "It may help you lose weight as well."
And she's got me. I mean, who doesn't want to believe that one could lose weight while sleeping?!
Turns out my idea of a sleep study wasn't too far off. You are in a room and you are being not only watched, but recorded. Eek. Anyway, I am already there and I think this could be nice... a night in a bed all to myself. When I told Van about the sleep study he thought it sounded pretty funny.
"You don't have a sleep disorder! You just have three children. Did you tell her that two out of three of them end up in our bed every morning?"
So I found that the thing about a sleep study is that you actually have to sleep. Did I mention that it took my nurse 45 minutes to hook me up to all of the sensors and other random equipment? How the hell is a person supposed to sleep if she can't even roll over. And believe me, I am a roller. And a kicker. And a whiner. (I do that when I am awake and asleep!)
Obviously, I couldn't sleep. I just don't see how anyone could. Whenever I did fall asleep I was plagued by dreams of octopuses (octopi?) suctioning my face and head. My nurse said I finally did "achieve R.E.M. sleep" (like it was some sort of accomplishment) around 4:30 in the morning. They woke me at 5:30am. And then I had to drive home over a fresh coating of snow. I thought, "Wouldn't it be ironic if I fell asleep driving on the way home from my sleep study?"
Well, apparently I do have a sleep disorder and I have, of course, used this as my excuse over the last week to take a nap whenever I feel like it. Anyway, day 2 or, more accurately, night 2 of the sleep study is coming up. This time I have to wear a machine that will no doubt make me look and sound like Darth Vader. On the up side, maybe it will scare my children enough to keep them out of my bed.
Remember that Beastie Boys Song? Those were the days. And by "the days" I mean, of course the worst days for me emotionally (as I was a miserable adolescent) but some good days for music.
Anyway, we are now in the present. By which I mean that I am now writing in the present, not posting entries I've saved on my computer for the last four months.
I went to the doctor last week. I lost a whopping 2 pounds. I do need to account for the fact that is was post-holiday gorging and the first day of my period. So there. I should probably exercise more. OK I should definitely exercise more. The two or three days a week I am getting to the gym now is apparently not cutting it. And, if I am being honest, I haven't really cut back my calories all the much. Also more water. I'm thinking water is the trick.
So, to recap, More exercise, less calories and more water. Duh.